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The South African Communist Party (SACP) conveys its heartfelt message of condolences to the Pahad family on the passing of Comrade Aziz Pahad (25 December 1940 – 27 September 2023).
The SACP also sends its condolences to the South African liberation movement which he served wholeheartedly.
A freedom fighter and patriot, Comrade Aziz played an important role in the South African struggle for liberation from colonial and apartheid rule. His activism was already maturing during his teenage years when he became a member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress in 1958. His activist role included organising strikes against the racist regime, premised on a non-racial basis.
He became 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.
In the 1990s, Pahad focused on the transition to our current democratic dispensation. Following our hard won victory against the apartheid regime, he continued to make his humble contribution to building the new South Africa. Among many important roles he played in the early 1990s was a member of the National Peace Executive Committee and member of the Transitional Executive Council's Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs. He went on to serve as South Africa’s first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 1994 to 2008.
Despite leaving government work, Comrade Azis continued to serve the people in various platforms. The SACP benefited from his profound political inputs, especially as an internationalist representing the ANC.
In memory of Comrade Azis Pahad, the SACP calls upon the working-class and all those who fight for justice to unite against imperialism. The SACP pledges to preserve the legacy of our liberation stalwarts while continuing to unite the working-class towards socialism. At a time when neoliberal offensive is regaining ground to impose austerity measures and break the unity of the working-class and also widen inequality, the SACP says: “Put people first, fight the cost-of-living crisis”!
Together, let us build a powerful, socialist movement of the workers and poor!
Issued by SACP