David Beresford

Apartheid killer finds religion but not remorse

South Africa's most prolific mass murderer takes another sip of coffee, eases back in his chair and pauses when asked if it is true he shot more than 100 black people. ''I can't argue with that,'' says Louis van Schoor. ''I never kept count.'' Seated at a restaurant terrace in East London, a seaside town in the Eastern Cape, the former security guard is a picture of relaxed confidence, soaking up sunshine while reminiscing about his days as an apartheid folk hero.

South Africa’s long road to freedom

On the outskirts of Pretoria there used to be a large billboard which told passing motorists: 'Thundering jets, the sound of freedom.' The intention was to reconcile white residents to the noise of jet aircraft which used a nearby military air base. 'White' residents, because it was in the time of apartheid, and the jets were, of course, thundering in the racist cause.

The power of telling stories

The latest outputs of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission provide an extraordinary memorial to the South African conflict -- proving that the real power of the commission lies in its story-telling function rather than the granting of amnesty.

Servants of the public

On Friday night my power supplies were cut off. Nothing as big as North America mind, but still the cause of some localised disturbance. It happened at 2 o'clock in the morning and triggered my burglar alarm.

Fear in the night

Well, it had to happen sometime I guess. Statistics, if nothing else said so. I'd had one before, clambering through my window, but that was several years ago. More recently there had been an intruder in the garden. But this was the real thing, There I was, confronting an armed burglar in my bedroom at four o'clock in the morning.

The elusive quest for truth

I have never been invited to be a spy. It is a detail of my career which, I must confess, has long irked me. Not that I would want to be a spy, but it would have been nice to have been asked.

Fully aware under the knife

The neurologist cursed and threw something into the rubbish bin. ''What's gone wrong?'' I asked nobody in particular. Her face popped up. ''Nothing is wrong,'' she said happily. ''Why did you think something was wrong?'' We smiled at each other, me and the angel.

Labelled disabled

We smile affectionately at the Morris dancers and bow if introduced to the Queen. But it does seem to me that in the matter of ''games'', such as those currently taking place in Manchester, north-west England, we are taking tradition too far to be healthy.

More corpses in Winnie’s cupboard

As the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela scandal grows, so does the list of those who will testify against her.

Lady and the tramp

<em>Katizas Journey</em> records how, at one point in his career as a petty thief, he stole 50c from a blind beggars tin cup. and recon

Guess who’s coming to tea

They retired to Orania to escape majority rule. Then South Africa's first black president came to have tea with Hendrik Verwoerd's widow. David Beresford was there

Glitterati celebrate a fairytale ending

The presidential inauguration ... The world's leaders came to honour Nelson Mandela, the former convict who is now commander in chief.

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