Mweli Skota

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Biographical information

Synopsis:

Clerk, journalist, court interpreter, and businessman, one of the founders of the ANC newspaper, Abantu-Batho, and served as its editor in the late 1920s, secretary-general of the ANC, member of the executive committee of t

First name: 
Mweli
Last name: 
Skota
Date of birth: 
c 1880s
Location of birth: 
Kimberley
Position Held:

General Secretary (1923 - 1927)

Mweli Skota was born in Kimberley in the 1880s and attended school there. He worked at various times as a clerk, journalist, court interpreter, and independent businessman. He was one of the founders of the ANC newspaper, Abantu-Batho, and served as its editor in the late 1920s. He failed at two other attempts to launch African newspapers.

South African Native National Congress until Skota initiated the shortened name in the mid-1920s) and continued to serve on the ANC national executive committee off and on over the next decade. In the mid-1930s Skota became a member of the executive committee of the All African Convention, but he continued to identify with the ANC and to work for its revival in the years following the enactment of the Hertzog Bills.

In 1944 he ran for president of the Transvaal ANC but was defeated by C. S. Ramohanoe.

Although associated at one time with the Bechuanaland and Griqualand African Congress, Skota was national and even pan-African in his outlook; it was he who in the late 1920s made the call, considered too radical and impractical at the time by most ANC leaders, that the ANC should convene a pan-African convention in South Africa to add weight to the demand for African rights. While this scheme never came to fruition, Skota's aim of linking South Africans with blacks elsewhere in Africa was realised at least in part in his publication in 1930 of the African Yearly Register, An Illustrated National Biographical Dictionary (Who's Who) of Black Folks in Africa reissued in altered form in 1932 and in the mid-1960s).

In the early 1950s he was associated with Selope Thema's conservative National-minded bloc.


References:
• Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 ”“ 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.

Last updated : 12-Aug-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 11-Oct-2011