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The John Laredo South African Archive

Archive reference: LAR

This Archive documents the career of a University of Bradford lecturer, whose life was changed by his opposition to the apartheid regime in his native South Africa.

John Laredo

John Laredo was born in Pretoria in 1932. After studying at Stellenbosch University and King's College, Cambridge, he carried out anthropological fieldwork among Zulu-speaking Nguni in the Shongweni, Ndwedwe and Inanda areas. While writing his report and teaching at the University of Natal, he registered for a Ph.D. with the University of Cape Town. In 1962 he was appointed lecturer in charge of Social Anthropology at the Port Elizabeth branch of Rhodes University.

John Laredo was involved locally with the African National Congress and was part of a movement in Transvaal to sabotage government installations. In August 1964 he was arrested and detained under the "90-day" detention clause and was then jailed for five years. He was refused permission to work on this thesis. On his release from prison in 1969, John Laredo was the subject of a banning order under the Suppression of Communism Act, which not only prevented him from publishing or submitting his thesis while he was in South Africa, but also prevented any South African university from accepting it.

He moved to England, firstly from 1970-1971, as resident visiting fellow at King's College, Cambridge. In 1972, he joined the School of Social Sciences at the University of Bradford. After 20 years lecturing at Bradford, he was forced to retire in 1993 by serious illness. John Laredo was a strong supporter of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, of which he was secretary through the 1980s. In 1992, he was able to visit a post-apartheid South Africa. He died in October 2000.

The Archive

John Laredo's Archive was donated to Special Collections in June 2002. It includes his thesis research and drafts and correspondence relating to the banning order. 

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