The Info List - Albert Luthuli

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Inkosi Albert John Lutuli (commonly spelled Luthuli;[a] c. 1898 – 21 July 1967), also known by his Zulu name Mvumbi, was a South African teacher, activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and politician. Luthuli was elected president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1952, at the time an umbrella organisation that led opposition to the white minority government in South Africa, and served until his accidental death. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid. He was the first African, and the first person from outside Europe and the Americas, to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Luthuli was a lay preacher of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) based at its Groutville Congregational Church in Stanger, KwaZulu Natal, where Luthuli was laid to rest upon his passing in 1967.


1 Early life 2 Teaching 3 Tribal chief 4 Anti-Apartheid activist 5 Bans 6 ANC 7 Umkhonto we Sizwe 8 Personal life 9 Veneration 10 See also 11 Footnotes 12 Notes 13 References 14 External links

Early life[edit] Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli was born in Solusi Mission Station near Bulawayo, in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. While his date of birth remains unknown, he later calculated his year of birth to be 1898.His father, John Bunyan Lutuli, was the younger son of a tribal chief at Groutville in the Umvoti Mission Reserve near Stanger, Natal. He became a Christian missionary at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and at the time of Albert’s birth, was working as an interpreter among the Matabele of Rhodesia. His mother, Mtonya Gumede, spent part of her childhood in the household of Cetewayo kaMpande, the king of the Zulu Kingdom, but was mostly raised in Groutville. Albert was the couple’s third child. Since no information is available about his siblings, it is assumed he was the only surviving child. Albert lost his father at the age of eight. Sometime between 1906 and 1908, he accompanied his mother to his ancestral home in Groutville. There he lived in the household of his uncle, Martin Lutuli, who had succeeded his grandfather as the tribal chief. In 1911, supported by his mother, who now worked as a washerwoman, Albert entered the local Congregationalist mission school. Here he studied until standard four. Living with his uncle, he also imbibed tribal traditions and values. In 1914, Albert was shifted to Ohlange Institute. It was a boarding school, run by Dr. John Dube, the founding President of the South African Native National Council and here he studied for two terms. On passing the year-end examination at Ohlange Institute, Albert was transferred to a Methodist institution at Edendale, located in the KwaZulu-Natal province to undergo a teachers' training course. He graduated from there in 1917. The third son of Seventh-day Adventist missionary John Bunyan Lutuli and Mtonya Gumede, Albert Lutuli was born near Bulawayo in what was then called Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe), around 1898. His father died, and he and his mother returned to her ancestral home of Groutville in KwaDukuza (Stanger), Natal, South Africa. He stayed with his uncle, Martin Lutuli, who was at that time the elected chief of the Zulu Christians inhabiting the mission reserve area now covered by the Umzinyathi District Municipality. Lutuli attended the Adams College south of Durban.[2] Teaching[edit] On completing a teaching course at Edendale, near Pietermaritzburg, Lutuli accepted the post of principal and only teacher at a primary school in rural Blaauwbosch, Newcastle, Natal. Here Lutuli was confirmed in the Congregational Church and became a lay preacher. In 1920 he received a government bursary to attend a higher teachers' training course at Adams College, and subsequently joined the training college staff, teaching alongside Z. K. Mathews, who was then head of the Adams College High School. To provide financial support for his mother, he declined a scholarship to University of Fort Hare. In 1928 he became secretary of the African Teacher's Association and in 1933 its president. He was also active in missionary work. Tribal chief[edit] In 1933 the tribal elders asked Lutuli to become chief of the Zulu tribe in succession to his uncle. For two years he hesitated, but accepted the call in early 1936 and became a chieftain. He held this position until he was removed from his office by the Apartheid government in 1953. Their having done so notwithstanding, amongst his people he retained the use of the dignity "chief" as a pre-nominal style for the remainder of his life. Anti-Apartheid activist[edit] In 1936 the government disenfranchised the only black Africans who had voting rights at that time — those in Cape Province. In 1948 the Nationalist Party, which was in control of the government, adopted the policy of apartheid (apartness) and over the next decade the Pass Laws were tightened. Prior to Luthuli's involvement with the African National Congress (ANC) Luthuli also had served on the executive committee of the Christian Council of South Africa. Luthuli was one of its delegates to an International Missionary Conference held in Madras, India, in 1938. In 1944 Lutuli joined the African National Congress (ANC). In 1945 he was elected to the Committee of the KwaZulu Provincial Division of ANC and in 1951 to the presidency of the Division. The next year he joined with other ANC leaders in organizing nonviolent campaigns to defy discriminatory laws. The government, charging Lutuli with a conflict of interest, demanded that he withdraw his membership in ANC or forfeit his office as tribal chief. Refusing to do either, he was dismissed from his chieftainship. A month later Lutuli was elected president-general of ANC, formally nominated by the future Pan Africanist Congress leader Potlako Leballo. Responding immediately, the government imposed two two-year bans on Lutuli's movement. When the second ban expired in 1956, he attended an ANC conference only to be arrested and charged with treason a few months later, along with 155 others. In December 1957, after nearly a year in custody during the preliminary hearings, Lutuli was released and the charges against him and sixty-four of his compatriots were dropped. He stood close to the International Fellowship of Reconciliation that in 1957 opened a branch in Southern Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe.)[3] Bans[edit]

