Moses Mawane Kotane

Kotane, Moses Mawane


Born Aug. 9, 1905, in Tampostad in the Transvaal. Active in the Communist and national liberation movement in the Republic of South Africa. The son of a peasant.

In 1919–20, Kotane worked as a hired laborer for a white farmer. From 1921 to 1923 he studied in an elementary school. In 1923–24, Kotane worked as a miner in Krugersdorp. In 1925 he began to work in a bakery in Johannesburg, simultaneously attending night school. Kotane joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1928 and the Communist Party in 1929. He was persecuted and frequently arrested by the South African authorities. In 1929, Kotane became a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, and in 1938 he became its general secretary. In 1945 he became a member of the national executive committee of the ANC. In 1975, Kotane was awarded the Order of the Friendship of Peoples, a Soviet award.