- President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the late anti-apartheid campaigner ES Reddy.
- Reddy died in the US on Sunday at the age of 96.
- He played a leading role on a number of multilateral platforms agitating for an end to apartheid.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the late anti-apartheid campaigner Enuga Sreenivasulu (ES) Reddy as a brave champion for justice with a lifelong dedication to the cause of non-racialism.
Reddy died in the US on Sunday at the age of 96.
Reddy was born in India in 1924 and joined the anti-apartheid struggle while a student in the 1940s.
He would go on to play a leading role on a number of multilateral platforms agitating for an end to apartheid and for the isolation of the pariah regime.
In the early 1960s, he was Secretary of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and in the late 1970s he was director of the UN Centre Against Apartheid.
"We pay tribute to a man of principle and commitment to human rights; but above all we remember him for epitomising social solidarity," Ramaphosa said.
The president commended India as the first country to raise its voice against apartheid at the United Nations in 1946, and India's leaders and citizens as longstanding friends and allies of the South African people.
"Besides his own activism, Reddy was a prolific scholar whose writing captured among others the historical influences of Indian passive resistance on our liberation struggle, and on the political and social realities of democratic South Africa."
Reddy lobbied against apartheid on the world stage for over three decades and developed friendships with a number of leaders of the liberation struggle, including OR Tambo and Dr Yusuf Dadoo. He was an ardent admirer of former president Nelson Mandela and actively campaigned for his release.
"Reddy believed that speaking and acting against injustice was a moral duty and that we share a collective duty to strive towards a world free of oppression and discrimination; it is a struggle that continues today," Ramaphosa said.
The president said awarding ES Reddy with the national Order of Companions of OR Tambo: Silver in 2013 was a fitting tribute to a brave man.
"We can be gratified that we got to convey our nation's appreciation to ES Reddy during his lifetime; and to thank him for all he did for our cause," Ramaphosa said.
The president has conveyed his sympathy to the family of Reddy and to the government and people of the Republic of India on his passing.