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South African anti-apartheid veteran Denis Goldberg dies at 87

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Denis Goldberg who was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela, after receiving the Freedom of the City of London award together with fellow prisoner, Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada and Lord Joel Joffe and George Bizos from their defence team, in recognition of their fight for freedom and racial equality at Guildhall’s Livery Hall, in central London. PHOTO: Reuters

South African anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg has died at 87, his family and foundation announced on Thursday.

Goldberg was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule — arrested and jailed for sabotage alongside the future leader in 1964.

He died just before midnight on Wednesday, his family and foundation said in a statement cited by local media.

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“His was a life well-lived in the struggle for freedom in South Africa,” the statement said.

Goldberg spent 22 years in a whites-only jail after his arrest with Mandela and other activists including Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Andrew Mlangeni.

He was the only white man of those arrested.

Receiving a high-profile honour in London in 2016, Goldberg said there was “a long way to go” on race relations in South Africa.

“The racial segregation was burnt into the minds of every South African,” he said.

Goldberg made the comments when he and fellow activist Ahmed Kathrada received the freedom of the City of London.

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