By Lelethu Mquqo
24 June 2011
Former Cabinet minister and ANC stalwart Kader Asmal has been hailed as a fearless intellectual who sacrificed for his country without trying to enrich himself.
Asmal died in a Cape Town hospital after a heart attack, aged 76.
President Jacob Zuma says Asmal will be remembered for his energy, forthrightness, efficiency and commitment to making the country a better place each day.
He will also always be remembered for his passion for human rights for all.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation expressed its deep sadness on behalf of its founder.
It describes Asmal as a lifelong fighter for freedom and justice.
The Foundations say Asmal’s voice will be missed.
The African National Congress calls Asmal one of its foremost intellectual giants.
DA leader Helen Zille says he represented the best of a generation of struggle heroes.
She also hailed him for leaving Parliament on principle, refusing to vote for the abolition of the Scorpions.
Asmal was the minister of water affairs and forestry from 1994, a member of the ANC's national executive committee, and education minister from 1999.
Asmal left Parliament in 2007 to take up a post at the University of the Western Cape where he was extraordinary professor in the faculty of law.
He leaves his wife Louise, two sons and two grandchildren.
The Presidency says funeral arrangements will be announced following consultation with the family.