National History Museum

Historian receives SALA award

From left: Mr Siphiwo Mahala, Dr Hannes Haasbroek and Mr Paul Mashatile.

Dr Hannes Haasbroek, Head of the History Department, received the prestigious SALA (South African Literature Awards) prize for creative non-fiction for his book ’n Seun soos Bram, published in 2011 by Umuzi. Hannes received the prize on 10 November 2012 at a gala-evening held at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein campus. The prize was handed to him by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile.  Also at the ceremony was Mr Siphiwo Mahala, author and Head of Books and Publishers at the Department of Arts and Culture.  ‘n Seun soos Bram is a treatment of the life of advocate and anti-apartheid activist Bram Fischer.  This is not a book dealing primarily with the tragedy in Fischer’s life or an analytical work about his communism.  It is the story of a promising Afrikaner boy in the context of his prominent and nationalist Free State family.  It is also the story of his mother Ella who never abandoned either her own nationalist views or her devotion to her son.  This is a story of intrigue and espionage, and of Bram’s happy childhood and close ties with his mother. It is partly based on new documents such as family letters and Ella’s diaries.