South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Laloo Chiba interviewed by David Bailey
June 16, 2007 Cape Town, South Africa.


"During the first 48 hours, we were all severely tortured." [7:57]

Chiba describes the torture he underwent when he was detained in 1963. During the first 48 hours, they were held incommunicado, and the police tried to get information out of them. After 78 days, he was told be would be released, provided he did not sue the government for having been tortured.

Born in 1930, Laloo Chiba was active in the Transvaal Indian Congress, a legal organization, and also joined the South African Communist Party and Umkonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress in 1961. He became a platoon commander in MK, responsible for four cells conducting sabotage operations. Chiba was brutally tortured by the Special Branch, about which he testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was charged with membership of the second High Command of MK, and served a prison term on Robben Island from 1964 to 1982. Chiba served in the first democratic Parliament and, in 2004, he received the Order of Luthuli in Silver from the government for his contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa.

Play Full Interview

AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH