ANC mourns Van Zyl Slabbert

2010-05-14 13:05

Johannesburg – Former politician, academic and businessman Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert would be sorely missed by all South Africans, the ANC said on Friday after his death in Johannesburg.

"The ANC deeply mourns the passing of legendary politician and business leader Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert," said spokesperson Brian Sokutu.

"As leader of the Progressive Federal Party, not only did he make an indelible mark in shaping opposition politics against apartheid in South Africa, but he fought for constitutional democracy to be realised.

"He will also be remembered as one of those white South Africans who facilitated contact with the African National Congress at the time it was banned inside the country," said Sokutu.

Slabbert died at home with his family after an illness.

The Institute for Democracy in South Africa, which he co-founded in 1986 with Truth and Reconcilation Commissioner Alex Boraine, said he was a visionary and represented a "living embodiment of active citizenship as a South African and an African public intellectual".

"His life was rooted in the values of social justice which guided his participation on an ongoing basis in considering what democracy is and how it should be lived by citizens of South Africa and other countries," the centre said.

"This visionary son of Africa will be deeply missed."