South Africa mourns the loss of a statesman and diplomat, Aziz Goolam Hoosein Pahad, who passed away on September 27, 2023, at the age of 82. His legacy as a prominent figure in South African politics and diplomacy will forever be etched in the nation’s history.
Born on December 25, 1940, in Schweizer-Reneke, Transvaal, Aziz Pahad dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice, equality, and diplomacy. As a member of the African National Congress (ANC), his journey in politics was deeply intertwined with the struggle for freedom during the apartheid era.
Aziz Pahad’s remarkable career included serving as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 1994 to September 25, 2008. His role in shaping South Africa’s foreign policy during this critical period was highly commendable. He worked alongside Sue van der Merwe and contributed significantly to the nation’s diplomatic initiatives.
In addition to his role in foreign affairs, Pahad served as a Member of the National Assembly from May 9, 1994, until his retirement on September 25, 2008. His contributions to the country’s legislative processes added depth to his political portfolio, and he was widely respected by his peers.
Beyond his individual accomplishments, Aziz Pahad’s dedication to the ideals of the ANC and his unwavering commitment to the anti-apartheid movement were instrumental in South Africa’s path to democracy. He was a trusted ally of leaders like Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, and his work played a vital role in the nation’s transition to a democratic and inclusive society.
Aziz Pahad’s recent passing marks the end of an era, but his legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those who continue to work towards a just and equal South Africa. His contributions to diplomacy, politics, and social justice will forever be remembered as a beacon of hope in the nation’s history.
As South Africa reflects on the life and achievements of Aziz Pahad, it is a moment to celebrate a life dedicated to the service of the people and the pursuit of a better future. His legacy serves as a reminder of the resilience and determination of individuals who worked tirelessly to bring about positive change in the nation.