193 pp., paperback, Reprint, Cape Town, (2003) 2013.
Over a three month period in 1998 clinical psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela interviewed Eugene de Kock, formerly a commanding officer of apartheid death squads, in an attempt to understand his actions. Colonel de Kock is currently serving 212 years in prison for crimes against humanity. In this book Gobodo-Madikizela reflects of these interviews and explores how an apparently ordinary person became a killer.
Foreword by Albie Sachs.
"Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela has every reason to loathe renowned apartheid death squad chief Eugene de Kock. But in this searching look at him, she gives evidence of an even greater human mystery: the capacity for understanding and compassion." Adam Hochschild, author of "King Leopold's Ghost"
"...a disturbing voyage into the heart of a professional killer and a coolly intelligent analysis of how conscience gets to be numbed; but also an exploration of the workings of forgiveness..." JM Coetzee
This book won the 2004 Alan Paton Award.
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Senior Research Professor on trauma, forgiveness and reconciliation at the University of the Free State, and former Professor of Psychology at the University of Cape Town. She served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).