“There is this thing of the blood on my hands, linked to the blood in my hands.” Wilhelm Verwoerd, the grandson of HF Verwoerd, said these words in a recent radio interview. They are a nifty summary of the predicament he explores in his new book. 

He begins it with a startling image: his mother’s trauma at having had to wash his grandfather’s bloodstained clothes after his 1966 assassination. The water stayed red no matter how many times she repeated the process, and she carries the smell of the blood in her nostrils to this day.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now