Late Graeme Bloch praised for his courage, bravery in liberation struggle

Bloch passed away last Friday. He'd been living with a neurodegenerative disease.

A screenshot of anti-apartheid activist Graeme Bloch. Picture: SABC Digital News/YouTube

CAPE TOWN - A memorial service for liberation struggle veteran and education specialist, Professor Graeme Bloch, is under way at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

Bloch passed away last Friday. He'd been living with a neurodegenerative disease.

He was married to former African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general, Cheryl Carolus.

READ: WC ANC praises late struggle vet Graeme Bloch as a non-racialist & educationist

Bloch's brother, Lance, described him as a man of courage and a true renaissance man.

Bloch said that the president had offered to give his brother a state funeral but the family humbly declined because Graeme fought not for recognition for himself but for others.

"Graeme was a South African hero but he was our brother. He grew up in a family of seven kids, so many that my mother often forgot all our names."

ALSO READ: Manuel hails late struggle icon Bloch as a mentor for many students

Bloch said that from an early age, his brother fought for the poor, marginalised and dispossessed.

"The famous speech at Jameson Hall that he started with the words: 'Friends, comrades and security police who I despise.' This was needless to say, not well received in the halls of power and the cells where he was later tortured."

He added that Graeme was a brave man, who would not back down in a fight.

"They could break his bones, torture him in all kinds of ways, including making him stand for 48 hours at a time during interrogation, but they never broke his spirit."

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has also paid tribute to liberation struggle veteran and education specialist.

Motshekga said Bloch was a humble servant of the people.

“Today we mourn because a humble son of the soil and an educationist of note had departed. We’ve truly lost one of the finest cadres of our times; I knew he was unwell but as faithful social beings, I had hoped that he would recover.”

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