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The legacy of Walter Sisulu should be an inspiration to all who cherish freedom and democracy


Press Conference Statement
- after signing the condolence book on the demise of Walter Sisulu at the South African High Commission

by Teresa Kok Suh Sim

(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): The DAP expresses its heartfelt condolence at the demise of Walter Sisulu on 5 May at the ripe-old age of 91. Sisulu was a deeply respected South African statesman and a recognized giant of the liberation struggle. He was also one of the founding fathers of South Africa's democracy. 

Together with Anton Lembede, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and others, Sisulu was credited with helping to establish the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, becoming its fist national secretary. He later served the ANC as Secretary-General and subsequently as Deputy President.

 

Sisulu was a true African patriot whose heroism, humility and leadership earned him the respect and love of millions of South Africans. Like many other leaders of the South African anti-apartheid movement, Sisulu had to pay a heavy price for his political beliefs and conviction. He was arrested and detained many times and had to suffer 26 years of imprisonment.

 

The greatness of Sisulu is evidenced by his unwavering personal commitment and determination to multi-racial democracy and the overthrow of the racist apartheid regime for the procurement of freedom for all South Africans irrespective of colour or creed. His was a wonderful and exemplary life which was characterised by his rising above narrow political interests for the common good of all humanity.

 

Although Sisuluís passing away is a great loss, his legacy will forever be remembered. For here is a man who despite seemingly insurmountable odds and unimaginable personal sufferings was able together with his colleagues to persevere and triumph in the difficult battle to liberalise South Africa from the clutches of apartheid. May the towering example of Sisulu be an inspiration to all Malaysians who cherish freedom and democracy to continue and intensify the struggle for a more free and democratic Malaysia irrespective of race and religion.

 

(16/5/2003)


* Teresa Kok Suh Sim, DAP International Secretary and MP for Seputeh