South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Maria MacDiarmid (Mary) Burton and Diana Oliver interviewed by Ruendree Govinder
May 23, 2005 Cape Town, South Africa.


"The Black Sash used to go to those hearings and stand up and oppose on principle the whole idea of segregated residential areas, and inevitably would be told to sit down..." [0:50]

Mary Burton describes how Black Sash members attended public hearings of the Group Areas Board in Cape Town to oppose creating segregated areas for specific racial groups.

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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