Museum seeks photos of local activist DCO Matiwane

2011-06-21 00:00

A MUSEUM devoted to the life and work of David Cecil Oxford “DCO” Matiwane will be opening soon in Willowfountain and the curators are appealing for photographs of Matiwane.

“He was known for his one-man protests in the centre of Pietermaritzburg and we do not have a photograph of any of these protest actions,” says Gillian Scott-Berning.

“He was known for standing in the centre of Pietermaritzburg with political pamphlets attached to his tattered suit or for carrying a wattle cross all the way from his home in Willowfountain to stand silently in the centre of the city. We would dearly like to incorporate an image into the museum displays; hence our appeal to anyone who may be able to assist us.”

Matiwane was born in Edendale in 1918. His grandfather, Noziwana ka Soqaya Matiwane, was among the first Christian converts of the Reverend James Allison. Matiwane trained as a school teacher at St Francis College in Mariannhill. He taught with the late ANC leader Harry Gwala in Howick.

Both were members of the Communist Party, a political association frowned upon by the authorities, and they soon found themselves dismissed from the teaching profession.

Matiwane held various other jobs, and was a court interpreter in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court and worked for the Department of Native Affairs.

He was fired from the department for organising a milk boycott in Estcourt. He went on to work as a clerk for legal firm Drummond and Company in Estcourt and started studying law.

His studies were disrupted when he was imprisoned during the state of emergency in 1960 and was never able to complete his degree.

This did not prevent him from representing himself on the numerous occasions when he was hauled before the courts to face charges under a plethora of apartheid laws. He won most of his cases or succeeded in having the charges withdrawn.

On June 16, 1980, he staged a one-man protest at the old Supreme Court gardens (opposite the city hall) to mark the fourth anniversary of the Soweto uprising. Later he and ministers from the Lay Ecumenical Centre staged a protest against political repression.

They were arrested and charged, but the charges were withdrawn.

In the late 1960s until the time of his death in 1982 he lived at Willowfountain in the house which will become a museum in his honour.

If you have any photographs, documents, news cuttings or recollections, call Gillian Scott-Berning at 031 207 8247 or e-mail Gillian.gsb@mweb.co.za.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.