Cry, the Beloved Country

What does stephen learn about absalom in chapter 14 that deals with john's decision?

and what is the social/political context/

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Throughout his visit with Absalom, Stephen Kumalo never wavers; he remains true to his principles in dealing with his son, properly berating his son for his lost opportunities and attempting to bring his son closer to penitence. This suggests that the struggle for Absalom Kumalo will not be a legal one. With his admission of guilt, Absalom's legal fate is already to a great extent sealed; whether Stephen Kumalo can find redemption for his son will be the focal point of the rest of the novel. When Stephen leaves his son, he sees John Kumalo and tells him the story. John Kumalo insists that there is no proof that his son or the other young man were there at all. John Kumalo asks Stephen who will believe his son. He claims that both he and Stephen save souls, and that he will save Absalom's.