Forgiving Apartheid's Chief Killer

Eugene de Kock has been nicknamed “Prime Evil” for his crimes against humanity. As commanding officer of apartheid death squads he was responsible for some of South Africa’s worst killings, and was sentenced to 212 years in prison. But one woman - Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela - decided to meet the “monster”, hear his story and look into his heart. The resulting many hours of conversations offer a fascinating insight that inspired Gobodo-Madikizela’s book “A Human Being Died That Night”.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is a professor of psychology at the University of Cape Town and lectures on issues of reconciliation and forgiveness. She has served along side Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the Human Rights Violations Committee in South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission between 1996 and 1998. Growing up in Langa Township, Cape Town, she witnessed the violence of apartheid that would later influence her work. Here, she speaks about this and her journey to find the humanity in Eugene De Kock. Length 23 mins.

Above photo of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela courtesy of Archives of Nala Partners. Inset photo on Reconciliation page of Eugene de Kock.