The relationship between the Black Sash and Kenneth in the Eastern Cape was a long and memorable relationship. The relationship started in the oppressive 1980s when the Black Sash co-founded many community-based advice offices including the Daliwe Advice Office.

With support from the former Black Sash Advice Office in Grahamstown and Legal Resources Centre, Kenneth and others in Cathcart exposed atrocious human rights violations in the Cathcart area. During the oppressive years, black people in the Cathcart area were forcefully and indiscriminately evicted from farms and relocated to the Old Ciskei.

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Jeanette Carlson was among the active and dedicated leaders of the Black Sash in its Transvaal Region, where she served as the Regional Chairperson from 1965 to 1967.  Her annual regional reports published in the SASH magazine reflect her energy and the new ideas she brought to the region – not only plenty of action, but also initiatives in self-education, discussion groups and various campaigns.

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It is with great sadness that I have to report on the death of Hillary Morris who left this life on Friday 17 January 2020. Hillary joined Sash as National Director in February 1997 and worked in our Long Street office until June 2002 when she retired. Hillary had travelled extensively and was highly accomplished in the management and mentoring of people.

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Else will be remembered as a warm and supportive friend with forthright opinions, which could on occasion be very intimidating. She had a strong social conscience, and in her unstinting work for marginalised people, showed enormous determination and compassion. She enjoyed a good party, and hosted many of these, gathering together a wide cross-section of people - red wine, analytical and stimulating discussions, and much laughter.

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Bunty Biggs, born in 1919 of missionary parents in Bangalore, India, who became a committed Quaker, social activist, and stalwart of the Natal Midlands Black Sash, died in England on Monday 13 November 2017.

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It was with great sadness that the Grahamstown former Sashers learned of the death of Julia Seegar of cancer in Manchester England.  Julia was an active Sash member in a time when the Eastern Cape was beset with detentions and multiple problems stemming from Apartheid.

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Jan van Gend was one of the lawyers who gave of his time freely and generously to the Black Sash’s Cape Town Advice Office to defend pass law ‘offenders’. 

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The Black Sash remembers with respect and affection the work of Anne Denniston Browne, and mourns her death on 8 June 2016.  She and other members of the organisation’s Elgin branch worked tirelessly to improve the living and working conditions of people in the area, particularly those who worked on the fruit farms, and those seasonal workers who were forbidden to live permanently there because of the pass laws.

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We deeply regret the passing of Margie Satchwell, another of our esteemed founder members.  The Trustees, Director and staff of the Black Sash pay tribute to her for her contribution to the founding of the organization in the Eastern Cape and extend their deepest sympathy to Judge Kathie Satchwell and her family.  

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Mila Zille was born Mila Cosmann on the 18th of January 1919 in Essen, Germany, the fifth and youngest child of a Jewish father and Protestant mother. She died on Saturday, the 31st of January 2015 at the age of 96. She had lived her life through a tempestuous time of world history, which shaped the person she became.

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Margaret Adelaide Canning, known as "Mac," Thompson died in Pietermarizburg on 18 June 2014, just short of her 94th birthday. Mac was a founder member of the Natal Midlands Black Sash, one of those courageous women who joined the organisation in the face of a conservative family.

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Ann Grayson, a campaigner for peace in Pietermaritzburg and one of its most active citizens, died suddenly last Friday at her retirement complex in Pretoria.

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Helen Kotze, quietly courageous opponent of apartheid and injustice, staunch member of the Black Sash and the Christian Institute (CI), died on 21 January 2013 at the age of 92. A memorial service will be held on Thursday 7 February at the Roseband Methodist Church at 2.30 pm.

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With a heavy heart I must share with you the very sad news that our colleague, David Ngxale, who worked at the Black Sash Knysna Office for 24 years (one year as a volunteer) died tragically in a car accident this weekend.

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Deena Streek (mother of the late Barry Streek) died on 5 June 2012, just four days short of her 91st birthday.  Deena was the President of Black Sash and the SAIRR in East London. She was a busy Secretary of the Mayor's School Feeding Fund and active in the Progressive Party.

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Black Sash member Desirée Berman has died in London. She passed away on 15 January 2012.  Desirée was one of the very early members of the Black Sash, and served as the editor of the magazine from December 1958 to December 1961. 

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11 September 2020

To the Bizos Family,

The Black Sash wishes to extend our sympathy and respect to the Bizos family at this time of his passing.

We mourn the ending of an exemplary life. George Bizos was one of the people who fostered the birth of the post-apartheid South Africa, contributing to the vision of a society which would respect human rights and liberties. 

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Fleur Webb, who died in July, will be remembered as a warm and friendly person who enjoyed her soirees with wine, snacks and friends. She joined the Natal Midlands Black Sash in 1962, taking part in many protest stands.

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It is with great sadness that the Black Sash has learnt of the passing of Mr Sipho Bani. He was 90 years old. 

The Black Sash would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Mrs Bani and the rest of the family.

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Diana Davis, one of the very earliest members of the Black Sash, has passed away in Cape Town after a long and energetic, as well as fun-filled life. She hosted the first Port Elizabeth meeting of the Black Sash in 1955, and remained active and interested in it there and in other places where she lived.

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Rodney Davenport, noted historian, defender of civil rights, enthusiastic mountain walker, and one of the earliest and most supportive ‘associate members’ of the Black Sash, has died in Cape Town on 2 July 2016.

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Val Rose-Christie’s death on 14 July 2015, three days after her 87th birthday, brought to a close a life dedicated to care for others, and to the quest for justice for all.  She is described as feisty, brave, outspoken, and also as warm-hearted, friendly and fun.  In the Black Sash we knew her as an unstoppable monitor of abuses of people’s rights, as an activist determined to oppose forced removals, police raids, mass arrests and detention without trial.

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Pretoria-born Nan joined the Constantia branch of the Black Sash when our family moved to Bergvliet in about 1980. Always a committed Anglican and supporter of the then PFP she felt South Africa’s injustices strongly and was pleased to join the Sash.

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Black Sash Trust Regional Manager, Western Cape from 2001 - 2013.  
Dearest Leonie;  You joined our Black Sash family just over a decade ago. You saw our organisation through many incarnations as it changed direction, strategy and size.

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Anne Finsen, who was a founder member of the Black Sash, died this week at the age of 94. She joined the Black Sash in 1956. In the early days she was involved in the work of the organisation in all sorts of ways. This part of her life is shown wonderfully on the video that was made of the first Sashers. 

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Peggy was a longtime member of the Sash, joining in 1958 and active first in Port Elizabeth where she played a prominent role in the campaign to support political detainees, and latterly in Grahamstown where she and her General Practitioner husband had retired. For years she worked in the Grahamstown Advice Office, monitoring and cleaning and sorting files. Prior to the first Democratic Election she travelled miles as part of the team educating first time voters. She was recognised as a "veteran of the struggle" in 1994 and along with others she travelled to Johannesburg for a reception with Nelson Mandela.

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An artist, mother of six, Black Sash member, founder of a craft co-operative and wife of a former mayor - the many talents and interests of Rosalind Thesen (nee Newdigate) were celebrated at a memorial service for her here on Monday, March 26.

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Joy Roberts, a stalwart of the Natal Midlands Black Sash, and Secretary of the branch for many years died on Christmas day in Durban at the age of 85. She will be greatly missed by many. As well as her involvement in the Black Sash she was Chairperson of the Edendale Welfare Society for 30 years.

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On Saturday, 29 August 2020, death struck a painful wound and a fatal blow that sent cold shivers down the spines of the Goniwe family, Lingelihle Community, the Karoo and Province of the Eastern Cape. The sad news of the passing on of Nonyameko Goniwe, fondly known as Nyami, sent shockwaves reverberating through the length and breadth of our beloved country. It is a heart-
breaking episode particularly to those who had the rare opportunity of working alongside this human colossal and remarkable revolutionary born in struggle, baptised in revolutionary fires and died in the crucible of struggle.

