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Songs Secrets Read Î 100 ✓ A decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma; the dismissal of Zuma as Deputy; Zuma's defeat of Mbeki in ANC presidential elections and the recall of Mbeki as South African president are events thA decade into its hard won democracy South Africa and its ruling party the ANC have been through turbulent times Confrontation between Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy Jacob Zuma; the dismissal of Zuma as Deputy; Zuma's defeat of Mbeki in ANC presidential elections and the recall of Mbeki as South African president are events that left many ANC cadres politically and emotionally aghast Were these events the result of personal. Barry Gilder's pen is as well tuned and melodious as his guitar and his songs A young white singer mobilising his fellow students on campus against apartheid Gilder has done his compulsory 9 months military service in the apartheid army but a few months before the 1976 Soweto uprising he refuses a call up which would almost certainly lead him to fight on the wrong side in Angola He has to go into exile where he is accepted in the ANC and chooses to join the armed struggle The book starts strongly with a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg during which Gilder and an old comrade from struggle days painfully exchange their feelings about present day problems in the ANC their silences filled with lyrical descriptions of the landscapes they fly over In part I Gilder then describes his 15 years in the liberation struggle his socialisation in Umkhonto we Sizwe the armed wing of the ANC training in a guerilla camp in Angola intelligence training in Moscow and underground work mainly in Botswana Part II covers his return to South Africa till his retirement in from government service mainly in intelligence and the ANC's 100th anniversary in 2012 Extensive footnotes ensure the story is as fascinating to anyone not familiar with the subject as to someone who has also been involved in the liberation struggle and stays close to post apartheid South Africa like myself Knowing a number of the people and situations Barry Gilder writes about and having read many comrades' memoirs this book is one of the best Reading was often reliving my own experience reliving the words sounds and smells the comradeship adrenaline and the awful but vital suspiciousness the pain of loss the successes deceptions and next projects brief all the intensity of the years of struggle and the ANC in exile of life in the middle of the turbulent stream of History Then the years after victory that we had imagined differently ignoring what older wiser comrades told us it would be another even harder and 'protracted' struggle And although noone could have foreseen the very different situation South Africa and the world finds itself in since 1994 that is the new struggle Gilder paints in fine sensitive lines without allowing himself or the reader to give up and lose sight of the horizon Gilder feels the soul of the ANC very much alive at its 100th anniversary celebrations Today we are a movement not a political party not a government We are the indefatigable flow of the river of history the waters that propel us forward drawing their strength and their momentum from their sources in the mountains far behind us driving us ever forward to that peaceful calm bountiful ocean we promised ourselves our people our children

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Enmity Was it the beginning of the break up of the broad church that the ANC had become to unite all forces in the struggle against apartheid Or did the roots lie in the global dynamic that allowed South Africa its freedom as the Cold War cooledWritten in an anecdotal and cinematic style Songs and Secrets explores these uestions through the viewfinder of a former high ranking member of the ANC's secret intelligence wing It. A white man South African or otherwise; involved in a black people's liberation struggle back in the day always aroused curiosity sometimes bordering on heightened suspicion on the one side and deep resentment on the other It was far worse for one who developed into a spy or for palatability let's call it an intelligence officer for the movementWithout ualification the situation was for all intents and purposes always a simple one of 'them and us' whites in general and non whites in their massesIn 469 pages excluding his notes Barry Gilder's book 'Songs and Secrets South Africa from Liberation to Governance' seeks in one perspective to explain the contradictions and his personal motivation In another; it narrates a common experience of activist cadres in the South Africa's almost century long liberation struggle movement and central to which was the African National Congress and the South African Communist PartyBorn to a Jewish family in 1950 and at 26 fled the country of his birth to join the ANC in exile his entry point being Botswana; Gilder in the book exudes a celebratory mood that in many ways seeks to justify his decision on 16 January 1976 to abandon a privileged life of