Peter Rodda

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Peter Gordon Rodda (1937-2003). Expatriate South African academic, poet and dramatist. Political activist.


He went to Kearsney College in Natal and to the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, where he found a political home in the extra-parliamentary, radical Liberal Party. In his lively student days there and at the University of Cape Town he wrote prolifically in student magazines.

After lecturing at Rhodes University and Unisa, he emigrated to London after being detained under the 180-day law. It was teaching in Hertfordshire that his career as playwright developed. However, intermittent mental illness hindered his progress and, though his treatment was effective from the mid-1970s, the onset of cancer brought his literary work to an end.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Author of the play Cell-Shock, Neighbours Fireworks (1971).

He wrote The Time of Breaking, based on his experience as a prisoner, Biko, performed and co-written by Alton Kumalo, played both in the London fringe and the provinces, and Bush People was read in the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs.


Gosher, 1988.

Obituary published in The Independent [1].

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