About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

First, Ruth

1925 - 1982

A journalist, academic and political activist, First graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA Social Studies degree. She and her parents were members of the CPSA. She married Joe Slovo in 1949.

She was editor of the left wing newspaper The Guardian, and later of Fighting Talk. In 1960 she became the Johannesburg editor of New Age. In 1953 she helped to form the Congress of Democrats and was on the drafting committee of the Freedom Charter. In 1956 she was arrested, charged with treason and was detained again in 1963 for 117 days. Shortly after her release she left South Africa for London. She moved to Mozambique in the 1970s and was killed there by a letter bomb in 1982.

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.