1953 Secretary-General, African Commercial and General Workers’ Union.
1962 General Secretary, ATUC.
Terry Maluleke was born in the Fort Victoria (Masvingo) District in 1928. He was the second-born, and eldest son, in a family of four boys and two girls.
He was educated by Swiss missionaries at Valdiza Mission in South Africa. When his father died he returned to Rhodesia and attended Mnene Mission at Belingwe. After passing Standard VI he trained as a primary school teacher.
After teaching for a period he went to Johannesburg where he became interested in the S.A. African National Congress. On his return to Rhodesia he came under the influence of Kafukenesu Mhizha who worked for a transport firm and who encouraged the young man to organise workers to form a union1 The result was the African Commercial and General Workers’ Union of which Terry Maluleke became Secretary—General in 1953.
In 1956 he worked with George Nyandoro, James Chikerema and others in building up the ANYL and graduated from this to the re-formed ANCongress in September 1957. During the next 18 months he travelled extensively in Africa and Europe. He was detained in February 1959 and remained in custody until November 1961. During this period he undertook correspondence courses in trade unionism with Ruskin College, Oxford. He also obtained six ‘O’ level passes in the General Certificate of Education and studied book-keeping. Politics, however, were not
overlooked and he was one of the main activists in the formation of the ZNP in 1961.2
In January 1962 he organised (with Thomas Mswaka) a breakaway from the Southern Rhodesian TUC and formed the ATUC.3 The issue leading to the breakaway was primarily that of deciding to which international federation the Southern Rhodesian movement should affiliate. Allied to this, however, was the question of involvement of trade unionism in politics, a fusion with which Maluleke did not agree. In July 1963 Mswaka4 (who had become president of the ATUC) expelled Maluleke from the General Secretaryship of the ATUC5 a move which led Maluleke to establish his own organisation, ZALO.
During 1963 he decided that the time had come to further his own education, and he took advantage of the General Certificate of Education ‘A’ level classes then being arranged at the University College in Salisbury (Harare) by Dr Terence Ranger. From these he moved fully into the university to study for a B.Sc. (Economics) degree. In 1965, however, he became involved in student protests and this led to a restriction order confining him to Gonakudzingwa.6
Shortly after UDI he decided to challenge his detention and left Gonakudzingwa disguised as a woman. He made his way to Salisbury (Harare) where he defied the police by attending classes at the university. He soon realised, however, that such an attitude could only lead to his re-arrest and in 1966 he travelled clandestinely to Botswana, once again disguised as a woman. From there he went to London where he finished his studies for a B.Sc. (Economics) degree and took a post in commerce. It is apparent that in recent years he has moved across to the ZANU camp. He has been Secretary of the Zimbabwe Students’ Union in England, a body which recruits students who have attained ‘O’ level in the General Certificate of Education in Rhodesia and takes them over to England for further studies. Terry Maluleke is married, with one son.
1 Kulakunesu Mhizha undertook the entire support of the young Maluleke at this time, giving him food and lodging and providing him with a bicycle for his work.
2 See entry on Michael Mawema.
3 The ATUC organised a strike in Salisbury (Harare) in May 1962.
4 Supported by Mark Nziramasanga.
5 Largely because of Maluleke’s failure to support Joshua Nkomo over the split
6 At Gonakudzingwa he became violently ill after eating food shortly after taking a bilharzia pill. Convinced that he had been poisoned and was dying he insisted on making his will and called Joshua Nkomo to his side. He told Nkomo that he wanted to leave his only child in his care. (This story is related by Willie Musarurwa).