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This extraordinary account of imprisonment shows with exacting clarity the awful injustices of the system. Sylvia Neame, activist against apartheid and racism and by profession a historian (see the three-volume, The Congress Movement, HSRC Press, 2015), has not written a classical historical memoir. Rather, this book is a highly personal account, written in an original style. At the same time, it casts a particularly sharp light on the unfolding of a policedominated apartheid system in the 1960s.
The author incorporates some of her experiences in prisons and police stations around the country, including the fabricated trial she faced while imprisoned in Port Elizabeth, one of the many such trials which took place in the Eastern Cape. But her focus is on Barberton Prison. Here she was imprisoned together with a small number of other white women political prisoners, most of whom had stood trial and been sentenced in Johannesburg in 1964–5 for membership to an illegal organisation, the Communist Party. It is a little known story. Not even the progressive party MP Helen Suzman found her way here.
Barberton Prison, a maximum security prison, part of a farm jail complex in the eastern part of what was then known as the Transvaal province, was far from any urban centre. The women were kept in a small space at one end of the prison in extreme isolation under a regime of what can only be called psychological warfare, carried out on the instructions of the ever more powerful (and corrupt) security apparatus. A key concern for the author was the mental and psychological symptoms which emerged in herself and her fellow prisoners and the steps they took to maintain their sanity. It is a narrative partly based on diary entries, written in a minute hand on tissue paper, which escaped the eye of the authorities. Moreover, following her release in April 1967 – she had been altogether incarcerated for some three years – she produced a full script in the space of two or three months. The result is immediacy, spontaneity, authenticity; a story full of searing detail. It is also full of a fighting spirit, pervaded by a sharp intellect, a capacity for fine observation and a sense of humour typical of the women political prisoners at Barberton.
A crucial theme in Sylvia Neame’s account is the question of whether something positive emerged out of her experience and, if so, what exactly it was.
South Africa achieved notoriety for its apartheid policies and practices both in the country and in Namibia. Today Israel stands accused of applying apartheid in the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967. Confronting Apartheid examines the regimes of these three societies from the perspective of the author’s experiences as a human rights lawyer in South Africa and Namibia and as a UN human rights envoy in occupied Palestine.
Most personal histories of apartheid in Southern Africa tell the story of the armed struggle. This book is about opposition to apartheid within the law and through the law. The successes and failures of civil society and lawyers in this endeavour are described in the context of the discriminatory and oppressive regime of apartheid. The author’s own experiences in Namibia and South Africa serve to illustrate the injustices of the regime and the avenues left to lawyers to advance human rights within the law. The end of apartheid and the transition to democracy are also described through the experiences of the author.
The book concludes with an account of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank and the author’s work as human rights investigator and reporter for the United Nations. This involves the examination of issues such as the construction of Jewish settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the restrictions on freedom of movement and the attacks on the life and liberty of Palestinians which the author argues constitute an oppressive regime falling within the definition of apartheid under international law. A separate chapter is devoted to the situation in Gaza which was closely monitored by the author for nearly a decade. Namibia, South Africa and Palestine are dealt with separately with introductions designed to ensure that the reader is provided with the necessary historical, political and legal background material.
Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation covers the university protests that took place in 2015–2016, better known as the #FeesMustFall protests. Rekgotsofetse (Kgotsi) gives us his first-hand account of what happened prior to the protests and what led to the events of October 2015 at the various university campuses and nationally.
This is a four-part retelling of what happened on the ground amongst the students, first at #RhodesMustFall, then moving to the university responses and management and what ultimately led to #FeesMustFall nationwide. Chikane then looks at student politics now and how they are different from 1976, specifically the fact that the protests were being led by so-called coconuts, who are part of the black elite.
The book poses the provocative question, can coconuts be trusted with the revolution?
“Rebels And Rage is a critically important contribution to public discussion about #FeesMustFall”–Eusebius McKaiser
Adam Habib, the most prominent and outspoken university official through the recent student protests, takes a characteristically frank view of the past three years on South Africa’s campuses in this new book. Habib charts the progress of the student protests that erupted on Wits University campus in late 2015 and raged for the better part of three years, drawing on his own intimate involvement and negotiation with the students, and also records university management and government responses to the events. He critically examines the student movement and individual student leaders who emerged under the banners #feesmustfall and #Rhodesmustfall, and debates how to achieve truly progressive social change in South Africa, on our campuses and off.
