Note to Readers

Please Note: The editor of White Refugee blog is a member of the Ecology of Peace culture.

Summary of Ecology of Peace Radical Honoursty Factual Reality Problem Solving: Poverty, slavery, unemployment, food shortages, food inflation, cost of living increases, urban sprawl, traffic jams, toxic waste, pollution, peak oil, peak water, peak food, peak population, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, peak resources, racial, religious, class, gender resource war conflict, militarized police, psycho-social and cultural conformity pressures on free speech, etc; inter-cultural conflict; legal, political and corporate corruption, etc; are some of the socio-cultural and psycho-political consequences of overpopulation & consumption collision with declining resources.

Ecology of Peace RH factual reality: 1. Earth is not flat; 2. Resources are finite; 3. When humans breed or consume above ecological carrying capacity limits, it results in resource conflict; 4. If individuals, families, tribes, races, religions, and/or nations want to reduce class, racial and/or religious local, national and international resource war conflict; they should cooperate & sign their responsible freedom oaths; to implement Ecology of Peace Scientific and Cultural Law as international law; to require all citizens of all races, religions and nations to breed and consume below ecological carrying capacity limits.

EoP v WiP NWO negotiations are updated at EoP MILED Clerk.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The ANC Prison Camps: An Audit of Three Years, 1990-1993, by Paul Trewhela, Searchlight SA



Paul Trewhela

To the memory of

Ephraim Nkondo and Mlamli Namba

Vindication of Searchlight South Africa

1993-04-00: Searchlight South Africa
Vol 3, No 2: 10 April 1993 (p.8-30

SEARCHLIGHT SOUTH AFRICA has been vindicated by three recent reports and one major press investigation into the system of prison camps run by the African National Congress in exile.

Still more, the participants in the mutiny in the ANC army Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in Angola in 1984 have been vindicated. There is clear recognition in all three reports that a major motive for the mutiny was the demand for democracy in an army tyrannised by the ANC Security Department. Not a shred of credibility remains for the slur that the mutiny was 'instigated by enemy agents'.

At the same time, there has been no investigation worth the name into abuses in the camps run by the South West African People's Organisation of Namibia (Swapo) in southern Angola, or in camps run by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in Tanzania and elsewhere.

The three reports into abuses in the ANC appeared between October 1992 and January 1993. The most reliable and significant of these reports, by Amnesty International (2 December 1992), drew more than half its material from information previously published in Searchlight South Africa in issues 5 to 9. This information was subsequently confirmed by Amnesty, conducting its own independent investigation through a full-time professional researcher, Richard Carver, with whom SSA was frequency in touch.[1]

The ANC was compelled at the highest level to acknowledge its imprisonment, torture and execution of members in exile as a means of suppressing critical opinion. It was compelled also to acknowledge the role of Searchlight South Africa in exposing these abuses. The Weekly Mail, the leading liberal newspaper in South Africa, also acknowledged reliance on material published in SSA more than two years previously, as a source for its own exposure of torture and executions by the ANC.

After long delay, the work of this journal has become front-page reading in South Africa. It has entered the archives and everyday political knowledge and debate.

The reality of the ANC's system of prison camps and the nature of its Security Department, Imbokodo ('the boulder that crushes'), has been established without question. The ANC is no longer portrayed almost universally by the left and the liberals as a sandy Robin Hood riding to the rescue of humanity on a dashing (Hollywood) charger. Where previously there was silence, or uncritical celebration of the perpetrators of abuses, there now is routine reference in the South African and international press to the issue of 'the camps'. It is a truth that can no longer be suppressed.[2]

This work was carried out in conditions of extreme difficulty. The Amnesty report was the culmination of two and a half years of exhausting campaigning, in all but total isolation, mainly by two people. Amnesty had to be threatened with exposure before it undertook to carry out this investigation.

Even then there was no certainty that its inquiry — which was taken out of the hands its South Africa desk — would result in publication.

Whole-hearted, generous and unstinting collaboration was provided to this magazine by a single British colleague, the former Westminster borough councilor, Bill McElroy — an outstanding human being worth an army in any campaign. Southern Africa owes this remarkable man a debt of gratitude. He is known and loved by many former ANC and Swapo detainees.

