South African Human Rights Activist Rhoda Kadalie Dies at 68

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South African Human Rights Activist, Rhoda Kadalie, has been reported dead. Her daughter Julia Pollak, said the active political commentator died in her home, while asleep.

The late Kadalie, who actively promoted women’s rights, was instrumental in the birth of the Gender Equity Unit at the University of the Western Cape in 1973.

According to Mary Hames, her successor at the unit, she was a “fierce and fearless” who fought for women’s rights and privileges, setting up the gender unit when issues of gender were not even considered worth prioritising.

Many inspiring testimonies have poured in for the activist, who once served in President Nelson Mandela‘s administration as a commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission.

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“She rejected political correctness, and was at her sharpest when criticising the South African media, academia and corporate leaders.

South African Human Rights Activist Rhoda Kadalie Dies at 68 (News Central TV)
Human Rights Activist Rhoda Kadalie

“Her approach to democracy is pragmatic, not ideological: she favours a diversity of views, even ones she dislikes because it gives citizens the most leverage to hold politicians accountable,” Joel Pollak, Kadalie’s son in-law who is a writer and politician said.

Hames also stated that “there was a time when there were hardly any non-governmental organisations in South Africa that didn’t have a former student of Rhoda’s fighting for women’s rights and feminism.”

“What she has done for women, not only at the university, but countrywide, is immeasurable,” she added.

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Kadalie’s family have mourned her passing, saying she’d be greatly missed by all the people whose lives she impacted, and for the large and extraordinary life she lived.


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