Leslie  Massina was born in 1921 in Pimville, Johannesburg, Massina left school to become a factory worker. He was the son of Luke Masssina,a police detective who had been gain access into the African National Congress (ANC) at the time of the 1918 "bucket strike", but had calmy repudiated his own testimony when cross-examined by lawers for the strikers.In the mid-1940s,after taking a job in a laundry where working conditions were poor,he helped organize a successful strike of several thousand laundry workers and soon after became an organizer for the African Laundering,Cleaning and Dyeing Workers' Union.In 1946 he organised a union of laundry workers and was later elected secretary of the Transvaal Council of Non-European Trade Unions. During the1952 Defiance Campaign he was deputy volunteer-in-chief for the Transvaal, and in 1953 he became treasurer of the Transvaal African National Congress (ANC). 

Massina left South Africa in 1954-55 without a passport, and attended an international trade union conference. He also visited Great Britain, Russia, and other European countries. After his return to South Africa in 1955, he was elected to the national executive committee of the ANC and became the first general secretary of the South African Congress of Trade Unions. He was also a member of the Dube location advisory board in Johannesburg. He was one of the accused for the full length of the Treason Trial, from 1956 to 1961.He was banned after 1957 and he left South Africa for Swaziland in early 1960s.


Gail M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990) http://www.jacana.co.za/component/virtuemart/?keyword=from+protest+to+ch... (last accessed 05 August 2019)

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