South Africa: Remembering Rivonia Trialist Denis Goldberg - Lessons in Toxic Power, Populism and Corruption Still Abound

opinion

Denis Goldberg was always forthright in condemning any malfeasance in the ANC, an organisation he loved, and, when the corruption and fraud rackets of the Zuma administration came to the fore, he spoke truth to power and made power truthful.

"Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes" - Bertolt Brecht, Galileo

The awe-inspiring histories of South African freedom fighters have always struck me with a sense of courageous romanticism. Our history is filled with pages of women and men who, against all odds, suffering the depravities that one could only picture happening in a bygone era, raised their clenched fists in defiance against tyranny and oppression. One such hero was Denis Theodore Goldberg who died just under a year ago, a man who defied what Frantz Fanon characterised as cognitive dissonance by refusing to accept what 99% of the white population uncritically permitted under the apartheid regime.

I was born in 1986, a year after Goldberg had been released from prison after serving 22 years under the Sabotage and Suppression of Communism acts and a year after the PW Botha regime declared a State of Emergency, upping the oppressive ante by using extrajudicial brutality against those opposing apartheid....

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