From activism to disillusionment: the story of an MK Comrade Khaya Skweyiya

OUTPUT TYPE: Monograph (Book)
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Skweyiya, C.Adonis, S.Rule, G.Houston
DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9812239
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/19420

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Khaya Skweyiya grew up in a devout Methodist family, attending school in New Brighton township, Port Elizabeth and in rural KwaDubu, Fort Beaufort. As a teenager he was bewildered and enraged at the aggressive disrespect shown to his parents by young apartheid policemen. This prompted and galvanised his resolve to fight the system. Aged only 15, he joined uMkhonto we Sizwe and secretly left the country to train as a Struggle combatant. He was subjected to harshly rigorous military and political training in Angola, and a course on artillery weapons in Simferopol. He was captivated by the dialectical methods of social analysis derived from the writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. On re-entry to the country, he was arrested in Zululand and imprisoned on Robben Island for nine years, where he spent time with many of the future political leaders of democratic South Africa. Since his release from prison he has married and raised a family in Pretoria, earning a living as an official in the Department of Defence. Although grateful for the advent of the democratic dispensation in 1994, he is disturbed and disillusioned by the decline in adherence to Marxist ideology amongst many of his erstwhile MK and ANC comrades, by whom he feels abandoned and marginalised. He presents a robust critique of the ease with which much of the new black middle class has been absorbed into bourgeoise capitalist aspirations and pursuits at the expense of the poor majority. His story includes insightful diversions into the role of the media and the importance of family cohesion.