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Brothers in War and Peace is the remarkable story of the Viljoen twins, Abraham and Constand, and the starkly different roads that they took in life. One was a deeply religious man, who opposed apartheid; the other was a man of war, who became head of the SADF.

Estranged by political beliefs, the Viljoen twins found themselves in different political camps in 1990. Abraham, who was among the group of Afrikaners who had met the banned ANC in Dakar in 1987, was working for the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa. Constand had come out of retirement to head the Afrikaner Volksfront, a right-wing organisation started by Afrikaners opposed to majority rule. At that time, the Volksfront could call on an estimated 100 000-strong well-armed and trained militia.

Realizing that a civil war would destroy South Africa, Abraham went to see his brother and urged him to consider an alternative to war: talks with the ANC. What followed was a series of secret meetings and negotiations that ultimately prevented civil war in South Africa. Besides being the story of their divergent lives, Brothers in War and Peace covers the immense yet largely unheralded role the Viljoen brothers played in ensuring peace in South Africa.

Based on interviews with the Viljoen brothers, their families and key political figures, Brothers in War and Peace gives new insights into the men and their world.

Paperback, 280 pages. Published August 2014


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