Cape Town, South Africa - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday paid a glowing tribute to struggle stawart Alan Lipman, who has died at the age of 88 at his Johannesburg home.
Lipman joined the South African Communist Party while studying at Johannesburg’s Wits University in 1948, but left the party when the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in 1956.
He subsequently joined the banned ANC and was actively involved in bombing state targets.
Describing him as an outstanding teacher and architect of the country’s Freedom Charter in 1955, the ANC said Lipman's contribution laid the solid foundation phase towards democracy through the charter which later became the strategic compass that led South Africa to the new dawn of a democratic dispensation.
“He cut his political teeth during the late 1940's where he firstly joined the Communist Party of South Africa,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
Lipman and his wife, Beata, were both involved in the drafting of the Freedom Charter in 1955.
Following the Rivonia Treason Trial in 1963, the Lipman's political involvement forced them into exile.
Had they not skipped the country, they would have been implicated in the trial that saw leaders of the ANC, among others Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, imprisoned on Robben Island.
After the release of Sisulu from Robben Island in 1989, Lipman was contacted and asked to return to South Africa to continue his political contribution for a democratic South Africa.
Upon his return in 1990, he got a job teaching at the University of Natal.
“During this hour of sorrow we send our heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” Mthembu added.