Sunday Times

Writ­ing was not his only pas­sion

- — Source: The Alan Pa­ton Cen­tre & Strug­gle Ar­chives, Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Na­tal Literature · Arts · Pietermaritzburg · Stuart Paton · University of Natal

Alan Stu­art Pa­ton was born in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg in 1903. He ob­tained a BSc de­gree and a Higher Diploma in Ed­u­ca­tion from the Univer­sity of Na­tal.

His first novel, Cry, the Beloved Coun­try, was fol­lowed by po­etry, two more nov­els, short sto­ries, two bi­ogra­phies and a two­vol­ume au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. Pa­ton was a founder mem­ber of the Lib­eral Party of SA in 1953, was its na­tional chair­man from 1956 to 1958, and its na­tional pres­i­dent from 1958 to 1968. The party closed in 1968 as a direct re­sult of the Preven­tion of Po­lice In­ter­fer­ence Act, which made it a crim­i­nal of­fence for a per­son to be­long to any non­ra­cial po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Pa­ton is also fa­mous as a hu­man­i­tar­ian, a re­former of the ju­ve­nile jus­tice sys­tem (from his time as prin­ci­pal of the Diep­kloof Re­for­ma­tory) and a fierce op­po­nent of apartheid.

He died in 1988.

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