The Wynberg Seven and others are honoured in the documentary, An Intolerable Amnesia.

South Peninsula  High School Band was the opening act at the screening of the documentary, An Intolerable Amnesia.

The documentary, An Intolerable Amnesia, tells the story of the Wynberg Seven. These seven high school students were arrested and imprisoned at Pollsmoor Prison in 1985 for protesting against Apartheid. In 1985 thousands of school student protestors used their voices to show their anger and threw stones at police who used the violence of water cannons and bullets to control the crowds.  Yet, the Wynberg Seven and many other innocent youth were charged with public violence.

Graham chatting to Mrs Niekerk

Bradley Niekerk, who features in the documentary, was also imprisoned in 1985. Bradley is a past student of South Peninsula High School.  After the screening of the documentary, friends and family relived many of their experiences of 1985.  Mrs Niekerk, Bradley's mother, was happy to share her thoughts.

"We were terrified when Bradley went to prison," said Mrs Niekerk, Senior. "They placed our children with hardened criminals who were murderers and rapists. I visited Bradley every week. We were not allowed to bring them toiletries, money or snacks. But then somebody told me how to get the parcel to Bradley. I had to make a fake phone call, place the carry bag on the floor in the telephone booth, pretend to ring up and walk away.

 I was nervous, but I followed the instructions. When I looked back, the bag had disappeared. Bradley told me the following week that he had received the parcel. This then became my routine.  Even the Wynberg Seven's family gave me parcels to deliver to their children. There were many other risks that I took and thank goodness, I never got caught."

Penny Redwing, the partner of Graham who was part of Bradley Niekerk's defense team, was still emotional after the screening.

"Graham has still not processed all the trauma he experienced during that period. He was only an articles clerk at the time and quietly, he was working on the case. I was a nurse in 1985 still. Nobody expected a respectable-looking nurse to run a safe house. You just did what you had to do. Those youngsters were so brave. It pains me today when it seems the sacrifices of those young people were in vain. We are 30 years down the line, yet we are still fighting for the same basic human rights like education."

Friends reunited at the documentary screening.

Getting people in the same room to see the documentary, An Intolerable Amnesia, was as therapeutic as the screening itself. It is that deep trauma of our violent past that keeps our communities locked in depressing cycles of violence.  When people's stories are shared, we acknowledge their experiences and hopefully, it helps with the healing we desperately need in our country.


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