PAC leader Robert Sobukwe is born


PAC leader Robert Sobukwe Source:

Friday, 5 December 1924

Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe who would become a leader of Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) was born to Hubert and Angelina Sobukwe at Graaff-Reinet, Cape Province (now known as Eastern Cape). He was the youngest of five boys and one girl. Sobukwe was exposed to literature at an early age by his oldest brother. His earliest education was at a mission school in Graaf Reinet. After completing Standard 6 Sobukhwe enrolled for a Primary Teachers’ Training Course for two years, but he was not given a teaching post.

On 21 March 1960, at the launch of the PAC’s anti-pass campaign, Sobukwe resigned from his post as lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand. He made last-minute arrangements for the safety of his family and left his home in Molofo. He intended to give himself up for arrest at the Orlando Police Station in the hope that his actions would inspire other Black South Africans. Along the eight kilometre walk to the police station, small groups of men joined him from neighbouring areas like Phefeni, Dube and Orlando West. Subsequently, the police opened fire killing 69 people and leaving scores injured in what became known as the Sharpeville Massacre.

• South African History Online, ‘Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’, [online], available at (Accessed: 02 November 2012)
• Shales M. ‘Robert Sobukwe – Robert Sobukwe: A Biography’, from About African History, [online], available at (Accessed: 02 November 2012)
• New History,‘Robert Sobukwe: a visionary’, [online], available at (Accessed: 02 November 2012)

Last updated : 05-Dec-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 28-Nov-2012

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