From the Thornveld is a site that provides access to writing by Christopher Merrett, a former academic librarian, university administrator and journalist based in Pietermaritzburg. He has written on a wide range of topics – specialising in the past on human rights issues in South Africa, particularly censorship and freedom of expression, and on the politics of sport.

He now produces a monthly opinion piece entitled ‘Sharp Thoughts from the Thornveld’ …

Burning books: endgame for South African universities?

FLASHBACK twenty-seven years to September 1989: police had fired on demonstrators on the Durban campus of the University of Natal ahead of the (final) whites-only general election. Pietermaritzburg staff and students decided to march on Alexandra Road police station in solidarity, but the riot squad were one step ahead and blocked the university’s King Edward Avenue entrance. The marchers sat down in the road. Van after van arrived and the protestors were arrested row by row until some dim-witted officer realised that people were queuing up to be taken away and chased off the remainder

He also writes book reviews and more substantial contributions from time to time that are posted on this site.

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© Christopher Merrett.  Reasonable and responsible use may be made of the contents of this site provided the copyright holder’s authorship is correctly acknowledged.