Oscar Dhlomo (28 December 1943 – 29 August 2008.) was born in Umbumbulu, near Durban, and matriculated at Amanzimtoti College in 1962. He studied at the University College of Zululand, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology in 1965 and a University Education Diploma in 1967. He pursued further study at the University of South Africa while working, obtaining his BA Hons in History in 1970. He served as headmaster of a local high school and later accepted a lecturing post in Didactics at the University of Zululand. Oscar completed a Master’s of Education at the University of Zululand and obtained a Doctorate of Education from UNISA.

Oscar abandoned academia to take up a political career and joined the KwaZulu government as Minister of Education and Culture in 1978 and later that year was elected Secretary-General of the Inkatha Freedom Party. He resigned as Inkatha Secretary-General in 1990 to form the Institute for Multi-Party Democracy, a political research organisation, serving as the executive chairman and served on the boards of several companies, including Rembrandt, Standard Bank, Safmarine, Anglovaal, the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), The Natal Witness Printing & Publishing Co., Hunt Leuchars & Hepburn and Shell SA post 1994.