Nelson Mandela Timeline – Little Known Facts You May Not Know About Dalibhunga

Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela Former President of South Africa e1405764708874 Nelson Mandela Timeline – Little Known Facts You May Not Know About DalibhungaRevolutionary hero and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela is among the most famous and well-respected political activists of all time, and after serving 27 years in prison, he became South Africa’s first democratically elected Black president in 1994.

From his earliest days as a descendant of South African royalty, the Thembu Kingdom to his activism against racism and apartheid in South Africa, Mandela and his heroism has literally created history for more than 75 years. But even international icons such as Mandela have little-known facts in their backgrounds.

Few lives have been thoroughly chronicled as that of  former South African President Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95.

Below is a Nelson Mandela timeline outlining some of the key events in his life.

Parents: Father: Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, Mother: Nonqaphi Nosekeni Fanny. Mandela’s father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was a local chief in the Transkei region and had four wives,  four sons and nine daughters, who lived in different villages. Nelson’s mother was Gadla’s third wife, Nosekeni Fanny, who was daughter of Nkedama of the Right Hand House and a member of the amaMpemvu clan of Xhosa.

Nelson Rholihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela, the son of Chief Mphakanyiswa (Gadla) kaMandela kaNgubengcuka kaNdaba kaZondwa kaTato kaMadiba kaHala kaDlomo kaNxeko ka(Mboti?) kaNtande kaToyi kaCeduma (Cedwini) kaDunakazi kaBhomoyi kaThembu kaNtongakazi kaMalandela kaNjanya kaMbulali kaZwide…!

Clan Names (Iziduko): Dlomo, Madiba, Yem-Yem, Vela bambhentsele, Sophitsho, Ngqolomsila, Tubhana, Qhumpase, Ntande, MThembu, Ncikoza, Mtshikilana, Malangana, Bhomoyi! MThembu obhuzu-bhuzu. UNontsedwane, ooMaqath’alukhuni, ongengomXhosa, onguMThembu, kodwa ethethisiXhosa.

Date of Birth – July 18, 1918: Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela is born in Transkei, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. A member of the Madiba clan. Nelson Mandela was born into the royal Thembu family. His tribal name, “Rholihlahla,” means “troublemaker.” He is later given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school. Mandela was baptized a Methodist. By the time of Rholihlahla’s birth in 1918:

  • Most of Black South Africans’ land had been legally stolen for 5 years through the Native Land Act of 1913.
  • The ANC was 6 years old, having been started in 1912 as a result of the Land Act that was about to be legalised, and many other injustices to African people. Born in the mind of Pixley ka Isaka Seme having realised that all Black Africans had a common enemy, the white European settlers and that all African had to come together, united against this enemy and put aside their tribal differences.
  • The Union of South Africa was 8 years old (A union of Afrikaaners & British settlers that had fought in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902), uniting for the control of the Economy of South Africa and oppression of the indigenous people, led by Louis Botha then General Jan Smuts.
  • It had been 24 years since Pondoland, one of the last native lands to fall under British control, in 1894.
  • It had been 34 years since the passing of King Ngangelizwe in 1884, the grand-father of Thembu Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who later became Rholihlahla’s guardian, after the passing away of Chief Mpakanyiswa
  • The Xhosa people had lost their independence for 40 years (having lost their independence in 1878/9 to British settlers, after the last “Frontier War”)
  • It had been 62 years since the unfortunate incident of Nongqawuse & Cattle Killings of 1856 which led to Black people having to seek employment from the white European settlers for the first time in their lives to survive. A pattern that still continues to this day.  Before then, most Black people were self-employed, they had vast amounts of land to plough and feed their families, and had vast food reserves, should there be a drought or any other natural disaster.
  • It had been 83 years since the beginning of a systematic conquest of AbaThembu (Tembus), AmaMpondo (Pondos), AmaBhaca, AmaMfengu (Fingoes) and Xhosa communities in what came to be known as the Transkei and Ciskei by British commander Harry Smith and the eventual killing of King Hintsa ka Khawuta.
  • The Zulu Kingdom was 102 years old, as it was started by Shaka kaSenzangakhona kaJama kaNdaba in 1816.
  • It had been 139 years since the beginning of “Fronteir Wars” or Wars of Resistance to white settlers invading the land of the Southern Nguni people…

1919: His father is dispossessed of his land and money on the orders of a white magistrate after his refusal to obey an 1927: Nelson Mandela was 9-years-old when his father died of a lung disease.  The acting chief of the Thembu clan, Jongintaba Dalindyebo becomes his guardian and ensures he receives an excellent education 1934: Mandela went through the ancient Xhosa Tradition of initiation at the age of 16, a tradition that marks the transition from being a boy to manhood. He was then given his  name, DalibhungaDalibhunga means founder of the council, or convener of the dialogue. Convening a space for dialogue for purposes of turning adversaries into allies is one of Dalibhunga’s greatest achievements.

earliest known photo of nelson mandela at healdtown 1937 to 1938 photo by Ardon Bar Hama e1405765218949 Nelson Mandela Timeline – Little Known Facts You May Not Know About Dalibhunga

Earliest known-photo of Nelson Mandela at Healdtown College 1937-1938 photo by Ardon Bar/Hama

1937: Moves to Healdtown attending the Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort. 1939: Nelson Mandela enrolls in University College of Fort Hare. Studied for a B.A. and met his lifelong friend Oliver Tambo. 1940: Nelson Mandela expelled from Fort Hare due to his involvement in a boycott of the Students’ Representative Council against the university policies. Moves to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage and experiences the system of apartheid which forbade the black population to vote, travel without permission or own land. Worked as a guard at a mine and then clerk at a law firm. 1942: Nelson Mandela earns a bachelor’s degree via correspondence through the University of South Africa 1943: Nelson Mandela begins studying for law degree at University of Witwatersrand whilst living in Alexandra. Joins the African National Congress (ANC) as an activist 1944: Forms the Youth League of the ANC with Ashley Peter Mda, Oliver TamboWalter Sisulu with Anton Lembede as the first President. Marries his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase. 1945: Nelson Mandela and Evelyn Mase celebrate the birth of their first childThembekile. The couple had three children but the marriage breaks up in 1957 as his political activism was intensifying. 1948: South African government (Afrikaner-dominated National Party) limits the freedom of black Africans even more when the apartheid policy of racial segregation is introduced across the country, after the National Party won the elections & DF Malan becoming President of the country.

1951: Nelson Mandela elected president of the African National Congress Youth League, which he’d co-founded in 1944.

1952: Nelson Mandela convicted of violating the Suppression of Communism Act and sentenced to nine months in prison; founded the first black law firm in South Africa’s history with fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo providing free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who would otherwise have been without legal representation.  Mandela was prominent in the ANC’s 1952 Defiance Campaign.

1955: Freedom Charter adopted at the Congress of the People, in Kliptown, Soweto calling for equal rights and a program of the anti-apartheid cause.

December 5, 1956: Accused of conspiring to overthrow the South African state by violent means with 155 other political activists and charged with high treason. The Treason Trial of 1956–61 follows and all were acquitted.

1957: His marriage of 13 years to his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase breaks up due to his increased political activism.

1958: Divorces Evelyn Ntoko Mase and marries Nomzamo “Winnie” Madikizela, a social worker, and the couple have two daughters. Their marriage ended in separation in April 1992 and divorce in March 1996.

1959: Parliament passes new laws extending racial segregation by creating separate homelands for  major black groups in South Africa. The ANC loses most of its financial and militant support when members break away to form the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) under Robert Sobukwe and Potlako Leballo.

1960: Sharpeville Massacre: Police kill 69 peaceful protestors and the ANC is banned. Mandela goes into hiding and forms an underground military group with armed resistance. Though Mandela rejected violence, he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe 1961: South Africa becomes a Republic on May 31 and Queen Elizabeth II is stripped of the title Queen of South Africa and Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd intensifies apartheid. Mandela issues a call to arms and becomes the ANC leader of the newly formed Umkhonto  we Sizwe a guerrilla movement at the All-In African Conference as its “Volunteer in Chief” in 1961. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to non-violent protest; MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961 as a form of retaliation to the Apartheid government. August 5, 1962: Arrested after living on the run as the “Black Pimpernel” for seventeen months and was imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort, where the Constitutional Court of South Africa now sits.

October 25:  Nelson Mandela was sentenced to five years in prison but again goes on the run.

October 1963: Charged with sabotaging the government.

June 12, 1964: Captured and convicted of sabotage and treason, Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison at the age of 46, initially on Robben island where he would be kept for 18 years. Mandela was also held at Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison during his 27 year sentence. Mandela’s eyesight was permanently damaged from sun glare while being forced to work in prison without sunglasses.

1965: Rhodesia gains its independence from the British and only whites are represented in the new government

1968: His mother dies and his eldest son, Thembi, is killed in a car crash but he is not allowed to attend either of the funerals.

1974: Rhodesia is expelled from the United Nations due to its policy of apartheid

1976: Over 600 students are killed in protests in Soweto and Sharpeville. Steve Biko, who had stepped-in to fill the leadership vacuum left by the banning of the ANC, PAC & other parties, and the arrest of other leaders, including Mandela, played a big role during this time, inspiring the youth to stand up against oppression.

1977: Steve Biko, leader of the protest movement, is killed while in police custody

1980: The exiled Oliver Tambo launches an international campaign for the release of his friend. Zimbabwe gains its  independence & Robert Mugabe its President. President Ronald Reagan considered Mandela a communist terrorist and worked against the African National Congress.

1983: The government allows farmers to re-arm and protect themselves from black dissidents

1984: Government sources declared that since 1983, black dissidents have murdered 120, mutilated 25, raped 47 and committed 284 robberies

1985: Nelson Mandela turns down offer from South African President PW Botha to leave prison on condition that he ‘”unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon”. Mandela spurned the offer, releasing a statement through his daughter Zindzi stating “What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people [ANC] remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.” When Stevie Wonder dedicated to Mandela his 1985 Oscar Award for the song “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” Wonder’s music was banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

1986:  Sanctions against South Africa tightened costing millions in revenue Dec. 7, 1988: Nelson Mandela moved from Pollsmoor Prison to Victor Verster Prison, where he’s held in a cottage for 14 months

1988: Amnesty is announced for all dissidents – 122 surrender.

Feb. 2, 1990: South African government lifts ban on ANC

Feb. 11, 1990: President De Klerk lifts the ban on the African National Congress (ANC). Nelson Mandela released after 27 years in prison. The ANC and the white National Party begin talks on forming a multi-racial democracy for South Africa. In the days following his release from prison in 1990, Mandela stayed at the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

1991: Nelson Mandela becomes President of the African National Congress (ANC). The International Olympics Committee lift a 21 year ban on South African athletes competing in the Olympic Games. Mandela appeared in the 1992 film “Malcolm X.” Tours USA. April 1992: Separates from Winnie Mandela after she is convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault

Dec. 10, 1993: Nelson Mandela and Mr. de Klerk are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

April 26, 1994: Free Elections where black South Africans are allowed to vote for the first time. Nelson Mandela runs for President. The ANC won 252 of the 400 seats in the national assembly

May 9, 1994: Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa’s first democratically elected black president. He appoints de Klerk as deputy president and forms a racially mixed Government of National Unity.

Watch Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Address Below:

1995: South Africa hosts the 1995 Rugby World Cup and South Africa wins. Nelson Mandela wears a Springbok shirt when he presents the trophy to Afrikaner captain Francois Pienaar. This gesture was seen as a major step in the reconciliation of white and black South Africans

July 6, 1995: Nelson Mandela receives Honorary Doctorate from Seoul National University

March 1996: Nelson Mandela divorces Winnie Mandela

July 18, 1998: On his 80th birthday, Nelson Mandela marries Graca Machel, his third wife and the widow of the former president of Mozambique, and ally on South Africa’s freedom struggle, Samora Michel, who had died 12 years earlier.

1999: Nelson Mandela steps down as South Africa’s president after one term in office in favor of Thabo Mbeki, who was nominated ANC president in 1997. Tours the world as a global statesman

2000: Appointed as mediator in the civil war in Burundi

2001: Nelson Mandela is diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer with radiation. Prior to his death, he was the only living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen.

2003: Attacked the foreign policy of U.S. President George W. Bush. Later that same year, he lent his support to the 46664 AIDS fundraising campaign. The initiative was named after his prison number

June 1, 2004: Nelson Mandela officially announces that he would be retiring from public life at the age of 85.

July: Flew to Bangkok to speak at the XV International AIDS Conference.

July 23: Johannesburg bestowed its highest honor by granting Nelson Mandela the freedom of the city

January 6, 2005: His son, Makgatho Mandela died of AIDS

July 11, 2010: Nelson Mandela appears at the World Cup in Soweto

July 18, 2012: Nelson Mandela marks his 94th birthday in Qunu, Eastern Cape

June 8, 2013: Nelson Mandela hospitalized with a lung infection, said to be in “very serious” condition.

December 5, 2013: South African President Jacob Zuma announces that former President of South Africa and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela had left the world a dimmer place with his passing.

Watch A Short Bio On Nelson Mandela’s Life Below:

Currently: Most black South Africans think that they are really true “FREE”, since most of the segregative & restrictive laws of the Apartheid regime are no more. They think that the STRUGGLE is over… This thought usually comes as a result of not having a proper background to the STRUGGLE and the role that Nelson Mandela played in it. Well, the struggle is far from over. To this day, more than 80% of South Africa’s land is still in white European settlers’ hands & control, not all of them though, but a few males who own a vast majority of South Africa’s rich land. The economy of the country is still in the hands of white monopoly capital, while the majority of black South Africans are still poor, and those are employed don’t realise that they are just a pay-check or two away from poverty. Principles that Africans people valued and used, such a Food reserves, are today nothing but just something in history. During the days of real independence of African people, actually, until recently, there would be enough maize & sorghum stored in reservoirs to last at-least a year. Whereas today the whole nation is at the mercy of big retailers, who control the food industry.

