OBITUARY | Denis Kuny: unsung hero of the legal fraternity and ...

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OBITUARY | Denis Kuny: unsung hero of the legal fraternity and struggle

He defended Steve Biko and helped Nelson Mandela evade security police, but avoided the limelight

Chris Barron

Adv Denis Kuny, who has died in Johannesburg at the age of 89, was an unsung hero of the legal fraternity during the struggle period and probably defended more anti-apartheid activists than any other advocate in SA.

He also, in 1962, helped Nelson Mandela, dubbed “the Black Pimpernel”, evade the security police who were scouring the country for him after he’d returned from undergoing military training and drumming up support for the armed struggle in Africa.

Mandela needed to go to Ladysmith in Natal to brief ANC underground structures, and asked SA Communist Party leader Joe Slovo to find someone sympathetic and reliable to get him there safely. Slovo asked his friend Kuny...

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