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OBITUARY | Ebrahim Ebrahim: the unbreakable spirit of a freedom ...


OBITUARY | Ebrahim Ebrahim: the unbreakable spirit of a freedom fighter

Activist and former deputy minister is one of the only prisoners to have received a second sentence on Robben Island

Chris Barron

Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, a former deputy minister of international relations who has died of cancer at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 84, was in the front line of the struggle against apartheid — and he paid a heavy price for it.

He spent 15 years on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela, and 10 years after his release was sentenced to another 20 years on the Island. The judge said he wanted him to be an old man by the time he got out so that he wouldn’t go back into the ANC underground as he did after completing his first sentence.

“Ebie”, as he was affectionately known, was born in Durban on July 1 1937. He was raised by his grandmother after his mother became ill and his father’s business went bankrupt...

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