The struggle begun in 1652, when the first European settlers came into South Africa. This STRUGGLE has been fought by some of the bravest sons & daughters Africa has ever seen. King Hintsa of the Xhosa died in battle in 1835 fighting in this STRUGGLE. King Sekhukhune of the Pedi people fought bravely against colonisation & daily light robbery of the African land. King Cetshwayo of the Zulu Kingdom fought like a lion that he truely was, ISILO! and gave the British a scarce they’ll never forget when his warrior defeated the British soldiers in the battle of Isandlwana in 1879. Unfortunately the victory was short lived, as the British came back with more force and crushed the mighty Zulu Empire at the Battle of Ulundi the very same year. This event is so important because it officially signalled the beginning of the darkest period in the history of African people in the south of the continent. The Honourable Chief Nelson Mandela took the STRUGGLE baton from these warriors and did his very best with his comrades. They indeed did finally achieve victory in the battle of Apartheid, but the war is not yet won. The land is still in the hands of the minority of the land, and the majority, which is Black people are still living is squalor. It was because of this very reason that Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo all agreed to pass on the baton, and that “It in your hands”.

Iziduko zakwaNtu (Ngokwezizwe zamaNguni asemazantsi)

Xhosa men in tradional clothing talking in a village mountains behind Iziduko zakwaNtu (Ngokwezizwe zamaNguni asemazantsi)Eligama elithi “AmaXhosa” kwezintsuku siphila kuzo lidla ngokusetyenziswa ukuquka unintsi lwezizwe eziseMpuma Koloni. Eneneni iMpuma Koloni inezizwe ngezizwe ezinobuKumkani bazo. Umzekelo: AmaXhosa iKumkani yawo ngu Kumkani u Sigcau, Ahh! Zwelonke! isizukulwana sikaTshawe Komkhulu eNqadu kuGatyana (Willowvale). AbaThembu iKumkani yabo ngu Kumkani u Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, Ahh! Zwelibanzi! eBumbane Komkhulu eMthatha. Kube kho amaMpondo aseMpuma nawaseNtshona, nawo aneKumkani zawo. Kubekho AmaBhaca akummandla waseMount Frere, nawo aneKumkani nawo uKumkani uMadzikane wesibini Diko, Ahh! Thandisizwe! eLundzini Royal Kraal, eNcunteni.

Kanti AmaMpondo wona aneeKumkani ezimbini, eyamaMpondo aseNtshona eseNyandeni (Port St. Johns) nawaseMpuma eQawukeni (Lusikisiki) neyinzala kaKumkani uFaku ka Ngqungqushe ka Nyawuza ka Thahla ka Ndayeni ka Chithwayo ka Bhala ka Gangatha ka Ciya ka Cabe ka Ncidise ka Msiza ka Tobe ka Ziqelekazi ka Hlambangobubende ka Santsabe ka Mthwa ka Sithula ka Mpondo ka Njanya ka Sibiside.

Iziduko zakwaNtu ngokwezizwe zamaNguni asemazantsi elizwekazi lase Afrika. (Southern Nguni)

 AmaXhosa (Omthonyama)

  • AmaTshawe – Mdange, Tshiwo, Nkosi Yamntu, Ngcwangu
  • AmaKhwemte – Dabane, Gqabaza, Sgadi, Mekhi, Ntswentswe, Fulashe, Nojaholo, Ncibane, Qhanqolo, Ntlokwenyathi, Ngququ, venge.
  • AmaNkabane –  Majeke, Mayeye
  • AmaJwarha - Mtimka, Mazaleni, Jotela, Khatiti, Mnangwe, Mayarha, Mbelu, Ndabase, Bantw’abahle noba bapheth’ izikhali,
  • AmaKwayi -  Ngconde, Togu, Ubulawi, Ngcond’oneentshaba
  • AmaCirha - ooNcibane, Khawuta, Nojaholo, Mhlantla, Nyembezana, Mhlathendlovu, uDlakalashe, Ntswentswe, Qhanqolo, Ntlokwenyani, Sihlobo SikaPhalo, Hloml’iphuthi lidala linempondo, MGcaleka
  • KrilaMbamba, Thangana, Bodlinja, Mbamba, Krila, Rhaso, Mbombo, Gcaleka, Nkomo zibomvu namathol’azo, Nqele, Bhurhu, Mayisithe, Nomazele,  Gobingca, bhukuxa umthondo uwujongise emntwini
  • Qocwa – Zikhali Mazembe, Jojo, Tiyeka, Butsolo Beentonga, Mbizana, Mabombo
  • Mtakwenda - Leta, Libele, Tyebelendle, Ngcwadi, Kwangeshe, Mentuko, Mboyi, Solizembe
  • Thangana - Krila,Mtengwana, Rhaso, M’bamba, Bodlinja, Gobingca


  • MadibaDlomo, Madiba, Yem-Yem, Vela bambhentsele, Sophitsho, Ngqolomsila, Tubhana, Qhumpase, Ntande, MThembu, Ncikoza, Mtshikilana, Malangana, Bhomoyi.
  • AmaNtande – Dlomo, Sopitsho, Ngqolomsila, Zondwa ziintshaba
  • Qithi - Ndinga, Nkomo ayizali izala ngokuzaliswa, uRhadu, uNomsobodwana, uSopitsho uNgqolomsila uYemyem uVela bembhentsele, Zondwa, MThembu)
  • Ndungwana – u Bhejula uDiya uMaqath’ alukhuni, uVelabembhentsele uHala.
  • amaNgxongo, oontsundu, bhomoyi zondwa zintshaba, osophitsho.
  • AmaGcinaXhamela, Helushe, Ncancashe, Magwebulikhula, Malambedlile, Nokwindla, Thyopho ka Phato owathyaphakela eXonxa , Gabul’ ikhula, Malamb’ayendle aty’ igusha athi ziz’ duli zethafa, Nxego, Butsolo beentonga, Dlelanga, Ntlonipho (Bahamba bepheth’isali – ihashe bakulifuman’emlungwini, izinto zabantu abazibi koko bayazigcini, bathi iigusha ziziduli zentaba)
  • Qhudeni – UMthembu, uThukela, uQhudeni, uMkhubukeni, uGoza, uMpafane, uMthembu obhuzuzu, odla amathibane az ‘indlala iwile.
  • Maya – oMaya, oYem Yem oSophitsho, oMagwa, oNgqolomsila, oBhomoyi
  • Mpangela -Mvinjwa, Rhoshana, Ndlazi, Dlomo, Sibetho, Magwala, Gwadzi elisilika bubuhle.
  • Mpemvu - uJali ,uJuda, uNtlotshane, Bumela, uNgciva
  • Ndala - Ndala ka Momamana, uMncotshe, Msunu Sdumbu, Thole, Ngxunga Smukumuku, Ndithinina )


  • Gebe (Mgebe/ Hegebe) –
  • Tshezi – uTshezi, uTenza, uFakade, uSaliwa, uJalamba, uSkhabela, uCetshane, Mqal’ ongangenduku, Njilo-njilo kuya ngaselwandle, uNdela, uNeneza, iNkonjane emnyama ebhab’ emafini, iinzwana zakwaBomvana, iinto ezinomkhitha kodwa zimithond’wemide, iNyoka emnyama ecanda isiziba, uMkhonto, uMalala nentombi ivuke ithi bhuti ndizeke noba kungeshumi leesheleni, inkosi ezingazange zibutheng’ubokhosi. Zinto ezityafileyo ingathi zidla umcuku.
  • Gqwarhu - omhlophe, Khawu, Ntenge, Mtabasa ka Dingana, Jalamba


  • AmaGiqwa –  Mvamba, Jingqi, Jikijwa
  • OoSithathu – Chisana, Ndebe, Hase
  • AmaNqarhwane –  Ziduli, Hintsabe
  • AmaSukwini –  Dibashe, Lawu
  • Tshonyane, Chungwa, Dikiza, Sawu, Tota, Simke, Khwane, Hani, Zulu, Mthuzimele,  Gqunukhwebe, Nkomo z’bomvu .
  • Cethe – Chizama, Mlanjana, Bhurhuma, Ncenceza, Mbambo zinomongo, yint’ety’inyama ekrwada, uHani, malahl’aluthuthu ayatshisa wawanyathela ungafa
  • Gqunu
  • amaGqwashu
  • Sithathu


  • AmaNgqosini -  Gaba, Mjobi, Thithiba, Cihoshe, Nozinga, Mnt’womlambo, Thikoloshe, Ndoko, Mbokodw’emnyama Kahili, Msuthu)
  • AmaMfene – Hlathi, Lisa, Jambase, Sanzanza, Canzi, Buswayo, Zangomva eliweni, Msuthu.
  • AmaMvundle –  Ncilashe, Msuthu, Bhayi, Khetshe, Mkhumbeni
  • Mvulane – Umsuthu, Mvulane, Ncilashe, Nyok”emnyam’ecandiziziba, Nja ziyaf’lathena ngathi azifunani kanti zenzimikhuba, Vumba lempongo liyanuka, Ozalwa nguThamsanqa, ozalwa nguSmamane, kaMvimbi, kaMaxambele, Phezu koMbhashe, kwintili zeBityi. Lufafa olude!!! Umdak’omnyama ongeva sepha.. Zithini ezakho izibongo? Enye indlu yaseMamvulaneni,
  • Mkhumbeni – Bhayi, Khetshe, Vundle, Ncilashe, Inyok’emnyama ecandiziziba, uGwaca, uMevamhlophe, uCamsholo, uNomtshoni, umthokrakra ongatyiwa nazibhokhwe, uZawukana, uMsuthu..
  • Maduna – Nokhala, Msuthu, Gubevu, Jiyane, Mpungushe, Mandl’amakhulu, Sivunguvung’ esawis’ indoda emahlangeni, imamba kandidini ngoba ngimesabile, uNokhala owawela ngempalazo eyaphalazwa ngamadoda, Maduna omuhle ngekhala lakhe, isilo esinamadevu emlonyeni, Ngaculende emabalabala njenge ngwe, iinkomo ezingqukuva azibuyi emzini xa bekulotyolwe ngazo, Ngub’engcuka, Tiba,  Mvelase, Salathiso, Novikothek’ukuthetha, Mlamb’unqolintaba, UMaduna owaqengqeleka kwiintaba zoLundi wawela umlambo Ithukela ebhinqe izikhakha. Madun’edakeniiii!!!! Malobola ngez’ngadane osaba ezine’mpondo zahlaba abakhwekazi. Laduma izulu uMagqakaza ubengasekho ekhaya!!!
  • Gambu - Memela, Msuthu Nontuli, Ngwekazi
  • Ndzaba - Msuthu, Bhili, Mancoba, Gase, Mwelase, into ezehla ezintabeni/ezinkahlambeni zishubele ngenqatha lehashe…


  • OoNyawuza –  Nyawuza – Faku ofakayo, ungathi uyifakile kanti uyikade eboyeni, Yindlana, Dakhile, Thahla,  Ndayeni, Mpondo, Hlamba ngobubend’amanz’ekhona
  • AmaNtlane –  Mfusana, Ndendela, Gxididi
  • AmaZangwa – Khwalo, Mlanjana, Ncuthu, Sohobese, ooNkuma
  • Khwalo – Mzangwa, Ncuthu, Mlanjana, Mpondozephela, Ungqoqwana, Sohebese
  • Khwetshube
  • Tshomane
  • Khiwa - Qwebeda, Khonjwayo,Ngcekula, Ndzondela, Hlaka, Ngetu, Phoswa, Silwanyana, Makalanyana, Sikhehlana
  • Khonjwayo – uChithwayo uzala uKhonjwayo, uKhonjwayo azale uKhiwa, uKhiwa uzele uNgcekula(Inkosi eyayiphethe ngexesha lakudala ihlonitshiwe)uNgcekula uzele uNdzondela kwindlu yake enkulu(Great House) ,noNtsikinyani ekunene(Right House).UNdzondela wazala uHlaka, uHlaka wazala uNgetu, uNgetu wazala uPhoswa, uPhoswa wazala uSilwanyana, uSilwanyana wazala uMakalanyana, uMakalanyana wazala uSikhehlana, uSikhehlana yena uzala uTatana. Ngoku singena kwinzala yendlu yasekunene kaNgcekula, uNtsikinyana uzele uMakhanda, uMakhanda wazala uNogemane kwiGreat House, kwiRight house wazala uThungana. Masiqale kwindlu enkulu, uNogemane uzele uGwadiso(Dumile), uGwadiso wazala uGodloza, uGodloza yena wazala uNtenteni, uNtenteni wazala uGobizithwana(uZwelidumile) waza ke yena uGobizithwana wazala uDumisani inkosi enkulu ephethe isizwe samaKhonjwayo ngoku. Kanti ke uThungana yena wobunene buka Makhanda uzele uSithelo, uSithelo wazala uPhonyela, uPhonyela wazala uMakhizinyani, uMakhizinyani yena wazala uHlathikhulu, uHlathikhulu yena uzala uThulani.


