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SA freedom fighter of Indian origin dead

Strini Moodley, a South African freedom fighter of Indian origin died at the age of 59 on the 12th Freedom Day of the country.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2006 15:06 IST

Strini Moodley, a South African freedom fighter of Indian origin and one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement that fought apratheid, died today after a brief illness as the country woke up to celebrate its 12th Freedom Day.

Moodley, 59, joined the South African freedom struggle while still at the University of Durban-Westville, which was at that time reserved only for Indians.

After being expelled in 1967 for calling the university 'a glorified high school,' Moodley joined the late leader of Black Consciousness, Steve Biko, in calling on the black people to rely on themselves for their freedom.

He was instrumental with Biko in establishing the South African Students Organisation (SAS0), the Black Peoples Convention, the Black Cummity Programme (BCP) and later in the early 1980s the Azanian Peoples Organisation of South Africa.

Moodley was arrested and charged with treason in 1974 and sentenced to Robben Island for six years.

After his release in 1982, Moodley continued with the struggles and helped to establish AZAPO, which campaigned for the release of Nelson Mandela and other political leaders and called for the unbanning of political organisations.

He also worked as a journalist in Durban for many years and after 1990 he established a Development Organisation to promote the development of black people.

President Thabo Mbeki, while addressing the main Freedom Day rally in the town of Kimberley paid tributes to the freedom fighter and recollected his services to the nation.

"On this day when we celebrate our freedom I learn with sadness that the country has lost Strini Moodley, one of the sons of our freedom struggle", Mbeki said.

First Published: Apr 28, 2006 15:06 IST