Joe Modise

Joe Modise

Johannes "Joe" Modise (23 May 1929, Doornfontein - 26 November 2001) was a South African political figure. He helped to found Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress, and served as South Africa's first black Minister of Defence from 1994 to 1999.

As a truck driver from Alexandra, Gauteng, he became interested in the struggle against apartheid at an early age. He at first chose only non-violent means, being arrested with Nelson Mandela and 154 and tried for treason. All were acquitted. After the South African government chose more and more violent means to suppress the activists in the 1960s, Modise became a guerrilla fighter. He organized resistance groups and trained many other guerrilla fighters. Modise became the Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe ("MK").

But by 1990, Modise and other representatives of the African National Congress met with the white government. When Mandela was elected President in 1994, he chose Modise as his Defense Minister. Modise was charged with integrating the many sects of guerrilla fighter into the new South African National Defence Force, (SANDF.)

Read more about Joe ModiseControversies

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Joe Modise - Controversies
... In 1969 Chris Hani authored the 'Hani Memorandum' which was strongly critical of Modise's leadership of MK in exile ... Prominent ANC members including Modise, his advisor Fana Hlongwane, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and ANC President Jacob Zuma are among those believed to have benefited directly from ... Modise was awarded the Gold Grand Cross, South Africa's highest civilian honor ...

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