Vella Pillay: Revolutionary Activism and Economic Policy Analysis
Between the late 1940s and the early 1990s, Vella Pillay made a major contribution to South Africa's liberation struggle. This article focuses on three aspects of his contribution: as a revolutionary procuring funds and training for the ANC's military struggle, as a leader of the anti-apartheid and boycott movements, and as a highly trained intellectual producing economic policy analyses. In the mid 1960s, Pillay was suddenly prevented from holding leadership positions in the Congress Alliance; and, in the mid 1990s, he was again humiliated when the report of the Macroeconomic Research Group, of which he was Director, was dumped without any debate of its policy recommendations. This article aims to provide some reasons for the sidelining from history of someone so committed to the economic and political liberation of South Africans.