Cosatu ‘re-energised’ by Asmal’s last speech

2011-06-23 09:13

Late politician Kader Asmal “re-energised” Cosatu’s young workers’ forum in a speech at his last public appearance on Youth Day last week, the forum said today.

Asmal accepted their invitation to speak about youth unemployment, and education, on June 16 even though he was visibly ill, forum secretary Azania Matiwane said after Asmal’s death yesterday.

He spoke about the role young people should play in advancing the national democratic revolution and ensuring redress was achieved, and advocated a renewed sense of “patriotic citizenry” and development of better values for South Africa.

“Against, this backdrop, we would like to send our condolences to the family of Professor Asmal, the entire revolutionary movement and to the entire South African progressive society.”

Asmal was the minister of water affairs and forestry from 1994, a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, and education minister from 1999.

Asmal (76) was admitted to a Cape Town hospital on June 17, and suffered a heart attack on Tuesday while being treated for a stomach ailment. He was moved to intensive care and died the following day.

The Democratic Nursing Association (Denosa) described him as a humanitarian.

“Asmal has throughout his life championed the struggle against oppression and advocated for human rights and social justice for all.

“His immense contribution in government as both the minister of education and water affairs and forestry cannot be ignored,” Denosa president Dorothy Matebeni said.

The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union said: “Prof Asmal’s depth and ability to seek to engage on complex issues confronting the movement will always be source a of inspiration for this generation.

“He was a towering intellectual, great champion of human rights and unswerving in his commitment to the liberation of South Africa.”

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