National Geographic : 2010 Jun
• people in them seem capable of explaining ex- actly what they are: Wit Wolwe, Israel Visie, Boere Aanvals Troepe. From prison Coetzee continued to communicate with members of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States and neo-Nazi groups in Germany, encouraging them in their endeavors. He rose up the ranks of the national groups' pseudo-military structures. As white supremacists go, Coetzee was a poster boy. In the pecking order of the Helderstroom Maxi- mum Security Prison in Western Cape Prov- ince, however, he was pond life. "I was 19 years old and white. Everyone wanted to rape me," Coetzee says of those rst years in overcrowded general cells holding between 60 and 120 men. "I couldn't get a bottom bunk. I couldn't even get a top bunk. I couldn't get any bunk at all." Coetzee slept on the oor. When I meet him in Pretoria Central Prison in November 2009, where he has been held for over a decade, Coetzee has just turned 32. Having not felt the sun for so long, his skin has leached gray, and although he is strikingly young looking, there is a cluster of ne lines around his eyes such as are usually seen only on a much In May 2008 more than 60 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced in xenophobic riots targeting mainly Mozambicans and Zim- babweans. Apartheid ensured a deep mistrust of "other" and a sense of resource entitlement--- based as much, if not more, on who you were as on what you did---that carries over to this day. It is impossible to overestimate the reach and brutality of apartheid. Between 1948 and 1994, when the system was dismantled, the Afrikaans National Party applied hyper-segregation of races to every possible facet of life. "Apartheid so e ectively enriched a few at the utter de- basement of the majority---to say nothing of the imprisonment of so many, the exile, the disappearances, the violent deaths---that a mere end to the system could not begin to repair the damage," Tshepo Madlingozi says. Madlingozi is a 31-year-old senior lecturer of law at the University of Pretoria and an advocacy coor- dinator for the Khulumani Support Group, an organization of 58,000 victims of political vio- lence, mainly during the apartheid era. "You can say, Everybody is equal now; let's get on with it. at suits those who bene ted from the system---but it does nothing to institute re- storative justice, and it can't undo generations of habitual racism, palpable hate, or feelings of inadequacy." THE PRISONER Less than a month a er the Worcester bombing, 19-year-old Daniel Stepha- nus "Stefaans" Coetzee phoned the po- lice from his hideout on a farm in the heart of the Great Karoo highlands---a sparsely populated, semiarid region in the central west of the country---and claimed responsibil- ity for his part in the atrocity. Coetzee addressed the police o cer in charge with respectful defer- ence: "Oom," he called him. "Uncle." He said he had heard that there were children among the dead, and for that reason he had no choice but to turn himself in. e boy had reserved country manners and a country person's way of keeping himself contained, catlike. At the time he was taken into custody, and for some years after, Coetzee was a member of nearly every extreme right-wing, white su- premacist group in South Africa, including one or two so secret and obscure that not even the HOW DID HE LEARN TO HATE BLACK PEOPLE? HOW DID HE UNLEARN THIS HATRED? ANDIFHEIS SO SORRY, WHAT CAN HE GIVE THEM? THIS GOES ON FOR TWO HOURS.