The Many Faces of Apartheid Repression

The content of this article was taken from the book A Crime Against Humanity - Analysing the Repression of the Apartheid State edited by Max Coleman, (Cape Town)

Repressive regimes abound in the historical record but few can have raised repression to the level of an art form in the way that the apartheid regime managed to do. The breadth and intensity of its arsenal of weapons scaled new heights or, perhaps more correctly, plumbed new depths. In order to portray the sweep of apartheid repression, the HRC published a document entitled Anatomy of Repression in December 1989. This document summarizes the many forms of repression evolved by apartheid forces and used by them from the time of the accession to power of the Nationalist government in 1948 right up to the dying days of the eighties, a period of 42 years. It is reproduced here to initiate the reader into the subject, and to provide a broad perspective on the evolution of apartheid repression as it appeared in December 1989.

ANATOMY OF REPRESSION - HRC, December 1989

Repression is the response of the apartheid regime and its supporters to resistance against the policies of apartheid; resistance by the people of South Africa, resistance by South Africa's neighbours and resistance by the international community. Repression takes many forms, from the blunt controls of legislation to the more subtle controls of what has come to be known as 'low intensity conflict'. The apartheid regime has become a pioneer in repression, not only adopting the techniques of other past and present-day repressive regimes, but also refining them to a pitch of perfection and even evolving new techniques, which have served as a model for others to follow.

This document sets out to list and categorize all these forms of repression and briefly to outline their history and current status (as at December 1989).

The following forms of repression are examined in turn:

  1. Formal repression
  2. Informal repression
  3. Target repression
  4. Financial repression
  5. External repression

1. Formal repression

Formal repression includes those forms of repression with which the apartheid regime has empowered itself by means of legislation placed by it on the statute books of the South African parliament.

Repressive legislation

  • The Internal Security Act, No. 74 of 1982 (ISA) is permanently in force (including and especially during periods when no State of Emergency has been declared) and confers wide powers of detention without trial, banning of persons, organizations, gatherings, publications, etc. It has been in force, in one form or another, since 1963, and is fully operational at the present time. All the so-called 'independent' homelands have their own versions of the ISA, which are virtually indistinguishable from the parent.
  • The Public Safety Act, No. 3 of 1953 (PSA) enables declaration of a State of Emergency (SOE) granting even wider and more unbridled powers, capable of use on a mass scale. Partial SOEs have been declared in 1960 and 1985 and National SOEs declared in 1986,1987,1988 and 1989 extending uninterruptedly from 12 June 1986 up to and including the present time.
  • The Public Safety Amendment Act, No. 67 of 1986 (PSAA) enables declaration of Unrest Areas, the idea being to have SOE-type powers within specified areas without actually declaring a SOE and suffering the international repercussions, both economic and political. Although it has been on the statute books since 26 June 1986, no opportunity has yet arisen to invoke this Act.

Formal repression of persons

Detention without trial

  • Detention for interrogation or 'preventive' purposes, without access to the courts, lawyers, family or friends, has been widely practiced by the apartheid regime ever since 1960. Such detention can be in solitary confinement and for virtually indefinite periods (many have experienced detention without trial for as long as 32 months).
  • Conditions of isolation from the outside world are conducive to abuses, and there has been a continuous stream of allegations of torture and assault in detention over the years and up to the present time. Court records abound with such allegations and medical records attest to serious physical and psychological effects.
  • A by-product of detention conditions has been an unending procession of deaths in detention, the first in 1963, the most recent in 1988, a total of 69 deaths in all. If one is to believe the inquest verdicts, nearly half of these were suicides. A small number of escapes from detention have been reported but some of these are of such a mysterious nature that they must more properly be regarded as disappearances from detention.
  • Since 1960, over 75 000 persons have been detained without trial, about 52 000 of them (or 70% of the total) within the last 5 years.
  • During this latter period children and young people have accounted for at least 25% of the total, and women have accounted for over 10%.
  • In July-August of 1986, the detention cells were filled with nearly 9 000 persons at one time.
  • A determined and tenacious hunger strike that started in January 1989 resulted in the release of the nearly 1000 detainees being held at that time, most of them for considerable periods of up to 30 months or more.
  • New detentions continue and over the last few months the daily detainee population has fluctuated between 100 and 600. This includes children under the age of 18 years, some as young as 14.
  • Records kept over the last 8 years reveal that 75% to 80% of all detentions end in release without any charge in a court of law, and that finally only 2% to 4% of all detainees are convicted of any offence.

