June 7, 2010 |
At 60, he walks like an old man, hobbling slowly out of his room, sitting stiffly on a plastic chair in the house he grew up in, with its corrugated tin roof, cheap furniture and glass cabinet crowded with faded mementos. He absently touches his swollen right knee, the old soccer injury that cut short his career and sent him home to Atteridgeville and a life spent selling shoes in a sporting goods store. But here in the township outside Pretoria where he was born, he will always be a hero.
December 6, 2009 |
Real Hollywood tough guys can wear Nike trainers or tasseled loafers. Tough guys -- the old-school variety, that is, as opposed to today's preening, pumped-up action heroes who yell out for a digital avatar when the going gets sticky -- don't bark their thoughts in drill-sergeant cadences. They speak them in low, self-assured tones, befitting their muscular résumés. Tough guys, at least those of a certain age, can be very mellow cats, sitting in the bar of the Carlyle Hotel, listening to jazz and munching peanuts.
October 24, 2009 |
Some two decades ago, as this newspaper's correspondent in South Africa, I watched apartheid crumble and Nelson Mandela walk free from prison. It was a reporter's dream, covering the final gasps of an unjust system that was vilified around the world. And it had all the ingredients of a wonderful story, with courageous and malevolent characters on both sides. "Endgame," a British docu-drama on PBS this Sunday night, is an ambitious effort to turn the events leading up to that historic moment into a political thriller.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2008 |
Es'kia Mphahlele, 88, a politically active South African writer celebrated for his vivid autobiography about the hardships of apartheid, died Monday at a hospital near his home in Lebowakgomo, in northern South Africa, family friend Raks Seakhoa told the Associated Press. The cause of death was not given, but Seakhoa said in an interview Tuesday that the writer had been in poor health for some time.
November 3, 2006 |
WHEN I WAS protesting apartheid as a college student in the 1980s, South African President P. W. Botha, who died Tuesday at the age of 90, was the embodiment of racist evil. But when my car broke down near his house in South Africa a decade ago, I was sufficiently brash and morbidly curious that I decided to call the "Great Crocodile" and invite myself over for tea. I was in South Africa in 1996 and 1997 researching a book about the country's transformation from apartheid.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2006 |
Hilda Bernstein, 91, an anti-apartheid activist and author who was a founding member of the Federation of South African Women, the first nonracial women's organization in South Africa, died of heart failure Friday at her home in Cape Town, South Africa. Bernstein, whose husband was tried for treason along with Nelson Mandela, was born in London in 1915 and emigrated to South Africa in 1932, working in advertising, publishing and journalism.