Masango Caleb Job Mayekiso was born 1913 in Idutywa Transkei. He was a factory worker in Port Elizabeth.He was a genuine working-class leader.In 1940's Mayekiso became head of the Textile Worker's Industrial Union in Port Elizabeth,and later was its national general secretary.

He also served as secretary of the Railway and Harbour Worker's Union for Africans,and in the late 1950s was both a provincial and national official of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU).As an uncleared member of the Communist Party,probably from the 1940s,he opposed the ANC tradition of raising funds from white liberal and inviting them to address ANC meetings.Between 1952 and 1960 he was a member of the ANC National Executive Committe.

In the 1950s Mayekiso was also a member of the Cape provincial ANC executive and was very active in organizing the strikes of May Day and June 26 in the eastern Cape in 1950.He went to jail in the 1952 Defiance Campaign,was charged with incitement but acquitted in 1954,and became a defendant for the full length of the 1956-1961 treason trial.As soon as the final 30 accused were acquitted in Pretoria, Mayekiso returned to the fray and was repeatedly arrested and jailed for "furthering the aims" of the banned ANC. He served four years on RIin the mid-1960s,then was detained in solitary confinement under the 1967 Terrorism Act without access to a lawyer for a portion of that year.In 1968 he was banned from attending gatherings of more than two people.Detained again without charge in late May 1969,but probably held as a potential witness in the trial of Winnie Mandela and 21 others ,he died on June 1, 1969,officially but implausibly of "natural causes"No one in the police applied for amnesty from the later Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but Mayekiso's daughter testified that another detainee told her that he had died from electric shock torture.


Gail M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990)

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