South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Laloo Chiba interviewed by David Bailey
June 16, 2007 Cape Town, South Africa.


"In 1962, ... I was made a platoon commander. In other words, I was in charge of four sabotage units." [5:16]

Umkonto we Sizwe was launched on December 16, 1961, when 57 acts of sabotage were carried out in one night. Acts of sabotage targeted communications systems and symbols of apartheid.

Born in 1930, Laloo Chiba was active in the Transvaal Indian Congress, a legal organization, and also joined the South African Communist Party and Umkonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress in 1961. He became a platoon commander in MK, responsible for four cells conducting sabotage operations. Chiba was brutally tortured by the Special Branch, about which he testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was charged with membership of the second High Command of MK, and served a prison term on Robben Island from 1964 to 1982. Chiba served in the first democratic Parliament and, in 2004, he received the Order of Luthuli in Silver from the government for his contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa.

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