File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA).
File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA).

Anti-apartheid activist Ben Turok dies, aged 92

By Zintle Mahlati and khanyisile ngcobo Time of article published Dec 9, 2019

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Johannesburg - Former anti-apartheid activist and economics professor Ben Turok had died, his family confirmed on Monday morning.

Turok died in the early hours of Monday morning, his family said in a statement. He was 92. 

“The Turok family are very sad to announce the passing of Ben Turok, their much-loved husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great grandfather, in the early hours of Monday, December 9, aged 92.

"He was always outspoken and dedicated his whole life to fighting for freedom, equality and social justice in South Africa. He was a loyal, lifetime member of the ANC, but retained an independent perspective throughout."

The family said Turok had asked for his death to be marked by a private ceremony "rather than anything official or formal, in view of the present predicament facing the country".

"His wisdom and counsel will be sorely missed." 

Turok had a long history in fighting for the liberation of millions of South Africans. He was a member of the ANC and served as an MP for many years. 

He was known for a critical perspective on the ANC and direction the liberation party was on. 

He also served jail time for his freedom fighting activities. 

Turok was also an academic as an economics professor. He was born in Latvia, a country in Europe, and immigrated with his family to South Africa.

He served as secretary for the South African Congress of Democrats. Turok is said to have a played a role in drawing up the Freedom Charter.   

Political Bureau

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