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Mark Shope

The Order of the Baobab in

Gold
Mark Shope Awarded for:
Exceptional contribution to the struggle against apartheid and the development of the labour movement.

Profile of Mark Shope

Mark Shope was the former General-Secretary of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU). One of South Africa’s outstanding working class intellectuals; he embraced the revolutionary philosophy of Marxism-Leninism. He headed the education departments of SACTU for many years.

He was the founder member of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity and also of the Southern African Trade Union Coordinating Council. He was a commissar in the people’s army, Umkhonto weSizwe, and as an MK soldier, among the first to go for training in the Soviet Union. He was a leading member of the South African Communist Party alongside distinguished freedom fighters such as JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Moses Mabhinda and Joe Slovo.

After he returned from exile, he was chosen as an honorary president of the Post and Telecommunication Workers’ Association, now known as the Communications Workers’ Union.

The memory of Mark Shope remains an inspiration to the organic intellectuals of South Africa and all the many workers who crossed his path.