Andrew Mlangeni, the last remaining Rivonia trialist and who died this week, never chose easy paths. From his early days of struggle until well into democracy, his was a quiet voice of courage and principle.

In 2016, Andrew Mlangeni, as chair of the ANC’s Integrity Committee, called then president Jacob Zuma to a meeting and said to him: “We are appealing to you, Comrade, to step down.”

“We did not want to publicly condemn him. We said let’s take a different approach.”

So, Mlangeni told me in a series of interviews in 2018, he began by praising Zuma “for the contribution he has made. I said, ‘You did very well… But now things have completely changed… You are now under the influence of the Guptas.'”

The “economy of the country has gone down badly… everything is disorganised. Please step down quietly.”

Andrew Mlangeni, the last remaining Rivonia trialist, who died this week aged 95, has never taken the easy road. As one of those convicted with Mandela in the Rivonia trial, he served 26 years in jail, most of it on Robben Island, under harsh conditions that drained the men both physically and emotionally.

He cast himself in an almost…

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