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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Issue 3. 15th March [1976]

What Boss means to Black South Africans

What Boss means to Black South Africans

Many thousands of Blacks have been detained indefinitely imprisoned for advocating majority rule and have generally had their lives disrupted and their families broken up. As much as the Bureau has the legal power and government sanction to arrest those it sees fit, it contribution is just as important to the general atmosphere of intimidation, confusion and fear which dominates the lives of all but the supporters of apartheid.

To some, the consequences of investigation by the Bureau are far more severe. It is estimated that more than 100 people have died while in detention. In all cases the police verdict covers it actions. An example is the case of Mr Imen Abdullah Haron, who died according to the police from an 'accidental fall down a flight of stairs in the police station at which he was being questioned, on the 27th September 1969'. A further exception to the long list of 'suicide while under detention' verdicts is that of Nichodimus Kgoathe, who died on the 5th of February 1969 while being detained, from 'Broncho-pneumonia following minor head injuries'. Others have joined African leaders Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisual on Robbers Island (a present day Devil's Island) for life sentences.

Boss, is to Black South Africans, an instrument of terror and brutality. To the whites - a weapon in their arsenal of oppression. In the last ten years 6 million Blacks - more than 50% of adult African males have been detained for one reason or another - many because of the investigations of Boss.

Anmesty International claims that by the end of 1974, South Africa had more political prisoners as a proportion of its population than any other country - little wonder that Boss has become such a fearsome reality to the Black population of South Africa.

— Mike Freeman

Note:- Further readings on this subject can be found in 'Defence and Aid publications' available from the Student Book Shop. Mount St.

Image of a barber wire fence

"Everyone has the righto to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state." (Article 13, UN Declaration of Human Rights).