Lost with 2011, the bru­tal and beau­ti­ful

SA mourns Al­bertina, Asmal and D’oliveira

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - 2011 - BIANCA CA­PA­ZO­RIO

THIS year marked the demise of sev­eral dic­ta­tors, and saw the deaths of ma­jor stars and sev­eral South African icons.

On May 2, US Navy Seals shot al-qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, killing him, at his com­pound in Pak­istan. Bin Laden, hunted by the US since the at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter in Septem­ber, 2001, was buried at sea.

In Oc­to­ber, Libyan leader Muam­mar Gaddafi, who had been in power for 42 years, fled Tripoli, but was caught and shot dead in Sirte by a num­ber of his coun­try­men fight­ing with op­po­si­tion forces in the huge upris­ing.

This month, North Korea’s reclu­sive leader, Kim Jong Il, died af­ter hav­ing a heart at­tack on a train. Known at home as “Dear Leader”, Kim took power in 1994 when his fa­ther and founder of the state, Kim Il-sung, died. He de­vel­oped a nu­clear arms pro­gramme that pushed the coun­try deep into poverty and made it a pariah state.

A num­ber of ma­jor en­ter­tain­ment fig­ures died this year.

Dame El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor died of con­gen­i­tal heart fail­ure on March 23. Tay­lor started act­ing as a child and won two Os­cars and many other awards. She was ill for some years be­fore her death at 79.

On July 23, Amy Wine­house joined the “27 Club” – tal­ented mu­si­cians who died at 27. Wine­house be­came a house­hold name when she re­leased the song Re­hab – and then be­came known for her trou­bled life­style and drug abuse. Her death was caused by ex­ces­sive drink­ing.

Ap­ple co-founder Steve Jobs died in Oc­to­ber af­ter a long bat­tle with pan­cre­atic can­cer. He was 56. He had a liver trans­plant in 2009. He stepped down from his po­si­tion at the helm of the com­pany a few months be­fore he died. He was the mas­ter­mind be­hind Ap­ple prod­ucts such as the ipod, the ipad, the iphone and itunes.

Closer to home, Strug­gle icon Al­bertina Sisulu died at her Jo­han­nes­burg home in June. She was 92. An ANC stal­wart and former United Demo­cratic Front (UDF) leader, she was the widow of Wal­ter Sisulu and a friend of Nel­son Man­dela.

Judge Pres­i­dent of the Land Claims Court Fik­ile Bam, a close friend of the Sisulu fam­ily, died ear­lier this month. He was 74. Bam, who served time on Robben Is­land with Wal­ter Sisulu, had been di­ag­nosed with can­cer some years ago.

Two other UDF lead­ers died this year. Co-founder Johnny Is­sel died in Jan­uary. He was 64. Joe Marks, also a founder of the move­ment and its vice-pres­i­dent from 1983 to 1989, died last month. He was 75.

Kader Asmal, former min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion and of water af­fairs and forestry, died in June af­ter hav­ing a heart at­tack in hos­pi­tal, just days af­ter crit­i­cis­ing the Se­crecy Bill. He was 76.

Anti-apartheid ac­tivist and long-serv­ing Black Sash mem­ber Dot Cleminshaw died ear­lier this month. She was 89. A re­cip­i­ent of the Or­der of Luthuli in Sil­ver last year, Cleminshaw was known for her op­po­si­tion to con­scrip­tion and her lob­by­ing for the law to be changed to al­low abor­tion.

On Thurs­day, Amic­hand Ra­jbansi, leader of the Mi­nor­ity Front, died in hos­pi­tal in Kwazulu-na­tal. Ra­jbansi, nick­named the “Bengal Tiger”, was a found­ing mem­ber of the National Peo­ple’s Party, which later be­came the Mi­nor­ity Front. He was 69.

Top cop Lieu­tenant-colonel Jo Dry­den died in a car crash in Cape Town ear­lier this month. Dry­den was the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer in such high-pro­file cases as the mur­der of the­atre per­son­al­ity Taliep Petersen and the death of Judge Pa­trick Maqubela, whose wife, Thandi, is on trial.

South African sport­ing per­son­al­i­ties who died this year in­cluded crick­eter Basil D’oliveira. He died last month. He was 80. At the height of apartheid he was de­nied the chance to play for SA and be­came a Test crick­eter in Eng­land in his 30s. He was se­lected for the 1968/69 Eng­land tour to SA, but the apartheid govern­ment re­fused to al­low him to play and the tour was can­celled. This led to SA be­ing banned from in­ter­na­tional cricket.

Last week, former road-run­ning cham­pion Zithulele Sinqe died in a car ac­ci­dent near Bal­four, where he worked af­ter es­tab­lish­ing a de­vel­op­ment ath­let­ics club in the area. Sinqe was named SA Sports­man of the Year in 1986, and won the 56km Two Oceans race in 1996 and 1997.

Cricket writer and former Som­er­set player Peter Roe­buck died last month in Cape Town, where he was cov­er­ing a Test match at New­lands. Po­lice said he jumped from a ho­tel win­dow af­ter al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault were made against him. He was writ­ing for the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald at the time of his death. He was 55.

In the arts sec­tor, ac­tor and co­me­dian Zack du Plessis and artist Leon Botha died. Botha, who be­came well known for his work with the band Die Ant­wo­ord, was be­lieved to be one of the old­est peo­ple liv­ing with proge­ria, a rare ge­netic con­di­tion that causes peo­ple to age quickly.

Botha, a mu­si­cian and painter, also worked with pho­tog­ra­pher Gor­don Clark. He died one day af­ter his 26th birth­day in June.

Du Plessis also died in June. Best known for his roles in se­ries such as Vetkoek Paleis and Orkney Snork Nie, he was also a film pro­ducer and ap­peared in 25 movies.


‘DEAR LEADER’: Kim Jong-il

LIBYAN LOATHING: Muam­mar Gaddafi

9/11 MAS­TER­MIND: Osama bin Laden

STRUG­GLE ICON: Al­bertina Sisulu


TOP CRICK­ETER: Basil D’oliveira

SCREEN QUEEN: El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor

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