Covid-19 has claimed the life of one of the founders of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), Johnson Phillip Mlambo. The 80-year-old was admitted to the hospital on Friday in Johannesburg. Mlambo died on Saturday following Covid-19 complications.

Mlambo spent 20 years in Robben Island from 1963 to 1983 after being found guilty of sabotage and plotting to overthrow the apartheid regime.

On Robben Island he was incarcerated with fellow PAC members, including former leader, Professor Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe; former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke; longest-serving prisoner Jeff Masemola; and Zephania “The Lion of Azania” Mothopeng.

On his release in 1983 Mlambo went into exile, where the PAC appointed him to several positions, including secretary for foreign affairs and later chairperson and commander-in-chief of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla), formerly known as Poqo, the party’s armed wing. He was also the PAC’s deputy president between 1990 and 1994.

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