Student Comrade Prisoner Spy: A Memoir

Student Comrade Prisoner Spy: A Memoir

by Bridget Hilton-Barber


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When Bridget Hilton-Barber got on a train to Grahamstown in 1982 to study journalism at Rhodes University, she had no idea of the brutal drama that would unfold. A rebellious young woman, she became politically involved in anti-apartheid organisations and was caught up in the massive resistance and repression sweeping the Eastern Cape at the time. She ended up spending three months in detention without trial, and after her release discovered she had been betrayed by one of her best friends, Olivia Forsyth, who was a spy for the South African security police. Thirty years later, a horrific flashback triggers Bridget’s journey back to the Eastern Cape to see if she can forgive her betrayer and finally let go of the extraordinary violence she encountered in the final days of apartheid. This is her powerful story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781770228009
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Publication date: 12/16/2016
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bridget Hilton-Barber is a well-known travel writer and author based in Limpopo province. A former travel correspondent for Radio 702 and editor of Sawubona, SAA’s in-flight magazine, she has had a colourful career in the South African media spanning some twenty years and has written for most of South Africa’s top publications. Her memoir Garden of My Ancestors was the intensely personal story of her family and roots. This is her ninth book.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part 1 Burning Woman 3

1 Train to Rhodes 5

2 City of Saints 15

3 Meeting Olivia 27

4 The Fruit Basket 37

5 Waiting for the breeze 47

6 Heartbreak in the time of the Struggle 53

7 Currie Street 63

8 Burning woman 75

9 The Cradock Four 81

10 National madness 89

11 Olive's farewell 97

12 Jazz and Violence 101

13 Alexandria Police Station 107

14 North End 111

15 Pak jou goed 117

16 Fort Glamorgan 121

17 Spyker 127

18 Knitting 131

19 Uncertain future 137

Part 2 Transitions 139

20 Uncomfortably numb 141

21 Champagne and freedom 151

22 Truth and reconciliation 157

23 Olivia receding 165

Part 3 The Road of Broken Memory 171

24 Crash, 2015 173

25 Liberating the ghosts 181

26 On the road 185

27 Aloes in the cold 191

28 Photographs and memories 197

29 Sequelae 205

30 Choices 211

Afterword 215

Addendum 217

Acknowledgements 229

Abbreviations 231

Glossary 233

Sources 237

Index 239

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