  • Jola – Mphankomo, Jolinkomo, Phahlo, Qengeba, Mthwakazi, Sabe, Ndleb’endlovu, Mzi welanga. Somarhwarhwa, Ngwanya, Somadolo, Zwelibanzi, Marholisa, Nomakhala, Njuza, Sthukuthezi, sithandwa mhla kukubi, hoshode, hakaha, mfaz’ obele ‘nye omabele made, oncancisa naphesheya komlambo. Yeyesa, Chirwa, Lembethe, Mgema, Mfaz’obelelide, Gcuma, Ndzabela, Thole lenkwakha, Isibhekubhu esibhebhesha sakulo Yokazi. EsiMpondo zisibhebhelele Ngubholokodl’uphila kuzenzela Mayaba, Ngubo ayinxitywa, Mbarha, Bhukhana, Hobo, Zwelibanzi, Zanemvula, Vambane, Ithole lomthwakazi, Mqeke, thayithayi kade bemthibela, mpumlo engqongqosholo njengengulube, ubholokodlela kuphila kuzenzela
  • Debeza – OoJebe, Nonyanya, Nongoqo, Mbeka, Ntshiyini Bathi uqumbile, Khonkcoshe Mbokodo engava mkwetsho, Xwebisa, Nomanjiya, Mgod’ongeva mkhwitsho, Shleka nanja, Longw’elingacholwa nangabafazi. (ubuKumkani bamaMpondomise bulapha, kummandla wase Tsolo, Qumbu & Mthatha)
  • AmaQadi – Dosini, Ngwenya, Ngcwina
  • AmaMpinga -  Senzwa, Mawawa, Wawuzile, Bholokoqoshe, Ntoyomntwana ingaphuma uboya ilingene abadala, ingaxhonywa exhantini seyiyeyezinja (ooMpinga ngamaMpondomise uMpinga uzalwa nguNtose)
  • AmaMpehle – Vengwa, Dikana, Cabashe, Nohushe
  • Skhomo – Umntu womlambo,Tshangisa, Mhlatyana, Rhudulu, uNxub’ongafiyo ofa ngokuvuthelwa, Mngwevu, Jola, Manz’amnyama, Qengebe, Mhaga, Oshode, uNjanye, uNcuku, Zitha, Ngcengane, Bodlinyama, Nonkasa, Ufak’inyama emlanjeni iphum’ivuthiwe, uWashota, intonga yokugqugqisa amankazana phezu komlanjana. Njuza, Nabela Mntwini, Gaduka, Mduma, Zulu khaya labangcwele, Mngwevu, Mpondomise, Ath’amanyamadoda ebal’inkomo abe yena ebal’inkwenkwezi. Isilo somlambo apho zihlelikhona ingwevu zethu ziphulula uswazi lokuqeqesha oomakoti zibafundisa ukuhlonipha ikhaya. Omathandwa mhla kukubi, Hlakanakwena!
  • Gxarha -Cwerha, Vambane, Mahlahla, Mlawu, Potwana
  • AmaNgxabane
  • OoNgcitshana
  • OoNxotha
  • AmaQadi – Dosini, Mqadi, Ngqwili, Nondlobe,Ngcwina, Ngwenya
  • OoGcanga
  • OoDosini
  • Nxuba - Mduma, Rhudulu, Mngcengane
  • AmaNgwevu
  • OoQhinebe – Gqugqugqu, Zithonga-zithathu, Haha, Njemnyama, Nondela, Phazima, Mpondomise, Mlunjwa, Phalela, Mkhomanzi, Duka namahlathi, Umth’ omde owavelela eHoyita!
  • OoMhaga – (noSabe, Amawel’ukuzana, uQwetha noGqubushe)
  • OoMabhengu
  • OoMnjuza
  • OoBhukwana – ooMbara, Mtshobo, Phaphulengonyama, Into ezingaphathwa mntu ngoba zizinkosi ngokwazo
  • OoZongozi - ooSenzela ooPhondo liyagexeza (bazalwa nguNtose kaCirha ikumkani yamaMpondomise, hayi lo wamaXhosa)
  • OoNdobe
  • OoFola
  • OoNxasana – NguSikonza, uNxasana, uTotoba, uDunjane, uMalilelwaziintombi zithi ndizeke, adinamama andinatata, uBhili, uMagazo, uLunguza, gastyeketye umbona obomvu othandwa ngabantwana
  • OoNqana
  • OoDedeza
  • OoKrancolo
  • Magoba – ooNziphazi,
  • Mpehle
  • Skhoji – (Inzala ka William Saunders wase Scotland)

AmaMfengu (aquka amanye kumaHlubi, amaBhele, amaZizi, amaNgwane, etc.)

  • Maduna - Gubevu, Nokhala
  • Nkomo - Mntungwa, Khumalo
  • Nkwali (Mfengu/Hlubi) – Bhukula, Mkhwanazi, Nkwali ye Nkosi
  • Tolo – AmaTolo akwaNongwandla,Tolo, Nongwandla, Mchenge, MaBhanekazi, Ngwenyankomo, Dlangamandla, Zulu, Masali, Mfingo, Amajubantlantsi, Vumba lempongo liyanuka, Nozinja Ziyakhonkotha kuba zithi: Hawu! Hawu! Hawu! Xa zibon’ umnt’ ozayo, Nozinja ziyaqhingana kanti zenz’ umntwana, Umlamb’ awuwelwa uwelwa ziinkonjane kuphela zona zimaphiko made, Nkomo zikaGaxaza, Oonkuni azothiwa kuba zithezwe yinkosazana, Bona babasa amadaka eenkomo zabo, Izinto ezifuye inkomo zafuya negusha nehashe.
  • Dlamini (Zizi) – Zizi, Jama kaSjadu, Mabetshe, Bhanise, Ngxib’inoboya, Fakade, khatsini, mtikitiki, nomana ndab’azithethwa intsuku ngentsuku,bhengu, nonyathi
  • Shweme – Gqagqane, Limakhwe, Zilamkhonto, Mfene, Hlathi, Jambase, Ngangamsholo Ngcebetsha, Malilelwa zintombi
  • Ndlangisa – Thole, Gqagqane, Mcaca, Buzini, Welane, Ndlangisa, Nkonjane, Mfingo, Thombeni, Mzimshe, Lwandl aluwelwa, luwelwa ziNkonjane zona ma phiko made, uMpundeshe, uKhweleta, uDuma
  • Jama - Sijadu, Fakade, Njokweni, Ngxilinoboya, Dlamini, Zizi
  • Miya - Gcwanini, Sibewu, Sijekula, Salakulandelwa
  • Khumalo – Mntungwa, Okhatshwe ngezind’izinyawo, Nangezimfushanyana, UMkhatshwa wawoZimangele, Mbulaz’omnyama, Abathi bedl’umuntu, Bebe bemyenga ngendaba. Abadl’izimf’ezimbili, Ikhambi laphuma lilinye. Lobengula kaMzilikazi, UMzilikazi kaMashobana, Shobana noGasa kaZikode, Zikode kaMkhatshwa. Mabaso owabas’entabeni, Kwadliwa ilanga lishona Bantungw’abancwaba! Zindlovu ezibantu, Zindlovu ezimacocombela. Nina bakwaMawela, Owawel’iZambezi ngezikhali. Nina bakaNkomo zavul’inqaba. Zavul’inqaba ngezimpondo, KwelaseNgome. UNkone evele ngobus’ emdibini, Nina enal’ukudl’umlenze KwaBulawayo! Mantungwa aluhlaza! Mantungw’amahle! Bantwana benkosi, Nina bakwaNtokela! Inkubele abayihlabe ngamanxeba, Abamkhule ngezinyawo ezimfushanyana, Nezimaqhukulwana. Inyang’ abathe beth’ ifil’uZulu, Kanti isiyetheswe, Yetheswe ngoNyakana ka Mpeyana. UBando abalubande balushiy’ uZulu. UNyama yentini yawo Zimangele. UNkomo zavul’inqaba ngezimpondo, Ngoba zavul’iNgome zahamba. UNtshwintshwintshwi kaNoyanda noNdaba. Ndabezitha!
  • Nozulu, Thukela, Mchumane, Mbanguba, Kheswa, Mpangazitha, Macocobela yena onempundu ezincinci ezifuna uncanyiswa, Qhudeni, Mvelase, Mathibane, Ngoza, Sonyangashe, Makhonz’ egoduka, Mfazi uncancisa usana ngebele elinye, Thukela umlambo ongawelwayo uwelwa ziinkonjane zodwa, zona zidlisela ngamaphiko
  • Ndlela – uNdlela, uMatyeni, uNongobe, isilila gazi njengoba abanye belila iinyembezi, bakhama indoba yanyela emphandeni, amaNala amnandi njengebele likabelenyane, bhekuza enkundleni kwadadeboyise umNtambose
  • AmaBhele – (asuka kwintaba yeLenge, baqhekeke kathathu kuMaliwa, Donga nakuSiphahla-phahla,uDonga noSiphahla-phahla bangenela kumaZulu babangabakwaNtuli,uMaliwa weza kwaGcaleka,uMabandla wehlela kwaGcaleka,uMabandla waya kwaRharhabe,Bhunta uGatsheni/Gatyeni uzalwa nguNdlovu kaMasoka(Masombuka))
  • Gatyeni - Mamali,ndondela,nkomo zibomvu,nywabe, indoda uyivumi nepokoto, ocubungu)
  • Mbanjwa
  • Ndlovu - Mntungwa Gengesi Malunga Mancoba (zidlekhaya ngokuswela umalusi)
  • Skhosana - Skhosana, Novaphi, Mntungwa, Ntuthwana, msikamhlanga, uNtuthu uyeaqhuma zonke izizwe zabikelana zathi ngabakwaSkhosana. Dunga
  • Zulu - Ntombhela, Mahlahlula emaduneni, Tshaka


Hlubi, Bhungane, Bhungane kaNsele, Zikode!Bhungane wenza ngakuningi, Makhulukhulu, Umkhulu Nkulunkulu kodwa awunganga Bhungane, UNkulunkulu uziqu zintathu, kodwa uBhungane uziqu zingamakhulukhulu, Mthimkhulu, Mashiya amahle, amade anjenge nyamazane, Mafuz’ afulele njengelifu lemvula, mashubel’esavela. S’goloza esimehlo abomvu esibheka umuntu kubengathi siyamujamela, Ndlubu ezamila ebubini bamadoda, Ndlubu ezamila emthondweni (kwasothondose)
Nina enindlebe zikhanya iLanga, Nina enindlebe zinhle zombili, Nina bosiba olude olungakhothami ndlwaneni kodwa kwezinde luyakhothama, Nina omagawula imithi emincane emikhulu ivele iziwele
Mahlubi amahle,  MaNgelengele amahle, Nina maHlubi anzipho zimnyama ngokuqhwayana
Mashwabade owashwabadela inkomo kanye nezimpondo zayo

  • Rhadebe (Bhungane, Mthimkhulu, Ndlebentle’zombini, Makhulukhulu, Mafuz’ afulele njengelifu lemvula, Mashwabada owashwabadel’ inkomo nempondo zayo, Mbucwa, Zikode
  • Dontsa - oNoDlidlu, oNoDlabathi, oSwahla, oMntungwa uNdukuMkhonto, uShembe, bath’ uDontsa akananyongo kant’ abay’bon’ uba igqunywe ngesbhadlalala so mhlehlo
  • Nkwali (Mfengu/Hlubi) – Bhukula, Mkhwanazi, Nkwali ye Nkosi, Enyon’ engadliwa ngabafokazana idliwa ngamakhosi. Buz’ elikhul’ elagedl’ umhlanga, Kwavel’ amaBuz’ abuzwana. NgabakwaNongubo-ntloko. Abanye bazitetil’ abanye bazithwele. Inkwali yintak’ engcondo zibomvu Edla ikhethe lomfula (Nkwali uzala u Maphela no Mlabatheki , uMlabatheki azale u Bhukula)
  • Kheswa – noZulu, Mpafane, Mchumane, Mpangazitha, Macocobela, Mbanguba, Thukela


