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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Falling through the cracks of South Africa's liberation: comrades' counter-memories of squatter resistance in the 1980s
Author:Wale, Kim
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
anti-apartheid resistance
social status
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2016.1249144
Abstract:The commemorating narrative of South African nationhood tells the story of the national liberation struggle against apartheid and the transition to freedom and democracy. It places the present ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), at its heart as leader of the struggle and bringer of freedom. However, the cracks and contradictions in this national story are increasingly evident, as poverty, injustice and inequality deepen. This article draws on a case study of former anti-apartheid struggle comrades who continue to experience poverty and oppression. Their social exclusion is expressed though the contested ways in which they give meaning to past struggles in relation to the dominant national narrative. In the current context of widespread unemployment, they face a memory paradox. Conflicting desires underpin the way in which they give meaning to their experiences as they attempt to gain access to military pensions, which, however, assume a version of the past that endorses the national liberation narrative. They also contest some of the underlying assumptions of this narrative and the politics it implies. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]