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(page 5)
Silent Years
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 enforced control.
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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Heritage Sections
· Culture ·
· Environment ·
History · Society
Personalities · Areas

In this period of Cape History:



Petty Apartheid



The Silent Years

Influx Controls

1976 Uprising

Post '76 Reform


Turning Tide

Mass Action

Bibliography & Contacts


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