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I write this reflection on those “Six Days in August” (the title of a DVD by Mikale Barry), the Northern Areas uprising in 1990, with a visceral memory of that tumultuous time in our history.

We were living in Gelvandale, and shared the property we were renting with the Neethlings — Daphne, Clifford and their four young children.

On one of those six days, Daphne became a widow, and their four children fatherless, when Clifford became one of the early tragic casualties as the streets turned into a battleground.

Forty-nine lives were lost during those six days, and 120 businesses were damaged or destroyed in Schauderville, Gelvandale, West End, Arcadia and surrounding townships.

Lives and livelihoods were lost, never to be recovered.

Hundreds of people still carry the physical and psychological injuries inflicted during the conflict, with buildings, and bodies, left derelict, looking for ways to be repurposed.

Why did this happen? There are other articles, books and resources that recount the history of that time.

But at the root of this discontent that lay dormant, waiting to rise up, was the forced removal of people and families from their homes and communities in South End, Fairview, Willowdene, Salisbury Park, North End, Sidwell, and Central.

Read more:

This article appeared in The Herald (South Africa) on 6 August 2020 written by Allan Zinn, Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD) 
at Nelson Mandela University.

Contact information
Mr Allan Zinn
Tel: 082 881 8015