Banning and restriction of persons

Banning of persons under 'security' legislation has been in operation since 1950, whilst restriction of persons under emergency regulations was first introduced in 1985. In effect, they are identical.

The purpose is similar to that of 'preventive' detention (and in fact frequently follows it), namely, to neutralize political opponents and withdraw them from the political arena. It provides strict control over the movement, activities, public utterances and association of the person, while often interfering severely with his or her ability to earn a living, engage in study or pursue a normal social life. In its more extreme form, it amounts to house arrest, with time off to report twice daily to a police station. By comparison with straightforward detention without trial, the financial burden of support is shifted from the state to the victim.

Since 1950, the number of bannings and restriction orders served is conservatively estimated to be around 3000. The effective length of each order can vary from 1 to 5 years, but successively applied orders can extend the period well beyond this. The longest period on record so far is 26 years.

At the present time new restriction orders continue to be served, and between 500 and 700 persons are currently restricted, most of them having already suffered the vicissitudes of years in detention and weeks on hunger strike. There is great concern about their vulnerability to attack, because of the predictability of their movements in having to report to a police station. Already, 2 have been assassinated and several others attacked.

Political trials

Over the years increasingly heavy use has been made of the courts to criminalize political activity and to remove opponents from the political arena, either as awaiting-trial or on-trial prisoners (for as long as 3 years) or as convicted political prisoners.

Extensive legislation for this purpose includes the ISA (and its forerunners and homelands variants), the PSA and its Emergency regulations, the Defence Act, common law (treason, public violence, etc.), and countless others.

The accused might be engaged in totally peaceful opposition and yet face charges ranging from treason and subversion to possession of banned literature, attending an unlawful gathering or participating in a boycott. Alternatively, the accused may have been caught up in political unrest situations involving violence (often on the part of police or army) and face charges ranging from public violence and murder to incitement and intimidation. It is impossible to estimate the numbers of trials, persons accused, and persons convicted over the years, due to the lack of adequate records. However, partial records maintained by monitoring groups since 1984 show the following for the 5-year-period up to and including 1988:

  • treason trials: 17 trials, 82 accused, 35 convicted;
  • ISA-type trials: 521 trials, 4548 accused, 973 convicted;
  • 'unrest' trials: impossible to estimate with any accuracy, but a report that 25 000 persons were charged in 1985 alone suggests a total in excess of 50 000 were charged in the 5 year period.

In the first 8 months of the current calendar year of 1989, the following trials have been completed:

  • treason trials: 3 trials, 16 accused, 9 convicted;
  • ISA-type trials: 190 trials, 785 accused, 261 convicted.

Furthermore, as at 1 September 1989, records show 317 political trials still in progress, 3 of them for treason. In the first 2 months (August - September) of the defiance campaign over 2000 persons were charged for attending unlawful gatherings, etc. Current population of political prisoners serving sentences for 'security offences' is about 350 and for 'unrest offences' is somewhere between 2000 and 3000. Included in the first group are over 20 women and also 14 serving life sentences, after taking into account those released in late October 1989.

Political Executions

A special category of political prisoner is the condemned prisoner, convicted of murder under politically related circumstances, often through the legal principle of 'common purpose' as in the case of the Sharpeville Six.

During the last 2 years, 7 such prisoners have been executed by hanging and currently there are 84 on death row awaiting execution, including the Upington Fourteen. This latter number represents nearly one third of the total death-row population.

