Slovo, Joe

(1926–1995)
   Slovo, born in Lithuania, was a principal figure in South African politics throughout the struggle to end apartheid, serving as general secretary and then chairman of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and as the first white member of the African National Congress (ANC) national executive. Having graduated in law at Witwatersrand University, Slovo was renowned as a defense lawyer in political trials. As a consequence of his SACP activities, from 1950 he lived under certain restrictions, having been black-listed under the Suppression of Communism Act. In 1956 he faced further repression due to his membership of the Congress of the People, as he and other Congress members were charged, and later acquitted, with treason. Following the Sharpeville shootings in 1960, Slovo was again detained, this time for four months as the South African government declared a state of emergency. Slovo was a member of the Central Committee of the SACP from 1969 until its dissolution in 1983, when he served on the revolutionary council of the ANC.
   Slovo was chief of staff of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (UWS), almost from its inception up until 1987, and in 1963 he left South Africa to work externally for UWS. While away from South Africa, Slovo continued to work for the SACP, ANC and UWS, and was able to set up an operational center for the ANC in Maputo, before the Mozambican government entered into an accord with South Africa bringing a halt to these activities. In 1986 he became SACP general secretary, a post he held up until 1991 when he resigned owing to ill health, and was duly elected party chairman. Slovo occupied various governmental and party positions in the years leading up to his death, including a position at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa where he assisted in the drafting of the new constitution.
   Slovo was the symbol of the guerrilla war against conservative Afrikanerdom, and as such a figure of much distaste to the right who perceived him to be the Marxist theoretician plotting the struggle. This hard-line reputation was enhanced by Slovo’s unstinting support of the Soviet Union and in particular the much-maligned Leonid Brezhnev. However, Slovo did oversee the SACP’s adoption of a 1989 program which accepted negotiation and compromise as a method to achieve communism, in opposition to the revolutionary dogma of its past. In addition, Slovo’s 1989 booklet, Has Socialism Failed?, committed the SACP to multiparty democracy and individual liberty.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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  • SLOVO, JOE — (1926–1995), South African politician. Slovo was born in Lithuania and taken to South Africa when he was eight. After war service, he graduated in law at Witwatersrand University. In 1942 he joined the Communist Party, but after it was outlawed… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Slovo, Joe — ▪ 1996       (YOSSEL MASHEL SLOVO), Lithuanian born South African lawyer and political activist (b. May 23, 1926, Obelai, Lithuania d. Jan. 6, 1995, Johannesburg, South Africa), as spokesman, chairman (1984 87 and 1991 95), and general secretary… …   Universalium

  • Joe Slovo — (May 23 1926 ndash; January 6 1995) was a South African Communist politician and long time leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and leading member of the African National Congress. He was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish… …   Wikipedia

  • Joe Slovo — (nacido el 23 de mayo de 1926 y fallecido el 6 de enero de 1995) fue un destacado miembro y dirigente del Partido Comunista de Sudáfrica (PCSA), y líder por muchos años del Congreso Nacional Africano (CNA). Gran combatiente del apartheid, nació… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Slovo — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Gillian Slovo (* 1952), südafrikanische Schriftstellerin, Journalistin und Filmproduzentin Joe Slovo (Yossel Joe Mashel Slovo; 1926–1995), südafrikanischer Politiker und Apartheid Gegner Diese Seite ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joe Slovo — Yossel „Joe“ Mashel Slovo (* 23. Mai 1926 in Obelai, Litauen; † 6. Januar 1995 in Johannesburg) war ein südafrikanischer Politiker und Gegner der Apartheid. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 2 Familie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Slovo — Slọvo,   Joe, südafrikanischer Politiker, * in Litauen 23. 5. 1926, ✝ Johannesburg 6. 1. 1995; Rechtsanwalt; 1935 mit seiner Familie nach Südafrika ausgewandert, wurde 1942 Mitglied, 1986 Generalsekretär der südafrikanischen KP (SACP). Durch… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Slovo — Slo|vo, Joe (1926 95) a white South African lawyer, born in Lithuania, who had an important part in opposing the system of ↑apartheid in South Africa. He was the leader of the South African Communist Party, and a leading member of the ANC. In the …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Gillian Slovo — Gillian Slovo, born in 1952, is a South African novelist, playwright and memoirist, and the daughter of South African political activists Joe Slovo and Ruth First.Her novels were at first predominantly of the crime and thriller genres, including… …   Wikipedia

  • Shawn Slovo — (c. 1950) is a screenwriter, best known for the film A World Apart , based on her childhood in South Africa under the apartheid. She is the daughter of the late South African Communist Party leaders Joe Slovo and Ruth First. She also wrote the… …   Wikipedia

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