The North-West University’s (NWU’s) History subject group recently hosted Prof Jill Kelly, assistant professor of History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, USA as part of its history seminar series.
The seminar, held in hybrid format and hosted by the NWU’s Vanderbijlpark Campus, attracted students and staff members across the NWU and external scholars.
Prof Kelly presented a paper titled “A woman doctor and activist: Healing, politics, and policing in the life of Dr Margaret Chuene Mncadi”.
She unpacked the political activism of Dr Chuene Mncadi and examined her life and intellectual contributions to anti-apartheid efforts. Dr Mncadi was the vice-president of the ANC Women’s League and first came under the Special Branch’s scrutiny during the 1952 Defiance Campaign and protests against Bantu Education in Benoni. In 1959 she led a protest march of about 500 women from rural districts to town, where they demanded to see the Native Commissioner for a reply to their grievances in Ixopo.
The final seminar was held on 4 November in hybrid format on the NWU’s Mahikeng Campus. Dr Tshepo Moloi from the University of Johannesburg’s History Department presented his paper titled “The role of ‘freelance’ underground operatives in the struggle for liberation in South Africa: A case of Eastern Transvaal, from the mid-1980s to 1990”. He examined the experiences of unknown and unrecognised women activists who were allied to the ANC and other liberation movements, but were often not members of these organisations.