Donato Francisco Mattera, better known as Don Mattera, is a South African poet and author. Mattera grew up in Sophiatown, from where his family was later forcibly evicted.
As a result of his political activities, he was banned from 1973 to 1982 and spent three years under house arrest. He was detained, his house was raided, and he was tortured more than once. During this time, he became a founding member of the Black Consciousness movement and joined the ANC Youth League. He helped form the Union of Black Journalists as well as the Congress of South African Writers. He also joined the National Forum, which was against what it referred to as the “racial exclusivity” of the United Democratic Front.
He then worked as a journalist on The Sunday Times, The Sowetan, and The Weekly Mail (now known as the Mail and Guardian).
Don converted to the Islam and is now deeply involved in the community, with a special interest in young people and the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners.
Veteran journalist and anti-apartheid activist Don Mattera on Monday launched a blistering attack on the National Press Club (NPC). Mattera was speaking to News24 in response to an NPC “Black Tuesday” campaign to mark the National Assembly vote on the protection of state of information bill.
“Steve Biko must be shaking in his grave when he hears that a former all-white organ that helped promote the banning of Don Materra and others is now in the frontline for democracy,” Mattera, a founding member of the Black Consciousness Movement and the Union of Black Journalists, told News24.