Amy Biehl is murdered in Cape Town

Amy Biehl Image source

Wednesday, 25 August 1993

In 1993, an American Fulbright post-graduate, Amy Elizabeth Biehl (who was 26 years old), was dragged from her car by a 100-strong mob of youths in Gugulethu, a township just outside Cape Town, and stabbed to death. Biehl was driving three co-workers to their homes in the township, when some young men started throwing stones at her car and eventually surrounded the vehicle, shouting the Pan African Congress (PAC) militant slogan "One settler, one bullet!" Amy was pulled out of the car and when she tried to run away, she was struck on the head with a brick. Amy was beaten and stabbed to death. Her Black friends tried in vain to stop the attack by shouting that she was a comrade, but it was too late, as she was certified dead on the spot.

Biehl's death occurred exactly a month after the St. James church massacre, where the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), the armed wing of the PAC, attacked the congregation during a Sunday evening service. The African National Congress (ANC) President, Nelson Mandela, said; “She (Biel) made our aspirations her own and lost her life in the turmoil of our transition as the new South Africa struggled to be born in the dying moments of apartheid. Through her, our peoples have also shared the pain of confronting a terrible past as we take the path of reconciliation and healing of our nation.”

References:
• South African History Online, ‘St. James Church Massacre’, [online], available at www.sahistory.org.za(Accessed: 13 July 2012)
• Amy Biel Foundation, ‘Amy Biel Foundation Trust' [online], available at www.amybiehl.org(Accessed: 13 July 2012)

Last updated : 28-Aug-2017

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

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