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For years the rumours persisted: the apartheid state was responsible for the continual disappearance and assassination of anti-apartheid activists. Then, in November 1989, former security policeman Captain Dirk Coetzee made the announcement: ‘I was the commander of the South African police death squad. I was in the heart of the whore.’
Despite official denials and cover-ups, the rumours of apartheid’s death squads have now been proved to be all too real. Hundreds of anti-apartheid activists were killed and thousands tortured by a group of bizarre assassins, the foot soldiers of apartheid’s secret war. Jacques Pauw has been more closely involved with apartheid’s killers than any other journalist. For more than seven years, he has hunted them down and become a witness to their secret and forbidden world.
Into The Heart of Darkness is Jacques Pauw's follow-up to In The Heart Of The Whore will take you on a journey into the minds and lives of the men who went out to kill and kill again. What caused these souls to become so dark and guided them to so much evil?
Jacques Pauw is the author of the bestselling book The President’s Keepers. He is an award-winning journalist, television documentary producer and author. This is NOT an updated edition, just a re-release of the original 1997 book.
Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
Alfred Qabula was a central figure in the cultural movement that emerged among working people in and around Durban in the 1980s. The movement was an innovative attempt to draw on the oral poetry developed among the Nguni people over many centuries. Qabula was a forklift driver in the Dunlop tyre factory in Durban at the time this book was developed. He used the art of telling stories to critique the exploitation of black workers and their oppression under apartheid.
A Working Life, Cruel Beyond Belief is the first book in the Hidden Voices series and is Qabula’s testament, telling the powerful story of his life and work. It also contains a generous selection of his poetry. The Hidden Voices Project emerged out of an interest in intellectual left contributions towards discussions on race, class, ethnicity and nationalism in South Africa. Specifically, the project seeks to examine and make available writings on left thought under apartheid. The aim is to look at hidden voices – voices outside of the university system or academic voices suppressed by apartheid pressures. Before and during the apartheid years, many universities were closed to existing local ideas and debates, and critical intellectual debates, ideas, texts, poetry and songs often originated outside academia during the period of the struggle for liberation.
It is often thought that Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani were assassinated by apartheid forces simply because they were freedom fighters. But Evelyn Groenink’s painstaking research, conducted over the past 30 years, shows that they were much more than that: they also stood against arms traders and mafias that had invaded the liberation movements. It was their fight against corruption that cost them their lives.
One of the most explosive revelations in this book concerns the murder of Chris Hani. Groenink reveals how the police buried evidence and how the state’s “brave” star eyewitness in all likelihood hadn’t even been at the murder scene. Beside the fact that Hani is widely revered as the incorruptible fighter who is sorely missed, the mystery of the murder itself still fascinates South Africans too. Was there a wider conspiracy? This book says there was and it substantiates it meticulously, with evidence – inter alia – from the police docket itself.
With regard to the Dulcie September case, as Dulcie’s nephew says in an endorsement of the book, no one has done such thorough research. And certainly no one has, to date, revealed why exactly Dulcie had to die. Until this book, that is. At once murder mystery and personal journey of an investigative journalist, the book speaks to a yearning for the fight against corruption to be successful. Political mafia deals are, after all, still making victims in South Africa: Groenink refers to the Mbombela stadium murder of honest city councillor Jimmy Mohlala in 2010, and the mysterious disappearance in 2017 of South Africa’s “Mr Nuclear” Senti Thobejane.
Nevertheless – which would be important to the reader looking for light at the end of the tunnel – she also notes hope in the strong anti-corruption movement that is growing in South Africa today.
'Let me say to Mr Botha: apartheid is doomed! It has been condemned in the Councils of God, rejected by every nation on the planet and is no longer believed in by the people who gave it birth. Apartheid is the god that has failed.' So preached Bishop Peter Storey in 1986. Challenging apartheid wherever he could, he led the SA Methodist Church into what many whites saw as uncomfortable 'political' territory.
