The Congress of South African Trade Unions mourn the death of Isithwalandwe Cde Denis Goldberg, an anti-apartheid campaigner and a recipient of the Isithwalandwe.We send our deepest condolences to his family and his friends.
Cde Goldberg was a tireless campaigner against the apartheid system and was a tireless champion of social justice. The Federation and workers will remain forever indebted to him for his selfless sacrifices and service to the nation.
Cde Denis could easily have chosen the quieter route in life and chosen to ignore the pain that successive National Party regimes imposed upon his African, Coloured, and Indian compatriots. Instead, he chose to align himself with the struggle and his service in the ANC including as a founding member of its then armed wing uMkhonto we Sizwe, the SACP and the former Congress of Democrats is well known.
These were not easy choices to make and along with the other Rivonia Trialists, they were lucky to escape the death sentence. Even his many years in prison came with painful consequences. There were long periods of solitary confinement, the loss of both parents whilst in prison and not being able to see his wife and daughter for many years.
It is a sign of the character of Cde Denis Goldberg that even upon his release from prison and his subsequent exile, he immediately threw himself back into the work of not only the ANC but also many community organizations. These included ones committed to fighting against gender-based violence and rape in London.
If he had wanted to, he could have easily become a Member of Parliament after 1994. Instead, he was happy to serve as an adviser to the Minister for Water Affairs and again to become an active in his community of Hout Bay in Cape Town.
He remained active in community and educational activities in Hout Bay and the broader Cape community until the very end.
When things went deeply awry in his beloved home the ANC during the era of state capture, Cde Denis was not afraid to demand publicly that the madness must stop publicly and those responsible must go.
To honour the memory of this fallen giant, all of us must reflect on and embrace the values, humility, and morality that guided his life in all that we do. Anything less will be a disservice and a betrayal to this heroic generation.
Hamba kahle Qhawe lamaQhawe!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794