Political analyst Walter Felgate dead at 77

Renowned political analyst and Rhodes lecturer Walter Felgate died in Johannesburg aged 77, said Felgate’s family on January 11.

Friend and adopted daughter of Felgate, Margot Saner, said Felgate died on January 3 2008 in Johannesburg, surrounded by friends and loved ones following a recent bout of ill health.

Felgate studied social anthropology under Eileen Krige at Durban University, where his post-graduate studies focused on the Tembe-Tonga of Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

As a student and post-graduate he became involved in anti-apartheid politics.

Felgate was a founding member of the Liberal Party. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

He was a key negotiator in the Codesa process which resulted in the peaceful transition to a democratic South Africa.

After 1994 Felgate represented the IFP as a parliamentarian at national level, and later at provincial level in KwaZulu-Natal. He later rejoined the African National Congress, which he always considered his proper political home, said Saner.

Felgate retired from politics due to ill health.
He remained active in helping local communities formulate and fund large-scale community game reserves, as well as small medium and micro enterprises.

Rita Felgate, Walter’s daughter said: “His energy and drive throughout his life ... ensured that wherever he has been, and whatever he has done, he has become well known and depended on to achieve a better life for all he came in contact with.”

A private ceremony would be held for Felgate in Johannesburg on Friday. - Sapa

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