oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - The quietude of transitional justice : five rhetorical questions

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



What are we talking about? For a day, a virtual eternity in the governing "news cycle", the left-leaning international media buzzes with commentary regarding the South African government's decision to parole Eugene de Kock. For those familiar with South Africa's history and its transition to non-racial democracy, de Kock requires no introduction. An Afrikaner who "distinguished" himself in the apartheid government's "border wars", he is best and widely known as the leader of an apartheid death squad that took its name from the farm outside of Pretoria where it was headquartered - Vlakplaas. Operating from the mid-1980s into the early 1990s, de Kock's Vlakplaas unit kidnapped, tortured, and murdered scores (the precise number remains unknown) of anti-apartheid activists, many of whom were members of the ANC's Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

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