THE CAPE OF STORMS: A Personal History of the Crisis in South Africa by Anthony Hazlitt Heard

THE CAPE OF STORMS: A Personal History of the Crisis in South Africa

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As editor of the Cape Times, a leading antiapartheid English-language newspaper in Cape Town, Heard was an eloquent witness to the terrible cost of apartheid and to the crisis that led to a new white leadership and the release of Nelson Mandela. Here, with a brief autobiographical introduction, is his personal testimony to those events. Grandson of British immigrants and son of a distinguished editor in South Africa very much involved in liberal politics, Heard began working at the Cape Times as a young man in the mid-1950's. As reporter and then editor, he wrote about the Nationalist government's relentless zeal in implementing its scheme of racial separation, a scheme especially tragic for the coloreds--people of mixed race--who had enjoyed a considerable measure of integration and political participation in the Cape for nearly a century. Heard witnessed the riots following Sharpeville, interviewed successive prime minsters, and, as press censorship grew in the late 1980's, devised ingenious ways of getting the truth across without the paper being closed down. An interview with Oliver Tambo, the ANC president, who at that time was not allowed to be quoted in the South African press, led to Heard's dismissal. Ironically, it was his publisher, not the government, who asked for his resignation. Heard's firsthand experience of the major South African political events of the last 30 years--together with his contact with all the leading political figures, black and white--make this an invaluable book for those interested in South Africa. But as a personal account, rather than a history, it does assume some prior knowledge of the country by the reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Univ. of Arkansas Press