Plaatjies Paul Joseph was on 1st of June in 1930 in Ferreirastown,Johannesburg.Joseph joined the Transvaal Indian Congress Youth League as a teenager. After few years he became a leather-worker by day in a furniture factory owned by the father of Ruth First,and an unpaid staff member at Fighting Talk and New Age in his off-hours. He helped organize the May Day work stoppage of 1950 in Johannesburg,which was surprisingly successful.An active member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress in the early 1950s and a delegate to the 1953 World Festival of Youth in Bucharest. He was banned in 1954 and, from December 1956 until late 1958, was a defendant in the Treason Trial. He left South Africa in the 1960s and now lives in Britain.

In the early 1960s he became a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe and with his brothers he assisted Mac Maharaj with the secret production and distribution of political pamphlets.He was an executive member of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress from 1952 to 1956 and an executive member of the South African Communist Party. He was a member of the Congress of the People Credentials Committee in 1954 and represented the South African Congress of Trade Unions at the World Federation of Trade Unions Congress in Vienna and a delegate to the 4th World Festival of Youth, August 1953. In the late 1964 ,after being jailed for 180 days under the "90-day detention" law,he was charged with working for a banned organization,but the charges were later dropped.He fled to Bechuanaland (later Botswana) in 1965,and subsequently settled with his family in Britain where  he worked for an insurance company and became vice-chairperson of the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa.


From Protest To Challenge, Political Profiles Volume 4, P45|M. Gerhart, Teresa Barnes, Antony Bugg-Levine, Thomas Karis, Nimrod Mkele .From Protest to Challenge 4-Political Profiles (1882-1990) (last accessed 25 February 2019)p>

Collections in the Archives