Ahmed Kathrada Foundation pays tribute to ‘brave’ anti-apartheid lawyer Joel Joffe
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has paid tribute to anti-apartheid lawyer Lord Joel Joffe‚ one of the lawyers who defended Nelson Mandela and his fellow Rivonia Trialists in the 1960s.
Joffe died in London on Sunday at the age of 85.
“Joffe is amongst a class of defence attorneys who served South Africa and our liberation struggle with distinction. Joffe was the defence attorney of two Robben Islanders who have served on the Foundation’s board‚ Kathrada and Laloo Chiba‚” said the Executive Director of the Foundation‚ Neeshan Balton.
“It took a great deal of bravery and conviction to defend anti-apartheid activists in the 1960s‚ at a time when Mandela‚ Sisulu‚ Kathrada and others were regarded as ‘terrorists’ by the state. Lawyers such as Joffe‚ Arthur Chaskalson‚ Bram Fischer‚ George Bizos‚ Vernon Barrange‚ and others‚ have made an immense contribution‚” he said.
Balton noted that the last time Kathrada had met Joffe was in 2016‚ when they both received the Freedom of the City of London along with surviving Rivonia Trialists‚ Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg‚ as well as remaining Rivonia defence attorney‚ George Bizos.
Balton said it had to be remembered that it was because of the services rendered by lawyers like Joffe‚ that these leaders were sparred the death sentence‚ and as history shows‚ would subsequently shape democratic South Africa.
Source: TMG Digital.