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Big Noisy Trial

1957-02

Africa Media Online

Africa Media Online

Big Noisy Trial - Bertha Mashaba, Women's Leader. The treason trials started off like an action-packed cowboy film when 156 men and women came before the court in Johannesburg at a preparatory examination. The treason trials, now the talk of South Africa and the world at large, started with a bang-bang-bang. There was drama inside the Drill Hall, where the preparatory examination into charges of high treason alleged against more than 150 persons from various organisations was held before the Chief Magistrate of Bloemfontein, Mr F.C.A. Wessel. And there was drama outside in the streets of Johannesburg when the police clashed several times with the crowd. All because the Drill Hall could not accommodate all the 5 000 people outside. First is was a booing that led to a baton charge that led to a stone-throwing that led to a gun-shooting. And side interludes of snatching Press cameras and arresting photographers. Everybody was in a dirt

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