Cape Town – Former deputy minister of foreign affairs Aziz Pahad, a prominent figure in the anti-apartheid movement and a key diplomat for South Africa, has passed away at the age of 82.
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness and condolences to the Pahad family, who have now lost two distinguished members in a short span of time.
Pahad’s passing follows that of his brother and former Minister in the Presidency, Essop Pahad, in July 2023
Pahad played a significant role in the struggle against apartheid, serving in exile for several decades and holding various positions within the African National Congress (ANC).
“Our hearts go out to the Pahad family as they mourn the loss of two brothers and two outstanding servants of our people and our country.
Cde Aziz Pahad was a consummate diplomat not only in the service of our country but in support of causes for freedom and justice elsewhere in the world, notably advocating the plight of the Palestinian people.
Endearing of disposition and fierce of principle, he represented our… pic.twitter.com/y8B8cjwLaQ
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 28, 2023
“Aziz Pahad worked for our freedom during his decades in exile in the United Kingdom, Angola and Zambia – a period during which he played a diversity of roles, including as a member of the ANC’s Revolutionary Council and the Political Military Committee and being part of the ANC negotiating team that secretly met representatives of the apartheid regime, and also with leading members of the Afrikaner community.
“It was fitting that, in acknowledgment of his vast experience in international mobilisation against the apartheid regime, Aziz Pahad was appointed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the dawn of our democracy and our reintegration into the global community,” Ramaphosa said.
Pahad played a crucial role in representing the nation on the global stage and advocating for freedom and justice, including highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people.
Ramaphosa praised Aziz Pahad as a consummate diplomat who served the country with passion and clarity, helping educate the nation about international relations during the early days of democracy.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu