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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Maduna, Penuell Mpapa

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Penuell Maduna was born in December 1952 in Johannesburg. His father died soon after his birth. Maduna's grandmother was a card carrying member of the ANC, and thus Maduna was exposed to political issues at an early age.

Maduna was a Zulu speaker, matriculating from the Eshowe Government Bantu School in Natal in 1975. He enrolled, with the help of a bursary at the University of Zululand, as a law student. He was elected chairperson of the interim committee in his first year, and had the task of reviving the SASO branch structures. He remained chairperson until 1974.

On 18 June 1976, as part of a protest against the killing of Soweto school children, buildings at the university was set on fire. Maduna was arrested and detained from June 1976 until July

1977. He was tried under the Terrorism Act, but was acquitted. Later he was again tried for his ANC underground activities, but was acquitted in 1979.

With the help of the ANC Maduna left the country for Swaziland. In 1983 he was arrested and deported from Swaziland along with other members of the ANC. He then worked for the ANC in Mozambique, Tanzania and Harare, where he completed his LLB degree at the University of Zimbabwe.

Whilst deployed at the ANC's headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia, Maduna was a founder member of the ANC's constitutional committee, and was thus closely involved with the development of the ANC's constitutional guidelines from 1985 through the Harare Declaration in 1989, Codesa in 1991-92, and the negotiation process at the World Trade Centre in 1993.He also participated in almost all the meetings the ANC had with white South Africans while the organisation was still banned. He was one of the first officials sent by the ANC to South Africa for "talks about talks". Maduna represented the ANC at the Groote Schuur talks, and at the DF Malan talks, which reaffirmed the ANC's decision to suspend the armed struggle unilaterally.

He co-authored with Azhar Cachalia, the Fundamental Rights in the New Constitution, which was published in 1994.During the Codesa phase of the negotiations, he completed his masters degree through the University of Witwatersrand. He is a member of the board of the faculty of Law at the University of Witwatersrand.

He was appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs after the 1994 elections, and in June 1996 was appointed Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs.

After the second democatic elections, June 1999, Maduna was appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. He announced that he would not stand for a third term of office and retired from active politics in 2004.

Sources: Gastrow, S. 1995. Who's Who in South African Politics, Number 5. Ravan Press: Johannesburg.

Peter Joyce, A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography (1999). Francolin : Cape Town.

Eds: Phillip van Niekerk & Barbara Ludman: A Z of South African Politics 1999: The Essential Handbook. Penguin Books: Sandton.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.