George Edward Peake

Posted by Jeeva Rajgopaul on

Biographical information

George Edward Peake


Founding member and national chairman of the South African Coloured People's Organisation, served in the navy in World War II,  active member of the Building Workers' Union, defendant in the 1956 Treason Trial, banned in 1955.

First name: 
George Edward
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
Western Province

George Edward Peake was a founding member and national Chairperson of the South African Coloured People's Organisation (SACPO) in the 1960s. He was born in the Cape in 1922. He finished 10 years of schooling and became apprenticed as a bricklayer. After serving in the navy in World War II, he became an active member of the Building Workers' Union. SACPO was founded in 1953, and Peake served as the organisation's Chairperson through the period of the Treason Trial, in which he was a defendant from 1956 until late 1958. He received banning orders in 1955 and again in 1961, after being detained for five months without charge during the 1960 state of emergency. In March 1961 he was elected to the Cape Town City Council. In 1962 he was jailed for two years for his involvement in a sabotage plot. Peake was subjected to house-arrest in 1964. In early 1968 the Apartheid government banished him from his homeland and Peake was forced into exile, on an exit permit, never being allowed to return home to South Africa. 

• Email to SAHO, dated 14 August 2017, from Cordelia Peake

Last updated : 11-Sep-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 27-Sep-2011