Joe Slovo

By: Kristen Perras

Life Accomplishments

Through out Slovo's life he managed to accomplish to graduate University of Witwatersrand in 1950 with a Bachelor of Law, LLB. He married Ruth First and worked to be an advocate and defense lawyer. Continued to work even through the government put a ban on them. "As a founder member of the Congress of Democrats (formed in 1953) Slovo went on to serve on the national consultative committee of Congress Alliance and helped draft the Freedom Charter"(Source 1). While in exile he attended London School of Economics and earned his Masters of Law, LLM. In 1969 he was appointed to the ANC's revolutionary council. In 1990 he went back to South Africa as the bans were lifted. He was personally responsible for a 'sunset clause' which led to the power sharing Government of National Unity, GNU. "He was awarded with the post of Minister for Housing in the GNU, a position he served under until his death form Leukaemia on 6 January 1995"(Source 1).

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Joe played a big role in the development of strategy of protest. There was a ban placed on him and his wife, Ruth, but that didn't stop them from working with their anti- apartheid groups. "He helped draft strategy documents and was considered the ANC's main theoretician. In 1977 Slovo moved to Maputo, Mozambique, where he created a new ANC headquarters and from where he masterminded a large number of MK operations in South Africa"(Source 1). Joe is the earliest member of MK and SACP member. He helped draft the Freedom Charter and was the first white member of the ANC's national executive. "In January 1990, Slovo circulated a document entitled Has Socialism Failed?, indicating that the SACP would commit itself to a multi-party, post-apartheid democracy, freedom of organisation, speech, thought, press, movement, residence, conscience and religion; full trade union rights for all workers including the right to strike; and one-person, one-vote in free and democratic elections."(Source 2). Joe retired but was then re-elected to the ANC's National Executive Committee.

Joe Slovo Primary Source

South Africa - Joe Slovo Profile