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TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 7 JULY

7 July, Today in Kimberley’s History – Phakamile Mabija

 

Phakamile Mabija (pictured) dies after plunging from the 6th floor of the Transvaal Road police station, 1977

DID YOU KNOW

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 7 JULYPhakamile Mabija was an African anti-Apartheid activist, and member of the Anglican Nomads Educational Group, who was detained by the South African Police on 27 June 1977 for alleged involvement in an incident when African and Coloured commuters stoned public transport during a bus boycott in the Galeshewe suburb. Mabija was due to appear in court on 8 July 1977 on charges under the Riotous Assemblies Act. Mabija died in detention on 7 July 1977, the day before his scheduled court hearing. He plunged from the 6th floor of Transvaal Road police station.

The Dean of Kimberley, as Vicar General, received the news in the absence of Bishop Graham Charles Chadwick (Mabija was a full-time youth worker in the Anglican Parish of St James, Galeshewe). Upon his return, Chadwick took up the protest against Mabija’s death (particularly after the inquest proved to be a fiasco) and the continued detention of his clergy. White wooden crosses were planted on the lawn outside Kimberley’s St Cyprian’s Cathedral for each day that the detentions continued, church bells being rung in protest.

The renaming of Transvaal Road and Jones Street in Kimberley, as Phakamile Mabija Road, was marked by a ceremony held on Heritage Day 24 September 2011.

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By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

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