20th, early 21st century
> South Africa
Pro-apartheid vs. Anti-apartheid activists
Helen Suzman in Johannesburg
in November 2007
Alexander Joe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
January 1, 2009
Helen Suzman, Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies at 91
By JOHN F. BURNS and ALAN COWELL NYT January 2, 2009
Eugene de Kock
widely known as Prime Evil
because of his abuses
of black activists
during the apartheid era
Nadine Gordimer 1923-2014
a body of fiction
that brought her
did not originally
as her subject
as a young writer,
but she found
to dig deeply
into South African life
of the apartheid
and could not
archbishop Desmond Tutu
one of the most prominent figures
in the struggle against apartheid
Playwright Athol Fugard: a man of obstinacy and
courage 3 June 2012
A new documentary charts
the struggle of Afrikaans playwright Athol Fugard
against the violence of apartheid.
Thabo Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela
Eugene de Kock
policeman nicknamed “Prime Evil,”
who had led a covert counterterrorism unit dedicated
to the torture and killing of anti-apartheid activists
Dirk Coetzee (...)
led a South African
police hit squad
that killed antiapartheid activists,
(... he) eventually confessed to his crimes
as his country began shifting away
from official racial segregation
Magnus Malan / Magnus Andre De Merindol
South African general
and defense minister
who in the 1980s
helped devise and carry out
his nation’s last-ditch strategy
to preserve its system
of rigid racial
including ordering raids
Eugene Ney Terre'Blanche,
Pieter Willem Botha / P W Botha, politician
Former leader of South Africa,
committed to state terrorism and murder
to stop majority rule
Justice Chaskalson (...)
helped write that Constitution
and create the court
that would be its safeguard.
He had earlier been
part of the team
of defense lawyers
that saved Mr. Mandela
and other antiapartheid activists
from the death penalty
at the infamous Rivonia trial
convicted of sabotage
and other crimes,
spent 27 years in prison
before being released in 1990.
one of South Africa’s
He had no formal training with a camera
and began using one in the 1950s
only because the newspaper he worked for
as court reporter was so small
that he was expected to take the photographs
for his own articles.
But he was soon captivated
by the power of
and after meeting
and photographing Nelson Mandela,
then a trial lawyer,
in courtrooms and elsewhere,
Mr. Kumalo headed off in a new direction,
to become one
of the indispensable chroniclers
of the cruelties of apartheid
and South Africa’s eventual emergence
as a multiracial democracy.
Basil Lewis D'Oliveira, cricketer / batsman
who was classified
as colored under South African apartheid,
wanted only to play
at the highest levels of his sport, cricket.
His struggle to do that in a country
of government-enforced racial segregation
became a powerful symbol
in the ultimately successful fight
lead the armed struggle
against apartheid in
and once posed as the operator
of a farm where Nelson Mandela,
masquerading as his houseboy,
white Minister who fought apartheid
white minister who defied
his racist upbringing
in South Africa
by living in a black township
and leading a congregation there
while organizing protests
who single-handedly carried
the anti-racism banner
in South Africa's
David Hepburn Craighead 1918-2008
actuary and anti-apartheid campaigner
forced into exile
by the Afrikaner nationalist government
in the 1960s.
As an actuary,
he later left his mark on the City of London
by devising the "Craighead curve",
a statistical tool used
to estimate insurance claims.
Zenzile Miriam Makeba
singer, songwriter and activist
Michael Denis Alastair Terry
anti-apartheid campaigner and teacher
Adelaide Frances Tambo
human rights campaigner
of the former ANC president
One of the best known figures
in South Africa's liberation struggle,
she worked as a nurse for much of her life.
"Ma Tambo", as she was known,
was born Adelaide Tshukudu
outside the town of Vereeniging,
south of Johannesburg.
Her introduction to politics was brutal;
at the age of 10,
she witnessed her 82-year-old grandfather
until he collapsed in the town square.
As she was to recount later in life:
"His brutal and humiliating treatment
at the hands of the police
was the trigger, the deciding factor."
