Firm belief in freedom

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

One of the ANC's leaders whose role and influence traversed all generations of the liberation struggle, Edgar Ngoyi, is no more.

Ngoyi, 81, was former Eastern Cape president of the UDF. He died at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town last Wednesday after a long illness.

Because of his activities in the ANC in the 1950s, Ngoyi was sentenced to 17 years on Robben Island.

ANC spokesman Smuts Ngonyama this week said: "The ANC pays tribute to this fearless freedom fighter who together with other anti-apartheid activists steadfastly fought against the demon of racism.

"Throughout, and in the face of the repression, he endured. Ngoyi remained steadfast in his conviction that the people's cause would triumph. Resistance to the apartheid regime's racial policies became increasingly effective because of the UDF's capacity to provide a national, political and ideological centre."

He said today's generation owed it to leaders such as Ngoyi to ensure that "we jealously guard our hard-won freedom".

"It is because of committed cadres like Edgar Ngoyi that we need to uphold the humane values that informed our fight for liberation."

Ngoyi will be buried at Kubusi Location near Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape tomorrow.