Interview with Ben Magubane

by Ben Magubane (Interviewee), William Minter (Interviewer)
Pretoria, South Africa
March 15, 2004
27 pages
Type: Interview Transcript
Coverage in Africa: South Africa, Zambia
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Interview with South African scholar Dr. Bernard Magubane, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) who traveled widely to speak on the South African liberation struggle throughout almost three decades of teaching at the University of Connecticut. Magubane says he applied to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and got scholarship from the Institute for International Education (IIE), but received his passport only when Alan Paton intervened. Magubane discusses his time at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1960s. He discusses apartheid, the Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws, and the Special Branch. Magubane says he went to Pietermaritzburg to listen to Mandela when he emerged from the underground. Magubane discusses Leonard Thompson and Martin Legassick. He describes a demonstration in front of a bank selling Krugerrands. Magubane discusses the American Committee on Africa, George Houser, and Mary-Louise Hooper. Magubane discusses Marianhill, Bantu education, and MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe). Magubane discusses Johnny Makatini, Agrippa Cebekhulu, Fred Dube, Maziszi Kunene, Thami Mhlambiso, Neo Mnumzana, and his time in Zambia and O.R. (Oliver Tambo, OR).
This interview was conducted as research for the book No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. With assistance of Aluka (, the interview was transcribed and prepared for presentation on the web. The transcript was reviewed by the interviewee, and an introduction was prepared by one of the editors of No Easy Victories. The transcript also is available on the No Easy Victories website.
Used by permission of William Minter, Editor, No Easy Victories.