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Killing Karoline

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Killing Karoline

Sara-Jayne King discusses her book Killing Karoline. (Camera & editing: Lionel da Silva)

30th August 2017


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Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee.

Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.


Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from.

Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.


She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.


Sara-Jayne King is a mixed-race South African/British journalist and radio presenter whose career spans over a decade and has taken her across the globe in search of remarkable stories and fascinating characters.

While studying for an LLB degree in the UK, Sara-Jayne realised her passion lay elsewhere, and after graduating, she went on to complete a Master’s in Journalism in 2004. Her career began as a junior journalist in local radio in London and since then has included roles in the Middle East and Africa, most recently as a Senior Editor for news channel eNCA and presenter for Primedia’s talk radio station Cape Talk.

Killing Karoline is published by Jacana Media


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