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Zero Hour: A Countdown to the Collapse Of South Africa’s Apartheid System

This enlightening book focuses on the history of how the ethnic groups of Africa, eventually joined by white colonizers from Europe, created the seedbed for the hateful apartheid system in Southern Africa. The reader learns how apartheid began, the dehumanizing effects it had on the black population, and how it was finally abolished in its ‘zero hour’ in 1994. Written by historian, writer and researcher Geoffrey Hebdon, this is the second in a series that covers the experience of a British citizen who emigrated to South Africa during that era, and records in vivid detail his responses to the apartheid system and how South Africa and neighbouring countries evolved after apartheid was abolished.

As well as the first European settlers and the white Afrikaners’ attempted enslavement of the black population, the book also covers the Zulu wars, the Anglo-Boer wars and individuals who supported apartheid such as Cecil Rhodes and the whites-only National Party of South Africa. Also covered are prominent leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) and the black revolutionaries who fought against apartheid, many of whom gave their lives or served life sentences for their “struggle”, including Nelson Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after serving years in prison.

ISBN 9781922332981 (HB, 820pp);
152mm x 229mm
AUD $170 USD $120 CAD $130 NZD $187 GBP £96 EUR €155
ISBN 9781922332998 (PB, 820pp);
152mm x 229mm
AUD $140 USD $98 CAD $130 NZD $105 GBP £78 EUR €92
ISBN 9781922830043 (eBook) AUD $36 USD $25 CAD $30 NZD $39 GBP £21 EUR €24


Geoffrey Hebdon was born and brought up in Lancashire, England, in the heart and region of the cotton industry. After leaving college, having studied textile engineering, he embarked on the vocation of education, including lecturing, teaching and evangelical work. He and his wife Pauline lived and served in various parts of the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

After starting a family in the 1970s, Geoffrey and his wife decided to relocate to Southern Africa and for almost 30 years were based in Cape Town. While working in Cape Town, Geoffrey, a dedicated educationalist, along with a business partner, decided to open a private, non-profit Academy with campuses in Bellville, the northern suburbs of Cape Town and also in Central Cape Town, with plans to open a third campus in the African township of Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, to offer career training courses, including, business management, computers, travel and tourism, journalism, plus health and beauty. This private academy later expanded its scope to the more disadvantaged students of Southern and Eastern Africa, with the help of the Department of Education plus generous private subsidies and sponsorships.


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Check out Geoffrey's previous publication with IP Masters and Slaves of Modern Religion


from Author's Introduction

This book is being published to commemorate the 25 years since the end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994 and the events affecting this country as time was running out for its possible survival. It is an important reminder to our readers of the damage that racism and prejudice can create. We all hope and pray that such an atrocity will never happen again. South Africa (Dutch: Zuid Afrika) today is best remembered for its strategic position in the shipping lanes of world trade. The major ports of Cape Town in the Western Cape and Durban in Natal are prominent on the trade routes to the Far East, Australasia and the East India Company dating back to the 16th century.

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, is the oldest urban area in South Africa, which was developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on 6 April, 1652 established the Dutch Cape Colony, the first permanent European settlement in South Africa with the garrisoned trading station at Table Bay. On that day, Riebeeck arrived with three ships and a company of 90 men, women and children.

In 1820, several groups or parties of white British colonists settled by the British government and the Cape authorities arrived in the South African Eastern Cape. Grahamstown was named in 1812 after Colonel John Graham (1778-1821), a British army officer, born in Dundee, Scotland, who led the corps sent to forcibly move about 20,000 local Xhosa tribesmen from the area that had lived there for centuries. Was this the start of the forced removals by the British that was later adopted by the white supremacist Afrikaans government and who called it Apartheid or separate development? You decide! The campaign to clear the Xhosa residents from the Eastern frontier was defined by John Graham’s plan to use “a proper degree of terror” according to the research of anti-aparthied activist and historian Ben Maclennen in his book A Proper Degree of Terror (1986). During the campaign, scorched earth tactics, including the burning of Xhosa farms were used to clear them from the Eastern frontier.

The town’s name was later changed from Grahamstown to Makhanda and was officially gazetted on 29 June, 2018, the government claiming that the changing of the name was in line with the letter and spirit of the new Constitution of South Africa. The renaming was in memory of a Xhosa warrior and prophet Makhanda ka Nxele. The corps’ new headquarters is located on the site of the present Church Square. Grahamstown went on to become a military, administrative, judicial, and educational centre for the surrounding region.

These settlers are commemorated today in Makhanda, Eastern Cape, by the 1820 Settlers National Monument, which opened in 1974. A living monument, it hosts plays, musical performances and cultural events. This special day, Settlers Day, was recognized as a public holiday from 1952-1979. It was then replaced on the calendar by Heritage Day when the new black Parliament and the ANC reached a compromise and the day was given its present title, when South Africans celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up a ‘rainbow nation’. The term was intended to encapsulate the unity of multi-culturalism and the coming-together of people of many different nations, in a country once identified with the strict division of white and black under the Apartheid regime. It is now a day to celebrate the contribution of all South Africans to the building of South Africa, according to Stephen Lowery in his book, A Guide to South Africa’s New National Holidays (1999).