France mourns with South Africa over the loss of Denis Goldberg
The French Embassy in South Africa wishes to express its deepest condolences to the people of South Africa over the loss of the anti-apartheid activist and Rivonia Trialist Denis Goldberg. We extend our thoughts to his family and loved ones.
Mr Goldberg passed away shortly before midnight on Wednesday night, at the age of 87.
Born on 11 April 1933 in Cape Town, he dedicated his life to the people of South Africa and was first arrested in 1960 for supporting strikes in the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre.
He would later spend 22 years in prison after standing trial alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni, among others. His courage was impressive. At one point, he expressed his will to offer his life in exchange for the freedom of his co-Trialists.
In 2019, the Consulate General of France in Cape Town celebrated Mandela Day, in cooperation with the French non-profit 2AEAS and the Alliance Française du Cap, with Mr Goldberg to support his project “House of Hope”.
In February this year, we were also honoured to have him at the screening of The State Against Mandela and the Others, a film based on over 250 hours of sound recordings of the Rivonia Trial that were digitised and restored – with the help of the Arts and Culture Department (DAC), National Archives and Records Service of SA (NARSSA), & INA (French National Audiovisual Institute).
France is proud to have worked with him until the very end, sharing in his gift for communicating his passion for freedom to the new generations. "Denis Goldberg had a vibrant, fighting spirit until his last breath", said French Ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier. “We will keep up the fight together”.