Petros Nyawose (Posthumous)
The Order of Luthuli in
Profile of Petros Nyawose
Petros Nyawose died in 1982 when a bomb planted on his car exploded in Manzini, Swaziland. He was a member of the African National Congress and several other trade unions aligned to the liberation struggle. He married Jabulile Nyawose and together they raised three children. The Nyawose family was extensively involved in the liberation struggle. Their anti-apartheid activism saw them escape to Swaziland following intensified pursuit by state security agents.
Together they organised campaigns and mass worker meetings where they educated people about their rights as workers. They were also key figures along with Rick Turner, Eddie Webster and Alec Erwin in the formation of trade unions, which were not legally recognised. They formed these labour unions with a view to not only represent workers, but to also pursue the liberation ideals.
They were instrumental in secretly smuggling Mac Maharaj and Stephen Dlamini, who were under house arrest, into exile. It was while in Swaziland that they were killed by a car bomb planted by the apartheid state security agents. The Nyawose family paid the highest price for the democratic South Africa that is now the pride of everyone who lives in it. Their children were robbed of parents while still at tender ages. Their Struggle was a selfless one; their motive was not to secure comfort for themselves and their family, but that of the nation as a whole.
They carried the hopes and aspirations of the oppressed people of South Africa. Although they are gone, they will forever be counted amongst South Africa’s exceptional daughters and sons who sacrificed their lives for the greater good of all South Africans.