Geheime Revolusie – Niel Barnard


Die afgelope maand het twee biografiese werke oor figure wat ‘n rol agter die skerms gespeel het in die Nasionalistiese bedeling, hul verskyning gemaak. Eugene de Kock – Sluipmoordenaar van die Staat deur Annemarie Jansen (R253) is ‘n deeglike en menslike verslag van dié omstrede man se lewe en die bestel wat van hom ‘n moordenaar en folteraar gemaak het. Dan is daar Niël Barnard se outobiografiese Geheime Revolusie – Memoires van ‘n Spioenbaas (R253) waarin hy die sluier lig oor die lewe en werk van Nasionale Intelligensielede in die tagtigerjare.

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In the sinister world of spies few rules apply and everything is allowed in the name of state security – even talking to your Enemy No. 1.

And this is exactly what Niël Barnard did in the late 1980s as head of the National Intelligence Service. On instruction of PW Botha he started talking to Nelson Mandela in secret about the possibility of a democratic election and a majority government. Not even the cabinet was informed of these talks.

Geheime Revolusie  reveals the details of these meetings that were the first step towards a democratic South Africa. It also tells of the special personal bond that developed between these two former enemies. While both men were strong personalities who could be stubborn and even bad-tempered at times, they realised the importance of what they were doing.

The book also offers a fascinating insight into the daily lives of spies and NI’s successes during the 1980s. As spy boss Barnard succeeded in establishing relationships with both friends and enemies of the South African state. He not only visited several African heads of state in a time when South Africa was shunned by the international community but also managed to open an intelligence channel with communist Russia.


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