23 May 1926
Joe Slovo, the former South African Communist Party (SACP) and African National Congress (ANC) leader and Minister of Housing was born in Lithuania. From 1950s Slovo became a victim of the government repressive legislations. In 1954 he was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1951. However, Slovo and other political activists proceeded with their political engagements clandestinely. He was instrumental in the drafting of the Freedom Charter, but was unable to attend the Congress of the People held in Kliptown because of his restriction order. In 1963 Slovo skipped the country to work on African National Congress external missions. After the unbanning of the liberation movements in 1990 by the then state president F.W De Klerk, Slovo made his way back to the country. After first South Africa democratic elections, which were won by the ANC, Slovo became Member of Parliament and Minister of Housing in the Government of National Unity.