Lauretta Ngcobo, author and activist, Died at 84


Lauretta Ngcobo was born in 1931, and died on November 3, 2015.

She was a South African novelist and essayist.

After being in exile between 1963 and 1994, Lauretta lived in Durban.

Her writings between the 1960s and early 1990s have been described as offering “significant insights into the experiences of Black women of apartheid’s vagaries”.

The daughter of Simon Gwina, Lauretta was born in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, grew up there, and was educated at the University of Fort Hare.

She married Abednego Bhekabantu Ngcobo, a founder and member of the executive of the Pan Africanist Congress.

In 1963, facing imminent arrest, the family fled the country, moving to Swaziland, then Zambia and finally England, where she taught school for 25 years.

Lauretta returned to South Africa in 1994. Her husband died in 1997.

In South Africa she taught for a while before becoming a Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, where she spent 11 years before retiring in 2008.

Lauretta died in hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, following a stroke.

In 2006, Lauretta received the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award of the South African Literary Awards.

In 2008, Lauretta was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga for her work in literature and in promoting gender equality.

Lauretta was named an eThekwini Living Legend in 2012, and in 2014 she received an honorary doctorate of Technology in Arts and Design from Durban University of Technology.

Lauretta passed away at age 84 in November 2015.