Shepi Mati interviewed by David Bailey
June 18, 2007 Cape Town, South Africa.
"The situation ... had reached a crisis point for apartheid, ... they just could not continue along the old methods." [2:24]
Shepi Mati describes how, in 1985, organizing had reached such a level that the state became more repressive. He had been organizing the Congress of South African Students, as its President and then a national organizer. (This was when the State of Emergency was declared in many parts of the country.)
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Shepi Mati was born in 1961 and went to work at the age of 12 or 13 as a so-called “garden boy”. He attended high school in Port Elizabeth at the time of the student uprisings in 1976. In the early 1980s, he was recruited into the ANC underground and also became involved with the Young Christian Workers, which was strongly influenced by liberation theology. He helped to build the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and was national president of the organization in 1982. Mati worked with Community Video Education Trust (CVET) in Cape Town in the last 1980s to document the struggle on video. He now is radio manager at Idasa.