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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1967. Terrorism Act

General Laws Amendment Act No 83

This forbade any act of terrorism as well as any recruitment for military training (Lapping 1986: 214), and it made participation in terrorist activities a capital crime (Dugard 1978: 126).

Terrorism was defined as "any act committed with the intention of endangering law and order or inciting to or conspiring in the commission of such an act, a separate offence and equated it to treason. Terrorist acts included murder, the possession of arms, ammunition or explosives and the receiving of military training" (Riley 1991: 99). See also the SABOTAGE ACT of 1963.

"Section 6( 1) of the Act provided that if an officer, of or above the rank of lieutenant-colonel, had 'reason to believe' that someone was a 'terrorist', 'terrorism' being defined widely, or was withholding from the police information about such terrorists or offences under the Act, he might cause the person in question to be arrested without warrant and to be detained for interrogation. The section also provided that detention was to last until the Commissioner of Police was 'satisfied' that the detainee had 'satisfactorily replied to all questions or that no useful purpose will be served by his further detention'. Section 6(4) provided that the Minister of Justice could order the release of the detainee at any time. Section 6(5) provided that 'No court of law shall pronounce on the validity of any action taken under this section, or order the release of any detainee.' " (Dyzenhaus 1991: 132). Thus it allowed for indefinite detention; see also the GENERAL LAWS AMENDMENT ACT of 1963. Moreover, only the Minister of Justice or an officer in duty was allowed to visit or take part of any information concerning or obtained from the detainee (Dyzenhaus 1991: 133).

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.