In 1949, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe received his BA from Fort Hare University College (whose students were Unisa-registered). He took his Attorneys’ Admission Examination through Unisa in 1974 while under house arrest.


Sobukwe was born into a humble family in Graaff-Reinet and showed more interest in literature than in politics at school. It was at Fort Hare that he became politically engaged and discovered his gifts as an orator. Sobukwe led the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), whose founder members broke away from the ANC in 1958. As Africanists, they held that blacks should be in control of their own struggle for liberation and rejected the ANC’s alliance with white communists. In 1960, Sobukwe authorised the PAC’s first anti-pass campaign; it climaxed tragically with the Sharpeville Massacre, in which at least 69 people were killed by police. Sobukwe was held in solitary confinement on Robben Island until 1969, then under house arrest in Kimberley up until his death. Nicknamed “The Prof” for his intellectualism, he has received several posthumous honorary doctorates.