| Between 1960 and 1976 apartheid
dictated all aspects of life for a large proportion of Capetonians, and all
opposition was silenced. The National Party imprisoned or banished many of its
major opponents. Even the Liberal Party, co-founded by the author Alan Paton,
was dissolved in 1968 under the Prevention of Political Interference Act that
prohibited multiracial parties.
The laws were so draconian that members of the women's
organisation the 'Black Sash' could only stand alone on a street wearing their
sash, as two or more would have constituted an 'illegal gathering'.
The opposition movements, notably the PAC and ANC, felt they
had no alternative but to turn to armed
resistance. The police, however, were highly effective in suppressing their
activities. Inteligence, counter-intelligence and policing were co-orcinated
through the powerful Bureau of State Security (BOSS).
Further laws increased police powers. The Sabotage Act of 1962
enabled the Minister of Justice to impose house arrest. The 'ninety day' Act
permitted detainment without trial, or access to a lawyer, for ninety days. A
blind eye was drawn to how police treated suspects, gathered intelligence and
Detainment without trial and deaths while in custody became
more frequent, and one of Cape Town's earliest victims was the activist
Looksmart Solwandle Ngudle who died in October 1963.
Robben Island in Table Bay
was used by the government as a high security prison and became a reminder to
Capetonians of the suppression of dissent.
The smothering effect of Apartheid regulations made it
impossible for multi-racial musical groups to play together and also affected
the annual carnival; however the political situation inspired writers and
musicians to reflect on their experiences through the arts (more).
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: