Robert Sobukwe: 1 of the most feared activists during apartheid

Robert Sobukwe: 1 of the most feared activists during apartheid

- Robert Sobukwe's vision for revolution was a united Africa, considering anyone who was happy with an African minority rule as Africans.

- Apartheid government feared him and kept him in solitary confinement during his imprisonment

- Recordings of his talks were destroyed

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South Africa’s history has given rise to countless heroic and intelligent activists and academics who shaped a new nation with their visions of how South Africa should be. One such philosopher was Professor Robert Sobukwe, the first leader of the Pan-African Congress.

Remembering leaders and their contributions to African politics helps remind us of the country’s potential for growth and prosperity, learned.

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Robert Sobukwe was feared by the apartheid regime because of his strong opinions and thirst for revolution. Recordings of his seminars and talks were destroyed by the former government and to this day, the Sobukwe Foundation, which was founded in his honour, cannot locate his recorded voice, writes Twitter user, Tebogo Ditshego.

Sobuwke made a significant role in fighting pass laws. He led protesters during the demonstration which led to the Sharpville Massacre. He was imprisoned for inciting violence.

Like many political activists during the struggle, Sobukwe was imprisoned on Robben Island. He spent years in solitary confinement to keep him from interacting with the other prisoners.

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Tebogo writes that once, revolutionary Steve Biko, walked into a room and upon seeing Biko, remarked, “Tyhini, noThixo ulapha!" ("Phew, even God is here!”). Biko had enormous respect for Sobukwe, who was his mentor. Sobukwe's work inspired the Black Consciousness movement.

Sobukwe was an Africanist and advocated for uniting Africa, promoting Black Consciousness. He believed that any person that readily aligned him- or herself with the continent and was happy with an African majority rule should have been considered African.

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