Late Paul David described as ‘kind of person who took things in his stride’

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Condolences are pouring in for the late anti-apartheid lawyer and activist, Paul David. David died of natural causes at his home in Stanger, north of Durban.

David’s political activism began with the Natal Indian Congress and led to his involvement in the Release Mandela Campaign and the formation of the United Democratic Movement in 1983.

Along with struggle stalwarts like Archie Gumede and Billy Nair, David sought refuge at the British Consulate in Durban in 1984 to draw attention to the apartheid government’s security laws.

Family friend, Ella Ghandi, says David will be remembered for his warm personality.

“He was very friendly, very humorous. No matter what happened, you would never see him sulking or being all quiet and sad or anything like that. He was always on top of things, always cracking jokes,” says Ghandi.

Tribute from a family friend, Ela Gandhi: 

Judge Thumba Pillay says he is devastated about the death of the struggle stalwart just a few weeks before his 80th birthday.

Judge Pillay has been a lifelong friend and political comrade of David.

David was the only surviving member of the Consulate Six, the 1984 diplomatic stand-off that helped draw worldwide attention to the apartheid government’s security laws.

Judge Pillay says David’s contribution to the liberation struggle is immeasurable.

“Paul was that kind of person who took things in his stride. Nobody could intimidate him. When we were in prison together, he would keep everybody going, keep everybody’s spirits up and he had a sense of humour … really, it was such a relief to have him as co-prisoner; that was in 1980. We worked together with MD Naidoo. Paul was never afraid of expressing his disappointment with where we are at the moment. Paul would have died a very disappointed man in so far as where this country is at the moment. ”

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has joined scores of people in paying tribute to the late anti-apartheid lawyer and activist.

Zikalala says, “Comrade Paul David is one of the stalwarts of the revolution he served in the ANC and he started participating in the struggle under the UDF united democratic front and he also served under the ANC and we wish to express to his family.”