Moses Kotane, the South African Communist Party and African National Congress stalwart, passed away in Russia on this day.
Kotane was born in Pella in Maphusumaneng Section, Transvaal (now North West) to a devout Christian family of Botswana origins. He received little formal schooling prior to entering the workforce. In 1922 at the age of 17, Kotane began working in Krugersdorp, where he worked in various jobs including as a photographer's assistant, domestic servant, miner and bakery worker.
Briefly.co.za remembers him with five interesting facts on the anniversary of his death.
1. Joining the SACP
In 1931 Kotane became active member of the South African Communist Party before it was banned in 1951.
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2. Becoming a member of the ANC
In 1946, he took African National Congress membership and became National Executive Committee member of the party. Like other prominent political leaders of the time, Kotane was harassed by the apartheid government agencies and repressive legislation. He was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1951.
3. Sneaking to the Bandung Conference
In 1955, Kotane and I.M. Cachalia snuck out of the country without proper documentation to attend the famous Bandung Conference, which was held in Indonesia. They were sent by the ANC as observers.
4. Life in exile
In 1963, he left the country for Tanzania. In exile, Kotane worked tirelessly for the ANC.
Kotane suffered a stroke in 1968. Following the stroke, he went for treatment in the Soviet Union, where he died in hospital.
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