ANC pays tribute to struggle stalwart Ronnie Press
5 November 2009
The African National Congress (ANC) mourns the death of struggle stalwart Ronnie Press, buried today (5 November 2009) in Bristol, England.
Press, who passed away on 28 October 2009, joined the Congress of Democrats in 1953, played an active role in the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), the African National Congress (ANC), Umkhonto we Sizwe (ANC military wing) and the South African Communist Party. He also served as Secretary of the Textile Workers' Industrial Union.
His contribution to the South African struggle against apartheid has been quite immense. A trained chemical engineer, comrade Ronnie provided the liberation movement with the much-needed technical expertise. He helped to smuggle equipment and weapons into South Africa and was involved in the movement's 'Technical Committee', which created a variety of devices that were used in military operations against the apartheid state.
He also contributed to the setting up of secret communications networks that were operational in the late 1980s.
Press was among comrades convicted in the 1956 Treason Trial. During the trial was served with an order banning him from all gatherings and confining him to Johannesburg for five years. He was Accused No. 60 in that trial. The indictment was, however, squashed in 1959 and after the trial comrade Press went into exile in the United Kingdom where he continued campaigns against apartheid. He was secretary of the Bristol Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) at a stage and was made a life member of the Bristol Trades Union Council.
At this hour of need, our condolences go to his family and friends. The ANC lowers its banner for this gigantic cadre and leader of our movement.
Issued by: Jackson Mthembu National Spokesperson African National Congress Chief Albert Luthuli House 54 Sauer Street Johannesburg 2001
5 November 2009Enquiries: Brian Sokutu 071 671 6899