President mourns late US human rights activist Randall Robinson

President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his deep condolences to the family and friends of the late United States human rights activist and lawyer, Randall Robinson.

Robinson was 81.

His wife Hazel Ross-Robinson told CNN that her husband died of aspiration pneumonia last week.

According to the Presidency’s Office, Robinson was an esteemed member of South Africa’s National Order of the Companions of OR Tambo, with which he was honoured in 2012.

He received this honour for being an integral part of the anti-apartheid movement.

Randall, according to the President’s Office, was recognised for his exceptional contribution to the struggle against apartheid through the Free South Africa Movement and the creation of a free, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.

President Ramaphosa said: “On behalf of our nation, I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and associates of Randall Robinson, whose humanity and tireless pursuit of justice and freedom has made the world a better place.

“From serving the civil rights movement in his own country to fighting for the isolation of the apartheid state and economy, to seeking justice in Haiti, Randall Robinson was an internationalist who placed grave injustices and excesses on the agenda of the global community.”

Through TransAfrica and the Free South Africa Movement, the President said Robinson fought for a free South Africa, in which all South Africans would enjoy democratic rights, and a country that could take its rightful place in international fora and in the world economy.

“As we mourn his passing, we are comforted by his own anticipation of this moment in his novel, Makeda, in which the eponymous matriarch implores: ‘You won’t need to talk to my headstone to talk to me. I won’t be there. I’ll be in the air and the Earth. I’ll be in the stars that light the African heavens. I’ll be watchin’ over you and your family. My spirit will always be close enough to touch and protect you all. So, do not grieve for me. My body will die, but my soul will live on. For my soul cannot die. Always remember that my soul is the spark of God in me’.

“The African heavens are indeed illuminated with Randall Robinson’s indelible legacy.”

Source: South African Government News Agency