302pp., illus, paperback, Johannesburg, 2021
Biography of academic and politician Frederik van Zyl Slabbert (1940-2010).
Slabbert taught sociology at Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town before being appointed Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1973. He led the Progressive Federal Party (PFP), the official opposition in the House of Assembly, from 1978 to 1986, when he resigned because he felt that Parliament had become an irrelevant institution in the South African context.
Together with Alex Boraine, a fellow PFP MP, he formed the think tank the Institute for Democracy in Africa (DASA). As head of IDASA, Slabbert played a leading role in initiating dialogue between white South Africans and the ANC in exile, leading to the 1987 Dakar Conference. From the 1990s until his death Slabbert was a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He was appointed as the 13th chancellor of Stellenbosch University in August 2008, but suffered a heart attack at the end of the same year. He resigned for health reasons in September 2009 and died in May 2010.
Albert Grundlingh, now retired, was Head of the History Department at Stellenbosch University. His books include In Different Times: the War for southern Africa 1966-1989, Fighting Their Own War: South African Blacks and the First World War, Potent Pastimes: sport and leisure practices in modern Afrikaner history and The Dynamics of Treason.