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Writers from SA join in Mugabe protest
Hans Pienaar, The Star (SA)
June 18, 2007

South African writers Zakes Mda and Ingrid de Kok have already added their names to a worldwide reading appeal on September 9 to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. The appeal, launched by the International Literature Festival Berlin in Germany, is to radio stations and other media to broadcast readings of poems by leading Zimbabwean poets and the foreword to a book on Gukurahundi, the massacre of Ndebele dissidents and state actions against them from 1980 to 1988. Ulrich Schreiber, of the Peter Weiss Foundation, said: "Through this reading, the International Literature Festival Berlin would like to help draw attention to the situation in this post-colonial country. This reality has been concealed long enough - unfortunately also by members of the political class in South Africa, which holds a special responsibility concerning this matter. It also attacks the silence, caused by a false sense of solidarity, which is one of the bases for Mugabe's power." Apart from radio stations, schools, universities, theatres and other cultural institutions in Africa and elsewhere will be asked to read Elinor Sisulu's foreword to the book, Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands 1980-1988. Sisulu said one of the most painful aspects of the Gukurahundi massacres was the continuing "wounds of silence".

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