- Robert Sobukwe
name = Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
office = President of the Pan Africanist Congress
April 6, 1959
term_end = 1963
birth_date = Birth date|1924|12|5
Graaff Reinet, Cape Province, Union of South Africa
death_date = Death date and age|1978|2|27|1924|12|5
death_place = Kimberley,
Cape Province, South Africa
party = Pan Africanist Congress
civil partner =
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (
5 December 1924; 27 February 1978) was a South African political dissident, who founded the Pan Africanist Congressin opposition to the apartheid regime.
Sobukwe was born in
Graaff-Reinetin the Cape Provinceon the 5 December, 1924. He came from a poor household and was educated locally. He attended a Methodistcollege at Healdtownand later Fort Hare Universitywhere he joined the African National CongressYouth League (ANCYL) in 1948.
In 1952 Sobukwe achieved notoriety backing the
Defiance Campaign.He identified with the Africanistswithin the African National Congressand in 1957 left the ANC to become Editor of " The Africanist" newspaper in Johannesburg.
He was a strong believer in an Africanist future for South Africa and rejected any model suggesting working with anyone other than blacks, despite the large non-black minorities in the country. He later left the ANC and formed the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), where he was elected its first President in 1959.
Robert Sobukwe became known as the Professor to his close compatriots and followers. This was witness to his educational achievements and powers of speech. He spoke of the need for black South Africans to "liberate themselves" without the help of non-blacks. His strong conviction and active resistance inspired generations of South Africans, and also inspired many organizations involved in the anti-apartheid movement, notably the
Black Consciousness Movement.
21 March 1960, the PAC led a nationwide protest against the hated Pass Lawwhich require black people to carry a pass book at all times. Sobukwe led a march to the local police station at Orlando, Sowetoin order to openly defy the laws. He was joined on route by a few followers and, after presenting his pass to a police officer, he purposely made himself guilty under the terms of the Pass Law for being present in a region/area other than that allowed in his papers. In a similar protest the same day in Sharpeville, police opened fire on a crowd of PAC supporters, killing 69 in the Sharpeville Massacre.
Following Sobukwe's arrest, he was charged and convicted of
incitement, and sentenced to three years in prison. After serving his sentence, he was internedon Robben Island. The new General Law Amendment Act was passed, allowing his imprisonment to be renewed annually at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. This procedure became known as the " Sobukwe clause" and went on for a further three years. Sobukwe was the only person imprisoned under this clause.
Robben Island imprisonment
Sobukwe was kept in
solitary confinementbut permitted certain privileges including books, newspapers, civilian clothes, bread etc. He lived in a separate area on the Island where he had no contact with other prisoners. The only contacts were his secret hand signals whilst outside for exercise. Despite this he succeeded in giving his approval to the external PAC to adopt a Maoistpolitical program. He studied during this time and received (among others) a degree in economicsfrom the University of London.
It is speculated that the South African administration had profiled Robert Sobukwe as a more radical and difficult opponent than the regular ANC prisoners.
Throughout his imprisonment, Sobukwe maintained communication with his friend
Benjamin Pogrundwho later became his biographer ("Sobukwe and Apartheid," Johannesburg, J.Ball, 1990).
Kimberley: internal exile
Sobukwe was released in 1969. He was allowed to live in Kimberley with his family but remained under
house arrest. Kimberley was suggested as an area where he could not easily foster subversive activities and also a place where he could live and work, whilst being easily monitored by the state.He was also restricted through a banning order, which disallowed political activities.
Various restrictions barred Sobukwe from traveling overseas, thus curtailing his attempts at furthering his education. For this same reason he had to turn down several positions as a teacher at various locations in the
Robert Sobukwe finished his law degree with the help of a local lawyer, in
Galeshewe. On completion he then started his own practice in 1975 in Kimberley.
Illness and death
Due to lung cancer, he was hospitalised in 1977. His doctors requested that the authorities allow him freedom of movement on
humanitariangrounds. This request was refused. He died on 27 February 1978, and was buried in Graaf-Reineton 11 March 1978.
In 2004 Sobukwe was voted 42nd in the
SABC3's Great South Africans.
Benjamin Pogrund, Sobukwe's biographer
* [http://about-south-africa.com/html/robert_sobukwe.html Robert Sobukwe - Leader of the Africanist]
* [http://www.wits.ac.za/histp/sobukwe.htm Collection of historical papers on Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe at The University of the Witwatersrand Library]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Robert Sobukwe — Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (né le 5 décembre 1924 décédé le 27 février 1978) était un homme politique d Afrique du Sud, fondateur du Congrès panafricain. Robert Sobukwe est né dans une famille méthodiste et pauvre de Graaff Reinet dans la province… … Wikipédia en Français
Robert Sobukwe — Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (* 5. Dezember 1924; † 27. Februar 1978 in Kimberley) war ein südafrikanischer nationalistischer Führer und erster Präsident des Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). Biografie Nach der Schulausbildung an Missionsschulen… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Robert Gabriel Mugabe — Robert Mugabe Robert Mugabe 4e président de la République du Zimbabwe … Wikipédia en Français
Robert Mugabe — en janvier 2008, durant le sommet de l Union africaine à Addis Abeba (Éthiopie). Mandats 4 … Wikipédia en Français
Robert — /rob euhrt/, n. 1. Henry Martyn /mahr tn/, 1837 1923, U.S. engineer and authority on parliamentary procedure: author of Robert s Rules of Order (1876, revised 1915). 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning glory and bright. * * * (as… … Universalium
Robert — (as used in expressions) Adam, Robert Aldrich, Robert Altman, Robert (B.) Ashe, Arthur (Robert), Jr. Baden Powell (de Gilwell), Robert Stephenson Smyth, 1 barón Bakewell, Robert Baldwin, Robert Ballard Robert D(uane) Bly, Robert (Elwood) Borden,… … Enciclopedia Universal
Robert Mugabe — Mugabe redirects here. For other uses, see Mugabe (disambiguation). Robert Mugabe … Wikipedia
Sobukwe, Robert (Mangaliso) — born Dec. 5, 1924, Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony died Feb. 27, 1978, Kimberley, S.Af. South African black nationalist leader. Sobukwe insisted that South Africa be returned to its indigenous inhabitants ( Africa for the Africans ). Charging the… … Universalium
Sobukwe — Sobụkwe, Robert Mangaliso, südafrikanischer Politiker, * Graaff Reinet (Kapprovinz) 5. 12. 1924, ✝ Kimberley 26. 2. 1978; war Lehrer, gründete (1959) und führte den Pan African Congress (PAC); bekämpfte die Apartheidpolitik (Kampagne gegen die … Universal-Lexikon
Sobukwe, Robert (Mangaliso) — (5 dic. 1924, Graaff Reinet, Colonia de El Cabo–27 feb. 1978, Kimberley, Sudáfrica). Líder nacionalista negro de Sudáfrica. Insistió en que el país fuera devuelto a su población indígena ( África para los africanos). Convencido de que el Congreso … Enciclopedia Universal