Unfinished Business
South Africa, Apartheid and Truth
Part of the Haymarket series
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392 pages / September 2003 / 9781859845455

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This book pulls back the curtain on the 'political miracle' of the new South Africa.

Many people, both in South Africa and abroad, hoped that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in 1996 would uncover the hidden history of South Africa's apartheid past. It is a widely propagated myth that it did so. In fact, most of the thirty-three-year mandate of the Commission was ignored. Behind a facade of time constraints and managerial short comings, some intended investigations never proceeded, others were bungled. Most importantly, no serious examination was made of the system that gave rise to some of the most horrific, racist social engineering of modern times.

Unfinished Business pulls back the curtain on the 'political miracle' of the new South Africa to reveal some of the real stories in its past: how the Afrikaner Broederbond operated, the murderous activities of the South African security forces in Transkei, the citation of De Klerk as a defendant in a civil action for murder at exactly the moment he was traveling to Oslo to collect a Nobel peace prize, and many others.

Seeking to probe where the Commission failed or feared to tread, this books asks how long South Africa's miracle might be expected to last.


“A well-researched and brilliant expose of the apartheid system.”

“A brilliant and important book that should be read by everybody interested in the truth behind the ’truth and reconciliation’ hype of the new South Africa. In the finest traditions of fearless, independent journalism, Terry Bell reveals the cover-ups and charades that allowed the shock troops of apartheid to get away with a crime against humanity.”

“Incredibly illuminating . . . woven together into a narrative with great skill.”

“During the apartheid era in South Africa, the ruthless security apparatus of the state committed crimes against humanity, invaded and destabilised neighboring states, stymied the future of generations of black Africans; and they continue to wield considerable power. Unfinished Business is a startling and revealing account of the rise and fall of a doomed system of racial domination and raises questions about the fate of the new South Africa.”

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