[LISTEN] 'There is a deep wounding associated with the Verwoerd name'

Apartheid regime leader Hendrik Verwoerd's grandson Wilhelm says he cannot denounce his biological or genealogical connection but has gone on to question what he can do to address the apartheid architect's legacy.

He sat down with Eusebius to talk about how he has grappled with his identity, as well his personal commitment to social justice.

The political philosopher recently launched his book Verwoerd: My journey through family betrayals, which he has said sets out to help the discourse of making white South Africans realise the injustices and effects of apartheid.

There is this thing about what I prefer to talk about - the blood on my hands that is linked to the blood in my veins. There is a stigma, there is a deep wounding associated with this name, this person and this period and with my own involvement in that system.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

I was part of apartheid up into my early 20s I supported him. I am part of it, so I cannot distance myself from him and what he is responsible for.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

I am getting that probably this book is published because of that name to a large degree, and I have to somehow find a way to say how do I do this with integrity.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

It is quite problematic from a white point of view to actually get affirmation and acknowledgement from black South Africans for speaking out against apartheid, it really shouldn't be like that. It is a sign of our time that there are not enough people from my background speaking out, acknowledging and taking enough responsibility for restitution.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

Wilhelm says it is tempting to say his grandfather was evil but does not want to demonise him entirely.

The more frightening conclusion is that relatively good people like me are able to be responsible for an evil system... people like me are also like him and we cannot demonise him in a sense that makes it easier for us to live with ourselves.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

This kind of inclusive humanisation approach of people like Arch Bishop Tutu and many other people I have worked with has to find a place for him in his humanity while facing the evil that he is responsible for and the evil that his in him but also in me.

Wilhelm Verwoerd, Political philosopher and author

Click on the link below to hear the full interview...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
What are your rights when you're retrenched?

What are your rights when you're retrenched?

Labour law expert Ronelle De Jager explains the retrenchment process and employees rights.

[LISTEN] 'Lobola should not be exclusive to heterosexuals'

[LISTEN] 'Lobola should not be exclusive to heterosexuals'

A panel discusses whether or not lobola has a place in same-sex marriages.

[LISTEN] 'David Genaro has colonised every cell inside me'

[LISTEN] 'David Genaro has colonised every cell inside me'

Actor Jamie Bartlett chats to Eusebius about his long-running role on Rythm City, his childhood and being a father.

Understanding the power dynamics between doctor and patient

Understanding the power dynamics between doctor and patient

Clinical psychologist Cassandra Govender says it is dangerous to give too much control of your life to your practitioner.

[LISTEN]  The use of lawfare in SA and the Gordhan vs Mkhwebane case

[LISTEN] The use of lawfare in SA and the Gordhan vs Mkhwebane case

Analysts give their perspective on the case as well as the politics surrounding it.

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw says he's sorry for any harm caused in his article on Mkhwebane and her principal witness.

Popular articles
How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

South Africans are increasingly buying cars they can’t afford using balloon payments, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

The rand isn't weak. It's the dollar that's strong. But it won't stay that way

The rand isn't weak. It's the dollar that's strong. But it won't stay that way

The rand is trading at fair value. It’s the US dollar that's overvalued. Bruce Whitfield interviews George Glynos (ETM Analytics).

[2018] Jesse Clegg (son of Johnny) opens up about money and growing up on tour

[2018] Jesse Clegg (son of Johnny) opens up about money and growing up on tour

[From the archives] Jesse Clegg talks about his famous father and attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures...).

Johnny Clegg was a gift from God - Sipho Mchunu

Johnny Clegg was a gift from God - Sipho Mchunu

Juluka co-founder pays tribute to the music legend, along with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and veteran broadcaster Bhodloza Nzimande.

Zimbabwe running out of bread as inflation tops 175%

Zimbabwe running out of bread as inflation tops 175%

Hyperinflation – and the destruction it reaps – is returning to Zimbabwe. Bruce Whitfield interviews CNBC Africa’s Chris Bishop.

Investigators find serious corruption at EOH

Investigators find serious corruption at EOH

A probe found "suspicious transactions" worth R1.2bn, bribery and theft. Bruce Whitfield interviews EOH CEO Stephen Van Coller.

'Calculated move by media to undermine Public Protector, I don't accept apology'

'Calculated move by media to undermine Public Protector, I don't accept apology'

Former Sars employee Bizoski Manyike responds to the Sunday Times article that called him a 'dope-smoking Rastafarian'.

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw says he's sorry for any harm caused in his article on Mkhwebane and her principal witness.

[WATCH] Over 50 artists record special version of Johnny Clegg’s  “The Crossing”

[WATCH] Over 50 artists record special version of Johnny Clegg’s “The Crossing”

For this week's #GoodNewsThursdays, we find out the inspiration behind the production.