Gillian Slovo: Truth and Reconciliation
Click play to listen. Recorded on November 12, 2006.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Anyone who felt that he or she was a victim of its violence was invited to come forward and be heard. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution. It resulted in a country turning from its terrible past and, at long last, enemies making peace with one another. But was it that simple?
In 1982, Gillian Slovo’s mother, also a journalist, was murdered in South Africa. The perpetrators of this heinous crime sought amnesty from the TRC and Slovo was there to record the hearings. Here, Slovo discusses her difficult and intimate interaction with the criminals that killed her mother as well as her book Red Dust (2002), a fictional account of this experience.
Novelist Gillian Slovo was born in 1952 in South Africa, the daughter of Joe Slovo, leader of the South African Communist party, and Ruth First, a journalist who was murdered in 1982. She has lived in England since 1964, working as a writer, journalist and film producer. Her first novel, Morbid Symptoms, began a series of crime fiction. Other novels include Ties of Blood, The Betrayal and Red Dust, a courtroom drama set in contemporary South Africa.