Quiet Activists

R250.00

Peter Present shares in this memoir what it was like growing up in Elsies River, a working class community in Cape Town, South Africa – before and during the height of unrest – and what prompted him and his new bride, barely hours after they’d said “I do”, to leave home to join the armed struggle.

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SKU: 9780639714271 Category:

Quiet Activists

It was a tense and dangerous time for non-whites in South Africa in the 70s and 80s – a time characterised by hatred, distrust, propaganda, fear and frequent clashes between protesters and the security forces. Being an anti-apartheid activist was risky business. Being a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe – the ANC’s military arm – even more so, and, if caught, could result in indefinite detainment without trial – even torture and death.

Peter Present shares in this memoir what it was like growing up in Elsies River, a working class community in Cape Town, South Africa – before and during the height of unrest – and what prompted him and his new bride, barely hours after they’d said “I do”, to leave home to join the armed struggle. Peter opens up about their lives: from the values instilled by their parents while growing up; their experiences of racism; the people who helped them along the way; what it was like to train in an ANC military camp; and then, upon their return, living a double life where not even family or friends knew their secret. Hyper-vigilance and secrecy had kept them safe, but it also took its toll. Peter shares his journey of learning to trust again and of overcoming the last-remaining shackles that held him hostage in his mind, long after freedom had been won.

The book offers another perspective on the armed struggle–what it was like as a young married couple to join Umkhonto we Sizwe; the training they undertook outside SA; some political events that affected them and their community; and how, decades later, the effects of having to operate secretly took its toll on the author. While the struggle for freedom underpins the story, the author delivers a personal account of their experience and how it impacted their lives and their interactions with friends and family.

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