Other repressive actions against persons

  • The Consolidated List, maintained under the ISA, is a list of persons who may not be quoted in any way (under pain of a prison sentence of up to three years). The list is reviewed annually, but can be amended at any time, to include names of those convicted of treason or security offences, and other categories. Newspaper editors must constantly maintain a thorough knowledge of this List, in order not to fall foul of the law, but several court actions against the media are currently in progress. The Consolidated List at present contains the names of over 500 persons, of whom 31 are deceased, 107 are living abroad and 350 are incarcerated in jails.
  • Passports for South African citizens are a privilege, not a right, and may therefore be refused or withdrawn at any time, with no reasons given, and no possibility of a court challenge. Applications by many political opponents are constantly (and currently) being turned down. During 1988 there were 169 passport refusals.
  • Banishment is a practice, which was quite prevalent in the past and up to recent years (1987). It involves the removal of a person from a particular area for political reasons, and is most often combined with the subsequent confinement of that person to some remote area. Legislation used is the Riotous Assemblies Act, the ISA (forming part of a, banning order) and homelands security legislation (especially in the Transkei).
  • Denationalisation or the withdrawal of citizenship is a by-product of the creation of the 'independent' homelands. Besides the almost-endless repercussions on the daily lives of about 8 million people who have been deprived of their South African citizenship in this way, there are also political implications involving the refusal of admission into 'South Africa' of 'political undesirables', or their 'deportation' into their relevant ethnic homelands.
  • Deportation or expulsion of South Africans has been practiced for the last 10 years on the basis of their forfeited citizenship and by, in effect, declaring them undesirable aliens under the Admission of Persons to the Republic Regulations Act. During the last 2 years (1987-88) alone, 172 persons were deported in this way, 141 of them to Transkei, and the balance to Ciskei, Venda and Bophuthatswana.

Formal repression of organisations

Banning of organisations

Under the ISA (or its predecessors), once an organization has been banned it becomes an unlawful organisation. Since 1950, 24 organisations have suffered this fate, with a further 42 under homelands security legislation. Currently, anyone furthering the aims of 4 specified banned organizations might be charged with terrorism. These organisations are:

  1. South African Communist Party (since 1950)
  2. African National Congress (since 1960)
  3. Pan Africanist Congress (since 1960)
  4. Congress of South African Students (since 1985)

Restriction of organizations

Under emergency regulations there are currently 32 organizations which may not engage in 'any activities or acts whatsoever' other than purely administrative duties. In other words, they may continue to exist on paper, but may not function until the State of Emergency is lifted.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is prohibited from engaging in a long list of political activities.

Funding restrictions

Restrictions on the receipt of foreign funding by organizations is dealt with elsewhere in this document.

Formal repression of gatherings

  • Since 1976 there has been a blanket ban, renewed annually under the ISA, on all outdoor political meetings. During the last 4 years there has also been a blanket ban on all indoor meetings, which advocate work stoppages, stayaways or educational boycotts.
  • Since the 1950s, literally thousands of specific gatherings have been banned under Security legislation and emergency regulations by ministerial, magisterial or police edict. Such gatherings have included public meetings, private meetings, protest demonstrations, rallies, commemorations, conferences, music festivals, concerts, carol services, detainee tea parties and fun runs.
  • Funerals form a special category of gathering, which has been severely restricted since 1985. Blanket restrictions are currently in force on all funerals in over 70 black townships, while specific restriction orders are constantly invoked on particular funerals in other areas (38 in 1988).
  • Police are empowered to break up gatherings (whether banned in advance or not). For example, in August and September 1989 during the defiance campaign, over 50 marches and demonstrations were broken up, 28 with the application of force (including use of teargas, quirts, birdshot, rubber bullets, water cannon, batons, etc.).

While permission for some marches and other gatherings is currently being granted, others are being refused and the legislation empowering the banning and restriction of gatherings is firmly in place.

A recent innovation in interference with meetings takes the form of 'sitting-in' by the police. As many as 200 police occupy a block of seats in the hall and video-recordings of the proceedings are made in a prominent manner.

Formal repression of publications

  • Individual publications (books, pamphlets, etc.) can be declared 'undesirable' and banned for possession or distribution under the Publications Act. Many thousands have been banned since 1963, about 500 per year being of a political nature. Nearly every Friday of the year a new list is gazetted.
  • Newspapers can be closed down completely under the ISA. This has happened on 6 occasions. Newspapers can also be temporarily suspended under the SOE regulations after receiving warnings for repeatedly publishing 'subversive propaganda'. During 1988/9, warnings were issued to 8 newspapers and 3 of them were suspended for periods of up to 3 months. Currently, the New Nation is under warning of suspension
  • Content of newspapers and other publications is severely restricted by an array of legislation. The ISA prohibits the quoting of a 'listed' person (see under Repression of Persons). The Police Act and the Prisons Act restrict reporting on the actions of the police and the conditions in prisons respectively. Other Acts serve to suppress 'sensitive' information on the production and procurement of armaments, petroleum products, nuclear products, etc.
  • SOE regulations forbid the reporting of 'unrest', actions of the security forces, treatment of detainees, conditions of detention, etc. The regulations also prohibit the publishing or advertising of 'subversive statements', defined by a long list. During 1988 alone, 2240 reports of subversive statements were investigated. Blank spaces to indicate self-censorship are also forbidden. At present a number of prosecutions are in progress for alleged contraventions of the above Acts and regulations.

