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SA pays tribute  Don Mattera, one of its brightest minds, his legacy will lives on

Last updated on 2022-07-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his deepest condolences at the passing of renowned author and poet, Don Mattera.

Mattera, a well-known South African poet, community activist, and former journalist passed away on Monday morning at the age of 87.

He was laid to rest under Muslim rites at Westpark cemetery.

Bra Don left behind a lasting legacy that will never be forgotten.

“Mattera was highly regarded among South Africans as well as around the world, being a recipient of many awards including the Order of the Baobab which he received in 2006 for his excellent contribution to literature, achievement in journalism and quest for democracy,” said President Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa said: “We mourn the loss of such an eloquent advocate for justice.”

On International Nelson Mandela Day, said President Ramphosa, we pay tribute to Bra Don the patriot who in the spirit of this commemorative day did what he could with what he had- and where he was.

He described  Mattera as a respected man.

At every stage of his life, he wrote poems, children’s stories, plays and an autobiography that won him the prestigious Steven Biko prize.

As a journalist, he contributed to leading publications such as The Times, The Sowetan and Mail & Guardian.

Don Mattera had a way with words which put him in high demand as an eloquent speaker, often invited to speak at events in South Africa.

He retired from public engagements in 2004.

Matterra, affectionately known as Bra Zinga to many also played a prominent role in peace brokering during the height of gang violence in the Westbury community back in the ’80s.

In paying tribute to a great man, the Kathrada Foundation says a giant tree has fallen, lamenting the loss of an extraordinary anti-apartheid activist and talented poet.

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) expressed its deep sorrow at the passing of Don ‘Bra Zinga’ Mattera, saying his family was deeply involved in PAC politics—with a founding member, Edward Sonnyboy Bhengu, as a brother to Mattera.

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