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Rian Malan to Sisonke Msimang: ‘Yes, I am paranoid’

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(AFP)
(AFP)

Rian Malan

A week ago today, a small town was burning and I was sitting at my desk, writing a story that opened thus: “I spent several days in Coligny, but let me start by admitting that my expertise is slender and my knowledge of what happened there full of gaping holes. On the other hand, history is accelerating at a frightening rate, and I fear that anything I have to say might be meaningless if I don’t say it now.” That paragraph didn’t make it into the final draft, which you can read here in its entirety.

As you will see, my story notes that the case against two whites accused of beating 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu to death remains unproven, and goes on to dissect the rioting that followed from the perspective of its victims – local whites and Indians, or foreigner traders burned out of their shops in Coligny’s satellite township.

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