By Priya Pitamber
Griffiths Mlungisi Mxenge was born in 1935 in King William's Town, in Eastern Cape.
He became a member of the African National Congress in the 1950s, while he was reading for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Fort Hare. He followed this with an LLB degree at the University of Natal, but his studies were interrupted in 1965, when he was detained for 190 days and convicted under the Suppression of Communism Act for his political activities in the ANC. He served a two-year sentence on Robben Island.
Mxenge eventually completed his law degree and became a well-known civil rights lawyer who took up cases of political freedom fights across all political parties. He was assassinated on the night of 19 November 1981.
Following the death of her anti-apartheid activist husband, Victoria Mxenge studied law and joined the legal practice he had established.
She took on cases in which the youth were ill-treated while imprisoned and was part of the defence team in the 1984 treason trial against leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Natal Indian Congress in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court.
Victoria Mxenge started a bursary fund in memory of her husband. She became a member of the Release Nelson Mandela Committee, the National Organisation of Women and the Natal Treasurer of the UDF.
In 1985, she was attacked and murdered at her home in Durban.
The Mxenges are buried next to each other in Rayi Cemetery near King William's Town.