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Download PDF by Fran Lisa Buntman: Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid

By Fran Lisa Buntman

Robben Island legal in South Africa held hundreds of thousands of black political prisoners, together with Nelson Mandela, who antagonistic apartheid. This learn reconstructs the inmates' resistance recommendations to illustrate how they created a political and social order at the back of bars. even supposing survival was once their basic target, demanding apartheid was once their final goal. Robben Island was once continuously remodeled by means of its political inmates right into a website of resistance, regardless of being designed to repress.

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Second, other laws, such as those detailing curfews or controlling black liquor production and consumption, also provided a continuous source of prisoners. Third, especially from the 1960s, political opponents of apartheid became a new group within the prison system. The 1959 Prisons Act54 shaped political and other imprisonment by hiding prison conditions as well as by setting improved minimum standards, at least in theory. 55 Closing prisons to outside eyes was a key factor contributing the often appalling conditions in South African prisons.

9 On the Island, Poqo and the PAC were treated as one group within the prisoner community and by the state. The differences within the PAC and the further distinctions between the PAC and Poqo were, no doubt, relevant to the divisions within the PAC on Robben Island. On the part of the state, the early sixties saw a rapid increase in repressive legislation designed to suppress most opposition to apartheid, including the newly banned organizations and almost all protest. The laws and their violators produced a new phenomenon in South Africa: political prisoners en masse.

15 11 12 13 14 15 Thomas G. Karis and Gail M. Gerhart, From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882–1990, Vol. 5, Nadir and Resurgence, 1964–1979 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1997), 16. D. , Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, 1991), 264. , 211–212. , 213. , 280. Footnote from orginal deleted. 18 Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid In addition to creating and using an ever-expanding array of “security” legislation, the state used the ordinary common law to prosecute people breaking the law for political reasons.

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