The Moment Before the Gun Went Off is a short story set in South Africa in the years preceding the fall of apartheid. The short story is written by Nadine Gordimer. Read the story and study the tasks. You may also listen to a reading of the short story.
The South African policy of apartheid, of separating whites, blacks and coloured, gradually came to an end in the early 1990s and Nelson Mandela became the first president in the new South Africa based on majority rule. As a system of political oppression apartheid existed for more than 50 years. The system was put under pressure from the outside and it was fought from inside South Africa. Militant blacks were one group fighting it. Another grouping consisted of radical and liberal whites who openly voiced their criticism. Among these, Nadine Gordimer played a prominent part in her writing. Her political visions of a post-apartheid South Africa led to the banning of several of her books. However, despite the censorship of South Africa she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.
In the following short story by her, set in the years preceding the fall of apartheid, Marais van der Vyver, a white South African, shoots one of his black farm labourers and kills him. The death attracts considerable publicity, and Marais soon discovers there are a lot of people who have their own interpretation of the events. But there is one fact they could never guess - and which he can never tell them.
Tasks and Activities
An Introduction to South AfricaCore content is a subject that is on the curriculum
South Africa - The Rainbow NationCore content is a subject that is on the curriculum
SowetoCore content is a subject that is on the curriculum
Kruger National Park, South AfricaCore content is a subject that is on the curriculum
Nelson Mandela - A Great Man Has Passed Into HistoryCore content is a subject that is on the curriculum
South Africa – Skurka's BlogAdditional content is a subject that is not on the curriculumAdditional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum