IN TIMES OF WAR...
Finally, South Africans are ready to peel a fresh scab and relive the pain and suffering that gave birth to 13 years of democracy. South Africans are better positioned to can speak to, and advise the occupied and resilient Palestinians that no matter now massive your oppressor's military strength is, how friendly your quarry is to the United States of America and how effective they are in jailing and killing your leaders, women and children - no oppressive regime stays eternal. It has always been a historical fact and one wonders why such a reality is elusive to those who think they can subjugate another people forever.
This is more or less what 34-years-old openly feminist writer and creative Nokuthula Mazibuko's historical fact Spring Offensive is about, an uMkhonto we Sizwe unit and its aligned structures fighting against an apartheid hegemony and machinery - later living to tell the author about their tale of confronting an army as intimidating as an asteroid.
Spring Offensive is a simply narrated history of Hlula Msimang and Nhlanhla Mabaso, two youth who became embroiled in the politics of South Africa's liberation struggle from 1976 to 2006. It is the story of their family's acceptance and willingness to sacrifice comfort and lives. It is the tale of a Soweto community ripped apart by gangs, united by a common enemy and divided by class privileges. It is a narrative about a pre-'94 South Africa in turmoil, of an apartheid system so frustrated it committed cross border raids, assassination of activists beyond its own borders and sending teenage army conscripts into Anglola and black townships to terrorise communities, robbing those white teenagers of their youth and humanity.
Spring Offensive is a story of security police arresting breastfeeding mothers with their months old babies and detaining them for months on end. Of soldiers and riot police shooting tear gas and live ammunition at defenseless school children. Also, of the late P.W. Botha's failure to create a pure Aryan race. Somebody forgot to tell him that 'purity kills', as it suffocated the Third Reich.
Interesting, it is also a story of youth structures, COSAS (Congress of South African Students), YCS (Young Christian Students), SOYCO (Soweto Youth Congress) and the self defense units. A touching story of how two young men and a few 'good comrades' lived through the hardships to later relate the story to Mazibuko. The story of Chris Hani's bravery and influence, something that answers once and for all the question as to why Hani had to be killed, especially immediately after he succesfully convinced units within the country to dismantle their machinery. Only him could have done that and him being killed immediately after that success is a conspiracty theory for the Young Communist League.
Spring Offensive is a book Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, his military and intelligence planners should read to the letter. It is a book for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, Jacob Zuma ("Old men have sex with troubled young women in search of father figures and then apologise for not using a condom (as if HIV is the issue instead of a blurring of the boundaries of trust and the human rights dimension)", writes former MK Commander Muff Anderson in the Foreword) and every community library. Finally, a book primary school children should read before being exposed to Fanon, Lenin or Mao.
It is ISBN: 0-9585025-8-7. If it is not available at your nearest bookstore, urge them to order it for you. And also urge the Premier of your province and the Education Department to put it in the school system.