Roseberry Sonto interviewed by David Bailey
2007 Cape Town, South Africa.
"We were saying, 'Angolans are doing it, and they are doing it on our behalf.'" [1:20]
In the second half of the 1980s, South Africa was at war in Angola, supporting the separatism movement UNITA against the socialist government. In 1988, South African troops were defeated at the MPLA base in Cuito Cuanavale, a decisive turn in the war. Sonto describes how this encouraged activists in South Africa.
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Mzunani Roseberry Sonto grew up in the reserves on the outskirts of Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. In 1969, as a high school student he was the first chairperson of the Moltino African Cultural Youth Association. In the early 1980s, now living in Cape Town, Sonto became president of the Cape Youth Congress, and he helped mobilize support among the youth for the United Democratic Front. He worked closely with the ANC, although it still was an illegal organization. He was part of the delegation that met with Nelson Mandela the day before his release. Santo is now a member of Parliament.