Father of Freedom Charter dies

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Johannesburg - Alan Lipman was an architect – and an architect of South Africa’s democracy.

He has died at his Joburg home aged 88 with his wife of 63 years, Beata, by his side.

Lipman was instrumental in drafting the Freedom Charter in 1955, the foundation for South Africa’s democratic constitution, while Beata is believed to have hand-written the original charter, according to the anarchist journal, Zabalaza.

Lipman joined the SACP while studying architecture at Wits University in 1948, but left the party when the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in 1956. He joined the ANC and was a militant anti-apartheid activist, bombing several apartheid offices.

In 1963, Alan and Beata were tipped off and went into exile in the UK before the Rivonia Trial began, as they were certain they would be charged.

They returned in 1990.

“In 1989 he was asked by the recently released Walter Sisulu to return to South Africa to contribute towards the birth of a post-apartheid South Africa,” said Lipman’s friend, Pedro Buccellato.

Despite his work for the ANC, Lipman became disillusioned with the ruling party in recent years.

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