The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) has sent condolences to Braam Viljoen, the twin brother of former commander of the South African Defence Force (SADF) and co-founder of the Freedom Front, General Constand Viljoen.
“Constant Viljoen was on the enemy side of the life and death struggle that the PAC and Apla waged against colonialism. He was an extreme right-wing, opposed to change. However, his twin brother was a veligte and gave support change we pass condolences to his twin brother,” says PAC leader Mzwanele Nyhontso.
Constand Viljoen died on Friday at his farm in Orighstad, in Limpopo, at the age of 86.
In the video below, SABC News reports on the death of Viljoen:
Western Cape ANC Spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen has described the late Constand Viljoen as a driven man.
“He knew early on apartheid was unworkable and spent many years trying to persuade leadership of the NP (National Party) to start negotiations with the ANC because inevitably, the army could not hold the ANC at bay forever. I was also told while he was the head of SADF a raid was planned on neighbouring country to kill Chris Hani, but when he heard (that) Chris Hani would be there with his wife, he called it off at last minute because he said he is not waging war against women and children.”
Sad to hear of the death of the former head of the South African Defence Force, General Constand Viljoen. He and his twin brother Abraham played a historic role in the first democratic elections of 1994.
— Dennis Cruywagen (@DennisCruywagen) April 3, 2020
COPE National Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says Viljoen will be remembered for persuading a group of right wing elements who wanted to plunge the country into a civil war during negotiations to end apartheid.
“It is with shock that we have learnt about the passing of General Constand Viljoen. We will remember general Constand Viljoen with the role he had played in 1993 during the negotiations persuading a group of right-wing elements who wanted to plunge our country into a civil war. He has played his role in this country. We want to convey our heartfelt condolences to his wife children and his friends. May his soul RIP.”
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald shares COPE’s sentiments.
“General Viljoen will be known as a soldier and as a politician.”
“As a soldier, he gained the respect and admiration from the troops on ground level because he was a general who believed that he should lead from the front and not from behind,” Groenewald says.
Nelson Mandela Foundation weighs in
The Foundation says the General was one of Madiba’s most formidable political adversaries.
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) April 3, 2020
The Foundation further says in the treacherous days of South Africa’s transition to democracy, Viljoen ultimately chose to negotiate with Madiba, who commended him for his maturity and foresight in choosing to make peace rather than war.
According to the Foundation, there was mutual respect between Madiba and Viljoen.
On Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa also conveyed his condolences to the Viljoen family.