South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Mary Burton and Betty Davenport interviewed by Ruendree Govinder
May 23, 2005 Cape Town, South Africa.


"... huge resettlement camps were being established. Very often the first thing one saw was rows and rows of lavatories in preparation for people being dumped there." [4:17]

Betty Davenport and Mary Burton discuss how, in the 1960's and 1970's, the Black Sash monitored and protested forced removals of Africans from " black spots" to very remote areas in the Ciskei "homeland" with no resources, where people were simply discarded.

Betty Davenport joined the Black Sash in Cape Town in 1955, where she participated in silent protests such as “stands” and “hauntings” of cabinet ministers. She moved to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape in 1965, where worked with the organization to monitor and publicize the many removals to remote, poverty-stricken areas of the Ciskei and to monitor detentions and provide support to detainees’ families. She and her husband Rodney Davenport, a historian of South Africa, provided a “safe house” for a number of people in the 1980s.

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