Edgar Dumile Ngoyi was born on 26 December 1926 in the Eastern Cape. He worked as a painter and builder. Ngoyi became politically active in the ANC as a member of the ANC Youth League in the 1950s. He actively involved organising activities of the Defiance Campaign in 1952 by making Port Elizabeth an important base for the ANC in the period. After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Ngoyi went underground where he established a network through which he recruited people to uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC. In 1963, he was arrested and sentenced to 17 years on Robben Island.

Ngoyi and  Henry Fazzie joined Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO) in 1984, soon after their release from Robben Island. Through PEBCO Ngoyi and his comrades took up campaigns on community issues of rent and poor services. Armed with oratory, Ngoyi fused those issues with broader struggle linking them to earlier anti colonial struggles. Ngoyi was later elected as president of the Eastern Cape regional executive of the United Democratic Front (UDF). While serving in the post, Ngoyi played an important role in putting forward common national demands for the dismantling of apartheid.

A 1987 Supreme Court case found that the amabutho who were guarding Ngoyi’s house guilty of burning to death one of Ngoyi’s visitors a young Azanian Peoples Organisation (AZAPO) member who had come to beg forgiveness for his role in a petrol bomb attack.

Ngoyi died at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on 31 October 2007 aged 81. He was buried at Kubusi Location near Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape.


African National Congress, (2007),    ANC mourns the death of Stalwart Edgar Ngoyi from the African National Congress,  [online], Available at www.ancyl.org.za  [Accessed 25 August 2011]| Buntman F.L, (2003), Robben Island and prisoner resistance to apartheid (Cambridge University Press), p.165|Lodge T and Nasson B, (1992),  All, here, and now: Black politics in South Africa in the 1980s, (London), p.70|Naki E, (2007),  Firm belief in freedom  from the Sowetanlive, [online], Available at www.sowetanlive.co.za  [Accessed on 25 August 2011]

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