One of the first-string accused in the Treason Trial, he was born in 1913 in Grahams town and completed the sixth grade. He worked as a cigarette salesman in Port Elizabeth and was chairman of a local branch of the African National Congress.

Arrested for passive resistance during the 1952 Defiance Campaign and for holding and addressing various illegal meetings, he was already in prison at the time of the December 1956 treason arrests. He returned to Port Elizabeth at the end of the trial in 1961, suffering from failing vision.

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