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Amy Elizabeth Biehl (April 26, 1967 – August 25, 1993) was a white American graduate of Stanford University and an Anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa who was killed by black Cape Town residents while a mob shouted racial slurs. The four men convicted of her murder were released as part of the Truth and Reconciliation process.
As she drove a friend home to the township of Guguletu, outside Cape Town, on August 25, 1993, a black mob pulled her from the car and killed her. According to Rex van Schalkwyk, in his 1998 book One Miracle is Not Enough: “Supporters of the three men accused of murdering [her] … burst out laughing in the public gallery of the Supreme Court today when a witness told how the battered woman groaned in pain.” (pp. 188–89.) Four people were convicted of killing her. In 1998, all were pardoned by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission when they stated that their actions had been politically motivated.
Biehl's family supported the release of the killers, and her father shook the murderers' hands, stating:
|“||The most important vehicle of reconciliation is open and honest dialogue...we are here to reconcile a human life which was taken without an opportunity for dialogue. When we are finished with this process we must move forward with linked arms.||”|
In 1994, Biehl's parents, Linda and Peter, founded the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust to develop and empower youth in the townships, in order to discourage further violence. Two of the men who had been convicted of her murder worked for the foundation as part of its programs. In 1999, Biehl's parents were honored with the Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award.
|“||Among those we remember today is young Amy Biehl. She made our aspirations her own and lost her life in the turmoil of our transition, as the new South Africa struggled to be born in the dying moments of apartheid. Through her, our peoples have also shared the pain of confronting a terrible past, as we take the path towards the reconciliation and healing of our nation.||”|
On August 25, 2010, on the 17th anniversary of Biehl's death, a bronze plaque mounted on a stone was unveiled by the U.S. Ambassador, Donald Gips, and Biehl's mother, Linda Biehl, at the Cape Town site where she was killed.