The State of the Left

World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World; By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin [*Amazon*]

The campaign provided a painful lesson in the lack of concern for human rights among socialists and liberals, when relating to nationalist and Stalinist politics in southern Africa. Only one left-wing socialist group in Britain, the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), and its affiliated organisations internationally, actively and continuously drew attention to suppression of political dissent by murder, torture and imprisonment by the ANC and by Swapo (now the party of government), during the decades of exile.

The other trotskyist groups in Britain, the United States, South Africa and elsewhere nearly all maintained a stony silence. So did the British Labour and Liberal parties, which were informed at the highest level of what had happened in the camps. This was done by Bill McElroy and myself, as coeditor of Searchlight South Africa, working together in the umbrella organisation, Justice for Southern Africa. The few individuals who read our journal and expressed support for our stand were exceptions to the rule. We welcomed them, but they were as isolated in this matter as was SSA.

These groupings and individuals either justified the methods of Stalinist dictatorship when practised by the ANC and Swapo, or turned a blind eye. This failure of moral judgement, in countries where press freedom and freedom of association are well established, made the work of exposing abuses extraordinarily difficult. Greater humanity was shown on this issue in Britain by Baroness Chalker at the Foreign Office. It is sad, but true. The extraordinarily comprehensive resistance to the fairly straightforward moral issues posed in this campaign, especially in Britain, indicates a substantial problem in modern society at the level of thought, of philosophy, of intellectual culture and ideology. Hopefully, this can be explored in a future issue.

In one instance, the biggest left-socialist group in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), knowingly preserved silence over the assassination in South Africa in June 1990 of Sipho Phungulwa, a former ANC detainee, even though a leading member of the SWP had met Phungulwa in Johannesburg only three weeks previously. This member of the SWP passed information to Searchlight South Africa, published in issue number 6 (January 1991), which the SWP excluded from its own press.

At a meeting in the London School of Economics in February 1992, at a discussion on South Africa convened jointly by SSA, the RCP and the journal Critique, a leading officer of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), suggested from the platform that I 'deserved a bullet' after I had spoken to the meeting about the ANC prison camps. Two thirds of the audience, members and supporters of the RCP, cheered vociferously.

Another trotskyist group, based in the US, in its weekly newspaper described the editors of Searchlight South Africa as 'New World Order socialists' serving the interests of the Bush administration, because of our criticism of the prison camps and the criminality of Mrs Winnie Mandela.

It was much the same within South Africa. When Baruch Hirson, coeditor of SSA raised the issue of the ANC security department and its prison camps in his opening address to the Conference on Marxism in South Africa at the University of the Western Cape in September 1991, the audience froze. No-one referred to the issue in general discussion. Other attempts to open the discussion at the University of the Witwatersrand, never happened: there was apparently no time in the busy academic year for a talk on the subject.

Frozen out in silence or vilified by the left, Searchlight South Africa was simultaneously subject to arbitrary seizures by security officials in South Africa, having been banned for commercial distribution in its first three issues.

We have no idea how many copies were confiscated or destroyed.

Individual copies nevertheless percolated through to university libraries in South Africa and to individuals in the townships and suburbs. In particular, the article on the 1984 mutiny in the ANC by Bandile Ketelo and four other former ANC guerrillas in SSA No 5 was widely circulated within the country by Samizdat, mainly through extensive photocopying.[3] Each copy of this issue entering die country was read by many readers, passing from hand to hand.

The article was later published as a pamphlet by Justice for Southern Africa under the title Mutiny in the ANC 1984. This pamphlet was produced jointly with the WRP in Britain, which sold it through its bookshop in south London.

To many hundreds of people in South Africa, Searchlight South Africa provided the first authoritative account of the mutiny and the fate of its victims. In several instances, SSA and Justice for Southern Africa, working together, provided families with their first glimmer of hope for the fate of relatives whom they had last seen, as youngsters, fourteen or more years previously.

In several instances, we provided friends and relatives with the first reliable account of a death.

Life in Arrears

Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO, by Paul Trewhela [*Amazon*]

In the years immediately before and after the return of the exiles, this was the only South African journal that gave impartial airing to the truth that everybody in the camps knew by word of mouth, or as the brand of servitude on their own backs. Despite a few (very few) inaccuracies, inevitable in the conditions under which the journal is produced, our reporting was and remains trusted by the exiles.

Several prisoners of the ANC in central and east Africa were released as a result of the efforts of SSA and Justice for Southern Africa. Slightly safer conditions of life were secured for former detainees within African states, and more especially in South Africa itself. Our achievements, however, only throw into relief immense continuing unmet needs.

