White Mans Justice: South African Political Trials in the Black Consciousness Era Era

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byMichael Lobban

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This major new study examines the use of political trials by the apartheid regime in South Africa against its opponents in the 1970s, the decade when the ideology of apartheid was reaching its apogee. After tracing the early history of the South African Students Organization and the BlackPeople's Convention, it shows how the state reacted to the threat posed by the black consciousness movement by launching a major trials of ideas, using the notorious Terrorism Act. It examines how, at the same time, the authorities sought to crack down on white dissent by prosecuting the leaders ofthe National Union of South African Students. By making a detailed study of trial transcripts in addition to other materials, it explores how the state sought to infiltrate and crush nascent ANC and PAC structures which were re-emerging in the mid 1970s within South Africa. It shows how theprosecution policy and the legal stategy of the state changed during the decade as the nature of the threats it faced altered, culminating in the trial of the leaders of the Soweto Students Representative Council in 1979 for sedition. Arguing that the political trial was perhaps the only venue wherewhite ideology had to engage directy with black protest, this original and thought-provoking account demonstrates how the trials became platforms for competing views of society and politics, which give a unique insight into the conflict between the political ideals held by blacks and whites in thisera. It also reveals how large a part politics played in securing the conviction of many dissenters, and how large a part events beyond the courtroom played, in the detention and torture of many activists.

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From the Publisher

This major new study examines the use of political trials by the apartheid regime in South Africa against its opponents in the 1970s, the decade when the ideology of apartheid was reaching its apogee. After tracing the early history of the South African Students Organization and the BlackPeople's Convention, it shows how the state reac...

From the Jacket

This major new study examines the use of political trials by the apartheid regime in South Africa against its opponents in the 1970s, the decade when the ideology of apartheid was reaching its apogee. After tracing the early history of the South African Students Organization and the Black People's Convention, it shows how the state rea...

Michael Lobban is a Reader in Law at University of Durham.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:298 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198258097

ISBN - 13:9780198258094

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Growth of Black Consciousness: BPC and SASO 1972-742. Black Consiousness on Trial3. White Students on Trial4. From Ideas to Action: Terrorism Trials before Soweto5. 1976: New Dangers, New Responses6. Terrorism and Torture7. Breaking the Structures: Terrorism Trials after Soweto8. Black Revolt on Trial: Sedition and the Soweto StudentsConclusion

Editorial Reviews

'Lobban sticks for the most part to his trial-based evidence , but he presents it well... this book will be appropriate and valuable reading for courses both in legal history and Southern African studies, and also in law faculties more generally.'