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Ray Hartley Looks Back at the End of Bophuthatswana

How to Fix South AfricaRay Hartley recalls the reintegration of Bophuthatswana into South Africa in 1994, and the “genuine sense of liberation in the air” that accompanied it.

Hartley, who had been sent to cover the event for the Sunday Times, refers specifically to the stand-off between Constand Viljoen’s “rag-tag army” and Bophuthatswana troops that resulted in the death of 30 civilians, and the execution of three members of the AWB, famously photographed by Cobus Bodenstein.

According to Hartley, because the homeland system was abolished the very next day, and “the Terre’Blanche bubble was burst”, the AWB members’ deaths are ethically debatable.

If there are any ethics professors out there, they might consider asking their students whether these killings were justified. They were cold-blooded, premeditated and clearly performed with intent. But there can be no gainsaying that the greater good was served. The effect was far-reaching. There and then, in the dust of Mmabatho, any threat of a right-wing rebellion against the new order came to an end.

Book details

  • How to Fix South Africa: The country’s leading thinkers on what must be done to create jobs edited by Ray Hartley
    EAN: 9780620549882
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