a white person in Cape Town and Johannesburg However in the main he shares with mixed emotions in a simple language the experiences with and insights into the ANC led liberation movement that led to the first democratic elections in 1994 and its aftermath in the period he served in government up to 2007Within this narration emerges a web of issues some personal others organisational ranging from poverty and richness of relationships established dogged commitments and resilience under extremely tough conditions in exile aggravated occasionally by spells of inept management bereft of coherent leadership to strategy and tactics some dangerously haphazard employed by the ANC and allies in establishing order in a chaotic new democratic state made all the difficult by one key factor lack of basic trust between parties previously adversariesThat the ANC and its allies seemed to have been taken by surprise by the Apartheid regime 'sudden' about turn in the late 80's this despite it boasting an intelligence network in which Gilder served never mind clear pointers to a change of course marked by informal talks including South Africa's business leaders made early days of governance of the new democratic state that difficult it emergesInterestingly Gilder also does not shy away from expressing feelings about the pathetic suabble my description that ensued within the ANC Alliance in the period 2005 2008 over former President Thabo Mbeki and his then deputy and current organisation and country President Jacob Zuma and which led to the former eventually embarrassingly getting recalled from his post in September 2008 with only months to go to end of term as president of the countryIndeed Gilder states unambiguously his disappointment at the events thus This is not the ANC we grew up in mfo I don't know this ANC What happened to the discipline that was drummed into us in the camps What happened to the commitment to the struggle Nowadays it's like everyone is in it for themselves This is not the ANC of Oliver Tambo p15Further down the book p437 Gilder clearly reflects his enduring state of unhappiness in his hypothetical even prayerful note to former cadre colleague and friend the late Mduduzo Guma aka Comrade Manoba ANCSACP Conuerer Ntswana uMkhonto WesizweThe second thing I was to raise with you Comrade is some uestions What do you make of the new South Africa we have built Does it even approximate the South Africa we dreamed about in the Coffee And our movement You see this fight between comrades Thabo and JZ Does it make sense to you From where you are can you see into the future Will we ever get over thisThese expressions are of course; effervescently blunted of their potentially explosive true nature and possible impact by a precursor p3 thus If you opened this book in the hope of enjoying the confidences of a disillusioned cadre of the South African liberation movement close it put it downThe author is not a disaffected intelligence officer exposing the secrets with which he was entrusted in revenge for wrongs done to himAs if you and I would know a disclosed secret if we spotted one despite the blatant perhaps unnecessary denial Gilder bluntly acknowledges the specific situation p18 as a wound across my mind and my personal history Not a 'disillusioned cadre' It's unashamedly wide open for discussion'UMSHINI WAM' MAKES NO SENSE IN SCRIPT A EVENTS MAP DOESIn telling the story Gilder the artist musician apparently noted for his incredible guitar skills regularly breaks into a song virtually all of them liberation struggle songs This is the part I hate most in the book because while I am absolutely certain that these are great songs by a very able artist keen to share I can't for the life of me hear a darn thing He rather than be rhythmic and loud Barry is mute and starring yet I don't read music I am only able to listen to itFor consolation though I take great delight in Gilder's passion of interspersing his narration also with related and unrelated country and world historical events neatly mapped with dates to boot A great source of reference for anyone with interest in such matters Ah now that I also remember; in his first year or so in exile Gilder was by his own account p26 apparently tasked to investigate an organisation called Okhela ostensibly a 'white wing of the ANC established and led by Breyten Breytenbach I do not recall that he ever accomplished the taskEnd

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Songs SecretsFollows the author into the ANC's military camps in Angola; to Moscow for spycraft training; to the underground in Botswana and into leadership positions in the administration of the new government Gilder's frank memoir explores the personal political psychological and historical realities that gave birth to the new South Africa in particular the oft ignored conditions in which the ANC government tried to turn apartheid arou. It took me a while to read this book but i thoroughly enjoyed itso much rich history of our country's past I loved Barry Gliders life story i would recommend it for anyone who is interested in where we come from a country