Several articles about Nimrod Sejake, 1985-86
Derry, Belfast YS campaign on apartheid
John Houston, Derry Young Socialists, Militant,
At the beginning of September Derry Young Socialists
launched a campaign against apartheid in South
Africa. The aims of the campaign were to encourage
direct links between trade unionists in Ireland and
South Africa; to get people to boycott South African
goods and, to pressurise the British and Irish
governments to enforce economic sanctions.
One of the highlights of the campaign was a public
meeting on the 4th of September. The main speaker was
Nimrod Sejake. The meeting was very well attended and
Nimrod was eloquent and biting in his attacks on
Botha’s monstrous regime.
On following days Nimrod toured the city visiting
trade unionists. He met ambulance men who had just
returned to work after a victorious strike. Various
collections raised £50 for the struggle in South
Africa and more will follow. Nimrod’s visit has got
excellent coverage in the local media.
Saturday the 14th saw the Young Socialists, along with
other trade unionists picketing outside the Richmond
Centre and the other Dunnes Stores in Derry to support
of the Dunnes strikers in Dublin.
A petition condemning apartheid and companies with
South African links was signed by 2,000 people.
Militant, October 1985
A successful meeting on South Africa was held in
Belfast by the Young Socialists on September 12th.
Kate O’Hanlon, Secretary of the Young Socialists,
reported that one school student in South Africa said,
‘We might lose our lives, but the police will soon run
out of bullets’, showing the lengths young people in
South Africa are prepared to make an end apartheid.
The main speaker, Nimord Sejake, an exiled South
Africa trade unionists, emphasised the role of the
working class in the coming South African revolution.
He particularly commended the courageous struggle of
the South African National Union of Mineworkers in
their recent strike.
Militant, October 1985
Derry Trades Council has introduced positive vetting
for speakers, or so it seems. On a recent visit to
Derry Nimord Sejake requested permission to address
the Trades Council. He was in Derry to raise support
for the black working class in South Africa,
particularly the SA National Union of Mineworkers.
Right-wingers and Sinn Fein members on the Trades
Council Executive refused his request on the grounds
that he was unacceptable to the Irish Anti-Apartheid
Movement. This, despite the fact than Nimrod is a
member of the IAAM and he has been a member of the ANC
since 1953. He was a leader in the Johannesburg area
until being forced into exile where he spent time as a
political leader in the ANC guerrilla camps.
Many Trades Council delegates believed that the
Executive’s decision overstepped their authority. At
the next full meeting their decision was challenged.
The Trades Council has always openly discussed all
issues and Nimrod Sejake as an exiled trade unionists
has aright to address the meeting. The executive’s
position was only upheld on the casting vote of the
Chairman. Obviously the right wing and Sinn Fein are
not interested in democratic debate.
By a Militant reporter.
Militant, October 1986
Nimrod Sejake faces eviction from the Red Cross hostel
in Ballsbridge, Dublin, where he has lived as a
refugee for the last six years. Nimrod is a veteran
South African socialist, a former ANC official and a
founder member of the Metal Workers’ Union in the
Transvaal. He has been a fighter al his life. Because
of his work and ideas he has been exiled from his
native country. He had been constantly on the move,
living in a precarious manner and on the verge of
starvation more than once.
Having lived here for six years he finds his battles
are far from over. Nimrod has continued to fight
against the apartheid system by building support for
the black workers in their struggles. This very
political activity has been cited by the Red Cross as
one of their ‘reasons’ for attempting to evict him.
The Red Cross, who continue to buy South African
fruit, have said that Nimrod’s political activity,
amongst other things, ‘contravenes the principles of
the neutrality of Ireland.’
Nimrod has been battling with the Red Cross and
particularly the hostel management for some years. He
has protested vigorously about the lack of heating in
the refugees’ rooms. Many of whom are considerably
older than Nimrod’s 66 years. Along with many other
grievances he is also concerned with the lack of
consultation with the refugees themselves with regard
to any aspect of their daily life.
Because of the conditions at the hostel Nimrod has
refused to contribute from his dole and now form his
pension. Rather than give in he is prepared to fight
to improve conditions for all refugees.
Articles by or about Nimrod
- Belfast, June 18th 2004 - Nimrod Sejake - an Irish cde remembers him
The cwi is sad to announce the death of Nimrod Sejake, a life-long fighter against apartheid in South Africa, and a committed socialist. Nimrod died on 27 May 2004, aged 83 years. Forced into exile, Nimrod eventually arrived in Ireland in the 1980s. He became a supporter of the ‘Militant’, the forerunner of the Socialist Party (CWI affiliate), and joined the Marxist Workers’ Tendency of the ANC.
Read the rest of this note and the Irish Times obituary, 19/06/2004, here.
- Militant, September 1988 - Nimrod Sejake Retreat from the Freedom Charter
- Examples of Nimrod's role in building support for Marxism in Ireland.
A number of short reports found in the pages of our papers in the 1980's and 1990's which give some impression of the role Nimrod played in building support for Militant, the forerunners of the Socialist Party here.