Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ivan Toms River Dries Up

Ivan Toms put the can in South African, but can no longer put the live in alive.

The South African doctor and director of health for Cape Town, who played a key role in the campaign to end conscription of young white men for the racist apartheid security forces, has died at the age of 55. An autopsy was to be performed to determine the cause of death.

"He was a fighter against apartheid and for human and democratic rights," Mcebisi Skwatsha, secretary of the African National Congress in the Western Cape, was quoted by the South African Press Association as saying. "The passing of Ivan Toms is a great loss to the people of the city and the country."
Toms seems pretty incredible: he single handedly cared for 60,000 people, founded the End Conscription Campaign, undertook a 3-week hunger strike in 1985, helped create a national AIDS program, and was an advocate for gay rights.

He helped stop apartheid, but- sadly- could not save his own hide.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dreadfully sad news. Forces memories of Ivan in the middle of a hunger strike in St Georges Cathedral; Ivan proudly and inspiringly teaching medical students about the real meaning of community health in his Crossroads Clinic; Ivan telling the US Embassy that God told him to start the clinic-and meaning it-and seeing the US respond with support not wanting to doubt the message. He will be sorely missed. Derek