May 7, 1993 |
On the door of my office is a fading group photo I have long referred to as the Class of 1956. At the time it was taken, the South African police must have seen it as the ultimate mug shot. Posed on a wooden scaffolding some 15 rows high, it shows 156 defendants who were prosecuted for treason 37 years ago in the largest such trial in South Africa's history. Standing almost in the center of the third row, towering majestically over the rest, is the giant figure of former heavyweight boxer-turned- activist Nelson Mandela.
March 25, 1993 |
In 1985, at a shopping mall near Durban in South Africa, the son of a black minister planted a bomb during the Christmas season. When the bomb went off, five people were killed and more than 50 were injured. The young man, whose name was Andrew Zondo, was caught, tried and hanged. From this actual incident, Boston playwright Tug Yourgrau has fashioned The Song of Jacob Zulu, which opened last night at the Plymouth in a production by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. Yourgrau, who was born in South Africa, begins with the arrest of the young man - he calls him Jacob Zulu - and proceeds to flip back and forth between the trial and various events in Jacob's brief life.
March 7, 1993 |
Clement Keto's life is a tale of the struggle of black citizens in two countries. The nationally recognized scholar and historian of African American culture - just selected for Who's Who in the World - sees contrasts between the struggles of blacks for equality in the United States and in South Africa, his native land. Apartheid's hold on black South Africans is different from the forms of injustice that black Americans faced when they waged their battle for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, said Keto, a professor of African American history at Temple University, in a recent interview at his Sicklerville home.
January 31, 1993 |
Beauty Jooste remembers the day Nelson Mandela got out of prison in sweet, vivid detail: "We took the train into the city to hear him speak on the Grand Parade, and we were dancing and singing. " Everything seemed possible that glorious day three years ago. "We would be free, and we would be equal," said Josste, 28, a shop clerk who is classified as a mixed-race "colored" under South African race laws. "And we would be happy. " But then the whole process started to bog down.
November 28, 1992 |
Prison camps run by the African National Congress in four African nations in the mid- to late 1980s were brutal, disease-ridden cesspools where dissidents were routinely beaten, tortured and sometimes killed, according to a report released yesterday by Amnesty International. "This pattern of gross abuse was allowed to go unchecked for many years, not only by the ANC's leadership in exile, but also by the governments of the African states, who allowed the ANC to set up bases and prisons on their territory," the human rights group's report concluded.
October 26, 1992
The excesses of South Africa's security apparatus have long been known - the terror its troopers inflicted on the black townships, the death of prisoners in detention, the cattle prods, whips and water cannon, the torture and assassination. All of it in futile support of the unsupportable, the apartheid system that has fallen formally (if not totally) as President F. W. deKlerk and his one-time prisoner, African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, struggle to shape a new future.
July 17, 1992 |
Rock Newman, Riddick Bowe's manager, had just begun to relate the details of a conversation he'd had with African National Congress president Nelson Mandela earlier in the day when Pierre Coetzer's party walked out of yesterday's press conference to hype tomorrow's World Boxing Association heavyweight elimination bout between the top-rated Coetzer and No. 2-rated Bowe. Coetzer's promoter, Cedric Kushner, said Coetzer, a white South African, and his manager-trainer, Alan Toweel Sr., had decided beforehand that they would leave if any mention were made of South Africa's national policy of apartheid, or racial separation.
June 11, 1992 |
Athol Fugard, looking a bit like John the Baptist as played by Willie Nelson, if Willie Nelson had taken better care of himself, stroked his dirty- gray beard and let a deep network of wrinkles spread across his tawny face. "I am very aware that the days of apartheid have passed," said the man who has been hailed on both sides of the Atlantic as the greatest living playwright in the English language. Fugard is not sure how it will end - through continuing negotiations between the white government and the African National Congress, or through a revolt he is certain their failure would produce.
May 15, 1992 |
While everyone here was all gaga yesterday over the moviemaking of actor- comedian Eddie Murphy, a top official of the African National Congress visiting the Capitol did not go entirely unnoticed. Sindiso Mfenyana, administrative secretary to ANC President Nelson Mandela, was kicked off the set of Murphy's movie. "Hey, you're not supposed to be here," someone from the production crew said as Mfenyana walked through the Rotunda, according to a Casey administration official who accompanied Mfenyana.
May 14, 1992 |
Just one day before the reopening of historic constitutional talks, the South African government and the African National Congress appear unable to agree on the shape and powers of an interim government that would transfer power from whites to a multiracial democracy. Despite five months of closed-door talks, and breakthroughs in other key areas, the two sides have yet to agree on this most important issue - and now only a single, 11th-hour bargaining session remains this afternoon to resolve the dilemma.