The Forgotten People
The Forgotten People: The Political Banishment under Apartheid
In 2001, inUnfinished Business: South Africa, Apartheid and Truth, Dumisa Ntsebeza and Terry Bell complained that 'like so much of South Africa's recent brutal history, we shall probably never know exactly how many people were banished and what happened to all of them'. Saleem Badat'sThe Forgotten People: Political Banishment under Apartheidanswers many questions about banishment and shines a bright and welcome light on a largely hidden and unknown aspect of our indeed 'brutal history'. It shows how apartheid's political opponents from rural areas were condemned to the living hell of banishment: a weapon used to expel rural opponents to distant and often arid and desolate places for unlimited periods. These rural opponents were plucked from their families and communities and cast, in the late Helen Joseph's words, 'into the most abandoned parts of the country, there to live, perhaps to die, to suffer and starve, or to stretch out a survival by poorly paid labour, if and when they could get it'. They were strangers in strange areas who could not speak the local language, and often had little in common with the locals and even less in common with those under whose surveillance they fell.
This is the first study of an important but hitherto neglected group of opponents of apartheid set in a global, historical and comparative perspective. It looks at the reasons why people were banished, their lives in banishment and the efforts of a remarkable group of activists, led by Helen Joseph, to assist them. Indeed, this book originated in a promise made by the author to Helen Joseph, who had undertaken an epic journey in 1962 to visit all those banished across the length and breadth of South Africa. The work is illustrated with stunning photographs by Ernest Cole, Peter Magubane and others.
Current Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University,Saleem Badatwrites as one who while not banished was detained and restricted under apartheid and was deemed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to have had his human rights violated. He is the author ofBlack Student Politics, Higher Education and Apartheid: From SASO to SANSCO, 1968‰ۡóÁÌ_́ÌÎÌ_?ÌÎÌ_?1990andBlack Man, You Are on Your Own, co-author ofNational Policy and a Regional Response in South African Higher Education, and co-editor ofApartheid Education and Popular Struggle in South Africa.
Author Saleem Badat