Charles Makhohliso was born in 1918. As a trade unionist he was responsible for organising better conditions for brick workers.
The Chairperson of the Langa Batchelors Quarters branch of the African National Congress (ANC), Makhohliso had a powerful voice, and was appointed the official leader when they sung Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.
On 5 December 1956, Makhohliso was arrested on charges of treason and flown in a military aircraft to Pretoria. From Pretoria they were taken into detention at the Fort in Johannesburg. Makhohliso was released on 50 pounds bail on 21 December 1956, and freed in January 1958, at the end of the preparatory examination.
After his release in 1958, the New Age reported that Charles was sacked by his employers, Messrs Hume Pipe Company of Koelenhof, for whom he had worked since 1939. He was told by his employer that he would not be re-employed “because he was an agitator and a trouble maker.” At the time Makhohliso was financially responsible for his wife and children, who were living in the Transkei.
A few days after his dismissal, he was endorsed out of Stellenbosch.