This book is both an attempt at a historical account and a thoughtful reflection on the issues the protests kicked up, from the perspective not only of a high-ranking member of university management, but also Habib as political scientist with a background as an activist during the struggle against apartheid. Habib moves between reflecting on the events of the last three years on university campuses, and reimagining the future of South African higher education.
The presidential campaign in the USA grabbed the global imagination. It also grabbed the feminist imagination, presenting the hope that if a woman could become the president of the USA, women throughout the world would finally break through the reinforced glass ceiling. However, when it didn’t happen, the lost opportunity became the metaphorical kick in the feminist gut on a global scale. Through the subsequent misogyny, vulgarity, lewd comments, the pussy grabbing video, and the threats of the erosion of feminist activism in the trenches, worldwide a deep mourning arose from the feminist community. It was the name calling of “nasty women” that really smarted. Initial feelings of anger gave rise to empowerment of women — those who talk back to patriarchy — to embrace the label of “nasty women”.
The idea for the collection was born, cradled and nurtured between friends who wanted to create a space for writing and thinking about the marches. The group of feminists who contributed to this collection used the marches and the posters inspired by the marches as a vehicle which galvanised women into action to put pen to paper and show fervour for ongoing feminist activism.
The nexus of this beautifully written and evocatively illustrated collection is telling narratives that link very personal stories with deeply political issues. These are the stories told by nasty women who are making the personal political, who are seeking to live their lives in ways that resist and challenge patriarchy. Through their very intimate nature these are stories that speak to the creation of a different kind of social order, one based on equity, the promotion of human rights and social justice.
When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School. With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.
Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case. Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.
This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analysing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.
Scholars agree that a direct correlation can be made between poor governance and the emergence of extremist movements. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres puts it: ‘I am convinced that the creation of open, equitable, inclusive and pluralist societies, based on the full respect of human rights and with economic opportunities for all, represents the most tangible and meaningful alternative to violent extremism.’ This book challenges both the efficacy and wisdom of purely militarised responses to extremist movements typified by the Global War on Terror, as well as the cursory replication of international counter-terrorism frameworks promulgated by the United Nations and European Union in Africa.
Emphasis is given to the importance of understanding local history, culture and regional geopolitics, among a variety of context-specific factors to truly understand and thereby effectively address the emergence and spread of extremisms in Africa. As such, it draws on contributions from a range of thematic and regional experts, including security-sector specialists, conflict analysts, journalists, international relations and governance specialists, political scientists, social anthropologists, psychologists and theologians, among others. A diverse range of extremist movements on the continent are examined, from radicalised religious groups to race-based organisations.
These case studies provide in-depth insight into answering why and how these movements came to be, while thematic chapters address issues pertinent to addressing them, such as public perceptions of extremism, methods of recruitment and radicalization among marginalised communities, supporting survivors of extremism and former combatants, strategic approaches to counter-terrorism and the role of governance, among others.
This is an introductory anthology and the first of its kind on this topic to be authored and published in the African continent.
The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC) was started in 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was set up by the parents, spouses and families of activists who were detained and had no recourse to legal intervention. Many in this movement had not been politically involved.
Members of the DPSC stood on street corners with placards calling for the release of their children. They organised food, clothing and legal representation for detainees across the country, and they supported the detainees’ families. DPSC activists marched, petitioned, argued, wrote and protested for the release of all detainees. They made public the brutal operations of the security establishment.
The DPSC helped to draw international attention to the atrocities being perpetuated against children – some as young as nine – by the apartheid state. And the evidence amassed by the DPSC helped to lay some of the groundwork for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Knock On The Door tells the story of the DPSC and of how the anti-detention movement became part of the mass uprising that brought down apartheid. It is an inspiring account of ordinary people coming together to stand up against racism and the abuse of power.
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.
Once an enemy of the apartheid police, Andrew Brown has worked as a police reservist for almost twenty years. In this book he takes the reader on patrol with him – into the ganglands of the Cape Flats, the townships of Masiphumelele and Nyanga, and the high-walled Southern Suburbs.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is a personal account of the perilous and often conflicting work of a SAPS officer. Brown describes being shot at, arresting suspects in a drug bust, chasing down leads in a homicide investigation and keeping the peace during the UCT student protests. Brown illustrates how difficult the job of the police is, and how easy it is to react with undue force. Yet he argues passionately that the role of the police is to be a service to communities and not a force to suppress social discontent.
Gripping and thought-provoking, this is a fascinating insight into the social fabric of current South Africa.
