Mkwayi, Wilton

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Mkwayi, Wilton

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Mkwayi, Wilton Zimasile

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Other form(s) of name

  • Bri-Bri (alias)
  • Mkwai, Wilton

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Trade unionist, political activist and political prisoner. Member of the ANC and the South Africa Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). Union organiser for African Textile Workers in Port Elizabeth. Volunteer in the 1952 Defiance Campaign, and later active in the campaign for the Congress of the People. Escaped during the 1956 Treason Trial and went to Lesotho. Joined Umkhonto weSizwe and had military training in the People’s Republic of China. Became MK’s commander-in-chief after the arrests at Liliesleaf Farm. Convicted and sentenced to life in what became known as the ‘Little Rivonia Trial’. He served his sentence on Robben Island. Released October 1989. Elected to the Senate in the National Parliament in 1994, then deployed to the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, where he served until his retirement from public life in 1999. Awarded the ANC’s highest honour, Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe, in 1992. Clan name, Mbona; nickname, Bri Bri.


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