Catalyst for more marches

The Purple March instigated a string of popular marches around the country. Here is a list of the events that followed it and the number of supporters involved.

  • 2 000 march in Grahamstown (Cape Times September 15, 1989)
  • Thousands join Joburg march (Ibid, September 19,1989)
  • Thousands march in Oudtshoorn, Durban (Ibid, September 23,1989)
  • 30 000 march in East London (Ibid, September 28, 1989)
  • 7 500 walk peacefully in Kimberley protest (Ibid, September 29, 1989)
  • 20 000 march in East Cape (Ibid, September 30, 1989)
  • 50 000 march near Bloemfontein (Ibid, October 2, 1989)
  • Uitenhage march biggest in SA history (Ibid, October 12, 1989)

- Smuts, D. and Westcott, S. (eds.), The Purple Shall Govern: A South African A-Z of Non-Violent Action, Oxford University Press and the Center for Intergroup Studies, Cape Town, 1991, pp. 82-85

back to the The Purple Shall Govern memorial page

"Why are they taking over our city? This is our city."
The Purple Shall Govern
The Purple March
Picture: © Obed Zilwa, Trace Images


In this lesson plan, learners will be able to compare personal accounts with a more detached report of the same incident.

Lesson plan (1.96MB)
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The Purple March - September 2, 1989
Very few photographs of the Purple March survived the police crackdown on the media at the demonstration.
The Purple Shall Govern - A highlight in a low time
A selection of images of the Heritage Project’s memorial to the Purple Shall Govern march.
Audio of The Purple March by people who were there.
Listen to accounts of the Purple March by people who were there, including Philip Ivey, the young protester who turned the jet of purple dye on the police.
360° virtual tour of the memorial at the corner of Burg and Church Streets, Cape Town.
The day The Purple governed Cape Town
In September 1989, during a protest march in Cape Town, police turned a water-cannon filled with purple dye on the demonstrators in an attempt to make it easier to arrest them. But one brave man, Philip Ivey, hijacked one of the cannons and turned the lur