US activist dies at 91

UNITED States anti-apartheid activist Bill Sutherland has died at the age of 91, Africa Action said on Wednesday.

UNITED States anti-apartheid activist Bill Sutherland has died at the age of 91, Africa Action said on Wednesday.

"Bill was a pioneer committed to the liberation struggle in Africa and an end to colonialism and global apartheid," said Gerald LeMelle, Africa Action's executive director.

"Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of his vision. Through his legacy we are committed to promoting human rights and working towards social, political and economic justice in Africa," he said.

Africa Action's Michael Stulman said Sutherland was a life-long pacifist and liberation advocate. He became involved in civil rights and anti-war activities as a member of the Student Christian Movement in the 1930s.

He spent four years in jail in the 1940s as a conscientious objector. Sutherland settled in Tanzania in 1963.

Stulman said his home became a base for leaders in exile from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

In 1974 Sutherland joined the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, which pushed for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In a message to Sutherland on his 90th birthday, Tutu said: "The people of Africa owe Sutherland a big thank you for his tireless support." - Sapa

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