South Africa: Ben Turok, Rebel, Revolutionary, Thinker, Truth-Teller - One of the Last of the Struggle Greats


Ben Turok, sole surviving member of the 1960s Communist Party underground leadership, author of the 'economic clause' in the Freedom Charter, champion of the RDP and one of the most consistent and outspoken intellectuals, and critics, of the ANC, has died in Cape Town at the age of 92.

"Can the ANC bring about the transition and transformation promised over all those years? I believe much depends on what it does now, but is also governed by what went before. Hence the need to look behind us." -- Ben Turok (2003)

It is unsurprising that the public announcement of the death of Professor Ben Turok at the age of 92 in the early hours of Monday 9 December 2019 in Cape Town should make clear that Turok had requested "a private ceremony, rather than anything official or formal, in view of the present predicament facing the country".

The specific "present predicament facing the country" is a suitably polite metaphor for Turok's searing and ongoing criticism of governance failures by the ANC.

Turok was never shy in expressing his "disgust" at the "posturing" of contemporary politics as well Parliament's failure to take action, specifically against Jacob Zuma, "a corrupt president".


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