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“This book is not so much a political autobiography as an account from a personal point of view of a momentous series of events in the life of South Africa’s second democratic Parliament, and my role in them as a public representative, when the executive and legislature faced each other in a standoff on the issues of oversight and accountability during the arms deal probe. It also seeks to catalogue some equally tumultuous years in opposition politics in South Africa when the realignment of opposition parties for which many hoped failed to materialise.” – Raenette Taljaard As an independent review panel later concluded, Parliament either lost its way or lost the faith of the South African public during the process. Up in Arms documents this specific moment of institutional darkness in vivid detail and serves to remind us that it was not only reputations that were damaged by the arms deal saga but also core institutions of South Africa’s new democracy. Chief among them was Parliament, which, when faced by the challenge to hold the executive to account, failed dismally to engage the core ethical and moral concerns – among them, corruption – that continue to plague the country. This is the personal story of a young female parliamentarian who entered public life with expectations awakened by the Mandela presidency, only to become disenchanted with party politics and with the moral meltdown she experienced within Parliament during those years.

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