Alpheus Madaba Madiba born in 1901, in Nzhelele in the northern Transvaal, into a Venda peasant family.He emigrated to Johannesburg when he was 17 and found work in a factory in the 1920s. he enrolled in classes at a Communist-run night school. He joined the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) in 1936 and from 1939 to 1950 served 11 years on its Johannesburg district committee.
Madiba returned often to his home area.Following the passager of Prime Minister Hertzog's 1936 Native Trust and Land Act,which was intended to expand the farming areas available to Africans, he could see that the re-division of land in the northern Transvaal was actually inimical to African interest because in many areas better land was being transferred to whites while rocky,hilly and malaria-infested land albeit in large portions,was allocated to Africans.In pursuing what government officials called rural "betterment" often associated with cattle culling,respected traditional chief were by-passed.
He was a founder of the Zoutpansberg Cultural Association in 1939 and the editor of Mbofolowo, the Venda language section of Inkululeko. He was a leader of the short-lived Non-European United Front in 1939 and an unsuccessful CPSA candidate for the Natives' Representative Council in 1942.The ZBA a well attended night school in Louis Trichardt,and was said to have upward of 3000 members by 1944.In 1953 he was banned while serving on the executive committee of an African National Congress (ANC) branch in Orlando township, Johannesburg.
In the mid 1950s, by which time the ZCA and the ZBA had faded ,Madiba and others formed Sebatakgomo, a rural, Pedi-centre organization.It focused on opposition to the Bantu Authorities system which placed government co-opted chiefs in charged of rural law and order rather than adhering to the customary selection of chief by the popular will of their subjects.Anger against Pretoria's system so intense that in 1957-58 open revolts took place in both Sekhukhune land in the eastern Transvaal,and in the Zeeruat distric,where passes for women was the main issue.
Mr Madiba ,a Namimbian detained under section 6 of the Terrorism Act,died in police cells on 9th September 1967.He was the first person to die in detention under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967.Detained on 8th September,he was reported to have committed suicide by hanging' Madiba was amongst a group of 37 men who were charged with acts of terrorism in South West Africa between June 1962 and May 1967 which included murder,arson,and armed robbery.Government sources said that the men had established a camp in Ovamboland.On 26 August 1966 the South African Police discover this camp and in the fighting that ensue three men were killed and Mr Madiba was injured.Mr Mdiba died before the trial began.
During the trial the defence counsel,Mr George Bizos,said that some of the accused had alleged that they were assaulted by security policemen while being interrogated after their arrest. Lieutenant P A Ferreira,a security policeman who was involved in the arrest of the accused,denied any knowledge of assaults during interrogation.He conceded,however, that this might have taken place during the arrests.
Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 - 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.|Gail M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990) http://www.jacana.co.za/component/virtuemart/?keyword=from+protest+to+ch... (last accessed 02 July 2019)|Behind Closed Doors. By Shireen Motala .South African Institute Race Relations.1987.