Who is Prof Robert Sobukwe and why is Twitter talking about him?

Who is Prof Robert Sobukwe and why is Twitter talking about him?

Although Professor Robert Sobukwe is one of the most revered leaders of the anti-apartheid movement, his contribution is often overlooked.

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This is because the apartheid regime reportedly did all it could to destroy all of his audio recordings and some of his writings.

However, South African Twitter users have not forgotten Sobukwe's immense contribution. Briefly.co.za looks at why his legacy endures.

Sobukwe was born on 5 December, 1924 in Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape. He studied at Fort Hare University and was especially interested in literature and poetry.

He became the ANC Youth League's National Secretary before starting life in Johannesburg in 1954 as a lecturer of African Studies at Wits University.

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Prof Robert Sobukwe. Source: SABC News

Prof Robert Sobukwe. Source: SABC News

As Sobukwe's influence grew, his ideas differed from those of the ANC. He subsequently founded the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1958.

He famously inspired the anti-pass protests in Soweto on 21 March, 1960. The apartheid regime responded brutally, resulting in the Sharpeville massacre.

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Sobukwe pictured with his wife, Veronica. Source: SA History Online

Sobukwe pictured with his wife, Veronica. Source: SA History Online

Sobukwe was consequently arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. This was tripled to nine years under the "Sobukwe clause." He spent part of it at Robben Island in solitary confinement.

He was kept under house arrest in Kimberley upon his release before he succumbed to lung cancer in February 1978.

Sobukwe was married to Veronica Zondeni and the two had four children together.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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