Griffiths Mxenge is murdered


Griffiths MxengeGriffiths Mxenge. Source:

Thursday, 19 November 1981

On 19 November 1981, anti-apartheid activist and Robben Island detainee, Mlungisi Griffiths Mxenge, was assassinated by four Vlakplaas Askari members. Mxenge, a legal practitioner who had represented many African National Congress (ANC) political activists, was brutally killed at Umlazi, south of Durban. He was abducted, stabbed and hammered to death. His mutilated body was found next to the Umlazi stadium. Before killing him, his dog had been poisoned to prevent it from drawing attention to the attack on Mxenge.

Mxeke had joined the ANC at an early age and was arrested on many occasions as a student before he was imprisoned for two years on Robben Island.Heand his wife, Victoria Mxenge became leading figures in mass campaigns that supported the demands of the Freedom Charter. Mxenge’s wife, Victoria was murdered in 1985, four years after his untimely death.

In 1997 Dirk Coetzee, Almond Nofemela, and David Tshikalanga applied for amnesty. They were brought before the court by Kwa-Zulu Natal Attorney-General Tim McNally and found guilty for the murder of the Mxenges. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) granted amnesty to these men despite objections from the family.

• Rhodes University (2011). ‘History of Victoria Mxenge’from Rhodes University: Where Leaders Learn [online]. Available at[Accessed:19 October 2011]
• (2011). ‘Mlungisi Griffiths Mxenge and Victoria Nonyamezelo’from The Presidency Republic of South Africa[online] Available at[Accessed: 20 October 2011]

Last updated : 19-Nov-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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