The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) has expressed sadness following the passing on of anti-apartheid activist Don Mattera, on Monday.
The 87-year-old poet is well known for his role in liberating the country. He was an outspoken critic of apartheid and spent eight years under house arrest.
PAC President Mzwanele Nyhontso says the party has lost a giant who was fearless and will forever appreciate the role he played.
“Don Mattera played a pivotal role in the development of PAC underground structures. When the organisation was banned, he provided resources to help with the armed struggle. He took up membership in the PAC in the 1960s with his cousin in Johannesburg. He played a role in the unification of the PAC in recent years, despite his ill health and other related issues. Prominent PAC leaders have worked with him directly in the mentioned missions of the PAC.”
His autobiography “memory is a weapon” celebrates life in Sophiatown in the 1950s. He was a vocal opponent of apartheid and was placed under house arrest for eight years. He established several literary organisations including the Congress of South African Writers.
Mattera, who is Muslim, will be buried according to Islamic rites on Monday at the Lenesia Cemetery.
His death coincides with the birthday of another legend, Nelson Mandela.
In the video below, Dr Don Mattera speaks about the launch of his foundation: