ISBN 9780639804019
Pages 330
Dimensions 244 x 170mm
Published 2021
Publisher Natal Society Foundation, South Africa
Format Paperback

Born out of Sorrow

Essays on Pietermaritzburg and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands under Apartheid, 1948−1994

by Christopher Merrett

HALF the size of New York cemetery and twice as dead: this much-quoted, wry comment is generally attributed to the satirical writer Tom Sharpe who worked in Pietermarizburg in the 1950s. Also described as 'sleepy hollow' and the 'last outpost of the British Empire', Pietermaritzburg in fact possesses a rich history that highlights many key areas of South Africa's past. This is particularly true of the apartheid period.

This is the first book published on the history of the city and region as a whole in over thirty years. It contains chapters on urban geography, the regional civil war, detention without trial, the black trade union movement, and political trials; biographical contributions on Chief Mhlabunzima Maphumulo and women of the Black Sash; and organisational memoirs of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Socal Awareness, Kupugani and the Association for Rural Advancement.

The object of this series is to present fresh perspectives on the city and region's apartheid history. It takes a position that South Africa was liberated by all of its people - not one particular self-regarding vanguard movement with its hegemonic, one-dimensional views.

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About the Author

Christopher Merrett

Christopher Merrett was born in Britain, grew up in the West Indies and has lived in South Africa for the past four decades. His career took him from academic librarian to university administrator, then journalism and now freelance editing and indexing. He was involved in non-racial cricket and detainee support work in 1980s and much of his writing covers human rights issues, especially censorship. He has a PhD in History from the University of Cape Town and is currently engaged in researching aspects of the recent history and politics of Pietermaritzburg.