From "I saw a nightmare-- ": doing violence to memory : the Soweto uprising, June 16, 1976 by Helena Pohlandt-McCormick

  • African
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  • Testimony and statements such as those of Sizane, Matlhare, Mokoena and Matimba, heard by the Cillié Commission or extracted by the police, were deeply revealing of the government's efforts to shape their stories in a manner that would fit its agendas, as well as of the mechanisms involved in doing so. These testimonies therefore, must be considered primarily as evidence of the methods that the state used to shape the discourse about Soweto to suit its own meanings, rather than as evidence of how these events were experienced by those who participated. However, despite the coercive context in which these testimonies were obtained and the malicious use they were to be put to, they too were the voices of the participants, fettered by violence and abuse, but struggling to maintain authenticity and integrity. [see Supplementary Materials]