In 1990, three months after the release of Nelson Mandela, the De Klerk Government sent Father Michael Lapsley aparcel containing two magazines. Inside one of them was a highly sophisticated bomb. When Lapsley opened themagazine, the explosion brought down ceilings in the house and blew a hole in the floors and shattered windows. Italso blew off both of the priest’s hands, ruined one eye and burned him severely.
While in the hospital, people tried to prepare him for a life of disability, emphasizing all the things he could nolonger do. In a speech this December, Lapsley said, “My friend phoned me in my hospital bed to say that he had justbeen visiting Cape Town and heard that there were plans to start a center for victims of violence and torture.” Hetold me “I think that is a job which you can do. You will be better qualified now.”
Those special qualifications were joined to the experience of years as an anti-apartheid activist.
From 1993 to 1998, Lapsley was a chaplain to a Trauma center for Victims of Violence and Torture. He then went on tobecome director of the Institute for Healing of Memories.
- Father Michael Lapsley, director of the Institute for Healing of Memories.