Formal repression of political actions

  • A wide range of political actions is either banned directly under the ISA and under SOE regulations, or by implication under the definition of ‘subversive statements' in the SOE Media Regulations or under the restrictions against political acts listed in the restriction order on COSATU.
  • Boycott actions, which are forbidden, include educational, consumer, company, product, rent and election boycotts, as well as work stayaways and acts of civil disobedience.
  • The creation and promotion of 'alternative structures' including people's courts, alternative education, alternative local government, and area, block and street committees are classified as subversive.
  • Prohibited political campaigns include those calling for the release of detainees and political prisoners, the scrapping of detention without trial, the unbanning of banned organizations, the scrapping of local authorities and an end to compulsory military service. Other subversive acts include advocating disinvestments, economic and other sanctions, expressing solidarity with banned organizations, opposing new constitutional proposals and commemorating past political events.

2. Informal repression

Informal repression includes those forms of repression which lie outside the direct controls of formal security legislation and which are exercised by state structures at one end of the scale and by persons unknown at the other end of the scale. In order of descending overt links with the state, we have the National Management System (a parallel or shadow system of government); vigilante groups, whose state links are often but thinly disguised; and hit squads composed of unknown persons but whose political affiliation and intent are clear.

National Management System (NMS)

The NMS was until recently named the National Security Management System but the word 'security' has been dropped from the title, presumably to play down the real purpose of the system. The NMS, which has no constitutional status, was set up in 1986 by army generals and police chiefs and is designed to co-ordinate the counter-revolutionary warfare strategy of 'eliminating' or 'taking out' political activists while simultaneously 'winning hearts and minds' (WHAM) of the masses by token township upgrading.

At the top of the system is the State Security Council (SSC), which effectively is a secretive super-cabinet, whilst at regional; district and local level are the joint Management Centers (JMCs), about 500 in number. The JMCs, with representation from the Security Police, Military Intelligence and National Intelligence Service (NIS), are responsible, inter alia, for gathering information in all localities about political activists and their organizations and identifying their places of abode and work, their movements and links. This and related information is fed upwards through various committees to the SSC. The SSC in turn digests this information from all areas and forms an overall security profile, on which it continually reviews security policy and sends down decisions and instructions to the JMCs.

The instruments for carrying out instructions on the 'security' side of the overall strategy at local level are the riot police, security police, army personnel, municipal police and kitskonstabels ('instant police'), all co-ordinated by the JMC for the area, and using powers of detention, banning, restricting, spying, monitoring and harassment. There are strong suspicions that such instructions also find their way to vigilantes and hit squads.

Vigilantes

Vigilante groups have their origins in the support systems, which have grown up around the apartheid-created structures of homelands authorities and of black local authorities. As such they are squarely situated in the camp of apartheid supporters and collaborators. Like the NMS they began to emerge between 1985 and 1986, and, like the NMS, they form an important component of the strategy of counter-revolutionary warfare patterned on the models of Algeria, El Salvador, the Philippines and other countries, and involving the tactics of 'low-intensity conflict' (LIC). Low intensity refers to the level of profile rather than the degree of violence, and relates to the attempts to transfer the responsibility of violent action against anti-apartheid groupings away from the South African Police and army to elements ostensibly within the black community and thereby promote the idea of 'black-on-black violence'.

Easily demonstrable links exist between vigilante groups and homelands police, municipal police of black councils and kitskonstabels. Sometimes common facilities are used, and often the vigilantes serve as a recruiting source for these police structures, earning them the description of 'vigilantes in uniform'. Links with the South African Police are less obvious, but numerous claims have been made of free rein and even sponsorship being given to vigilantes by the SAP as a factor, which has stimulated the growth of such groupings. Typical of these claims was the manner in which the vigilante group known as the Witdoeke accomplished in a few weeks what the state had failed to do in 10 years, namely the destruction of the Crossroads and KTC squatter camps housing 70 000 people.

Situations which invite vigilante intervention, always of extreme brutality, are, in the case of the homelands, resistance by communities to enforced incorporation or to the creation of new homelands; and in the case of urban communities, opposition to black municipal councils through promoting civic associations as alternative structures with popular support. Such vigilante intervention is lethal in intent and has as its express purpose the elimination of leadership and rank-and-file members of opposition organisations.

