Neil Aggett is buried in Johannesburg

Neil Aggett Image source

Saturday, 13 February 1982

Neil Aggett, former organiser of the Food and Canning Workers Union and African Food and Canning Workers Union, was buried in Johannesburg.

It was estimated that 15 000 people attended his funeral. His labour organisation issued a call that on 11 February 1982, that on the day of his burial, all workers should stay away from work. About 7 000 FOSATU workers at the Uitenhage branch of Volkswagen responded. The presence of police did not stop mourners from reaffirming the struggle for which Aggett died by singing revolutionary songs.

Aggett's funeral was filmed as a symbol of the impact he had on people through labour issues and his community work. He became the 51st person to die in police detention, and was the first White person to die under those circumstances since 1963. Police alleged that he had committed suicide by hanging himself with a scarf; however, the inquest on 29 June 1982 revealed that he had died as result of police torture.

• SAHO, General Timeline: 1980's, from South African History Online, [online], Available at [Accessed: 13 February 2013] 

Last updated : 13-Feb-2017

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

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