Two former ANC detainees with whom we were directly or indirectly in touch were murdered almost immediately on their return 'home.' These were Sipho Phungulwa (shot dead in Umtata in the Transkei in June 1990, 'allegedly by named ANC officials', as Amnesty states, pl7) and Bongani Ntshangase, 'shot dead by unidentified assailants', as Amnesty records, at Msinga in Natal on 21 May 1992. More details can be found about the lives and deaths of these two men in Searchlight South Africa Nos 5,6,8 and 9, and in the Amnesty report. The bulk of the former victims of the ANC security department who have returned to South Africa live miserable lives. Some in disappointment and desperation have turned to alcohol.

It has been a chilling experience. We have struggled in isolation to try to save the lives of brave and democratic people in South Africa, for whom existence, as one said recently, in desperation, is merely 'living in arrears'. In this we have received no help of any substance from the left, or from liberals, or from academics, in Britain, South Africa or internationally — rather, obstruction.

It is an issue that involves a mark of shame on nearly all the socialists and liberals, who uncritically championed the ANC and failed to take the measure of their own convictions. To this general truth an exception must be made in the case of those individuals who, against the current in South Africa, together with the courageous publisher of this magazine in South Africa, Kevin French, gave their support to our protests against the crimes committed by the ANC and by Swapo.

Former detainees now fear that a future ANC/National Party coalition government, bringing together these two dominant undemocratic political traditions, will be the most authoritarian in the country's history. They stand in a very dangerous exposed position as this new fusion government comes into being. Its first task must be to damp down expectations among millions of blacks for an improvement in their immediate conditions of life. Under these circumstances, the former detainees' critical understanding of the real nature of the ANC and its corruption in exile may well prove intolerable.

Their experience of the ANC was and is a learning resource concerning South Africa's future. By shutting their eyes to this, future oppositional individuals and groups — socialists, liberals, trade unionists, convinced Christians, civic-minded individuals and more independent-minded nationalists — deprive themselves of an opportunity for arming themselves morally and intellectually in advance.

In exile, the former detainees fought the battle for democracy under the most difficult and dangerous conditions. They are precious educators of the society about the need for defence of its civil rights, since they opposed both the racist, capitalist abuses of the National Party and the Stalinist abuses of the ANC (directed in large part by its guiding brain, the South African Communist Party). As such, they cannot be trusted by either of the future main parties of government.

The problem is: who wants these democratic nuisances? They know too much. That is why they are dangerous for the powers that be, as members of the generation that went from the school students' revolt of 1976 to the ANC mutiny of 1984, and which humorously named the ANCs worst prison after the Fort prison in Johannesburg. ('Number Four' in Sowetan argot, translated into Portuguese, became 'Quatro' in Angola).

Despite the work of Searchlight South Africa, and despite the three recent reports on ANC abuses, former detainees remain severely in danger because of the world's indifference. Vindication by three reports has not brought former detainees, or this journal, any relief. Nor has it yet brought any new courageous support in the form of fresh contributors, distributors or even subscribers. Yet SSA continues to be the sole disinterested centre for liberal and socialist international support for the former ANC and Swapo detainees, despite our own pitiful human and material resources. This journal has on principle refused to attempt to 'use' the detainees for any ideological, political or organisational end.

Our dilemma will appear more clearly after a closer examination of the three reports, and the public naming of individual ANC torturers and murderers by the Weekly Mail in its issue of 21 October 1992.

Conflict within the NEC

People's War: New Light on the Struggle for South Africa, by Anthea Jeffery [*Amazon*]
Author of:
The Truth About the Truth Commission (PDF)

The first report to appear was at once conclusive and yet very far from conclusive. In this report the ANC had no alternative except to condemn itself out of its own mouth. In September 1991, Nelson Mandela as president of the ANC responded to extensive pressure from returned exiles, from leading members who had not been in exile and — no doubt — from certain foreign governments, by naming a three person commission of inquiry into abuses within the ANC in exile. This was in effect an inquiry by the ANC into itself.

It was reported in a footnote in Searchlight South Africa No 8, January 1992, in which I stated: 'Political observers and victims of the ANC security apparatus alike expect nothing to come of it', (p 24)

What could not be known at the time was that the decision to establish the commission of inquiry, and then later on, the further decision to publish its report, was the result of an intensive struggle within the National Executive Committee of the ANC.

