Human rights activist Margaret Nash remembered August 09 2011 , 7:05:00
Human rights' activist Doctor Margaret Nash was remembered at a memorial service in Cape Town yesterday. Nash has been described as a fearless speaker of truth and a champion of the poor. The 82 year-old Nash died in Cape Town last week and was cremated on Friday.
Nash was a human rights activist in organisations including Black Sash and Gun-free South Africa. She was also a senior member of the Christian Institute and the United Women's Congress. A report she authored in 1980 on forced removals caused a ripple effect that saw the banishment of what was one of the most inhuman practices by the apartheid government.
The privileges that came with her white skin are said to have been of such torment that Dr Nash dedicated her life to champion the cause of those who lacked any privilege on the basis of their blackness. She was governed by the maxim 'to live simply so that other can simply live'.
To those who knew her as an activist - the most enduring memories are those of Nash going to squatter camps when they were being demolished and standing in front of bulldozers.
"Dr Nash had a deep concern for the under-privileged. She was prepared to stand up for what she believed in and also put her body in the way of what wasn't right,” said Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane. “She had an uncanny ability of really getting to core of problems and she was not interested in superfluous and material things,” added Nash's former colleague, Diana Andrews.