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Joseph “Mpisi” Nduli (Posthumous)

The Order of Mendi for Bravery in

Joseph “Mpisi” Nduli (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa. His steadfast belief in the equality of all citizens inspired him to fight fearlessly until democracy was realised.
Profile of Mr Joseph “Mpisi” Nduli

Mr Joseph “Mpisi” Nduli – activist, political analyst, African National Congress (ANC) organiser and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) commander – was born on 1 Januar y 1940 in Mayakhulu, near Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal. Nduli’s shy persona belied his bravery and an unselfish cadre. He dedicated his life to the cause of liberation. He joined the ANC’s armed wing in 1961, and received military training in Egypt, the former Soviet Union and Algeria.

One of the biggest sacrifices he had to make was the limited time with his family, yet he made innovative ways to spend quality time. He was known as a great father and family man, who always put other people’s interests before his own.

A member of MK’s Luthuli Detachment, Nduli fought in Zimbabwe, before  crossing  the  Limpopo  back  into  South Africa in 1967 during the Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns against combined Rhodesian and South African forces. The ANC later deployed him to Swaziland to recruit and train cadres for infiltration into South Africa.
In 1975 security forces kidnapped him on the Swaziland-South African border and brought him back to South Africa where he was sentenced to 15 years on Robben Island. His wife, Sylvia, describes this as the most painful and difficult period for her and the family. The family, which was throughout this period based in Swaziland, returned to South Africa in 1991, a year after Nduli was released from Robben Island.

He was appointed Southern Natal Regional Organiser and the first chairperson of the ANC Durban Central branch. He was later appointed organiser for the ANC Durban North region. Sylvia, also a renowned underground organiser, believes that all political activists who played a part in our liberation, no matter how small or big, should not be forgotten.

Nduli was assassinated in 1995 and his body dumped near his home in Avoca in KwaZulu-Natal.