  • Zulu – OoZulu, Khalimeshe, Nofisa ongafi, ofa ngamaloyo. Mageba Ndabezitha ,  ooNombuso ooVebi ooWabane. Mafula ngesibumbu ngexa yokuswela ingobozi, Notibunwana etincane ngokwuswela tona, onato ufute kulo nyoko, Thole leSilo ngoba yiSilo ngokwaso…
  • Wushe – ooMjoli, Phathwa, Wushe, Qubulashe, Mthsi owathsi ukuwa wabhekisa amasebe eThukela, Nonkasa, Mbedu, omaphungel’ esosini amakomitshi ekhona, masindza ngonwalu itizwana tisindza ngobulongwe, Godongwana kaMjoli ka Bekwa kaWushe ka Lufulwenja kaMageba.
  • Mjoli – Qubulashe, Indlu kaSondzaba, Hlathi, Nonina, Mswanzeli, Nokholwa wokwakhe, Wabane, Maqholo, Mthi owathi ukuwa wabekisa amasebe eThukela, Nyawo, Danisa, Ntundzela, uMalandelwa zintombi zithi ndizeke, Babalo, mzimvubu, Izotshw’elihle, Uphika-nelanga, uNoma-ndzondzo, uMshwawu, uDlilanga, oBuso bumnyama ngathi sisonka sojiwe
  • AmaChiya – ooGalweni, ooChiya wohlanga, Sodladla, Magangadz’ udonga kuvuleke indlela ,cwangu cwangu.
  • AmaMpovane - Siwela, Vitsheka, Matalankosi,  Songiwe, Nomlakalakane, Gubudza Nyamana
  • AmaNqolo – amaNqolo,  oaGaba kathsayithsi omahlambahlaletsheni ngenxa yokuswel’itawuli, abantu abangayekhathsi imbola ngoba bahleli bebahle, bakhi bexonya bangaleluki
  • AmaNcwabe
  • AmaJili  – ooMaseng’ inkomo noba ilele ngenxayokuthsandza intusi
  • Mweli (Jili, Msingawuthi, Ngqambela, Sibakhulu, Ntlangwini’s enebathat yaseMakhuzeni)
  • AmaNdlangisa – Thole, Gqagqane, Buzini, Ndlangisa, Mzimshe, Lwandle
  • AmaTshezi – Jalamba, Mqalungangenduku,
  • AmaTolo – ooTolo, ooDlangamandla, Mchenge Mabhanekazi
  • AmaJuta - OoJuta, Mencwa, Sjekula
  • AmaGusha
  • AmaNjilo – Manci, Mkhonde, iS’khonde esikrakrayo, iNdlovu esikwa ihambha, Vela bethetha, Njilo, Balisa, Debule, Msokweni, Silwa nenkunzi mbini, Kubhej’umsobomvu, Wabane, Tyani, Bhekiso, Ndlov’edli goduka, Mbali, Mdludla odludl’amthambek’ebhek’othukela, Qolo, Zotsho, Mabandla kamaqolo, Maqolo engqelezintabeni, Tshitshis’intaba, Mdludla ka Bekiso, Zinde Zinde, Zinemiqala engenamqala sisilima
  • AmaKhambule – Khambule Mncube Mayela omalandelwa yintombi ithsi bhuti nditeke
  • AmaMbotho – Juqu, Juleka, , Mlibati, Matala Nkosi, Sigwamba sentswangu, NgqizaZibutha kandaka-ndaka, Mbotho
  • AmaDladla
  • AmaBhele – Dlambulo, Khuboni, Qunta, Mafu, Langa, Mnomana, Mbutho, Ncwana, noNtanda kuphakanyiswa, Ulanga lokulunga, Umbutho, noMbikazi ngob’umnt’ogxathu akalahlwa,  umafuza afulele njengelifu, Ndabezitha, uNtshangase, Madiba-ndlela. Iinto ezidiba de zidibe nendlela, Unontanda Usengel’abantwana xa likhithika, unosepha ayigijimi iyakhokhoba ukubhek’ eluqala, undamane, amyengane, amayekethe, Undlwana zinamaphela phez’ukwentab kalenge, othebul’ukunatha nje ngabendl’enkulu Umakhunga, unkilane, umabandla, uvaphi, Iintw’ezimpundu zinga zingongiwa, Amatya egoduka khon’ukuze angathinjwa lithambo lasemzin, nditsh’abaty’isikhwebu sakwamkhwekazi, kwaNoqambulo, Iintw’ezingawutyiyo umbilini wempahla, ezity’owenyamakazi yon’ihlal’emahlathini; Iinyath’ezasind’abazingeli sebezosele, Ingab’asilobhele elo, ngoba ibhele laphekwa nelitye lenyengane, lavuthwa ilitye, lasala ibhele lihleli, amaBhele izinto eziqhwanyaza ngemali. Zibunywana zibutshelezana zinga zingazingangiwa ngabakhwekazi, Bhedlana lase Lenge, amaBhele asicoco sinuka intsindwana amakrokrozela njengelifu lemvula, Mphemba abantu Bephemba ngamabele kanti abafokazana baphemba ngamaphepha, Silo sase Lenge ngwane yezixhobo zothukela, umthan’ ontyingantyingana omi phezu kwentaba, Inyathi eyasinda abazingeli sebeyosele izinto ezingawudliyo umbilini wenkomo,zidla owenyamakazi
  • AmaGamedze – Gamedze, Mntimande, Bhambolunye tingaba mbini tifute ekhaya kulonyoko
  • AmaHlubi – (hayi isizwe samaHlubi kaLangalibalile, kodwa itibonga nabantu ababesuka kwisizwe samaHlubi)umzekelo ooRhadebe – Mafuz’ afulele njengefu lemvula! Mashwabada,  owashwabadel’ inkomo kanye nempondotayo!
  • AmaDlamini – (hayi isizwe samaDlamini, kodwa abanye abantu bakwaDlamini ngesiduko)
  • AbakwaMasoka
  • AmaXesibe – (hayi abantu besizwe samaXesibe kaXesibe wakuloMpondo noMpondomise, kodwa kukhona abantu abangena phasi kukaMadzikane bamaXesibe) oo Ncosa ooBhuku Sinqashe Nkamangane Mfazi webelelide elancelisa ingane phesheya komfula uMganu Sabela wabizwa emazibukweni Xesibe
  • AmaBhovu – ooDumela oMvaw’bhekwa ubhekwa abawatiyo ooGxumisa
  • AmaNguse – ooFola Fakade Mabembe khabekhulu Fol’odlilaxa Nguse Ngubezizwe unyawunyawu
  • AmaGebashe -
  • AmaDzana – OoDzana oKhatsini omncwabe omfupi
  • Sinama – Rhadu, Mjoli, Somadoda, Fikeni, Nhlumayo, Gcuma, Malandelwa yintombi ithi ndizeke noba kungesipha samazimba, Iintombi ezinamadhusu amhlophe ngathi zihlamba ngobisi, Wulawula mathole endlovu


  • Xesibe – Nxanda kaXesibe, Mnune Mkhuma, Nondzaba, Mbathane, Nondize, Bhelesi, Matshaya ngenqaw’ende abanye betshaya ngezimfutshane, Nxele, Bhimbi, Khandanyawana, Mayitshin’eyibheka njengomntwana, Mantsaka, Mganu. Nondzaba, Mbathane, Tshomela ka Matsho
  • Qwathi - Dikela, Noni, Noqaz’ indlela. Iinkomo zikaXesibe, zikaJojo, zikaMtshutshumbe, ogqaz’indlel’ebhek’ebuNguni.  KumaQwathi kukho amaDikela, amaTshaba, ooSdindi, ooBhlangwe, ooBhose, amaNzolo, imiNcayi, amaNtondo, amaKhombayo, ooMkhondweni, amaVumbe, ooKhebesi, amaBangula, amaDumba, ooMhotho, ooCakeni, ooBhabha, amaMvala, amaDabisa, ooS’ximba, etc.
  • Mambi - Nxontsa ka Xesibe, uBhulingwe kuvele imamba, uNtabazikude zikuMganu, Mntshontsho, uSabela uyabizwa emazibukweni)
  • Matshaya - Mbathane

Izingane zooMa (by Xolile Mgijima)

Xhosa mother and child Umama Nomntwana SL 2009 DUGGANCRONIN 16 691x1024 Izingane zooMa (by Xolile Mgijima)Thina sizingane zooMa

Thina sizingane zomama beAfrika

Thina sizingane zeendlezanekazi, intw’ezimibele mid’ebhonxe kunene

Siyinzala yezikhukukaz’ezimaphik’amabalabala,

Iimbelukazi zesizwe, imidak’emihle kunene

Siyinzala yomama besintu oomama bakwaNtu

Thina sizingane Zooma

Thina sizingane zomama

Sizingane zamaqhawekazi  iinkokheli zelizwe,

Izisele zenyathi eziphuphuma lulwazi nemfundiso

Int’ezifunde zade zayityekeza eyaseAfrik’imfundo

Int’eziyazi ukusuka nokuhlala imbali yomdak’omnyama

ooNolwazi kaloku kuba bayincanca lento koonina

ooNtozonke bizamna ndikuncede

Thina sizingane Zooma


Ibhonxil’imibele nzalandini kaNtu

Walamba nj’imibel’ivuza kutheni?

Wagodola nj’amaphik’esikhukukaz’ekhona kutheni?

Wamkhanyel’unyoko nje kutheni?

Wahamb’ucel’amalizo nje kutheni?

Wazibiz’impula kaluJaca nj’unomzali kutheni?

Owu! Yhini na mliselandini kaAfrika

Yhini na mthinjanandini  kaNtu

Walahl’imbo yakho ngophoyiyana nje kutheni?

Thina sizingane zooMa


Vuka thongorhandini kusile

Vuka vilandini kusile

Wabeth’ithatha nj’emini emaqanda kutshaphi?

Yimfundiso yaphi na le kakhongozela

Wancanc’umbel’esaqhaga senkom’enqoma nje kutheni?

Uz’ungalibali k’ukuba lent’iyinkomo yenqoma yintseng’ibheka

Kazi bakuyithath’abaniniyo wosala nani na?

Vuka Afrika kusile

Thina sizingane zooMa


Owu! Koda kubenini sizw’esimnanyama?

Koda kubenini siziimpumputhela?

Koda kubenini sivum’iingoma zoluny’uhlanga

Koda kubenini sikhwaz’umdali weentlanga?

Siluhlanga lunin’olungavani nobuhlanga balo?

Siluhlanga lunin’olungafun’ukwazi ngemvelaphi yalo?

Buya nzalandini kaAfrik’unyok’ukulindile

Thina sizingane zooMa

Thina sizingane zoooMa


MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (Fashion Designer)

Laduma Ngxokolo Founder of the Maxhosa mens knitwear label MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (Fashion Designer)As we commemorate Youth Month and remember the heroes of 1976 in Soweto were game changers for South Africa’s future. We also celebrate another young person who is a game-changer, in a similar fashion with that of the youth of 1976. Laduma Ngxokolo is a young South African clothing designer who incorporates his own Xhosa culture into his knitwear designs. He started his brand MAXHOSA by Laduma in early 2011 with a thirst to find knitwear design solutions for amakrwala (Xhosa initiates). His vision was to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for amakrwala, who are prescribed by tradition to dress up in new dignified formal clothing for six months after initiation. As a person who has undergone that process himself, he felt that he had to develop knitwear that genuinely depicts his cultural aesthetics. Along his journey into exploring astonishing traditional Xhosa beadwork craft, patterns, tribal symbolism and colours he discovered that they would be the best inspiration for his knitwear, which he then incorporated into modern knitwear and has since continued to captivate audiences both locally and internationally.

Laduma uses locally sourced textiles like Mohair and uses the patterns found in traditional African beadwork as his inspiration. Recently Laduma has branched out to include patterned rugs, cushions and blankets. This year, he expanded his brand even more by starting a women’s line called ‘Buyele’mbo’.

Laduma Ngxokolo is from Port Elizabeth and he studied textile design and technology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He was taught hand machine knitting by his late mother, Lindelwa Ngxokolo in Grade 8 and he has been doing knitwear as a hobby since his days in high school as it was also one of his subjects.

maxhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (Fashion Designer)In 2010, he did his BTech and wrote his thesis project on ‘finding innovative designs for Xhosa initiatives to wear’. 2010 was also the year he started his knitwear brand and by using his thesis project he entered an international competition called “The Society of Dyers and Colourists” and won, which was a big turning point for him. This gave him the opportunity to speak about his project at Design Indaba Conference 2011 one of the most critically acclaimed design conferences held in Cape Town every year, which led to a lot of positive press coverage. This ultimately helped him establish his knitting brand in February 2011. In July 2013 another big turning point came, a showcase of his 2013 range My Heritage My Inheritance in Paris. “It was one of my most overwhelming moments. My mom always wanted us to go to Paris.  She was obsessed with Paris. I felt that I fulfilled her fantasy in a way, through me, whatever she desired as a young black women living in South African, it was done though me, that’s why I dedicated the collection to her,” he says.

Laduma Ngxokolo on stage in Amsterdam Holland MaXhosa MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (Fashion Designer)In May this year Laduma and his sister Tina Ngxokolo, also a fashion designer, were sharing a platform with some of the world’s greatest designers at the “What Design Can Do” conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with designers from the UK, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and the Netherlands and the British fashion icon Sir Paul Smith a guest speaker at the event.

Some of his plans for the near future are to have MaXhosa concept stores Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Paris.

We wish Laduma Ngxokolo all the very best in his endeavors, he is one young person that is making African Culture in general and Xhosa Culture in particular relevant in the 21st century and has shown that there is a lot we can learn from our past that would help us carve a path as we move forward… MaXhosa – My Heritage My Inheritance.

Keep updated with Laduma Ngxokolo at, on Twitter or on Facebook

Martin Thembisile Chris Hani SACP leader & MK chief of staff

chris hani SACP leader MK chief of staff Martin Thembisile Chris Hani  SACP leader & MK chief of staffNames: Hani, Thembisile ‘Chris’

Born: 28 June 1942, Cofimvaba, Transkei, (now Eastern Cape), South Africa

Died: 10 April 1993, Dawn Park, Boksburg, South Africa

In summary: Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe and General-Secretary of the SACP.

Ahh! Tshonyane! Chungwa, Dikiza, Sawu, Tota, Simnke, Khwane, Hani, Zulu, Mth’uzimele, Gqunukhwebe, Nkomo z’bomvu!

Thembisile Chris Hani was born in the rural village of Sabalele, in the Cofimvaba region of the former Transkei. He was the fifth of the six children of Gilbert and Mary Hani, and one of the three that did not die during infancy. The name Chris was adopted by him as a nom de guerre, and was in fact the real name of his brother. Chris grew up a devout Christian.

Hani was introduced to the politics of inequality early in life, when his father had to leave their rural home in search of work in the urban areas of South Africa. This had a profound influence on the young Chris, who became aware of his mother’s struggle to run the household. Like other young men of his age, Chris tended the livestock until he reached school-going age.

Hani was enrolled at a Catholic school and soon developed a love for Latin. At this stage of his life, Hani’s desire was to enter the priesthood, but his father disapproved and moved him to a non-denominational school, Matanzima Secondary School at Cala, in the Transkei. In 1954, a number of Hani’s school teachers who were active in the Unity Movement lost their jobs after they protested against the introduction of Bantu education. This played a further role in developing Hani’s political ideas. Hani later moved again to the Lovadale Institute in the Eastern Cape, where he matriculated in 1958.

Hani was exposed to Marxist ideology while a student at University of Fort Hare, where he also explored his childhood passion for the classics and for literature. Hani attended Fort Hare from 1959-1961 and graduated in 1962 from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, with a BA degree in Latin and English. He then moved to Cape Town and worked as an article clerk with the Schaeffer and Schaeffer legal firm from 1962-1963, but did not complete his articles.

