June 1976 student activist: I was arrested, tortured and electrocuted

A dialogue between apartheid police and June 16 student activists counselling them on living through the trauma of South Africa's oppressive past mediated by Reverend Frank Chikane, has been going on for a number of months.

Chikane is the Senior Vice President of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), and has played a significant role in bringing the conscript generation and the June 16 Foundation together.

Last week both these groups from opposing sides of the apartheid struggle began talks with Chikane, dealing with the pain and suffering they felt.

702's Azania Mosaka spoke to 1976 student activist, Pauline Mohale Buyeye, and SA Defence Force Conscripts, Louis Gerber, about the campaign and find out what it meant to be on either side of the divide.

Listen to the conversation below:

I was operating underground as MK and also as a student activist. The march was meant to be peaceful to hand over a memorandum to abolish Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Pauline Mohale Buyeye, June 16 Foundation

Buyeye was arrested and later faced trial for her protest action as part of a student activist group called Pretoria 12.

I was tortured, my body and head was electrocuted, I collapsed on the 3rd day and I gained consciousness in a prison cell in Krugersdorp.

Pauline Mohale Buyeye, June 16 Foundation

Loius Gerber said that Afrikaans being used as a medium of instruction at schools was also oppressive to some white people, whose mother-tongue was not Afrikaans.

Only political power was given to the ANC... Economic power is how we are going to create jobs.

Louis Gerber, SADFA conscripts
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