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By Jacob Dlamini

In 1986 ‘Comrade September’, a charismatic ANC operative and renowned MK commander, was once kidnapped from Swaziland through the apartheid safeguard police and brought around the border. After torture and interrogation, September used to be ‘turned’ and earlier than lengthy the police had extracted adequate details to seek down and kill a few of his former comrades.

September underwent adjustments that marked him for the remainder of his existence: from resister to collaborator, rebel to counter-insurgent, progressive to counter-revolutionary and, to his former comrades, hero to traitor. Askari is the tale of those adjustments in an individual’s existence and of the bigger, missed background of betrayal and collaboration within the fight opposed to apartheid. It seeks to appreciate why September made the alternatives he did – taking part together with his captors, turning opposed to the ANC, after which removing his comrades – with no excusing these offerings. It appears past the black-and-white that also dominates South Africa’s political canvas, to check the gray zones within which South Africans – opponents and non-combatants – lived.

September’s acts of betrayal shape yet one layer in a sedimentation of betrayals, for September himself was once betrayed through the Swazi police, whilst he was once kidnapped from his hideout in Swaziland by way of the apartheid demise squad in August 1986. This, then, isn't really a morality story within which the traces among heroes and villains are sincerely drawn. even as, the booklet doesn't declare that the competing aspects within the struggle opposed to apartheid have been ethical equivalents. It seeks to give a contribution to makes an attempt to complicated a denser, richer and extra nuanced account of South Africa’s glossy political historical past. It does so by means of studying the background of political violence in South Africa; through taking a look at the workings of an apartheid loss of life squad in an try to know the way the apartheid forms labored; and, extra importantly, by way of learning the social, ethical and political universe during which apartheid collaborators like September lived and labored. this isn't a biography – a cradle-to-grave account of September’s existence – although it does, the place worthwhile, examine his lifestyles. September was once now not the 1st resister-turned-collaborator. yet he was once additionally no usual collaborator. because of this his tale merits telling.

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Askari by Jacob Dlamini


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