Hani was exposed to political thought from a very young age through his father, Gilbert Hani, who was active in the ANC and eventually left South Africa and sought asylum in Lesotho. However, Hani’s political involvement really began in 1957 when he became a member of the African National Congress’ Youth League (ANCYL). He cites the conviction of the ANC’s leaders in the Treason Trial (1956) as his main motivation to begin participating in the struggle for freedom.

While at Fort Hare, Hani’s political ideas developed even further. Hani provided greater detail of his time at the university:

In 1959 I went over to university at Fort Hare where I became openly involved in the struggle, as Fort Hare was a liberal campus. It was here that I got exposed to Marxist ideas and the scope and nature of the racist capitalist system. My conversion to Marxism also deepened my non-racial perspective.

My early Catholicism led to my fascination with Latin studies and English literature. These studies in these two courses were gobbled up by me and I became an ardent lover of English, Latin and Greek literature, both modern and classical. My studies of literature further strengthened my hatred of all forms of oppression, persecution and obscurantism. The action of tyrants as portrayed in various literary works also made me hate tyranny and institutionalised oppression.

The Extension of University Education Act (1959) had put an end to black students attending White universities (mainly the universities of Cape Town and Witwatersrand) and created separate tertiary institutions for Whites, Coloured, Blacks, and Asians. Hani was active in campus protests over the takeover of Fort Hare by the Department of Bantu Education. During his years in the Western Cape Hani participated in protests against the takeover of the university by the Department of Bantu Education and came into contact with the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). This increased his awareness of the workers’ struggle.

Hani’s uncle had been active in the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), an organisation founded in 1921 but which had dissolved itself in response to the Suppression of Communism Act (1950). Ex-Communist Party members had to operate in secret, and re-emerged as the underground South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1953. Hani’s frustration with the Apartheid system and the influence of leaders such as Govan MbekiBram FischerJB MarksMoses Kotane and Ray Simons, led him to join the underground South African Communist Party in 1961 and Umkontho We Sizwe (MK, military wing of the ANC) in 1962. Hani went on to become a member of the MK’s Western Cape leadership dubbed the “Committee of Seven.” His encounters with the law began with his arrest at a police roadblock in 1962. He was found to be in possession of pamphlets containing objections to the government’s notorious policy of detention without trial. He was subsequently charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and held in jail. He was granted bail of R500.00, and during this period entered Botswana to attend the 1962 ANC Conference in Lobatsi. On his return to South Africa, he was arrested at the border. He was tried and given an 18-month jail sentence. In 1963, while out on bail pending an appeal, Hani went underground on the advice of the ANC leadership. He remained underground in Cape Town for about four months and in May proceeded to Johannesburg where he was instructed to leave South Africa to undergo military training.

Hani left South Africa for the Soviet Union, and returned in 1967 to take an active role in the Rhodesian bush war, acting as a Political Commissar in the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). ZIPRA, under the command of Joshua Nkomo, operated out of Zambia. Hani was present for three battles during the “Wankie Campaign” (fought in the Wankie Game Reserve against Rhodesian forces) as part of the Luthuli Detachmentof combined ANC and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) forces. Although the campaign provided much-needed propaganda for the struggle in Rhodesia and South Africa, in military terms it was a failure. Far too often the local population informed on guerrilla groups to the police.

In early 1967 Hani narrowly escaped into Botswana, only to be arrested and detained in prison for two years for weapons possession. Hani returned to Zambia at the end of 1968 to continue his work with ZIPRA. His imprisonment left him critical of the failure of the ANC leadership to assist him whilst he was in prison and he demanded a conference of all ANC members in exile. The Morogoro Conference took place in 1969. The decision was made to allow White and other “non-Africans” to become members of the ANC, and to ensure that political policy should guide military action, and not vice versa. As a result, The Revolutionary Council, which included Whites and Coloureds, was set up.

In 1974 Hani re-entered South Africa to establish an underground infrastructure for the ANC in the Western Cape. He entered the country from Botswana on foot and spent four months in the country, based in Johannesburg. He helped set-up underground units and a communications system. In addition, various routes through the country were established.

Hani then moved to Lesotho where he remained for about seven years. Here he organised units of the MK for guerrilla operations in South Africa. By 1982, Hani had become prominent enough in the ANC to be the focus of several assassination attempts, including at least one car bomb. He was transferred from the Lesotho capital, Maseru, to the centre of the ANC political leadership in Lusaka, Zambia. That year he was elected to the membership of the ANC National Executive Committee, and by 1983 he had been promoted to Political Commissar of the MK, working with student recruits who joined the ANC in exile after the 1976 Soweto uprising.

When dissident ANC members, who were being held in detention camps in Angola, mutinied against their harsh treatment in 1983–4, Hani played a key role in the uprisings’ suppression – although he denied any involvement in the subsequent torture and murders. Hani continued his rise through the ANC ranks and in 1987 he became the Chief of Staff of the MK. During the same period he rose to senior membership of the SACP.

After the unbanning of ANC and SACP on 2 February 1990 Hani returned to South Africa and became a charismatic and popular speaker in townships. By 1990 he was known to be a close associate of Joe Slovo, the General-Secretary of the SACP. Both Slovo and Hani were considered fearful figures in the eyes of South Africa’s extreme right: the Afrikaner Weerstandsbewging (AWB, Afrikaner Resistance Movement) and the Conservative Party (CP). When Slovo announced that he had cancer in 1991, Hani took over as General-Secretary.

In 1992 Hani stepped down as Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe to devote more time to the organisation of the SACP. Communists were prominent in the ANC and the Council of South African Trade Unions, but were under threat – the collapse of Marxism in Europe had discredited the movement around the world, and the policy of infiltrating other anti-Apartheid groups rather than making an independent stand was being questioned.

Hani campaigned for the SACP in townships around South Africa, seeking to redefine its place as a national political party. It was soon doing well – better than the ANC in fact – especially amongst the young who had no real experiences of the pre-Apartheid era and no commitment to the democratic ideals of the more moderate Mandela.

Hani was described as charming, passionate and charismatic, and soon attracted a cult-like following. He was the only political leader who seemed to have influence over the radical township self-defence groups that had parted from the authority of the ANC. Hani’s SACP would have proved a serious match for the ANC in the 1994 elections.

On 10 April 1993, as he returned home to the racially mixed suburb of Dawn Park, Boksberg (Johannesburg), Hani was assassinated by Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the White nationalist AWB. With him was his daughter, Nomakhwezi, then 15 years old. His wife, Limpho, and two other daughters, Neo (then 20 years old) and Lindiwe (then 12 years old) were away at the time. Also implicated in the assassination was Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis, and strangely a theory based largely on documents given to the Mail & Guardian point to a conspiracy beyond the right wing, linking the assassination to the ANC.

Hani’s death came at a critical time for South Africa. The SACP was on the brink of gaining significant status as an independent political party. It now found itself bereft of funds (due to collapse in Europe) and without a strong leader. The assassination helped persuade the bickering negotiators of the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum to finally set a date for South Africa’s first democratic election.

Walus and Derby-Lewis were captured, sentenced and jailed within an incredibly short period (only six months) of the assassination. Both were sentenced to death. In a peculiar twist, the new government (and constitution) they had actively fought against, caused in their sentences being lessened to life imprisonment – the death penalty having been ruled “unconstitutional.”

In 1997 Walus and Derby-Lewis applied for amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings. Despite claims that they were working for the Conservative Party, and therefore the assassination had been a political act, the TRC effectively ruled that Hani had been assassinated by right-wing extremists who were apparently acting independently. Walus and Derby-Lewis are currently serving their sentence in a maximum security prison near Pretoria.



Nongqawuse – The Xhosa Cattle Killings of 1856-57

Nonkosi Nongqawuse Nongqawuse   The Xhosa Cattle Killings of 1856 57

Nongqawuse (right) and Nonkosi in a photo taken by M.H. Durney in Grahamstown in 1858. Published in Mostert’s book ‘Fontiers’ for the first time

Nongqawuse, (c.1841–c.1898), was a prophetess of the great Xhosa cattle-killing of 1856–1857. Nongqawuse was an orphan living with her uncle Mhlakaza at the Gxarha River in independent Xhosaland, close to the border of the recently colonized territory of British Kaffraria in South Africa. One day in April 1856, she informed her household that she had encountered two strangers, spirits from another world, who told her that the entire nation would rise from the dead provided that the Xhosa slaughtered all their cattle and destroyed all their corn. The reason given was that people and animals alike had been defiled by witchcraft, and that the living must cleanse themselves from all contamination so that new people and pure cattle could rise.

Nongqawuse’s prophecies were embraced by the overwhelming majority of the Xhosa people. They had been militarily defeated by the British during the long and bloody Eighth Frontier War (1850–1853). Even worse, they had seen their cattle herds decimated by the alien disease of bovine lung sickness, thus giving credence to the prophetic message that “they have all been wicked and everything belonging to them is therefore bad.” A small minority of Xhosa, known as the amagogotya (stingy ones), refused to slaughter, and this refusal was used by Nongqawuse to rationalize the failure of the prophecies over a period of fifteen months (April 1856–June 1857). By the time hope was finally abandoned, the Xhosa had lost over 400,000 cattle, as well as all their corn and seed corn for the coming season. An estimated 40,000 people starved to death, and the survivors streamed into the small colonial towns of the Eastern Cape in search of food and work.

A contemporary painting entitled Witch Doctor by frontier artist F.T IOns. there is no contemporary image of Mhlakaza 300x174 Nongqawuse   The Xhosa Cattle Killings of 1856 57

Mhlakaza, the uncle of Nongqawuse who told King Sarhili about the prophesy

The catastrophe was aggravated by Sir George Grey , the colonial governor, who took advantage of the cattle-killing to break the power of the Xhosa, which had checked colonial expansion for more than eighty years. Grey dispersed the starving Xhosa to slave-like labor among the white colonists and imprisoned the Xhosa chiefs on the pretext that they were trying to incite war against the colony. More than 600,000 acres of Xhosa land was alienated for white settlement in the immediate hinterland of the South African city of East London.

Nongqawuse herself survived, although several of her associates, including her uncle, starved to death. There is every reason to think that she sincerely believed in the truth of her visions and that she herself was unable to account for the failure of her prophecies. Nongqawuse was captured by colonial forces in March 1858, taken to Cape Town, and released under circumstances so obscure that even the date and place of her decease cannot be fixed with certainty. It would seem, however, that she assumed another name and took up residence far from the scene of her prophecies on a remote farm near the town of Alexandria. Though we do have one authentic photograph of Nongqawuse, dressed up in captivity, we have only one eyewitness account of her appearance at the height of the prophecies. She is described as “a girl of about 16 years of age, has a silly look, and appeared to me as if she was not right in her mind … nor did she seem to me take any pains with her appearance” (quoted in Peires, p. 87). This impression of distrait incoherence is reinforced by the only surviving verbatim transcript of her actual words, recorded during an interrogation.

The obscurity in which Nongqawuse lived and died has made it extremely difficult to interpret her thoughts and her motivations. One outcome is that the standard Xhosa explanation of the cattle-killing is that Nongqawuse was directly manipulated by Governor Grey , who took advantage of her youth and her naiveté. Recent research has emphasized the influence of Christian ideas of the resurrection mediated through Nongqawuse’s uncle, Mhlakaza , a frustrated Christian convert. These interpretations have been challenged by the historian Helen Bradford , who argues that Nongqawuse’s insistence on cattle-killing was an assault on the Xhosa system of patriarchy, in which wives were exchanged for cattle.

Bradford further argues that the contamination denounced by Nongqawuse refers to sexual aggression by Xhosa men. It is indeed possible that Nongqawuse was orphaned during the Waterkloof campaign of the Eighth Frontier War (1850–1853), during which numbers of Xhosa women were killed and raped. It must be said, however, that Nongqawuse’s prophecies envisioned the restoration of chief-dominated and cattle-based Xhosa society in all its pristine precolonial splendor rather than something entirely new and different.

Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village in the Eastern Cape

xhosa girls perfoming traditional Xhosa dances Khaya La Bantu cultural village with old women behind 300x154 Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village in the Eastern CapeA visit to Khaya La Bantu cultural village in the Eastern Cape will give you a taste of authentic Xhosa hospitality and open your eyes to the role that traditional art and craft play in the cultural identity of the Xhosa people.

Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village in the Eastern Cape offers fascinating insight into Xhosa art, craft and culture.

Traditionally, the Xhosa are famous for their brightly coloured clothing and textiles, long-stemmed pipes, beadwork and music. More than being simply decorative however, Xhosa arts and crafts are linked to cultural practices and play an important role in social identity.

When you arrive at this cultural village in East London, you will be welcomed with songs and dancing. Traditional music involves a range of instruments combined with group singing and there are songs for various ritual occasions. One of the best known is ‘Qongqothwane’, a wedding song made famous by Miriam Makeba.

Khaya La Bantu dancers of Xhosa tribe 300x146 Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village in the Eastern CapeSome of the performers will be wearing ‘ithumbu‘, a bead necklace worn when dancing or ‘iqoqo‘, a decorative, beaded band worn around the lower back. Your guides will tell you more about the role of dress and costume in Xhosa culture as they show around Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village.

You’ll also see first-hand how beading and weaving are used in elaborate outfits in bright colours worn by Xhosa women. These are typically adorned with braiding and beads over a skirt and a colourful headdress that show the stages of a woman’s life. For example, one kind of headdress is worn by a newly married woman and replaced with a different one when she has her first child.

Hairstyles and headdresses that indicate a woman’s social status remain fashionable throughout the Eastern Cape where, although dress and costume are bound first and foremost to tradition, they also have broader appeal as collectable fashion items.

Also look out for objects made from wood and natural clays, such as cooking pots, decorative Xhosa pipes and mats and baskets made from reeds and grass.

On a visit to this traditional Xhosa village, you will also meet a traditional healer, learn about coming of age and other rituals that remain important to the Xhosa people and of course, enjoy some locally brewed beer with a traditional meal.



