The African National Congress is saddened by the passing of Amina Cachalia today at the age of 82, an anti-apartheid activist and stalwart of our struggle. Comrade Amina, was fondly known played a crucial and visible role in the structures of the liberation movement. She was a prominent member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and was a key figure in the formation of Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw) and was active in the ANC.
She was a prominent and outspoken figure during the 1956 women march against pass laws and apartheid. She played a critical role in mobilising women and radicalising their programme. She was amongst those who recruited volunteers during the defiance campaign. She is amongst the women who are credited for having placed gender equity firmly as a site of struggle and aligned it to broader struggles led by the ANC. As an individual she lived through the pain of police harassment, imprisonment, house arrests, banning and humiliation. Her prominence during the struggle drew her close to Nelson Mandela, who has been her friend to the last.
During the period of democratic order she continued to be a voice of reason and an individual whose views have assisted to guide our correctness of our strategies and policy choices to acknowledge her role in the libation struggle, she was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Bronze.
South Africa and the ANC will forever be indebted to her and her family for her role in ensuring that South Africa became a democracy so that it could redress the ills of segregation and dehumanisation of the majority of our people. She will always be remembered for her selflessness, steadfastness and commitment. We take this opportunity to convey our condolences to the family and friends. May her soul rest in peace!
African National Congress