ANC pays tribute to Zwelakhe Sisulu

2012-10-05 07:10

The ANC has paid tribute to journalist and anti-apartheid activist Zwelakhe Sisulu.

“The loss of Zwelakhe Sisulu is a monumental loss to our nation,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement today, following Sisulu’s death yesterday.

“He has contributed in so many respects to the development of our country.”

Sisulu was the son of late struggle veterans Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and the brother of National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Mthembu said in the 1980s Sisulu emerged as a champion of alternative media and freedom of expression, which saw him harassed and imprisoned.

He founded and became editor of The New Nation, which provided a platform for the liberation and mass democratic movement.

“He occupied a noticeable space in the mass democratic movement. When his brother Max and sister Lindi were in exile and his father was serving a life sentence in Robben Island, Zwelakhe together with his mother ... were continually harassed by the security police.”

He was arrested and detained for lengthy periods without trial. His harassment caused international media organisations to call for his release.

In 1994, Sisulu became group chief executive officer of the SABC. He also served as a media officer for former president Nelson Mandela.

The National Press Club said Sisulu played a major role in the development of media in South Africa.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement: “It is saddening to see such icons leaving before their time and the challenge for the young generation is to take lessons from the old and run with the baton.”

City Press reported that details about his death were sketchy yesterday and that a source close to the Sisulu family had said the family would release more information about the incident during the course of the day.

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