Untold stories of apartheid detainees

30 years after being detained by apartheid police, some Cape Town detainees share their stories.

This file photo taken on October 1976 shows demonstrators running away from a police charge during racial riots, in Cape Town. Picture: AFP.

In 1985 the apartheid government declared a state of emergency in 36 districts to quell resistance by oppressed groups.

While the State had declared a state of emergency in earlier years, the number of arrests increased in 1986 when government announced a countrywide state of emergency.

Political funerals were restricted, the media was banned from filming protest violence and certain group meetings were prohibited.

The State feared another uprising like the 16 June Sharpeville massacre and enforced strict regulations to prevent gatherings.

He was part of a church group arrested in 1986 during an ordinary service to commemorate the youth who protested 10 years earlier.

While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) allowed for perpetrators of violence and victims to be heard after apartheid, many were afraid to come forward.

For others, evidence of violence had been destroyed by police years before the TRC was established.

"All evidence was shredded before the TRC sat so that there would be no official trail of what happened," he said.

Some were afraid to tell their children or even grandchildren as it was too painful. They tell their stories now.

WATCH: St Nicholas detainees speak out for the first time about being held by apartheid police.