Nelson Mandela Foundation


27 May, 2011– On behalf of our Founder, Chairperson, Board of Trustees and staff, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of John Solane Mavuso who passed away in hospital in Midrand on Tuesday, 24 May, 2011.

Born in Ermelo, Mavuso, 83, became a member of the African National Congress national executive committee from 1955 – 56 and was banned under apartheid legislation. He was arrested in Alexandra on 5 December, 1956 and held, with Nelson Mandela, as one of the 156 accused in the 1956 Treason Trial. The marathon trial, in which men and women, black and white, were accused, was a response to the June 1956 adoption of the Freedom Charter.

By January 1958 charges had been withdrawn against Mavuso and 64 others. At the end of the trial which lasted four-and-a-half years, the only remaining accused were Mr. Mandela and 27 others. They were acquitted on 29 March 1961.

In the 1960s Mavuso belonged to an underground cell of the African National Congress which, among others, helped people escape apartheid South Africa for military training or education.

In 1996 Mavuso became a Minister in South Africa’s government of national unity.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter, three sons and seven grandchildren.