News & events


Contributions, Experiences and Sacrifices Post-Liberation Knowledge Production and Nation Building by Military Veterans

24 November 2011
12:15 - 14:30

Date :

24 November 2011

Time :

12:15 – 14:30

Presenters :

Wonga W. Bottoman

You are cordially invited to attend the second seminar in the series “Contributions, Experiences & Sacrifices: Post-liberation knowledge production and nation building by military veterans“.


The first seminar in the series focused on the book Men of Dynamite and the panel of discussants consisted of Janet Cherry (chair), Ahmed Kathrada, Dennis Goldberg and Laloo Chiba.  The second seminar will be centred on the bookThe Making of an MK Cadre  by Wonga Welile Bottoman. 


Membership of the former military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto wesizwe (MK) cuts across all strata of the South African community; starting from the first four democratically elected presidents of South Africa, to the inhabitants of numerous squatter camps and RDP settlements. However, the broader society knows next to nothing about these people, except of course, about the very high-profile members of MK. The book, The Making of an MK Cadre, attempts, albeit through the account of one cadre, Webster Gcaleka, to tell a story of the motivations, experiences and circumstances of the soldiers, their families and the local communities in which they lived. A particular focus of this seminar is on the difficulties military veterans experience in telling their stories and in getting their voices heard. 

The seminar series, Contributions, Experiences & Sacrifices: Post-liberation knowledge production and nation building by military veterans is partnership between the HSRC; the Departments of Military Veterans, Social Development, Science & Technology; the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation; South African History Online; and the Freedom Park Trust. The objectives of the seminar series are:


  • To create spaces for critical dialogue, learning and engagement with the history of struggle and resistance in SA and Southern Africa; and investigate  meanings in and relevancies  for contemporary society. 
  • To strengthen research in the social sciences by tapping into the critical insights from humanities-centred scholarship by:
    • Facilitating the interrogation of the character and dimensions of post-liberation knowledge production and relationships to nation building.
    • Exploring alternative narratives and privileging the voices of marginalized public intellectuals in  local contexts.
    • Exploring research in the arts (photography, dance, theatre and music) in the context of raptures between popular struggles and social sciences.
  • To stimulate key groups (e.g. youth, scholars, activists, the media, and civil servants) to participate in catalytic projects that draw on reflexive, analytical and creative qualities in the fields of the humanities and social sciences; and contribute to an African renaissance. 
Kindly RSVP by 19 November 2011



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