Athlone may be steeped in music and cinema, but it has also been a site of atrocities whose effects have reached across a generation. The difficulty of breaking that cycle is reflected in the life of former resident Georgina Williams and her 22-year-old daughter Jade. Williams’ son Michael Miranda was 11 when he was shot dead by railway police in an incident that came to be known as the Trojan Horse. On October 15 1985, a railway truck cruised down Thornton Road, one of the main arterial roads in Athlone. There are several schools in the area, and many became rallying points against apartheid. Michael attended Heatherdale Primary, a block away from Thornton Road. On that day, pupils had filled the streets because the government had closed the schools. The truck turned and came down Thornton Road again, through the crowd. A stone hit its windscreen and policemen who had been concealed in crates on the truck jumped out and opened fire. Three people were killed – Jonathan Claasen, 21, ...

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