Banned, Again

On June 5, 1972, Lilian Ngoyi wrote: "Months are becoming shorter to bring November nearer me. I ask myself this question: will my banning order be lifted or will it be forgotten? Since 1961 I have lived with it. Maybe it will be renewed. If so, God give me the courage not to weaken."

And, then, on January 17, 1973, the jubilant news: "My love, on the 30th of November '72 two Special Branch men came to my house to tell me that at midnight same day my ban is expiring and will not be renewed. I did not know whether to jump or cry, but at least I can now be with other women after 11 years. Do rejoice with me. I felt I could blow a horn to tell those of my friends who have went along with me. I still have the fear when I'm with other women that I'm breaking some of the South African laws."

From December 1, 1972 until June 1975, Ngoyi tasted freedom - but it was not to last. On June 12, 1975, the reviled Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, signed a second banning order that would last until May 31, 1980. By then, however, Ngoyi had died.

Read the two-page banning order that confined Ngoyi to her house for a second time: Page 1| Page 2

back to the Lilian Ngoyi memorial page

"I am hoping with confidence that, before I die, I will see change in this country."
Lilian Ngoyi
Lilian Ngoyi at her sewing machine.
Picture: © Bailey’s History Archive


Personal letters as historical sources

Working with personal letters is an excellent way of encouraging learners to want to know about people and events in history. They can potentially create an emotional empathy with people who lived in the past.

Lesson plan
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Archive Photo Gallery
Images from the public and private lives of Lilian Ngoyi.
Artwork Photo Gallery
Friends and relatives of Lilian Ngoyi gather for the unveiling of Stephen Maqashela’s artwork.
Audio Archive
A gripping documentary on Lilian Ngoyi’s life and times.
Take a 360° tour of the artwork at Ngoyi's home on Nkungu Street, Soweto.
Audio Slideshow