Leeuw paid his dues

Kgotso Makaane

Kgotso Makaane

A Pan Africanist Congress of Azania founding member, Jeremiah Baden Leeuw, has died.

He was among the first of the PAC members arrested during the 1960 anti-pass campaign and sentenced to three years in prison.

Specifically designed for PAC leaders, Leeuw was also a victim of the 90-day detention act that kept activists behind bars in 1963.

Leeuw was born on October 1932 in Bloemfontein. He died on November 19.

He joined the ANC Youth League in 1949 and in the 1950s moved to Soweto where he was involved in the 1952 defiance campaign.

He belonged to the anti-Charterists group after the adoption of the Freedom Charter at the Kliptown Congress of the People in 1955.

He believed that the Freedom Charter was imposed on those who attended the Kliptown gathering.

With the likes of Robert Sobukwe, Potlako Leballo, ZB Molete and Peter Raboroko they were known as the Africanists - embracing the philosophy that Africa belongs to those loyal to the continent.

In January 1964 he was arrested and sentenced to eight years, which he served on Robben Island.

In 1972 he was transferred to Harrismith Prison in the Free State, where he was placed in solitary confinement for days on end.

But the system failed to destroy him .

In June 1972 he was released, banned and confined to Witsieshoek for a period of five years.

He was given employment in the QwaQwa homeland government and became chairman of the PAC there.

Leeuw was a dedicated and passionate member of the PAC and to many was a symbol of the PAC in QwaQwa.

He also had great passion for soccer and jazz hence his nickname "Jazzman".

Leeuw embraced the motto of the PAC - Serve, Suffer and Sacrifice.

He is survived by four wives, nine children, 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, four sisters and two brothers.

He will be buried tomorrow in QwaQwa.