Minister Anroux Marais mourns the loss of Professor Denis Goldberg | Western Cape Government



Minister Anroux Marais mourns the loss of Professor Denis Goldberg

30 April 2020


It is with great sorrow that we mourn the loss of a true human rights activist and iconic Rivonia Trialist, Professor  Denis Goldberg.

A valued partner to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Professor Goldberg represented a generation that pulled our country out of the abyss and placed it on a pedestal of hope on which it rests today.

Former President Mbeki in a speech delivered at his inauguration in 1999 said the following about Professor Goldberg’s generation of leaders:

“We who are the offspring know that we owe to them much of what is humane, noble and beautiful in the thoughts and actions of our people, as they strive to build a better world for themselves. For throughout their lives, they struggled against everything that was ugly, mean, brutish and degrading of the dignity of all human beings. And because they did, being prepared to pay the ultimate price to uphold good over evil, they planted a legacy among our people which drives all of us constantly to return to the starting point and say, I am my brother’s Keeper; I am my Sister’s Keeper.”

As we mourn the loss of Professor Goldberg, we remember his resolve as a constant reminder that we are a people capable of great things and have a responsibility and are accountable to each other. With all that he endured in life, he represents for us a shining example of how the human spirit will always prevail over evil.

Minister Anroux Marais said, “It was always a pleasure and honour to be in the company of the great Denis Goldberg. A true gentleman, who had touched and changed so many lives with his compassionate nature and captivating storytelling in which he gladly shared his lived experiences and informed perspective on the state of affairs.

"Prof Goldberg always reminded that through it all, a sense of humour is a necessity and that life, life is wonderful which become his signature line. His great presence will indeed be missed but through the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation, will live on and through the many lives he inspired and changed for the better.

"We are deeply grateful for his sacrifices and for sharing with us his life’s work as a human rights activist. Most personally, I am eternally grateful for our collaboration in building the House of Hope, which will serve as a new Arts and Culture Education and Training centre at the Hout Bay Museum to empower and uplift the community and its surroundings through the arts”.

The House of Hope represents Prof Goldberg’s spirit as it runs through the DNA of the institution. It is what will guide the institution and by extension the community that it exists for, through the darkest of times, from despair to hope. Among the House of Hope’s key residents will be artists, be they musicians or visual artists, who can communicate messages to people in unique and positive ways.

Often they can transcend culture, language, ethnic orientation and all other differences and biases to entertain and inspire the human spirit. Similar to the spirit of Prof Goldberg, artists are courageous as they seek the truth to communicate through their works of art. Dreaming the impossible and having the hope and courage to make it happen is the epitome of the House of Hope.

We express our sincere condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and all Prof Goldberg inspired. Our thoughts are with you in this time of bereavement.


Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean

Spokesperson to Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais

083 504 1171