One of Bush Radio’s board members and a strong anti-apartheid activist Professor William Tilden McClain passed away on Sunday the 02nd of October 2011. We at Bush Radio mourn his death.
Professor McClain was originally from a small town inIndiana in the United States, and after his studies served as Deputy Attorney General of Indiana.
His first interest of South Africa began in 1950’s when he went to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the Universityof London. Initially he was going to study Indian or Middle Eastern law, but was drawn to African law. At this time he also followed the Treason Trial in South Africa very closely.
In 1961 he was sent by the University to do research and collect documents in Africa. He drove from Nairobi to Lesotho and visited eight African states, including Swaziland. This is where he met his wife May Vuyelwa Hillary.
Professor McClain had a very close relationship with the struggle movement and its leadership in exile especially Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani. In an interview with a Bush Radio intern two months ago he recalled a story of how he got to give Oliver Tambo his sunglasses. “Oliver and I were on the plane heading for Zambia. Just before we landed in Lusaka, Oliver asked me to give him my sunglasses for disguise and I gave them to him and I never got them back”
He became involved with Bush Radio more than seven years ago and served on the board at the time of his death.
Professor McClain has been described as a leader, mentor and a person who was always willing to give. His guidance and generous heart will be sorely missed by everyone at Bush Radio. He has left a void which no one can fill. Our condolences go to his wife, children, extended family and his friends.