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James Arthur Calata

James Arthur Calata

James Arthur Calata was born in Rabula, Keiskammahoek on 22 July 1895. He trained as a teacher at St Matthews College and a Priest in the Anglican Church.

He was influential in the African National Congress (ANC) in the 1030s to 1940s. He played a significant role in SYNODS and Missionary Conferences in the Diocese of Grahamstown and also in provincial organisations. Religion and politics were inseparable concerns in Calata’s life for he believed that Christianity would never develop genuine roots in South Africa until Africa grievances were dealt with.

In 1936 he became Secretary General of the ANC. In 1938 he became president of the order of St Ntsikana. During the defiance campaign of 1952.

He was banned from attending gatherings but was eventually allowed to carry on with his church work, although this came along with much harassment from the government.

He was jailed during the 1960 State of Emergency. Shortly after his arrest, during a raid on his home, the police found no papers but noticed two historic photographs of ANC leaders on his wall.

He was a Canon of Grahamstown Cathedral from 1959 up to the time of his death. He passed away on 16 June 1983 in Cradock

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