15 February 2012

The Security Branch bomb four COSAS members

Four members belonging to the student body, Congress of South African Students (COSAS), were bombed by the notorious Security Branch Police of the apartheid government on 15 February 1990.

The incident was carried out near a mine dumb outside Kagiso, a township in the Krugersdorp area of the Gauteng province. It left three dead and one injured. The victims are now widely referred to as The COSAS Four. 

COSAS was formed to serve the interests of black students across the board, from primary to tertiary, following the tragic June 16 incident (also known as the Soweto Uprising) where police attacked, injured and killed close to 180 students marching against Afrikaans being forcefully implemented as a medium of instruction in schools. The students were unarmed and the march was planned as a peaceful and unarmed protest.

As can be expected of any organisation serving the interests of black people under the apartheid regime, COSAS members were subjected to all forms of police brutality, harassment and arrests.

For the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's hearing about the 'COSAS Four' and other COSAS-related hearings, visit the SAHA-hosted website here.

Archived material relating to COSAS are available within the following SAHA collections:

AL2607 The Congress of South African Students (Mamelodi branch)

AL3274 The Gille de Vlieg Photographic Collection

AL2924 The Sally Sealy TRC Collection

AL2540 The SAHA Ephemera Collection

AL2547 The SAHA Original Photograph Collection