Violence erupts in Paarl

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paarl

Thursday, 22 November 1962

Violence erupted when Poqo members from Mbekweni, Paarl, met and resolved to attack the White town of Paarl. Over 200 men armed with axes, pangas, sticks, sabres and possibly a few revolvers gathered at about 02h00 and split into two groups, one to attack the prison and the other the police station. The latter group approached the police station and began attacking police patrol vans. Three were shot dead in front of the police station and others were wounded. Several were arrested. As the rest of the group fled, they met those who had been planning the prison attack and formed a new group which began attacking houses in Loop Street. Two White people, Ms Rencia Vermeulen and Mr Frans Richards, were killed. One Paarl resident chased the attackers away from her house with a revolver, shooting one of them. The final death toll was seven, including five Poqo members: Godfrey Yekiso, Madodana Camagu, John Magigo and Ngenisile Siqwebo. Matthews Mayezana Mali was shot by the South African Police (SAP) on the following day. Mali was shot in the head and chest while marching in front of a group of Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) demonstrators on their way to the Paarl police station to hand over a list of grievances on the day after the disturbances.

References:
• Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 10, p. 458.

Last updated : 21-Oct-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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