Lot Kgagudi Maredi

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Biographical information


Banished person.

First name: 
Last name: 

Following widespread resistance, the Native Affairs Department (NAD) was forced to abolish the Bapedi tribal authority because of a lack of support.  This led to the suspension of Paramount Chief Sekhukhune as Regent for a month and Lot Kgagudi Maredi and Kgagudi Marutanyane were banished from Geluks Location, Sekhukhuneland, Lydenburg District, Transvaal [now Lydenburg, Mpumalanga]in November 1957.

His banishment was justified by the state on the grounds that he continued the activities of Phethedi Thulare and Godfrey Sekhukhune, that he was undermining NAD officials, and ensuring that ‘agitators’ were gaining ground in the location. As the new Secretary to the Chief, his influence was reported to be widely felt.

Maredi’s banishment order was served by a colonel of the South African police, escorted by several vanloads of armed police. Like all the other banishment orders, it simply stated that his banishment was in the interest of peace and good order. He was released in 1958 on a temporary permit but re-banished in August 1959 because he was considered dangerous.

He was not permitted to go home to see his family, or collect his belongings. For resisting his re- banishment he was transported in leg irons from Sekhukhuneland to Pretoria; then, handcuffed, he was driven in a closed police van to Mnxesha Location, King William’s Town District[Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape]. He was given a stable without any bed or blankets on a trust farm 19 kilometres from town. He had to buy a blanket from the £2 [R4] he was given. Eventually, he moved to King William’s Town where he worked with carpenters. Even when unemployed, he refused to accept any State allowance.

When Helen Joseph visited him in 1962, she found that he lived some 1.6 kilometres away from Makwena Matlala from gaMatlala – in a ‘round, bare’ hut ‘with a thatched roof’ which comprised ‘a low wooden bed, a mattress on the floor, and one or two upturned boxes’ and ‘two dim wick lights.’ Joseph met Maredi’s partner in Sekhukhuneland during the same year and described her as being filled with ‘sorrow and loneliness;’ she also spoke of their two daughters longing for their father. Maredi’s banishment order was withdrawn on 20 August 1968.

Those banished from Sekhukhuneland ‘who were finally allowed to return home experienced a...sense of betrayal. Many came back heavy-hearted, feeling that their struggles and sacrifices had been in vain. Kgagudi Maredi, for example, returned to his family after 11 years in King William’s Town, amidst praises for being a man prepared “to die for the land” only to find that they have accepted it, I found that they had accepted it, that is what broke my heart”.’

During the early 1990s, Lot Kgagudi Maredi served as the chairperson of the Mohlaletse branch of the African National Congress (ANC).

• 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 : 22-Nov-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 21-Nov-2012