Fonds AG3298 - Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Oral History Project

Barry Adams Interview Cathy Albertyn Interview Ajax Baholo Interview Trevor Bailey (x2) Interview Judge Fikile Bam Interview Clinton Bamberger Interview Paul Benjamin Interview Urmilla Bhoola Anthea Billy Interview Lynette Bios Interview
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Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Oral History Project


  • 2006 - 2009 (Creation)

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201 transcripts and related recordings

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Administrative history

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) was established during the Apartheid era as a non-profit organisation. It became a champion in supporting the rights of those who were oppressed by an unjust legal system and oppressive government. After the establishment of a democratic government in 1994, the LRC mandate extended to enforce the rights established in the new Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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History of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC)Oral History Project:

The LRC Oral History Project was initiated in 2006, by the Southern Africa Legal Services Foundation (SALS) for the Legal Resources Trust, the body responsible for the assets and policy of the Legal Resources Centre. The project, funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, collected a record of the early years of the LRC, which was established in 1979.

This was done through interviews with a wide range of stakeholders including legal practitioners, practising in and out of the LRC fold, other staff, associates and Clients. Interviewers include journalist Ms. Hunter-Gault and Dr. Patel, an oral historian.

Interviewees include Justice Arthur Chaskalson, Geoff Budlender, Sir Sidney Kentridge, Justice Albie Sachs and Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu among many others. A total of 200 people were interviewed.

Justice Albie Sachs' interview includes reflections on the cases taken to the Constitutional Court and Archbishop Tutu speaks about his perceptions in his role as Patron. Dr. Patel made a serious attempt to include fellows, women, and long-term administrative staff and candidate attorneys who clerked at the LRC and to interview members of associated legal organizations. She also conducted interviews of South Africans who were visiting or had moved to the United States and with Americans who had served on SALSs Board of Directors or had a long association with the LRC. Ms. Hunter-Gault videotaped interviews of Geoff Budlender and Justice Arthur Chaskalson in South Africa.

The collection consists of 201 interviews recorded as digital audio recordings and transcripts. The dates of the material range from 2006 to 2010. These dates refer to the recordings and the transcribing of the recordings. The roles of the interviewees are wide-ranging, including people who were not employed by the LRC. The roles are recorded as part of the description. Content of the interviews reflect the history of the development of the LRC and the cases and causes that were involved.

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System of arrangement

The arrangement is alphabetical according to surname. Some by first name (where the surname was not initially listed) and the surname added in brackets. The names are entered as title, first name and surname.

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Conditions governing access

Some interviewees have stipulated that their transcripts of their interviews are not to be published on-line. Access to these have restrictions

"Unavailable at time of publication" - The transcript is undergoing an administrative process and may yet be published. (14 May 2012)

"Embargoed" - The transcript is not available to researchers. Some have release dates at the death of the interviewee or in the future. (14 May 2012)

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright in all original writings or works of whatever nature will remain vested with the creator of that original work. Individuals using these materials are responsible for conforming with copyright law.

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The digital recordings of the interviews can be accessed at the Reading Room of the Historical Papers Research Archive.

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Publication note

Preferred citation: [Identification of Item on finding aid including no, name of item, author/source (if described on finding aid)], The Legal Resources Centre Oral History Project, Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Notes area


The development of the finding aid, archival resources and webpages for the Legal Resources Centre Oral History Project were funded through a generous grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

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