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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Excerpt: Spanner in the Works by Pat Fahrenfort

Spanner in the WorksRandom Struik has published an excerpt from Pat Fahrenfort’s autobiography, Spanner in the Works: One Woman’s Journey from Factory Floor to Corridors of Power.

Fahrenhort went from working on a factory floor at age fifteen, to helping to draft the new South African Constitution after apartheid was ended. In this extract she writes about applying for unemployment funds:

The Gleemore Hall, situated off Klipfontein Road in Athlone, was used as a depot for the Department of Manpower, where unemployed people collected their funds. I made arrangements for a neighbour to look after Rene so that I could go and draw my unemployment funds. Thanks to my mother, who was a shop steward in her factory, I knew the rules for the drawn-out process. The first week involved registration, the second and third week was for signing the register. A payment was usually made after the third or fourth week.

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Book Launch: Spanner in the Works by Pat Fahrenfort at the District Six Museum

Launch invite - Spanner in the Works by Pat Fahrenfort

 
Spanner in the Works: One Woman's Journey from Factory Floor to Corridors of PowerUmuzi Publishers and the District Six Museum invite you to the launch of Spanner in the Works by Pat Fahrenfort.

Fahrenfort will be in conversation with Antjie Krog on Monday 20 August at the Homecoming Centre at 5:30 PM for 6 PM. Please RSVP before 16 August.

See you there!

Event Details

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From Factory Floor to Corridors of Power: Introducing Pat Fahrenfort’s Spanner in the Works

Spanner in the WorksPat Fahrenfort knows about hard work. Her background meant factory floors from age fifteen in a country where jobs were still advertised for “Fair-Skinned Coloureds”. But young Pat had other plans. Whether she was in overalls gluing spines to books in an assembly line, or in high heels dancing as a cabaret artist, she was determined to set her own course, and put herself through university.

Involving herself in the struggle for democracy, Pat moves from faculty officer at the University of the Western Cape to being part of the country’s first post-apartheid administration – the Constitutional Assembly set up to deliberate and write South Africa’s new Constitution. Later she is appointed to a deputy directorship in the Ministry of Labour.

Spanner in the Works provides a unique view of the triumphs and challenges leading up to democratisation. Resisting harassment and discrimination throughout her career, and describing her frustrations in working for the new government, Pat’s story is an unflinchingly frank account of one woman’s resolve to speak truth to power, irrespective of where she discovers it.

About the author

Pat Fahrenfort left school at age fifteen to work in a factory. Her personal determination led her to complete a university degree. She consistently involved herself both in broader struggles for democracy in South Africa and localised struggles for equity and justice in her places of work. She joined the Constitutional Assembly to work on South Africa’s new Constitution, and worked alongside leading political figures before and after taking up a position as deputy director in the Ministry of Labour.

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Video: Peter Harris Cites Franschhoek Literary Festival as SA’s Premier Lit Fest

BirthIn a Different TimeIn an interview with Wanted’s Alexander Matthews, Peter Harris, author of Birth and In a Different Time, talks about broadening the scope of literary festivals like the Franschhoek Literary Festival, in order to include a wider range of people.

Watch the video below, courtesy Wanted:
 
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Podcast: Peter Harris Unpacks the Death of Bheki Mlangeni

In a Different TimeBirthJenny Crwys-Williams hosted Peter Harris, author and human rights lawyer, on a recent Best of Jenny Crwys-Williams show. Harris spoke about the death of ANC lawyer Bheki Mlangeni, an event which is novelised in Harris’ award-winning book, In a Different Time:

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Hannes Haasbroek oor die verhouding tussen Bram Fischer en sy ma Ella

'n Seun soos BramHannes Haasbroek, skrywer van ‘n nuwe biografie oor apartheidstryder Bram Fischer, ‘n Seun soos Bram, skryf in Beeld oor die “verdraagsaamheid en liefde” tussen Fischer, wat ‘n leidende rol in die Kommunistiese Party geneem het, en sy ma, Ella, wat die nasionalistiese sentimente van sy pa, Percy, gedeel het. Haasbroek verwys na Ella se dagboekinskrywings en die briewe wat sy en Bram vir mekaar gestuur het om hul hegte verhouding te belig:

In Suid-Afrika se geskiedenis was daar gebeure wat families, vriende en kollegas uitmekaar geskeur het weens hul politieke sien- inge wat geen ruimte gelaat het vir dié van ander nie, hoe naby die bloed ook al geloop het.

Dink maar aan die Anglo-Boereoorlog en sy joiners; later die Rebellie van 1914, waartydens die oorlog se Boereleiers die rug op mekaar gekeer het. En dan was daar die Natte en die Sappe, en die dae toe die ondersteuners van die Nasionale Party en dié van die Suid-Afrikaanse Party, later die Verenigde Party, nie gehuiwer het om mekaar te lyf te gaan by openbare vergaderings nie.

