Tim Jenkin, Director, Community Exchange System

Thursday 12 January

1.00 pm


In 1978 two anti-apartheid activists were arrested for their underground activities against the apartheid regime. They ended up with long prison sentences in Pretoria Prison, the maximum-security prison for white political prisoners at the time. After eighteen months they managed to escape from this prison with one other prisoner. This lecture will tell the story of their flight to freedom after they managed to walk out of the prison one evening after opening ten different doors. This is not just a story of lock-picking but one involving many challenges, such as resistance from the other prisoners, planning in the face of multiple unknowns, political differences, coping with the stress and fleeing the country in a hostile environment. The lecture will also discuss the ‘getting in’ and ‘getting away’ aspects, which are equally exciting and intriguing.

Recommended reading and viewing

Jenkin, T. 2020. Escape From Pretoria. Johannesburg: Jacana Media.

Jenkin, T. 1987. Escape From Pretoria.

Escape From Pretoria. 2012. National Geographic Breakout Series.

The Vula Connection. 2014. eNCA.