Academic and ANC politician Z.K. Matthews dies


Z.K. Mathews

Sunday, 12 May 1968

On 12 May 1968, South African academic, African National Congress (ANC) politician, and Botswana's first ambassador to the USA and envoy to the UN, Zachariah Keodirelang (ZK) Matthews, died in Washington, USA. He was buried in Gaborone, Botswana

"Bridging the gap between the old guard and the more militant younger members of the African National Congress in the late 1940s and 1950s, Zachariah Keodirelang Matthews exercised a major guiding and moderating influence on African political history in its most crucial period. He was at the same time South Africa's, and perhaps the continent's, most distinguished African intellectual"

• Matthews, ZK., (2011), 'A biography of ZK Matthews', from South African history online, [online], Available at,z.htm
• Verwey, E.J. (ed)(1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1 , Pretoria: HSRC, p. 163.
• Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v.7, p. 245).
Maharaj, M., (2001), 'Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Inaugural ZK Matthews Memorial Lecture. University of Fort Hare', from Nelson Mandela Organisation, 12 October, [online], Available at [Accessed: 28 May 2014]

Last updated : 12-May-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

Support South African History Online

Dear friends of SAHO

South African History Online (SAHO) needs your support.

SAHO is one of the most visited websites in South Africa with over 6 million unique users a year. Our goal is to fulfill our mandate and continue to build, and make accessible, a new people’s history of South Africa and Africa.

Please help us deliver this by contributing upwards of $1.00 a month for the next 12 months.

Make a donation here and send us a message of support.