South African apartheid oppression

Apartheid sign

From the World Socialist Web Site:

25 years ago: South Africa erupts in riots after execution of poet

Riots erupted in a number of South African cities after the state execution of poet and factory worker Benjamin Moloise on October 18.

In some of the most bitter street fighting in 14 months of struggle, African and mixed-race youth challenged security forces in downtown Johannesburg and Cape Town. Policemen and white civilians were attacked and beaten in Johannesburg, while in a suburb of Cape Town police attempting to raid a mosque were met with live ammunition.

Three protesters were killed in the fighting, two by police and one by a white motorist who opened fire from his car.

On October 20, tens of thousands of black Africans attended political funerals for those killed by police in the previous week’s fighting. About 20,000 attended the funeral of a man killed after leaving Muslim prayers near Cape Town, and in Atteridgeville 15,000 attended the funeral for a 13-year-old boy kicked to death by police as the youth walked to church.

The hanging of Moloise, convicted by the apartheid regime in the 1982 killing of a policeman, went forward in spite of international protests. This was followed three days later by the start of a show trial against 16 leaders of the anti-apartheid United Democratic Front.

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