Leading member of the ANCYL and ANC. Participant in the 1952 Defiance Campaign, and the Congress of the People. In 1962, Nzo was placed under twenty-four-hour house arrest, and in 1963 he was detained for 238 days. After his release the ANC ordered him to leave the country. He represented the ANC in various countries including Egypt, India, Zambia and Tanzania. He succeeded Duma Nokwe as secretary general in 1969, and held this post until the first legal ANC conference in South Africa in 1991. He was part of the ANC delegation that participated in talks with the De Klerk government after 1990. Appointed minister of foreign affairs in the newly democratic South Africa, 1994. Received a number of awards including the Order of Luthuli in Gold, 2003.