For the People: A small town’s struggle for freedom against apartheid

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A true story of small-town life in apartheid South Africa, through the eyes of ordinary people who did extraordinary things.

A white woman accused of being an instigator for standing up for the black community. A black woman whose child was shot dead during the riots. A government official whose job it was to raid people’s houses and send husbands back to their homelands. A socialite and philanthropist who was murdered in broad daylight. A policeman accused of torture.

These are just some of the stories Anelia Schutte discovered when she returned to her hometown of Knysna from London to find out what really happened during her childhood, when apartheid was “just the way it was”. She set out to find the truth, but what she found was that the truth is never black and white.

Knysna’s dark past comes to light as we follow the story of Anelia’s mother: a white social worker who worked tirelessly for the black community and found herself swept up in their struggle.

A must-read for fans of literary non-fiction, For the People is a story of segregation and liberation, violence and forgiveness, change and hope in a small town that was torn apart and brought together by apartheid.

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