From South African-born novelist Moss (The Family Reunion, 1974), a timely introduction to a new generation of South African black leaders. Relying heavily on testimony from one of the most seminal treason trials in South Africa, the Delmas trial, Moss not only profiles two leading heirs to Mandela and Tambo but also gives a portrait of justice during the Botha presidency. Popo Molefe and Patrick Lekota, leaders of the United Democratic Front--an anti-apartheid umbrella organization founded in 1983--together with 20 others were charged with treason, terrorism, subversion, and sedition. The prosecution claimed that the UDF, as a representative of the then-banned ANC, was attempting to overthrow the government. Beginning with a brief introduction to Molefe and Lekota, Moss alternates testimony with accounts of the trial's progress as well as events outside the courtroom. Stretching over 37 of the most tumultuous months in South African history (1985-1988), the trial attracted much international attention. Molefe and Lekota were sentenced to hefty prison terms, but were subsequently released when the Appeal court voided the verdict on technical grounds. The lengthy quotations not only eloquently demonstrate Molefe and Lekota's leadership qualities, but equally underline the degree of difference between white and black perceptions. The rest is pedestrian, partisan, and secondary to the participants' own words.
Pub Date: Dec. 15, 1990
Page Count: -
Publisher: Beacon--dist. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux