Struggle veteran Phyllis Naidoo dies

2013-02-15 09:18

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Struggle veteran and author Phyllis Naidoo has died, the ANC said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Keith Khoza said the 85-year-old activist died on Thursday. Further information was not immediately available.

The Daily News reported on Thursday that Naidoo died of heart failure at the Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital.

She was cremated, according to her wishes, at a private crematorium.

Born in Escourt

The African National Congress said it was saddened by her death.

"The ANC dips its flag in honour of Comrade Phyllis Naidoo."

Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, also sent condolences.

"On behalf of our founder, trustees and staff we send our condolences to the family, comrades and friends of the late Phyllis Naidoo, a fearless fighter against apartheid."

Naidoo was born in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal on 5 January 1928.

Later in her life, she joined the Natal Indian Congress and became involved with the SA Communist Party.

She and her husband helped fellow activists to get out of the country. Naidoo was banned by the apartheid government in 1966.

The next year, her husband was imprisoned on Robben Island and she was placed under house arrest.
She studied law during that time and qualified as a lawyer in 1973.

Activists who had been released from Robben Island went to Naidoo to find employment.

At one stage, she employed five ex-Robben Island detainees, including President Jacob Zuma, as messengers at her law firm.

Struggle fighter

In 1977, Naidoo escaped to Lesotho where she was involved in welfare work and assisted the ANC and SACP.

She moved to Zimbabwe in 1983, and returned to South Africa only in 1990.

Naidoo wrote seven books, including the Footsteps series and Le rona re batho: an account of the 1982 Maseru Massacre.

Describing her as a champion for non-racialism and justice, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said it mourned her loss.

"Her contribution to South Africa’s liberation and preserving its legacy are beyond question," said its executive director Neeshan Balton.

Veteran South African politician, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada said he would remember Naidoo as a fighter, and committed to the struggle.

"She continued her work with selflessness and compassion almost until the day she died," he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    anc  |  durban
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks take ‘no mercy’ approach
Burger to equal Bok RWC record
Japan victory attracts record TV figures
iPads the secret to Japanese RWC success
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.