Andrew Mlangeni, the last surviving anti-apartheid activist convicted with Nelson Mandela at South Africa’s infamous Rivonia Trial, has passed away at 95.
South African anti-apartheid icon Andrew Mlangeni, the last remaining co-defendant of the historic Rivonia Trial that sentenced activists including Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment, has died at the age of 95.
Mr Mlangeni died after being admitted to a military hospital in Pretoria because of an abdominal complaint.
His death “signifies the end of a generational history and places our future squarely in our hands,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Who was Andrew Mlangeni?
Mlangeni was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1963 for his role in the liberation struggle against the white minority government that imposed the oppressive and racist system of apartheid.
He spent 26 years in prison, mostly on Robben Island alongside Mandela, Dennis Goldberg, Walter Sisulu and other activists who were sentenced for planning to overthrow the apartheid government.
After his release in 1989, Mlangeni served as a member of parliament and lived in Soweto until his death.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to Mlangeni, saying his death signified “the end of a generational history”.
“With his passing as the last remaining Rivonia Trialist, Bab’Mlangeni has indeed passed the baton to his compatriots to build the South Africa he fought to liberate and to reconstruct during our democratic dispensation,” Ramaphosa said.
The foundation of former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, said in a statement: “Mlangeni’s passing sounds the last post on a courageous generation of South Africans who forfeited their freedom, careers, family lives and health so that we could all be free”.