Biography of George Naicker

Famous Personality George Naicker Biography

Georg Naicker was prominent South African freedom fighter of Indian Tamil descent.He was one of six sons born to his parents on the 1st June, 1919. He lost his mother while in prison on Robben Island.

Early days with Indian National Congress

Billy Nair whose association with George dates from 1950 when he was a branch member of the Seaview, Bellair, Hilary and Umhlatuzana area of the Natal Indian Congress says, that George was a delegate to the Congress of the People and joined the SACP in the 1955/56 period i.e. in its illegal period.

Membership with South African Communist Party

Communists, post World War 2 despite their immense contribution to the defeat of Nazism, were an endangered species.

The UN-American activities of the McCarthy period found links in SA where the CPSA was banned in 1950 while the cold war was being put in place. He embraced membership of the Party despite the consequences.


Incarceration in Robben Island

Prior to his arrest in July, 1963 he was employed as a legal clerk at the late G.S. Naidoo’s office in Queen Street. While the constitution of the ANC made membership exclusive to Africans, George from his daily work in a legal office knew the mind boggling quality of the oppression and deprivation visited on African life.
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Ndabazabantu courts is where you would find George regularly. Long after he went to Robben Island his clients were searching for him not believing that he was in prison.

Sunny Singh ( ex-Robben Islander ) states that he met George of NIC Youth Congress and was a Youth Delegate to the World Youth Festival (in Hungary). In 1964, charged with sabotage etc. he was sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

George Naicker served his 14 year sentence to the day and returned home to further restrictions and House arrest orders on the 28 February 1978. The imposition of punishment by the courts did not satisfy police officers.

They imposed further restrictions on his release, while Archie Gumede generous as the day is long, employed him on his release. Today many peace-time activists have surfaced, but George through the organisations he worked in challenged the might of the then Nationalist party, incurred their wrath and took whatever punishment was meted out.

George Naicker  never capitulated on the Freedom Charter.  MK structures outside the country found that a police agent had infiltrated ANC ranks. It as decided to remove Ebi and George from the country in 1980. The only description of George MK had was his very small feet.

Many times did he drop his pen to have a look at George’s shoe. However George’s indomitable courage had no relationship to his shoe size.
Soon Uncle George was in Lusaka, HQ attached to the treasury department.

George Naicker was in charge of Chongella Farm where Sahdhan Naidoo was manager. He promised me faithfully that he would take care of my son. When Sahdhan was assassinated on the 15 April 1989 he would not talk to me feeling in some way he had let me down. In life and death you were his Uncle George.

ANC return of home

When ANC started to return home in 1990. George was charged with taking care of the assets of the ANC in Lusaka and elsewhere, in a traumatic period, where some tried to personalize the organisation’s possessions. He stayed behind.
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George Naicker was a minuscule fellow weighing at most 50kg and wearing size 4 shoes. He was unassuming, always in the background, never in leadership roles. Dare anyone mistake that for weakness. If you did, you did so at your peril.

On Robben Island, he and Sunny Singh attended to getting the news together. How he obtained the newspapers, the radio that kept them abreast of the Nationalist propaganda are all dramatic and traumatic stories.

George Naicker  took part in the celebrations to honour the USSR on the 7 November every year under the noses of the warders. He suffered the extreme pain and indignity of a straight jacket.

George, whether in detention or in a straight jacket on Robben Island, betrayed none of his friends. His integrity was unblemished. He worked his butt off in the struggle for democracy South Africa.

All his energies were given selflessly to the NIC, ANC, MK and SACP. If Thomas Nkobi (the late ANC Treasurer-General) were alive, he would tell of his trustworthiness where money was involved. He died in 1998 in Zimbabwe.