In his new book, Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit
(Hurst, 2019), Hennie van Vuuren
examines the final decades of the apartheid regime in South Africa. He weaves together archival material, interviews and newly declassified documents to expose some of the darkest secrets of apartheid’s economic crimes and their murderous consequences. Those who profited from sustaining white power in South Africa included heads of state, arms dealers, aristocrats, bankers, spies, journalists and secret lobbyists. Whistleblowers were assassinated and ordinary people suffered.
This war machine, as van Vuuren describes it, remains a largely hidden aspect of South Africa’s past – until now. Van Vuuren explains how shades of apartheid continue to threaten democracy; inequality, poverty, insecurity, state surveillance, excessive police force, selective prosecutions, and threats to media freedom from a good part of the post-apartheid political experience. The book attempts to piece together the secret global network that profited from apartheid, it calls for the new South Africa to confront its dark past.
Hennie van Vuuren is a researcher and anti-corruption activist. Formerly director at the Institute for Security Studies, he is director of Open Secrets, a non-profit seeking private sector accountability for economic crime and related human rights violations. He is co-author of the The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything
Bekeh Utietiang Ukelina is an Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York, Cortland. His research examines the ideologies and practices of development in Africa, South of the Sahara. He focuses primarily on understanding the interlocking layers of exploitation rooted in the colonial and new imperialist global systems. His recent book,
The Second Colonial Occupation: Development Planning, Agriculture, and the Legacies of British Rule in Nigeria won the 2018 NYASA Book Award. Bekeh teaches courses in Global History, Development History, African history, Slavery, and Digital History. He holds a PhD in History from West Virginia University. For more NBN interviews, follow him on Twitter @bekeh or head to www.bekeh.com