There Was This Goat
On April 23, 1996, Notrose Nobomvu Konile lifted her hand and swore to tell the truth to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She was the mother of Zabonke Konile, a young man killed in what has become known as the Gugulethu Seven incident. Antjie Krog, reporting as a journalist at the time, was struck by the seeming incoherence of the testimony. In 2004, colleagues Nosisi Mpolweni and Kopano Ratele joined Krog in a closer investigation of Mrs. Konile's words. The resulting three-year collaboration, drawing on different disciplinary and social backgrounds, has produced a fascinating account that leaves no detail of Mrs. Konile's narrative unexplored and poses questions about the unacknowledged assumptions that underpin research in this country. In addition, the book sheds light on the larger and highly relevant issues of how black and white South Africans can build bridges towards understanding one another across the cultural, social, and economic divides that threaten the country's democracy.
Publication Date: 3/1/2009