On this day...
November 5th, in the year 1987, Govan Mbeki, a member of African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) High Command, was released from Robben Island after... twenty-three years in prison.
While on Robben Island, Mbeki wrote many songs and manuscripts, which were smuggled out of prison. These writings are referred to as the Govan Mbeki Collection and are housed at the University of Fort Hare. In 1954 Govan Mbeki joined the editorial team of the political newspaper, the New Age. Mbeki was sentenced to life imprisonment by the apartheid system during the 1964 Rivonia Trial with Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Dennis Goldberg and others. In 1980 he received the Isitwalandwe Medal, the highest award within the ANC, for his dedication to securing freedom and democracy in South Africa.
Govan Mbeki transitioned onto the realm of an ancestor August 30, 2001 at the age of 91.