Khotso Seatlholo

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Biographical information

Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo in 1977 in Gaborone (Botwana)


Political activist, President of SSRC

First name: 
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
Soweto,Johannesburg,South Africa
Date of death: 
Location of death: 
Soweto,Johannesburg,South Africa

Khotso Seatlholo was born on 5 November 1958. He was a student at Naledi High School in Soweto when the 1976 Student riots ensued. Seatlholo, together with Tsietsi Mashinini, was part of the Soweto Students Representative Council (SSRC), with Mashinini as President and Seatlholo as Deputy. Seatlholo took over the Presidency of the SSRC when Mashinini went into exile following a witch hunt against him by then Prime Minister John Vorster’s Security Police.

Khotso survived being shot at in December 1976 and in 1978 he was forced into exile in Botswana where he joined Mashinini.

Seatlholo would secretly come in and out of the country, from time to time, during the years that followed his exile.

In 1981, during one of his secret visits to South Africa, the Security Police arrested Seatlholo and charged him under the Terrorism Act.

He had come in to the country to recruit and garner support for the South African Youth Revolutionary Council (SAYCRO, the military wing of the SSRC). He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Seatlholo was released in 1990, when South Africa was in the midst of a political transition.

After his release from prison, Seatlholo was unemployed, forgotten and became a loner. He died at his home after complaining of a stomach ache in 2004. He was buried at the Avalon Cemetery.

• Nkwanyane T. ‘No lavish funeral for Seathlolo, icon of '76’ from City Press [online] Available at:[Accessed on 22 February 2012]
• Sisulu E. Walter & Albertina Sisulu: in our lifetime, New Africa Books, South Africa pp 412

Last updated : 11-Jun-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 24-Feb-2012

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