In 1969, South Africa’s apartheid government arrested anti-apartheid leaders and activists nationwide for a key planned show trial. Among them were seven women, three of whom (including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela) have since died. This book by South African journalist Shanthini Naidoo uses rich interview material to share the previously unknown stories of the four imprisoned women who are still living: Joyce Sikhakhane-Rankin, Rita Ndzanga, Shanthie Naidoo, and Nondwe Mankahla.
These four freedom fighters were held in solitary confinement for more than a year and subjected to brutal torture in a bid to force them to testify against their comrades. But they refused to do so, which forced the whole trial effort to collapse.
Women Surviving Apartheid’s Prisons explores how women from different oppressed communities in South Africa defied traditional gender expectations and played a key role in the overthrow of Apartheid.
Shanthini Naidoo is a former journalist on South Africa’s Sunday Times who now works in content marketing. She has also worked for The Times newspaper and O magazine. Naidoo lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two daughters.
(courtesy Just World Educational – https://justworldbooks.com/books/women-surviving-apartheids-prisons/)