Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has paid tribute to the late former struggle veteran, Ebrahim Ebrahim.
“It is with a very heart that I learned of Ebrahim Ebrahim’s passing,” the Minister tweeted on Monday.
Sisulu described the former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, affectionately known as Ebie, as a committed member of the African National Congress (ANC) from an early age.
“He was down to earth, humble and dedicated. The best of his generation by far,” she added.
According to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Ebrahim, 84, passed away after fighting a valiant battle with cancer.
“He will be remembered in the annals of our struggle history for his unwavering commitment and bravery. He will also be remembered for his humility and gentleness,” the Foundation said on Monday.
As a member of the Natal Indian Congress, the Foundation said Ebie’s youth was dedicated to seminal struggles of the 1950s, including participation in the Congress of the People in 1955, where he participated in the adoption of the Freedom Charter.
He is said to be one of the first generations of cadres of Umkhonto we Sizwe leading to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment of 15 years on Robben Island and subsequently ended up going to exile.
“During the 1980s, he was illegally kidnapped by apartheid operatives from Swaziland into South Africa. He was sentenced again to Robben Island, this time for 10 years. After an appeal found that he was illegally rendered, he was released.”
Upon his release in 1991, Ebie played a central role in the transition from apartheid to democracy and during the democratic era, served as a Member of Parliament and a Deputy Minister.
“He was passionate about supporting the Palestinian struggle and the struggles of oppressed people the world over.”
Sisulu said Ebie made her and many other members proud to be ANC members.
“He is one of those people whose lives should be put out there and our children should be taught that this is what being a member of the ANC means.”
She described his death as a “huge blow”.
“He was simply the best of us. My thoughts are with Shannon and the family during this difficult time. Ebie will be hugely missed,” she added.
The Embassy of the State of Palestine in South Africa has also expressed its deepest condolences.
Director-General of the Government Communication and Information System, Phumla Williams, tweeted: “I just saw breaking news on the passing of the former DM Ebrahim Ebrahim. Thank you Ebby for your contribution to this country and for mentoring me as a young underground activist”.
He is survived by his wife, Shannon and children. – SAnews.gov.za