Issy Heymann was born on the 24 December 1910 in Lithuania. At the age of nineteen, in 1931, Heymann arrived in South Africa. In 1935, he became an executive member of the Native Trade Assistance Union and in 1936, he joined the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA). He was also a member of the Jewish Workers Club. Issy Heymann fought during the Second World War and when the war ended, he became a member of the Springbok Legion. After the CPSA was banned in 1950, he became a member of the Congress of Democrats (COD). During the State of Emergency which was declared in 1960 lssy Heymann was detained for 90 days.
Heymann was arrested on 10 September 1965, making him South Africa’s first 180 day detainee. It was not his first experience of this nature. At the very end of December 1964 he had been detained with the aim of making him testify in the Bram Fischer Trial, but Heymann refused.
Issy Heymann died in 1989.