Dulcie September's 's life commemorated at Athlone High School

Athlone High School students at the commemoration. Photo by Shaheed Mahomed

Monday, 20 August 2018

Dulcie September was born on 20 August 1935. From her early years of activism she chose the path of resistance against the apartheid regime. She was a member of the Cape Peninsula Students’ Union (an affiliate of the Non-European Unity Movement), later joining Apdusa. She then joined the Yu Chi Chan Club and became a member of the National Liberation Front. After serving a 5 year prison sentence and a 5 year banning order she continued her activism. She later joined the ANC, spending some time in Moscow getting military training. This training was often under tough conditions of insufficient food, heating and transport.

In 1981 Dulcie was seconded to work in the ANC Head office in Lusaka, Zambia. One of her tasks was to assist with fund-raising. This was very hard as very few businesses and progressive individuals were willing to contribute.

Dulcie September-The Internationalist

Wherever she was, Dulcie September took up the plight of the exploited and oppressed. She strongly defended the gains made under an independent Zambia against those who argued for a return to the colonial days of ‘Northern Rhodesia’. She would point out the high death rate among children under colonial rule in Africa as a point of departure.

Despite having her activities monitored by the Zambian regime, she championed the rights of the rural poor there. She actively raised funds from the Russian and Chinese embassies for the ‘Flying Doctor’ programme. This was a programme of regular flights of medical staff to remote areas in Zambia. She also raised funds for generators for the medical team as well as for smaller rural towns. Several operations could take place in rural Zambia, with the necessary medical staff and electricity support, in part due to the efforts of Dulcie.   

Dulcie September was assassinated in Paris on the 29th March 1988, just outside the ANC offices there.

Her killer/s have never been brought to justice.

Guests attending the commemoration. Photo by Shaheed Mahomed

References:
• New information above is based on an interview with a relative, Mr Ernest Thorne. 14 August 2018
Feature Parent: 

Last updated : 19-Sep-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 19-Sep-2018

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