In the early 1960s, John Harris blazed a trail as a prominent anti-apartheid activist. He even helped to get South Africa barred from the Olympics. But in July 1964 everything changed. Harris placed a bomb in Johannesburg station, hoping to deal apartheid a crushing blow. Instead, he horrified the country, killing a 77-year-old woman, and severely burning her young granddaughter, who soon moved abroad, changing her identity in order to escape press attention. Harris was hanged eight months later, the only white political prisoner executed in the four decades of apartheid. Nelson Mandela held a vigil in his honour. Harris left a young widow and a 10-month-old son. Now, over half a century later, the home movies of the station bomber have surfaced, allowing those who knew him best to tell his story. And in the UK, in an emotional encounter, John Harris’s son finally meets the young girl who was maimed by his father’s bomb.
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