South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Renfrew Christie interviewed by Ruendree Govender
May 27, 2005 Cape Town, South Africa.


"Those compounds were invented by the British much earlier, when diamonds were discovered..." [1:43]

Renfrew Christie describes the compounds [single-sex hostels] in which workers on the diamond and gold mines lived. He sees migrant labor under apartheid as a form of forced labor with historical precedents.

Born in Johannesburg 1949, Renfrew Christie was active in the National Union of South African Students while at Witwatersrand University and was full-time Deputy President of NUSAS in 1971-72. Christie was arrested under the Terrorism Act in 1979 and spent seven months in solitary confinement. He was sentenced in 1980 and spent seven years in prison for supplying the African National Congress with information about the government’s nuclear weapons program, on Escom, on Koeberg, and on Sasol. Christie is now Dean of Research at the University of the Western Cape.

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AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH