Anne Heffernan. 2019. Limpopo's Legacy: Student Politics & Democracy in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. 254 pp.
Anne Heffernan's work is an excellent attempt into inquiring about the dimensions of history and contemporary student protest in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, particularly in the Limpopo Province. The book has three parts, containing seven informative chapters which generate a healthy and conceptual discourse. Heffernan brings to the fore the rural and peripheral histories that have been marginalized in the national story of struggle. The book examines the intersection points where history cuts across movements and geographic spaces intersects with a generation of activists rooted in Limpopo.
The author introduces this book with the scenes of student protest at the Turfloop campus of the University of Limpopo in 2016. The rise of new political struggles in the age of information technology gives an edge to the protests through social media, a propellant for the mass movements. In late 2016, university campuses in South Africa witnessed the student protests with hashtag: #FeeMustFall. Even then the body of the text, about Turfloop and Limpopo as a whole, has moorings in a much deeper history of student protests and youth driven social change in the historiography of South Africa.
This book shows how regional and local experiences played a critical role in shaping national politics by student activists and youth, at a juncture when their aspirations have been broadly neglected in favor of scholarship that focuses on urban politics. Heffernan traces the history of student activism to the late 1960s,...
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