Van Eck was a principled peacemaker

Burundi peace facilitator and former MP Jan van Eck was a "peacemaker" and a "son of South Africa", ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa said at his funeral this week.

Burundi peace facilitator and former MP Jan van Eck was a "peacemaker" and a "son of South Africa", ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa said at his funeral this week.

Van Eck, who played a key role in peace mediation efforts on the continent, died of a heart attack on January 27. He was 65.

"Many peacemakers blow their own horn. Jan van Eck was not such a man. Not many people were aware of the role that this competent Afrikaner and African played in Burundi," said Phosa.

Phosa said Van Eck was a liberal politician who was not afraid to raise his ideas about an inclusive South Africa.

"In 1989 he met with the ANC in exile under the shadow of ... possible arrest by the government of the day. As a man of principle he still did it because he understood then that people with different beliefs can meet each other in the middle of the bridge." - Sapa

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