Tag Archives: Apartheid laws

Censorship During Apartheid

While the influence of newspapers seems to have diminished in favour of online reporting in recent years, there’s no disputing the role that the media have always played in representing the interests of the people. The stories that newspapers choose to feature (or not feature for that matter) guide public opinion on all manner of […]

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: 26 September 1936-2 April 2018

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Late Monday afternoon the airwaves filled with stories of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as people phoned in to express their grief over the passing of this legendary South African political activist. Born on the 26th September 1936, Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela, known popularly as ‘Winnie’, was the daughter of two teachers, and the fifth of nine children. With educators […]

The Architect of Apartheid

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This weekend the annual Rand Easter Show takes place in Johannesburg. It was during the Rand Show in 1960 that the first assassination attempt was made on the life of Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the former South African Prime Minister considered by many to be the grand ‘architect of apartheid’. Despite being born in the Netherlands, Hendrik Verwoerd […]

Kesval ‘Kay’ Moonsamy (5 July 1926-21 June 2017)

Kay Moonsamy during his visit to Red Square, 13th June 2016

Last week the country lost another of its great stalwarts of democracy with the passing of Kesval Moonsamy. Popularly known as ‘Kay’, Moonsamy was a member of a number of political organisations, becoming a trade union member at a very young age. Having started work at Rhodesian Timbers Limited when he was just 14 years […]

The Two Berthas

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While the large majority of the people viewed as heroes of the anti-apartheid movement are men, women too played a very significant role in the fight for democracy in South Africa. While for some that role was in the form of supportive mothers and wives, who made it possible for men to leave their families […]

On This Day…..

Students protest in Soweto against the introduction of Afrikaans in schools

The 16th of June 1976 is commemorated in South Africa as Youth Day, in remembrance of the countless children who lost their lives during the Soweto Youth Uprising. To read the list of the names of children killed during the 1976 student protests is beyond heartbreaking – unarmed students gunned down by police for trying to […]

The University of Fort Hare

Fort Hare staff members marching against the Bantu Education Act, 1958

The University of Fort Hare, possibly South Africa’s most famous educational institution, has had something of a checkered past. Opened in 1916 as the South African Native College by Christian missionaries, the school offered a European-style education for students from across sub-Saharan Africa. While the missionaries were part of colonial expansion, which came with its own set of prejudices, they did […]

The Freedom Charter & the 1956 Treason Trial

Protesters gather outside the Drill Hall on the opening day of the Treason Trial, 19th December 1956

The Congress of the People took place on the 26th June 1955, in Kliptown, just outside of Johannesburg. Attended by some 3000 people, the aim of the meeting was to discuss the content of the proposed Freedom Charter, with submissions for the document having been received from people all across the country. The Freedom Charter, some of the core tenets […]

The Gallows Exhumation Project

Exhumation of the 14 political prisoners hung in 1964, Rebecca Cemetery, Pretoria

Family members of fourteen political prisoners executed under the apartheid regime will finally have somewhere to visit their loved ones after their bodies were exhumed on Wednesday as part of the country’s Gallows Exhumation Project, led by the Missing Person’s Task Team. The men, who were hung in Pretoria in July 1964, were members of the armed wing of the Pan African […]