02 December 2013
On Saturday our country lost a patriot and a
fighter for freedom. I lost a dear friend. My condolences have
been sent to Mrs Raili Eglin and to Mr Colin Eglin's three
daughters, through his beloved wife.
Mr Colin Eglin was from a generation in which
integrity trumped political expediency. When I met him in the
sixties, I recognized a kindred spirit, for Mr Eglin was
pursuing liberation through negotiations. He gave much of his
life to this goal and will be remembered as one who did as much
to break the chains of apartheid as any among our liberation
struggle, either in South Africa or in exile.
As the leader of the Progressive Federal
Party, Mr Eglin prioritised a good working relationship with
Inkatha. I admired his contribution to the KwaZulu/Natal Indaba,
which I established in 1986. The Indaba succeeded in creating
the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Executive Authority; South Africa's
first non-racial, non-discriminatory government, giving the
example of how governance by all, for all could be achieved.
Mr Eglin's contribution to the Indaba
foreshadowed his exceptional contribution to CODESA. I will
remember him for this, and also for the many moments that
expressed our friendship. I will fondly remember being called on
by Mr Eglin to propose the toast as we celebrated with Mrs Helen
Suzman 21 years of her parliamentary career. I will remember
being invited to the Cape Town Club and engaging deep
conversations with Mr Eglin about our country and where it is
Though he retired in 2004, Mr Eglin never lost
interest in South Africa's wellbeing. He was a patriot to the
very end. I am comforted by the fact that he led a full and
remarkable life. But I will miss him, and I know that he leaves
a gap in his family that will take time to fully heal.
On behalf of the IFP, I express condolences to
the family, and to the many friends and former colleagues of Mr
Colin Eglin. May he be remembered as the gentleman and patriot
that he was.