Ben Bousquet, political activist
Ben Bousquet (...)
was a migrant from St
who became a Labour party local councillor
and parliamentary candidate
in London's North Kensington,
as well as an internationally renowned campaigner
against South African
Raymond Mhlaba 1920-2005
Raymond Mhlaba (...)
to the struggle against apartheid.
A member of the Rivonia group
with Nelson Mandela,
he was sentenced to life imprisonment,
but emerged to take office in 1994
after South Africa's
His kindly manner
brought him the nickname "Oom Ray"
- Uncle Ray in Afrikaans.
Allan Hendrickse 1927-2005
politician and minister
Allan Hendrickse (...)
is best known for a swim he took.
then a minister in PW
swam at a beach reserved for whites
in a protest against the Separate Amenities Act,
which allegedly meant separate facilities for each race,
but in practice kept most of them
exclusively for the use of whites.
PW Botha was incensed
by this act of defiance
- Hendrickse was of mixed race -
and delivered a tirade
against him on television.
promptly backed down and apologised.
This act of half-hearted rebellion
was typical of Hendrickse,
who spent his political career
in and out of bed
with the ruling National Party.
But, to be fair,
he was also leader
of a group
of disparate people
thrust together by what they were not
- neither white nor black -
and who were themselves deeply ambivalent
about which side they were on.
The three million-odd "coloureds"
than black Africans
but not quite as good as whites
under apartheid racial hierarchy.
Abdullah Mohammed Omar
lawyer and government
The human rights lawyer
Dullah Omar (...)
was an anti-apartheid activist
and former political prisoner
who went on to serve
in every South African government
since his country's
first democratic election
Frederick Beyers Naudé 1915-2004
who turned on apartheid
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
It is impossible for anyone
who has not
shared the experience
to fathom the psychological suffering of those born
into the no-man's land of "coloured" status
in apartheid South Africa.
But, whatever the hardship
his mixed parentage brought
to the life of Walter
South Africa can give thanks
to the white foreman of black road workers
who came to the Encobo area of the Transkei
early in the last century and fathered
one of the undoubted heroes
of the liberation struggle.
becomes the first black leader
of the South African Anglican Church
7 September 1986
Oliver Reginald Tambo
The quiet man
of the South African liberation
who toiled in the shadow
of his charismatic comrade Nelson Mandela
Mr. Hani was revered
for his bravery
in fighting against
the apartheid government
and for his internal
within the liberation movement.
was released from prison,
Mr. Hani questioned
to suspend the armed struggle
in favor of a
He worried that the
who had upheld
racist system for decades
could not be trusted
to simply hand over power.
Mr. Hani was gunned
in the driveway of his home
in front of his
on April 10, 1993.
Clive Derby Lewis
and Janus Waluz
admitted to killing him.
Their intention was
the country’s transition to democracy
— and they very
a young South African doctor,
was the only white anti-apartheid activist
to die in detention.
Moses Mauane Kotane 1905-1978
Kotane was general
of the South African Communist party (SACP)
and a member of the
national executive committee,
and is credited
aligning the two organisations.
Born in poverty in
he started life as a herdboy
and only began school
when he was 15, leaving at 17.
He found work
miner and bakery worker.
he joined the
and a year later the SACP,
which sent him to
Steve Biko 1946-1977
murdered anti-apartheid leader
On Board: Behind the Scenes with the
President & The First Lady at Robben Island
2 July 2013
White House > On Board: Behind the Scenes with the
President & The First Lady at Robben Island
2 July 2013
Go behind the scenes with President Barack
and First Lady Michelle Obama as they visit Robben Island.
From the 1960s through the 1990s,
Island housed a maximum security prison.
Many of the prisoners there
who worked to bring down Apartheid,
the South African government's
discriminated against people of color
including Nelson Mandela
and current South
African President Jacob Zuma.
Narrated by the First Lady, Michelle Obama.
