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Anthony Butler

South African lawyer, trade unionist, politician, and businessman, was born in the Western Native Township close to Johannesburg on 17 November 1952. His father, Samuel Mundzhedzi Ramaphosa (d. 1987), who hailed from eastern Venda, became a police sergeant in Soweto in the year Cyril was born. His mother, Erdmuthe Muti Ramaphosa (d. 2001), was raised in western Venda and became a Johannesburg domestic worker and later an administration clerk. Ramaphosa was preceded by a sister, Ivy (b. 1948), and followed by a brother, Douglas (b. 1957).

The Ramaphosa family was forcibly evicted under racial residence legislation in 1962 and relocated to the Tshiawelo area of Soweto. Ramaphosa’s parents were active in the community and in the Lutheran church in which Cyril was raised. He was educated at Tshilidzi primary school and Sekano-Ntoane high school, where he was increasingly influenced by black consciousness ideas. In 1969 he moved to ...


Kate Tuttle

Oliver Tambo was eulogized at his funeral by longtime friend and partner Nelson Mandela as the man who had made the African National Congress (ANC) “the strongest political force in the country.” Born into a devout Anglican farming family in Bizana, in the Transkei region of South Africa, he described his childhood as politically sheltered. While a student at the University of Fort Hare, however, Tambo led protests against the administration, resulting in his expulsion in 1942. At Fort Hare Tambo also met Mandela, then a fellow student.

Tambo was teaching science and mathematics at Saint Peter’s University (he had received a bachelor’s degree in science before his expulsion) when he and Mandela helped form the ANC’s Youth League in 1944. The Youth League energized the historically conservative ANC and facilitated the elections of Tambo and Mandela to the ANC’s executive body in 1949 In the 1950s ...


Peter Limb

African National Congress (ANC) leader in South Africa, was born 27 October 1917 in Nkantolo village Mbizana district Mpondoland South Africa His parents were Julia a Christian convert and Mzimeni Tambo a prosperous but illiterate farmer who christened his son Kaizana after the German Kaizer in defiance of recent British colonization Childhood in a harmonious extended family emphasized Amapondo cultural consensus and cattle herding but migrant labor drew off relatives who suffered tuberculosis and mine deaths aiding his father s ruin Renamed Oliver at Ludeke Methodist School he proceeded to Holy Cross School Flagstaff where fees were paid by church benefactors in England and his older brother Scholastic brilliance saw him graduate from St Peter s Secondary School in Johannesburg then secure a bachelor of science degree from Fort Hare University where additional study for a teaching diploma was cut short when he was expelled for leading student demands ...