Watch: Gaongalelwe Tiro talks about why he wrote his book Parcel Of Death: The Biography of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro
More about the book!
Gaongalelwe Tiro discussed his book Parcel Of Death: The Biography of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro with Polity SA.
Parcel of Death recounts the little-told life story of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro, the first South African freedom fighter the apartheid regime pursued beyond the country’s borders to assassinate with a parcel bomb.
On 29 April 1972, Tiro made one of the most consequential revolutionary addresses in South African history. Dubbed the Turfloop Testimony, Tiro’s anti-apartheid speech saw him and many of his fellow student activists expelled, igniting a series of strikes in tertiary institutions across the country.
By the time he went into exile in Botswana, Tiro was president of the Southern African Student Movement (SASM), permanent organiser of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and a leading Black Consciousness proponent, hailed by many as the ‘godfather’ of the June 1976 uprisings.
Parcel of Death uses extensive and exclusive interviews to highlight significant influences and periods in Tiro’s life.
Onkgopotse Tiro was Gaongalelwe Tiro’s paternal uncle. In the interview, he explains why he decided to write the book.
‘The reason I decided to write this story was because I thought it would be important to chronicle his contribution to the liberation struggle,’ Tiro says, ‘but also to look at him in totality, in terms of the formative influences that led him to being the activist that he was.
‘There are several other reasons, but one of the key ones is that I wanted to keep his story in the popular consciousness of people, particularly because it is one case that remains unresolved, the family never got justice. In actual fact, as far as I’m concerned, the case was never investigated at all.’
Watch the full interview: