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Kwedie Mzingisi Zilindile Mkalipi (1934 - )

The Order of Luthuli in

Kwedie Mzingisi Zilindile Mkalipi (1934 - ) Awarded for:
Excellent contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa.
Profile of Kwedie Mzingisi Zilindile Mkalipi

Kwedie Mkalipi was born in 1934 in Bazia in the district of Umtata in the former Transkei. He took part in politics in the late 1950s and in 1962 was arrested and charged with being a member of the banned Pan Africanist Congress. He was acquitted when State witnesses refused to testify against him.

In 1964, he was again arrested, and was charged with sabotage in 1965. He was convicted in February 1966 and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. He spent two decades in Robben Island's notorious 'B' Section. Mkalipi was released in December 1985, but immediately arrested under the State of Emergency regulations and subsequently deported to the Transkei.

After his release in 1986, Mkalipi taught History, Business Economics and Economics at several schools in the Peninsula. From 1987 to 1997, he was General-Secretary of the Savings and Credit Co-operative League of South Africa. In 1997, Mkalipi became the Chief Executive Officer of the National Co-operatives Association of South Africa, a position he held until his retirement in 2003.

He is a founder member of the National Co-operatives Association of South Africa and the National Agriculture Central Co-operative Sector of Africa.

He was a fearless fighter against apartheid and continues to be an avid human rights supporter who looks back with pride at the triumphant political transition from the apartheid system to the new democratic and free South Africa.