Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Robert McBride - A Disgrace

Flaws of history and heroes

Story of Robert McBride is as complex as South Africa

Apr 17, 2011

                                                                 Justice Malala

 McBride, a mere 23 at the time, detonated the Magoo's Bar bomb. McBride and his comrades had believed that the bar was frequented by police. Three young women were killed and 69 people injured. 

How can I today sit here and begin to justify what he did? How do the parents and relatives of the three killed and injured feel? Anger, frustration, fear - all these engulfed them then and perhaps now. 

McBride appeared before the TRC, disclosed all, asked for pardon and was offered amnesty.
McBride's story is complex, like this country. 

McBride was a hero striking at the very heart of the apartheid oppressor. 

McBride, and the men and women called "terrorists" on the news bulletins we listened to every day, were brave and proud and had managed to strike back against an unbending and murderous apartheid state. Robert McBride was my hero. 

What is truth? Truth is this: if The Citizen wants to deny history then it may go ahead and call McBride a murderer. It may do so because McBride fought - while The Citizen was prospering on apartheid slush funds - for this new South Africa the freedoms of which the newspaper enjoys. He made certain mistakes. 

Those of us who know history - who look at it in its totality - know too that this much is true: McBride killed people, but he is not a murderer. Those who say he is distort truth and deny a complex and complicated history, painted on a wide canvas. 

He's a murderer. And a drunk-driver.

And a disgrace.

The End.


  1. You one of those who fought for unprivileged/oppressed South Africans, you dared the apartheid regime by acts Cde McBride.