Unisa Press

The Secret Thread

Author: Deborah Ewing
Published: August 02, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-86888-904-4
Number of pages: 356
This book is not available in electronic format

About the book

The Secret Thread is a strand of human history connecting people across barriers created by apartheid. It is a thread that drew people together, forcing them to face painful realities. It runs through the informal settlements, townships, suburbs and bantustans of South Africa, across the deserts and villages of Namibia, and the rural towns and inner cities of Europe.

Co-founded by Beyers Naudé in 1964, the Christian Fellowship Trust, a ‘legally subversive’ organisation, drove a ‘Trojan Horse’ into the citadel of apartheid theology. The idea of travel is used as a transforming experience, more powerful than indoctrination: ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church and other individuals are exposed to life that questions everything they had been taught about skin colour as a marker of human worth and face contradictions that highlight the inequality and conflict of global injustices.

The Secret Thread is a historical reflection on facing the timeless challenges of being human in relation to other humans. It explores the value of solidarity and the redemptive power of taking responsibility for participation in systems that benefit the few no matter the suffering of the many. It affirms the human need to travel and to know our common history, as essential to the pursuit of justice and reconciliation.

Table of content





Note on use of language                 

Part 1: Breaking through isolation                                        

Part 2: A State of crisis                                         

Part 3: Namibia                                    

Part 4: Finding solutions                                          

Part 5: New struggles