By George Kalisa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on April30 mourned Seaparankoe Denis Goldberg, the only white man who fought alongside Nelson Mandela in 1963 when he launched the guerilla warfare against apartheid. He died before midnight on April29 at the age 87 years, his family and the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust said.
“His family and the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust are very sad to announce that Denis Goldberg passed away just before midnight on Wednesday 29 April 2020. His was a life well-lived in the struggle for freedom in South Africa. We will miss him,”
President Ramaphosa who described freedom fighter Goldberg as a person committed to ethical leadership with brave dedication to the struggle of African National Congress (ANC).
“The passing of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe Denis Goldberg is a sad moment for our nation and a moment for all of us to appreciate his brave dedication to our struggle and his lifelong activism in the interest of poor and vulnerable communities in our country,” said President Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa added: “His commitment to ethical leadership was unflinching and even during his advanced age, he formed part of the movement of veterans of the struggle calling for the reassertion of the moral centre of society. He dedicated his life to achieving the better life we enjoy today”.
The SA President said that Goldberg’s revolutionary contribution reinforced the non-racial character of our struggle and of our democratic dispensation.
“We will hold him in our thoughts and prayers as we say farewell at a time when we are not allowed to gather to say our goodbyes. May his soul rest in peace,” said Ramaphosa.
Goldberg joined the ANC armed wing uMkhonto we Sizwe at the age of 31 years and was sentenced to life imprisonment during the Rivonia Trial. He was among the 10 freedom fighters charged with sabotage and launching a guerilla warfare against the apartheid government.
In 1985, Goldberg was, however, walked to his freedom.
Several people posted on social media eulogies immediately after he passed away recognizing his invaluable role in improving the lives of South Africans through dedication to sacrifice for the cause of freedom.
“One of the few remaining Radicals in Anti-Apartheid,Racist-White Fascist Regime in South Africa;One of the last 2 Survivors of the Landmark June 1964 Rivonia Trial Life Imprisonment Conviction Sir Denis Goldberg has according to his Family Died Peacefully in his Home at 87-Yrs” tweeted Honourable Media Africa
“You chose to Painfully Fight for what was Right and Honourable when you had an easy Choice of conforming to what was then a ‘Fashionable and Politically Right Evil’” – The African Dream