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South African anti-apartheid icon Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim dies at 84

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, an anti-apartheid icon and former deputy minister in South Africa, died on Monday, officials said. He was 84.

Officials said Ebrahim died after a long illness at his home in Johannesburg.

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A former deputy minister of international relations, Ebrahim was an activist whose life was described as one of courage characterized by a "spirit of sacrifice."

Born July 1, 1937, Ebrahim joined the liberation movement in 1952 as a youth activist and participated in the Congress of the People Campaign, which adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955. His activism continued into the 1960s, until he was arrested and charged under the Sabotage Act in 1961 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released in 1979.

Ebrahim went into exile in 1980 on the advice of the African National Congress. He returned to serve as deputy Dirco minister from 2009 to 2014.

The ANC hailed Ebrahim on Monday as a veteran member of the party and praised his contribution to the struggle for South African liberation, which was achieved with the fall of Apartheid in the early 1990s.

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