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Mr Zinjiva Winston Nkondo (Posthumous)

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Mr Zinjiva Winston Nkondo (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa and the creative use of his art as an orator and poet to prick the conscience of the apartheid government.
Profile of Zinjiva Winston Nkondo

Mr Zinjiva Winston Nkondo was a freedom warrior who served the African National Congress (ANC) at various levels, both inside the country and in exile.

He played a prominent role in student politics while studying  at the then University of the North (now called University of Limpopo) in Turfloop, Limpopo in the 1970s.

He was detained for 18 months in 1974 and subjected to severe torture. After serving in the underground structures of the organisation inside the country for many years, he left the country in 1977 to join the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.

A gifted orator, poet and cultural activist, Nkondo joined the ANC’s Radio Freedom and immediately raised broadcasting standards at the station, winning it an increased number of listeners inside the country.

He was abducted by the South African police in 1979 while on an ANC mission to Lesotho when, due to bad weather, his flight was diverted to Bloemfontein Airport. Under international pressure driven mainly by the International AirTravel Association, the South African regime was forced to release him.

Between 1983 and 1989, Nkondo was deployed in Nigeria as the ANC’s Chief Representative in that country, responsible for West Africa as well. He immediately mobilised the West African region to support the South African liberation struggle led by the ANC.

This culminated in the establishment of a South Africa Friendship Association. Nkondo returned to South Africa in the early 1990s after the ANC was unbanned and joined the organisation’s communications unit, which he served until the time of his death.