Joel Mabi Lengisi was born in 1920 at the Sitholeni Location, Engcobo, [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape], Lengisi later moved to East London African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader. In October 1952, Lengisiwas banned under the Suppression of Communism Act (SCA).On 6 July 1954, Lengisi was ‘ordered forthwith to withdraw from his 'place of residence in the district Duncan Village, East London, [Eastern province, now Eastern Cape] to Schoemansdal Farm No. 13 in the district of Barberton in the Province of Transvaal [Eastern Transvaal, now Mpumalanga], there to reside at a place to be shown to you’ by the [Native Commissioner] NC of Barberton.’ He was ‘immediately arrested in East London and thereafter sent under escort to Barberton.’
In 1955, Lengisi challenged his banishment in court on the grounds that theGovernor-General could only banish a person from ‘an area occupied by a tribe,’ and as he lived in East London his banishment order was null and void.’His appeal was unsuccessful, and following the court case, he was banished.Lengisi’s banishment order described him as a farm worker and the ANCYL secretary. He was reported to speak at meetings in the Eastern Cape and as displaying a negative attitude towards the government, urging ‘natives’ to join the ANCYL.He was charged under the SCA on 26 March 1953 and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for three years. Despite not being permitted to attend any meetings he was reportedly seen speaking to two African National Congress(ANC) members at an ANC conference in April 1953, and as also being regularly at the ANC offices in East London.
In 1955, Lengisi was banished again from ‘Schoemansdal Farm No. 13’ to ‘Natives Trust Farm Driefontein, Square B’ in the Vryburg district [Northern Cape, now North West Province]. It was alleged that he wassecretly meeting with ANC members, continuing his anti-state campaign, and meddling in the administrative affairs of the area. He was also said to be a bad influence on the personnel of the Shongwe Mission Hospital, [Mpumalanga]. In 1957, he was permitted to return to his home in the Transkei.His banishment order was revoked in June 1960 since the reasons for his banishment no longer applied.
Contribution by Professor S. Badat on Banishment, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat.