Struggle veteran Riot Mkhwanazi dies

2016-12-04 11:51


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Johannesburg - Struggle veteran Riot Mkhwanazi, who was arrested with President Jacob Zuma in 1964 and served time in Robben Island, has died, Zuma said on Sunday. 

"We have a lost a disciplined veteran and a true revolutionary who sacrificed his youth and risked his life for the liberation of South Africa," the president said in a statement

"He was passionate about political education and development programmes. We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Mkhwanazi family and may his soul rest in peace."

Mkhwanazi was a recipient of The Order of Mendi for bravery. 

The presidency says on its website that Mkhwanazi was arrested with Zuma when they were crossing the South African border to Botswana.

"Both were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Robben Island. There Mkhwanazi learned to read and write and participated in political education and debates.

"Soon before his release from Robben Island in 1974, Mkhwanazi, along with other prisoners due for release, received a letter from Nelson Mandela urging them to continue the struggle where they had left off before their arrest and imprisonment," the presidency said. 

"After his release, Mkhwanazi was banned. He subsequently went into exile and spent many years in Mozambique, until the Nkomati Accord forced him and other ANC cadres to move out. He returned to South Africa in the early 1990s, along with others who had been in exile."

The Nkomati Accord was a pact signed between South Africa and Mozambique in 1984. 

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