Charles Kwelemthini Sakwe was born about 1886 in Idutywa in the Transkei and educated at Clarkebury Institution. After a period of apprenticeship at the court of the Gcaleka paramount chief, he was elected to the district council of Idutywa, and later, at the age of 29, he was appointed to the Transkeian Territories General Council. An eloquent speaker with influence throughout the Transkei, he was known as one of the "fathers of the Bunga" and served successively on the United Transkeian Territories General Council and the Transkeian Territorial Authority but was defeated for election to the Transkeian Legislative Assembly in 1963. A schoolmaster turned fanner and businessman, Sakwe was active in support of the Cape Native Voters' Association, and in 1927 he gave evidence before the parliamentary select committee on the Native bills. At the time he was elected to the NRC to represent the Transkei in 1937 he was an executive member of the All African Convention (AAC). He was active in the Methodist Church and once attended a conference of the Moral Re-Armament movement in Switzerland. He died in 1964.

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