Leslie Massina

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Biographical information


Secretary of the Transvaal Council of Non-European Trade Unions, Deputy volunteer-in-chief for the Transvaal in the 1952 Defiance Campaign, Treasurer of the Transvaal ANC, first general secretary of the South African Congress of Trade Unions,

First name: 
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
Pimville,Johannesburg,South Africa
Date of death: 
Location of death: 
Johannesburg,South Africa

Born in 1921 in Pimville, Johannesburg, Massina left school to become a factory worker. In 1946 he organised a union of laundry workers and was later elected secretary of the Transvaal Council of Non-European Trade Unions. During the1952 Defiance Campaign he was deputy volunteer-in-chief for the Transvaal, and in 1953 he became treasurer of the Transvaal African National Congress (ANC). 

Massina left South Africa in 1954 without a passport, and attended an international trade union conference. He also visited Great Britain, Russia, and other European countries. After his return to South Africa in 1955, he was elected to the national executive committee of the ANC and became the first general secretary of the South African Congress of Trade Unions. He was also a member of the Dube location advisory board in Johannesburg. He was one of the accused for the full length of the Treason Trial, from 1956 to 1961. 

He was banned after 1957 and he left South Africa for Swaziland in early 1960s.

Last updated : 26-Jun-2018

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

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