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Social campaigner, activist Denis Goldberg dies at 87

The Rivonia Trialist died on Wednesday night.

FILE: Anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg (R), poses with the certificate of his award of the Freedom of the City of London during a ceremony at the Guildhall in London on 7 January 2016. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Anti-apartheid activist and Rivonia Trialist Denis Goldberg died just before midnight on Wednesday night.

Goldberg was 87 when he died.

Born on 11 April 1933 in Cape Town, Goldberg studied civil engineering at the age of 16. His parents were active communists in London, where they were both born.

Goldberg was a South African social campaigner, who was active in the struggle against apartheid and was imprisoned for 22 years, along with other key members of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, after the infamous Rivonia Trial.

Goldberg was first arrested in 1960 after joining protesters after the Pan Africanist Movement march over passes in Sharpeville that led to a bloody ending after police shot at protesters. He spent four months in prison during that that time. He was given a strict banning order.

He was also involved in Umkhonto we Sizwe as a technical officer, and was arrested again as one of 13 so-called Rivonia Trialists detained during a meeting at Liliesleaf Farm with the likes of Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and Raymond Mhlaba. He was charged under the Sabotage and Suppression of Communism Acts for "campaigning to overthrow the Government by violent revolution and for assisting an armed invasion of the country by foreign troops". He was tried and given a life sentence in prison, of which he served 22 years.

His family and the legacy foundation trust in his same say he dedicated his life to the struggle for freedom here in South Africa and that he'll be sorely missed.

Listen: Remembering Mandela with Denis Goldberg