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Pat Fahrenfort throws a spanner in the works
2013-08-24

23 August 2013

Pat Fahrenfort had the audience in stiches while discussing her book, Spanner in the Work: One Woman’s Journey from Factory Floor to Corridors of Power. In addition to her wit being razor-sharp, so was her insight.

The author narrated her winding journey from cold factory floors to the passages of parliament during an event hosted by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice. Fahrenfort left school at the age of 15 and started her employment as a factory worker in Cape Town. Through sheer strength of will, she completed a university degree later in her life and went on to work alongside some of our leading political figures and as part of South Africa’s Constitutional Assembly.

Fahrenfort imparted her struggles in the workplace for democracy, justice and equality. Against this background, though, she expressed her disillusionment regarding some aspects of the current political environment in South Africa.

She also regaled the crowd with her ‘stalking’ tactics – back when she was still a fledgling writer – to grab the attention of author Antjie Krog. Fahrenfort attended quite a few functions where the famous author appeared – seemingly by chance – until she got her opportunity.The end result? Krog assisted Fahrenfort to write her own book. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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