Two recent articles, one in the Cape Argus and the other from the Cape Times, offer additional commentary on Dr Siona O’Connell’s documentaries, The Wynberg 7: An Intolerable Amnesia and An Impossible Return.

For those who don’t know what these documentaries are about, the article in the Cape Times, written by Francesca Villette, provides a fitting summary of each, outlined in the following extract —

An Impossible Return investigates the meanings imbued in several areas of Cape Town that were subject to forced removals. It features a series of 40-year-old photographs of Harfield Village by David Brown, and speaks to the acknowledgement that oppression through apartheid was catastrophic.

People whom the apartheid regime forcibly removed relived the trauma every time they pass their old homes, O’Connell said.

“I was incredibly lucky to find David’s images which are hauntingly poignant as they sketch lives of humanity lived to the fullest. This contradicts the idea of the ‘coloured’ and ‘black’ apartheid subject as being inhuman, which is, of course, what apartheid scripted us to be.” 

The Wynberg 7 – An Intolerable Amnesia features commentary by Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé as he was one of the founding members of the Committee of 81; SABC group executive news and current affairs Jimi Matthews, one of the only people to record the arrest as most other journalists were at the Trojan Horse incident that happened on the same day; and Enver Daniels, who played a role in the trial and support of the seven.

“The students were mobilised in a way that created pressure on the regime and the trial of the Wynberg 7 as well as that of Bradley Niekerk. On a practical level, the documentary is to instil an urgency in the expungement of criminal records for those like the seven,” she said.

Dr Survé said that every struggle was important since it contributed to our humanity and in shaping what we do today.

“The struggles of the past serve as memory and help us to use that collective experience to navigate the challenges of today, including, ironically, the current student protests.

“The inspired stories and sacrifices of the past must continue to allow us to do good,” Dr Survé said.

Read the full article here.

Read the Cape Argus article here.