Janet Cherry

Janet Cherry is a human rights activist, researcher, and academic who teaches at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She has written and published on the history of the liberation struggle for the South African Democratic Education Trust.

Listed in: African Studies · African History

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Spear of the Nation: Umkhonto weSizwe · South Africa’s Liberation Army, 1960s–1990s
By Janet Cherry

Umkhonto weSizwe, Spear of the Nation, was arguably the last of the great liberation armies of the twentieth century—but it never got to “march triumphant into Pretoria.” MK—as it was known—was the armed wing of the African National Congress, South Africa’s liberation movement, that challenged the South African apartheid government.

“Cherry … examines the ideological, moral, and strategic debates within the ANC and MK that led to its successes, failures, and remarkable restraint in comparison with those of other liberation armies…. Drawing on interviews with former MK members and testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Cherry analyzes the MK within the broader context of proxies in the war between communism and capitalism as it played out in Vietnam, Africa, and South America.”