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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Mhlaba, Raymond

1920 - 2005

Mhlaba was born in the Eastern Cape. He was a member of both the SACP and the ANC and was active in the Council for Non-European Trade Unions. He chaired the Eastern Cape bus boycott action committee in 1949, was chosen as the Port Elizabeth Defiance Campaign's volunteer-in-chief in 1952, and was the first ANC leader arrested in the campaign. He was arrested and detained on several occasions in the 1950s and early 1960s, and was charged with treason in the 1956 Treason Trial. He was elected to the ANC Cape Executive Committee in 1954. Mhlaba did military training in China prior to the formation of MK and on his return he served as MK's Commander in Chief. Mhlaba was among the Rivonia trialists and was one of those sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released in October 1989.

After the unbanning of the ANC Mhlaba became a member of the ANC's interim leadership group of the SACP. In 1991 he was elected to the ANC's National Executive Committee. He was appointed premier of the Eastern Cape in 1994 and elected unopposed as national chairman of the SACP in 1995. He received the ANC medal Isithwalandwe and served in 1997 as South African High Commissioner to Uganda.

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.