A very sharp conflict took place between NEC members who had run Umkhonto we Sizwe and the security department in exile — who desperately tried to prevent any inquiry (and, later, still more, publication of its findings) — and other NEC members who wanted the truth to be known. These were mainly more civic-minded ANC activists who had led the campaign of the United Democratic Front within the country during the 1980s. Exile leaders who adamantly opposed an inquiry were Chris Hani (secretary-general of the South African Communist Party, former deputy commander of Umkhonto and the person most responsible for suppression of the mutiny in Umkhonto), Joe Nhlanhla (head of the ANC's Department of Intelligence and Security from 1987, and thus head of security while Quatro prison was in operation) and Jacob Zuma (a leading member of the SACP in exile, and head of counter-intelligence in Umkhonto from 1987). The ANC president, Nelson Mandela, gave his support to those in favour of holding the inquiry and, later, of publishing its report; and this grouping prevailed.

Taking place behind closed doors, this struggle was of immense importance for the future of democracy and civic conditions generally in the whole of southern Africa. At stake were two different styles of leadership within the ANC, the one — of the 'external' leaders — deriving from three decades of closed, autarkic, command society in the camps with its model derived from the Soviet KGB and the east German Stasi; the other, of the 'internal' leaders, from the more open and pluralistic culture developed in the trade unions and civic associations within the country during the 1970s and 1980s.

A major concern of the 'internal* leaders was that in a future electoral campaign, under a new constitution, the state security forces would use secret information to discredit the ANC because of past human rights abuses by 'external' leaders in the camps. There was no way 'internal' leaders could know the background of their exile colleagues, in advance of the selection of candidates, without an inquiry by the ANC itself. That decided the matter.

The commission appointed by Mandela was headed by a respected South African barrister, Advocate Thembile Louis Skweyiya, SC. Its official title was The Commission of Enquiry into Complaints by Former African National Congress Prisoners and Detainees, and was known as the 'Skweyiya Commission'.

Its report, conveyed to Mandela in August 1992, noted extensive concern that the commission would carry out a 'tame' investigation. This was principally because in this inquiry the ANC was investigating itself. In addition, Skweyiya is a member of the ANC, and his brother, Zola Skweyiya, is a high-ranking member of the ANC's legal department. As Officer of Justice in the ANC in exile, Zola Skweyiya had been frustrated in his brief to investigate the prison camps. However well intentioned personally, he had been totally ineffective because the camps remained closed to him. A second member, Ms Bridget Mabandla, like Advocate Skweyiya, is a member of the ANC and a member of its Constitutional Committee. The third initial member, Mr. Charles Nupen, resigned and was replaced during 1991 by Advocate Gilbert Marcus.

The Commission had no powers to subpoena witnesses, or to compel them to answer questions. It was dependent on the willingness of witnesses to come forward, which — given South African conditions — proved in the Commission's words its 'greatest shortcoming'. Its hearings were not in public.

Mr. Marcus gave proof of personal impartiality in a discussion in Johannesburg in October 1991 with the researcher appointed by Amnesty International, who attended some of the sessions of the Commission. The Commission's independence was however gravely threatened by the fact that its secretariat was initially in the hands of a young lawyer, Mr. Dali Mpofu, later revealed in the press to be the lover of Mrs Winnie Mandela, then head of the ANC's Department of Social Welfare and a voracious threat to the former detainees.

As the scandal concerning Mrs Mandela's personal life rose to the boil, Mr. Mpofu left the commission. With him however also disappeared its secretariat, seriously compromising it work. The ANC had undertaken that it would appoint an 'independent lawyer to conduct investigations, interview witnesses, visit detention camps and lead the evidence before the commission and to do all things reasonably incidental to the foregoing'. Advocate Elna Revelas of the Johannesburg Bar, who was not a member of the ANC, was appointed to this investigatory post. A relatively extensive investigation then followed — given the crucial limitation that this was an internal inquiry by a commission appointed by a political party to look into its own abuses.

The reluctance of witnesses to come forward was not, in fact, the Commission's greatest weakness. Its central flaw lay in its terms of reference. These had been set in a letter by Nelson Mandela to each of the three commissioners, referring them in effect to complaints only by living prisoners about their own previous conditions of detention. By definition this excluded what needed investigation at least as much: the murder and disappearances of others. An absurd and arbitrary division was thus created for the Commission from the beginning. Its report was by its very nature partial, flawed and massively inadequate. In the eyes of the commissioners, their brief from the ANC placed the central event in the three decades of the exile — the mutiny in the ANC in Angola by 90 per cent of its trained troops — out of purview. It was as if Hamlet's investigation into the troubles in his family were constrained to omit his father's murder.

