Walter & Albertina Sisulu


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by Elinor Sisulu

Walter Sisulu and Albertina Thethiwe were born in small rural villages just a few miles apart in the Eastern Cape hinterland. From these humble beginnings, they would become two of South Africa’s most respected and beloved figures, among its greatest crusaders for human rights and dignity. For over five decades, the pair – married in 1944 – were at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and the injustices it wrought on black South Africans. As Secretary-General of the African National Congress, Walter was sentenced with Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment, and spent 26 years behind bars. While her husband was in jail, Albertina continued to play a crucial role in keeping the ANC alive underground. But she and Walter were destined not only for suffering, triumph and greatness; they were destined for each other. Their story is a moving love story against all odds and this joint biography charts their life together: the challenges and hardships they faced, the good times they shared and the massive changes to South African society they helped to bring about.