In relating his story of banishment to Helen Joseph, Johannes Matlala said he was arrested with others and ‘driven to Pietersburg like a flock of sheep.’ Some of them were charged for murder but he was acquitted.
Soon after, he was again arrested and banished, from his original residence at Matlala's Location, Pietersburg District (now Polokwane) in the Northern Transvaal [now, Limpopo Province] on 11 June 1952 to Nthabachicha, Mount Fletcher, Eastern Province [now Eastern Cape].
While in banishment Matlala was reported as ‘living (a) lonely life’. He was illiterate and so depended on others to write on his behalf. His father also died in banishment.
Johannes Matlala’s banishment order was formally withdrawn on 9 February 1966.