South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Maria MacDiarmid (Mary) Burton interviewed by Ruendree Govinder
May 25, 2005 Cape Town, South Africa.


"He stood up, and years of pent-up rage and frustration just poured out of him." [3:58]

Mary Burton, a Commissioner on the TRC, describes the burden of listening to the sheer number of stories of human rights violations, such as one story of a 16-year-old being shot by police while on an errand.

Mary Burton, born in Argentina, moved to South Africa in 1961 when she married a South African. She became active in the Black Sash in 1965 and served as its national president from 1985 to 1990. Burton became a South African citizen in 1994 and, in 1995, was appointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and served on its Human Rights Violations Committee.

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