Beyond the Barricades

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101 Battalion, Cape Town, 1987
101 Battalion, Cape Town, 1987
Children and other spectators look on as members of the 101 Battalion, recruited in Namibia, drill at a parade celebrating the 75th year of the South African Defense Force. Although blacks who enlisted in the South African Defense Force faced ostracism in their communities, many joined the army out of desperate economic necessity.
ANC flag at funeral, Cape Town, 1986
ANC flag at funeral, Cape Town, 1986
An African National Congress (ANC) flag bearer heads the procession at the funeral of a United Democratic Front (UDF) activist shot by police in Guguletu, a black township outside of Cape Town. This procession is almost emblematic of South African resistance, being lead by the ANC, the Church, and the UDF, with the message, "The People Shall Govern".
Albertina Sisulu briefs protestors, Johannesburg, 1984
Albertina Sisulu briefs protestors, Johannesburg, 1984
Albertina Sisulu, a leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF), briefs a group of women before they embark on a National Women's Day picket. Members of the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW) demonstrated for human rights in the centre of the city.
Anti-COSATU parade, Durban, May Day 1986
Anti-COSATU parade, Durban, May Day 1986
Thomas Mandla Shabalala, Inkatha central committee member, leads an anti-COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) parade at the launch of Inkatha's trade union wing, the United Workers Union of South Africa (UWUSA). Rural chiefs were instructed to fill buses with their people for the event, and special trains brought Inkatha supporters to the UWUSA rally. To complete the extravaganza, Chief Buthelezi arrived in a helicopter.
Armed vigilantes, Leandra township, circa 1985
Armed vigilantes, Leandra township, circa 1985
A member of the Leandra Youth Congress, with arms extended and a stone in his hand, tries to ward off a heavily armed band of vigilantes. When younger urban residents came into conflict with older, traditional peoples, the government were able to exploit their differences for its own aims.
Black Sash, Magopa, 1984
Black Sash, Magopa, 1984
Black Sash protest, Magopa, 1984.
Death squad, Transvaal, South Africa, 1985
Death squad, Transvaal, South Africa, 1985
A Duduza township resident lies dead while members of a special police squad take a smoke break after an all night "clean-up". Photographs such as this led to government emergency regulations making it an offence to photograph police in an "unrest area or situation." Members of death squads usually wore woolen, hooded face covers, or masks, called "balaclavas", making it impossible to identify killers. In this photograph, the man with his back turned still has his balaclava down.
Defending ANC flag, Langa township, 1987
Defending ANC flag, Langa township, 1987
The Muslim leader, Moulana Faried Essack, tries to stop police from removing an African National Congress (ANC) flag draped over the coffin of slain ANC member, Ashley Kriel, in Langa township, Cape Town, July 1987. Symbols of the ANC, though illegal, were visible at funerals, an insistent reminder of the political meaning of the deaths.
Delmas trial, Delmas, 1985
Delmas trial, Delmas, 1985
Mohammed Valli, Transvaal secretary of the United Democratic Front (UDF), and other spectators peer into the courtroom at the start of the Delmas treason trial. Twenty-two UDF and other activists were charged with furthering the aims of the African National Congress (ANC) and with conspiring to overthrow the government.
Demonstration against local councils, Durban, 1981
Demonstration against local councils, Durban, 1981
Residents of Newlands East township demonstrate against government-nominated town councilors in Durban 1981. Because local councils were imposed on the people of the townships by the apartheid government, the residents, for the most part, refused to support them.
Desmond Tutu, KwaThema township, 1986
Desmond Tutu, KwaThema township, 1986
Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out against "necklace" killings at a funeral in KwaThema township, Transvaal (now Gauteng). Necklace killings only stopped after the United Democractic Front (UDF), the African National Congress (ANC), and other popular groups condemned the practice.
Destroyed home, Umbogintwini, Durban, 1986
Destroyed home, Umbogintwini, Durban, 1986
A Pondo woman sits in the ruins of her home, burned out during clashes between Zulus and Pondos. Thousands of Pondo people migrated to this region of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) from the Transkei in search of work. Many Zulus, threatened by this influx, resorted to violence against the newcomers, almost turning some shantytowns into war zones.
Dorothy Nyembe's return home, KwaMashu, Durban, 1984
Dorothy Nyembe's return home, KwaMashu, Durban, 1984
Dorothy Nyembe, imprisoned for being a member of the banned African National Congress's (ANC)'s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, is welcomed home after spending fifteen years in prison.
