President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness at the passing away of Dr Alex Boraine, the former vice-chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and co-founder of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in South Africa (Idasa).
Boraine, a lawyer and theologian, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87, after a long illness.
He is credited with having proposed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and is widely respected for the role he played as a Member of Parliament for the Progressive Party between 1974 and 1986 in opposing the apartheid government and seeking ways to achieve a peaceful dismantling of the system of racial discrimination and oppression, the Presidency said in a statement.
“The passing of Dr Boraine fills us with sadness but also fills us with inspiring memories of the role he played in a hostile political setting and era to confront South Africans who were in support or denial of apartheid, with the realities of this immoral, unjust system,” said President Ramaphosa.
“Dr Boraine’s passing in our month of reconciliation should inspire all of us as South Africans to commit ourselves to non-racialism and the building of an inclusive society, free of prejudice and finger-pointing.
“During his term on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Dr Boraine played an invaluable role in helping the nation deal with the conflict of the past and in building a future that all of us can share today. We shall miss him but will be comforted by the fact that his legacy lives on,” the Presidency said.
President Ramaphosa expressed condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Boraine, including former TRC Chair Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who enjoyed a close personal and professional relationship with Boraine.
Dr Boraine’s son Andrew said on Wednesday: “We salute his lifelong dedication to non-racialism, human rights, democracy and social justice in South Africa and around the world. Most of all he inspired us with his passion for life and his big heart.”