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GONIWE, Matthew (1947-1985)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0101 ICS 127
Held at: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
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Full title: GONIWE, Matthew (1947-1985)
Date(s): 1983-1985
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 1 file
Name of creator(s): Goniwe | Matthew | 1947-1985 | teacher and political activist in South Africa
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Matthew Goniwe was born in Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa, in 1947. He attended St James' Primary school and moved on to Sam Xhallie Secondary school, where he obtained his junior certificate.
After leaving school he obtained a teachers' diploma from Fort Hare University and returned to Sam Xhallie school to teach maths and science. In 1974 Goniwe left for a teaching post in Transkei and married Nyameka, a social worker. Matthew's political involvement in Transkei led to his arrest in 1977, when he was convicted under the Suppression of Communism Act and sentenced to four years in Umtata Prison. After his spell in prison, Goniwe returned to teaching in Graaff-Reinet and completed a BA degree through Unisa. He was then transferred to Cradock and appointed the headmaster of Sam Xhallie High. In 1983 Goniwe called a mass meeting to discuss how the community should respond to high rents, and in the same year the Department of Education and Training (DET) tried to transfer him to Graaff-Reinet. This caused teachers and pupils from Cradock's seven schools to embark on a 15-month class boycott - the longest in the country's history.
On 27 June 1985 Goniwe and three other activists, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhlauli were killed and mutilated by unnamed members of the Security Forces.


Scope and content/abstract:

Photocopies of papers of Matthew Goniwe on politics and education in South Africa, 1983-1985, including notes for speeches and articles by Goniwe.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:

Restricted access: permission of his widow, Mrs M Goniwe required.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Permission of Mrs Goniwe required.

Finding aids:

Catalogued to item level (see link to repository catalogue).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were deposited at ICS by Mrs Goniwe in 1986.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The ICS holds a large number of collections relating to South African politics, including African National Congress (ICS 1), Mary Benson (ICS 6), Ruth First (ICS 117), Marion Friedmann (ICS 20), Ruth Hayman (ICS 30)Baruch Hirson (ICS 32), Mandela Trials papers (ICS 52), Josie Palmer (ICS 57), Edward Roux (ICS 67), South African Institute of Race Relations (ICS 95), the University of Cape Town (ICS 81-82)and University of Transkei (ICS 19).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), 2nd edition, 2000. National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Oct 2001

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