Obit: MK stalwart and ‘servant of the people’

2011-05-28 17:59

The death this week of former ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) stalwart Arthur Goldreich further reduced the number of survivors of the 1963 Rivonia raid.

Goldreich died at the age of 82 in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Tuesday.

He was arrested during the raid that would lead to the Rivonia ­trial.

However, he escaped from a ­Johannesburg police station and fled the country disguised as a priest.

He eventually settled in ­Israel. Goldreich was instrumental in setting up the Umkhonto weSizwe underground and also helped purchase Lilliesleaf, the farm on which Mandela’s co-accused met clandestinely to plot sabotage against the state.

However, their luck ran out when police pounced on the farm in 1963, arresting the entire ­leadership of Umkhonto weSizwe and seizing documents that were used as evidence during the ­Rivonia trial.

“Arthur Goldreich will go down in history as one of those rare breeds of revolutionaries that changed the course of South ­African history. Not only did he sacrifice his privileges as a white South African but bore the pain of fighting against apartheid,” the ANC said in a statement paying tribute to Goldreich this week.

“As a member of the ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe he took what was his and declared it a collective asset in pursuit of liberation.“Comrade Goldreich will remain the epitome of a selfless servant of the people. “We extend our condolences to his family and kin.”

Goldreich was an accomplished artist and designer who created the sets for Todd Matshikiza’s famous musical, King Kong, in the late 1950s.

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