In the Shadow of Sharpeville: Apartheid and Criminal Justice by Peter Parker, Joyce Mokhesi-Parker

By Peter Parker, Joyce Mokhesi-Parker

The authors take a scalpel to South Africa's procedure of legal justice through the Apartheid period. They specialise in the case of the Sharpeville Six to examine how legal justice was once used to make convictions effortless to safe. Analysing the technicalities of the felony legislations, in addition to the standard of proof and judicial reasoning within the case opposed to the Six, Parker and Mokhesi-Parker additionally exhibit vividly via letters from demise row, the feel those humans made up of their coming near near executions and the way a world crusade to save lots of their lives succeeded with in basic terms 18 hours to spare.

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To add to their anxiety, the police did not know their way around town, and seemed to have difficulty reading their maps. They only feIt safe in clusters and on the move, and all the while the unsilenced grind of paramilitary vehicles and the intermittent sound of gunfire penetrated our nerves and would have disturbed anyone' s sleep, except that people were too anxious to do more than doze anyway. For we, too, had cause to worry. The police search extended to hospitals. They arrested anyone with a gunshot wound.

III In all perhaps 220 people were murdered by South Africa's death squads between 1971 and 1991, ofwhom almost 130 people were killed between 1984 and 1989. 112 White Rufe and Black Resistance 31 Sometimes the murders were carried out by a special police or army unit; 113 at others the task was contracted out to professional hitmen; the killings, however, were sanctioned at the highest levels of the state. On 7 June 1985, for example, Colonel Du Plessis, an army colonel, sent a signal to the headquarters ofthe State Security Council on the orders of Brigadier van der Westhuizen, who was later promoted to the rank of general and the post of head of military intelligence.

They only feIt safe in clusters and on the move, and all the while the unsilenced grind of paramilitary vehicles and the intermittent sound of gunfire penetrated our nerves and would have disturbed anyone' s sleep, except that people were too anxious to do more than doze anyway. For we, too, had cause to worry. The police search extended to hospitals. They arrested anyone with a gunshot wound. The knowledge of that spread, and led many to avoid doctors altogether. 12 Some are said to have died at horne.

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