Elijah Nkwenkwe Loza was born in 1918 near Alice in the Ciskie,where his father was tribal  headman.After completing secondary education, he went to Cape Town as a migrant in the 1940s, working at the Groote Schuur Hospital and later at a bakery where he became an organizer foir the African Food and Canning Workers' Union.He joined the African National Congress (ANC) and Communist Party (CP),and in 1955 participated in a study group in a squatter camp near Elsie's River which helped organized in the Western Cape for the Congress of the People.

In the 1960s, while chairman of the  Western Cape region of South  Africa Congress of Trade Union (SACTU) and secretary of the Commercial and Distributive Workers' Union in Cape Town,Loza worked with Montain Qumbela and others to keep ANC undergroup communications intact and to recruit for Umkhonto we Sizwe.He was held for three successive periods under the 90-day detention law in 1963, he was chargeds late that year with furthering the aims of the banned ANC.He was sentenced to six years' imprisonment in the trial State v. Mbolompo and 44 others,but was released after five months on Robben Island when the verdict was reversed on appeal in 1965.He was immediately placed under 24-hour house arrest,and issued the first of two five -year banning orders.

While under ban in the early 1970s he was involved in starting the Western Province Workers'Advice Bureau,which later became the General Workers' Union.When his bans expired,Loza made a secret trip to Botswana in July1975 where he was  able to confer for a day and half with Ray Simons and other exiled SACTU officials.Detained in connection with  the Cape Town stay-away of September 1976, he was released in November and rebanned for five years.The following May,he was again detained.In August 1977,he died,still in detention,in Cape Town's Tygerberg Hospital,of a stroke almost certainly brought on by torture at the hands of the police.

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 23 May 2019)

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