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Songs and SecretsA decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma the dismissal of Zuma as Deputy Zuma's defeat of Mbeki in ANC presidential elections and the recall of Mbeki as South African president are Songs and eBook #180 events that left many ANC cadres politically and emotionally aghast Were these events the resul. Being a Dane with an interest in the struggle for freedom and democracy in South Africa I have just read Barry Gilder’s Songs and Secrets which I highly recommend to others It gives a vivid and first hand insight into the struggle against apartheid and for democracy from 1976 where the story begins with the author going into exile as a young freedom fighter of Jewish descent This book has filled a gap for me because I have only followed the political development in South Africa after 1994 in the media and on a few visits More than half of the book is devoted to the time after the ANC won the election in 1994 and Nelson Mandela became President Thus the book is unfolding the exciting story about the struggle to turn South Africa around after 1994 The writer has a captivating way of telling his story and his book is well written with a good use of little humoristic episodes The content is tough stuff The author was positioned at the top of South Africa’s Intelligence Services National and International and in the Ministry of Home Affairs where he held the position of Director General It is shocking to hear how the Apartheid National Intelligence Headuarters in 1993 had destroyed 44 tons of paper and microfilm records “We were told of truckloads of records making a daily run to the furnaces of the Pretoria smelter of Iscor” the same happened to files of the Apartheid police and military The Apartheid regime thus eliminated “thousands of voices that should have been part of the nation’s memory” and prevented the new democratic government access to the secrets of the former state Gilder reminds us in his final chapter that history normally is written by the victors But this is not the case with South Africa The reason is first of all the negotiated revolution and its many considerations to the inhabitants of the former Apartheid system That the story which Barry Gilder is conveying to us in “Songs and Secrets” is of invaluable importance can also be seen in a personal experience I had last year in Bloemfontain I was invited to the celebrations of ANC’s 100 birthday and was placed at a lodge with other guests This is what the white owner of the lodge’s could say about Apartheid time “I am not responsible It was my forefathers who did it” He was in his sixties and had lived for as many years during Apartheid as Barry Gilder But “Songs and Secrets” is not about placing blame or guilt It is a book about how difficult it is to turn a government from being racialist uneual oppressive and exploiting to becoming a democratic and just society with eual rights to all its citizens

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summary Songs and Secrets ✓ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ ❮PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Songs and Secrets Author Barry Gilder – Horticulturetrader.co.uk A decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then dT of personal enmity Was it the beginning of the break up of the broad church that the ANC had become to unite all forces in the struggle against apartheid Or did the roots lie in the global dynamic that allowed South Africa its freedom as the Cold War cooledWritten in an anecdotal and cinematic style Songs and Secrets explores these uestions through the viewfinder of a former high ranking member of the ANC's secret intelligence w. A white man South African or otherwise; involved in a black people's liberation struggle back in the day always aroused curiosity sometimes bordering on heightened suspicion on the one side and deep resentment on the other It was far worse for one who developed into a spy or for palatability let's call it an intelligence officer for the movementWithout ualification the situation was for all intents and purposes always a simple one of 'them and us' whites in general and non whites in their massesIn 469 pages excluding his notes Barry Gilder's book 'Songs and Secrets South Africa from Liberation to Governance' seeks in one perspective to explain the contradictions and his personal motivation In another; it narrates a common experience of activist cadres in the South Africa's almost century long liberation struggle movement and central to which was the African National Congress and the South African Communist PartyBorn to a Jewish family in 1950 and at 26 fled the country of his birth to join the ANC in exile his entry point being Botswana; Gilder in the book exudes a celebratory mood that in many ways seeks to justify his decision on 16 January 1976 to abandon a privileged life of a white person in Cape Town and Johannesburg However in the main he shares with mixed emotions in a simple language the experiences with and insights into the ANC led liberation movement that led to the first democratic elections in 1994 and its aftermath in the period he served in government up to 2007Within this narration emerges a web of issues some personal others organisational ranging from poverty and richness