Names: Motsoaledi, Elias
Born: 1924, Sekhukhuniland
In summary: Chairman of the Council of Non-European Trade Unions and the South African Congress of Trade Unions, member of the ANC's Transvaal executive, Rivonia Trial accused, Robben Island priosner, elected to the NEC of the ANC.
Born in Sekhukhuniland in 1924, Elias Motsoaledi spent his formative years as an active trade unionist. The first union he joined was the Leather Workers' Union in 1949. He served as chairman of the Council of Non-European Trade Unions and in the South African Congress of Trade Unions after its formation. He joined the ANC in 1948, becoming a member of the Transvaal executive. Detained during the 1960 state of emergency, and again in 1963 under the notorious 90-day detention laws, Motsoaledi was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia trial. He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962 and participated in its activities. At the July 1991 National Conference Elias Motsoaledi was elected to the NEC of the ANC.