A peaceful protest turned violent and bloody on the morning of August 6 1990, setting off a series of riots across Port Elizabeth’s northern areas that resulted in more than 50 people dying and dozens more being injured.
Several businesses were looted - never to recover.
Homes and vehicles were destroyed - even a church.
HOW A PEACEFUL PROTEST TURNED VIOLENT
“I am a revolutionary slave of the uprising. Not a day goes by that my mind is not occupied by 6 August.”
- Godfrey Ackley
August 6 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the start of what was undoubtedly the deadliest week for residents of Port Elizabeth’s northern areas.
LOSING LOVED ONES
“I knew that he died. I could feel it in me because I woke up that night, and I came to knock on the door by my granny, and I said ‘Ma, something happened to Chris’. And at the same time, the phone call came to say that he was shot.”
- Shireen Mentoor
“Every time I see one of those Casspirs I think that my father was in one of those and that he was begging for his life. That is what I think about every time.”
- Bettie Hendricks
AUGUST 1990: A TIMELINE
CAPTURING THE CHAOS
“There was chaos everywhere. It was tense. There were people standing at their houses to see what was going on. It was an experience that you cannot describe to anyone else that wasn’t there.”
- Charles Pullen
IN THEIR WORDS
Whenever Bettie Hendricks sees a police Casspir, she is reminded of August 6 1990, when her father was allegedly thrown from a similar vehicle during the northern areas uprising.
Veteran newspaper photographer Charles Pullen worked for the Evening Post for just over a month when the Northern Areas Uprising broke out on August 6 1990.
“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.”
- Allan Zinn
THE WAY FORWARD
“You have to have something positive come out of it [the uprising] — not just a commemoration every year where we say ‘ag shame’.”
- Michael Barry
All the victims of the 1990 Northern Areas uprising - the named and the unnamed
Dennis Van Schalkwyk
Brian Van Wyk
Roderick De Boer
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