RIP Hugh Lewin (1939 - January 16 2019)

Acclaimed author, anti-apartheid activist and journalist Hugh Lewin has passed away

18 January 2019 - 10:53 By Mila de Villiers
Author, anti-apartheid activist and renown journalist, Hugh Lewin, photographed in his home in Killarney, Johannesburg. (April 20 2011).
Author, anti-apartheid activist and renown journalist, Hugh Lewin, photographed in his home in Killarney, Johannesburg. (April 20 2011).
Image: Kevin Sutherland © Sunday Times

Acclaimed author, anti-apartheid activist and journalist Hugh Lewin has passed away aged 79 at his home in Killarney, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Lewin received the Alan Paton Award in 2012 for his exceptional struggle memoir, Stones Against the Mirror.

The chair of the 2012 Alan Paton judging panel, Prishani Naidoo, remarked that Stones Against the Mirror was “not a story of reconciliation, it speaks in very moving ways to the truth of the character of experiences of friendship, politics and life in apartheid South Africa".

Lewin was found guilty of sabotage in 1964 for which he was jailed for seven years.

He spent 10 years in exile in London after being released from prison in 1971, followed by 10 years in Zimbabwe. 

Upon his return to South Africa, Lewin was appointed as the director for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg and served as a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission committee on human rights violations in Gauteng. 

Lewin received the 2003 Olive Schreiner prize for his prison memoir, Bandiet out of Jail, an account of his imprisonment in a Pretoria jail.

Bandiet out of Jail chronicles the experience of incarceration of both him and his fellow inmates and was written in secret on the pages of his Bible. 

The tributes paid to this remarkable South African attests to the impact he had on our country's past and present:

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