Tributes flow in for Kader Asmal

2011-06-23 14:32

Johannesburg - Tributes to politician Kader Asmal kept flowing in on Thursday, with the SA Human Rights Commission saying his contribution to society should be celebrated.

"Despite the sadness of the occasion, however, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the life and contribution of Kader Asmal, to the anti-apartheid struggle and to the development and progress of South African society in general," the commission said after Asmal died in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Commission chairperson Advocate Lawrence Mushwana said they would remember him for his for tireless service and life-long dedication to the creation of a free South Africa, particularly his involvement in the drafting and subsequent defence of the Constitution.

The commission would always draw lessons and inspiration from his fearless and principled defence of human rights.

United Democratic Movement head Bantu Holomisa said: "How I wish the people charged with the responsibility of leading the nation could emulate his shining example."

The African Christian Democratic Party said Asmal was not afraid to say what he felt, even outside party structures.

"We are grateful to him for speaking out and caring for his fellow Africans in Zimbabwe, we thank him too for speaking out on behalf of refugees and immigrants in South Africa who face great hardship… his courage was touching and inspirational," party leader Kenneth Meshoe said.

Meshoe said Asmal had also pushed hard for the term "anti-sexism" to be put into the Constitution when it was being drafted.

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) said after Asmal left Parliament in 2008, after resigning in protest over the closing of the Scorpions, he returned to the UWC to serve as an extraordinary professor.

"He impressed all who knew him with his kindness, caring attitude and his passion for human rights and the betterment of the lives of ordinary South Africans."

- SAPA

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