Condolences pour in for Zwelakhe Sisulu

2012-10-04 18:54
Zwelakhe Sisulu (Picture: City Press)

Zwelakhe Sisulu (Picture: City Press)

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Johannesburg - Condolences poured in on Thursday for struggle veteran Zwelakhe Sisulu, who died in his sleep at his home on Thursday morning at the age of 61.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) praised Sisulu's journalistic integrity and his contribution to the struggle.

"His vociferous and fighting pen exposed the heinous and brutal system of apartheid and colonialism of a special type," spokesperson Castro Ngobese said in a statement.

Numsa paid tribute to Sisulu's parents, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, for bringing him up to be a "gallant fighter and great servant of our people".

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said he became well-acquainted with Sisulu in the 1990s when he was the editor of the New Nation newspaper.

"Zwelakhe Sisulu was a gentle and unassuming man who had the ability to focus on the important things."

The African National Congress in the Eastern Cape conveyed condolences to Sisulu's family.

"During his time with us, Comrade Sisulu potently contributed towards the growth and development of our country and his patriotic contribution dates back to the early days of his life," spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane said in a statement.

In his honour, parents should teach their children progressive politics.

The presidency announced Sisulu's death earlier on Thursday.

"We have learnt with shock and sadness of the passing on of such a distinguished South African and patriot this morning," it said in a statement.

A freedom fighter and journalist, Sisulu established himself as an astute businessman after 1994. He worked as chief executive of the SA Broadcasting Corporation.

Patrick Craven, spokesperson for the Congress of SA Trade Unions, praised Sisulu as "a committed trade unionist, freedom fighter and propagandist".

"In 1980, when he was news editor of Sunday Post, he refused to give evidence against a Post reporter and was sentenced to nine months in prison."

The Young Communist League was "shocked" by his death, spokesperson Khaya Xaba said in a statement.

"Sisulu is amongst the greatest sons of the soil who used both the pen and the barrel of the gun to overthrow the apartheid regime, and can be credited as one of the few journalists who spoke truth to power."

Earlier, Sisulu's family said it was "deeply saddened" at his death.

"The precise cause of death is yet to be confirmed. He has however been suffering from complications of diabetes," the family said in statement.

Sisulu, 61, spent the past few years nurturing various business interests across Africa.

The SABC praised Sisulu's contribution to the state broadcaster during his tenure as chief executive from 1994 until 1997.

"He steered the organisation post the apartheid era and helped transform it from a state broadcaster into the public service broadcaster it is today."

Sisulu was also the founding leader of the union, the Media Workers' Association of SA.

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