The Man Who Killed Apartheid by Harris Dousemetzis shortlisted for prestigious Fage and Oliver Prize
 More about the book!

Harris Dousemetzis’s book The Man Who Killed Apartheid: The Life of Dimitri Tsafendas has been shortlisted for the Fage and Oliver Prize.

The African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (ASAUK) awards the Fage and OIiver Prize to the author of an outstanding and original scholarly work published on Africa.

Chair of judges Professor Ray Bush said:

‘We have been delighted and challenged by the tremendous quality of submissions. We have read exceptionally engaged and important work on Africa from a range of disciplines which made shortlisting difficult but enjoyable.’

Dousemetzis is a lecturer of politics at the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, England and holds a PhD in politics from Durham University. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and author of the Report to the Minister of Justice in the Matter of Dr Verwoerd’s Assassination. He spent nearly 10 years research the story of Dimitri Tsafendas.

The book was written with journalist and writer Gerry Loughran.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 9 September 2020.

2020 Fage and OIiver Prize shortlist

  • Silenced Resistance: Women, Dictatorships, and Genderwashing in Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea by Joanna Allan (USA, University of Wisconsin Press)
  • The Revolution’s Echoes: Music, Politics, and Pleasure in Guinea by Nomi Dave (USA, The University of Chicago Press)
  • The Man Who Killed Apartheid: The Life of Dimitri Tsafendas by Harris Dousemetzis (South Africa, Jacana Media (Pty))
  • Modernist Art in Ethiopia by Elizabeth W. Giorgis (USA, Ohio University Press)
  • A Fistful of Shells: West Africa From the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution by Toby Green (UK, Allen Lane)
  • At the crossroads: Nigerian Travel Writing and Literary Culture in Yoruba and English by Rebecca Jones (UK, James Currey, Boydell & Brewer)
  • Mũkami Kĩmathi: Mau Mau Woman Freedom Fighter by Wairimu Nderitu (Kenya, Mdahalo Bridging Divides)
  • An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun by Kristin Phillips (USA, Indiana University Press)
  • Africa’s Gene Revolution. Genetically Modified Crops and the Future of African Agriculture by Matthew A Schnurr (Canada, McGill-Queen’s University Press)

About the book

Dr Hendrik Verwoerd was murdered by Dimitri Tsafendas on 6 September 1966. In the Cape Supreme Court, Tsafendas was found unfit to stand trial on the grounds that he suffered from schizophrenia. The Court found that Tsafendas had no political motive for killing Verwoerd. Tsafendas was declared a State President’s patient and was detained first in prison then in a mental institution until his death in 1999. For most of his incarceration he was subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment by the prison authorities.

Harris Dousemetzis’s groundbreaking story shows in vivid detail that Dimitri Tsafendas was a deeply political person, a communist and the son of an anarchist. He was committed to an independent Mozambique, the country of his birth, and once even travelled throughout the country operating a communist library. He despised Verwoerd for his apartheid policy and the misery inflicted by those who enforced the apartheid laws. He wanted to end the madness of apartheid, so he murdered its creator.

‘Monumental […] of major historical importance for South Africa and as to our understanding of Verwoerd’s assassination.’ – Advocate George Bizos

‘South African history should know the truth about Tsafendas. Dousemetzis has done South Africa a service by correcting the historical record.’ – Professor John Dugard

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Categories International Non-fiction South Africa

Tags African Studies Association of the United Kingdom Awards Dimitri Tsafendas Fage and Oliver Prize News The Man Who Killed Apartheid

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