Abraham Mogale

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Biographical information


Banished person

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On 27 February 1958, banishment orders were made out for three key Bahurutshe figures - Abraham Mogale, Kenneth Mosenyi and David Moiloa.

Abraham Mogale was a clerk in the Moiloa Reserve Local Council until November 1957 when he was dismissed for misconduct involving the copying of confidential documents from the files of the Native Commissioner (NC) of Zeerust [North West Province]. He allegedly sent the documents to a lawyer in Johannesburg who represented David Moiloa and Kenneth Mosenyi. He was accused of having ‘n venynige aard’ (bitter attitude) towards the NC because he had been reprimanded for a poor work ethic. Called to give evidence at a 1957 Commission of Enquiry, he was described as being ‘venomous to a degree I have seldom observed in my many years’ experience as a judicial officer.’

George Bizos’ (the famous South African advocate ) autobiography refers to a clerkin the NC’s office suspected of passing information to Shulamith Muller that provided evidence of the NC’s lack of ‘respect for legality’ and vindictiveness; this has to be Mogale. 

On 27 February 1958, he was banished to Gollel, in the Ingwavuma district of Natal [now KwaZulu-Natal] from Linokana Reserve (Zeerust), Marico District, Transvaal [now North West Province].

 His partner who was a teacher in Zeerust remained there, took care of, and educated the children. In response to a letter from Helen Joseph, he wrote, ‘After reading it, I felt relieved somewhat”¦.Before departing from Zeerust, I was given an allowance of two pounds. I have, up to the time of writing, received no assistance whatsoever. I am not in any employment; I am living with friends I made after my arrival here; these friends have allowed me to use their small hut for accommodation; the rest I see to myself”¦.I have been banished to the remotest part of Northern Zululand on the boundary of Swaziland. There is no transport facility in this place. Transport is only available as far as Ingwavuma. To Emanyiseni, where I live, is thirty-nine miles. The nearest hospital and doctor is thirty-nine miles from where I am. I do my shopping in Swaziland, as there is none here. I have to hire someone to go and do the shopping for me, going over the Umbombo mountains”¦.Life is not worth living.’

His banishment order was withdrawn on 8 December 1964.

• Contribution by Professor S. Badat on Banishment, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat

Last updated : 07-Nov-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 26-Mar-2012