History for the Future

Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni – a cadre in the centre of a revolution

The birth of the African National Congress’ armed wing, uMkhonto weSizwe ("Spear of the Nation") was a contested one. With large numbers of freedom fighters and, very little arms – Nelson Mandela’s comrades believed that the liberation movement, which sought to free South Africans from the damning grip of the Apartheid government, was a suicide mission. Only after much persuading, on the 16th December 1961, Nelson Mandela and his comrades formed “MK” and made the decision to take up arms in the fight for the dejected people of the country – a turning point in South African history.


Latest episodes in this series

Richard Lyster

12 July 2016 | 32 Minute Listen

It is 20 years since the South African Truth and Reconciliation held its first hearing into the gross violation of human rights under apartheid. The TRC was brought into being by an Act of Parliament in 1995, and was an essential component in the transition to democracy. It positioned itself between two extremes: the prosecutorial path of retributive justice evidenced in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders on the one hand; and the blanket amnesties handed out in the wake of the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet on the other. There, victims of gross human rights violations testified in secret. In South Africa, on the other hand, all the hearings, both for victims of apartheid and of perpetrators, were in public. The names of victims of apartheid are recorded in one volume of the TRC report. It is a list that goes on for 50 pages in small print. More than 21,000 people gave statements to the TRC. Nearly 7,000 applied for amnesty but few met the strict conditions laid down by the law: full disclosure, proportionality, and proof that the offence was politically motivated among them. In the end, fewer than 900 were granted amnesty. For the first time, some of the grim stories of the suffering under apartheid were not only told but widely publicized. For this series Journalist Pippa Green spoke to 13 of the former commissioners to find out how far we are as a country along the road of reconciliation today 20 years after the first hearing. Jeanne Michel edited and produced this series. Find the entire series of interviews online at http://www.702.co.za/features/139/trc

Wynand Malan

05 July 2016 | 29 Minute Listen

It is 20 years since the South African Truth and Reconciliation held its first hearing into the gross violation of human rights under apartheid. The TRC was brought into being by an Act of Parliament in 1995, and was an essential component in the transition to democracy. It positioned itself between two extremes: the prosecutorial path of retributive justice evidenced in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders on the one hand; and the blanket amnesties handed out in the wake of the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet on the other. There, victims of gross human rights violations testified in secret. In South Africa, on the other hand, all the hearings, both for victims of apartheid and of perpetrators, were in public. The names of victims of apartheid are recorded in one volume of the TRC report. It is a list that goes on for 50 pages in small print. More than 21,000 people gave statements to the TRC. Nearly 7,000 applied for amnesty but few met the strict conditions laid down by the law: full disclosure, proportionality, and proof that the offence was politically motivated among them. In the end, fewer than 900 were granted amnesty. For the first time, some of the grim stories of the suffering under apartheid were not only told but widely publicized. For this series Journalist Pippa Green spoke to 13 of the former commissioners to find out how far we are as a country along the road of reconciliation today 20 years after the first hearing. Jeanne Michel edited and produced this series. Find the entire series of interviews online at http://www.702.co.za/features/139/trc

Hlengiwe Mkhize

05 July 2016 | 25 Minute Listen

It is 20 years since the South African Truth and Reconciliation held its first hearing into the gross violation of human rights under apartheid. The TRC was brought into being by an Act of Parliament in 1995, and was an essential component in the transition to democracy. It positioned itself between two extremes: the prosecutorial path of retributive justice evidenced in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders on the one hand; and the blanket amnesties handed out in the wake of the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet on the other. There, victims of gross human rights violations testified in secret. In South Africa, on the other hand, all the hearings, both for victims of apartheid and of perpetrators, were in public. The names of victims of apartheid are recorded in one volume of the TRC report. It is a list that goes on for 50 pages in small print. More than 21,000 people gave statements to the TRC. Nearly 7,000 applied for amnesty but few met the strict conditions laid down by the law: full disclosure, proportionality, and proof that the offence was politically motivated among them. In the end, fewer than 900 were granted amnesty. For the first time, some of the grim stories of the suffering under apartheid were not only told but widely publicized. For this series Journalist Pippa Green spoke to 13 of the former commissioners to find out how far we are as a country along the road of reconciliation today 20 years after the first hearing. Jeanne Michel edited and produced this series. Find the entire series of interviews online at http://www.702.co.za/features/139/trc

Judge Sisi Khampepe

28 June 2016 | 33 Minute Listen

It is 20 years since the South African Truth and Reconciliation held its first hearing into the gross violation of human rights under apartheid. The TRC was brought into being by an Act of Parliament in 1995, and was an essential component in the transition to democracy. It positioned itself between two extremes: the prosecutorial path of retributive justice evidenced in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders on the one hand; and the blanket amnesties handed out in the wake of the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet on the other. There, victims of gross human rights violations testified in secret. In South Africa, on the other hand, all the hearings, both for victims of apartheid and of perpetrators, were in public. The names of victims of apartheid are recorded in one volume of the TRC report. It is a list that goes on for 50 pages in small print. More than 21,000 people gave statements to the TRC. Nearly 7,000 applied for amnesty but few met the strict conditions laid down by the law: full disclosure, proportionality, and proof that the offence was politically motivated among them. In the end, fewer than 900 were granted amnesty. For the first time, some of the grim stories of the suffering under apartheid were not only told but widely publicized. For this series Journalist Pippa Green spoke to 13 of the former commissioners to find out how far we are as a country along the road of reconciliation today 20 years after the first hearing. Jeanne Michel edited and produced this series. Find the entire series of interviews online at http://www.702.co.za/features/139/trc


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