Cde Zola Skweyiya, born in 1942 in Simonstown, Cape Town to Winnie Skweyiya. He did his schooling in Port Elizabeth and Retreat, Cape Town, finally matriculating at Loveday College, Alice in 1960. An activist since high school and at Fort Hare, he joined the ANC in 1956, and organised until he went into exile in 1963, to Tanzania and later Lusaka, Zambia.
The ANC sent cde Cde Zola Skweyiya to the German Democratic Republic to study law, and in 1978 he obtained an LLD degree from the University of Leipzig. He worked for the ANC in various offices and capacities and was responsible for setting up the ANC office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.