President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the passing of acclaimed author and political activist Achmat Dangor as “a loss to the literary, arts and culture fraternity and the country at large”.
Dangor passed away on Sunday the 6th of September 2020. He was 71.
“Achmat Dangor was born into a family whose members have played a leading role in this country’s history and development. I convey my deepest sympathies to the family who have lost a son, a brother and a father,” President Ramaphosa said.
Mr Dangor became involved in the liberation struggle in his youth and played a leading role in mobilising the literary fraternity against apartheid and promoting protest writing by black authors locally and internationally.
He was one of the founders of the Congress of South African Writers (COSAW) and published a number of novels and short story collections. He was the recipient of the Herman Charles Bosman Prize and in 2004 one of his novels, Bitter Fruit, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
“Among the many lessons we draw from his life is the importance of supporting the arts and culture as key pillars of a country’s development; as well as the role of artists as our national conscience,” President Ramaphosa said.
Following the end of apartheid Achmat Dangor was active in civil society and headed the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“Achmat Dangor will be remembered for powerful and inspired writing that gave a voice to the voiceless and captured the bitter conditions under which our people suffered,” President Ramaphosa said.
Dangor will be buried in accordance with Muslim rituals.
“We honour him for his sterling contribution, May he be granted Jannatul Firdous (paradise),” the President said.