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Tributes pour in for Durban-born Struggle stalwart Ebrahim Ebrahim

Struggle stalwart Ebrahim Ebrahim, 84, died on Monday. I File picture

Struggle stalwart Ebrahim Ebrahim, 84, died on Monday. I File picture

Published Dec 7, 2021


DURBAN - TRIBUTES are pouring in for former South African minister and Struggle veteran Ebrahim Ebrahim, 84, who died on Monday.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said Ebrahim was a patriot who served his country in different capacities with humility, dedication and distinction.

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Ebrahim was born in Durban. He spent his youth with his grandmother Sarah Khan in Effingham, north of Durban. His parents moved from Johannesburg and lived in Candella Road near Sherwood. In 1949, he moved with Khan to Greyville. He was inspired by speeches of leaders such as Chief Albert Luthuli and Dr Monty Naicker.

Ebrahim joined the movement in 1952, and through the National Indian Congress, participated in the Congress of the People campaign, which drew up and adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955. Ebrahim joined the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) in 1961.

He was arrested in 1963 and charged under the sabotage act with 18 other accused in the Pietermaritzburg sabotage trial. He was sentenced to 15 years on Robben Island. He was released in 1979, and was banned and restricted to his home town, Durban.

Ebrahim went into exile and operated from the front-line states bordering South Africa.

In December 1986, he was kidnapped from Swaziland by South African security forces and detained in South Africa, where he was severely tortured. He was charged with high treason and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on Robben Island. He was released in 1991.

Ebrahim served on the ANC national executive committee between 1991 and 2017. He served in many government portfolios. Between 2002 and 2009, Ebrahim was the senior political and economic adviser to then deputy president Jacob Zuma.

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Videovision Group chairperson Anant Singh described Ebrahim as a giant of the liberation Struggle who was dedicated to the emancipation of people from apartheid.

“He was always passionate about South Africa and its role in world politics. His humility, integrity and honesty throughout his life is an inspiration to us all.”

SA History Online CEO and Durban resident Omar Badsha said his friendship with Ebrahim went back to the early 1960s just before he was arrested.

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“Poomoney Moodley and I were with his mother and other members of the family when he was released from Robben Island the first time, and he stayed with Nasima and I when he was released from Robben Island the second time. Zuma is the only surviving member of the first batch of Natal MK members who were imprisoned on the Island,” wrote Badsha on Facebook.

Former MP Aumsen Singh said Ebrahim was a very hard-working, mature politician who was against corrupt activities.

“He contributed with his wisdom to make legislation for the betterment of our society.”

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Ebrahim is expected to be buried at the Heroes Acre in Westpark Cemetery in Beyers Naude Drive at 3.30 on Tuesday.

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