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A Man of Africa – The Political Thought of Harry Oppenheimer

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A Man of Africa – The Political Thought of Harry Oppenheimer

Kalim Rajab discusses the book A Man of Africa. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 19.7.2017

20th July 2017


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The head of a business empire, Harry Oppenheimer played an influential role in twentieth century South Africa, a role that is celebrated by some and condemned by others. This book investigates Oppenheimer’s political thinking, drawing from his speeches over the years. It looks at his views on liberalism, apartheid, socialism, sanctions, trade unions, education, geopolitics, the press and the legacy of Cecil John Rhodes.

Each topic is explored via extracts from Oppenheimer’s speeches, and is followed by an assessment by prominent South Africans such as Clem Sunter, Kgalema Motlanthe, Albie Sachs, Denis Beckett, Bobby Godsell, Jonathan Jansen and Xolela Mangcu.

About the author


Kalim Rajab is a writer and corporate executive based in Johannesburg. Educated at the Universities of Cape Town and Oxford, he has worked at De Beers in London and as personal assistant to Nicky Oppenheimer, and is currently a director of strategy at the New National Assurance Company, South Africa’s largest empowered insurer.

Kalim is a trustee of the Helen Suzman Foundation, a leading civil society organisation promoting liberal constitutional democracy. He writes for the Daily Maverick  on current affairs, film appreciation and history, and he edited Memory Against Forgetting , a retrospective of the Drum photojournalist Ranjith Kally.

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