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Goldberg: Let's not forget other heroes

Activist Denis Goldberg cautioned against forgetting other heroes.

Anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg says he is saddened by Madiba's death but has cautioned against forgetting the contribution made by other ANC stalwarts.

Nelson Mandela passed away peacefully at his Houghton home last Thursday.

He was surrounded by his family.

Goldberg, who was the only white member of Umkhonto we Sizwe to be arrested and sentenced in the Rivonia Trial to life imprisonment, told 567 Cape Talk that he was saddened by Madiba's death.

"I'm saddened and relieved for him. I think the last months must have been pretty dreadful for a man of action. I'm relieved for his family because I know what a stress it must have been for them as well. This is a kind of final certainty, but I'm sad for them as well and for our country."

However, Goldberg cautioned against forgetting some of the struggle activists who played a crucial role in the fight against oppression.

"We praise Nelson Mandela for his sacrifice and a whole generation of people, thousands of people in fact. What about Oliver Tambo. What about Walter Sisulu and so many others? They seem to be written out of history. I don't want to complain and moan but there's a sense of one man set us free and we wait for another man to make us freer."

Goldberg challenged South Africans to make the country better.

"Are we going to wait for another Nelson Mandela or are we going to make our country better? Are we prepared to sacrifice? Are we really prepared to learn or the day after the funeral we are going to go back to as we were and complain and complain? And wait for somebody to do something."

Meanwhile, the world and South Africa continue to celebrate Madiba's life.

The official memorial service is underway at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Over 90 heads of states are attending the service.

The former statesman will be laid to rest at Qunu on 15 December.