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Is it time to free the Apartheid era archives? Promoting open and transparent public record keeping for a democratic South Africa

9 am to 5pm
24 August, 2017
University of the Witwatersrand, Humanities PG Seminar Room, South West Engineering

Colloquium will be followed by a cocktail event.
RSVP to Gabriele Mohale

Event link on the Wits website (as information changes/added the content will be updated):
Twitter: @Wits_News; @WitsUniversity
Facebook: @witsuniversity
Hashtag: #Freethearchive

Joel Pearson and Ivor Chipkin are panelists at the Archives of Democracy: Colloquium of Civil Society. Their panel, The Politics of the Archive, will be one of five, exploring critical topics like ‘Why access matters’, and case studies from Germany and South Africa around the Stasi and Apartheid archives. Keynote speakers include Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister of Intelligence, and Yasmin Sooka, director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa.

Secrecy and intrigue shroud recent political events, particularly in government departments comprising the security cluster. This not only impacts responsible record keeping, it inhibits critical engagement with the apartheid government’s records. Moreover the National Archive and other departmental archives lack crucial skills and capacities to a) adhere to their record-keeping and oversight functions, and b) to initiate processes of declassifying apartheid-state records. States which have undergone drastic system changes followed by transition, such as Germany and countries in South America, subsequently introduced legislation which allowed opening the former regimes’ classified records. This is not the case in South Africa, where many of the apartheid state’s records remain classified.