Browsing All Posts filed under »Autobiographical«

Ending up ‘wanted by both the Communist Party & the police’

October 20, 2020


(Also available at: The Congress leadership of the revolution had been arrested at Rivonia and was in jail, awaiting trial, a fate that was also to befall the members of the Liberal/Socialist League/African Resistance Movement. But our officially unsanctioned groups were still free, and we were determined that militant resistance, especially the sabotage of […]

A tangled web in the nascent underground

September 18, 2020


(Also available at: Were it not for the seriousness of the matters on the ground, the situation among the ANC supporting opposition in Johannesburg in 1962 could have provided material for a slapstick comedy. There were police spies, SA Communist Party and secret Trotskyist cell members all belonging to the same organisation. Linked to […]

Shorthand, flyposting & a lesson learned

September 5, 2020


(Also available at: Being white and male in the South Africa of 1962, I was doubly privileged. And I also possessed a degree of cheek that got me onto an all-expenses paid journalism course in Cape Town, effectively to learn shorthand. There I met up with some people who would, over the years, become […]

Hairybacks, ‘souties’ & an accidental ANC member

July 13, 2020


Available online at Daily Maverick: Reflections of a wayward boy (4) My life changed during that single day in early 1961 when I returned to the Germiston Advocate newspaper office after attending a Group Areas Board hearing and making my first visit to a township where I met and interviewed people who were about […]

Reflections of a wayward boy (part 2)

June 24, 2020


Daily Maverick version available at: Pure chance, youthful arrogance and an alcoholic chief reporter who had passed out over his desk one morning in early 1961, provided the ingredients that catapulted me, a wayward school leaver and junior reporter, onto a fast track to radical anti-apartheid politics. In one day, I was set on […]

Reflections of a wayward boy (Part 1)

June 24, 2020


Also available on Daily Maverick: I have been called many things in my day, some of them clearly unprintable.  But only once was I labelled wayward which, given the context of my life, is probably accurate.  Also, so far as I am concerned, and especially from whence the label came, it was a compliment.  […]