Join him in his inspiring journey from sailor-turned-minister to the South African Council of Churches leadership in its darkest hour, from tending to Robert Sobukwe and Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, through the forced removals of District Six and the storm surrounding Stompie Seipei's murder. I Beg to Differ spans a parish minister’s sorrows and joys, founding Life Line SA, the bombing of Khotso House and a close shave with death with Desmond Tutu. Storey shares the convictions that inspired him to minister amid the teargas, violence and intimidation of the apartheid regime.
MISTRA's publication on Whiteness Afrikaans Afrikaners: Addressing Post-Apartheid Legacies, Privileges and Burdens consists of various thought-provoking contributions made at a roundtable held in 2015 at Constitution Hill as a continuation of MISTRA’s research on nation formation and social cohesion. The publication aims to enhance the understanding of the history of whiteness in all its socio-economic manifestations as well as the architecture of power relations and privileges in democratic South Africa.
The volume comprises of contributions by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, current Deputy Minister of Cogta, Andries Nel, Mary Burton, Christi van der Westhuizen, Lynette Steenveld, Bobby Godsell, Dirk Herman (of Solidarity), Ernst Roets (of Afriforum), Xhanti Payi, Mathatha Tsedu, Pieter Duvenage, Hein Willemse, Nico Koopman, Melissa Steyn, Achille Mbembe and Mathews Phosa.
Solidarity Road tells the story of Jan Theron’s involvement in the Food and Canning Workers Union (FCWU) during apartheid South Africa. Part memoir, part history this fascinating tale will reveal what working conditions were like in the 1970’s. It outlines the very beginnings of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
Theron states, ‘Solidarity in a trade union does not simply mean standing by your members, or by organised workers. It means solidarity with your class. At the time, in 1976, the working class was fragmented. Working for a trade union was part of a project to unite a fragmented class, and to give it a voice. This was the historical project to which a number of people from a certain intellectual background were drawn. This would be our contribution to the struggle: what we did to end apartheid. It was a struggle for democracy, but democracy did not just mean everyone getting to vote every so often in national elections. People also had to eat.
The most obvious way in which the working class was then fragmented was in terms of race. The Union put its commitment to solidarity into practice by uniting workers of different races in factories manufacturing food. To do so it had to overcome divisions among workers created by the ways in which government had structured employment, in terms of the law, which the bosses were able to exploit. Nowadays ‘bosses’ seems like a dated term, yet this is the term workers used to refer to the people for whom they actually worked. It is also no less important today than it was then to differentiate between those who control the factories and mines and those who operate at their behest.
Their love story was one of the greatest of our times.
Ruth Williams was a middle-class Londoner who loved ballroom dancing and ice skating when she met Seretse Khama. He was chief designate of the most powerful tribe in Bechuanaland, today Botswana, on the borders of apartheid South Africa. Their union sparked outrage, fear and anger. Ruth’s father barred her from their family home, she was hounded by the global media and shunned by white people in Seretse’s village of Serowe. The couple was humiliated, tricked and eventually exiled to England. But, despite all these tribulations, their love triumphed over the politics and prejudice of the time.
This is the story Ruth Khama told well-known journalist and author Sue Grant-Marshall ‒ the story of an extraordinary woman, who had the courage of her convictions in marrying the man she loved and accepting his country and people as her own.
When Bridget Hilton-Barber got on a train to Grahamstown in 1982 to study journalism at Rhodes University, she had no idea of the brutal drama that would unfold.
A rebellious young woman, she became politically involved in anti-apartheid organisations and was caught up in the massive resistance and repression sweeping the Eastern Cape at the time. She ended up spending three months in detention without trial, and after her release discovered she had been betrayed by one of her best friends, Olivia Forsyth, who was a spy for the South African security police.
Thirty years later, a horrific flashback triggers Bridget’s journey back to the Eastern Cape to see if she can forgive her betrayer and finally let go of the extraordinary violence she encountered in the final days of apartheid. This is her powerful story.
A fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, leading to accusations of treason. Elsabe Brits travelled in her footsteps to bring to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.
From 1952 to 1981, South Africa's apartheid government ran a school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal. The Art Of Life In South Africa is about the students, teachers, art, ideas, and politics that led to the school's founding, and which circulated during the years of its existence at a remote former mission station. It is a story of creativity, beauty, and community in twentieth-century South Africa.
Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, this book focuses instead on a small group's efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives through the ironic medium of an apartheid-era school.
Lushly illustrated with almost 100 images, this book gives us fully formed lives and remarkable insights into life under segregation and apartheid.
As kampvegter vir vrouestemreg en in haar uitgesproke teenkanting teen onreg is Emily Hobhouse ’n ikoon wat vandag nog inspireer. Ontdek die onbekende sy van ’n verbasend moderne vrou in hierdie volkleur pragboek propvol foto’s, interessante dagboekinskrywings en briewe. So gee sy ’n genuanseerde, vars blik op ’n buitengewone vrou wat voortdurend in die spervuur was. Van kleintyd het Emily haar verset teen haar lot. Vir vroue was daar min geleenthede en sy moes boonop haar siek pa oppas. Tog raak sy wereldwyd betrokke by die stryd teen onreg en oorlog. In twee oorloe het sy duisende lewens gered, en tog is sy – ’n ware patriot – in haar eie land onbekend en alleen dood.
The 1930s and 40s were tumultuous decades in South Africa’s history. The economy declined sharply in the wake of the Wall Street crash, giving rise to a huge number of poor whites and the growth of a militant and aggressive Afrikaner nationalism that often took its lead from the Nazis in Germany.
A Perfect Storm reveals how the right-wing’s malevolent message moved from the margins to the centre of political life; how antisemitism seeped into mainstream political life with real and lasting consequences. Milton Shain, South Africa’s leading scholar of modern Jewish history, brings into sharp relief the ‘Jewish Problem’, detailing the rise of influential organisations such as the Grey Shirts and the New Order, which fanned the flames of antisemitism. He devotes considerable attention to the Ossewa-Brandwag, which, by 1941, constituted the largest yet mobilisation of Afrikaners.
The National Party itself contributed to the climate of hostility to Jews. It was instrumental in ensuring that only few of the Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and elsewhere were permitted as immigrants. The National Party contributed to the prevailing climate of Jew-baiting. Indeed, some of its worst offenders were accorded high office after 1948 when the National Party came to power.
The armed struggle waged by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was the longest sustained insurgency in South African history. This book offers the first full account of the rebellion in its entirety, from its early days in the 1950s to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South African president in 1994.
Vast in scope, this story traverses every corner of South Africa and extends throughout southern Africa, where MK’s largest campaigns and heaviest engagements occurred, as well as to the solidarity networks that the rebellion mobilised around the world. Drawing principally from previously unpublished writings and testimonies by the men and women who fought the armed struggle, this book recreates the drama, heroism and tragedy of their experiences. It tells the story of leaders like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Joe Slovo and Chris Hani, whose reputations were forged in the crucible of the armed struggle, but it is also a tale of martyrs such as Looksmart Ngudle, Ashley Kriel and Phila Ndwandwe, as well as of MK cadres such as Leonard Nkosi and Glory Sedibe, who would ultimately turn against the ANC and collaborate with the state in hunting down their former comrades.
Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle and a fascinating chronicle of events that changed South African history.
Successful businessman, Mkhuseli Khusta Jack, overcame incredible odds after being evicted from his farm home at the age of 6 with his 8 siblings. Desperate for schooling, he walked for kilometres, slept in outbuildings, begged for an education and eventually enrolled at the age of 10. But the political climate was volatile and he quickly became involved in politics.
As an activist, he was arrested on several occasions, most notably during the 1980 school boycotts. He helped establish the PE Youth Congress, one of the many organisations that joined the UDF. Jack was instrumental in organising the consumer boycott campaign (EC). He was arrested, jailed and tortured for his role in the movement. Before Mandela’s release, Jack was amongst the political consultants during the democratic negotiations but decided to finally finish his studies and chose education above politics.
A story of sheer determination and triumph with commendations by Thabo Mbeki, Dali Mpofu and Kgalema Motlanthe.
