South Africa's total strategy in the era of Cold War, liberation struggles and the uneven transition to democracy. Review article
AbstractThe article sets out to review publications that have appeared since the late 1980s dealing with the border war in Namibia, the perceived ‘total onslaught’ against the NP-government of South Africa and its response in the shape of a ‘total strategy’ to combat the forces of revolutionary communism. It is argued that this response was premised on the assumption that African liberation movements were manipulated by the Soviet Union and its Cuban proxies in Southern Africa. The article also focus on publications covering the democratic transition in South Africa and the growing body of reminiscences and assessments of the impact of the border war on former white conscripts. Some of the publications reflect a growing willingness to engage with unpalatable policies and practices of the past, but there is also a tendency, especially among Afrikaners, to apportion blame for what is perceived to have been a botched transition, and a failure to grasp the true nature of colonial exploitation, racism and white supremacy and its continued impact on present-day developments.
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