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Denis Goldberg left South Africa after spending 22 years in prison. AP Wirephotos

South African Exiles

In exile, now, and far away, it is still easy to recall clearly the joy of sitting alone beside a waterhole, silently listening to the sounds of wild game. Waiting patiently, I anticipated and watched the movements of buck, of lion, of elephant or giraffe, or so many other animals. All came down to drink, each practicing a caution long learned…I have yet to find a land so full of warmth and so rich in beauty as my homeland. – No Neutral Ground, by Joel Carlson Year after year, thousands of South African exiles follow the rise and fall of domestic South African resistance and wonder when it will all end. For some, exile has been a personal liberation, freeing them from the trauma and limitations of apartheid. For others, exile has been a kind of incarceration. No matter where South African exiles go they cannot escape their own homesickness. They meet at conferences or dinners, they exchange some words in Afrikaans or Zulu or Xhosa and laugh at their shared secrets–their arcane mother tongues

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Alexandria township workers dig trenches for a sewer system. Photo: AP/Wide World Photos

“Alex: From Showdown to Showcase?”

Editors Note: APF Reporter Vol.11 #3 exsisted only as a photo copy, becuase of this the pictures in this story are of poor quality. Half a mile from one of the swankiest white neighborhoods in South Africa lies the black township of Alexandra, with 180,000 people crammed into one squalid square mile of mud, shacks and discontent. Only two and a half years ago, blacks regarded Alexandra as a “liberated zone” and governed the township through “peoples’ courts” and street committees. To fight government forces, township youths built barricades of burned-out vehicles, dug trenches to tip over armored cars and lobbed stones and petrol bombs at soldiers and police. Troops fought back with bullets and tear gas. At one point, white soldiers guarded the entrances of the township. Some stood behind four-foot walls of sandbags while others searched cars entering the black ghetto. Army sharpshooters wearing bullet-proof vests sauntered on the rooftops of the Indian shops at the edge of the township. Today, the South African government is trying to transform Alexandra from a monument

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