Thomas Manthata Death – Dead | Thomas Manthata Obituary

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Thomas Manthata Death | Passed Away | Obituary

Thomas Manthata Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Thomas Manthata.

Having heard about this great loss, the family of this individual is passing through pains, mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved.

This departure was confirmed through social media posts made by Twitter users who pour out tributes, and condolences to the family of the deceased.


The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing on of Comrade Tom Manthata on 11 July 2020 at the age of 80. The Foundation would like to express its sincere condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Comrade Manthata, one of the foremost anti-apartheid leaders since the 1970s in South Africa.

Thomas Madikwe Manthata was born on 29 November 1939 in Soekmekaar in the then Northern Transvaal. After completing his training as a teacher, he taught at a primary school for three years. In 1967, he began teaching in Soweto at the Sekano Ntoane High School, where he became known as a teacher that encouraged critical political debates among his students; some of whom later became politically prominent such as President Cyril Ramaphosa and Amos Masondo (MP).

In the early 1970s, he arranged for meetings between Soweto students and Black Consciousness activists. Between 1972 and 1989, he was active in the University Christian Movement and the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) and served as the national Vice-President in the latter. He also was a member of the Human Rights Committee established in September 1974 by Mohammed Timol, Sheila Weinberg and Indres and Prema Naidoo. Comrade Manthata served on the Executive Committee of the Black People’s Convention. In 1979, he spoke at the inaugural conference of the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO). He worked for a while at the South African Council of Churches.

Comrade Manthata was actively involved in supporting students during the June 16 Soweto students’ uprising against Bantu education. He was a founder member of the Soweto Committee of 10 led by Dr Nthato Motlana during the student revolts. Later, he went on to establish the Soweto Civic Association. He spent six years in detention and in prison on Robben Island. He was a defendant in the Delmas Trial of 1985-1989. Although convicted of treason, he and all the accused were acquitted on appeal a year later.

Manthata completed a Masters degree at Coventry University in Britain, and was later appointed as a Commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He also served on the Human Rights Commission.

May his soul rest in peace! Hamba Kahle Comrade Manthata!

11 July 2020


The African National Congress (ANC) is saddened by the passing on of Comrade Thomas Madikwe Manthata (popularly known as Tom Manthata). His passing marks the end of a revolutionary life that was dedicated to the freedom of the people of South Africa.

The African National Congress, its alliance partners and the rest of the mass democratic movement are devastated by the death of one of the most loyal and dedicated cadres. We mourn the passing of this stalwart and veteran of our movement, who never wavered in the face difficulties or setbacks, but remained loyal to the struggle of our people up to his last day.

He contributed enormously to the downfall of apartheid and was one of the architects of our new democracy. Indeed, his real contribution to our struggle and the reconstruction and development of our nation is still to be fully acknowledged and documented.

Together with other leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Popo Molefe, Moss Chikane and Patrick ”Terror” Lekota, Ntate Tom Manthata was convicted of treason during the famous Delmas Treason Trial. Following this miscarriage of justice, AZASO (a UDF affiliate) declared: “Our leaders’ struggle for peace and justice is not an act of treason!”. The criminalization of the struggle against the oppression and injustices of apartheid was calculated to break the back of the mass democratic movement. Stalwarts such as Ntate Manthata and his generation made sure this strategy did not succeed.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Tom Manthata as “a person who, after being tortured while in police custody, after spending more than 200 days detained without trial, after being in ”preventive detention” for nearly a year, came out of prison to say to his friends in the council: ”Let’s not be consumed by bitterness.”

As a part-time student at UNISA, Manthata was a member of both the University Christian Movement and the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO).

He will be remembered as one of the most progressive teacher and politically conscious teachers while at Sekano Ntoane High School in Soweto. He instilled progressive values among his leaners, who included Cyril Ramaphosa and Amos Masondo.

He joined the struggle for freedom at a time when it was extremely dangerous to do. He spent six years behind bars in a series of detentions and court cases. He belonged to that generation of freedom fighters who were prepared to pay the supreme price in pursuit of the liberation of our people. This unwavering revolutionary served his people selflessly, and with no expectation of any material rewards or personal glory. He is an example worthy of emulation by the younger generation.

After 1974 he worked for the South Africa Council Churches (SACC), primarily assisting families of detainees.

We salute him for his unwavering and steadfast commitment to serve selflessly and with humility. We commit to continue to celebrate his life and leadership and preserve his legacy for future generations to learn from him.

The people of our country will treasure his memory as one of our most distinguished sons who consciously chose to fight a cruel and inhumane system at a time when it was extremely dangerous to do so. Even up to his last day, he placed his life and service in the hands of the ANC and the people of his country.

The best tribute we can pay to this son of the soil is to continue to work tirelessly in pursuit of the kind of society for which he sacrificed most of his life for. In his memory, let us build a society that enables all its citizens, including women, children and people with disabilities, to taste the fruits of our liberation. Let us pick up his spear and continue where he left off.

May his soul find eternal peace!

[ON AIR] Struggle Stalwart and former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Ntate Thomas “Tom” Manthata passed away Friday night at the age of 80. #KayaBreakfast talks to Mama Daphne Khoza who worked closely with Ntate Tom Manthata at the SACC

We are still working on getting more details about the death, as family statement on the death is yet to be released.

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