The consequences of this flawed brief were very serious. Of the three reports, that of the Skweyiya Commission received by far the greatest attention in the South African press. ANC leaders such as Hani were not only exonerated without proper inquiry but were able to hold up the report afterwards as providing them with a clean bill of health. In this sense, it served the classic function of an official fudge.

An Abuse of Power

Nevertheless, the Commission concluded that within the ANC in exile for the greater part of the 1980s,'there existed a situation of extraordinary abuse of power and lack of accountability. It confessed to 'staggering* brutality by the ANC security department, (pp 65,39) The silence of the left and the vilification of this journal is striking in the light of this admission. Nelson Mandela accepted the Commission’s conclusions - reluctantly, and without grace — at a press conference on 19 October 1992. He stated that the ANC leadership acknowledged 'ultimate responsibility for not adequately monitoring and, therefore, eradicating such abuses'. (Guardian Weekly, SA, 23 October 1992) This was an evasion. As will be seen, there is evidence that the top leadership in exile, up to the level of Oliver Tambo as president, condoned and participated in the practice of abuses. A clear function of the Skweyiya report was to deflect that impression.

The Commission's treatment of written evidence was dilatory. As one of the editors of SSA, I posted the history of the mutiny in Umkhonto published in SSA No 5 to Messrs Mashile-Ntlhoro, Attorneys, the Johannesburg firm representing the Skweyiya Commission, on 19 May 1992. This was despite reservations that the full truth could not be revealed in an internal ANC inquiry.

Having worked for an independent international commission of inquiry since early 1990,1 felt, it necessary to make it as difficult as possible for an internal inquiry to suppress information. I therefore tried to place this document on record before the Commission, and in correspondence urged former ANC detainees to place as much testimony as possible before it as well. I later received a registered letter from Mr. Brian Mashile of Mashile-Ntlhoro, thanking me for providing the Commission with 'valuable information'. The letter added: 'We will be corresponding with you in due course and shall keep you posted of developments.' (Letter, 3 June 1992). No such communication followed.

In the event, the Skweyiya report made no reference to the article on the mutiny in SSA No 5. This was a significant and unjudicial lapse. The article in SSA remains the single most important first-hand published account of repressions within the ANC and of the mutiny, which took shape mainly in response to these repressions.

The authors of the article had addressed a letter to Mr. Mandela, then in London, on 14 April 1990. This letter was later reprinted in SSA No 5, where it was available to the Commission. In this letter, Ketelo and his colleagues called on Mandela to support their demand for a commission to inquire into 'atrocities' in the ANC camps, (p 68) It was their own first-hand revelations of tortures and killings, published in the British press the previous week, that impelled Mandela to make his first public repudiation of torture by the ANC, at Jan Smuts airport on 14 April 1990.

For the Commission, or its attorneys, to neglect this article - written by the individuals who first drew Mandela's attention to the need for an inquiry — was beneath the level of judicial practice. Because of this lapse alone, the investigation was neither 'full' nor 'thorough,' as Mandela had requested.

The report states that it was 'not within the scope of this Commission to deal with the causes of the mutiny', (p 55) In so far as repressions and maltreatment were a very major cause of the mutiny, the limitation is absurd.

The report adds however that there were a
number of published accounts on the mutiny including a chapter in the recently published book by Stephen Ellis and Tsepo Sechaba entitled Comrades Against Apartheid. The authors record that included in the demands of the mutineers was the suspension of the ANC security apparatus and an investigation of Quatro. (pp 55-56)

This chapter in the book by Ellis and Sechaba (reviewed in SSA No 9) was heavily based on the article by Ketelo and his colleagues. In this way, despite the neglect of the 'valuable information' placed before the Commission by this journal, the work of Searchlight South Africa could not be avoided.

In the event only 17 detainees gave evidence to the Commission. One was Pallo Jordan, a leading figure in the ANC's negotiating team, who was held in Isolation for six weeks by the ANC security department in Zambia in 1983.