Op 'n dag skraap ek my moed bymekaar: 'Eugene, hoe voel dit om 'n ander mens dood te maak?' Sy gesigspiere trek onwillekeurig in afgryse. 'Die mens, die slagoffer, gee 'n reuk af,' se hy. 'Ek kan die reuk vandag steeds herroep. Dit walg my tot in my siel toe, daardie reuk van vrees wat deur daardie mens se sweetgaatjies en liggaamsvog na buite bars.' Die bloed van tientalle anti-apartheidaktiviste sit aan Eugene de Kock hande. Vir die meeste Suid-Afrikaners is hy die vergestalting van boosheid. Is daar enige menslikheid aan die man wat talle 'n monster noem en hoe het hy so geword? Anemari Jansen gaan soek na antwoorde in De Kock se streng grootwordjare, sy eerste blootstelling aan grutonele as jong polisieman aan die Oos-Rand en in die Grensoorlog waar hy as lid van Koevoet 'n jagter van mense geword het. Jansen het eksklusiewe toegang tot De Kock se familie, asook oud-Koevoet- en Vlakplaaskollegas gehad. Sy skets ’n prentjie van 'n hoogs intelligente, dog komplekse mens wat van kindsbeen af 'n buitestaander was. De Kock het ook sy dagboeke en ’n ongepubliseerde manuskrip aan haar beskikbaar gestel – hieruit haal sy groot dele direk aan. In sy eie woorde is hy skreiend eerlik – De Kock skram nie daarvan weg om van sy wandade in detail te beskryf of sy opdraggewers te identifiseer nie. Die boek skets nie net die era en omstandighede wat tot Vlakplaas gelei het nie, maar bied ook insae in De Kock se menslikheid.
Parcel of Death recounts the little-told life story of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro, the first South African freedom fighter the apartheid regime pursued beyond the country’s borders to assassinate with a parcel bomb.
On 29 April 1972, Tiro made one of the most consequential revolutionary addresses in South African history. Dubbed the Turfloop Testimony, Tiro’s anti-apartheid speech saw him and many of his fellow student activists expelled, igniting a series of strikes in tertiary institutions across the country. By the time he went into exile in Botswana, Tiro was president of the Southern African Student Movement (SASM), permanent organiser of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and a leading Black Consciousness proponent, hailed by many as the ‘godfather’ of the June 1976 uprisings.
Parcel of Death uses extensive and exclusive interviews to highlight significant influences and periods in Tiro’s life, including the lessons learned from his rural upbringing in Dinokana, Zeerust, the time he spent working on a manganese mine, his role as a teacher and the impact of his faith in shaping his outlook. It is a compelling portrait of Tiro’s story and its lasting significance in South Africa’s history.
‘A biography of Onkgopotse Tiro, who was at once a catalyst and an active change agent in the South African struggle for freedom, is long overdue. For generations to come, this book will be a source of valuable information and inspiration.’ – MOSIBUDI MANGENA
Renowned cartoonist Dov Fedler got the opportunity in the 1980s to have a dream come true: Directing a movie. He had no idea how to do it, but didn’t let that stop him. This memoir is a humorous story of the pitfalls that opened up as he worked on a movie where the cast wasn’t allowed to speak English to him while he spoke no isiZulu, the producer was just shy of being a crook, and where Dov had no idea the apartheid government was funding it.
In a powerful exploration of recent racial history, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter examines the moment we're in, how we got here, and how together we can build movements to create a just and equal world. Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag when Alicia Garza wrote what she calls 'a love letter to Black people' on Facebook. But hashtags don't build movements, she tells us. People do. Interwoven with Garza's experience of life as a Black woman, The Purpose of Power is the story of how she responded to the persistent message that Black lives are of less value than white lives by galvanizing people to create change. It's an insight into grass roots organizing to deliver basic needs - affordable housing, workplace protections, access to good education - to those locked out of the economy by racism. It is an attempt not only to make sense of where Black Lives Matter came from but also to understand the possibilities that Black Lives Matter and movements like it hold for our collective futures. Ultimately, it's an appeal to hearts and minds, demanding that we think about our privileges and prejudices and ask how we might contribute to the change we want to see in the world.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is South Africa's fifth post-apartheid president. He first came to prominence in the 1980s as the founder of the National Union of Mineworkers. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February 1990, Ramaphosa was at the head of the reception committee that greeted him. Chosen as secretary general of the African National Congress in 1991, Ramaphosa led the ANC's team in negotiating the country's post-apartheid constitution. Thwarted in his ambition to succeed Mandela, he exchanged political leadership for commerce, ultimately becoming one of the country's wealthiest businessmen, a breeder of exotic cattle, and a philanthropist.
