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ANC mourns the passing of Brian Bunting

19 June 2008

The African National Congress mourns the passing yesterday (18 June 2008) of Brian Bunting, an outstanding veteran of the liberation struggle, a respected journalist and author, and a committed revolutionary.

Bunting had to pay a heavy price for his political convictions and his outspoken journalism, having been banned, prohibited from publishing, detained and forced into exile.

He nevertheless remained, throughout his life, a committed communist and unwavering freedom fighter. Though advanced in years, Bunting remained ready to take up whatever task the movement assigned him, often serving on various ANC committees and commissions.

Bunting was born in Johannesburg in 1920, the son of Communist Party leader Sidney Bunting. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1939. He then worked as a sub-editor on the Rand Daily Mail and the Sunday Times.

After serving in North Africa and Italy during World War II, he became assistant editor of the Guardian. Later he became chief editor of The Guardian and its successor publications, Advance, Clarion, Peoples` World, and New Age, which was published in Cape Town (except during the 1960 emergency) until it was banned in 1962.

He was assistant national secretary of the Springbok Legion and an editor of its journal, Fighting Talk. In 1946 he was elected to the Johannesburg district committee of the Communist Party, and later served on the party`s central committee. He was arrested following the 1946 African mine strike, but charges against him were subsequently dropped.

>From November 1952 to October 1953 he was a Natives` representative in the house of Assembly from Cape Western district. Elected to succeed Sam Kahn, he was, like Kahn, expelled from the Parliament because of his membership in the CPSA. Banned since 1952, detained in 1960, and placed under house arrest in 1962. He was prohibited from publishing in 1963 when he was a writer for Spark.

Shortly afterwards he left South Africa for London. His writings included The Rise of the South African Reich.

The liberation movement has last one its most exceptional leaders and South Africa one of its dearest sons. We salute the memory of Brian Bunting, and commit ourselves to honour his revolutionary legacy through our pursuit of a better life for all our people.

Issued by:
Gwede Mantashe
Secretary General
African National Congress

For more information, interview requests and general enquiries:
Steyn Speed 082 572 7304
Vuyisa Manyandela 011 376 1052