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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


10th April 2010

Truth be Told? Debating the Human Rights records of Exiled Liberation Movements in Southern Africa

Prof. Jocelyn Alexander (Oxford), Prof. Saul Dubow (Sussex) and Prof. Stephen Ellis (African Studies Centre, Leiden & Free University Amsterdam) with Paul Trewhela, author of 'Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO.

Co-hosted by the Centre of International Studies (CIS) in POLIS & the Centre of African Studies

Chaired by Martin Plaut, Africa Editor, BBC World Service News

This seminar probed important and controversial themes contained in Paul Trewhela’s book 'Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO (Jacana Press)', of significance to how the histories of liberation movements in Southern Africa are told. These contested histories continue to impinge upon contemporary political debates on the legitimacy, practices and credibility of post-liberation political parties and governments. Quatro, the ANC ’s secretive detention centre in Angola, was designed to incarcerate infiltrators and rehabilitate its own dissidents. However, in the eyes of some, it became a site of gross human rights violations. With his book Trewhela suggests that the ANC never came fully to terms with Quatro after the end of apartheid. Published in late 2009, its revelations spurred vehement responses from the highest echelons of the ANC, including Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s Secretary General.