Internal refugees

The hunting down and rooting out of political activists by state security structures and by vigilantes in specific areas have created a phenomenon known as 'internal refugees'. These are people who have been identified and singled out for elimination in one way or another and no longer find it safe to live within their communities. They live a life on the run, away from their homes and in constant fear of discovery. Sometimes whole communities are uprooted in this way and forced into a twilight existence. The internal refugee population has at times numbered in the thousands.

Hit squads

Acts of violence by unknown persons against the opponents of apartheid are not new, but the sheer volume and sophistication of such acts during the last 5 years is a clear indication of the widespread existence and activity of well-organized units or hit squads. A high degree of expertise is evident, with skills in the use of explosives, weapons, incendiary materials, chemicals, lock-picking devices, etc. Abundant resources include equipment, materials and access to information not generally available to the public. Funding does not seem to be a problem. Speculation as to the base for such an operation inevitably leads to state security structures, particularly the security police which would also explain the virtually complete absence of success on the part of the police in solving these numerous mysteries. Apparent evidence of such security force involvement has been surfacing recently.

Hit squads seem to have as their purpose the elimination or intimidation of political activists, and/or the disruption or crippling of their organizations.

Actions against individuals range from straightforward assassination to harassment of all kinds including death threats, attacks on homes (bricks, shots, petrol bombs, teargas canisters, dead cats, etc.) and attacks on vehicles (petrol bombs, bricks, paint, tampering with tyres and brakes). Limited records kept over the last 5 years show at least 5 disappearances, 45 assassinations (11 during 1989), 160 attempted assassinations (28 in 1989) and 68 incidents of harassment (38 in 1989).

Actions against anti-apartheid organizations frequently involve the bombing or firebombing of offices or whole buildings in which they are housed. Another widely used, technique for crippling organizations is to burgle their offices and remove records, computers, equipment, etc. Partial records show 79 attacks and 29 burglaries in the last 5 years (13 and 9 respectively during 1989). In addition, 9 places of worship have been attacked and 4 graves desecrated. Disinformation in the form of bogus newsletters, smear pamphlets and so on, often displays a high level of sophistication and inside knowledge, such as would be gained from the interrogation of detainees or through informers.

Since the section on hit squads was written, clear evidence has come to light of extensive police-based hit squad activity.

3. Target repression

A number of well-defined groupings of the population have become the targeted victims of apartheid repression. As will be seen from Table 1, these groups cover almost every aspect and sphere of our society, with some notable exceptions, such as the business community. The sheer comprehensiveness of this list seems to suggest a government, which is at war with its people, and a population, which questions the legitimacy and authority of its government. The impact of repression on some of the major targets is described below.

United Democratic Front and affiliates

The United Democratic Front (UDF), founded in August 1983 to oppose the introduction of a tricameral parliament and black municipal councils, has ever since become the prime target of state repression. Over 75% of all identifiable detainees during that time have been members of the UDF or its affiliates. In February 1988, the UDF was restricted from engaging in any activities whatsoever under the emergency regulations, which is its current status. It has also been declared an Affected Organization, which prohibits it from receiving any foreign funds whatsoever. Virtually all of its leadership has been either imprisoned or restricted at one time or another, and many are still affected. A growing list of members have fallen victim to assassination and to killings by vigilantes.

Youth and students

These groups have been at the forefront of resistance to apartheid since 1976, and have as a result borne the brunt of repression, and continue to do so:

  • Huge numbers have been detained (about 15 000 in the last 5 years).
  • The major student organization, COSAS, with over a million members has been banned out of existence.
  • 12 youth and student organizations are restricted under SOE regulations from engaging in any activity whatsoever.
  • Special SOE regulations are in force, which control the presence in or movement in and out of schools, and control what may be taught and what clothing may be worn.
  • Educational boycotts are specifically forbidden.
  • Leadership is heavily prone to detention, restriction, harassment and assassination.

Trade unions

The trade union movement is an extremely important factor in the struggle against the apartheid system. This has been recognized by the introduction of the Labour Relations Amendment Act designed to curb worker power.

