Over 70 years old, William Mosehle Sekhukhune’s banishment order described him as a half-brother of Paramount Chief Sekhukhune. It was alleged that his status gave him great influence in the area and he used this to undermine the state. He was accused of being a leader of a secret organisation that fermented opposition and incited murder and arson and violent armed attacks on the police. At the time that his banishment order was signed, he was in custody awaiting trial for alleged violence. Officials feared that he could be acquitted due to insufficient evidence and argued that if permitted to remain in Sekhukhuneland, Lydenburg District, [Northern]Transvaal [now Limpopo Province], more disturbances were sure to follow,. They recommended that a banishment order should be prepared in case he was acquitted.

Sekhukhune spent two years in jail and was then banished in 1960 toHlabisa District, Natal [now KwaZulu-Natal]. His partner, aged almost 70, only found this out from the authorities when she enquired why he was not yet home from prison. Because of language difficulties, he was only able to send a few letters. He had informed her that despite his old age he was working in the fields to survive. He was told that if he wanted his family to join him, he would have to pay their fare.

His banishment order was withdrawn on 25 September 1969.


• Contribution by Professor S. Badat on Banishment, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat

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