Ben Turok (born 26 June 1927 – died 9 December 2019) was a South African anti-apartheid activist, Economics Professor and member of parliament. He was a member of the African National Congress (ANC).
Ben was born in Latvia in June 1927 and relocated to South Africa with his family in 1934. He was the father of Neil Turok, the founder of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Muizenburg.
He joined the South African Congress of Democrats in 1953 and became secretary for the Congress of the people in 1955. Ben was the African representative in the Cape Provincial Council.
He played a very notable role in helping draw up the Freedom Charter. Ben went to jail and served time under apartheid.
Turok was convicted under the Explosives Act in 1962. He also spent more than 20 years in exile and returned to South Africa in 1990.
He served as Member of Parliament in 1995, until his retirement in 2014.
Ben Turok gave up the ghost on the morning of 9 December 2019. He was aged 92.
Tributes are pouring in for struggle stalwart and anti-apartheid activist Ben Turok:
We are saddened by the passing of anti-apartheid stalwart, Ben Turok.— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) December 9, 2019
We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, loved ones and our fellow South Africans as we mourn the passing of this great man.
Death be not proud. Rest in eternal peace, Ben Turok. pic.twitter.com/szXujT7YB0
EFF Statement on the Passing of Ben Turok. pic.twitter.com/O6DsDIQQZZ— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) December 9, 2019