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Through an Unforgettable Storm: The Forging of a Loyal Cadre

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Through an Unforgettable Storm: The Forging of a Loyal Cadre

Stephanie Kemp discusses her book Through an Unforgettable Storm: The Forging of a Loyal Cadre. (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

4th September 2017

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The Struggle against Apartheid South Africa is vividly reflected in this personal memoir of a white South African.

Stephanie Kemp traces her origins in South Africa back to the 17th Century. She grew up in a conservative white Afrikaner family and small town community. Despite this environment, she became aware of the discrimination against black South Africans even before she started school. She entered the University of Cape Town in 1960, a year of great upheaval in South Africa. The year of the Sharpeville Massacre, a rural uprising in Mpondoland and the first attempt to assassinate the architect of Apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd.

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When she was 20 years old she was recruited into the clandestine South African Communist Party that had been outlawed in 1950, more than ten years earlier.

She also became part of the African Resistance Movement sabotage organisation. For this she was detained in solitary confinement, beaten up, charged and remained in prison for a year and a half. Much of this time she was the only white woman political prisoner.

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She left South Africa becoming stateless. In London she married lawyer Albie Sachs. Over the 24 years of her exile from her homeland, she remained involved in the underground work of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress. She worked closely with Joe Slovo and Dr. Yusuf Dadoo both icons of the liberation struggle.

She returned to South Africa in 1990 and participated in the excitement of the years to the ANC's victory in the first democratic elections of 1994. She has also lived through the disappointment of the Jacob Zuma presidency and the response across wide sectors of the South African population to the corrupt capture of the state he leads.

Through an Unforgettable Storm: The Forging of a Loyal Cadre is published by Stephanie Kemp & Clarity Editorial

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