South Africa's ex-freedom fighters confront their demons





DERBY, South Africa -- Amid the majestic beauty of South Africa's Magaliesberg mountain range, veterans of the battle against whites-only rule are trying to banish demons that still haunt them.

Matlapeng lodge, the setting for an 'eco-therapy' session involving around a dozen ex-combattants, translates from Xhosa as the "Place of Stone", but tears flow freely and deep-seated fears are revealed by the former warriors.

"It's a cleansing process. You'll all change in a way," said Gavin Robertson, a psychologist with the National Peace Accord Trust, whose brief is to help heal a society which was so badly scarred during the apartheid years.

While much of Africa has been blighted by civil conflict in the last few decades, the NPAT initiative is the first of its kind on the continent.


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