This fully revised and extended edition charts Ramaphosa's early life and education, and his career in trade unionism - including the 1987 21-day miners' strike when he committed the union to the wider liberation struggle - politics, and constitution-building. Extensive new chapters explore his contribution to the National Planning Commission, the effects of the Marikana massacre on his political prospects, and the real story behind his rise to the deputy presidency of the country in 2014. They set out the constraints Ramaphosa faced as Jacob Zuma's deputy, and explain how he ultimately triumphed in the election of the ANC's new president in 2017. The book concludes with an analysis of the challenges Ramaphosa faces as the country's fifth post-apartheid president.
Based on numerous personal conversations with Ramaphosa over the past decade, and on rich interviews with many of the subject's friends and contemporaries, this new biography offers a frank appraisal of one of South Africa's most enigmatic political figures.
Arthur Chaskalson: A Life Dedicated to Justice for All is a biography of a remarkable life lived in service both to law and to the struggle for social change and justice. The social change it describes is the victory over apartheid, which was won on several fronts and through the efforts of people in many nations, but an important one of those fronts lay in the courts of South Africa itself.
Arthur Chaskalson’s life story and the four phases of his remarkable career – advocate at the Johannesburg Bar; founder and leader of the Legal Resources Centre; his involvement in the constitution-making process; and his term as the first Chief Justice of South Africa’s Constitutional Court – embody the story of law in the struggle against apartheid and then in a newly created democracy. At the same time, Chaskalson’s chronicle is also individual, the shaping of the moral intelligence of a lawyer and a judge, trusted by everyone he dealt with, through the fires of a lifetime’s opposition to a society’s injustice.
In exploring Chaskalson’s life and career, we appreciate more clearly the roles lawyers can play in social change and the achievement of a just social order, and at the same time we gain insight into the combination of upbringing, experience and character that shapes a man first into a ‘cause lawyer’ and then into a path-breaking and foundation-laying judge.
In Rock | Water | Life, Lesley Green examines the interwoven realities of inequality, racism, colonialism, and environmental destruction in South Africa, calling for environmental research and governance to transition to an ecopolitical approach that could address South Africa's history of racial oppression and environmental exploitation.
Green analyses conflicting accounts of nature in environmental sciences that claim neutrality amid ongoing struggles for land restitution and environmental justice.
Offering in-depth studies of environmental conflict in contemporary South Africa, Green addresses the history of contested water access in Cape Town; struggles over natural gas fracking in the Karoo; debates about decolonising science; the potential for a politics of soil in the call for land restitution; urban baboon management, and the consequences of sending sewage to urban oceans.
When Robert McBride was sentenced to death, he turned to the public gallery in court and said: ‘Freedom is just around the corner. I am leaving you at the corner – and you must take that corner to find freedom on the other side.’ As the guard moved in, he raised his fist and shouted: ‘The struggle continues till Babylon falls!’
It was 1987: the time of ‘total onslaught’. The trial of the MK unit that planted the Magoo's bomb on the Durban beachfront dominated the news but few knew the real facts of the brave young people who brought the armed struggle to KwaZulu-Natal.
This is the remarkable story of McBride and his comrades: the substation sabotage spree, rescuing a compatriot from hospital and smuggling him to Botswana, the devastating Why Not and Magoo's car bomb that killed three women, the dramatic trial and McBride’s 1 463 days on Death Row.
Now updated to include McBride’s controversial life after the end of apartheid, this is a thrilling tale of a young South African’s incredible courage, loyalty between friends and falling in love across the race barrier. Today, the struggle continues as McBride fights against corruption and state capture.
Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome unless by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. This is an appeal to reclaim Black radicalism, a movement that has been diluted and moderated over time, wilfully misrepresented and caricatured by others, and divested of its potency and potential for global change. Kehinde Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition, and connects the dots to today's struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the twenty-first century.
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