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Native Life in South Africa is one of South Africa’s great political books. First published in 1916, it was first and foremost a response to the Native’s Land Act of 1913 and was written by one of the most gifted and influential writers and journalists of his generation. Native Life in South Africa provides an account of the origins of this crucially important piece of legislation and a devastating description of its immediate effects. Plaatje spent many weeks traveling in the countryside and the most moving chapters in the book tell us what he saw. His book explores the wider political and historical context that produced policies of the kind embodied in the Land Act, and documents meticulously steps taken by South Africa’s rulers to exclude black South Africans from the exercise of political power.
Kader Asmal was one of the most respected senior statesmen in South Africa. He lived a rich and varied life, in all the twists and turns of which he has displayed boundless energy, a sharp mind and deep commitment to human rights and democratic values.
Kader Asmal, lawyer and teacher, South African Cabinet minister, and the driving force behind the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, has been called many things – ‘small, bustling, curious, courageous, indefatigable’ (Irish Times) and ‘dapper, combative, witty, cantankerous, sarcastic, urbane, precisely spoken’ (Sunday Times). The son of a small-town shopkeeper from Natal, his life took him as far as exile in the UK, on to a senior position at Trinity College Dublin, and back to a free South Africa, governed by an exemplary Constitution, which he helped devise.
These memoirs are not only Asmal’s personal journey. They are also the story of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to freedom and democracy, in which he played a significant role, as a member of the ANC’s Constitutional Committee and negotiating team and later as an MP and Cabinet minister under Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. They provide testimony, too, to Asmal’s lifelong dedication to freedom, equality and justice – ideals enshrined in the country’s Bill of Rights, which he played a major part in writing.
While depicting the horrors of apartheid, this volume also proposes a constructive process designed to enable a free South Africa to avoid lapsing into a cycle of new oppression. The authors demonstrate a challenge that they believe can and must be met by the efforts of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission. Nelson Mandela says in his Foreword to this book: 'The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a milestone on the freedom road, and this book illuminates the journey. It presents a necessary perspective on our unfolding future. North America: St Martin's Press; South Africa: David Philip/New Africa Books
This book captures the oral histories of twenty South African teaches who connected pedagogy and politics to fight against the apartheid regime. Teaching in so-called Coloured schools, these « teachers with the fighting spirit stressed nonracialism and democracy in their work with students. Though their lives were deeply affected by apartheid, it never stole their hearts, minds, or souls. Their work helped lead to the election of Nelson Mandela as the first democratic leader of South Africa in 1994.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), established in South Africa after the collapse of apartheid, was the bold creation of a people committed to the task of rebuilding of a nation and establishing a society founded upon justice, equality and respect for the rule of law. As part of its historic, cathartic mission, the TRC held a special hearing, calling to account the lawyers -- judges, academics and members of the bar -- who had been crucial participants in the apartheid legal order. This book is an account of those hearings, and an attempt to evaluate, in the light of theories of adjudication, the historical role of the judiciary and bar in the apartheid years.
Written by a well-known commentator on the South African legal system who became, by chance, the first witness to give testimony at these hearings, this book reveals, often in the words of those who testified, how the judges failed in their duty to uphold the rule of law. For the most part, the lawyers of apartheid deserted its victims. The few notable exceptions both illustrate the potential for lawyers to have done more and laid the basis for the respect the rule of law still enjoys in South Africa despite apartheid.
Yet, as the author shows, many continue to commit a more serious 'crime'. Failing to confront the past, and in many cases refusing even to attend TRC hearings, the lawyers who could have helped to resist the worst excesses of apartheid remain accomplices to its evil deeds.
This book offers us the spectacle of an entire legal system on trial. The echoes from this process are captured here in a way which will appeal to all readers -- lawyers and non-lawyers alike -- interested in the relationshipbetween law and justice, as it is exposed during a period of transition to democracy.
This is a collection of tributes to Nelson Mandela and of his speeches, mostly made after his release from jail in 1990. A special leatherbound copy will be presented to Madiba on his 85th birthday on the 18 July, as a testimony to his lasting legacy.
The collection will contain the texts of 115 of his speeches, divided into themes, with introductions by national and international leaders. It will start with a foreword by President Thabo Mbeki, an introduction by education minister Kader Asmal and a biographical essay by Adrian Hadland. A special introductory chapter will be written by Kofi Annan.
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