South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Phyllis Naidoo interviewed by David Wiley
May 6, 2006 Durban, South Africa.


"There were three people who had gone to jail for a month, and when they came back there were lots of celebrations..." [3:04]

At the age of 18 and just out of school, Phyllis Naidoo did not participate in the campaign, at her father's insistence, but it nevertheless influenced her politically.

Phyllis Naidoo was born in 1928 in Estcourt, in Natal. While in high school, she became active in the Friends of the Sick Association, taking care of people with tuberculosis. This led her to understand that that apartheid meant many Africans lived in poverty. She studied at the non-European section of the University of Natal and sold the New Age newspaper. She became active in both the Natal Indian Congress and the South African Communist Party and organized support for people accused in the Treason Trial. Naidoo became a lawyer and served as counsel in many political trials. In 1966, she was banned for ten years; she fled into exile in 1977. While in Lesotho, Naidoo joined the ANC and received a parcel bomb from which she sustained several injuries. After living for some time in Zimbabwe, Naidoo returned to South Africa in 1990.

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