South African Dispatches PDF
by Donald Woods
"Donald Woods is that phenomenon, a white South African whose extraordinary gifts match an extraordinary experience. Woods has laid his life on the line for what he believes——without a trace of self-righteousness."
Donald Woods had been the editor of the Daily Dispatch
in South Africa and author of its most widely syndicated newspaper column when he was arrested and banned from accusing the South African government of responsibility for the death of his friend, the black leader Steve Biko. This selection of his columns from 1975 until his arrest and subsequent banning in late 1977 reflects the political atmosphere in the country at that time from the point of view of a white journalist whose criticisms of the apartheid policy grew markedly more severe up to the time ofBiko's death.
Each of the pieces in this collection was written to stay within the publication laws and regulations operative in South Africa at that time, because in spire of attempts to charge the write with having contravened these regulation, the South African authorities were unable to secure a conviction in any court of law. Ultimately they resorted to extralegal methods to silence him, imposing a ban by cabinet decree that could not be challenged in court.
"This collation is a fine dish, bits of the prophet Amos served up with Rabelaisian sauce, with a strong taste of John Stuart Mill, and in the far background, old Socrates himself....
"It is, in short, a book in praise of freedom and in defense of freedom.It is in praise of that kind of freedom which is the right of every human being who is born upon this earth, a 'freedom to do what he likes within reasonable laws.'"
——from the Foreword by Alan Paton
[from the dust jacket]
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