JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African anti-apartheid writer Andre Brink, 79, died on Friday after suffering a blood clot while on a plane to Cape Town from a Belgian University where he was collecting an honorary doctorate, local media said.
Brink, who wrote in English and Afrikaans, was a leading member of the Sestigers, a group of influential Afrikaans writers in the 1960s who opposed the apartheid government.
Brink’s 1973 novel, ‘Kennis van die aand’, was the first book written in Afrikaans to be banned by the white-minority South African leadership. It was later published in English abroad under the title, ‘Looking on Darkness’.
Arguably Brink’s most famous novel, ‘A Dry White Season’ (1979), focused on the death in detention of a black activist and was later adapted into a Hollywood film staring Marlon Brando and Donald Sutherland.
“It’s with enormous sadness that one takes leave of one of our brightest literary stars,” Etienne Bloemhof, one of Brink’s former publishers, told 702 Talk Radio.
Brink’s 1998 collection of writing on politics in South Africa, ‘Reinventing a Continent’, had a preface by anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the end of white-minority rule in 1994.
His final novel, ‘Philida’, a harrowing tale of slavery in South Africa in the 1830s, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize.
Brink, who was also a playwright and an academic, was an English professor at the University of Cape Town when he died.
Reporting by Joe Brock; editing by Ralph Boulton