9 April 1960 was the day that changed Susie Cazenove’s life – the day her father, David Pratt, shot the Prime Minister of South Africa, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd. Verwoerd, commonly known as the architect of apartheid, didn’t die, but Pratt’s family lived with the legacy of his action.
A chance encounter with the late David Rattray of Fugitive’s Drift led Cazenove to revisit the memories of that terrible day. With Rattray’s encouragement she put pen to paper to describe the extraordinary events of that day and its consequences. Part family memoir, part ode to the settlement of Johannesburg, Cazenove skilfully weaves her family history and the mood in South Africa in the 1950s and 60s as a background to what may have led her father, a farmer and gentle man, to commit a treasonous act. Some of the facts went to the grave with her father, leaving the family with many questions.