UJ: Veteran politician, Aziz Pahad, imparts lessons on resolving conflict

“There are vital lessons that can be learnt. Governments still resort to military aggression to resolve conflicts. Honesty, mutual understanding and compromise are vital to bring an end to instability.” This was the message by freedom fighter and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Pahad when he discussed his latest book, Insurgent Diplomat: Civil Talks or Civil War?, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Auckland Park Kingsway campus (APK), on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.
Mr Pahad engaged with students and staff alike, with reflections on his latest book offering, at a talk hosted by the University’s SARChi in African Diplomacy and Governance, in partnership with the University’s Library and Information Centre.
Attendees had the opportunity to interact with Mr Pahad and the esteemed panel made up of UJ’s Prof Chris Landsberg, SHARCHi for African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, and Prof Ashwin Desai from the Department of Sociology. They were joined by University of Pretoria’s Garth le Pere, at the open discussion. Attendees also received a signed copy upon purchase of the book at the event.
Said Prof Desai: “Insurgent Diplomat is about the struggle of Apartheid and the movement as a whole to eradicate South Africa from its once oppressive state, not just an individual attempting to glorify their involvement in the struggle. No, the book is something greater than that.”
The 74 year old veteran gave a brief description of the book’s content saying that “before the official negotiations to end apartheid, there were secret discussions that paved the way for dialogue between the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Government.” Mr Pahad recollects his early years in South Africa, which had major influence on his political ideology, as well as his time in exile in London. He also gives insights into the leadership of inspirational figures, such as Oliver Tambo and Thabo Mbeki.
The book give a holistic view of Apartheid and the trying times that freedom fighters had to face. It also provides insight into the strategies that were put into place to fight the regime known as the Apartheid Government.



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