Asmal to be cremated at private ceremony

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pretoria - Former Cabinet Minister Kader Asmal will be cremated over the weekend in Cape Town.

"He will be cremated at a private ceremony sometime over the weekend," family spokesperson Allan Taylor said on Thursday.

Asmal, who had been admitted to the hospital last Friday for treatment of a stomach ailment, died after having a heart attack on Wednesday.

Taylor said a memorial service for the former Water and Forestry as well as Education Minister is likely to be held next week. "Government will make an announcement on that," he explained.

On Thursday afternoon, tributes continued to pour in for Asmal, who practiced law and fought for human as well as civil rights. In Parliament, MPs conveyed their condolences to his family.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said it was saddened by Asmal's passing: "This is also an opportunity to celebrate the life and contribution of Kader Asmal to the anti-apartheid struggle and to the development and progress of South African society in general," it said.

Former President FW de Klerk described Asmal as a life-long campaigner for freedom. "He lent colour, humour and intelligence to our political debate," said de Klerk.

The Young Communist League, which referred to Asmal as "Papa Action", said he had remained a vigilant activist against the rot of corruption. "We quickly nicknamed him Papa Action due to the manner in which he wanted to approach education transformation and the need to be hands on by all structures," said the YCL.

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