Khaya La Bantu
Tel: +27 43 8511011
Cell: +27 83 5363437


Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village 30km from they city of East London. You can drive yourself or catch a bus from the city centre.


You can visit the village throughout the year.


East London is famous for its long, white stretches of sandy beach that appeal to surfers, swimmers and sun-lovers alike.


You can spend a day at the village or extend your stay overnight.


Accommodation is available at the guest farm or in the traditional village.


Traditional Xhosa food will be part of your cultural experience.


A traditional Xhosa pipe makes an attractive souvenir.


Natives Land Act, 1913 – dispossession, segregation and restitution

south african homelands as a result of the 1913 Land act 246x300 Natives Land Act, 1913   dispossession, segregation and restitutionThina sizwe, thina sizwe esinsundu,
Sikhalela izwe lethu
Elathathwa ngabamhlophe
Mabawuyeke umhlaba wethu.
Abantwana, abantwana be-Afrika
Bakhalela i-Afrika izwe labo
Elathathwa ngabamhlophe
Mabawuyeke umhlaba wethu!

“Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African Native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth,”  Sol Plaatje. 

Date of Royal Assent16 June 1913

Date commenced: 19 June 1913

Date repealed: 30 June 1991


The history of white colonial land dispossession began at the Cape with the expansion of the Dutch colonial settlement established by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Initially he was authorised to set up a refreshment station for the company’s ships, but with the need for a more sustainable source of meat and vegetable supply more land was required.

Land was seized from the Khoikhoi, and later the San, to increase Dutch grazing pastures, expand their farming activities and to establish settlements. Over time, the reduction of grazing pastures traditionally used by the Khoikhoi, as the Dutch set up farms, resulted in conflict between the two groups. Over time, the Dutch defeated the Khoikhoi and expropriated more of their land. Deprived of their livelihood, they were forced to seek employment on the farmlands of white colonial settlers.

After the British took over the Cape Colony from the Dutch in 1806, colonial expansion and dispossession were expanded even further into the interior. Tensions between Dutch and British forced the Voortrekkers to begin migrating from the Cape Colony in 1834 into the interior to escape British rule. Along the way they fought, seized and occupied land while dispossessing Khoikhoi, San and African communities in the process. The British in this period annexed land too, particularly in Natal (with its accessibility to the east coast port) at times claiming conquered land from the Voortrekkers. This opened up the interior of South Africa to further colonial conquest.

Conquest and land seizure was achieved through warfare complemented by dubious “treaties”, which colonists claimed were signed by chiefs or leaders of communities. African communities fought to defend and regain their lost land, but the superior weaponry and collaboration by other local communities enabled the colonists to prevail. “Native” reserves were established from as early as 1848 in Natal by Theophilus Shepstone and these became a feature of British colonization across the continent.

The explosion of the mineral revolution with the discovery of diamonds and gold gave more impetus to the colonial government to consolidate and entrench its rule. The British and Afrikaner landowners and industrialists set in motion a process that would consolidate their wealth, while excluding black people through legislative means.

Thus, resolutions, proclamations and ordinances played a key role in legitimizing systematic land dispossession and segregating South Africa. After the end of the South African War, the British and Afrikaners began working on establishing the Union of South Africa, which was accomplished in May 1910. However, black people were excluded from meaningful political participation in its formation and future of the Union.

By the formation of the Union, land dispossession had largely been accomplished and segregation was beginning to take root. The white minority state consolidated its grip passing more laws to dislodge African people, who had survived land dispossession through entering into sharecropping and tenancy in white-owned farms. The Natives Land Act passed in 1913 denied Africans access to land – which before they had either owned or leased from white farmers – confining them to reserves.

These reserves were expanded over time to become the Bantustans or Homelands under the Apartheid government. It is important to note that by the time the Land Act was enacted, South Africa was already moving in the direction of spatial segregation.

Other legislation targeting Black African and Indian people were also passed, such as the Native Trust and Land Act, Natives (Urban Areas) Act, Trading and Occupation of Land Restriction Act and the Pegging Act to name just a few. The ascendancy to power of the Apartheid government in 1948 under the National Party (NP) took land dispossession and segregation even further. The passing of the Group Areas Act, the Native Resettlement Act and the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act among other laws sparked forced removals of African, Indian and Coloured people from their areas of residence.

Historian W. J. du Plessis notes that “By the time of the advent of the new South Africa, about 17 000 statutory measures had been issued to segregate and control land division, with 14 different land control systems in South Africa.”(WJ du Plessis, African Indigenous Land Rights in a Private Ownership Paradigm, PER, 2011, Volume 14, No: 7, pp.46). This demonstrates the importance of land dispossession in creating a racially and spatially divided South Africa.

After the collapse and dismantling of Apartheid, legislation revoking laws that dispossessed people were passed and new ones were enacted. The newly elected government set in motion a process that allowed people who lost their land after 1913 to lodge claims for restitution. This was revised in January 2013 when the ANC pledged to permit land claims to the period predating 1913. Despite efforts to address the land issue, the legacy of land dispossession remains visible on the South African socio-political landscape.

This feature focuses on the history of the Land Dispossession and Segregation as a critical edifice in the building of a racially and spatially divided South Africa. “Topics” chronologically outlines events related to Land Dispossession and Segregation written in chapters. “People” lists people who were instrumental in designing and implementing land dispossession and those who opposed it. The “Timeline” is a brief chronological list of entries highlighting historical events related to Land Dispossession and Segregation. An archive of related documents, articles, books and theses have also been included under “Media Library”. Lastly, “Organizations” lists those organizations that were instrumental in either implementing or opposing the land dispossession and segregation.



Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Thabo Mbeki former president of South Africa Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South AfricaNames: Mbeki, Thabo Mvuyelwa

Born: 18 June 1942, Idutywa in Transkei, South Africa

In summary: President of South Africa, first deputy president in the new Government of National Unity.


Clan names (Isiduko): iZizi, uJama kaSijadu, umqala mde ungangenduku, Dlamini, Fakade, Ngxibi.

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki was born on June 18 1942, in Mbewuleni (meaning ‘place of seed’), a tiny village in Idutywa in Transkei. His middle name ’Mvuyelwa’ is Xhosa and means ‘he for whom the people sing’. Both his parents were teachers, activists and members of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA later renamed the SACP). His father, Govan Mbeki, was a leading figure in the activities of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape. Thabo Mbeki was named after one of his father’s best friends, Thabo Mofutsanyana, a leading member of the Communist Party at the time. Mbeki had an older sister, Linda and two younger brothers, Moeletsi and Jama.

Zachea or Zachée Mokhanoï Mbeki’s great great grandfather the twelfth Sotho man to be converted to Christianity at Morija in 1841 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Zachea (or Zachée) Mokhanoï, Mbeki’s great-great-grandfather, the twelfth Sotho
man to be converted to Christianity at Morija, in 1841. Drawing by Maeder, Journal des
Missions Evangeliques, 1844. See page 22. (Courtesy of Morija Museum and Archives)

Mbeki’s parents were very involved in improving the conditions of their community and took part in schemes to feed the poor. MaMofokeng, his mother, ran a shop called the Goodwill Store, and the family also kept sheep and goats.

Mbeki attended the Ewing school in his neighbourhood up to grade 6; thereafter he had to attend school in Queenstown as the Ewing school did not have senior classes. In Queenstown, Mbeki stayed with Michael Moerane, his mother’s brother. Moerane was a music teacher and a composer of classical music. Mbeki spent the years growing up with Moerane’s six children, his cousin Kabelo being closest to him. From a young age, Mbeki developed a love for reading and music.

Thabo Mbeki experienced his first disappointment with politics when he and Kabelo heard about an ANC meeting to be held in Queenstown. His excitement peaked when Dr Njongwe (the Eastern Cape ANC leader at the time) came driving down the road making announcements over loudspeakers in a car publicising the Defiance Campaign. The two boys were eager to volunteer but only members of the ANC were allowed to do so. To ensure they had sufficient money for membership fees, Mbeki and Kabelo collected empty cooldrink bottles and sold them to a local shopkeeper. However, when they arrived at the recruitment centre, they were told they were too young to join. In the meantime, Govan Mbeki was trying to get the people of the Transkei to volunteer for the campaign. Sadly, his attempts failed dismally as there was not a single arrest east of the Kei River.

Govan and Epainette Mbeki at their wedding Mangoloaneng 8 January 1940 236x300 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South AfricaIn December 1952, after spending two years in Queenstown, Mbeki was collected by his father and dropped off at the home of the Ngampu family in Butterworth, about 40 kilometres south of Idutywa, which was much closer to Mbewuleni. Makonza Ngampu was a local teacher and Govan’s ama Zizi clansman. Mbeki was to school at the Davies Senior Higher Primary School the following year; a school was run by Methodists. Now Mbeki could visit his mother more often.

By 1953, the Bantu Education Act was passed by the government. It was one of apartheid’s most offensively racist lawsbringing Black education under the control of the government and extending apartheid to black schools. Previously, most Black schools were run by missionaries with some state aid. Many of the educated elite, such as Nelson Mandela other political activists, had attended mission schools. The Act ended the relative autonomy these schools had enjoyed up to that point and made government funding of Black schools conditional on acceptance of a racially discriminatory curriculum, administered by a new Department of Bantu Education.

The Bantu Education Act was not only an attack on Black people in the broadest sense but also aimed at Black families such as the Mbekis and Moeranes, who had been schooled into an elite group and were permitted to become Imperial subjects if they elevated themselves to European standards of education, wealth and gentility. They were being bluntly told by Verwoerd that they were overreaching themselves. As a result, most mission schools that admitted Blacks chose to close rather than promote apartheid in education.

Epainette Mbeki with Linda 18 months and Thabo 6 months Mbewuleni Christmas 1942 187x300 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Epainette Mbeki with Linda (18 months) and Thabo (6 months), Mbewuleni, Christmas 1942

By the end of 1953, Makonza Ngampu was transferred out of Butterworth, and upon Govan’s instructions Mbeki was moved to another teacher’s house, one Mr Lavisa. Mbeki excelled at school.

The mid-1950s were the years in which the nationalist government started entrenching the policy of apartheid.  Mbeki could not have attended school in Butterworth without having a sense of foreboding.

In 1954, it was decided that Mbeki should join Lovedale College in Alice. Lovedale was started by missionaries and many future leaders of South Africa, including Mbeki’s father, had studied there.

Known as the ‘Eton of Africa’, the school was the first South African high school to admit Blacks for over a century. Founded in 1841 by the Scottish Presbyterian Church, it was built on land, granted to it by Xhosa King Ngqika, and was situated in the fertile valley along the Tyume River in Alice. The school was the centre of Black intellectual activity during the first half of the twentieth century. Its alumni include the likes of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, among others.

Mbeki was one of 52 boys and 42 girls that started standard six (grade 8) in 1955. He was placed in Shaw House along with other Transkei border boys, who were stereotyped by the others as being ‘moegoes’ – slang for the boys from the country who were not as sophisticated as those from towns such as Port Elizabethand East London. The city boys adopted jazzier fashions and attitudes, while the Transkei boys were more conservative. There was also a difference in the sports they chose as the Transkei boys played soccer while the Eastern Cape boys all played rugby. Mbeki chose rugby and despite the fact that he was not good at the game, he stuck with it throughout his time at Lovedale.

In 1956, Mbeki joined the ANC Youth League after a brief period with the Trotskyist Unity Movement’s Society of Young Africans (SOYA). Although only 14 years of age at the time, he became active in student politics.

In 1960, the ANC was banned, making it difficult for members to operate openly. Not long after, Govan and Nelson Mandela became fugitives. In 1961, during his final year at high school, Mbeki was expelled for leading a class boycott against the expulsion of a fellow student. At this time, the ANC was for the first time considering violent revolution.

Walter Sisulu and Thabo Mbeki at the Sisulus’ wedding anniversary July 1962 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Walter Sisulu and Thabo Mbeki at the Sisulus’ wedding anniversary, July 1962

Mbeki returned home to Mbewuleni, enrolled at a correspondence school and finished his schooling. He found being home frustrating as he wanted to study further and engage in politics. The ANC did not have a branch in Mbewuleni, and he wanted to be in Johannesburg. His parents agreed that he should travel to Johannesburg to further his studies. They contacted Duma Nokwe, a well known Sowetan lawyer and important leader of the ANC in the area, to seek accommodation for their son. Nokwe agreed to have Mbeki live with his family.

In 1961, Mbeki travelled to Soweto to start an exciting new life. He was amazed at the size of the big city and its vitality. He met Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the ANC and learnt much about politics and law from the Nokwe family, and put much effort into his post-matric studies at Britzius College in Johannesburg. It was not long before Mbeki was elected secretary of the African Students’ Association (ASA) while still being enrolled at Britzius College, but the association collapsed after many of its members were arrested. At this time, political movements were folding under increasingly severe attacks from the state.

Mbeki continued his studies by enrolling to study economics via correspondence with London University.

Going into exile

Thabo Mbeki with his fellow students arriving at Dar es Salaam late November 1962. Mbeki is at the centre of the frame talking to Oliver Tambo 300x222 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Thabo Mbeki with his fellow students arriving at Dar-es-Salaam, late November 1962. Mbeki is at the centre of the frame, talking to Oliver Tambo

After the banning of the ANC, the organisation decided it would be better for the Mbeki to go into exile. In 1962, Mbeki and a group of comrades left South Africa disguised as a football team. They travelled in a minibus to Botswana and flew from there to Tanzania, where Mbeki accompanied Kenneth Kaunda, who later became Zambia’s post-independence president, to London. Mbeki stayed with Oliver Tambo, who became the effective leader of the ANC after Mandela was imprisoned. Mbeki worked part-time with Tambo and Yusuf Dadoo while studying economics at Sussex University in the coastal town of Brighton.

