) refers to the practice of summary execution
carried out by forcing a rubber tire
, filled with gasoline
, around a victim's chest and arms, and setting it on fire.
Necklacing in South Africa
The practice became a common method of lethal lynching
during disturbances in South Africa
in the 1980s and 1990s. Necklacing sentences were sometimes handed down against alleged criminals by "people's courts" established in black townships
as a means of circumventing the apartheid
judicial system. Necklacing was also used to punish members of the black community who were perceived as collaborators with the apartheid regime. These included black policemen, town councilors and others, as well as their relatives and associates. The practice was frequently carried out in the name of the African National Congress
(ANC), and was even implicitly endorsed by Winnie Mandela
, then-wife of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela
and a senior member of the ANC, although the ANC officially condemned the practice.
The first recorded victim of necklacing was the young girl Maki Skosana in July 1985
Her body had been scorched by fire and some broken pieces of glass had been inserted into her vagina, Moloko told the committee.
Photojournalist Kevin Carter was the first to photograph a public execution by necklacing in South Africa in the mid-1980s. He later spoke of the images "I was appalled at what they were doing. I was appalled at what I was doing. But then people started talking about those pictures... then I felt that maybe my actions hadn't been at all bad. Being a witness to something this horrible wasn't necessarily such a bad thing to do.
He goes on to say:
After having seen so many necklacings on the news, it occurs to me that either many others were being performed (off camera as it were) and this was just the tip of the iceberg, or that the presence of the camera completed the last requirement, and acted as a catalyst in this terrible reaction. The strong message that was being sent, was only meaningful if it were carried by the media. It was not more about the warning (others) than about causing one person pain. The question that haunts me is 'would those people have been necklaced, if there was no media coverage?
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once famously saved a near victim of necklacing when he rushed into a large gathered crowd and threw his arms around a man accused of being a police informant, who was about to be killed. Tutu's actions, which were caught on film, caused the crowd to release the man.
Necklacing in other countries
This practice of lynching is found in the Caribbean country of Haiti
, prominently used against supporters of Jean-Claude Duvalier
's dictatorship at the beginning of the democratic transition, from 1986 to 1990. At least one person died in Nigeria
by necklacing in the deadly Muslim protests
over satirical cartoons drawn of Muhammad
A method commonly used in the shanty towns (i.e., "favelas
") of Rio de Janeiro
, by drug dealers against locals who have, in any way, collaborated with the authorities. Known via a local variation, where a tin barrel is substituted for a tire, filled with petrol or any other flammable substance, called the "microwave oven" (i.e., "microondas"). Its most notorious victim was journalist Tim Lopes
, who was killed in 2002 in this manner while investigating drug trafficking around impoverished communities in Rio de Janeiro. The method is shown in the movie "Elite Squad
Necklacing in pop culture
The character Armadillo Quintero
from the TV series The Shield
uses necklacing to kill his opposition gang members while consolidating his drug trade in the fictional Farmington district of Los Angeles
. In an episode of the Canadian series Blue Murder
, two of the detectives had to investigate two cases of necklacing related to diamond and drugs smuggling. In an episode of the Canadian/South African sci-fi series Charlie Jade
, executives from Vexcor threaten Charlie's friend Karl with necklacing if he does not give them information. Incidentally, this scene takes place in Cape Town
. In the opening scene of the film "Bopha
" an African traitor is necklaced by a mob of other Africans. In the movie "Elite Squad
", a member of an NGO
is executed in this way at a Rio de Janeiro favela
(slum). In the movie "Tears of the Sun
", Bruce Willis's sniper shoots a man who is in the process of "necklacing" a man in the name of ethnic cleansing. He is referred to as "the Zippo man" because of the "Zippo" lighter he was brandishing.