Tsepo Tiisetso Letlaka

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People category:

Biographical information

Synopsis:

member of the ANCYL and later the PAC

First name: 
Tsepo
Middle name: 
Tiisetso
Last name: 
Letlaka
Date of birth: 
19-December-1925
Location of birth: 
Eastern Cape,South Africa
Date of death: 
2006

Tsepo Tiisetso Letlaka was born in 1925 in the Transkei,Cofimvaba, where his parents were both teachers, he studied at St. John's College, Healdtown, Roma, and Fort Hare, where he was president of the Student Representatives' Council in 1950. Letlaka joined the Youth League at Fort Hare and was the league's first president for the Cape Province, from 1951 until 1954. Letlaka was a prominent in the early African National Congress Youth League, he later emerged as a leader of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in exile but in the 1970s returned to South Africa. Convicted and given a suspended sentence with other Cape leaders during the Defiance Campaign, he was fired from his teaching post and took up the study of law, serving his articles with George Matanzima, who was later to become minister of Justice in the Transkei. In 1948 he graduated  with a bachelor's degree and a teacher's diploma.

In 1952 he was charged with others for participating in the Defiance Campaign and received a suspended sentence of nine months.For several years after the Defiance Campaign, he was a key figure in the informal Africanist Bureau of African Nationalism. While practicing as a lawyer in the eastern Cape, he contributed occasionally to The Africanist. From 1953 to 1955 he was banned from attending gatherings. In 1963 he was detained and tried on charges of furthering the aims of the banned PAC. He fled to Basutoland (now Lesotho), where he became a member of the PAC executive in exile. In 1967 he was deported from Basutoland, and eventually he moved to Britain. In 1975 he accepted an invitation to return to South Africa as a member of the Transkeian diplomatic service and was posted for training to Washington, D.C.In October 1976 he was appointed minister of finance,and in 1979 became minister of justice.From 1994 to 1999 he represented the PAC in the ECprovincial legislature in bI


References:
• 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.
• 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 07 May 2018)

Last updated : 30-Jul-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011

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