According to the report, he was arrested following criticism of the security department for conducting itself 'like a repressive police force', (p 66) The Commission was 'eventually also furnished with a copy of the report of the so-called Stuart Commission into the 1984 mutiny in Angola. The Skweyiya Commission noted that the contents of this previous internal ANC inquiry had 'never been made public and, it seems, not formally tabled before the ANC National Executive Committee', (p 56) This bears out the account published in SSA No 6 of the sinister and farcical nature of the 1985 ANC national conference at Kabwe in Zambia in 1985. which, as stated in SSA, neglected to table the Stuart Commission report.[5]

The Skweyiya Commission in fact vindicates the motives of the mutineers, and exculpates them from the charge of having been 'enemy agents'. Ellis and Sechaba, it notes, state in their book that it was widely known that the Stuart Commission 'attributed blame for the mutiny on the excesses of the security department, poor political education, poor recreational facilities and quality of food and the yearning to go home and fight'. The Skweyiya Commission then places its own stamp of verification on these remarks. "These are indeed the findings of the Stuart Commission', it states, (p 56)

The Skweyiya Commission did not publish the report of the Stuart Commission, though it recommended publication. (So far, this appears not to have been done). Revelations quoted from the Stuart report make it plain that ANC leaders imprisoned, tortured and executed the mutineers in full knowledge that they were innocent of the smear of being South African government agents. The Skweyiya report states that the Stuart Commission had 'clearly identified' the malaise of brutality in the ANC. (p 65) It quotes the Stuart report as having stated that force had become 'the rule rather than the exception' and that coercion was 'indiscriminately used not only as a punishment but even when carrying out interviews and debriefings'. (ibid)

The then ANC president, Oliver Tambo, certainly knew this when he inspected the inmates at Quatro in 1987, as reported in SSA No 5 and confirmed by the Skweyiya Commission, (p 36) Yet neither he nor any other leader relieved the prisoners of their misery, knowing well they were innocent of the charge of being 'enemy agents'. In his report as former president in exile to the ANC national conference in Durban in July 1992, Tambo repeated against the mutineers the brutal and now discredited assertion: 'Enemy Agents!' {Sunday Star, Johannesburg, 21 July 1992) It was then, as it had been in exile, an incitement to murder and brutality.

The Skweyiya Commission's Conclusions

Contrary to Tambo, the report concludes:
(i) Those witnesses who were detained without trial should have the allegations against them unequivocally and unconditionally withdrawn... These witnesses deserve, in our view, a clear and unequivocal apology for the wrongs that they have suffered.

(ii) All witneses who suffered maltreatment while being detained in ANC camps should receive monetary compensation for their ordeal...

(iii) Some of the witnesses who appeared before us were, in our view, in need of medical and psychological assistance. Such should be offered and provided by the ANC.

(iv) Some of the witnesses expressed the desire to continue their education which had been interrupted by long periods of detention. We recommend that the ANC provide assistance in this regard.

(v) Detainees who lost property should be compensated for such loss.

(vi) It is apparent to the Commission that many people suffered in the ANC camps... We suggest, therefore, that consideration be given to the creation of an independent structure which is perceived to be impartial and which is capable of documenting cases of abuse and giving effect to the type of recommendations made in this report..:

(vii) We are aware that allegations have been made concerning the disappearance and murder of prisoners... (The) allegations are of the most serious nature and demand investigation. We therefore suggest that the impartial and independent structure referred to in paragraph (vi) above, or some other appropriate body be charged with the responsibility of investigating all allegations of disappearance and murder.

(viii) We strongly recommend that urgent and immediate attention be given to identifying and dealing with those responsible for the maltreatment of detainees... It is clear that several persons against whom serious allegations of brutality have been levelled are currently employed by the ANC in the security department. A list of such persons will be supplied to the President of the NC. It would be wrong in our view to limit the responsibility to such persons. There are clearly persons in the senior ranks of the security department who were responsible for the situation in the camps and who should not escape the net of accountability. We consider this recommendation to be of the greatest importance, particularly in the light of the role that the ANC is likely to play in a future Government. No person who is guilty of committing atrocities should ever again be allowed to assume a position of power. Unless the ANC is prepared to take decisive action, the risk of repetition will forever be present. The best formula for prevention is to ensure that the perpetrators of brutality are brought to account and are seen to be brought to account.

