Jameson Gilbert Coka was born in 1910 on a white farm near Vryheid, Natal, the son of a sharecropper. He won a bursary to Adams College, where he completed his schooling to junior certificate level. Attracted by the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union(ICU), he left school to join it in 1927, becoming a local ICU leader in Vryheid. But Kadalie's star was on the wane, and Coka was soon disillusioned by the ICU's weaknesses.he worked with Ballinger for some time to promote the Friends of Africa Society,a British organization supported by the Fabian Society that favoured solialism and trade union development. In the Communist Party he found a more congenial political home, and in the party organ,Umsebenzi, he found an outlet for his gifts as a writer.

In mid-1935, however, he was expelled from the CPSA for alleged reformist tendencies. For a brief period he worked on Pixley Seme's newspaper, Ikwezi. When it folded, he made an attempt to support himself through free-lance journalism but found white pressmen hostile to his nationalistic ideas. In 1935 he launched his own newspaper, the short-lived African Liberator. In 1946 he was among 52 people charged under war measure 145 and the Riotous Assemblies Act.he pleaded guilty to aiding an illegal strike and was release after paying a fine. He died in the 1960s.


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 October 2018)

Further reading list

Collections in the Archives