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Luthuli’s daughter calls for probe into his death

At the Chief Albert Luthuli lecture at UKZN were Albertina Luthuli, eldest daughter of Chief Albert Luthuli, with Gauteng acting MEC for Art and Culture, Vusithemba Ndima, and Cyril Xaba, former KZN MEC for Agriculture. Picture: BONGANI MBATHA

At the Chief Albert Luthuli lecture at UKZN were Albertina Luthuli, eldest daughter of Chief Albert Luthuli, with Gauteng acting MEC for Art and Culture, Vusithemba Ndima, and Cyril Xaba, former KZN MEC for Agriculture. Picture: BONGANI MBATHA

Published Nov 27, 2016

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Durban - Albertina Luthuli, eldest daughter of Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize laureate has called for a fresh probe of her father’s death.

Luthuli, former ANC president, died in 1967. It was documented that he died when he was struck by a train in Groutville, where he lived.

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But his daughter disputes this. On the brink of tears, she, said: “The report of my father’s death is completely misleading because it’s just not factual. It says that my father was hit by a train because he could not hear. This is just not true. It makes no sense of the whole thing that he couldn’t hear the train.”

And while she admitted her father had an eye operation, Luthuli said it was not true that he could not see the train.

She said her father was “extremely” vigilant.

“Ubaba was so careful about safety that he would spend more time attending to safety to the extent that my mother would start complaining.”

She said there was evidence he could hear and see.

“Now we have had some people who have come up with all things which are untrue.”

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Luthuli was speaking at the Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture on Saturday at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville campus.

She said her father died during the “darkness of apartheid” and the investigation was not fair. “The district surgeon who conducted the post-mortem was part of the system so there was no way he could go against them.”

Luthuli, who is also part of the ANC veterans who are calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down, said the family believed there was a conspiracy to get rid of her father, at the time.

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“Because he had become a nuisance to the regime. It’s recorded that they tried many ways of putting him out while he was alive so that he should not have a voice in the affairs of the country, but they failed.”

Despite this, Luthuli said high-ranking individuals, including senator Robert Kennedy, were able to visit her father in Groutville.

“Now there was a powerful person and they could not stop him. As far as I’m concerned he (Luthuli) was buried alive because he was not allowed to go anywhere.”

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She said there were “intense attempts” by the apartheid government to silence her father while he was alive.

“When they got the opportunity to do that, there was nothing that could stop them.”

Luthuli had previously asked local authorities to reopen investigations into the case.

A mission-educated teacher, Luthuli was one of a few tribal chiefs to be elected by his followers in 1936, parting with hereditary tradition.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 for his efforts to overthrow apartheid, for which he was repeatedly banned in the 1950s and eventually jailed in 1960.

Among those present on Saturday were Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe and Wally Serote, an ANC stalwart.

Sunday Tribune

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