Charlene Houston

Charlene displayed great resilience to end injustice, inequality, racism and sexism during apartheid. She was active in Cosas, raising awareness amongst students, arranging alternative education activities during the 1980s school boycotts, and organising solidarity campaigns around schools who had poor or no resources. She also facilitated the formation of a Cosatu local in support of workers fighting injustices and was active in the formation of the UDF. In response to the state brutality that was unleashed with the State of Emergency, she joined uMkhonto we Sizwe in 1985, at the age of 19. She also led a women’s group which was the forerunner to the unbanning of the Women’s League and assisted in setting up ANC and Women’s League branches when the organisation was unbanned.