Apartheid: More about personality than policy

2012-11-22 00:00

HOW far away must the past be to be able to cast a cold eye on it, for pain and injustice to be no more than pale words that have bled out along the path to a better world?

He argues further that individual Nat leaders critically influenced the course of events: they stumbled, they changed direction, they lost track or they lost courage. He doesn’t go so far as to say that they made apartheid up as they went along, but he comes close, especially in his portrayal of Verwoerd, whose pursuit of the homelands policy is attributed to his inability in the fifties to co-opt the Natives Representative Council into accepting self-government within townships. Had that turned out differently, suggests Giliomee, grand apartheid may never have come into being.

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