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Inter-racial marriage became legal in South Africa in June 1985

Made in Manchester has produced an edition of the BBC World Service documentary strand Witness about the first inter-racial wedding in South Africa.

It took place in the small black township of St Wendolin’s in Natal in June 1985 and saw white American Suzanne LeClerc marry black South African Protas Madlala.

Producer Ashley Byrne says: ‘The Apartheid Government at the time had signaled its decision to change the law to allow people to tie the knot across the racial divide in April that year but by early June the law still hadn’t changed and the couple were unsure whether they’d be breaking the rules by holding their service.’

Ashley adds: ‘it’s a really interesting story and Suzanne and Protas are very candid about how they were determined to get married but also about the prejudice they faced in not only getting wed but also in forging a life together afterwards. It certainly wasn’t easy.’

The edition of BBC Witness can be heard here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02t8tlt



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