Albert Lutuli during his Oslo visit in 1961.

Another five-year ban confined him to a 15-mile (24 km) radius of his home. The ban was temporarily lifted while he testified at the continuing treason trials. It was lifted again in March 1960, to permit his arrest for publicly burning his pass following the Sharpeville massacre. In the ensuing state of emergency he was arrested, found guilty, fined, given a suspended jail sentence, and finally returned to Groutville. One final time the ban was lifted, this time for 10 days in early December 1961, to permit Lutuli and his wife to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in Oslo, an award described by Die Transvaler as "an inexplicable pathological phenomenon".[4] ANC[edit] Lutuli's leadership of the ANC covered the period of violent disputes between the party's "Africanist" and "Charterist" wings. Africanist critics claim Lutuli was peripherialized in Natal and the Transvaal ANC Provincial branch and its Communist Party (CPSA officially dissolved 1950 but secretly reconstituted 1953 as SACP) allies took advantage of this situation. Lutuli did not see the Freedom Charter before it was adopted by acclaim at Kliptown in 1955. After reading the document and realising the ANC, despite its numerical superiority, had been subordinated to one vote in a five-member multiracial and trade union "Congress Alliance", Lutuli rejected the Charter but then later accepted it partly to counter the more radical Africanist wing whom he likened to black nazis. In 1959 the Africanists split from the ANC over the issue of the Freedom Charter and Oliver Tambo's 1958 rewriting of the ANC Constitution, founding the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). The PAC posed a serious challenge to the ANC until its military wing was destroyed at Itumbi camp, Chunya, Tanzania in March 1980. Umkhonto we Sizwe[edit] In December 1961, without Lutuli's sanction, Nelson Mandela of the Provincial ANC publicly launched Umkhonto we Sizwe at the All In Conference, where delegates from several movements had convened to discuss cooperation. Mandela's charisma and the global publicity surrounding his trial and imprisonment upstaged Lutuli, who grew increasingly despondent in isolation. (In Mandela's autobiography, he claims that Lutuli was consulted and consented before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe.) In 1962 he was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow by the students, serving until 1965. Since he was banned from travelling to Glasgow the Luthuli Scholarship Fund was set up by the Student Representative Council to enable a black South African student to study at Glasgow University. In 1962 he published an autobiography entitled Let My People Go. A fourth ban, to run for five years confining Lutuli to the immediate vicinity of his home, was issued in May 1964, to run concurrently with the third ban. In 1966, he was visited by United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was visiting South Africa at the time. The two discussed the ANC's struggle. Senator Kennedy's visit to the country, and his meeting with Lutuli in particular, caused an increase of world awareness of the plight of black South Africans. Personal life[edit] In 1927 he married Nokukhanya Bhengu, the granddaughter of the Zulu chief, Dhlokolo of the Ngcolosi.[citation needed] Seven children were born to the couple.[citation needed]Luthuli spent his last years in enforced isolation while African National Congress abandoned the policy of nonviolence. He also suffered from high blood pressure, once having a slight stroke. As he grew older, his hearing and eyesight also became impaired. On July 21, 1967, Lutuli was fatally injured when he was struck by a freight train while walking across a trestle bridge over the Umvuti River near his home in Stanger (now KwaDukuza).[5] He has been honored with a feast day by the Episcopal Church (USA). It falls on July 21, the day of his passing away. Veneration[edit]

