08 August 2013

The late Lilian Ngoyi, an inspiration to the women of South Africa

Lillian NgoyiAs president of the African National Congress Women's League president, Lilian Ngoyi led the historical women's march against passes on 9 August 1956 to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Like many other apartheid activists, she was subjected to the brutal force of the apartheid government. 

Lilian Ngoyi leading anti-pass march in the 1950's


Lilian was considered too dangerous by the apartheid government and it did all it could to keep her contained.

She spent most of her life either in prison solitary confinements or banned to her house.

She died at age 69 on 13 March 1980, still under a banning order, after spending nearly two decades banned to her tiny house in Mzimhlophe, Soweto.

Lilian is one of the icons commemorated in the SAHA / Sunday Times Heritage Project, an initiative aimed at celebrating extra-ordinary beings and events in the South African timeline over the last century.

Visit her SAHA / Sunday Times Heritage Project memorial page to read more about her life

Listen to a radio documentary about her life from the SAHA CD 'Voices from our past'