Monty Johannes Motloung

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Biographical information

Synopsis:

ANC political activist and MK combatant

First name: 
Monty Johannes
Last name: 
Motloung
Date of birth: 
15 May 1957
Location of birth: 
Charterson Location, Nigel, Transvaal
Date of death: 
2 October 2006
Location of death: 
Pholosong Hospital, Tsakane, Gauteng

Motloung started his primary schooling at Mmuso Lower Primary School in 1965. Ten years later, in 1975, Motloung went to pursue his secondary education at Esibonelwesihle Secondary School. He could not complete his matric as he was interrupted by his involvement in the Student Uprisings. In January 1977 Motloung left for Swaziland with his friend Sam Kenneth Mnisi to join the banned African National Congress (ANC) liberation movement. In Mbabane, Swaziland, they met with their childhood friends George Mazibuko, Lucky Mahlangu and Sipho Thobela before they were driven to Maputo by the current Deputy President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma.

Motloung, together with his friends Solomon and Lucky Mahlangu, were selected by MK commander Joe Modise for military training at the Fund Camp outside Luanda, Angola. There they were trained in the use of explosives and military combat. He was part of a group of ten, prepared for operations in the country on the first anniversary of June 16. On June 13 Motloung and his team arrived in Johannesburg.

They were spotted on their way to Soweto by apartheid agents and police and were cornered at John Orr’s warehouse in Goch Street, Johannesburg. Lucky Mahlangu, Mazibuko and others managed to escape while Solomon Mahlangu and Motloung got involved in gun battle with police officers. Motloung was the first to fire when they were accosted.   After his attempt to escape had failed, Motloung fired a few rounds until his gun got jammed. The two trained MK combatants had no option but to surrender.

Motloung was brutally tortured during his detention and as a result was declared unfit to stand trial.

Upon his unconditional release from prison with other political prisoners in 1992, he was still suffering from the wounds sustained when he was tortured. His health deteriorated and led to a long illness that culminated in his death on 2 October 2006 at Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane


References:
• Staff Reporter (2006) Great warrior passes away
• Kgosana, K. (8 October 2006), City Press, Farewell to one of SA’s brave sons, p. 11.

Last updated : 05-Aug-2016

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