The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday January 29th

Symposium Highlights South Africa's Struggles

The symposium, Apartheid to Democracy, honored the work of law Professor Kenneth Broun in South Africa and featured speakers who played a role in bringing democracy to the country.

Some of the topics discussed were the land rights of blacks during apartheid, the role of blacks in the post-apartheid economy of South Africa and the development of social rights in Africa.

Broun's work educating attorneys through the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa led to the publication of his book, "Black Lawyers, White Courts: The Soul of South African Law," in which he chronicled the oppression of black lawyers in South Africa's legal system.

"I'm very pleased with this symposium," said Broun, a former Chapel Hill mayor. "We were very fortunate to get such distinguished speakers."

Presenters included judges and justices in South African courts and lawyers who have fought apartheid in South Africa.

Lecturer Albert Sachs, who lost his right arm in a car bomb explosion in 1988, was exiled to England for his role in South African civil rights advocacy. He spoke on the formation and administration of the South African Truth Commission, a committee formed to discover the perpetrators of racial atrocities.

Similar stories of violence and oppression marked the lives of many of the speakers. Speaker Justice Moloto, who was a victim of government-promoted discrimination, said the entire lives of blacks were controlled.

"I find it beautifully ironic that after having his power and water shut off by the government for organizing rent strikes, Justice Moloto was asked to head the rent commission for South Africa," said UNC law Professor Charles Becton.

The North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and the law school co-sponsored the symposium, which concluded with a banquet honoring Broun's work.

"It was exciting to hear such a range of American scholars and South African judges and lawyers," said Duke political science Professor Sheridan Johns.

"The audience was so engrossed that you could hear a pin drop."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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