Statue of Albert Lutuli at Nobel Square at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Lutuli is honoured with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 21 July, the day of his death in 1967. See also[edit]

Saints portal

Black Nobel Prize laureates International Fellowship of Reconciliation List of people subject to banning orders under apartheid


^ Note about names: Lutuli's surname is very often spelled Luthuli, as it is in his autobiography, which was prepared for publication by non-vernacular-speaking friends. But Lutuli himself preferred another spelling and signed his name without an h.[1]


^ South African History Online, biography of Chief Albert John Luthuli ^ Adams College, Historic Schools Restoration Project, accessed 30 August 2014. ^ Brittain 1964, p. 197. ^ Amanda Porterfield, Healing in the History of Christianity, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 139. ^ "Winner of '60 Peace Prize Is Train Victim", Chicago Tribune, 22 July 1967, pp. 2–10.


Benson, Mary (1963). Chief Albert Lutuli of South Africa. Oxford University Press.  Pillay, Gerald J. (1993). Voices of Liberation: Albert Lutuli. HSRC Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7969-1356-2.  Wilburn, Kenneth (2014). "Albert Lutuli". In Frank N. Magill. The 20th Century Go-N: Dictionary of World Biography. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-74060-5.  Brittain, Vera (1964). The Rebel Passion: A Short History of Some Pioneer Peacemakers. London: Allen & Unwin. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Lutuli.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Albert Lutuli

ANC's Lutuli Page Nobel Committee information on Lutuli https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/albert-john-luthuli-9.php

Academic offices

Preceded by Viscount Hailsham Rector of the University of Glasgow 1962–1965 Succeeded by Baron Reith

Preceded by Martin Lutuli Chief of Christian Zulus inhabiting the Umvoti Mission Reserve 1936 – 1953 Chieftaincy discontinued

v t e

Laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize


1901 Henry Dunant / Frédéric Passy 1902 Élie Ducommun / Charles Gobat 1903 Randal Cremer 1904 Institut de Droit International 1905 Bertha von Suttner 1906 Theodore Roosevelt 1907 Ernesto Moneta / Louis Renault 1908 Klas Arnoldson / Fredrik Bajer 1909 A. M. F. Beernaert / Paul Estournelles de Constant 1910 International Peace Bureau 1911 Tobias Asser / Alfred Fried 1912 Elihu Root 1913 Henri La Fontaine 1914 1915 1916 1917 International Committee of the Red Cross 1918 1919 Woodrow Wilson 1920 Léon Bourgeois 1921 Hjalmar Branting / Christian Lange 1922 Fridtjof Nansen 1923 1924 1925 Austen Chamberlain / Charles Dawes


1926 Aristide Briand / Gustav Stresemann 1927 Ferdinand Buisson / Ludwig Quidde 1928 1929 Frank B. Kellogg 1930 Nathan Söderblom 1931 Jane Addams / Nicholas Butler 1932 1933 Norman Angell 1934 Arthur Henderson 1935 Carl von Ossietzky 1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas 1937 Robert Cecil 1938 Nansen International Office for Refugees 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 International Committee of the Red Cross 1945 Cordell Hull 1946 Emily Balch / John Mott 1947 Friends Service Council / American Friends Service Committee 1948 1949 John Boyd Orr 1950 Ralph Bunche


1951 Léon Jouhaux 1952 Albert Schweitzer 1953 George Marshall 1954 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1955 1956 1957 Lester B. Pearson 1958 Georges Pire 1959 Philip Noel-Baker 1960 Albert Lutuli 1961 Dag Hammarskjöld 1962 Linus Pauling 1963 International Committee of the Red Cross / League of Red Cross Societies 1964 Martin Luther King Jr. 1965 UNICEF 1966 1967 1968 René Cassin 1969 International Labour Organization 1970 Norman Borlaug 1971 Willy Brandt 1972 1973 Lê Đức Thọ (declined award) / Henry Kissinger 1974 Seán MacBride / Eisaku Satō 1975 Andrei Sakharov