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In Sue Philcox’s company one was wide awake in anticipation of the next idea, challenge or bit of fun. She brought that energy to all she did, and the Black Sash was an important beneficiary of this.

Sue Joined the Black Sash in Johannesburg where she lived until her husband Derek, a neurologist, took up a post at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Here she volunteered in the Advice Office, serving as its director for a time.  Her home in Kenilworth was always available for meetings and fund-raisers.

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Peggy North was widely known as a talented artist.  She was also well known, respected and loved for her way of being in her immediate community, and for her work for social justice in and beyond that community. Those who knew her well delighted in her capacity for joy which she shared through her art and her life. She will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched.

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Long-serving Black Sash member, dedicated advice office worker in Grahamstown and Cape Town, member of the Legiwatch team, Betty Davenport lived out her belief in justice and probity in all aspects of her life. 

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It is with sadness and regret that we have learnt of the passing of Dot Erlank on 13th September.  Dot was a dedicated worker and activist in the Black Sash during the 1970s and 1980s.  

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It is with great sadness that we record the death of Anne Schuster on 12 June 2017.  Anne was a long-time member of the Black Sash and also a member of staff for some time.  She is remembered as a lovely woman, full of grace.

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I am Wendy, Di’s younger sister, but not the youngest, as that honour falls on Judy, our baby sister living in the UK. Our enlarged family was made up of Di, brother John, Wendy, Lorna, Romy and Judy. We have said goodbye to John and Romy, and now to Di.

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I am grateful to have this opportunity to pay tribute to Beva, whom I have known for over thirty years, more than half her lifetime, as a colleague and a friend.  She reminded me recently that I “gave” her the spelling of her name – it used to be written like the Canadian beaver, but as I had not seen it, I wrote it like another name I knew, Neva, meaning snow.  She quickly adopted the new version!  

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Susie Power, daughter of Noel Robb, a founding member of the Black Sash, sadly passed away on Saturday 17 January. She, and her surviving sisters Rosie de Waal and Libby Ardington, were also very active past members of the Black Sash.

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On Monday night, 27 October, Penny Haswell, a former member of the Natal Midlands Black Sash died at home. She had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier this year and showed an enormous amount of courage and fortitude to the end.

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Mary Jankowitz passed away on 6 September 2013.  A service in memory of Mary will be held at St George’s Anglican Church, Sherborne Road, Parktown on Friday, 13 September. The cremation will be private. Here are some moving recollections of Mary from some of the women who worked with her at the Black Sash...

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Patricia Denniston, known as Trish or Tricia, was a leading member of the Black Sash in Elgin (Western Cape) and a woman who had a powerful influence on many lives.  We have recently learned of her death in Canada in December, and extend our condolences to her family and friends.

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Friends urged to celebrate a life lived fully with her infectious love of life and her championing of traditional Zulu pottery, Pietermaritzburg ceramicist, Juliet Armstrong, made the world a better place. Following a battle with cancer, Armstrong, a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Visual Art, died on Wednesday. She leaves her husband Mike, daughter Jessica, son Tom and stepson, Brendan.

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Born in Finland (18/08/30), died in Cape Town (14/7/2012). 

The Black Sash records with sorrow the death of Annica van Gylswyk, who was an active member in the Pretoria region for many years. Annica qualified as a Librarian (BBibl) and started her first job with the State Library in Pretoria In 1963. Her footprint can be found alongside numerous important collections housed at the UNISA Documentation Centre for African Studies, Wits University and the University of Cape Town which document the social, industrial and political history of that particularly oppressive period.

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Val Hunt was a member of Black Sash in Port Elizabeth for many years and a courageous and passionate supporter of Human Rights movements during the Apartheid era. She was a "doer", and never content to take a back seat or play a merely critical role of the Nationalist Government regime when there was work to be done.

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