At one stage, Mbeki shared a flat with two other students, Mike Yates and Derek Gunby. Together the trio would become firm friends and frequent a local bar when they were not discussing politics and listening to music. It was here that Mbeki developed a deep love for Brecht and Shakespeare and an appreciation of Yeats.  He also came to love the ‘blues’.

Thabo Mbeki and Essop Pahad at the Pahad flat Earls Court mid 1960s 300x277 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki former President of South Africa

Thabo Mbeki and Essop Pahad at the Pahad flat, Earls Court, mid-1960s

In February 1963, three months after his arrival at the University, Mbeki was elected onto the Student Union Committee. By April, he was one of 28 signatories petitioning in support of ‘Spies for Peace’, a document that revealed secret information about Britain’s plans for civil defence and government in the event of a nuclear attack.

On 11 July 1963, the High Command of the ANC was caught at Lilliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, one of them being Govan Mbeki. In order to hold the prisoners, the General Laws Amendment Act, Number 37 of 1963, was rushed through Parliament and applied retroactively to June 27th 1962, mainly but not exclusively so that the people arrested at Rivonia could be detained and held in solitary confinement.  In July of the same year, Mbeki began mobilising international support against apartheid. Horrified at the Act, Mbeki led a successful motion in the Student Union to condemn the move and join the boycott of South African goods. He strongly condemned the South African government’s new restrictions on political activity and likened it to in the politics of Nazi Germany.

In April 1964, Mbeki appeared before a delegation of the United Nations (UN) Special Committee against Apartheid to plead for the life of his father, who by then had been charged with planning an armed uprising against the state. The death penalty seemed a certainty for all the Rivonia Treason Trialists. This was the first time Mbeki had spoken about his father from the perspective of a son, but the biological category was converted into a political context.

If the butchers have their way, we will draw strength even from the little crosses that the kind may put at the head of their graves. In that process we shall learn. We shall learn to hate evil even more, and in the same intensity we shall seek to destroy it. We shall learn to be brave and unconscious of anything but this noblest of struggles. Today we might be but weak children, spurred on by nothing other than the fear and grief of losing our fathers. In time we shall learn to die both for ourselves and for the millions.’ (The Dream Deferred)

On 6th October, the Rivonia Trialists were formally charged. On 13 June 1964, Mbeki organised a march from Brighton to London, after the Rivonia Trialists were found guilty of high treason. They were expected to be sentenced to death. The students held a night march to 10 Downing Street and handed a petition, signed by 664 staff and students at Sussex University, to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, they held a demonstration outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square. The next day, London television showed Mbeki leading the march. This kind of lobbying helped the Trialists, who were spared the hangman’s noose. For the next three decades, Mbeki would take up the job of rallying support against apartheid.

Mbeki completed his bachelor’s degree in economics at Sussex University in May 1965. With his own parents unable to attend his graduation ceremony, Adelaide Tambo and Michael Harmel took their place at the event. While in London, Mbeki spent all of his summers with the Tambo family.

After completing his first degree, Mbeki planned to join uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and he sought permission to do so, but this plan was vetoed by Tambo, who advised him to do a Master’s degree. In October 1965, Mbeki returned to Sussex for one year to do his Masters in Economics and Development. Mbeki at this time shared a flat with Peter Lawrence and Ingram, situated at 3 Sillwood Street.

While in England, Mbeki supported the Labour Party, then-led by Harold Wilson. Mbeki was intensely critical of the New Left revision of Marxism that swept Europe in the latter half of the 1960s and remained ardently loyal to the Soviet Union, which at the time heavily sponsored the ANC’s underground movement, providing them with financial and educational support, as well as arms and military training.

On 18 May 1966, Mbeki organised a 24-hour vigil at the Clock Tower in Brighton’s central square against Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Rhodesia.

In October 1966 Mbeki moved to London to work for the ANC full-time. During this period he met his wife to be, Zanele Dlamini, a social worker from Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, who was also studying in London. Zanele had just moved to London at this time.

In 1966, Mbeki appealed to Oliver Tambo to allow any South African student who supported the ANC to be admitted into the movement’s Youth and Students Section (YSS), irrespective of race. Tambo agreed and the YSS became the first non-racial arm of the ANC. In the same year, the ANC upheld its decision to exclude non-Africans from its National Executive meeting in Dar-es Salaam.

Mbeki busied himself with issues such as the protest against increases in student fees for foreign students, nuclear disarmament, and solidarity struggles with the peoples of Zimbabwe, Spain, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran and Vietnam, and the Portuguese-controlled territories,.

The YSS took an active role in the anti-Vietnam War movement, a campaign spearheaded by Mbeki. This led to Mbeki’s friend, Essop Pahad, being elected onto the organising committee of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC). The YSS became a major player in the anti-war marches. On 17 March 1968, Mbeki, took part in a massive anti-Vietnam demonstration outside the American embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square and had his upper right molar tooth cracked when he was attacked by a policeman. Although he was arraigned and arrested for his part in the demonstration, he was not one of the 246 that were eventually charged.

Mbeki completed his Master’s degree at Sussex University in May 1968.


Mbeki was finally given permission to undergo a year of military training at the Lenin International School in Moscow. He arrived in Moscow in February 1969 and became a student at the Lenin Institute, which was established exclusively for communists, the exception being non-communist members of liberation movements who could get ideological training at the Institute. Mbeki excelled at the Institute and regularly addressed the Institutes’ weekly assembly. While in Moscow, he continued writing articles, documents and speeches for the ANC and its organs.

In June 1969, Mbeki was chosen to be secretary of a high-level SACP delegation to the International Conference of Communist and Workers Parties in Moscow.

In June 1970, Mbeki was secretly shuttled from his military camp north-west of Moscow to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) guest house in Volynskoye, where the South African Communist Party’s(SACP’s) Central Committee was holding its meeting. This was indeed significant because, up to this point, the SACP leadership had been largely non-African. Mbeki and several Africans were now included in the committee, including Chris Hani. Both Hani and Mbeki celebrated their 28th birthdays at this meeting, making them the youngest members to ever serve on the committee.

While in Moscow, Mbeki was trained in advanced guerrilla warfare at Skhodnya, and although he was more comfortable with a book rather than a gun, the training was considered a necessary requirement if he was to be accepted as a leader. His military training was cut short as he was sent back to London to prepare for a new post in Lusaka.

Throughout Mbeki’s training, he kept in constant contact with Zanele.

Lusaka and Botswana

Together with Oliver Tambo, Mbeki left London for Lusaka in April 1971 to take up the position of assistant secretary of the ANC’s Revolutionary Council (RC). This was the first time in nine years that Mbeki was setting foot on African soil. The aim of the RC at this time was to bridge an ever-widening gap between the ANC in exile and the people back home. In Lusaka, Mbeki was housed in a secret location in Makeni, south-west of the city. Later, Mbeki moved over to work in the ANC’s propaganda section. But he continued to attend RC meetings. Four months after his arrival in Lusaka, Mbeki travelled to Beichlingen to deliver a speech on behalf of the ANC’s Executive Committee at the YSS summer school. This was a turning point in Mbeki’s life as it was the first time he spoke on behalf of the ANC as opposed to the ANC Youth League.

Why should we, in the Freedom Charter, say “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White” when our country is under foreign invaders, who even call themselves Europeans? Why therefore should we not say that South Africa belongs to the Black people? Why should we not say, “Power to the Black people”? Comrades, we hope you will have something to say on these questions.’ (A Dream Deferred)

One has to wonder whether these words were the beginnings of the making of an Africanist or just an attempt to stir up the anti-apartheid movement.

In December 1972, Mbeki joined Tambo at Heathrow airport to meet Mangosuthu Buthelezi to discuss mass resistance to apartheid. Mbeki is credited with facilitating the establishment of Inkatha – it was his responsibility to nurture the relationship between Buthelezi and the ANC. Mbeki was deployed to Botswana in 1973 to facilitate the development of an internal underground.

Mbeki’s life took a significant turn on 23 November 1974 when he married Zanele Dlamini. The wedding ceremony took place at Farnham Castle, the residence of Zanele’s sister Edith and her husband, Wilfred Grenville-Grey. Adelaide Tambo and Mendi Msimang stood in loco-parentis for Mbeki while Essop Pahad was Mbeki’s best man. The wedding, according to ANC rules, had to be approved by the organisation – a rule that applied to all permanently deployed members of the ANC.

Swaziland and Nigeria

In January 1975, just a few months after his marriage to Zanele, Mbeki was sent to Swaziland to assess the possibility of setting up an ANC frontline base in the country. Ostensibly attending a UN conference, Mbeki was accompanied by Max Sisulu. The duo met with Sisulu’s sister, Lindiwe Sisulu, who was studying at the University at Swaziland. Lindiwe set up a meeting for the two at the home of S’bu Ndebele, then a librarian at the university. Mbeki and Sisulu held meetings in Swaziland for a week with South Africans studying there to assess the situation. They returned to Lusaka after a week, when their visas had expired. Mbeki reported back to the ANC that the possibility of establishing an ANC base in Swaziland was promising, especially because of its location, as it was close to Johannesburg and Durban.

As a result, Mbeki was sent back to Swaziland to recruit soldiers for the organisation’s military wing. In Swaziland, Mbeki recruited hundreds of people into the ANC. He also liaised with Buthelezi and the latter’s newly formed Inkatha movement, and set up structures within South Africa. Mbeki’s aim was to establish contact with as many Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) members as he could and to draw them into the ANC.  Ironically, while Mbeki was converting BC adherents into ANC members, he would himself absorb many aspects of BC ideology.

In March 1976, Mbeki, Albert Dhlomo and Jacob Zuma were arrested in Swaziland, but the trio managed to escape deportation to South Africa. Instead, a month after their arrest, they were escorted across the border to Mozambique. From there, Mbeki went back to Lusaka for a few months before being posted to Nigeria in January 1977. Before leaving Lusaka, Mbeki was appointed as deputy to Duma Nokwe in the Department of Information and Propaganda (DIP). Mbeki’s mission in Nigeria was to establish diplomatic relations with Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, – a mission that proved to be quite successful as Mbeki was to build a lasting relationship with the Nigerian authorities, eclipsing the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in Nigeria.

Zanele, who was running the Africa offices of the International University Education Fund in Lusaka, spent much of 1977 with her husband in Nigeria.

In 1978, Mbeki became political secretary in the office of Oliver Tambo. He became a close confidant of Tambo, advising him on all matters and writing many of his speeches. One of his duties as secretary was to choose a theme each year in accordance with the ANC’s current activities – 1979, for example, was known as ‘The Year of the Spear’, while 1980 was ‘The Year of the Charter’.

From 1979, with Mbeki as his right hand man, Tambo began building up the guerrilla movement into an internationally recognised guardian of South African freedom.


Mbeki was sent to Salisbury immediately after Robert Mugabe took office in 1980. On 11 August 1980, Tambo and Mbeki met with Mugabe and his advisor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in Salisbury. The meeting resulted in MK being allowed to move ammunition and cadres through Zimbabwe. Mugabe guaranteed that his government would assist ANC cooperatives in Zimbabwe. Mbeki, preferring to return to Lusaka, decided to hand over the reins in Zimbabwe to Chris Hani, who was to continue the relationship with Mugabe.

In July 1981 Joe Gqabi, the ANC representative in Zimbabwe, was assassinated at his home. The relationship between the ANC and the Zimbabwean government came under strain.

During the 1980s, Mbeki became a leading figure in the SACP, rising to the party’s central committee by the mid-1980s. The SACP was a vital part of the ANC alliance.

In February 1982, Mbeki’s brother Jama disappeared. He was later presumed dead.

In 1985, PW Botha declared a State of Emergency and gave the army and police special powers. In 1986, the South African Army sent a captain in the South African Defence Force (SADF) to kill Mbeki. The plan was to put a bomb in his house in Lusaka, but the assassin was arrested by the Zambian police before he could go through with the plan.

In 1985, Mbeki became the ANC’s director of the Department of Information and Publicity and coordinated diplomatic campaigns to involve more white South Africans in anti-apartheid activities. In 1989, he rose in the ranks to head the ANC’s Department of International Affairs and was involved in the ANC’s negotiations with the South African government.

Mbeki played a major role in turning the international media against apartheid. Raising the diplomatic profile of the ANC, Mbeki acted as a point of contact for foreign governments and international organisations and he was extremely successful in this position. Mbeki also played the role of ambassador to the steady flow of delegates from the elite sectors of white South Africa. These included academics, clerics, business people and representatives of liberal white groups who travelled to Lusaka to assess the ANC’s views on a democratic, free South Africa.

Mbeki was seen as pragmatic, eloquent, rational and urbane. He was known for his diplomatic style and sophistication, which went against the view, held by many right-wing organisations that the ANC was a terrorist organisation.

In the early 80s, Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Aziz Pahad were appointed by Tambo to conduct private talks with representatives of the National Party government. Twelve meetings between the parties took place between November 1987 and May 1990, most of them held at a country house near Bath in Somerset, England.  By September 1989, the team secretly met with Maritz Spaarwater and Mike Louw in a hotel in Switzerland. Known as ‘Operation Flair’, PW Botha was kept informed of all the meetings. At the same time, Mandela and Kobie Coetzee (then Minister of Justice) were also holding secret talks.

In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced by FW De Klerk, who announced on 2 February 1990 that the ANC, SACP, PAC and other liberation movements were to be unbanned. This was a dramatic step, even for the National Party, but it was the pragmatic and moderate attitude of Mandela and Mbeki that played a crucial role in paving the way forward. Both of them reassured the National Party that the mass Black constituency would accept the idea of negotiations. A new constitutional order was in the offing. As a sign of goodwill, De Klerk set free a few of the ANC’s top leadership at the end of 1989, among them Govan Mbeki.