June 30, 2013
YouTube > White
a Symbol for Cricket
and for Equality,
Dies at 80
November 26, 2011
The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Just as Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson pursued their athletic
dreams and developed superlative skills before altering history, Basil
D’Oliveira, who was classified as colored under South African apartheid, wanted
only to play at the highest levels of his sport, cricket. His struggle to do
that in a country of government-enforced racial segregation became a powerful
symbol in the ultimately successful fight against apartheid.
D’Oliveira had to move far from South Africa before his experience could shine a
light on its system of racial injustice. Unable to perform there in competition
commensurate with his skills, he moved to England, became a British citizen and
joined England’s national cricket team. He rose to international prominence
when, in 1968, South Africa canceled a much-anticipated visit by the English
team because it wanted to include him in the contests, against whites.
Because of its refusal, South Africa, long a cricket power, did not play another
international cricket match until 1994. Nelson Mandela, who led the fight
against apartheid, called the D’Oliveira episode decisive in his movement’s
D’Oliveira, who had Parkinson’s disease, died at 80 on Nov. 19 in England,
according to the governing organization Cricket South Africa. Because he may
have lied about his age, he may have been as many as three or four years older.
Cricket South Africa gave no other details.
D’Oliveira was an accomplished player for England, participating in 44 major
international competitions, or test matches. A powerful, focused batsman, he
scored 19,490 runs in the top English cricket league and 1,859 in test matches.
The numbers are considered impressive, but experts reckon that he could have
doubled them had he immigrated to England sooner.
Paul Yule, who made a 2006 documentary about the D’Oliveira episode, “Not
Cricket,” said in an interview on D’Oliveira’s Web site that his significance
came from his role in “a pivotal point in 20th-century politics,” not from his
sporting skills, though they were indisputable.
“Here was a man who didn’t look particularly dark-skinned,” Yule said, “but the
inequality of the South African system meant you were classified either white or
nonwhite, and since he was classified as nonwhite, he could play no part in the
national sporting life of his country.”
D’Oliveira, who was of Indian-Portuguese heritage was easily classified as
colored. Many other nonwhite cricketers were subjected to what was called the
pencil test to determine which segregated league they would play in. A pencil
was placed in a player’s hair, and if the pencil fell out, the player was called
colored and placed in the colored league. If it stayed put, he was judged black
and placed in the black league.
South Africa was ostracized in global sports beginning in the 1950s with table
tennis. By 1964 antiapartheid organizers had succeeded in getting the country
barred from that year’s Olympics, and in 1970 the International Olympic
Committee expelled the country from the Olympic movement.
The country’s absence from international sports rankled South Africans; by 1977
they ranked it in a poll as one of the three most damaging consequences of
South Africa had been selecting exclusively white cricket teams for test matches
since 1889. As the game blossomed in places like the Caribbean, India and
Pakistan, South Africa found itself playing only all-white teams from England,
Australia and New Zealand. Peter Osborne, in the 2004 book “Basil D’Oliveira,
Cricket and Conspiracy: The Untold Story,” said the cricket authorities
justified this by saying that cricket was a sport for whites, and that if blacks
or coloreds did take it up, they “played at an abysmally low level.”
Basil Lewis D’Oliveira, a tailor’s son, disproved this by excelling on the
cricket fields around Cape Town, where he was most often said to have been born
on Oct. 4, 1931. He went on to become a star performer on nonwhite teams, in one
year captaining a black team on a trip to Kenya.
But he was well into his 30s when he realized he had no hope of taking part in
top competition in South Africa. A vaunted West Indian team was scheduled to
tour the country in matches against a team composed of blacks and coloreds, of
which D’Oliveira was captain, but when antiapartheid forces protested that such
a high-profile sports event might give credibility to the regime, the trip was
Deciding to leave the country, D’Oliveira wrote to John Arlott, a prominent
cricket commentator in England, asking for help. Arlott got him a contract with
a minor league team in the Lancashire League.
At first D’Oliveira was lonely and poverty-stricken. Having lived so long under
apartheid, he found himself searching in vain for playing-field entrances and
facilities for nonwhites. After a slow start, his play picked up, and his wife
and son, who survive him, joined him. He eventually earned a spot on England’s
When he sought to join the squad for the trip to South Africa, however, the
sport’s governing body in England, the Marylebone Cricket Club, turned him down.
