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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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Motlana, Ntatho

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Dr Motlana was born in 1925 and has been referred to as 'the grandfather of Soweto politics'.

He is a medical doctor, community leader, political campaigner and leading business personality.

Motlana qualified in medicine and chemistry at the Universities of Fort Hare and the Witwatersrand. He entered extra-parliamentary politics in the 1940s and was appointed secretary of the African National Congress Youth League in 1949. He served two banning orders and one period of detention.

During the 1970s he was instrumental in establishing the Black Parents" Association, formed to help those affected by the 1976 student rebellion and its bloody aftermath. He was also architect of it's successor, the Committee of Ten, an influential Soweto residents' organisation.

In the 1980s, as president of the Soweto Civic Association, a body affiliated to the broad-based United Democratic Front (UDF), he led the campaign to boycott black municipal elections.

In the 1990s he held senior positions in the business world, among them chairmanship of New Africa Investments (NAIL), MTN, and Metropolitan Life, together with directorships of, among others, Sasol, Barlow Rand and Transnet.

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

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.