Ibrahim Ismail Ibrahim, a former anti-apartheid fighter who, like the greats of his struggle, spent part of his life on the Robben Island peninsula in South Africa, died on Monday at the age of 84.
The ruling African National Congress said in a statement that he died at his residence in Johannesburg due to a prolonged illness.
The party commended “a longtime ANC member, a patriot who has served his country in many capacities with humility, dedication and distinction.”
Born on July 1, 1937, the Indian-origin activist’s journey resembled that of the big names in the fight against white racist rule in South Africa.
After switching from nonviolent protest to armed struggle under apartheid, he was arrested for sabotage in 1963 and sent to Robben Island for 15 years. He was released in 1979.
In the late 1980s, when he joined the ANC in exile and multiplied missions, he was kidnapped, tortured, then sentenced to “treason” by apartheid agents in neighboring Swaziland (now Eswatini) and sent back to Robben Island.
In prison, he studied with Nelson Mandela and shared a cell with Jacob Zuma, who, like Mandela, was the future President of South Africa.
Ibrahim finally became free in 1991. Three years later, the first multi-party elections were held in South Africa.
He joined the government in 2009 as Deputy Foreign Minister, a position he held for six years.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement: “I am saddened by the passing of a comrade and distinguished adviser who has dedicated his life to the liberation of our country and the resolution of conflicts in the world.” ,