The Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Day Commemorative Committee, Arthur Motsetse Moleko was born in South Africa. In the mid-1970s as a young man growing under apartheid regime, he became involved with the Congress of South African Students and other youth movements where they tackled issues relating to black education and was inadvertently led to interest in politics.
“Living under Apartheid was sufficient to propel anyone into action” says Arthur. In particular, landmark events such as the Sharpville massacre and June 16 student uprise. These events and others ultimately led many to flee their country of birth in search of freedom and allies to assist in the liberation struggle.
Arthur learnt about Nelson Mandela and other prominent South African leaders like Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe and Walter Sisulu from childhood. These are some of the people who truly inspired him to get involved in movements that promote peace, equality and betterment of the quality of life for all. “Refugees don’t have the luxury of choice. Australia chose me” he continues. Arthur began his search for freedom in February 1977. He would find himself as a refugee of many countries including his first port of call, kingdom of Lesotho, Tanzania, Libya, China, USA and finally Australia.