Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has described African National Congress (ANC) veteran Professor Ben Turok as the embodiment of uprightness and ethical conduct.
Turok died on Monday morning at the age of 92.
Turok served as a Member of Parliament from 1995 to 2014 and co-chaired the parliamentary committee on ethics and member’s interests. He chaired the committee in 2013 when it found former communications minister Dina Pule guilty of breaching the ethics code for helping her boyfriend secure government contracts.
Turok also made headlines when he clashed with ANC leadership over his refusal to vote in favour of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill or Secrecy Bill.
He was also the director of the Institute for African Alternatives before his death, an entity chaired by Motlanthe.
He was always focused on economic development, that is how when he was in exile on the continent he established what he called the Institute for African Alternatives which still exists up to this day.— Kgalema Motlanthe, former president of South Africa
He was a very important voice because he could speak his mind, he was at an age where he did not necessarily have to buy face. He was also very active in getting members of Parliament to register and study.— Kgalema Motlanthe, former president of South Africa
He was not one to beat around the bush.— Kgalema Motlanthe, former president of South Africa
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Meanwhile, former minister Rob Davies, who worked closely with Turok, says it was no accident that the professor spoke out against government corruption.
When he saw that we were going astray, he became vocal in insisting that we return to ethical governance. He was a very larger-than-life individual whose contribution I think will be sorely missed.— Rob Davies, Former minister
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