Ruth First, born in Johannesburg in 1925, was a lifelong Communist and a formidable foe of the apartheid regime. Her parents were founder members of the Communist Party.
Ruth joined the Young Communist League in her teens and soon proved to be a dynamic speaker and organiser. She carried on the underground work of the Party after its banning in 1950, became a prominet figure in the ANC-led alliance, and made an outstanding contribution as a journalist, writer and theorist.
She served on all the movement`s newspapers from The Guardian to New Age, was instrumental in exposing the farm labour scandal and edited Fighting Talk. Together with her husband, Joe Slovo, she was a Treason Trialist (1956-61). After a period of solidarity confinement under the 90 day legislation, she was forced into exile in 1964. shhe wrote and edited several books, including 117 Days, an account of her detention.
Ruth First became an international authority on South Africa, a leading campaigner for the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the ANC. In 1979 she was appointed Director of Research in the Centre for African Studies in Maputo, Mozambique.
Loved and respected by our people, she was feared by the Pretoria regime who assassinated her in Maputo on August 17, 1982. Heroine of our Party and liberation movement, her life serves as an inspiration for all.

Ruth First was an outstanding campaigner for the rights of South African women and one of the best known campaigners against apartheid.

Find out here about the Ruth First Trust at Durham University

Read here an article about Ruth's work.

Ruth First, born in Johannesburg in 1925, was a lifelong Communist and a formidable foe of the apartheid regime. Her parents were founder members of the Communist Party.

Ruth joined the Young Communist League in her teens and soon proved to be a dynamic speaker and organiser. She carried on the underground work of the Party after its banning in 1950, became a prominent figure in the ANC-led alliance, and made an outstanding contribution as a journalist, writer and theorist.

She served on all the movement`s newspapers from The Guardian to New Age, was instrumental in exposing the farm labour scandal [See article link above] and edited Fighting Talk. Together with her husband, Joe Slovo, she was a Treason Trialist (1956-61). After a period of solidarity confinement under the 90 day legislation, she was forced into exile in 1964. shhe wrote and edited several books, including 117 Days, an account of her detention.

Ruth First became an international authority on South Africa, a leading campaigner for the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the ANC. In 1979 she was appointed Director of Research in the Centre for African Studies in Maputo, Mozambique.

Loved and respected by our people, she was feared by the Pretoria regime who assassinated her in Maputo on August 17, 1982. Heroine of our Party and liberation movement, her life serves as an inspiration for all.