Stanley Silwana was one of the first African recruits to the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA), he joined the Young Communist League in 1923 and attended the party night school founded in 1925 in Ferreirastown, Johannesburg. A teacher by profession, he helped organise the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union (ICU) in the early 1920s and, together with Thomas Mbeki, was instrumental in launching an ICU branch in Johannesburg in 1924. He later moved to the western Cape, where he became an organiser for the African National Congress (ANC) following the falling out between the ICU and the Communist Party. In 1928 he was jailed for three months in Cape Town after being one of the first people convicted under the "hostility clause" of the 1927 Native Administration Act.
• Gerhart G.M and Karis T. (ed)(1977). From Protest to challenge: A documentary History of African Politics in South Africa: 1882-1964, Vol.4 Political Profiles 1882 - 1964. Hoover Institution Pres: Stanford University.