Politician and teacher, Harry Gwala
Politician and teacher, Harry Gwala

On this day, 26th November 1988, Harry Gwala was unconditionally released into the care and supervision of his daughter, Lulu. Gwala had been serving a life sentence after being found guilty of treason. His release ended the nearly 23 years he spent in prisons, of which 19 were spent at Robben Island.

The release of Gwala signified a change in the balance of political power in Natal and Zululand. In Gwala was a leader who connected the UDF and the struggles of the ANC before 1960. Gwala was also the leader who could vociferously challenge Buthelezi’s legitimacy, something the UDF needed desperately.

Images courtesy of mewlop.blogspot.com and www.southafricaplus.co.za

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