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A Human Being Died That Night: Forgiving Apartheid's Chief Killer [Format Kindle]

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela , Nelson Mandela

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While working for South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela interviewed former police colonel Eugene De Cock, who commanded a unit believed to have killed a number of anti-apartheid activists. De Cock was charged with, among other crimes against humanity, six murders and sentenced to 212 years in prison. A Human Being Died That Night is about the complexities of post-apartheid South Africa and sees a white man exploring his psyche with a member of the race he tried to annihilate.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Into the heart of darkness that is DeKock's world 27 juillet 2013
Par T. Washington - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
When Pumla Gobodo-Madzikela returned to her South African homeland after the demise of apartheid and begun to work with the newly created Truth And Reconciliation Commission, interviewing Eugene "Prime Evil"De Kock, an convicted Afrikaner jailed for life for a string of murders of opponents of the white minority regime, the conversation between both, not just the crimes he committed, but the wider background, caused a good deal of soul searching on not just her part but I suspect on "Dikoko's"(as the black guards comically mispronounced his surname)part-on the nature of good and evil, nature and nurture.
There are comic touches in this book such as when DeKock apologizes to Pumla for being unshaven during the start of their session- "I dislke being unkempt in front of a woman"(presumably even a black one- a "kaffir" in Afrikaans- the word has the same semantic overtones as the "n-word", she thinks),but also deeply moving ones, such as when overcome with emotion, DeKock has his hand touched sympathetically by her own hand,only to be told the day afterwards "You know Pumla, that was my trigger hand you touched"-the hand he used to kill men, women and even children of her own race(though not it seems any of her own family or friends). That evening she wakes up and finds a strange numbness in the the very hand she touched him with. Later she speto comculates that it may have been the first time that a black person of either sex touched him motivated by compassion.Although DeKock has had his appeals to first Nelson Mandela and then Jacob Zuma (as President)for a pardon rejected,I for one think that his claims to be a foot soldier who did the apartheid regime's dirty work and is doing hard time whilst the likes of F.W.De Klerk go free may very contain a kernel of truth.

Terry Washington
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