ARTICLE: TO LEARN AND TEACH: * LESSONS FROM DRIEFONTEIN ON LAWYERING AND POWER Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1988 University of Wisconsin Law School
Wisconsin Law Review

ARTICLE: TO LEARN AND TEACH: * LESSONS FROM DRIEFONTEIN ON LAWYERING AND POWER



* LEARN AND TEACH is the title of a South African periodical devoted to grassroots literacy efforts in that country. It contains articles written by and for communities working in diverse ways to strengthen themselves and resist apartheid. Its issues are frequently banned by the government under South Africa's censorship laws.

September, 1988/October, 1988

1988 Wis. L. Rev. 699

Author

LUCIE E. WHITE **

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

On August 26, 1985, the South African government announced that it would not force the residents -- all of them Black 1 -- of a small farming community called Driefontein to relocate to resettlement camps in remote rural areas. Rather, the government acceded to the villagers' demands that they be allowed to continue living, farming, and owning land in a region of the country that had been officially designated as the exclusive domain of whites. The reprieve for Driefontein came just a month after the government had placed a large part of the country under a "state of emergency," tantamount to martial law, in an aggressive effort to quell anti-apartheid activism in Black communities. In the context of these emergency regulations and the heightened repression that they signaled, the government's backing down on the Driefontein removal was hard to comprehend. It did not fit within the overall pattern of events in South Africa at the time. What could have compelled the government to give in, at that time, to a few isolated Blacks on an issue as central to the logic of apartheid as Black ownership and occupancy of land?

This Article explores that question by reconstructing the story of Driefontein's opposition to the South African government. It is a case study of the community's resistance, with a focus on how a lawyer and an organizer worked with the community to enable and support that effort. To work effectively with a community which had few clear-cut legal ...
 
 
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