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Interview with Absolom Zithulele Cindi
South African Students Organisation
BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS MOVEMENT
Interview with Absolom Zithulele Cindi who was an activist in the black consciousness movement and later in the Azanian People's Organization and the trade union movement. Born in Alexandra township, Johannesburg in 1950, he attended Orlando West High School in Soweto in the late 1960s. In 1972 he joined the Black People's Convention [BPC] when it was founded, and rose through the ranks, becoming secretary-general in December 1973. In September 1974 he was arrested following student rallies to mark the victory of FRELIMO in Mozambique. He was charged under the Terrorism Act and became a defendant in the marathon trial of the SASO Nine in 1975-76. Found guilty of "committing acts capable of endangering the maintenance of law and order," he served a five year sentence on Robben Island. Following his release in December 1981, he joined AZAPO and later became the organizing secretary of the National Forum in 1983. In 1986 he got involved in the administration an electrical workers union affiliated to the National Council of Trade Unions, and in 1989 he became the assistant general secretary of MEWUSA, formed by the amalgamation of four NACTU unions for metal and electrical workers. Later he served as MEWUSA general secretary and national chairperson of AZAPO.
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