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Neville Alexander dies

Struggle veteran, acclaimed linguist and academic Neville Alexander has died in Cape Town.

Struggle veteran, acclaimed linguist and academic Neville Alexander has died in Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN - Struggle veteran, acclaimed linguist and academic Neville Alexander died on Monday morning after a battle with cancer.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit sabotage and was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.

Alexander was also a co-founder of the National Liberation Front and a director of the SA Committee for Higher Education.

Free State University Rector Jonathan Jansen said South Africa has lost a true mentor.

"Since my childhood on the Cape Flats, he was an enormous inspiration because of his fearlessness as a teacher and activist. He was a respected mentor and educationalist."

Meanwhile, activists, academics and reporters have hailed Alexander's contribution to South African society and democracy.

Chairman of the District Six Beneficiary Trust Anwah Nagia said, "Besides Neville being a linguist, a writer and author, also called a number of phrases. When talking about non-racialism he referred to it as anti-racism."

Veteran journalist and author Max du Preez said Alexander was a man of unusual intellect and great bravery.

"I don't think he ever shouted at anybody. He insulted people quite heavily, but they mostly didn't know it. He would put them down in a gentle way."