MA for South African freedom-fighter

November 29, 1996

(Photograph) - A LEADING South African freedom-fighter, now a senior member of the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has graduated from Coventry University. Thomas Manthata (above), who graduated on Tuesday with an MA in international and European studies, was an active member of the ANC and worked closely with Cyril Ramaphosa, formerly ANC secretary general.

Mr Manthata was imprisoned frequently between the mid-1970s and 1980s. In 1988, after three years in detention, he was convicted of high treason and served a further year.

He said: "After my periods of detention and imprisonment, my studies at Coventry University provided me with much needed reaffirmation and reassurance that I was worthy of serving my country, and its hard-fought and recently won democracy." His course tutor, Ian Henderson, who taught a module on South Africa after apartheid, said: "It was a bit like teaching your granny to suck eggs."

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