By Jacob Dlamini

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

September underwent adjustments that marked him for the remainder of his lifestyles: 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 alterations in an individual’s existence and of the bigger, overlooked heritage 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 out excusing these offerings. It seems to be 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 via the Swazi police, while he was once kidnapped from his hideout in Swaziland by means of the apartheid loss of life squad in August 1986. This, then, isn't a morality story during which the strains among heroes and villains are in actual fact drawn. even as, the publication doesn't declare that the competing facets within the struggle opposed to apartheid have been ethical equivalents. It seeks to give a contribution to makes an attempt to intricate a denser, richer and extra nuanced account of South Africa’s sleek political heritage. It does so through reading the historical past of political violence in South Africa; by means of taking a look at the workings of an apartheid dying squad in an try to know the way the apartheid forms labored; and, extra importantly, via 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 lifestyles – although it does, the place beneficial, examine his existence. September was once no longer the 1st resister-turned-collaborator. yet he was once additionally no traditional collaborator. because of this his tale merits telling.

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Askari by Jacob Dlamini

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