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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Praise for veteran campaigner
South African President Thabo Mbeki, left, with his wife Zanele outside the house of Walter Sisulu
Mbeki paid his respects at Sisulu's house in Johannesburg

Anti-apartheid campaigners have been paying tribute to Walter Sisulu - a founder and leader of the African National Congress - who has died at age 90. Sisulu was held responsible for bringing Nelson Mandela into politics.

Xhamela (Sisulu's clan name) is no more. May he live forever! His absence has carved a void. A part of me is gone.

Together we shared ideas, forged common commitments. We walked side by side through the valley of death, nursing each other's bruises, holding each other up when our steps faltered. Together we savoured the taste of freedom.

Nelson Mandela

Up to this day, he was very sweet.

Albertina Sisulu - wife

A massive force for enlightenment and freedom (who) earned his place in the annals of history together with great figures like OR (Oliver) Tambo who pursued the struggle with unflagging determination in the dark and difficult days of apartheid.

Thabo Mbeki - South African President

It is with a heavy heart and profound sense of loss that the African National Congress learned of the death of Isithwalandwe Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu, a giant of the liberation struggle and one of the founding fathers of South Africa's democracy.

African National Congress (ANC)

Comrade Walter was as old as the ANC and one of its most important leaders, who helped to revitalise the movement in the 1940s and 1950s and inspired countless younger activists to join the liberation struggle.

His life was emblematic of the trials and tribulations of the South African democratic revolution. Together, with his other colleagues, Comrade Walter contributed immensely to the transformation of the ANC into a militant liberation movement

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)

He will always be known and remembered as one of the great sons of our land. He succeeded in combining intellect with a common touch.

Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu
Mandela and Sisulu were close friends

Marthinus van Schalkwyk - leader of the New National Party (the former ruling party which jailed Mr Sisulu)

Few visionaries are able to see their dreams fulfilled. Walter Sisulu was fortunate enough to enjoy the new South Africa that he had worked so hard and sacrificed so much to bring about.

Tony Leon - Democratic Alliance leader

He came out on top. The prosecutor made the mistake of taking him on, by referring to so-called grievances of the otherwise happy and obedient African people.

George Bizos - lawyer who represented ANC leaders at the Rivonia Treason Trial in 1963, where they were charged with plotting to overthrow the apartheid state

He has been an inspiration to us, particularly the younger generation.

Jacob Zuma - Deputy President of South Africa

To cultivate young people, to cultivate new freedom fighters, that was his distinguishing mark.

Mosiuoa Lekota - South Africa's Defence Minister and fellow prisoner of Mr Sisulu

Along with the former president Nelson Mandela, he should be regarded as one of the founding fathers of the democratic dispensation in South Africa. He has been a great son of Africa, one of the visionary leaders on this continent. His death signifies the passing of an era.

Louis Green - deputy leader of the African Christian Democratic Party

There's no doubt that although Mr Sisulu was not a well-educated person, his natural gift given to him by God actually rescued this country from a bloodbath, because had the ANC been led by a warmonger maybe we would still be fighting today.

But because he recruited the right person in Mandela we are all safe and smiling.

Bantu Holomisa - United Democratic Movement leader

If the church and all the Christian community seek to model their lives along the life of Jesus, it may be apt that those who served in public office should model their lives along the life of Dr Walter Sisulu.

Dr Molefe Tsele - general secretary of the South African Council of Churches

The BBC's Carole Mitchell
"In prison he never lost hope"

Obituary: Walter Sisulu
05 May 03  |  Africa
Timeline: South Africa
02 May 03  |  Country profiles
Country profile: South Africa
06 Mar 03  |  Country profiles

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