30 April 2020

The human rights organization, Africa4Palestine (formerly BDS South Africa), joins fellow South Africans, Africans, the people of Palestine and peoples of the world in mourning the loss of the Jewish anti-apartheid and liberation-struggle icon, Cde Denis Goldberg. 

Comrade Goldberg, who was sentenced along with Nelson Mandela in the famous Rivonia Trial, passed away early this morning at the age of 87. Cde Denis was part of the formation of South Africa’s armed group, the MK and in July 1963 he was arrested at SACP headquarters, Liliesleaf Farm. He was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment.

The #Africa4Palestine team were fortunate to have worked closely with Cde Goldberg, having hosted him at various events and activities. We have fond and personal memories of Goldberg’s wisdom, charm humour, and above all, an unflinching commitment to the struggle against all forms of racism and Apartheid. We will miss comrade Denis enormously.

Goldberg was one of our many anti-apartheid icons who have termed Israel’s policies against the Palestinians as one of Apartheid. Goldberg said: 

“Having lived through apartheid in South Africa. There’s no doubt in my mind that Israel is an apartheid state. I cannot allow in my name, the same kind of oppression to go on against the Palestinians. I have to speak out against it. And I have to try and speak out against it in a rational and calm voice when really I’m very angry about it […] when [Israeli] people say, well, you South Africans, you’re biased against us. We’re not. We’re talking international law…The pro-Israeli lobby, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies and SA Zionist Federation try to say that it [the Palestinian Israeli issue] is not a simple matter, [they say that] it’s complicated. It’s not complicated! It’s very simple, the simplicity is that a dominant group [Jewish Israelis] exclude the indigenous Palestinian people from equal rights”.

We send our sincere condolences to Denis Goldberg’s family, friends, comrades and the South African people, who have lost a precious son. He lived an exemplary life, serving our people, standing in solidarity with others and left the world a better place. We commit ourselves to continue his legacy in our solidarity with the people of Palestine and to the struggle for non-racialism and freedom.


#Africa4Palestine Spokesperson, Tisetso Magama: +27 (0) 614146348

Africa4Palestine Director, Muhammed Desai: +27 (0) 842119988