S.African Indian politician and activist Rajbansi dies

29th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former government minister and Indian minority activist in South Africa, Amichand Rajbansi, died on Thursday in hospital, aged 69, his Minority Front party said in a statement.

Known as the "Bengal Tiger", Rajbansi was a key Indian politician during the apartheid regime in South Africa and after the fall of minority rule in 1994 until his death.

He had served as minister without portfolio in the cabinet of apartheid-era president PW Botha in 1984, but was sacked from cabinet and parliament in 1988 following corruption allegations.

Following an alliance between Rajbansi's Minority Front and the ruling African National Congress party in 2004, he served as provincial sports minister of KwaZulu-Natal province, the heartland of South African Indians.

Opposition party Democratic Alliance hailed his contribution to "coalition politics" following the fall of apartheid in 1994.

Rajbansi was a well-known figure among the country's Indian population, which makes up 2.5 percent of its 50 million people.

© 2011 AFP

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