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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 6 of Episode 84

TimeSummary
35:39One of the most shameful chapters of the resistance against apartheid was the burning of people, mostly local councillors or people accused of collaborating with the state. Often a car tyre was put around the victim’s neck, filled with petrol and set alight. This was where the term ‘necklacing’ started. Hundreds of people died this way in the turbulent 1980s. There was an expectation that necklacing would be investigated by the Truth Commission and that some of the perpetrators would ask for amnesty. This has unfortunately not happened. Who asked someone who was a young activist at that time and is now a journalist and a poet to try and find explanations.Full Transcript and References
36:22It is not too difficult to understand the paranoia and lack of discipline in the years that township anger and frustration really boiled over. Necklacing was something completely different. Between January 1984 and June 1987 at least 350 people died with a tyre around their neck. // Benedict Marenene’s father, Patrick was a community councillor in Bongulethu. In November 1985 Benedict was 12 years old. // I saw my father coming back from work, when I looked around the township I heard the toyi-toyi sound. I ran towards him to meet him, to advise him not to get into the township. And he said no they won’t do anything to me, because there’s nothing I’ve done. As he was coming to the corner of Four the toyi-toyiers were coming. He was carrying the gun, but he was someone who had never shot at any person. He shot in the air and then people were chasing him. And he was facing the people but moving back, sort of retreating. As he was retreating he was tripped by another coloured and ...moreFull Transcript and References
38:13What was it in our people or our history that made this ghastly practice possible and so popular? // There’s a whole process that leads finally to the brutality of the necklace as a method of murder. And that for me is actually what we should have recorded in the eighties and it never got recorded. Nobody said, I began by saying no, and then I stayed away from school, and then I picked up a postcard, and then I wrote a little poem, and then I pleaded with so and so, and then I was in the street protesting with my … a legal method of protestation … and then I got my first hand grenade, my first petrol bomb, and then my first stone. This is how things developed, so there’s a whole process that led to the climax, which was the necklace murder itself. // Why did it survive for a while, for two or three years? It was repeated many dozens of times in South Africa. What was the symbolism of it? What was so important about necklacing? // It survived for, I’ll say two reasons. One ...moreFull Transcript
 
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