Reverend Zaccheus Richard Mahabane Timeline 1881-1971


Reverend ZR Mahabane

15 August, Zaccheus Richard Mahabane is born in Thaba Nchu, Orange Free State (now the Free State Province).
Mahabane qualifies as a teacher from the Morija Mission Institute in Basotholand (now Lesotho).
Mahabane begins theological training at the Lessyton Theological School near Queenstown.
After completing his theological training, Mahabane is ordained as a Methodist Minister. His first congregation is at Bensonvale near Herschel.
Mahabane is sent to Cape Town on a missionary assignment. Through his concern of the issues faced by Africans, he soon becomes involved in the regional branch of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC, later the ANC).
October, Mahabane is elected President of the Cape Province branch of the SANNC and Vice-President of the Cape Natives Voter’s Convention.
May, Mahabane delivers his first speech as President of the Cape SANNC in Queenstown.
15 June, Mahabane testifies before the Select Committee on Native Affairs on the Native Affairs Bill.
May, Mahabane addresses the annual convention of the Cape Province Native Conference in Aliwal North. His speech is entitled ‘The Exclusion of the Bantu’ and focuses on the Native Affairs Bill.
18 May, Mahabane delivers his third presidential address at the Cape Province Native Congress’ Annual Convention in Queenstown. The speech focuses on the ‘evil nature of the colour bar’.
21 November, Mahabane calls for a re-observance of the day as the ‘Day of Humiliation and Prayer’ as called for by Chief S. Mini in 1920.
Mahabane publishes The Colour Bar in South Africa.
At a Native Conference, held under the Native Land Act of 1920, attended by Mahabane, S.M. Makgatho and DDT Jabavu amongst others where they discuss the issue of pass laws.
Mahabane is elected for his first term as President-General of the ANC.
Colonel Creswell addresses the Native Conference on the government’s labour policy. The meeting is attended by John Dube, Selope Thema, S.M Makgatho, D.D.T Jabavu and Rev Z.R Mahabane amongst others. To read extracts of the proceedings click here.
November/December, Prime Minister J.B.M Hertzog addresses the Native Conference regarding the issue of Native administration. Mahabane, Sol Plaatjie and DDT Jabavu attend. To read the extracts click here.
Mahabane travels abroad for the first time. He visits London and attends an international missionary conference in Belgium.
4 January, Mahabane delivers a speech at a special conference of the ANC which addresses the government proposals as laid out by Prime Minister J.B.M Hertzog at Smithfield on 13 November 1925.
Along with Dr Abdurahman, Mahabane organizes the Non-European Unity Conferences where Africans, Coloureds and Indians meet to discuss their common grievances and ideals.
18 May, Mahabane makes a statement in the Bantu World entitled ‘A National Convention’.
December, Mahabane is involved in forming the All-Africa Convention (AAC) and at the inaugural conference is elected to its executive committee.
Mahabane is part of an AAC delegation that meets with Prime Minister J.B.M Hertzog.
Mahabane has his second term as President-General of the ANC.
Mahabane becomes the acting vice-president of the AAC.
December, At the Silver Jubilee Convention of the ANC in Bloemfontein, Mahabane delivers his addressing accepting the position of President-General of the party.
December, Mahabane delivers his presidential address at the annual convention of the ANC which is held for the first time in Durban, Natal.
15-17 December, Dr. A.B Xuma takes over as ANC president with Mahabane becoming the organizations official chaplain.
Mahabane serves as the official vice-president of the AAC, first under DDT Jabavu and then under Wycliffe Tsotsi.
Mahabane is made lifelong honorary President of the ANC.
July, Mahabane co-founds the Trotskyite Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM). At their inaugural conference Mahabane is elected its first chairperson.
December, Mahabane delivers his first presidential address at the NEUM’s annual conference which focuses on the position of the organization within South African society.
October, Mahabane is part of an AAC delegation that meets with the ANC to try and resolve the dissension between the two organizations.
December, Mahabane delivers his NEUM presidential address which addresses the reactions of Non-Europeans to the ‘Non-European Policy of the Union of South Africa’.
Mahabane is pressured to resign as president of the NEUM after his continual participation in Bantu Education school boards which violated NEUM policy of non-collaboration with bodies appointed by the government.  
8 June, At the annual conference of the Inter-Denominational African Ministers’ Federation (IDAMF) of South Africa, held in Brandfort, Orange Free State, Mahabane delivers his presidential address which looks at the ‘Socio-Religious Situation of the Country’.
October, Mahabane is the principal convener of the National Conference of African Leaders of Thought in Bloemfontein to discuss the recently publish the Tomlinson Report – the Report of the Commission of the Socio-Economic Development of Bantu Areas – which was organized by the IDAMF.
December, Mahabane chairs the follow-up ‘Human Relations in a Multi-Racial Society’ on the Tomlinson Report which is held in Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.   
After the conference in Witwatersrand, Mahabane travels to Ghana to attend a church conference and upon his return his house is raided by the police.
January, Mahabane delivers a speech at the annual conference of the South African Institute of Race Relations in Cape Town. His address focuses on the South African government’s policy of Urban Areas Administration.
May, Mahabane delivers an address at the opening of the John Wesley College, a college of the Federal Theological Seminary of South Africa, in Alice, Cape Province.
5 August, Mahabane delivers the inaugural address at the conference of the Inter-Denominational African Ministers Association of Southern Africa in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.
September, Mahabane dies at his home in Kroonstad, Orange Free State.  

To read a selection of speeches made by Z.R. Mahabane go click here.

Last updated : 04-May-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 21-Feb-2012

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.