Richard Turner

Dr Richard TurnerJust after midnight on the 8 January 1978, South African university lecturer and political activist Dr Richard Turner was assassinated at his Durban home – before his daughters' eyes. No-one has ever been charged with his murder.

Thirty years on
January 8 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Rick Turner. Jann Turner writes in the Mail & Guardian about his life and the lessons we could still learn from him today.

> Read the article in Adobe Acrobat PDF format

In Jann Turner's documentary, 'My father, Rick Turner', family, associates and friends recount their memories of him and the indelible impression he had on them and on South African politics and labour.

Jann TurnerA web version of 'My father, Rick Turner' is available here. This will open in a new window, and requires the free Adobe Flash player (most browsers support this).

Describing Richard Turner as they knew him, from University of Cape Town philosophy student, through studies in Paris, the student uprisings of the late 60s, his appointment to the University of Natal in Durban, and his activism and banning, are:

Barbara Follett MP
Richard Turner's first wife (née Hubbard) and Jann and Kim Turner's mother.

KThe Turnet homeim Turner
Richard Turner's younger daughter.

Dr Michael Hubbard
Barbara Follett's brother and Richard Turner's brother-in-law.

Foszia Turner-Stylianou
Richard Turner's second wife.

Nelson Mandela
Pays tribute to Dr Turner, whom he describes as a 'source of inspiration'.

Jeremy Cronin
Deputy General Secretary of the SA Communist Party, Member of Parliament and a former political prisoner.

Kim, Jann, Foszia Turner and Barbara FollettFrederick van Zyl Slabbert
Former leader of the Opposition, MP, and head of IDASA (Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa).

Professor Eddie Webster
Professor of sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Professor Halton Cheadle
One of South Africa's leading labour and constitutional lawyers, and a member of the University of Durban SRC during the 1973 Durban labour strikes.

Mosiuoa Lekota
South African Minister of Defence. Former SASO (South African Students' Organisation) leader, imprisoned on Robben Island.

Max du Preez
South African journalist and political commentator.

Dr Saths Cooper
Vice chancellor of the University of Durban-Westville, former SASO leader, and a veteran of the 1976 student struggles.

'My father, Rick Turner', directed by Jann Turner, was screened on South Africa's on Wednesday, 8 January 2003, on the 25th anniversary of his assassination. Watch a streaming web version. This video will open in a new window, and requires the free Adobe Flash player. New window

Jann Turner is the author of two novels – Heartland and Southern Cross. Visit her web site at

For a short biography of Richard Turner, see the 'SA History' pages at