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The Theatre of Violence

The Theatre of Violence

Narratives of protagonists in the South African conflict This profound and deeply compassionate study aims to reach into the complexities of political violence in South Africa between 1960 and 1994, and to expand our understanding of the patterns of conflict that almost drew South Africans into a vortex of total disintegration during the apartheid era

History, humanities and liberation Open Access

  • Product Information
  • Format: 168mm x 240mm
  • Pages: 376
  • ISBN 13: 978-07969-2095-9
  • Rights: World Rights

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Narratives of protagonists in the South African conflict This profound and deeply compassionate study aims to reach into the complexities of political violence in South Africa between 1960 and 1994, and to expand our understanding of the patterns of conflict that almost drew South Africans into a vortex of total disintegration during the apartheid era. While many accounts have focused on the victims of state repression, this unique volume documents the often contradictory and confusing stories of those who acknowledge having committed some dreadful deeds. Individuals on various sides of the apartheid divide, from state security structures to the ANC, PAC and grassroots, activists, tell their own stories. The central focus is to give an account of the actions of the perpetrators, here depicted as competing protagonists in an arena of violence. It examines the violence forensically, through its public and popular representations, academically and, finally, through the narrative approach, drawing on a rich analysis of stories from different sides. The authors also offer the first critical examination of the TRC's amnesty process, show how media representations of perpetrators inform public perceptions, and scrutinise international scholarly writings on the issue of political violence. Suggestive and intriguing, The Theatre of Violence opens a fresh examination of the erstwhile taken-for-granted understandings and attempts to address a range of questions that are often not considered, and perhaps cannot be considered, in a dispassionate way. It is in many ways an optimistic study, holding out the possibility of a society that can understand and take steps to minimise the perpetration of gross violations of human rights.

Foreword
Preface

1. After the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

2. Popular representations of perpetrators

3. Wider academic understandings

4. Morals and methods

5. Police narratives
Law and order: The story of a former Commissioner of Police
Living with death: The story of a former Koevoet operative

6. Intelligence narratives
‘Things weren’t as simple’: The story of a former general in Military Intelligence
‘I never fitted’: The story of a National Intelligence Services agent

7. Liberation movement narratives
‘A very lonely road’: The story of a former MK Commander
‘A hungry man is an angry man’: The story of a former APLA Head of Operations
‘I was never wrong’: The story of a former APLA Commander

8. Narratives of township conflicts
‘What was the gain of killing people?’ The story of a former member of a Self-Protection Unit
‘No rewards’: The story of a former member of a Self-Defence Unit
Former enemies forging peace

9. Analysis and reflection

10. Conclusion

Acronyms and abbreviations
References
Index

Don Foster is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of books on detention and torture and social psychology, in addition to roughly one hundred scholarly articles on topics such as racism, collective violence and identity politics. He was a member of the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry into collective violence and assisted the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in understanding perpetrators’ actions.

Paul Haupt is a UCT-qualified clinical psychologist and was, until recently, the Director of Perpetrator Studies at the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town.

Marsa de Beer holds degrees, including two Masters’ qualifications, from the Universities of Stellenbosch, Rhodes and Cape Town. She is a UCT-trained clinical psychologist and is in private practice.

Presets Color

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