South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

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


"The goal of that was to make the cabinet ministers feel uncomfortable and feel watched... They really got quite nervous about it." [1:04]

The Black Sash had many tactics to protest apartheid policies, one of which was "haunting" cabinet ministers with the silent presence of women wearing black sashes.

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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