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Race and History Forum

Anti-Apartheid Fighter Walter Sisulu Dies

Johannesburg - African National Congress veteran Walter Sisulu has died, the ANC announced on Monday.

Sisulu was born in 1912, the year the ANC was founded. He would have turned 91 this month.

Sisulu played a major role in organising resistance to apartheid, for which he was imprisoned following his treason trial in 1964. He was released in 1989.

Sisulu was the first person employed by the ANC and served as its secretary-general.

Convicted of political sabotage and revolution after the ANC decided the white-minority apartheid regime could only be removed by armed struggle, Sisulu and other leaders of the party faced the death penalty but refused to plead for mercy.

Mandela, whose policies of reconciliation soothed a country fraught with racial tensions after the first democratic elections in 1994, at Sisulu's 90th birthday celebration paid homage to Sisulu as a mentor.

"He (Sisulu) knew and taught us that wisdom comes from sharing insights and listening and learning from each other," Mandela said at the time.

"Some of us here became president of the ANC and government but Xhamela always had a position higher than that... He pushed forward Thabo and myself and he always stayed in the background." - News24/Sapa

Reproduced from:,,2-7-1442_1355744,00.html

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