Year One


  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 7- The Partnership Continues In 1990 apartheid began to fall apart in South Africa. Following President Botha’s resignation, Fredrik Willem de Klerk took office. In a surprise move, de Klerk unbanned the African National Congress and other Black political parties, ended the Land Act and released political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. He began the steps to… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 6- Could We Work Together? fter the team from the University of Missouri left, and after rector designate Jakes Gerwel’s visit to Missouri in June 1986, UWC professors and administrators had to decide if they trusted Missouri, and if so, if they were willing to break the academic boycott. The University of the Western Cape decided… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 5- Two Weeks In 1986, the University of Missouri President Peter Magrath called Rector Richard Van der Ross to ask if he could send a team of American professors and administrators to come and investigate a possible faculty exchange program. Van der Ross was a little unsure but did not see any harm in it, so… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 4- "An Appropriate Partner" Peter Magrath agreed to investigate how the University of Missouri could divest from American companies doing business in South Africa. In April of 1985, he formed a committee with the board of curators of the University of Missouri that would research the possibility of divestment, how that could be carried out and… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 3- From Shanty Towns to the President's Office Through the 1980s, people around the world rallied behind the Free Mandela movement and pressed universities, corporations and governments to divestment from the Apartheid government and South African companies. Activists focused on Universities because they have investment portfolios that contribute to the annual budget and employee retirement funds.… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 2- Struggle University Fridays in the 1980s at the University of the Western Cape were tumultuous. Students would take over an unused lecture hall to listen to anti-apartheid lectures to plan a new South Africa. After a few hours, the students would start chanting “na die poort,” which means “to the gate,” referring to the gate… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon” Chapter 1- Separate Development Apartheid, or “separateness” in Afrikaans, was more than a system of segregation laws; it was the ideology of White supremacy codified. Under apartheid, the thought was that races must be kept separate to ensure tranquility and economic development. The laws created social strata based on race, with different racial groups receiving different amounts… Read More
  • “The Most Powerful Weapon”- Introduction Two universities 8,660 miles apart were under protest by their students for the same reason. On one campus, students demanded freedom and were met with smoke bombs and rubber bullets. On the other, students demanded accountability and joined a movement. The common enemy was apartheid and the role universities played in supporting it. Apartheid was… Read More
  • Political Prisoners- By: Stephanie Ebbs “Robben Island was a prison for political dissidents. It was not on any maps of Cape Town, despite being visible from high altitudes in the area. It was a place you were sent to disappear.” Political prisoners were resilient despite mistreatment under apartheid In the limestone quarry on Robben Island there is… Read More
  • Black Diamonds- By: Elliott Stam Cape Town is a city of contrast. Heavy fogs drift over the coastal metropolis in the early hours, only to retreat after an ample dose of South African sunshine. Hot days taper off into chilly nights; raindrops meet the sunlight to form arcing rainbows. Parallels can be seen in society as well.… Read More
  • South Africa’s Educational System- Educational system played critical role in overcoming apartheid By: Stephanie Ebbs When students at the University of Western Cape arrived at the gate to protest the police we already waiting. “The police would come and say ‘you have five minutes to disperse’,” said Llewellyn MacMaster, who was chairperson of the Student Reform Committee in 1985.… Read More
  • Spying on Apartheid’s Bomb- Espionage, nuclear secrets, and the struggle for a democratic South Africa Elliott Stam, Photography by Stephanie Ebbs and Articles made available by the Mayibuye Archives Renfrew Christie On the morning of Renfrew Christie’s trial he looked past a set of iron jail cell bars to see the newspaper photograph held in front of him.  “You’re… Read More
  • Race, jazz and alcohol: Jürgen Schadeberg’s South Africa- By: Kevin Drew Cape Town – For Jürgen Schadeberg, jazz riffs, political activism and nights at “shebeens” – impromptu venues where liquor is sold illegally and then downed at a frenetic pace – score the soundtrack of South Africa. Music, politics and alcohol frequently were stirred into one pot in the 1950s by journalists such… Read More

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