Skip to main content

8-Year Letter Writing War Against Apartheid

8-Year Letter Writing War Against Apartheid

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe 8-Year Letter Writing War Against Apartheid to free her husband.



About apartheid political prisoner Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and his wife Zondeni.



Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe 8 year letter writing campaign from 1960-1968 to white elected officials during Apartheid were part of her activist's toolkit demanding good quality healthcare and release of her husband, Apartheid political prisoner Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe, wife, mother, nurse and activist.



Chic African Culture


I will not be ignored!

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe wife of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, founding member and first president of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and Robben Island prisoner waged an 8-year letter writing war against the apartheid government and refused to be ignored.


Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe wife of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and their twin boys
Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe
wife of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
and their twin boys
Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe is a black South African woman whose husband Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe on May 4, 1960, was sentenced to three years in prison charged with sedition and incitement to riot for leading South Africans to demand the repeal of the pass laws. 




On April 7, 1960, the Unlawful Organizations Act No 34 provides for organizations threatening public order or the safety of the public to be declared unlawful. The ANC, Nelson Mandela organization and the PAC, Robert Mangaliso organization were immediately declared unlawful on April 8, 1960 and is banned in South Africa.


At the end of his three-year sentence on May 3, 1963, Parliament enacted a General Law Amendment Act and included the Sobukwe Clause, which legally permitted the Minister of Justice, Frans Christiaan Erasmus to prolong the detention of any political prisoner indefinitely.


The Sobukwe Clause was renewed every year and Sobukwe remained at Stoneyard in Benoni then he was then taken to Stofberg, from there to Witbank, from Witbank to central jail where he spent three years. After that, he was transferred to Robben Island to serve the remainder of his time indefinitely mostly in solitary confinement


Mrs. Sobukwe requested a hearing with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and on May 12, 1997, under oath stated, “He was not even re-arrested, he had completed his sentence, on that day I was knitting jerseys for the children. My husband said that I must cook him dinner because he was coming back home. When I went to visit him, I was told that he was transferred to Robben Island under the Sobukwe Clause.”

“Nothing came to my surprise or shock, because from the day I met him he was in the struggle and he died in the struggle. Everything was to be expected. I was not too grieved, in the sense that I expected these things.” - Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe wife of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, founding member and first president of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and Robben Island prisoner.

Mrs. Sobukwe challenged through her numerous letters the inadequate medical treat her husband received from doctors Robben Island. Not one of her multiple requests for meetings with her husband’s doctors or specialists were granted. Mrs. Sobukwe stated, “All those doctors that examined my husband whilst he was in custody, the Government of the National Party must give me answers. Why was he in solitary confinement?” during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing.

Apartheid political prisoner Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Mrs. Sobukwe wrote letters to Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch
Verwoerd and Frans Christiaan Erasmus the Minister of Justice demanding her husband be released to obtain medical attention at home, but government officials ignored her and her requests. 


She did not stop there, Mrs. Sobukwe wrote letters to lawyers requesting they intercede in order to force Robben Island's Medical officials to consult an independent doctor, but this request was also refused. 


Parliament would discuss whether her husband was to be released, but they would refuse also. "I was writing twice a year asking for his release. I wanted him to be treated. In 1965 or 1966, he complained that his food was served with broken glasses."


Mrs. Sobukwe stated “Between the hours of nine and ten the police would always come. We tried to cheer ourselves up as the ladies and we would laugh, make a joke out of it. In 1969, they answered me from the very last letter I wrote in November 1968, they wrote back to me saying that they will not release my husband because they got information that he was still quite dangerous but then in May 1969, they released him without notice.”


Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was hospitalized in 1977 due to lung cancer. His wife and doctors requested that the government allow him freedom to travel without a pass due to humanitarian reasons but the request was denied. He died on February 27, 1978, and was buried in the town of Graaff-Reinet on the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa March 11, 1978.



Links to African history and facts

African Water Spirit Mami Wata

Reported Female Genital Cutting Countries

Nkasa Tree Test for Witches

African Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention

Life in the Slums of Africa

The Walking Dead | Learn All About Voodoo

How Drones Are Changing Humanitarian Disaster Response

Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

Popular posts from this blog

Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa

Survival of the Fattest

Rich get richer Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa
Survival of the Fattest is a sculpture of a small starving African man, carrying Lady Justice, a huge obese European woman who is a symbol of the rich world. Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
5-12-2016

Survival of the Fattest Meaning
The copper statue Survival of the Fattest by Jens Galschi√łt and Lars Calmar was created in 2002. The fat woman is holding a pair of scales as a symbol of justice however; she is closing her eyes so the justice. Galschiot symbolized the woman as being blind, refusing to see the obvious injustice.
For the rich people of the world the main issue in life is that of overeating while people in the third world are dying every day from hunger. 
The misery of imbalanced wealth distribution is creating floods of refugees. However the rich only want to preserve their privileges and take measures so harsh against the poor, they betray their morals …

South African Beef Curry Recipe

Perfect South African Apricot Beef Curry RecipeSouth African beef curry recipe is a South African food recipe to share around the world while learning about South Africa rainbow nation food history and favorite recipes of Black African, Colored mixed race ancestry, White, and Indian.

South African Beef Curry RecipeWhen it comes to quick and satisfying slow cooker crockpot meals South African Apricot Beef Curry recipe is at the top of the African food dinner recipe list. Use your slow cooker for this simple South African Apricot Beef Curry recipe, it is full of apricot jam, spices and tender beef to serve with rice and grilled bread. How to Make Perfect South African Apricot Beef Curry Recipe
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture By Chic African Culture
African food recipe

South Africa food is one of the most diverse on the African continent. South African apricot beef curry is an easy delicious slow cooker dinner recipe to make on a weeknight.
South African Apricot Bee…

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

The simple task of charging a cell phone is no simple matter in rural African villages far from an electric grid.
With the advent of tiny rooftop solar panels electricity could be accessible to millions.
African governments are struggling to meet to electric needs of the poorest of the poor living in rural areas. 

Living off-grid may be a lifestyle choice to some and a fact of everyday living to the poorest of the poor. However, tiny rooftop solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights across the African continent could provide enough electricity to charge cell phones. 

Cell phones are vital for people in rural areas with no access to banks in order to send and receive money, access medical care and stay in contact with family and friends.
What does Off-Grid Mean? Off the grid (off-grid) means creating your own self-sufficient environment and being able to operate completely independently of all trad…