of relationships established dogged commitments and resilience under extremely tough conditions in exile aggravated occasionally by spells of inept management bereft of coherent leadership to strategy and tactics some dangerously haphazard employed by the ANC and allies in establishing order in a chaotic new democratic state made all the difficult by one key factor lack of basic trust between parties previously adversariesThat the ANC and its allies seemed to have been taken by surprise by the Apartheid regime 'sudden' about turn in the late 80's this despite it boasting an intelligence network in which Gilder served never mind clear pointers to a change of course marked by informal talks including South Africa's business leaders made early days of governance of the new democratic state that difficult it emergesInterestingly Gilder also does not shy away from expressing feelings about the pathetic suabble my description that ensued within the ANC Alliance in the period 2005 2008 over former President Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy and current organisation and country President Jacob Zuma and which led to the former eventually embarrassingly getting recalled from his post in September 2008 with only months to go to end of term as president of the countryIndeed Gilder states unambiguously his disappointment at the events thus This is not the ANC we grew up in mfo I don't know this ANC What happened to the discipline that was drummed into us in the camps What happened to the commitment to the struggle Nowadays it's like everyone is in it for themselves This is not the ANC of Oliver Tambo p15Further down the book p437 Gilder clearly reflects his enduring state of unhappiness in his hypothetical even prayerful note to former cadre colleague and friend the late Mduduzo Guma aka Comrade Manoba ANCSACP Conuerer Ntswana uMkhonto WesizweThe second thing I was to raise with you Comrade is some uestions What do you make of the new South Africa we have built Does it even approximate the South Africa we dreamed about in the Coffee And our movement You see this fight between comrades Thabo and JZ Does it make sense to you From where you are can you see into the future Will we ever get over thisThese expressions are of course; effervescently blunted of their potentially explosive true nature and possible impact by a precursor p3 thus If you opened this book in the hope of enjoying the confidences of a disillusioned cadre of the South African liberation movement close it put it downThe author is not a disaffected intelligence officer exposing the secrets with which he was entrusted in revenge for wrongs done to himAs if you and I would know a disclosed secret if we spotted one despite the blatant perhaps unnecessary denial Gilder bluntly acknowledges the specific situation p18 as a wound across my mind and my personal history Not a 'disillusioned cadre' It's unashamedly wide open for discussion'UMSHINI WAM' MAKES NO SENSE IN SCRIPT A EVENTS MAP DOESIn telling the story Gilder the artist musician apparently noted for his incredible guitar skills regularly breaks into a song virtually all of them liberation struggle songs This is the part I hate most in the book because while I am absolutely certain that these are great songs by a very able artist keen to share I can't for the life of me hear a darn thing He rather than be rhythmic and loud Barry is mute and starring yet I don't read music I am only able to listen to itFor consolation though I take great delight in Gilder's passion of interspersing his narration also with related and unrelated country and world historical events neatly mapped with dates to boot A great source of reference for anyone with interest in such matters Ah now that I also remember; in his first year or so in exile Gilder was by his own account p26 apparently tasked to investigate an organisation called Okhela ostensibly a 'white wing of the ANC established and led by Breyten Breytenbach I do not recall that he ever accomplished the taskEnd

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Ing It follows the author into the ANC's military camps in Angola to Moscow for spycraft training to the underground in Botswana and into leadership positions in the administration of the new government Gilder's frank memoir explores the personal political psychological and historical realities that gave birth to the new South Africa in particular the oft ignored conditions in which the ANC government tried to turn apartheid aroun. This is a wonderful book Gilder's modesty is refreshing given the propensity of memoirists to glorify their own roles His generosity toward the foibles of his colleagues in the struggle is really uite moving His message about how hard it is to maintain a committed course when the many distractions of personal interest rival for individuals the importance of the general struggle after liberation is sobering but offers a good explanation of what appear to be ANC mis steps Gilder's techniue of interspersing his story with contemporary international events is terrific It successfully puts the ANC's struggle into historical context countering the tendency of historical narratives to proceed in isolation Gilder deserves thanks and admiration for his participation in and reflections on South Africa's and the ANC's astounding stories