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Askari: A Story of Collaboration and Betrayal in the Anti-apartheid…

– tekijä: Jacob Dlamini

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
11-1,391,398-2
This is the story of Comrade September, a member of the ANC and its military wing, MK. He was abducted from his hideout in Swaziland by an apartheid death squad in August 1986 and taken across the border to South Africa, where his interrogation and torture began. It was not long before September began telling his captors about his comrades in the ANC. By talking under torture, September underwent changes that marked him for the rest of his life: from resister to collaborator, insurgent to counter-insurgent, revolutionary to counter-revolutionary and, to his former comrades, hero to traitor. This book is about these changes and about the larger, neglected story of betrayal and collaboration in the struggle against apartheid. It seeks to understand why September made the choices he did--collaborating with his captors, turning against the ANC, and then hunting down his comrades--without excusing those choices. Looking beyond the black and white that still dominates South Africa's political canvas, the book examines the grey zones in which South Africans, combatants and noncombatant, lived. It seeks to contribute to scholarly attempts to elaborate a denser, richer and more nuanced account of South Africa's modern political history. It does so by examining the history of political violence in South Africa; by looking at the workings of an apartheid death squad in an attempt to understand how the apartheid bureaucracy worked; and, more importantly, by studying the social, moral and political universe in which apartheid collaborators like September lived and worked.… (lisätietoja)
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The book challenges because while it is ostensibly about one man’s betrayal, exploring why Glory Sedibe (Comrade September) ‘betrayed’ the ANC and its military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), it is about so much more: the very nature of betrayal and the possibility of collaboration within each one of us.

Jacob Dlamini has written a compelling biography and a vital, important book. It is a book that pieces together the complex life of a man born into a world of contingency and consequence. It is forensic, not so much in relation to its use of primary and secondary sources, but in its dissection of what Sedibe’s life means. Many of the questions one would really want answered, such as what drives a man to betray, remain unanswered. But then, how could they be? The sources are slight for a biography and consist mainly of oral testimony from sources perhaps not altogether reliable or that can be corroborated – perhaps the book should be described as a para-ethnography – but would shelf upon shelf of archival material and screeds of interview transcripts truly make for a more reliable narrative of the inner workings of betrayal? Dlamini speculates about Sedibe’s motives, he probes rationales, mitigations and contexts but he does not judge. This absence of judgment has a powerful effect. For as inevitably as we cannot truly stare into the heart and mind of another’s reasons (especially third hand) we inexorably pursue judgment elsewhere, maybe because judgment promises us neatness and the comfort of sense. Here Dlamini does not judge or invite us to judge, and therefore our attention turns inwards.
 
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

This is the story of Comrade September, a member of the ANC and its military wing, MK. He was abducted from his hideout in Swaziland by an apartheid death squad in August 1986 and taken across the border to South Africa, where his interrogation and torture began. It was not long before September began telling his captors about his comrades in the ANC. By talking under torture, September underwent changes that marked him for the rest of his life: from resister to collaborator, insurgent to counter-insurgent, revolutionary to counter-revolutionary and, to his former comrades, hero to traitor. This book is about these changes and about the larger, neglected story of betrayal and collaboration in the struggle against apartheid. It seeks to understand why September made the choices he did--collaborating with his captors, turning against the ANC, and then hunting down his comrades--without excusing those choices. Looking beyond the black and white that still dominates South Africa's political canvas, the book examines the grey zones in which South Africans, combatants and noncombatant, lived. It seeks to contribute to scholarly attempts to elaborate a denser, richer and more nuanced account of South Africa's modern political history. It does so by examining the history of political violence in South Africa; by looking at the workings of an apartheid death squad in an attempt to understand how the apartheid bureaucracy worked; and, more importantly, by studying the social, moral and political universe in which apartheid collaborators like September lived and worked.

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