Zwelakhe Sisulu 'a fighter for justice, freedom'

2012-10-05 11:50
Zwelakhe Sisulu (Johnny Onverwacht, City Press)

Zwelakhe Sisulu (Johnny Onverwacht, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) on Friday conveyed its condolences to the family of journalist and activist Zwelakhe Sisulu.

Sisulu died on Thursday, aged 61.

"He led the way in journalism in the darkest days of apartheid," the council said in a statement.

"A fighter for justice and freedom, his determination and endeavour contributed towards ensuring that the truth about the injustices of apartheid was revealed for all to see."

Sisulu had inspired a generation of journalists, and articulated and strengthened the media's role in a democratic society.

"The Sisulu name is an embodiment of the commitment to selfless struggle so that the dignity of all South Africans can be respected and enhanced," said Casac chairperson Sipho Pityana.

The African National Congress paid tribute to Sisulu earlier.

"The loss of Zwelakhe Sisulu is a monumental loss to our nation," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

Champion of alternative media

"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.
Read more on:    anc  |  casac  |  johannesburg

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