Jacob Matome

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Biographical information


Banished person

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Lives of courage

Jacob Matome (Rachabedi), originally resident at Matlala's Location, Pietersburg District, Northern Transvaal, [now Polokwane, Limpopo Province] was banished on 19 January 1955 to the Natives Reserve 8 (Mandini), Mtunzini District, Natal [now KwaZulu-Natal].

His banishment order stated that despite the removal of Makwena Matlala and her key advisers, people like Matome were still opposing the Native affairs Department (NAD) rule.

He was said to have been another of those who had during a NAD meeting sat under the ‘Moordboom’ tree, creating a tense atmosphere. It was claimed that Matome and others were armed with rocks and short assegais and that they had planned to kill a NAD official who did not attend the meeting.

Matome was banished to a reserve in Mtunzini in Natal. An interview with him indicated that while banished he worked as an assistant to a NAD agricultural officer. He claimed that he was ‘very popular among the communities of the Mtunzini area because he used to advise them to extend demarcation pins in the arable areas to more than the size allotted, to cut fences during the night and to leave their cattle at grazing posts during inspection for branded cattle.’ He also alleged that because of these activities there was an attempt by a NAD official to have him kidnapped and murdered.

His banishment order was withdrawn on 9 February 1966. 

• 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