Its officials said he had been passed over for athletic reasons, an assertion
British newspapers called outlandish. It later emerged that the president of
South Africa, John Vorster, had threatened to cancel the event if D’Oliveira was
part of the team.
Still, when another player was injured, the cricket club had a change of heart
and named D’Oliveira to replace him. D’Oliveira said the South African
government offered him a sizable bribe and a coaching job in South Africa if he
would withdraw. When he refused, it terminated the competition rather than
Queen Elizabeth made D’Oliveira an officer of the Order of the British Empire in
1969 and promoted him to a commander in 2005. In 2000 he was named one of the 10
South African cricketers of the century, despite not having played for South
Africa. The trophy for the test series between England and South Africa is named
D’Oliveira played in the top division of English cricket into his late 40s. Most
cricketers retire in their early 30s. He just wished that he could have hit the
big stage sooner, say in his 20s, he said in 1980.
“I was some player then,” he said. “I was over the hill when I came to England.”
Basil D’Oliveira, a Symbol for Cricket and for Equality,
Dies at 80,
April 28 1994
Vote of the
century opens era of hope
From The Guardian archive
April 28 1994
As dawn broke over Zone 9 of Meadowlands, Soweto, yesterday, the Mwale family
was preparing for power.
First there was water to boil, since the rumour had spread that the rightwing
AWB might poison Meadowlands' main tank. Esther Mwale said "most people with
sense" in Zone 9 were boiling water. Then, there was the huge pot of mealies to
cook. Finally, there were the ID documents to find. No one could say the Mwales
were not ready for democracy.
As they set off at 7am, joining a stream of hundreds on the main road, it seemed
that all of Zone 9 had the same idea — first watch Nelson Mandela cast his vote
in Durban on the television and then get down to the polling station at
Maponyane school quickly to beat the rush.
The clientele of Johannes' shebeen had discussed this the night before. At the
beginning of the evening, Jacob's solution to avoiding Tuesday's chaos was to
get there early. A few beers later, the prospect of waking up at 5am and queuing
for two hours looked unattractive.
Johannes said he was voting ANC "for his children". But nobody else was prepared
to say. The talk was of logistics, not politics. Nevertheless, the sight of a
white woman, who had cast her vote abroad, saying tearfully on television, "I'm
just scared about the future", aroused fierce emotion.
"What are you scared of? That a black man will run the country," shouted
Mzimasi, slightly blowing his cover.
If Mzimasi was right about the woman's fears, the sight at Maponyane school
yesterday morning would have confirmed them. Long queues of black people were
waiting to have a say in their country's future. Many had dressed up for the
occasion as if they were going to church.
People queued for about two hours before they could vote. There was a keen sense
of relief. "It was easy. Just like they have been telling us on the television.
I feel good now it's over," said Esther.
By the time the Mwales had finished voting, the queue was twice as long. On the
way home we saw Jacob, looking the worse for wear and being ribbed by friends at
the bus stop. He had woken up late but was insisting he would make it to the
At the shebeen, Johannes had devised a plan to make sure Jacob kept his promise.
No beer would be served to people without the white, fluorescent strip on their
hand, which proved they had voted. With a smile, he said: "How can there be a
free and fair election if drunk people are going to vote?"
From The Guardian
archive > April 28 1994 >
Vote of the century opens era of hope, G,
28.4.2007, p. 34,
April 27 1994
The day apartheid
From The Guardian archive
April 27 1994
South Africans defied organisational chaos, personal hardship and long queues
to throng polling stations yesterday for the historic all-race election that
crowned their long march towards democracy.
While the authorities were under pressure last night to extend the three-day
poll after serious problems in the first day of voting, the momentum for freedom
looked unstoppable, with a new nation coming into effect at midnight when the
old flag was lowered and the new constitution took effect.
'Today is a day like no other before it … today marks the dawn of our freedom,'
said Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who is expected to
become the country's first black president. Mr Mandela spent 27 of his 75 years
in jail for fighting apartheid.
