/ 14 October 2010

Former PAC secretary general Khoisan X dies

Former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) secretary general Khoisan X, otherwise known as Benny Alexander, has died, the party said on Wednesday.

He died in hospital on Wednesday morning aged 55, secretary general Mfanelo Skwatsha said.

It was reported that he had suffered a stroke.

He was described as having a Cinderella-pitched voice whose colourful language and missing front teeth made him the PAC’s most recognisable face.

According to sahistory.org.za, he was born Benny Alexander on March 4 1955 in Kimberley, where he grew up. In 1983 he joined the PAC underground and soon became the PAC’s most recognisable face. He was instrumental in the formation of the Pan Africanist Movement in 1989, a legal front for the PAC, and was elected secretary general. He assumed the same position at the PAC’s first post-unbanning congress in 1990.

Retirement from politics
He stepped down in 1994 as secretary general. In 1996 he retired from active politics to concentrate on his studies, assist NGOs and civic structures, and build black empowerment structures.

Around that time he legally changed his name and took up a job as adviser to Adam Kok V, the head of the Griqua traditional royal house. He set up Khoisan X Investment Holdings, a section 21 company that aimed to benefit the San and Griqua people through a trust.

In 2008 he was part of a group that broke away and attempted to establish a PAC splinter grouping. The Bloemfontein High Court, however, ordered this group to stop gathering or organising under the PAC’s name or colours.

Skwatsha described him as a brilliant public speaker always at the forefront of the party during difficult times. — Sapa