Op-Ed: Personal memories about Laloo Chiba, a lodestar for South Africa


Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba was a former Robben Island political prisoner and a board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. He passed away on 8 December 2017. ZAAKIRAH VADI writes about her memories of the anti-apartheid struggle stalwart. 

ZAAKIRAH VADI: is the editor of the book, ‘Triumph of the Human Spirit – Ahmed Kathrada and Robben Island’. She currently works as the Communications Officer at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, but writes in her personal capacity.

….I had the privilege of hearing your testimony before lawyers who were gathering information for the Ahmed Timol inquest – you detailing the horror of the electric shocks, the severe beatings and the interrogation. How could a person so humane as yourself be subjected to such inhumanity? Yet, you broke down in front of the Timol legal team, not because of the nightmarish memories of pain, but because you recalled how you had screamed during the torture. You believed that real revolutionaries do not give the enemy the pleasure of hearing their tortured screams, let alone revealing information about their clandestine activities….