Death, Detention and Disappearance
A lawyer's battle to hold power to account in 1980s Namibia
By David Smuts
Tafelberg Publishers Ltd, 2019
In Namibia the 1980s were a dark decade of human rights abuses by South African security forces. Judge David Smuts, then a young Windhoek lawyer, felt compelled to take on the system. His gripping memoir details several dramatic cases, including the freeing of detainees that had been held secretly for six years, proving that torture was used to extract ‘confessions’ and that Koevoet knowingly killed civilians. Working with the likes of Sydney Kentridge, Geoff Budlender and Arthur Chaskalson, Smuts won legal victories and established a legal centre in the far North, where many misdeeds had taken place. Smuts also takes a fresh look at the assassination of Anton Lubowski, anti-apartheid activist and his close friend.
This highly readable real-life thriller about standing up for what is right sheds light on a shocking, largely untold part of our recent history.