Large numbers of trade unionists have fallen victim to detention without trial, and many have been restricted upon their release from detention while others have been tied up in lengthy political trials, and some are on death row. Many trade union members have been subject to arson attacks on their homes, and some disappearances and assassinations are on record. Vigilante action, especially in Natal, has been particularly prominent. The major federation, COSATU, has been singled out for restriction under the SOE regulations, prohibiting any activity construed as political. Its officials are refused passports, its members subjected to considerable police harassment and its offices constantly attacked and burgled.

Churches

The churches and church organizations are in a special position in the struggle against apartheid, having immunity not enjoyed by other opponents of apartheid. However, this 'immunity' does not protect its members or property from the following:

  • hundreds of church workers have suffered detention without trial and have even reported being tortured;
  • the churches and their leaders have been subjected to vitriolic propaganda attacks by the state-controlled TV and radio;
  • hit squads have attacked numerous church buildings and have, for example, destroyed the headquarters of both the SACC and the SACBC;
  • an attempt on the life of Revd Frank Chikane, secretary general of the SACC, was made recently through the use of a poison.

The media

Alarmed at the bad image being created in the outside world by security force action, the apartheid regime introduced special SOE Media Regulations on 11 December 1986, designed to impose a news black-out reminiscent of wartime. Such regulations have been reinforced and fine-tuned to a pitch of perfection.

The Media Regulations basically prohibit the reporting in any way of unrest incidents or actions of the security forces. Powers have also been introduced to warn and then suspend publications. During 1988, 6 publications received warnings and 3 newspapers were suspended for periods of up to 12 weeks. During 1989 a further 5 warnings were issued and another 2 newspapers suspended, with 1 currently under threat of suspension. The latest form of harassment is a spate of charges against newspapers and journalists for contravening the ISA by quoting listed persons, or contravening SOE media regulations.

4. Financial repression

One of the expressions of the international community's rejection of apartheid policy is the providing of funds for the victims of apartheid. Not surprisingly the apartheid regime has responded with measures designed to repress foreign funding of this nature. Two pieces of legislation with this purpose in mind are currently in force:

Affected Organizations Act, No. 31 of 1974

This Act was introduced in 1974 and is still on the statute books. Its effect is to ban outright the receipt of funds from foreign sources by any organization that has been declared 'affected'. Two such organizations cut off from foreign funds are the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS), since 1974 and the UDF, since 1988.

Disclosure of Foreign Funding Act, No. 26 of 1989

This new Act was promulgated-on 23 March 1989 and came into operation on 18 August 1989. At least 4 organizations have already been notified that they are under consideration for being declared as Reporting Organizations. The effect of such declaration would be administratively to compel the disclosure of confidential information, such as would be of interest to the security police or other governmental agencies, thereby exposing the organization or person to such actions as banning or restriction.

5. External repression

It is well known that the tentacles of apartheid repression extend well beyond the borders of South Africa. Its effects are felt in neighbouring and nearby states and have resulted in the destabilization of the entire Southern African region. On occasion they are felt even further afield.

A recent Commonwealth report describes the destabilization of Southern Africa over the last 8 years as having reached 'holocaust' proportions. The human cost is estimated at 1.5 million dead through military and economic action, most of them children, while a further 4 million people have been displaced from their homes. Half a million children in Mozambique alone are deprived of education through the destruction of their schools and Angola has per capita the world's largest population of limbless people, some 40 000, as a result of land mines. The economic cost to the 6 frontline states is estimated to exceed 45 billion US dollars (R120 billion) or more than double their combined foreign debt. Considerable development potential and economic growth has been forgone as a result of defence claiming first priority on resources.

The South African government has used, and continues to use, a variety of methods to repress and destabilize its neighbours.

  • Armed action, ranging from sporadic commando raids to full-scale invasion and occupation;
  • suspected use of under-cover hit squads to abduct and assassinate opponents;
  • the encouragement of surrogates or 'contra' forces, through training, logistical support and intelligence;
  • political pressures to promote the installation of governments well disposed towards apartheid South Africa;
  • economic pressures to create and maintain a dependency on the South African transport, harbour, customs and financial systems.

Conclusion

In reviewing the vast array of weapons of repression in the armoury of the apartheid regime we come inevitably to the conclusion that as at December 1989 virtually all of these weapons are still in place and still in operation. Some forms may have been reduced in use in favour of others, but none has been abandoned. Furthermore, when the inevitable lifting (or modifying) of the State of Emergency comes about, practically the entire range of options will still be available under permanent legislation.

Last updated : 13-Jan-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 26-Jul-2013

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