Election day, Overport township, Durban, 1984
Election day, Overport township, Durban, 1984
The effect of the elections boycott is apparent in this picture of a policeman in a polling station in Overport township, Durban. The newspaper headline reads, "Police Wade into Demonstrating Mob", while inside the polling station the pace was much less hectic. The success of the boycott reflected growing support for the UDF (United Democractic Front).
FEDTRAW protest, Gauteng, circa 1985
FEDTRAW protest, Gauteng, circa 1985
A woman from the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW) carries a picket stating, "Freedom Justice and Peace NOW!" Popular protest was severely restricted, and members of FEDTRAW were charged with sedition and subversion, and held in detention without trial, as the government worked to immobilise and disrupt opposition to apartheid.
Frances Baard at UDF launch, Cape Town, 1983
Frances Baard at UDF launch, Cape Town, 1983
Frances Baard, a former president of the African National Congress's Women's League (ANCWL), salutes the crowd gathered to launch the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town. The UDF drew together over 600 democratically-based community, student, trade union, women's, and church organisations and was the major legal oppositional force until the government severely curtailed its activities in 1988.
Funeral of Ashley Kriel,  Langa township, 1987
Funeral of Ashley Kriel, Langa township, 1987
Police attempt to remove an African National Congress (ANC) flag draped over the coffin of slain ANC member, Ashley Kriel, in Langa township, Cape Town. Symbols of the ANC, though illegal, were visible at funerals, an insistent reminder of the political meaning of the deaths.
Funeral of baby, Crossroads, 1985
Funeral of baby, Crossroads, 1985
Crossroads residents bury six-month-old Amanda Fanisa, asphyxiated by tear gas fired during police action in Crossroads, Cape Town. The South African security forces used tear gas as a standard means of "crowd control". Tear gas can be lethal, and it is especially dangerous when inhaled by young children.
Funeral of massacre victims, Queenstown, 1985
Funeral of massacre victims, Queenstown, 1985
Young mourners carrying symbolic AK-47 rifles stand over the coffins of Queenstown residents killed by police who opened fire on them as they were leaving the church in which they had met to discuss a consumer boycott. Fourteen people were murdered, including three fifteen-year-olds.
Funeral speaker, Grahamstown, 1987
Funeral speaker, Grahamstown, 1987
A speaker at the funeral of four people murdered by drunken municipal policemen in Fingo Village township, Grahamstown, February 1987.
Funeral, New Brighton township, 1986
Funeral, New Brighton township, 1986
Police confront mourners at the funeral of eight people shot by security forces during the "bottle-store (liquor-store) incident" in New Brighton township, Port Elizabeth, April 1986. The funeral ended in chaos when police fired tear gas and violently dispersed the large group of mourners.
Grieving father, New Brighton, 1986
Grieving father, New Brighton, 1986
Accompanied by members of the Port Elizabeth Youth Congress, the father of Brian Mosita, one of eight people killed in the "bottle-store (liquor-store) incident", grieves for his son, New Brighton township, Port Elizabeth.
Labour strike meeting, Johannesburg, 1987
Labour strike meeting, Johannesburg, 1987
Striking OK Bazaars workers meet at union headquarters in Cosatu House, Johannesburg. A major supermarket chain, OK Bazaars has a large work force, organised by the Commercial, Catering, and Allied Workers Union (CCAWUSA), which led many campaigns on behalf of food store workers.
Labour strike, Durban, 1985
Labour strike, Durban, 1985
Dairy workers march in solidarity with bakery workers on strike over wages and dismissals. Workers' organisations have a long and important history in Durban, and the city was the birthplace of contemporary unionism in South Africa.
Leandra Youth Congress members, Leandra township, Transvaal, 1986
Leandra Youth Congress members, Leandra township, Transvaal, 1986
Members of the Leandra Youth Congress regroup after repelling an attack by vigilantes at the funeral of their community leader, Chief Ampie Mayisa. Mayisa led his community in a successful fight against forced removal. His request to the police for protection from vigilantes was denied and he was assassinated shortly afterwards.
Lowering of coffins, Queenstown, 1985
Lowering of coffins, Queenstown, 1985
Coffins are lowered at the funeral of people killed in the "Queenstown massacre" when police opened fire after a meeting called to plan a consumer boycott, December 1985. The t-shirt of one of the mourners declares "Bullets won't stop us".
Masked coffin-bearer, Alexandra township funeral, 1986
Masked coffin-bearer, Alexandra township funeral, 1986
Mourners carry the coffin of one of eight youths killed in clashes with police in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. Masked mourners are a common sight at funerals as people try and conceal their identities and protect themselves from the expected tear gas attacks.
