Anti-apartheid activist Swaminathan 'Swami' Gounden has died

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Swaminathan Gounden during a visit at to the Red Square on June 13, 2016 in Durban, (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Jackie Clausen)
Swaminathan Gounden during a visit at to the Red Square on June 13, 2016 in Durban, (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Jackie Clausen)
  • Political activist, trade union leader and community activist Swaminathan "Swami" Karuppa Gounden has died.
  • Gounden died in the early hours of Tuesday.
  • He was 93 years old.


Political activist, trade union leader and community activist Swaminathan "Swami" Karuppa Gounden has died.

Gounden, 93, died in the early hours of Tuesday, according to his son, Vasu.

The activist was one of the last surviving attendees of the historic Kliptown conference in 1955 where the Freedom Charter was adopted.

Gounden was awarded the national Order of Luthuli by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018.

He was born in 1927 in Durban and joined the ANC in 1950. He became a council member of the Asherville Ratepayers' Association in 1958 and served as its secretary for five years.

Gounden was also a member of the David Landau Community Centre, a community-based organisation, in 1962.

According to the Presidency website, other campaigns Gounden participated in included the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign, the 1952 Defiance Campaign, and the 1983 launch of the United Democratic Front.

"A member of the ANC, SACP, NIC (Natal Indian Congress), Sactu (South African Congress of Trade Unions) and numerous community and civic organisations, he led a life of service with integrity and commitment," Vasu said.

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