The Parsi Connection to African National Congress

Dr. Frene Noshir Ginwala (born 25 April 1932)[1] is a South African journalist and politician who was the first Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa from 1994 to 2004.[2] She is an Indian-South African from the ParsiIndian community of western India. Dr Frene Ginwala studied for a DPhil at Linacre College, Oxford.

Dr Frene Ginwala was appointed as the first chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in April 2005 and is currently serving a four year term. She is one of only four female University Chancellors in South Africa.[3] She has written a number of books dealing with various aspects of the struggle against injustice and has been honoured by scores of international and local institutions and governments.

Frene Noshir Ginwala has a very chequered life. Using her anonymity, she played a tremendous role in establishing underground escape routes for ANC leaders and cadres in the period following the Sharpeville massacre and the declaration of the State of Emergency (SOE) in 1960. These included Deputy-President of the ANC Oliver Tambo and Dr Yusuf Dadoo, two very senior leaders of the liberation movement. She also organised safe houses for those who had to remain in the country. Frene also chauffeured NIC (Natal Indian Congress) leaders Dr Monty Naicker and J. N. Singh, who were operating from the underground after managing to dodge the police swoop.

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