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Special Report Transcript Episode 84, Section 6, Time 35:39

One 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.

Notes: Max du Preez

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TRC Final Report Glossary
External violations 10 While few statements were been received from deponents and victims outside South Africa, it has been argued that the majority of victims of gross violations of human rights were in fact residing outside the country’s borders at the time the violations were committed. One ...
Gross violations of human rights in the context of the ‘people’s war’ 67 In some cases, ANC supporters were responsible for perpetrating gross violations of human rights in contravention of the express policies of the organisation. Some of the individuals responsible have applied for ...
Conflict with ‘collaborators’ 89 The conflict arising from the ANC’s opposition to the homeland policy began in the early 1960s. Some of the violations perpetrated against chiefs and headmen during the 1960s Pondoland revolt were committed in the name of ‘Congress’, even though those ...
Types of gross human rights violations by mass movements Burning and the ‘necklace’ 271 In general, the violations perpetrated by supporters of the mass opposition movement in South Africa involved the attacking of vehicles and buildings with stones and petrol-bombs, stones, sticks and ...
Attacks on ‘Informers’ 265 People perceived to be informers were targets of attacks by community residents. Methods of attack included burning and necklacing, as well as beating, stabbing, shooting, sexual assault. 266 As part of the state’s counter-revolutionary strategy, security forces ...
Vigilantes in Ciskei 260 Over the years, the Ciskei authorities used vigilantes on several occasions. Haysom records the first use of vigilantes in Ciskei as being during 1974, when the vigilantes known as the ‘Green Berets’, who were members of the ruling Ciskei National Independence Party ...
Violations committed by resistance and revolutionary groupings Killing of ‘collaborators’: stabbings, necklacings and burnings 282 Around seventy cases of necklacing or burning were reported between 1985 and 198938, mostly in 1985 (thirteen cases) and 1986 (forty-eight cases). Most ...
Resistance and revolutionary groupings 497 As the conflict deepened and escalated during the mid 1980s, gross human rights violations became increasingly generalised, drawing in an ever-widening range of sectors, organisations and individuals as perpetrators. The ANC, MK and individuals ...
Necklacing 518 The necklace became a terrible symbol of the brutalisation of political conflict in South Africa during the mid-1980s and claimed at least 400 lives. Most of the victims were alleged informers, although councillors, police, and chiefs were also vulnerable to this sort of attack. ...
Ambushes 376 At an amnesty hearing in Pietersburg, new information emerged about an operation which led to the killing of six MK members in an ambush near the Botswana border in 1987. 377 Former Northern Transvaal security police chief, Colonel Willem van der Merwe, stated that he was involved ...
 
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