Zuma pays tribute to Freedom Charter scribe Beata Lipman

2016-12-10 10:34
Beata Lipman (Supplied)

Beata Lipman (Supplied)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma extended condolences to the family of anti-apartheid activist and Freedom Charter scribe Beata Lipman who died at the age of 88 this week.

"It is always saddening to lose such a principled and esteemed freedom fighter and struggle veteran like Ms Lipman who was at the forefront during the 1955 congress of the people which drafted the Freedom Charter, the foundation for our democratic constitution," said Zuma in a statement.

"We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to her family and relatives. May her soul rest in peace."

Zuma said Lipman and her husband Alan would be remembered for their sterling work in collating information during the drafting of the Freedom Charter, with Beata Lipman drafting the original charter in her own handwriting.

Lipman died on Thursday after she became unwell.

Her daughter, Jane, on Friday described her journalist and filmmaker mother as "tough and bright and determined and stubborn," and way ahead of her time as a feminist.

Born in 1928 in Germany, Lipman came to South Africa at a young age when her parents fled Nazi Germany and said that she felt accepted in South Africa after the traumatic experiences they had left behind.

She worked with Ruth First on a newspaper and participated in the famous Women's March to the Union Buildings in 1956. She and her husband were  members of the SA Communist Party (SACP), but left when Russia invaded Hungary.

Jane Lipman said her mother was an inspiration to her, and even when they left South Africa in 1963 to avoid being arrested by the apartheid police for their activism, she retained her deep commitment to social justice.

She worked in the UK for the BBC's current affairs programme, made films for the BBC, worked on Newsnight, and wrote a book titled We Make Freedom.

On her return to South Africa, Lipman and her daughter worked together on films and documentaries.

Aside from her daughter, Lipman is survived by her son, Peter, and their families.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  freedom charter

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