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Special Report Transcript Episode 52, Section 1, Time 00:32

Hello. Welcome to the Special Report. Tonight we deal with the bloody conflict in KTC Crossroads in 1987, the vicious APLA attack on an Eastern Cape hotel in 1992 and the death of 11 commuters during the 1983 Mdansane bus boycott. But we start in the Cape Peninsula. The dreaded pass book had always determined where black South Africans lived and worked but in the Western Cape the law also reserved the area for white and coloured people only and the law worked. By the sixties all black people were contained in three townships on the edge of the Peninsula suburbs, but people needed work and they streamed to the urban areas. They needed land where they could live. Crossroads sprung up in 1975, an informal camp that swirled with legal and illegal migrants. The state constantly tried to remove squatters and they as steadily resisted the pass laws and eviction attempts. And yet, it continued to grow, informal camps springing up on every available piece of open stand. By the mid eighties satellite camps had developed around the core of the old Crossroads; an informal headman system had also developed, regulating the use of land, raking in fees for land and services and setting up people’s courts. Soon, politics came into play. Factions developed around the older traditionalist headmen or ‘fathers’ and younger militant activists or Maqabane. The ‘fathers’ controlled Crossroads, the Comrades held the satellite camps. By 1986 the pass laws were scrapped, but at this moment of victory for the township and squatter residents Crossroads and its satellite camps KTC, Nyanga Bush, Portland Cement and Nyanga Extension were engulfed in the worst violence the Western Cape had seen. At the end of fighting in May and June 1986 more than 60 people were dead and 60 000 were homeless.

Notes: Max du Preez

References: there are no references for this transcript

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