In The News South Africa

ANC pays tribute to struggle stalwart Peter Williams

CAPE TOWN, March 16 (ANA) – The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape on Thursday paid tribute to the late Cape Town activist and struggle stalwart Peter Williams who died after a long battle with cancer.

Senior ANC officials, including Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister, Mcebisi Skwatsha and ANC Western Cape Provincial Secretary, Faiez Jacobs, were to visit the family home of Williams on Thursday.

According to an ANC statement, Williams was born and raised in Kewtown and was an immensely well-known and highly respected father, husband, lawyer, activist and person of faith.

“He was active in a range of organisations with a history stretching back to his days as a student activist while at Belgravia High,” said the provincial ANC.

While still at school, Peter was active in the school’s SRC and was a founding member of the Athlone Students Action Committee (ASAC), the coordinating structure for schools in the Athlone area during the 1985 student boycotts. He was also a founding member of the Kewtown Branch of the Cape Youth Congress and later the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) in the Western Cape region.

In 1989, the Civil Co-operation Bureau, an arm of the Apartheid government, planted a bomb at the Early Learning Centre in Kewtown which was the meeting place of Kewtown Youth. “The night that the bomb exploded, members of the Athlone Region of SAYCO held a meeting there through the intervention of Peter and Osman Alexander.

“Fortunately, the Director at the time, made the Boardroom available and not the meeting room vacated by Kewtown Youth earlier, where the bomb was planted. At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearing (TRC) into the bomb blast, Peter was one of the prosecutors alongside George Bizos,” said the ANC.

Peter studied law at the University of the Western Cape and started his legal career at the offices of Essa Moosa and Associates and built up a reputation as a formidable defender of the rights of people, particularly in the field of human rights. One of the earliest achievements of Peter was the years he spent devising and implementing a turnaround strategy for the Alexkhor Mine in Namaqualand.

In 2014, he defended the cleaner from Claremont who was beaten and racially assaulted by three men and won the case.

“Peter was immensely talented and was successful at whatever he set his mind to,” the ANC said. “He taught himself to play the piano and wrote short stories. Peter was known for his quiet demeanor that often masked a sharp intellect.

“As the ANC, we lower our revolutionary banner for this son of the soil and defender of the human rights on behalf of the most vulnerable of our people. Our hearts are with his family at this time. He will be sorely missed.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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