In die jare 1891 tot 1893 het ongeveer 770 persone Transvaal verlaat en na Angola en Duits-Suidwes-Afrika getrek om hulle heil daar te soek. Dit staan bekend as die “sesde” Dorslandtrek.
Sowat 45 De Jagers het in verskillende groepe aan hierdie epiese trek deelgeneem. Ná die sesde Dorslandtrek het hulle tussen Angola, Suidwes-Afrika, Suid-Afrika en selfs Kenia rondgeswerf en verdere avonture oor die hele Suider-Afrika beleef. Sommige De Jagers het in 1928 van Angola na Suidwes-Afrika getrek en hulle daar gevestig, terwyl ander eers in 1958 uit Angola gerepatrieer is.
Uit die beperkte beskikbare bronne is die verskillende trekroetes van die sesde Dorslandtrek gerekonstrueer en vir die eerste keer word ’n kaart van die verskillende trekroetes gepubliseer. ’n Geslagregister van bykans 1800 afstammelinge en aangetroude familielede van die De Jagers van die sesde Dorslandtrek en byna 500 foto’s vorm ’n omvattende beeld van hierdie familiegeskiedenis.
When Amin Cajee left South Africa to join the liberation struggle he believed he had volunteered to serve a democratic movement dedicated to bringing down an oppressive and racist regime. Instead, he writes, in this powerful and courageous memoir, "I found myself serving a movement that was relentless in exercising power and riddled with corruption".
Fordsburg Fighter traces an extraordinary physical journey – from home in South Africa, to training in Czechoslovakia and the ANC’s Kongwa camp in Tanzania to England. The book is both a significant contribution to opening up the hidden history of exile, and a documentation of Cajee’s emotional odyssey from idealism to disillusionment.
In his introduction to the book, Paul Joseph, ex-treason trialist, South African Communist Party member and MK recruiter, writes: ”What happened to them and to the others in that chaotic and confused time is both sad and tragic. But his honestly told story is essential for us to have a fuller picture of our history, if only to ensure, perhaps, that future generations will learn from our mistakes.’
Some thirty-five years after its original publication, Year of Fire, Year of Ash still stands as one of the leading accounts of the 1976-77 Soweto Revolt, one of the most significant acts of resistance in the history of the anti-apartheid movement.
Authored by a South African activist and scholar who was intimately involved in the movement, the book provides an unparalleled insight into the origins and events of the uprising, from its antecedents in the early 1970s to its role in galvanizing the global struggle against apartheid. Crucially, the book overturned much of the conventional logic around the uprising, by showing that it was not simply a student protest, but a revolt by the wider black working class.
As South Africa experiences a new wave of popular revolt, and as new forms of black consciousness come to the fore in movements around the world, Hirson's book provides a timely reminder of the continued significance of the Soweto revolt to struggles against oppression today.
This account of the decade that preceded the Soweto uprising of June 1976 not only transforms our understanding of this crucial flashpoint of South Africa’s history, but also creates a longer, more evolutionary, historical narrative for the overthrow of apartheid.
It argues that the suppression of opposition movements after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 did not lead to a period of ‘quiescence’, as many writers maintain, in which activists retreated into private acts of dissent and the opposition went underground, followed, a decade later, by a sudden eruption of the townships, first in Soweto, and then across the country. Rather, these years were marked by experiments in resistance and attempts to develop new forms of politics which prepared the ground for the uprising in Soweto, introducing new modes of organisation, new models of protest, and new ideas of resistance, identity, and political ideology to a generation of activists.
This book begins by showing how students at South Africa’s segregated white and black universities began to re-organise themselves as a political force; how new ideas about race reinvigorated political thought; and how debates around confrontation shaped the development of new forms of protest. The author then builds upon this narrative to show how protest began to move off university campuses and onto the streets: through the independent actions of workers in Durban, and then through attempts by students to link their struggles with a more public political agenda.
These actions made protest public once again, and helped establish the patterns of popular action and state response that would come to shape the events in Soweto on 16 June 1976.
In South Africa, two unmistakable features describe post-Apartheid politics. The first is the formal framework of liberal democracy, including regular elections, multiple political parties and a range of progressive social rights. The second is the politics of the ‘extraordinary’, which includes a political discourse that relies on threats and the use of violence, the crude re-racialization of numerous conflicts, and protests over various popular grievances. In this highly original work, Thiven Reddy shows how conventional approaches to understanding democratization have failed to capture the complexities of South Africa’s post-Apartheid transition. Rather, as a product of imperial expansion, the South African state, capitalism and citizen identities have been uniquely shaped by a particular mode of domination, namely settler colonialism. South Africa, Settler Colonialism and the Failures of Liberal Democracy is an important work that sheds light on the nature of modernity, democracy and the complex politics of contemporary South Africa.