Between 1990 and 1994, the ANC began preparing for the first democratic elections. It was an adjustment period and Mbeki played a crucial role in transforming the ANC into a legal political organisation. In 1991, the ANC was able to hold its first legal conference in the country after 30 years of being banned. The party now had the task of finding a middle ground for discussion between all the various factions: the returning exiles, the long-term prisoners and those who had stayed behind to lead the struggle. Mbeki was chosen as national chair while Cyril Ramaphosa was elected secretary general and the ANC’s chief negotiator at the multiparty talks. Mbeki had up to this point been handling much of the diplomatic talks with the apartheid regime, and given his diplomatic experience and the level of bargaining that was expected, it came as a surprise that Mbeki was sidelined in favour of Ramaphosa.

Mbeki was now in a contest to become Mandela’s deputy. His rivals were Ramaphosa and Chris Hani, secretary general of the SACP. However, Mbeki had a strong support base among the ANC Youth League and the ANC’s Womens’ League. When Chris Hani was assassinated in 1993, Mbeki and Ramaphosa were left to contest the position of Deputy President.

Deputy President

After South Africa’s first democratic election in April 1994, Mandela chose Mbeki to be the first deputy president in the Government of National Unity. On 10 May 1994, Mbeki was sworn in to his new post with FW De Klerk as the second deputy president. The ANC’s alliance partners (the SACP and Congress of South African Trade Unions -COSATU) appeared to approve of Mbeki in this position, and Ramaphosa quit politics to go into business.

The National Party withdrew from the Government of National Unity in June 1996 and Mbeki then became the sole deputy president. Although Mbeki was officially deputy president, he was referred to as the ‘de facto’ prime minister, as Mandela left the duties of state to Mbeki while he presided over a process of national reconciliation and busied himself with international relations.

While in this position Mbeki formed a ‘consultative council’ made up of Black politicians, academics and professionals. The council included the likes of Paulus Zulu, the then-chair of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Mbhazima Shilowa, Sydney Mufamadi and Brigalia Bam, who became the chair of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The council, nicknamed the ‘kitchen cabinet’ by the media, met once a month with Essop Pahad as the convenor. In his attempt to encourage Black economic aspirations, Mbeki appointed mainly Black staff members.

In order to maintain a support base for the ANC, Mbeki targeted the townships and rural poor. He was particularly considerate to the rural chiefs, introducing a rural development strategy, while plans for urban renewal focussed on the townships.

Mbeki chose to build bridges between former enemies, one such example being his conciliatory attitude towards the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Jacob Zuma, who was then the chair of the ANC in Kwa-Zulu Natal, assisted Mbeki in this project. However, Mbeki was cool towards the SACP and kept a distance from the COSATU leadership.

COSATU’s rejection of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy (GEAR) policy, introduced to parliament in June 1996, was probably the reason for the rift between Mbeki and the union leaders. Mbeki played a key role in introducing and defending GEAR policy.

Mbeki and the media; African Renaissance and President of ANC

As soon as Mbeki became deputy president, the media became intensely suspicious of him. In the early years when the ANC was newly unbanned and even during the negotiations, he was seen as a charming pragmatist. This changed quickly as he was now portrayed as a power-hungry manipulator who had the ability to sideline internal opponents and challengers to his leadership. Mbeki’s insistence on having a regular government slot on public radio and television alienated the media, which did not take well to what was seen as state interference.

At the 50th Conference of the ANC at Mafikeng in 1997, Mbeki was elected the new President of the African National Congress.

In August 1998, he launched his African Renaissance banquet at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. Mbeki initially articulated the concept of the African Renaissance soon after his return from exile, when he felt there was a need to promote a restoration of the African identity and a sense of self-worth and dignity. He promulgated the concept at a continental level, and laid the foundation for the transformation of the the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union, and for New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), a strategy to renew the continent.

The Arms Deal

One of the controversial issues in Mbeki’s political history played out between 1996 and 1999, when he chaired the cabinet sub-committee on arms procurement, which put forward and approved the purchase of R30-billion worth of military hardware. The deal led to allegations of corruption levelled against Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Schabir Sheik and his brother Chippy Sheik, Trevor Manuel, Joe Modise and others.

According to an article published in the Mail & Guardian, MAN Ferrostaal paid Thabo Mbeki R30-million to secure the arms contract, and when Mbeki was questioned by investigators about this matter, he claimed that R2-million was given to Jacob Zuma, while the rest of the money was given to the ANC. It appeared that the government had ignored the advice of its financial experts when it embarked on the R30-billion arms-deal, and ignoring too the economic risks involved. According to Mark Gevisser, Mbeki ‘championed the deal from the outset’.

The controversial ‘arms deal’ as it became known, cost the South African taxpayer dearly. It was also in direct opposition to Mbeki’s policy of steering the economy away from state spending and towards fiscal austerity.

Another controversy during this time was when the German Frigate Consortium (GFC) won the tender to supply the South African Navy with four new ships, each worth R4-billion. It was found that a bribe of R130-million was paid to a senior South African politician. Chippy Sheik, the brother of Schabir, was fingered in this process. Although there was no evidence of Mbeki being a beneficiary to any of the money, he had played a role in awarding the frigate contract to the GFC.

In June 2005, Mbeki fired Jacob Zuma after a court found Shabir Sheik, Zuma’s old friend and advisor, guilty of bribing Zuma to safeguard his company’s interests. Zuma was subsequently also charged.

Mbeki and HIV/AIDS

The most serious criticism of Mbeki concerned his approach to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic in 2001. Mbeki’s ‘dissident’ position saw him questioning the link between HIV and AIDS, and by implication the efficacy of anti-retroviral drugs. Mbeki was casting doubt on the ‘orthodox’ theory that HIV causes AIDS. Gevisser describes Mbeki’s approach to the disease as shaped by his obsession with race, the legacy of colonialism and ‘sexual shame’.

Mbeki withheld the distribution of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs to public hospitals because he believed pharmaceutical companies were exaggerating the link between HIV and AIDS to increase sales of drugs, and that they concealed the toxic side effects of ARVs – which some critics believe has killed more people than the disease itself.

Critics on the other side believe that Mbeki’s unorthodox beliefs cost South Africa thousands of lives by delaying the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs. His view was supported by the then Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

In May 2002, the Constitutional Court heard an appeal by the government against a High Court ruling requiring the government to provide nevirapine to all HIV-positive mothers.

Mbeki’s views on the HIV/AIDS controversy not only tainted his reputation in the international community but had a negative impact on NEPAD.


Many of Mbeki’s policies were influenced by his concept of African identity. Described by some as a ‘quintessential African nationalist’, Mbeki was driven by a desire to free South Africa and Africa as a whole from racial oppression and colonialism. His principal aim, according to The Economist, has been ‘to establish the new South Africa as, first and foremost, a black African country’.

In Mbeki’s own words, he wanted  ‘to persuade Africa to set up its own institutions and mechanisms for solving its problems, thus ending the constant, humiliating requests for aid to the West’s former colonial powers’.

The Economistreports on interventions led by Mbeki to tackle some of the continent’s most difficult political problems, most notably:

  • ‘Helping to get the warring parties to the negotiating table to end the civil war in Burundi.
  • Helping to facilitate the complex negotiations that produced a successful referendum on a new constitution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ‘one of the continent’s most war-ravaged states’.
  • Playing a part in ending conflicts in Sudan and Liberia.’

Mbeki was most noted for his efforts in setting up permanent institutions to serve Africa, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the African Union (AU). Launched in 2001 with its headquarters in South Africa, Nepad was designed to heed a call to Africans to find African solutions to their problems:

‘The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a programme of the African Union (AU) adopted in Lusaka, Zambia in 2001. NEPAD is a radically new intervention, spearheaded by African leaders to pursue new priorities and approaches to the political and socio-economic transformation of Africa. NEPAD’s objective is to enhance Africa’s growth, development and participation in the global economy.’

Launched in 2001, Nepad – ‘very much [Mbeki's] idea’ – is a socio-economic development blueprint for the continent which, crucially, ‘is designed to make African countries themselves responsible for upholding standards of democracy and good governance through the African Peer Review Mechanism’.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established on 25 May 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and this day is celebrated as Africa Day throughout the continent. During this time only 32 African states had gained their independence from colonialism. The main objectives of the OAU were:

  • The eradication of all forms of colonialism in Africa
  • The promotion of unity and solidarity of the African state
  • To defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and their independence.

On 9 September 1999, the Heads of State and the Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration, called the Sirte Declaration, announcing the establishment of the African Union. The vision of the African Union (AU) is that of ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena’.

It was on 9 July 2002, that the AU was launched to replace the OAU at a ceremony in Durban, South Africa. The AU now consists of 54 member states. During his time in office, Mbeki played a pivotal role in positioning South Africa as a regional power broker, thereby promoting the idea of solving African problems with Africans solutions.  Mbeki has played an influential role in mediating peace deals in Burundi, Rwanda, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mbeki’s descent from power

Mbeki was heavily critised for his perceived complacency with regard to the rule of Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe. Critics believed that instead of ‘quiet diplomacy’, Mbeki should have taken a tougher line against Mugabe, who dealt violently with opposition to his regime and expropriated farms owned by whites.

The crises of the Zimbabwean economy had a knock-on effect in South Africa as thousands of Zimbabweans flooded into the country, seeking employment and refuge. The influx has, according to some, led to an increase in crime and a housing shortage. The situation resulted in a series of xenophobic attacks in May 2008. Mbeki was accused of failing to acknowledge the magnitude of the problem.

Mbeki and his succession 

Mbeki’s downfall can be traced to the moment in 2005 when he relieved Jacob Zuma of his duties as Deputy President due to his implication in the corruption scandal. This caused a split in the ANC between Mbeki’s allies and supporters of Zuma.

At the ANC conference in Polokwane in December 2007, Mbeki  once again stood for election as ANC president but lost to Jacob Zuma, who went on to become the ANC’s presidential candidate for the 2009 general election.

In 2008, Jacob Zuma was cleared of all corruption charges, leading to the ANC National Executive Committee’s decision to ‘recall’ Mbeki. This resulted in Mbeki announcing his resignation on 21 September 2008. After leaving office Mbeki was appointed as the African Union’s lead negotiator for resolving the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.



McGreal, (2007), Mbeki admits he is still Aids dissident six years on, from The Guardian, 6 November, [online] Available[Accessed 24 August 2012] Pottinger, B, (2008), The Thabo Mbeki Legacy, (Zebra Press).

IMAGE sources:

  • Mayibuye Archives
  • ANC Archives,
  • University of Fort Hare Main Archives
  • Thabo and Zanele Mbeki
  • IDASA Resource Centre
  • Johnnic Communications
  • Gabriel Mokgoko
  • Carin Norberg
  • Tiny Nokwe
  • Olive Mpahlwa
  • Essop and Meg Pahad
  • Karl Mbeki
  • Philippa Ingram
  • Derek Gunby
  • Ann Nicholson
  • Evening Argus, Daily Worker
  • Independent Newspapers
  • New Age,1962
  • Norah Moerane
  • Joanne Bloch
  • Morija Museum and Archives

Inkosi u Phondolwendlovu Zanembeko Ndamase born 18 June 1951

Phondolwendlovu Zanembeko Ndamase born 18 June 1951 e1403088431430 212x300 Inkosi u Phondolwendlovu Zanembeko Ndamase born 18 June 1951Ngalemini: 18 KweyeSilimela

Kuzalwa Inkosi u Phondolwendlovu Zanembeko Ndamase unyana ka Kumkani wamaMpondo aseNtshona eNyandeni u Tutor Nyangelizwe Vulindlela Ndamase nowakwakhe, HRH Jessie Thandiwe Zulu, owazalwa siSilo samaZulu u King Solomon ka Dinuzulu.

INKOSI u Phondolwendlovu uzalwa ne Nkosi u Makaziwe Ndamase utata weKumkani yamaMpondo aneNtshona kungoku nje u Kumkani u Ndamase Ndamase, kunye no Princess Feziwe Ndamase [Queen Nondwe Inkosikazi ka Kumkani u Xolilizwe Mzikayise SIGCAWU wesizwe samaXhosa, kuma Gcaleka], kunye ne Nkosi u Zwelicacile Ndamase, no Princess Caciswa Ndamase, no Princess Boniswa Hombisa Ndamase, no Princess Dr. Kanyiswa Lizeka Ndamase.

INKOSI u Phondolwendlovu yona yasishiya ngonyaka 2001, isishiya inababantwana:
HRH Princess Nombongo Ndamase &
HRH Prince Mlimandlela Mandlezulu Ndamase

HRH Inkoisi u Mlimandlela Ndamase uthi “On this day in 1951, iSilo esikhulu saseNyandeni, uVulindlela eziy’ezulwini neziya esihogweni, irhamba elimdaka elisel’emhlanga zekuhluth’amarhuba, kuhluth’iNyanda. umfene ka madala ndiyayi hlinza iyandi hleka kunye neNkosikazi yakomkhulu uMaghebe, intombi kaKumkani uSolomon ka Dinizulu yesizwe samaZulu. Isilo sakwa Dlamahlahla balizwa ngonyana, uPondolwendlovu Zanembeko Ndamase. uMzukulwana ka Mlimandlela wentsimi zikaMandela, ezayidla amazantsi zayidla amantla. Wayelindwe ngubani, wayelinde ngunozililo. uZil’izindlu zamarhundasi kuba efuna uhlala kwezabelungu. uham ham ke sitsheketshe. uZenimlumkele magqobhoka uyadlisa naseKofini.

Happy Birthday iNkosi/Adv. Phondolwendlovu ‘Ntabayitshi’ Ndamase… 1951-06-18 to 2001 -0Ayitshi’lentaba!”