White Man's Justice: South African Political Trials in the Black Consciousness Era

By Michael Lobban | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

This book seeks to analyse the dialogues and disputes in the courtrooms of the 1970s by using the materials before the courts of the day. It does not, therefore, rely heavily on oral sources, but draws mainly from trial transcripts and documentary evidence available to the police and the courts. None the less, I am very grateful to the numerous defendants and lawyers who gave me valuable insights into their experience during the trials and into the background of the cases. It is their history: and I hope that I have done it the justice it deserves.

Much of the research was done when I was a Junior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of the Witwatersrand. I should like to express my gratitude to the staff and students in that Department for providing a stimulating environment for the work, as well as to colleagues in Oxford and Durham, who have provided much support during the writing of the book.

I have benefited from the courtesy and helpfulness of librarians in the William Cullen Library at Wits., the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the British Library, the Bodleian Law Library and Rhodes House in Oxford. I owe particular debts of gratitude to Mrs Anna Cunningham and Ms Michelle Pickover, of the Department of Historical Papers at Wits., and to Glenn Moss, who have all helped me greatly in finding many of the sources used in this book. I am also grateful to Rick Abel for comments and suggestions.

Two people deserve a special mention: Frédérique Lachaud, who has given me support in countless ways during the writing of this book; and my mother, Faith McDonald, whose commitment to justice in South Africa opened my eyes to these questions in the first place, and who still keeps them open.

-v-

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