Min ander gebeurtenisse in die Suider-Afrikaanse geskiedenis het so ’n onuitwisbare indruk gelaat as die Dorslandtrek. Die populêre reisverhaalskrywer Lawrence Green het dit byvoorbeeld beskryf as “the most painful chapter in the whole history of the Afrikaner race”.
Kort ná hulle aankoms op Humpata het die graaf van Mayo die Dorslandtrekkers soos volg beskryf: “Taking them all round, a finer set of men I have never seen; without doubt, during that terrible seven years’ journey it was a case of the survival of the fittest.”
Die Dorslandtrek: 1874–1881 vertel die aangrypende verhaal van die ongeveer 700 persone (benewens ’n onbekende getal swart arbeiders) wat Transvaal gedurende die jare 1874 tot 1877 verlaat het en hulle in 1881 ná ’n swerftog van sewe jaar op Humpata op die hooglande van Angola gevestig het. Gedurende hulle epiese tog het ongeveer 230 blanke trekkers gesterf en ongeveer dieselfde getal na Transvaal teruggekeer. Hoewel ongeveer 130 babas gedurende die trek gebore is, het slegs ongeveer 370 persone hulle beloofde land uiteindelik bereik.
Die Dorslandtrek: 1874–1881 is die eerste boek wat in amper veertig jaar oor dié onderwerp verskyn. Bestaande feite word grondig ontleed en nuwe feite word op ’n omvangryke wyse byeengebring. Die resultaat is die mees omvattende boek oor dié aangrypende gebeurtenis.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
In September 2019, Cape Town–based entrepreneur Jarette Petzer posted a video on Facebook. It was an emotional recognition of the difficulties faced by South Africa, as well as a heartfelt plea to nurture everything he loves about this country. Friends suggested that Petzer start a Facebook page to continue the conversation, and #ImStaying was born.
Within weeks, 400 000 South Africans of every race, socio-economic and political background joined the page to tell their stories of everyday life – of beauty, of hardship and the magnificence of their fellow citizens – and to share stories across cultural barriers, which many had never crossed before. By the end of December 2019, the page had more than a million followers, and it continues to grow.
Adhering to the maxim ‘Good Thoughts. Good Words. Good Deeds.’, #ImStaying is about South Africans creating social cohesion through storytelling – reaching out to each other to inspire real change in the country they love and want to see succeed, and shaping a new future out of a painful past.
This book provides another platform for the diverse voices and stories of the #ImStaying movement, as well as giving an overview of how this uniquely South African group came about and why it’s so important.
The Spymaster of Baghdad is the gripping story of the top-secret Iraqi intelligence unit that infiltrated the Islamic State. More so than that of any foreign power, the information they gathered turned the tide against the insurgency, paving the way to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019.
Against the backdrop of the most brutal conflict of recent decades, we chart the spymaster's struggle to develop the unit from scratch in challenging circumstances after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, we follow the fraught relationship of two of his agents, the al-Sudani brothers - one undercover in ISIS for sixteen long months, the other his handler - and we track a disillusioned scientist as she turns bomb-maker, threatening the lives of thousands.
With unprecedented access to characters on all sides, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Margaret Coker challenges the conventional view that Western coalition forces defeated ISIS and reveals a page-turning story of unlikely heroes, unbelievable courage and good old-fashioned spycraft.
Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams's study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. William A. Darity Jr.'s new foreword highlights Williams's insights for a new generation of readers, and Colin Palmer's introduction assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.
In the heat of June in 1943, a wave of destructive and deadly civil unrest took place in the streets of Detroit. The city was under the pressures of both wartime industrial production and the nascent civil rights movement, setting the stage for massive turmoil and racial violence. Thirty-four people were killed, most of whom were Black, and over half of these were killed by police. Two thousand people were arrested, and over seven hundred sustained injuries requiring treatment at local hospitals. Property damage was estimated to be nearly $2 million. With Run Home If You Don't Want to Be Killed, Rachel Marie-Crane Williams delivers a graphic retelling of the racism and tension leading up to the violence of those summer days. By incorporating firsthand accounts collected by the NAACP and telling them through a combination of hand-drawn images, historical dialogue, and narration, Williams makes the history and impact of these events immediate, and in showing us what happened, she reminds us that many issues of the time-police brutality, state-sponsored oppression, economic disparity, white supremacy-plague our country to this day.
