oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Rhetoric and urbanism : foundational speeches, deliberation and scenarios of space engagement 

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



In 1967 Barthes addressed a colloquium at the University of Naples under the title of Sémiologieet Urbanisme. Propelled by the double amour of ‘signs and cities’ he sought, with precautions, to open the ‘possibility of a semiotics of the city’. In the same year civic unrest and the rise of black militancy in America signaled further resistance to segregation, discrimination, police brutality and economic inequality, and heralded the political and rhetorical power of themobilisation of mass action.In South Africa, as medals were being stamped to solemnify the assassination of President Verwoed the previous year in 1966, existing Apartheid legislation around population registration, racial segregation and control of black labour was re-codified.  Significantly, a new law was instituted in the growing war against the urban unrest and the African National Congress’ armed liberation struggle. The Terrorism Act (General Laws Amendment Act No 83) of 1967 in which that ‘designed to combat terrorism[ ]itself became an instrument of terror’ resulted in the many of the atrocities, instances of torture and deaths in detention committed under Apartheid.

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