‘Parliament will continue drawing from lessons imparted by Aziz Pahad’

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Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lechesa Tsenoli says Parliament will continue drawing from the lessons imparted by the late former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad.

Pahad was one of the longest serving Deputy Ministers having been appointed in 1994 and serving in the post until 2008.

He died at his Johannesburg home yesterday at the age of 82. As a former Member of Parliament, Pahad was praised for contributing to South Africa’s domestic and international relations.

Tsenoli says Parliament will retain the objectives and contributions he made towards its work.

“We feel we have lost part of what we were beginning to call alumni, some of those MPs who, like him, were pioneer MPs but also had capacity they generated over years of the struggle and therefore were able to feed it into our international relations and domestic approaches to difficult issues. We retain the aims and objectives for which he fought and the contributions he made in our parliamentary work in a variety of capacities. He was always a pleasant person to be around; we will miss his sense of humour,” Tsenoli elaborates.

Video: Aziz Pahad – ANC Chief Whip in Parliament Pemmy Majodina pays tribute

The ANC has hailed Pahad for the role he played during the negotiation process and South Africa’s transition to democracy. Pahad played a significant role in the establishment of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the United Kingdom and Europe. He also held public and secret transition talks with different role players in order to end apartheid. ANC Spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri says Pahad’s ability to drive people towards a resolution was outstanding.

“I think one of the things that is outstanding about him was the ability to drive people to a particular resolution during the negotiation process, some of the most difficult things that could have been stop factors in terms of coming to a peaceful resolution and the political question in South Africa. He was there right in the thick of it trying to unlock and get parties to come together,” says Bhengu-Motsiri.

The Economic Freedom Fighrters (EFF) has vowed to continue to advance the ideals of justice and equality that Pahad stood for. The party has hailed Pahad for his role in fighting for democracy in South Africa.

“In 1964, under the oppressive apartheid regime he faced a ban that compelled him to seek exile and during this time he used his role to nurture and advance the anti-apartheid movement across Europe. Subsequently, he assumed a pivotal role in negotiations with the apartheid South African government which laid the groundwork for a transition to a democratic state. While Pahad’s contribution to the liberation struggle was immeasurable, he also continued to serve as an international diplomat who represented our nation on the global stage with distinction. His legacy is one of commitment to the principles of equality, justice and human rights and his legacy will forever inspire us to continue the journey to a more just and equitable society,” EFF Spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo explains.