John Stephen Gomas was born on 8th April 1901 near Malmesbury in the Western Cape.He was the only child of divorced mother,he completed most of his school before moving with his mother to the Malay Camp in Kimberly and becoming apprenticed to atailor at age 14.He joined the at the age 18 Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union (ICU),the International Socialist League,which later became the Communist  Party of South Africa (CPSA ) and despite being a coloured person,the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) later the African National Congress(ANC).In 1920 Gomas moved to Cape Town and within three years was a full-time organizer for theICU,becoming its Western Cape provincial secretary.

In 1928,after publicly protecting against police who had shot dead an African in Paarl for having no pass,Gomas served three months in jail under the "hostility clause" of the 1927 Native Administration Act.In1931 the Communist Party was in steady decline due to heavy-handed interventions by the Comintern.He and James La Guma had agreed to back the controversial Native Republic doctrine handed down by Moscow,but despite embracing party orthodoxy,Gomas was expelled from the CPSAin 1933,allegedly for promoting cooperation with non-communists.He became a founder in 1935 with La Guma,Cassie Gool and others,of the National Liberation League later called European United Front but it too fractured and witherde by 1938,by which time Gomas had been re-admitted to the CPSA.


Gail M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990) (last accessed 04 December 2018)

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