'Years of imprisonment could not stamp out our determination to be free. Years
of intimidation and violence could not stop us and we will not be stopped now,'
President F. W. de Klerk, whose decision in 1990 to abandon apartheid opened the
way to the new South Africa, said: 'I wanted this election to take place … that
is what I have been working for.'
Around the country, the infirm, elderly and sick defied a rightwing bomb ing
campaign and problems at polling stations in an extraordinary demonstration of
hunger for the franchise.
The poll commission vice-chairman, Dikgang Moseneke, said [it] had hopelessly
underestimated the problems of running free and fair elections, particularly in
Problems with polling resulted largely from delays in the delivery of indelible
ink to mark voters' hands, ballot papers and even polling stations.
A member of the Inkatha central committee, Joe Matthews, said: 'In quite a large
number of polling stations the administration didn't turn up and the stations
were closed. Then we started getting reports that the IFP sticker wasn't there.
It affects other parties too, because if the sticker's not there it's a spoilt
President De Klerk promised action to smooth the next days of voting. 'We dare
not deprive any South African of the right to vote,' he said. The Transkei
leader, Major General Bantu Holomisa, an ANC candidate, joined in appeals for an
extension to the election, reporting that 602 polling stations in the homeland
had no voting equipment.
But the ballot went on. In hospitals, patients clutching their saline drip bags
queued to vote. Nurses were seen holding patients upright.
Friday Mavuso, aged 45, crippled by a police bullet when he was 22, added: 'I
have said all my life we shall overcome, and we have.'
From The Guardian
archive > April 27 1994 >
The day apartheid died, G, Republished 27.4.2007, p.
April 17 1970
*Why I'm off the
From The Guardian Archive
April 17 1970
I shall not broadcast on the matches of the South African cricket tour of
England arranged for 1970. The B.B.C. has accepted my decision with
understanding and an undertaking that my standing with them will not be
This action has not been dictated by mass influences. Apartheid is detestable to
me, and I would always oppose it. On the other hand, I am not satisfied that the
cricket tour is the aspect which should have been selected as the major target.
It would have seemed to me more justifiable, and more effective, to mount a
trade embargo or to picket South Africa House. Surely the Nationalist South
African Ambassador is a thousand times more guilty of the inhuman crime of
apartheid than Graeme Pollock who, throughout the English summer of 1969, played
cricket for the International Cavaliers XI with eight or nine West Indians and,
before he went home said: "What great chaps — there couldn't have been a better
bunch to play with."
Jack Plimsoll, the manager of this touring team, was an intimate friend of mine
on the South African tour of England in 1947, before the election of the first —
Malan — Nationalist Government and the introduction of apartheid. Every South
African [player] of my acquaintance has already played with, and against,
non-white cricketers. Only a multi-racial match before the Vorster (Verwoerd)
Government banned such fixtures for ever, provided the expert assessment of
Basil D'Oliveira's ability which enabled me to persuade Middleton to give him a
contract to play in England. Not all South Africans are pro-apartheid
Crucially, though, a successful tour would offer comfort and confirmation to a
completely evil regime. The Cricket Council has failed fairly to represent those
British people — especially cricketers — who genuinely abominate apartheid. The
council might have determined — and been granted — terms which would have
demonstrated its declared disapproval of apartheid. It did not do so. To persist
with the tour seems to me a social, political and cricketing error. It is my
limitation and advantage that I can only broadcast as I feel. Commentary on any
game is pleasure; it can only be satisfactorily broadcast in terms of shared
enjoyment. This series cannot, to my mind, be enjoyable. It seems unfair for me
to broadcast about the tour in a manner uncritical of its major issues, while
retaining the right to be critical of them in this newspaper.
It is my hope to write and talk about cricket in which the minor issue of a game
is not overshadowed by the major issue of principle.
From The Guardian
Archive > April 17 1970 > Why I'm off the air,
G, Republished 17.4.2007,
Related > Anglonautes > History
Africa > 20th / early 21st century
Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia
Related > Anglonautes > Podcasts / Videos
Documentaries about Nelson Mandela