1976 Betty Williams / Mairead Corrigan 1977 Amnesty International 1978 Anwar Sadat / Menachem Begin 1979 Mother Teresa 1980 Adolfo Pérez Esquivel 1981 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1982 Alva Myrdal / Alfonso García Robles 1983 Lech Wałęsa 1984 Desmond Tutu 1985 International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War 1986 Elie Wiesel 1987 Óscar Arias 1988 UN Peacekeeping Forces 1989 Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama) 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev 1991 Aung San Suu Kyi 1992 Rigoberta Menchú 1993 Nelson Mandela / F. W. de Klerk 1994 Shimon Peres / Yitzhak Rabin / Yasser Arafat 1995 Pugwash Conferences / Joseph Rotblat 1996 Carlos Belo / José Ramos-Horta 1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines / Jody Williams 1998 John Hume / David Trimble 1999 Médecins Sans Frontières 2000 Kim Dae-jung


2001 United Nations / Kofi Annan 2002 Jimmy Carter 2003 Shirin Ebadi 2004 Wangari Maathai 2005 International Atomic Energy Agency / Mohamed ElBaradei 2006 Grameen Bank / Muhammad Yunus 2007 Al Gore / Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2008 Martti Ahtisaari 2009 Barack Obama 2010 Liu Xiaobo 2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf / Leymah Gbowee / Tawakkol Karman 2012 European Union 2013 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 2014 Kailash Satyarthi / Malala Yousafzai 2015 Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet 2016 Juan Manuel Santos 2017 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

v t e

African National Congress




1912–1915 S. T. Plaatje 1915–1917 R. V. S. Thema 1917–1919 S. Msane 1919–1923 H.L. Bud-M'belle 1923–1927 T. D. Mweli-Skota 1927–1930 E. J. Khaile 1930–1936 E. Mdolomba 1936–1949 James Calata 1949–1955 W. M. U. Sisulu 1955–1958 O. R. Tambo 1958–1969 P. P. D. Nokwe 1969–1991 A. B. Nzo 1991–1997 M. C. Ramaphosa 1997–2007 K. Motlanthe 2007–2017 G. Mantashe 2017–present E. S. Magashule


1912–1917 J. L. Dube 1917–1924 S. M. Makgatho 1924–1927 Z. R. Mahabane 1927–1930 J. T. Gumede 1930–1936 P. ka Isaka Seme 1937–1940 Z. R. Mahabane 1940–1949 A. B. Xuma 1949–1952 J. S. Moroka 1952–1967 A. J. Lutuli 1967–1991 O. R. Tambo 1991–1997 N. R. Mandela 1997–2007 T. M. Mbeki 2007–2017 J. G. Zuma 2017–present M. C. Ramaphosa

Deputy President

1952–1958 N. R. Mandela 1958–1985 O. R. Tambo 1985–1991 N. R. Mandela 1991–1994 W. M. U. Sisulu 1994–1997 T. M. Mbeki 1997–2007 J. G. Zuma 2007–2012 K. Motlanthe 2012-2017 M. C. Ramaphosa 2017-present D. D. Mabuza

National Conferences

38th (1949) 39th (1950) 40th (1951) 41st (1952) 42nd (1953) 43rd (1954) 44th (1955) 45th (1957) 46th (1958) 47th (1959) 48th (1991) 49th (1994) 50th (1997) 51st (2002) 52nd (2007) 53rd (2012) 54th (2017)

Structure and wings

ANC Today ANC Women's League ANC Youth League National Executive Committee Radio Freedom Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College Umkhonto we Sizwe

Allied organisations

Congress of South African Trade Unions South African Communist Party


Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 240180824 LCCN: n89653401 ISNI: 0000 0003 6980 2063 GND: 118729772 SELIBR: 330639 SUDOC: 174610866 BIBSYS: 90598