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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Joe Slovo b. May 23, 1926

Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo at the Communist Party's first public meeting in South Africa in 1990, after being banned for decades

The great Joe Slovo, an iconic hero in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa, was born May 23, 1926. Slovo was the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party between 1984-1995, was chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress and served as Minister for Housing in Nelson Mandela's government until his death in 1995 due to cancer.

"While the history of the South African struggle for liberation and social emancipation is a collective history of the interrelated class, national and gender transformation struggles, the outstanding role played by dedicated individuals merits attention. Slovo was one of the great thinkers, strategists, tacticians and leaders of the struggle. He was involved in intellectual production and practical action to achieve democracy in South Africa, and to advance broader social transformation towards the goals of the Freedom Charter and beyond, under a socialist transition."


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