Political suppression and the Treason Trial

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  • Political suppression and the Treason Trial
    • Suppression of the Communism Act 1950
      • gov genuinely believed communist agitators were behind the majority of protest against apartheid
      • because they suppressed communism, they were seen as a reliable ally in the Cold war to Western powers
      • Definition of communism
        • Act defined communism as any scheme aimed 'at bringing about any political, social and economic change within the Union by the promotion of disturbance and disorder
        • communism = euphemism for any form of unrest, could imprison anyone for anything the authorities deemed subversive
        • could ban organisations and individuals from contacting others for periods up to 5 years
          • this meant house arrest for many
    • Context
      • SA remained a democracy for white voters
        • white opposition parties were tolerated so long as they were peaceful and did not attempt to recruit black Africans
      • any opposition from non-white groups were brutally suppressed
        • security forces deployed physical and psychological pressure
      • main legal authority for repression in the 1950s was the Suppression of Communism Act in 1950
    • The Communist Party after the Suppression of Communism Act
      • CPSA became an illegal organisation
      • SA Communist Party (renamed itself)
      • Policy = SA must become a non-racial state before communism could be successful
        • therefore it worked with anti-apartheid groups (ANC)
    • Other repressive Acts

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