A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Woman Confronts the Legacy of Apartheid
A Human Being Died That Night recounts an extraordinary dialogue. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist who grew up in a black South African township, reflects on her interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads under apartheid. Gobodo-Madikizela met... show more
A Human Being Died That Night recounts an extraordinary dialogue. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist who grew up in a black South African township, reflects on her interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commanding officer of state-sanctioned death squads under apartheid. Gobodo-Madikizela met with de Kock in Pretoria's maximum-security prison, where he is serving a 212-year sentence for crimes against humanity. In profoundly arresting scenes, Gobodo-Madikizela conveys her struggle with contradictory internal impulses to hold him accountable and to forgive. Ultimately, as she allows us to witness de Kock's extraordinary awakening of conscience, she illuminates the ways in which the encounter compelled her to redefine the value of remorse and the limits of forgiveness.
Publish date: April 19th 2004
Publisher: Mariner Books
Pages no: 208
Edition language: English
, Social Movements
, Social Justice
, African Literature
One of the best books I've encountered on trauma, recovery and forgiveness.
For weeks she has lain there, in a thoughtful pose beneath the prison bars of a window high above her. ‘Have you read Gobodo-Madikizela’s book on Eugene de Kock yet, Jude?’ my long-suffering husband asks. He’d read it on the plane to Cape Town. ‘You’ll find it interesting.’‘Mmm,’ I mumble, trying to...
For over forty years (roughly 1948-93) state-sanctioned assassinations, kidnappings, rapes, and other torture were a regular occurrance under the Apartheid regime. For somebody who has not lived under this system, the resulting sufferring and heartache is truly unimaginable. Beginning in the 1990's...