Zolile Hamilton Keke was born on 31st of October 1945 in East London and grew up in Duncan Village township. He attended Welsh High School in East London where he joined the underground Pan African Congress (PAC) as a 15-year-old in 1961, attracted by the vision of a black-ruled South Africa. Arrested in May 1963 for participating in PAC plans for a popular uprising, he spent ten years on Robben Island. In prison, he completed high school by into a principal adherent of Africanism. In 1973 he was released with a  two-year ban and restricted to Mdantsane. While working in East London factories and studying law by correspondence, he became associated with the Black People's Convention and addressed its conference held in KWT in December 1975.

Detained in early 1976, Keke was eventually charged with terrorism alongside Zeph Mothopeng and 16 other PAC members in the marathon Bethal trial which began in December 1977. Convicted on only one charge-recruiting for PAC on Robben Island, he was given a five-year suspended sentence and released in mid-1979. Two years later he left South Africa to join the PAC in exile, then headed by Nyati Pokela whom Keke had known in prison. Keke was appointed in 1981 to the PAC's central committee and to the post of chief representative in the United Kingdom and Ireland. While in Britain he studied at Ruskin College, Oxford, and outside South Africa's embassy whenever he was in London, in the late 1980s he represented the PAC in Baghdad. In the 1990s he returned to South Africa where he remained active in the PAC and became a civil servant in the Eastern Cape.


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 March 2019)p>

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