Thursday 23 June 2011

Statement on the death of Kader Asmal

This statement was issued on 23 June 2011.

With the death of Kader Asmal, I have lost a dear friend, a mentor, and a fellow educator – and our country has lost a principled politician, a wise statesman, and a true gentleman. Another of that great generation of struggle leaders has passed on, to receive his just reward.

From his long commitment to law in the service of justice and human rights, through to his resignation over the disbanding of the Scorpions and his outspoken opposition to the draft Protection of Information Bill, he has always pursued, taught and modelled the very highest ethical standards. I shall miss him for his moral stature, his astute mind, his ready wit. I shall miss him for his love of cricket and quality cotton shirts. And I shall miss him for his erudite English and often incomprehensible riddles, with which he so often had us in uproarious laughter – as he did only last December, when we were together at Madiba’s Cape Town home at a dinner to welcome the new Warden of Rhodes House. It is hard to believe we shall not hear that unique voice again.

Lungi joins me in sending our personal condolences to Louise, and to all his family, as well as those of the Diocese of Cape Town and the whole Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Our prayers are with you as you mourn this remarkably accomplished individual, who also always remained such a modest, warm and loving human being. The Bible tells us of Jesus’ words, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ for it is in our honest grieving that we open ourselves to receive the tender touch and strengthening of God of compassion. May his love surround you all. And may Kader rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Inquiries: Wendy Tokata on 021- 763-1320 (office hours)

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