fifty years ago July 27, 1971 Archives

Graves for blacks not yet dead

A black New York criminal court judge who returned from a visit to South Africa has said that he saw dozens of news graves of South African black infants and 62 open graves waiting for those expected to die of malnutrition. The Judges, Mr. William Booth, talked to U.N. committees inquiring into South Africa’s racial separation practices. He said he saw the new and expectant graves in a cemetery for blacks in the Dimbaza area. He also told of visiting a prison for blacks, which the authorities called one of the best, where he found “35 to 40 inmates crowded into a 30’ by 30’ cell, where they are expected to live for 10 to 15 years.” He said in Dimbaza, described as a settlement for 7,000 blacks in the southern part of the republic, 50 per cent of all children born there die of malnutrition before they are one year of age. Parents decorate their sorry little graves with milk bottles, rattles and toys so they will be happy in death as they were unhappy in life. He also charged that black defendants were herded like cattle through South African courts.

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