APARTHEID NOSTALGIA: Personal security concerns in South African townships

  • Gary Kynoch Dalhousie University
Keywords: personal security, South Africa, post-apartheid, violence


Iconic images, such as the photograph of Hector Petersen, the thirteen year old boy shot by police in 1976 at the onset of the Soweto uprising, serve as powerful reminders of the brutality of apartheid. The National Party regime marked a time of great suffering for black South Africans. Televised images of white police beating and shooting black protestors exposed the racist violence of apartheid to the world. Steve Biko’s murder in police custody, popularised in the west by the movie Cry Freedom, was further emblematic of the apartheid regime. As a student in Canada at the time, the writer of this article was greatly influenced by these events and images, and subsequently spent several years in South Africa conducting research on crime, social conflict and policing. This article concentrates on the relationship between personal security and the concept of ‘apartheid nostalgia’, not among white diehards, but among residents of Soweto.

Author Biography

Gary Kynoch, Dalhousie University
Department of History
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