Dr Nchaupe Aubrey Mokoape (1944-2020), who in the 1980s won a landmark case over being struck from the medical roll following his jailing on Robben Island over his political activism, has died, aged 76-years, reports MedicalBrief.
An anti-apartheid activist and a former leader of the Pan-Africanist Congress and Black Consciousness Movement, Mokoape died in a Durban hospital.
The Times reports that after he matriculated from Orlando High School he enrolled at the University of Natal Medical School where he met anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko. Together the pair, alongside ‘Gees’ Goolam Abram Mayet, Mamphela Ramphele, Joel ‘China’ Matsipa, Harry Nengwekhulu and others, would go on to found the Black Consciousness Movement.
In 1974 the SA Students' Organisation and the Black People's Convention members were arrested for staging Viva Frelimo rallies at Curries Fountain and at Turfloop University, and charged. Mokoape was released from Robben Island on 20 December 1982 after serving six years.
The SA Medical and Dental Council had struck him off the medical practitioners roll for serving a sentence but he won a landmark legal case which restored his medical licence in 1983. He practiced medicine in Durban until he retired 10 years ago.
He then joined the Azanian Peoples’ Organisation and became its deputy president.
Doctor Mokoape’s brother, Keith, told SABC News that Mokoape had not been in good health. “Aubrey was sickly. He had a high sugar level. He was 76 years of age. So, he was on and off. But in this particular instance, on Christmas Day, we said that he must go test for COVID- 19 and he came out positive and then we immediately said let’s check other things. The oxygen was very low on Saturday. On Boxing Day, we managed to go to hospital. When we arrived at the hospital it was too late. It has affected us immensely as the family and we know the nation has lost, and the entire community has lost Doctor Nchaupe Aubrey Mokoape.”
In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said “we were deeply saddened to learn that Dr Aubrey Mokoape, a great warrior fondly known to us as Bra Aubrey, passed away from COVID-19 complications.
“He was a great intellectual who always stood on principle. He was never shaken from his firm political views and was always able to present his incisive analysis and political arguments with eloquence and passion.
“I remember him for his humane, friendly, brotherly spirit and warm laughter. We shall miss Bra Aubrey dearly for his dedication to the healing profession, through which he demonstrated his love for people whom he served with respect and humility.”
Full report in The Times
Full SABC News report
Full statement by SA Health Minister