I have just received the Journal for Contemporary History, published by the Department of History at the University of the Free State. There is an interesting story by H Haasbroek on ‘Die Fischer-woning en -swembad in Beaumontstraat 12, Johannesburg: Simboool van rasseharmonie in apartheid Suid-Afrika.’
Bram Fischer was one of Mandela’s lawyers and leader of the South African Communist Party. Not long after Mandela’s imprisonment, Fischer was also arrested and sentenced. He was released in 1975, shortly before he died of cancer.
I am familiar with Fischer fascinating history – his father and grandfather were high positioned Afrikaners in the former Orange Freestate. Fischer was the prodigal son who joined the democratic forces in his country.
The story in the journal presents evidence of how the Fischer’s – his wife died in a car accident soon after the Rivonia trial that sentenced Mandela and his fellow strugglistas – built a new, non-racial South Africa in and around their home in Beaumont Street. No colours excluded from the pool, no slegs vir blankes signs.