11 July 2018
Meet Moses Mayeksio, African Democratic Change President
African Democratic Change party President, Moses Mayekiso life’s work has been dedicated to advocating for worker labour rights and township development and reform. His role in the fight for
South Africa’s freedom was carried out by empowering the worker power at the factories. He recognized early on that targeting the means of production would pose a crucial role in protesting
oppressive apartheid laws.
Moses Jongizizwe Mayekiso was born on 21 October 1948 in Askeaton, Cala district, Transkei. There he attended the Askeaton Primary School followed by Matanzima Secondary School and later Mfundisweni High School in Pondoland East. He left school in 1972 to work in the mines in the
Free State province.
Mayekiso’s years as a labour activist and advocate for worker’s rights started when he was first elected shop steward for the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MAWU) in 1979. The following year in 1980 he became the full-time organiser of MAWU in the East Rand. In November 1984, he was part of a strike of 37 organisations that formed the Transvaal Regional Stayaway Committee in Johannesburg. The committee organised a two-day strike, which resulted in the detention of Mayekiso and other members of the committee. This period highlighted the interrelationship of worker power, youth power and community power for the liberation from apartheid and the legacy of colonialism.
The 1980’s were a volatile time in the South African townships where Mayekiso became the chairman of the Alexandra Action Committee (AAC) in 1985. This body was responsible for the street committee structures operating in the township. In the same year, Mayekiso played a central role in the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), where he served on the committee that drew up its constitution and planned its inaugural congress. In 1986, Mayekiso and the entire AAC leadership were arrested and were tortured for five days, this after having resisted against the South African Security forces from attacking a funeral in Alexandra. Mayekiso’s strong impact as a union leader was proven after he was detained in March 1986, when metal workers in the Transvaal in protest and in solidarity with Mayekiso stopped working. Through these actions he was subsequently released two days later. He was appointed Secretary General of MAWU in May 1986 and, two months later, he was part of the number of liberation fighters that were detained by the Apartheid Police. He was held for seven months in solitary confinement and faced the death penalty on charges of high treason. Calls for his release became international, On 24 August 1987 at Union Square in San Francisco protesters rallied for the “Free Moses Mayekiso” and “Free All Anti-Apartheid Prisoners in South Africa” campaign. Following the formation of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), Mayekiso was elected Secretary General in absence. In July 1989 he travelled to Lusaka, Zambia, and had discussions with the African National Congress (ANC), which informed the Organisation of African Unity’s documents on negotiations between the ANC and the Apartheid government.
In 1990, Mayekiso was involved in the body that facilitated the release of Nelson Mandela. Subsequently to his release, Mandela penned a detailed letter of appreciation for Mayekiso’s role
in the struggle, specifically for his role on the labour front. That same year he was elected as a member of the Civic Associations of the Southern Transvaal (CAST), which aimed to unify the various
bodies in different townships. In the same year, he organised a sit-in at the Pretoria headquarters of
Hernus Kriel’s Department of Planning and Provincial Affairs. Kriel accused him of establishing organisations against the government. Mayekiso played a significant role in the formation of the Self-Defence Unit in the early 1990’s. This unit was developed to protect communities and factories from ‘Third force’ violence which was prevalent in townships such as Alexandra, Phola Park. In 1992 Mayekiso was elected president of the South African National Civic Organisations, SANCO, a body established to provide a national voice for 200 community groups operating in the segregated black townships. In 1994, Mayekiso was appointed a Member of Parliament. He has chaired a number of empowerment companies such as Hlano Investments, SANCO Investments, Ivenhoe Mines and SANCO Holdings.
In his most recent years, he has been actively involved in a number of projects aimed at affirmative action, gender equality and the implementation of integrated development programmes aimed at alleviating the plight of the people. He has also been part of the Gauteng legislature. In addition to his prolific struggle credentials, he has also been a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive and sat on the South African Communist Party (SACP) Central Working Committee. Mayekiso has various degrees including a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Governance and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the University of Newport, USA. Mayekiso is currently pursuing a Master’s Diploma in Leadership and Governance.
Name: Moses Mayekiso
Position: Party President
Contact: 082 388 9096
Twitter: ADEC_SA | @MayekisoMoses
Telephone: 031 205 0466
Facebook: African Democratic Change (@ADeCOfficial)
YouTube Channel: African Democratic Change