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'A consummate diplomat': Ramaphosa remembers anti-apartheid stalwart Aziz Pahad


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'A consummate diplomat': Ramaphosa remembers anti-apartheid stalwart Aziz Pahad

Aziz Pahad
Aziz Pahad

28th September 2023

By: News24Wire


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President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid homage to anti-struggle veteran Aziz Pahad, remembering him as a "consummate diplomat" and global freedom fighter.

Pahad died on Wednesday night at the age of 82.


In a statement, the president extended his condolences to the Pahad family.

He said Pahad's death followed that of his brother, former Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad, in July.


"Aziz Pahad worked for our freedom during his decades in exile in the United Kingdom, Angola and Zambia – a period during which he played a diversity of roles, including as a member of the ANC's Revolutionary Council and the Political Military Committee and being part of the ANC negotiating team that secretly met representatives of the apartheid regime and also with leading members of the Afrikaner community," Ramaphosa said.

He added, "It was fitting that, in acknowledgment of his vast experience in international mobilisation against the apartheid regime, Aziz Pahad was appointed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the dawn of our democracy and our reintegration into the global community.

"Aziz Pahad was a consummate diplomat, not only in the service of our country but in support of causes for freedom and justice elsewhere in the world, notably advocating the plight of the Palestinian people."

Pahad was the deputy head of the ANC's Department of International Affairs in 1991.

He was a member of the National Peace Executive Committee in 1991 and 1992, served as a member of the Transitional Executive Council's subcommittee on foreign affairs in 1994, and the ANC's national executive committee between 1985 and 2007.

Between 1994 and 2008, he served as an MP and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He occupied these positions after returning from exile in 1990.

After the Rivonia Trial in 1964, Pahad left South Africa for the United Kingdom.

He lived between London, Angola and Zambia while maintaining strong ties with the ANC as an anti-apartheid activist.

He established an anti-apartheid movement in Europe in 1966.

He was a member of the ruling party's Revolutionary Council and Political Military Committee and a member of the ANC's team that negotiated with the apartheid government after the ANC was unbanned.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Pahad would be remembered as a patriot, freedom fighter, and servant of the people throughout his life.

"He was a dedicated member of the ANC, a brilliant diplomat, and a strategist who served as a member of Parliament and Deputy Minister for International Relations from 1994 to 2008," she said.

The Economic Freedom Fighters also sent condolences to the Pahad family.

"Aziz Pahad was a freedom fighter and played a key role in the liberation struggle against the apartheid regime," the party posted on X (formerly known as Twitter).

The SA Communist Party described Pahad as an invaluable player in galvanising the international anti-apartheid movement while based in the United Kingdom since 1964.

"Following the Rivonia Trial and having been banished and exiled by the apartheid regime. In exile, he worked tirelessly to build the African National Congress, later served on the SACP Central Committee and as the party's head for international affairs. He also served on the revolutionary council and political military committee," the SACP said in a statement.

Pahad is survived by his wife, Angina, a brother, children, his granddaughter, and extended family members.


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