Langa Memorial

Most South Africans are familiar with the 1960 Sharpeville massacre where the South African Police opened fire on a protesting crowd, killing 69 people.  Very few people know though that on the 25th anniversary of Sharpeville, something similar happened in Langa township in Uitenhage when the Police opened fire on a crowd of mourners on their way to a banned funeral.  Twenty people were killed in the incident on 21 March 1985 and it became known as the Langa Massacre.  The incident was followed by…

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Red Location Museum – Maduna Road

Maduna Road is one of the road in Langa, Uitenhage, where the Langa massacre took place in 1985.  The Langa massacre took place on the 25th anniversary of the Sharpville massacre of 1960.  The police fired on a group of mourners on their way to a banned funeral, killing 20 people. There was an international outcry following this incident and a Commission of Inquiry (Kannemeyer Commission) was immediately appointed to investigate the cause of the shooting.  The story is told…

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Red Location Museum Memory Box – Vuyisile Mini

One of the Memory Boxes in the Red Location Museum is dedicated to Vuyisile Mini, one of the first African National Congress members to be executed by apartheid South Africa.  The space contains three nooses representing those that he was hung on along with Wilson Khayinga and Zinakile Mkaba.  Vuyisile Mini was born in 1920 in the Port Elizabeth.  Mini's militant political activities began in 1951 when he joined the ANC.  In 1952 he was jailed with Govan Mbeki and Raymond Mhlaba…


Reconciliation walkway

This week 20 years ago, then president FW de Klerk made the speech in which he announced the planned unbanning of parties like the African National Congress (ANC) as well as the intended release of Nelson Mandela from prison. By chance a bit earlier in the week I discovered a paved path in South End fairly close to where I work. It was built by a local family who formed their business here in Port Elizabeth 100 years ago and…


Ruins of St Peter’s Church

Part of the ruins of St Peter's Church in South End. Built in 1877, the church was partly demolished by the apartheid government to prevent members of the congregation to return after the community was forcibly removed in 1965. For more info and pictures, visit The Firefly Photo Files. Why not pop over to Skywatch to see some more photos from all over the world.


such a shame

We have taken you to the fascinating Red Location Museum before. It documents the movement against apartheid, and the red location was one of the significant places in the evolution of the ANC and the struggle for democracy in South Africa. We have written in more detail about this fascinating place on our personal blogs, and lamented the fact that the last few remaining historically significant shacks, built in 1903, are being vandalised and sold to unscrupulous scrap dealers. It…


The Ruins of St Peter’s, South End

We have posted about South End before, it is one of the areas that were cleared out during the Apartheid era, because of the racialy mixed community, and this church was later demolished because the congregation kept returning here to worship. It remains as a necessary reminder of a shameful part of our history that will hopefully never be repeated!

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Hideousness from the 80s

This is the Mount Road Police Station. It is hideous on many levels, the most apparent being the austere looking architecture which is typical of many apartheid era government buildings. There is a sort of repressive nazi look about them before you even know what went on inside. This building has a nasty history. It was previously called Louis Le Grange Square, named after the then Minister of Law and Order, who was responsible for some of the worst human…


Places of Worship #8

Another view of the ruins of St Peters Church in South End. In order to stop the displaced members of the congregation returning to worship there, after the forced removal of the South End residents, the apartheid government demolished the church. Though there are a lot of townhouse developments around the St Peters, the remains of the church will be retained as a testimony to past injustices.


An exhibit at Red Location Museum

This is an exhibit in the fascinating Red Location museum. It shows anti apartheid posters which were circulated when the restrictions were at their worst, anyone found with one of these would have been in for a very bad time! The books on the little tables are transcripts of the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with the intention of bringing into the open the atrocities committed during the apartheid era. They make very…