President Cyril Ramaphosa pays tribute to Don Mattera’s “eloquent, rousing and revolutionary voice for justice”.
The acclaimed and respected political and cultural activist and poet died at the age of 87 on Monday and will be buried according to Islamic rites this evening.
Ramaphosa says his passing comes at a time when the country faces numerous challenges. He says in a statement that Mattera will be remembered as a patriot who fought for the rights of all South Africans.
Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya says “Mr Mattera was a widely acclaimed political and cultural activist and Journalist, who received numerous acknowledgments nationally, continently and internationally. He was an esteemed member of the order of the bow – which he was awarded in 2006 for his excellent contribution to the literature, achievement in the field of Journalism and striving for democracy and justice in South Africa.”
The President offers his deep sympathy to Mr Mattera’s family, friends, neighbours and comrades, and the leadership of the Don Mattera Foundation.
Mr Mattera was an Esteemed Member of the Order of the Baobab (in Gold) which he was awarded in 2006 for his “excellent contribution to literature, achievement in the field of journalism and striving for democracy and justice in South Africa”.
President Ramaphosa says, “As a nation we are saddened by the loss of Don Mattera’s eloquent, rousing and revolutionary voice for justice.
“As we observe International Nelson Mandela Day, we remember Bra Don as a patriot, who in the spirit of this commemorative day, did what he could, with what he had, where he was.”
Legendary author Don Mattera to be buried Monday night in Lenasia:
Don Mattera joined Westbury’s gang culture after returning to Johannesburg and rose to become the Vultures’ leader.
The battle against apartheid and politics, however, became his new area of interest. He joined the ANC Youth League, was banned in 1973 and spent 8 years under house arrest. Later he was influential as a thinker in the black consciousness movement. He was involved in establishing several literary and cultural organisations.
Mattera worked as a journalist at various publications including the Star, the Sunday Times the Weekly Mail and the Sowetan. He has been involved in community work in Eldorado Park and is a patron of around 50 trusts.