Mother holding bloodstained shirt, Tembisa township, Transvaal, 1985
Mother holding bloodstained shirt, Tembisa township, Transvaal, 1985
A mother holds up the bloodstained shirt of her son, shot in the back by police. According to government statistics, 381 people were killed in "unrest" incidents between September 1984 and April 1985. The government's own statistics acknowledged that three quarters of these victims died as a direct result of police action.
Mother mourning her son's death, Soweto, 1987
Mother mourning her son's death, Soweto, 1987
On 16 July 1987, Peter Sello Motau, thirty-two years old, was gunned down in Swaziland by South African agents. Motau was a dedicated young activist who had joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1976, living in exile since his departure on Christmas Eve 1975. His mother is shown in this picture mourning his death at a severely restricted funeral in her home in Soweto.
Mourners, Lamontville, 1983
Mourners, Lamontville, 1983
Mourners at the funeral of African National Congress (ANC) activist and anti-poverty campaigner, Msizi Dube. Dube was shot by unknown assassins in Lamontville on 25 April 1983. He was the founder of the famed �Asinamali� rent boycott campaign.
Mrs Botha and Mrs Tshabalala, Soweto, 1984
Mrs Botha and Mrs Tshabalala, Soweto, 1984
Mrs Elize Botha, then wife of the state president, and Mrs Tshabalala, then wife of the mayor of Soweto, leave the town council building in August 1984 after then President and Mrs Botha were granted "the freedom of the township" in a ceremony derived from an old British tradition.
Opening of KwaZulu legislature, KwaZulu-Natal, 1986
Opening of KwaZulu legislature, KwaZulu-Natal, 1986
KwaZulu homeland Chief, Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (left), and Goodwill Zwelithini, traditional king of the Zulus, appear at the ceremonial opening of the KwaZulu legislature. Buthelezi, once a vocal opponent of the government, was now considered an ally in the suppression of broad-based democratic organisations.
P.W. Botha at military parade, Pretoria, 1980
P.W. Botha at military parade, Pretoria, 1980
P.W. Botha, prime minister since 1978, takes the salute at a military parade. He is flanked by his close supporter General Magnus Malan (left), then minister of Defense. Botha became state president of South Africa in 1983. During his presidency, South Africa was transformed into an increasingly militarized "emergency state", and General Malan was widely regarded as the most influential member of South Africa's powerful National Security Council.
Police arrest UWO members, Cape Town, 1985
Police arrest UWO members, Cape Town, 1985
Leaders of the United Women's Organisation (UWO) are turned back from parliament and arrested during a march to protest against the massacre in which police killed twenty-two people in the Eastern Cape township of Langa. Eyewitnesses maintained that the police shot innocent people, part of a funeral procession, without provocation.
Police arrest student during protest, Durban, 1985
Police arrest student during protest, Durban, 1985
Police, carrying sjamboks (traditionally, rhinocerous hide whips, but often made of flexible plastic), arrest a student after breaking up protests that followed the assassination of United Democratic Front (UDF) leader and human rights lawyer, Victoria Mxenge, in Durban.
Police inform families of executions, Pretoria, 1987
Police inform families of executions, Pretoria, 1987
A prison official approaches the families of death-row prisoners, Wellington Meilies and Moses Jantjies, to inform them that the two men were hanged earlier that morning. In 1987, when Meilies and Jantjies were executed, thirty-two political prisoners remained on death row in Pretoria Central Prison, and South Africa had the highest number of hangings in the world.
Police reload at funeral, Duduza, 1985
Police reload at funeral, Duduza, 1985
Policemen reload their guns after firing at mourners during the funeral for the young activists killed in the "grenade incident" in Duduza township, Transvaal (now Gauteng), July 1985. Deaths followed funerals with sad predictability.
Police warn union members, South Africa, 1970s
Police warn union members, South Africa, 1970s
Police with bullhorns warn workers to disband. The South African government opposed black unions, but liberalised labour laws in the late 1970s, allowing black unions to operate legally. This ushered in a period of worker organisation and activism, leading to the formation of COSATU, the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
Police watch mourners, Alexandra township, Johannesburg, 1986
Police watch mourners, Alexandra township, Johannesburg, 1986
Police watch as mourners carrying an African National Congress (ANC) flag pass by during the funeral of eight youths killed during clashes between police and residents in Alexandra township. Off-duty township police allegedly killed three in reprisals following attacks on the policemen's homes, and five were killed by police during subsequent protests against vigilante action.
Political vandalism, Duduza township, 1985
Political vandalism, Duduza township, 1985
Youths burn the car of an alleged police informer in Duduza township following the deaths of four young activists who were killed by defective hand grenades given to them by a member of the security force posing as an African National Congress (ANC) freedom fighter.

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