Alpheus Madaba Maliba

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Biographical information


Political Activist

First name: 
Alpheus Madaba
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
Nzhelele in the northern Transvaal
Date of death: 
September 1967
Location of death: 
Louis Trichardt prison

Alpheus Madaba Maliba born in 1901, in Nzhelele in the northern Transvaal, into a Venda peasant family.

In 1935 he went to Johannesburg, and, while working in a factory, he enrolled in classes at a Communist-run night school. He joined the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) in 1936 and from 1939 to 1950 served on its Johannesburg district committee.

He was a founder of the Zoutpansberg Cultural Association and the editor of Mbofolowo, the Venda language section of Inkululeko. He was a leader of the short-lived Non-European United Front in 1939 and an unsuccessful CPSA candidate for the Natives' Representative Council in 1942.

In 1953 he was banned while serving on the executive committee of an African National Congress (ANC) branch in Orlando township, Johannesburg.

He committed suicide by hanging in September 1967, while being held in the Louis Trichardt prison under the Terrorism Act.

• Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 - 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.

Last updated : 05-Mar-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011