Raymond Mhlaba

Politician from South Africa

Raymond Mhlaba (February 12, 1920 – February 20, 2005) was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress (ANC). Mhlaba spent 25 years of his life in prison. Well known for being sentenced, along with Nelson Mandela, in the Rivonia Trial, he was an active member of the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) all his adult life. His kindly manner brought him the nickname "Oom Ray". He was born in Mazoka village in the Fort Beaufort district and was educated at Healdtown secondary school. He started working at a laundry in Port Elizabeth after leaving school. There he was introduced to trade unionism through the Non European Laundry Workers Union. In 1943 he joined the South African Communist Party, and in 1944 became a member of the African National Congress. He met and married his first wife, Joyce Meke, who was also from the Fort Beaufort area. In their 17 years together, before her death in a car accident in 1960, they had three children. He was one of the ANC leaders arrested during the transport boycott of 1952 when he led a group of volunteers into the "Europeans Only" entrance of the New Brighton police station in Port Elizabeth. He was the  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
South Africa

Political career

Party From To
African National Congress


Date of death
Cause of death
Liver tumour
Place of death
Port Elizabeth

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