(ix) [The Commission here recommends that secret ANC internal reports into the death of Thami Zulu in Zambia in 1989, and of the Stuart Commission into the 1984 mutiny in MK, be made public].[6]

(x) [The Commission finally recommends that in keeping with its terms of reference, its report be released to the public 'as soon as possible*. In the event, this was to take two months, while ANC leaders debated how to handle these damning conclusions.] (pp 68-74)

The principal blame for the conduct of the ANC security department was placed by the Commission on a single individual, Mzwai Piliso, head of the ANCs Department of Intelligence and Security until 1987. Piliso admitted personal participation in tortures. His task, in his own words, was to extract information 'at any cost'. The report states that Piliso was 'relieved of his duties' in 1987, and that the views and attitude of his successor at the head of a provisional directorate of security, Joe Nhlanhla, 'contrasted sharply* with those of Piliso. No evidence is provided for this assertion. Sizakhele Sigxashe, head of the military tribunal which ordered public execution of mutineers at Pango camp in 1984, is cited as a member of the 'new department' which, according to the report, was 'charged with remedying the past', (p 63) There is no reference in the report to Sigxashe's prominent role in ordering executions, which is clearly stated in the article by Ketelo and his colleagues. (SSA No 5. p 52) Nor therefore is there any explanation how a person responsible for ordering executions could be 'charged with remedying the past'. At this point the Skweyiya Commission report becomes whitewash. The failure of the Commission to place on record the 'valuable information' provided by SSA no 5 reveals itself here as prejudicial.

The Curious History of Chris Hani

In the same way, the Commission was able to exonerate Chris Hani, the then Umkhonto commissar. Hani was permitted to express his 'feelings of revulsion' at oppressive practices in the ANC without becoming subject to normal cross-examination, (p 60) This is particularly important because of Hani's current status as secretary-general of the SACP and his former position as Umkhonto chief of staff, with a major following among its commanders.

There are several explicit references to oppressive conduct by Hani in Ketelo's article. These too were ignored by the Commission, which reported that Hani
told us of his increasing concern for what he described as 'the horrors of Quatro' [in bold type in the report] and how he and others had insisted on the adoption of the Code of Conduct of 1985. [This Code was a dead letter — PT] He described some of the members of the security department as 'really vicious', a description which was amply borne out by the evidence. He felt that the ANC as an organization built upon respect for human rights had an obligation to acknowledge and redress the wrongs of the past and to prevent them from happening in the future, (pp 60-61)

The article by Ketelo and his colleagues includes the following references to Hani.
  1. In the second stage of the mutiny, during the democratic and peaceful drawing up of grievances at Viana camp outside Luanda in February 1984, Hani "with an AK submachine gun, made his appearance on the side of the loyalists chasing and firing at those who wanted to join the mutineers', (p 44)

  2. Standing beside two members of the Liberation Committee of the Organisation for African Unity, Hani made a speech to the troops at Viana in which he denounced the mutiny and its demands as 'an adventure instigated by disgruntled elements'. (p47)

  3. Hani and the Umkhonto commander Joe Modise 'accompanied a group of security personnel to round up those who had escaped arrest at Viana '. When a captured mutineer tried to explode a grenade in the military vehicle in which Hani and Modise were escorting their prisoner, Hani issued instructions to the security personnel to shoot [the prisoner] on the spot, but Modise intervened saying "he [the prisoner] must go and suffer first"'. (p48) The prisoner, Vuyisile Maseko (real name Xolile Siphunzi) was last known by the authors of the article to have been left in Luanda State Prison when the mutineers were released in December 1988.

  4. Mwezi Twala (traveling name Khotso Morena), a member of the Committee of Ten which was elected to lead the mutiny, was 'shot from behind in the presence of Joe Modise and Chris Hani during their round-up of other mutineers', (p 50) Twala survived.

  5. Following the decision by the military tribunal headed by Sigxashe to execute seven of the mutineers at Pango camp in the third and final stage of the mutiny, Hani 'endorsed their execution', which he appears to have witnessed himself, (p 53) Another member of the tribunal was Morris Seabelo, 'a former commander and commissar at Quatro and at that time chief of security in the whole of the Angola region of MK'. (p 52) Seabelo (real name Lulamile Dandle) has been described by participants in the mutiny as Hani's 'closest lieutenant'. Prisoners at Quatro were told by guards that Hani was in fact a member of the tribunal himself, and that he was present at the executions, (personal communication) Similar allegations were made to the Douglas Commission, discussed below, Hani denies this. SSA has not been able independently either to verify or disprove these allegations. They are matters that the Commission did not investigate.