For most of the eighteenth century, British protestantism was driven neither by the primacy of denominations nor by fundamental discord between them. Instead, it thrived as part of a complex transatlantic system that bound religious institutions to imperial politics. As Katherine Carte argues, British imperial protestantism proved remarkably effective in advancing both the interests of empire and the cause of religion until the war for American independence disrupted it. That Revolution forced a reassessment of the role of religion in public life on both sides of the Atlantic. Religious communities struggled to reorganize within and across new national borders. Religious leaders recalibrated their relationships to government. If these shifts were more pronounced in the United States than in Britain, the loss of a shared system nonetheless mattered to both nations. Sweeping and explicitly transatlantic, Religion and the American Revolution demonstrates that if religion helped set the terms through which Anglo-Americans encountered the imperial crisis and the violence of war, it likewise set the terms through which both nations could imagine the possibilities of a new world.
Lives Reclaimed tells an extraordinary story of resistance against the Nazi regime and help for Jews in the Third Reich. Still largely unknown today, 'The Bund' were a small left-wing group based in Germany's industrial heartland. Initially preoccupied with surviving the Nazi onslaught and adapting to clandestine life under a dictatorship, in 1938 the men and women of the Bund were shocked by the anti-Jewish violence of Kristallnacht into reaching out to their Jewish neighbours. Using an unparalleled trove of previously undiscovered private papers, Mark Roseman places support for Jews under the shadow of Nazism in a completely new light, exploring the striking palette of gestures and actions that proved possible even in Nazi Germany - from simple symbolic acts of solidarity, through sending parcels to the Polish ghettos and Theresienstadt, to providing false identities and hiding people on the run. In doing so, he uncovers the challenges of living and acting under a dictatorship when neighbours and acquaintances might be as great a threat as the Gestapo, and examines the experiences of those assisted by the group, as they hid in plain sight, moving from address to address. Throughout, we are prompted to ask what drove and equipped the Bund to step into the broken glass of Kristallnacht, to visit Jewish organizations and Jewish barracks to ascertain local needs, to line up in the post-office with packages for Theresienstadt, or to brave a visit to the cells in a local police station with a message for imprisoned Jews? Although not the first book to tell the story of Jews saved from Nazi persecution, the story of the Bund is unique in the way it is able to pursue the choices, dilemmas, fears, and hopes of the helpers themselves, observing them through the changing conditions of both war and Holocaust.
Die Herero-opstand 1904–1907 is ’n heruitgawe van ’n boek wat ses keer tussen 1976 en 1979 deur HAUM gepubliseer is. Die lotgevalle van die Hererovolk word in hierdie boek geskets, ’n stuk geskiedenis wat ’n sentrale plek in Namibie se kleurryke geskiedenis beklee. Die opstand van die Herero’s in 1904 teen Duitse koloniale gesag kan beskou word as die enkele gebeurtenis wat die gebied se volksverhoudinge die ingrypendste verander het. Die Herero-opstand 1904–1907 vertel van die geleidelike opbou na die konflik, die skielike uitbarsting van geweld en die tragiese afloop vir die Herero’s toe duisende verhonger het en hulle grond en politieke seggenskap verloor het.
Slagtersnek is een van die bekendste name in ons geskiedenis. Met sy grusame assosiasie was dit ‘n magtige propagandamiddel in die politieke ontwikkeling van die Afrikaner. Juis hierdeur het dit egter al gou ‘n volksmite geword waarna herondersoek dringend noodsaaklik geword het. Dit is wat dr. Heese in hierdie boek doen.
Deur deeglike navorsing van die voor- en nageslag van almal wat daarby betrokke was, vorm hy ‘n helder beeld van wat werklik plaasgevind het. Hy toon oortuigend aan dat die Slagtersnek-opstand verkeerd vertolk is. Daar is helde gesien waar geen helde was nie, en dit was juis die bekampers van die opstandelinge, asook die neutrales, wat later die Afrikaner volksbewussyn tydens die Groot Trek bevorder het.
Heese skilder talle kleurryke figure: die bywoners, die ryk patriarge, die sukkelende swerwers, die dwarstrekkers, skoolmeesters en nie-blanke bediendes. Met hierdie boek word ‘n belangrike en oorspronklike bydrae tot ons geskiedenis gemaak.
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