• October 1, 2020

Rivonia Trialist And Anti-Apartheid Veteran Denis Goldberg Dies at 87

Rivonia Trialist and anti-apartheid veteran Denis Goldberg passed away late on Wednesday night.

His family and the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation Trust said on Thursday he had died just before midnight on Wednesday.

“His was a life well lived in the struggle for freedom in South Africa. We will miss him,” the notice read.

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said Goldberg’s death came after a long battle with cancer, “conducted with customary courage and grace”.

“It feels as if the nation has lost part of its soul”, said the foundation set up in the name of the Anglican archbishop emeritus and his wife, stating Goldberg was “a mensch, a human being of the highest integrity and honour who eschewed personal aggrandisement and consumptiveness”.

The anti-apartheid stalwart was one of 10 people who stood alongside Nelson Mandela in 1963, charged with sabotage and planning to embark on guerilla warfare against the apartheid government.

A trained civil engineer, Goldberg joined the ANC and later its armed-wing uMkhonto we Sizwe. At the age of 31, he was the youngest man in the dock during the Rivonia Trial.

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Other defendants included Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Elias Motsoaledi, Ahmed Kathrada, James Kantor, Lionel (Rusty) Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, Bob Hepple and Andrew Mlangeni.

All the men, except Bernstein, were found guilty.

Rivonia convicted (from the top, left to right):Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Gowan / Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni, ‘Kathy’ Kathrada and Dennis Goldberg.

As the only convicted white man, Goldberg was imprisoned at Pretoria Central Prison, whereas the others were sent to prison on Robben Island in Cape Town.

Goldberg was released in 1985 after serving 22 years.

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