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Umuzi Authors at the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Several Umuzi authors will be featuring at the Franschhoek Literary Festival this weekend, from the 13th to the 15th of May.

HomingBodyhoodBlack HeartBirthHigh Low In-betweenBirds in WordsStones Against the MirrorA Case of KnivesStolen LivesDinosaurs, Diamonds

The list of events includes authors Henrietta Rose-Innes(Homing), Leon de Kock (Bodyhood), Mike Nicol (Black Heart), Peter Harris (Birth), Imraan Coovadia (High Low In-between), Gus Ferguson (Birds in Words), Hugh Lewin (Stones Against the Mirror), Julian de Wette (A Case of Knives), Jassy Mackenzie (Stolen Lives) and Francis Wilson (Dinosaurs, Diamonds & Democracy).

Here’s the “Umuzi Programme” at the FLF. See you in Franschhoek!

FRIDAY 13 MAY

  • 13h00 – 15h00

    Henrietta Rose Innes
    Event: The Write Honourables
    Venue: Hospice Hall

  • 14h30- 15h30

    Leon de Kock
    Event: Letters to South Africa
    Venue: School Hall

    Jassy Mackenzie and Mike Nicol
    Event: Exactly What is Krimi?
    Venue: Council Chamber

    Jenny Hobbs
    Event: Transitions
    Venue: Congregational Hall

  • 16h00 – 17h00

    Peter Harris
    Event: 1994 and All That
    Venue: School Hall

    Imraan Coovadia
    Event: Durbs by the Sea
    Venue: Church Hall

SATURDAY 14 MAY

  • 10h00 – 11h00

    Jassy Mackenzie

    Event: Blood, Guts, Sweat and Tears
    Venue: Church Hall

  • 14h30 – 15h30
    Leon de Kock

    Event: Can You Teach Writing?
    Venue: Council Chambers

  • 16h00 – 17h00

    Imraan Coovadia

    Event: Critical Factors
    Venue: Hospice Hall

    Henrietta Rose-Innes
    Event: Short Stories Africa
    Venue: Council Chambers

    Peter Harris
    Event: Birth
    Venue: Congregational Church

  • 19h30

    Imraan Coovadia (Host)
    Sunday Times Fund-raising dinner at Rubens

SUNDAY 15 MAY

  • 10h00 – 11h00

    Francis Wilson
    Event: Leadership and Innovation
    Venue: School Hall

  • 11h30 – 12h30

    Mike Nicol
    Event: Skop, Skiet en Donder
    Venue: School Hall

    Rayda Jacobs, Henrietta Rose-Innes, and Gus Ferguson
    Event: Oh Cape Town! My Cape Town!
    Venue: Hospice Hall

  • 13h00 – 14h00

    Peter Harris
    Event: Do I Give up the Day Job?
    Venue: School Hall

    Julian de Wette, Hugh Lewin
    Event: Writing from Exile
    Venue: Church Hall

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Video: Peter Harris on Vox Africa’s “Shoot the Messenger”

BirthIn a Different TimePeter Harris, lawyer and author of In a Different Time and Birth: The Conspiracy to Stop the ’94 Election, was recently featured on Vox Africa’s current affairs programme, “Shoot the Messenger”. The discussion with presenter Henry Bonsu – and featuring Decima Francis, Kwabena Manso and Usifu Jalloh – follows the publication of Harris’ In a Different Time in the UK, as A Just Defiance.

During his time in the UK, Harris was also interviewed by Anne McElvoy on BBC Radio 3.

Watch the Vox Africa interview:

Harris Video

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Video: Christy van der Merwe speaks to Peter Harris about Birth

BirthWas there ever a point, during his stint as Monitoring Directorate of the Independent Electoral Commission in 1994, that Peter Harris, author of Birth: The Conspiracy to Stop the ’94 Election, thought that the transition to the New South Africa might not happen?

This is what Christy van der Merwe wanted to know in an interview with Harris for Creamer Media’s Polity. In a way, Harris said, the transition was an almost “unstoppable force”, but there were certainly counter-forces trying to prevent the election from happening. If they had succeeded, the transition might not have happened, or might have been delayed for quite some time.

Watch:

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Peter Harris is Reading Chris Marnewick

BirthThe Soldier Who Said NoPeter Harris, author of Birth, talks briefly about reading The Soldier Who Said No by Chris Marnewick:

What are you reading right now?

I am reading The Soldier Who Said No by Chris Marnewick.

In a nutshell?

It is about a former SA Special Forces soldier who declines to execute an order from a superior and who bears the consequence of that refusal for the rest of his life. It is set in both New Zealand and South Africa and is a fascinating and intriguing blend of non-fiction and fiction.

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