Daniel Kwelagobe: A Portrait of a Servant of the People in His Winter

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Botsalo Ntuane


Daniel Kwelagobe’s earliest political memory involves his sister Isabel. At the age of 14, she was the subject of police inquiries and close monitoring of her parent’s house in Newclare, a township on the western fringes of Johannesburg. Isabel’s crime was to travel with her aunt to a gathering that would alter the direction of the struggle against apartheid. In 1953, the Congress Alliance was established. It comprised the African National Congress, the Congress of Democrats, the South Africa Coloured Organisation, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Council of Trade Unions and the Federation of South African Women. All the constituent groups were committed to a society of equals. In 1955, the Congress Alliance organised a conference in Kliptown to draw up the Freedom Charter which made demands for a democratic and non-racial order.

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