Joseph Sallie Poonyane Molefi ‘was born in 1930 at Winburg in the Orange Free State and attended St. Peter’s School in Johannesburg, matriculating in 1948.’ He pursed Medical studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in the early 1950s, but they were jettisoned for political activism and ‘to become a full-time political organiser at the time of the 1952 Defiance Campaign.’
His banishment order, dated 1 November 1956, banished him to ‘the ward of Chief Mgoqozi in Reserve No. 19’ in the Nkandla district of Northern Natal, from Evaton Township, Vereeniging District, Transvaal. He was described as a ringleader. Apart from being Secretary of the Evaton People’s Transport Council, he was also the Secretary of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).It was alleged that the bus boycott, ‘actually started after he had convened various public meetings addressed by well-known Communists from Johannesburg.’He was arrested and charged for treason in 1956. He sat through the entire trial and was only acquitted in early 1961.
During the Treason Trial the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was formed, and Molefi was the only one among the final defendants who joined the PAC. He joined the organisation after fleeing to Lesotho in late 1961 to avoid another trial, and became part of its executive committee in exile.’ Later he became a press correspondent, covering Lesotho for several South African newspapers.’