Thami Mnyele, SA artist and member of MK, is killed in Gaborone


Thami Mnyele Thami Mnyele Image Source:

Friday, 14 June 1985

Thamsaqa 'Thami' ka Mnyele was a talented graphic artist and a political activist. Due to his political activities, Mnyele was forced to leave his family in Alexander, becoming exiled in Botswana. He became very active in the African National Congress’ (ANC) military wing Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK).

On June 14, 1985, Thami Mnyele was shot dead by South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers outside his home in Gaborone. He was due to move to Lusaka the next day and large collections of his works that were packed into a portfolio were taken by the SADF. A week later, Security Police Major Craig Williamson displayed the portfolio and the works in it on SABC television, as evidence of Thami's 'terrorist' activities. To date, these works have not been recovered from the security police.

• H-Net A South African Artist in the Age of Apartheid [online] Available at: [Accessed on 28 May 2012]
• Dead Revolutionaries Club Andile Mngxitama on Thami Mnyele and MEDU Arts Ensemble Retrospective at Johannesburg Art Gallery [online] Available at: [Accessed on 28 May 2012]

Last updated : 08-Jun-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 07-Jun-2012

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