Dr Aubrey Mokoape will always be remembered as a powerful fighter against apartheid who dedicated his life to serving the ordinary people of our land, says the Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

Describing the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) leader as a great intellectual who always stood on principle, Mkhize says Mokoape led with courage and emerged even more resilient from many years of incarceration in prison.

“I remember him for his humane, friendly, brotherly spirit and warm laughter. We shall miss Bra Aubrey dearly for his dedication to the healing profession, through which he demonstrated his love for people whom he served with respect and humility.”

The Minister has conveyed the Health Department’s condolences to the Mokoape family.

“May the family be consoled by the outstanding contribution Bra Aubrey made in the fight for our freedom and democracy and his selfless service to our nation.”

Mokoape succumbed to COVID-19 related illness at the weekend and was laid to rest today.

Dr Mokoape is said to have been disappointed by the general political state of affairs at the time of his passing:

He became South Africa’s youngest political prisoner at the age of 16 after taking part in the PAC’s anti-pass campaign in 1960.

In the late 1960s, he met the likes of Steve Biko while studying medicine at the University of Natal in Durban and was involved in the formation of the South African Students’ Organisation (Saso) in 1969 and the Black People’s Convention in 1972.

He was arrested together with a number of Black Consciousness leaders and activists after organising rallies in honour of the Mozambican struggle movement Frelimo in 1974.

Dr Mokoape was tried in terms of the Terrorism Act together with eight other leaders of Saso and the BPC, including Mosioua Lekota.

He was eventually sentenced to six years imprisonment in 1976.

After his release in 1982, Dr Mokoape was reinstated as a medical practitioner.

He practiced medicine in Durban until he retired 10 years ago.