kwere kwere / journeys into strangeness

A multimedia exhibition on the history of migration and identity in South Africa

Curator: Rory Bester

<< selected projects


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Vlakplaas, 2 June 1999 - Drive By Shooting (2000)

Jo Ractliffe, video 2'30"



Ernest Cole

David Goldblatt

Themba Hadebe

Henion Han

Randolph Hartzenberg

Lindela Repatriation Centre

Jacqueline Maingard

Zola Maseko

Gideon Mendel

Santu Mofokeng

Malcolm Payne

Jo Ractliffe



Berni Searle

Harold Shaw

Penny Siopis

Southern Angola

Soutra: Images of Refuge

Soutra: Voices of Refuge

Paul Weinberg

In 1979, the Vlakplaas unit was established under section C of the Security Branch. It was originally a rehabilitation farm where former ANC and PAC activists were 'turned' into police informers, known as askaris. Other branches of the security police could call on the askaris to infiltrate ANC activists and glean information. In August 1981, several white policemen were transferred to the unit and the askaris were divided into four groups, each headed by a white policeman. By the end of 1982, Vlakplaas operatives were increasingly becoming the 'special forces' of the Security Branch. Vlakplaas, and more broadly the C Section, also worked closely with the SADF - indeed, for significant periods, an SADF liaison officer was assigned to work full-time with Vlakplaas. To a large extent, Vlakplaas owed its existence to the SAP's experience first with the Selous Scouts in Rhodesia and then with setting up Koevoet in South West Africa.


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report

The Artist