Aziz Pahad, a well-known advocate against apartheid in South Africa, has passed away in Johannesburg at the age of 82.
Pahad’s death occurred shortly after the passing of his older brother and fellow activist, Dr. Essop Pahad, who died in July at the age of 84.
In 1962, both brothers received banning orders for their involvement in an illegal protest. Subsequently, they left South Africa in 1964 and continued their anti-apartheid efforts from abroad.
While residing in the UK, Aziz Pahad, a member of the central committee of the SACP, continued to support the ANC. This enduring commitment eventually led him to become the deputy minister of foreign affairs three decades later.
Aziz Pahad was part of the ANC delegation that clandestinely met with South African government officials and prominent business figures in the late 1980s, a pivotal step towards ending apartheid. In 1990, he returned to South Africa to participate in the official negotiations.
Upon Nelson Mandela’s election as president, Pahad was appointed to a ministerial position. He held this role for 14 years until 2008 when he stepped down following Thabo Mbeki’s resignation.
Throughout this period, Pahad played a significant role in South Africa’s international relations, notably leading diplomatic efforts against the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
After retiring from politics, Pahad was called back in 2014 by then-president Jacob Zuma to serve as an envoy to address the Israel/Palestine issue.
Aziz Pahad is survived by his estranged wife, Sandra Black-Pahad, and their children. He passed away at his home surrounded by his family on Wednesday.