Tributes pour in for Nadine Gordimer

14 July 2014 - 18:28 By Sapa, various

Nobel Prize winning author and anti-Apartheid activist Nadine Gordimer died on Sunday. Read the tributes all in one place.

De Klerk sad at Gordimer's death - Sapa

The FW de Klerk Foundation expressed sadness on Monday at the death of Nobel Laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer.

"The FW de Klerk Foundation has learned with sadness of the death of Nadine Gordimer," it said in a statement.

"She continued to be critical of unconstitutional behaviour from any quarter in South Africa and was particularly opposed to any steps that might limit the freedom of the press."

The foundation said Gordimer's voice would be missed by all South Africans.

"However, her literature will remain with us forever. The FW de Klerk Foundation and FW de Klerk would like to convey their sincere condolences to Ms Gordimer's family and friends."

Earlier on Monday, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said in a statement on behalf of the Gordimer family: "Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane and her caring helpers were with her... A private memorial service will be announced at a later date."

It said she died "peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg on Sunday".

Gordimer was 90 years old.

Gordimer was a literary giant: ANC - Sapa

South Africa lost an unmatched literary giant with Nobel laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer's death, the ANC said on Monday.

"The African National Congress sends its heartfelt condolences to Gordimer's family, friends and her comrades and colleagues," national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

Kodwa said Gordimer was a worthy recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature, among her many other accolades.

"Nadine has been awarded with no less than 15 honorary degrees from universities worldwide," he said.

"Gordimer was a founding member of the Congress of South African Writers. As a member of the ANC in 1989, Nadine testified in the mitigation for 11 United Democratic Front leaders and Vaal Civil Association activists."

Gordimer became the first South African, and the first woman in 25 years, to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Earlier on Monday, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said in a statement on behalf of the Gordimer family: "Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane and her caring helpers were with her... A private memorial service will be announced at a later date."

It said she died "peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg on Sunday".

Gordimer was 90-years-old.

Gordimer death a loss for SA: Parliament - Sapa

The death of Nobel laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer has robbed South Africa and the world at large of an astute writer and staunch human rights activist, Parliament's arts and culture portfolio committee said on Monday.

"While the committee mourns her passing, her lifetime work will continue to be celebrated all over the world," chairwoman Xoliswa Tom said in a statement.

"She was one of those people who were rich repositories of our heritage as a nation. Future generations will benefit from her writings."

The committee encouraged South Africans to follow the example set by Gordimer in ensuring that South Africa's culture and heritage was immortalised by writing their lifetime experiences.

"The only way we can guide future generations is to write our unique experiences so that they will learn from them," Tom said.

The committee sent its heartfelt condolences to Gordimer's family and friends.

"May they find solace in the fact that Ms Gordimer's life was a life well lived," Tom said.

Earlier on Monday, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said in a statement on behalf of the Gordimer family: "Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane and her caring helpers were with her... A private memorial service will be announced at a later date."

It said she died "peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg on Sunday".

DA extends condolences on the passing of Nadine Gordimer - Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance

The Democratic Alliance extends our deepest condolences to the family of Nadine Gordimer, and everyone touched by her work, on the sad news of her passing today.

From each generation invariably rises transformative figures who can see past present circumstances toward a better future.

Nadine Gordimer lived such a transformative life. While her works on race and identity were banned by the Apartheid regime for many years, there is no doubt that her writing awakened minds across the planet to the light of justice and reconciliation.

In her own words she described how topics for writing and activism choose generations, not the other way round. She tapped into the consciousness of an era.

She will be remembered as a Nobel Laureate, as an activist, and as a supportive figure to some of South Africa’s greatest leaders, notably assisting former President Nelson Mandela to courageously tap into a universal truth in his “I am prepared to Die” speech from the dock in the Rivonia Trial.

May future generations in South Africa and around the globe share the courage to harness the words that can change the world forever.

We will not forget Ms Gordimer’s immense contribution to the nation entrusted to us today. May her soul rest in peace and may her family find consolation during this difficult time.

Gordimer gave voice to the pain and plight of millions - South African Jewish Board of Deputies

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies pays tribute to the late Nadine Gordimer, a brave, principled woman who used her remarkable literary gifts to speak out on behalf of the oppressed in South Africa and expose the injustices to which they were subjected. In doing so, she gave voice to the pain and plight of millions of those whom the apartheid system had silenced, and that voice came to be heard with ever greater resonance throughout the world.

The daughter of Jewish immigrants, Gordimer became aware at an early age of the iniquitous nature of the society into which she was born, and never wavered in her commitment to opposing it. In a series of powerful novels, she laid bare the evils of racism and racial discrimination, showing with unmatched sensitivity and insight not only the harm it inflicted on the oppressed, but also how it brutalised and thus demeaned the oppressors. For this, she gained international acclaim, culminating in her receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Nadine Gordimer became an iconic figure in the struggle for democracy in South Africa. She was an inspiring figure for her own generation, and will undoubtedly continue to be a source of inspiration for the generations to come.

 

South Africa has lost a great write: Nelson Mandela Foundation - Sapa

Nobel laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer was a great writer, patriot and voice for equality and democracy, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Monday.

"Prof Njabulo Ndebele, chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, together with the trustees and staff, are deeply saddened at the loss of Nadine Gordimer, South Africa's grande dame of literature and friend of Nelson Mandela," it said in a statement.

"We would like to offer our condolences to her family, friends and comrades."

The foundation said Mandela had a long friendship with Gordimer, beginning in his years as a young activist and continuing after his release from prison in 1990.

During the Rivonia Trial, Gordimer worked on biographical sketches of Mandela and his co-accused to send overseas to publicise the trial.

"In his autobiography, he [Mandela] wrote of his time in prison: 'I tried to read books about South Africa or by South African writers. I read all the unbanned novels of Nadine Gordimer and learned a great deal about the white liberal sensibility'."

The foundation said Mandela spoke during a debate on June 18, 1996, on the role culture plays in nation building.

Mandela said at the time: "We think of Nadine Gordimer, who won international acclaim as our first winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, and whose writing was enriched by the cultural kaleidoscope of our country."

Earlier on Monday, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said in a statement on behalf of the Gordimer family: "Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane and her caring helpers were with her... A private memorial service will be announced at a later date."

It said she died "peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg on Sunday".

Gordimer will be missed, but never forgotten - Proudly South African

Proudly South African (Proudly SA) has expressed its sadness following the passing away of South African icon, political activist, writer and Nobel Prize winner, Nadine Gordimer.

"Gordimer touched the lives and hearts of so many South Africans through her activism and her magnificent writing through the years.

Her legacy and contribution to our nation will live on in the hearts of many South Africans," said Proudly SA's CEO, Adv. Leslie Sedibe.

"I remember with fond memories her story entitled 'July's People' and how ironic that she would pass away in July," he added.

Gordimer is said to have passed away peacefully at her Johannesburg home yesterday, aged 90.

"Proudly SA mourns her passing. Another icon has left us.

The outpouring of love and tributes on social media networks - minutes after her passing was announced -

bears testimony to the fact that she was loved and respected by many people both locally and abroad," said Adv. Sedibe.

"Gordimer has run a good race and we salute her. We wish her family and friends comfort and strength during this difficult time of mourning.

"She will be dearly missed but never forgotten," he said.

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