Condolences for Philip Kgosana

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has extended his heartfelt condolences on the passing of Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) stalwart, freedom fighter and former Tshwane Metropolitan councillor, Philip Ata Kgosana.

The Presidency on Thursday said Kgosana led more than 30 000 anti-Pass Laws protestors from Langa, Cape Town, in a march to the apartheid Parliament in the 1960s.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of this former freedom fighter, who dedicated his life to the liberation of the people of South Africa.

“We wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Kgosana family and his political home, the Pan Africanist Congress. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma.

Kgosana was born in 1936 in Makapanstad in the then northern Transvaal. He graduated from Lady Selborne High School in Pretoria in 1958 and was awarded a bursary to study commerce at the University of Cape Town. In January 1960, when he became regional secretary of the PAC for the Western Cape, he dropped his studies to do full-time political work.

When the PAC regional chairperson was arrested on the eve of the Anti-pass Campaign in March 1960, 23-year-old Kgosana inherited local leadership of the organisation.

He emerged as the spokesperson for 30 000 African demonstrators, who marched into the centre of Cape Town on 30 March 1960. In return for a promise that leaders would be given an interview with the Minister of Justice, Kgosana persuaded the crowd to disperse. Instead of honouring their promise, police arrested him later the same day.

Tried for incitement with other PAC leaders, he fled South Africa while on bail in late 1960 and later resumed his university studies in Ethiopia. - SAnews.gov.za