South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Interview Segment

Ben Turok interviewed by David Wiley
May 12, 2006 Cape Town, South Africa.


"The discussion was always about Jewish culture and the history of the Jewish people. So I imbibed a certain liberalism on racial issues." [2:42]

Ben Turok was part of the community in Cape Town of Jewish refugees from Latvia. He explains how this affected his political philosophy and sensitivity to racial issues in South Africa.

Ben Turok came to South Africa as a young child in 1934 with his parents, escaping the repression against Jews in Latvia. Turok became a full-time organizer for the Congress of Democrats and helped to plan the Congress of the People in 1955. He participated in underground activities with the African National Congress, and was found guilty of violating the Explosives Act and spent three years in jail. Placed under house arrest, Turok escaped from the country and lived in exile in London. He is now a member of Parliament and director of the Institute for African Alternatives.

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