President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness and heartfelt condolences at the passing away of liberation struggle stalwart and retired diplomat Moses “Moss” Chikane, on Wednesday, 17 October 2018.
Mr Chikane passed away at the age of 69, following an illness.
Mr Chikane was a former leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF), serving as the organisation’s Transvaal Secretary. As one-third of what was known as the UDF Three (with Mr Mosioua Lekota and Mr Popo Molefe), he was prosecuted by the apartheid government in the Delmas Treason Trial, convicted of treason and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Robben Island.
Mr Chikane was also the national coordinator of the ANC team responsible for facilitating the return of ANC members from exile in the early 1990s. In 2005 he served as South Africa’s Ambassador to Germany and to Zambia five years later.
In a joint statement released from the dock before their incarceration the UDF Three foretold history saying, “Somewhere in the future lies a date when black and white South Africans will take a second look at these moments of our history. They will evaluate afresh the events now in contention and our role in them. And since the privilege will belong to them, they will pass final judgement. We are convinced that theirs will be contrary to the present one.”
Acknowledging the death of Mr Chikane, President Ramaphosa said: “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the entire Chikane family, the African National Congress and society at large. Moss Chikane made a significant contribution to our struggle and served the people of South Africa through the Liberation Movement. We owe him and his generation an immeasurable debt of gratitude and appreciation. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Ramaphosa.