  6. Finally, together with Stanley Mabizela, a fellow member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), Hani personally suppressed all elected structures at Dakawa camp in Tanzania in late December 1989, in order depose former mutineers who had been freely elected by ANC exiles. These included the chairman and organising secretary of the elected committee representing all the exiles in Tanzania.

An Admission

Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO, by Paul Trewhela [*Amazon*]

Hani and other top ANC leaders were spared by the Skweyiya Commission's terms of reference and by its decision to place responsibility for investigating details of torture, murders and disappearances, and for naming names, on yet another commission.

Prior to the Skweyiya report, the most serious investigation into abuses in the camps published in South Africa was an article by Hein Marais in the journal Work in Progress, in its issue of June 1992. Marais gives an impartial assessment both of the book by Ellis and Sechaba and of the article in Searchlight South Africa No 5, which he acknowledges by name at several points. An editorial explains the editors' decision to look closely at the dark chapter, both in the interests of the ANC itself, and in the interests of democracy in the long-term'. It urges ANC leaders to 'come clean', arguing that the organisation could not afford to have its image tarnished at election time by the National Party, which would exploit every weakness. Appearing in the closing months of the secret sessions of the Skweyiya Commission, this issue of WIP bears the marks of a strenuous efforts by 'internal' leaders of the ANC and the SACP to force the Commission to publish. Marais nevertheless does address the central moral issues.

Next to a photograph of Hani, the journal cover ran the headline: ANC Camps: Hani opens up'. There is very little opening up by Hani. Forgetting his own role in damning the first ANC detainees to return to South Africa as 'enemy agents' (on South African television, in mid-1990), Hani presents himself as the person most responsible for ending executions in 1984, which he says he had always opposed. He declares that while certain ANC members should not be part of a new security force in South Africa, and that a parliamentary committee should oversee the security apparatus, abuses in the ANC had happened only 'to a very small extent'. The more the evidence is studied, the more it appears that Hani has adapted himself chameleon-like to every terrain.

Within days of its publication of the Skweyiya report, the Weekly Mail summed up its inadequacy in a major front-page article. It headed its exposure: The names the ANC tried to hide'. (21 October 1992) The article by Ketelo and others in SSA, the major suppressed document of the Commission, formed a principal basis to the WM's investigation. In the preceding week, a journalist on its staff phoned Ketelo in Britain to question him in detail about the article. He was intensively questioned about his relation to this journal. (It must be stated emphatically that Ketelo has no relation to Searchlight South Africa beyond having been the principal author of the article in issue No 5).

An interview with Ketelo then appeared as part of the three-page investigation by the WM. About half the names and details of torturers cited by the WM confirmed information published over two years earlier in SSA and posted to the paper at the time. It was not until after the ANC published the Skweyiya report that the Weekly Mail moved to publish its own investigation, confirming and supplementing Ketelo's article in detail. Even then, despite citing Ketelo, it carried no reference to Searchlight South Africa. There was nothing in the WM referring readers to Ketelo's article, despite its central place in the literature on ANC abuses. In its own fashion, and for its own reasons, the WM thus continued the strange relegation of this journal to the land of the living dead.

In almost comical fashion, the WM was then forced to acknowledge the existence of this journal the following week. This was at the instance of the ANC itself. As the WM reported, its revelations 'sparked outrage' from the ANC. For the first time, the ANC now publicly acknowledged the work of Searchlight South Africa in exposing its abuses. Its spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, stated:
The names, some of which are completely unknown to us, are clearly drawn from a magazine article published in Searchlight South Africa Vol 2 No 11990, and is [sic] therefore available for all people to read.

We find it regrettable that a newspaper such as The Weekly Mail with its own outstanding record of exposing abuse and corruption should not have seen fit to pay attention to accuracy and detail.

Among other things it states that Maurice Seabelo died mysteriously in Lesotho. Now again the WM lifts this terminology from the magazine article, whereas even a superficial investigation or an inquiry to the ANC would have revealed what is a matter of public record. Maurice Seabelo was among those killed in SADF raids on Maseru in December 1985. (WM, 30 October 1992)

Seabelo was the first commander at Quatro, which was known formally both as 'Camp 32' and after his death as the 'Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre'. Substantial detail is provided in SSA No 5 about Seabelo, who at the time of the mutiny was chief of security of the whole of the Angola region of Umkhonto. As Hani's closest lieutenant, Seabelo sat on the tribunal which ordered death by firing squad for the seven mutineers at Pango. He later boasted to prisoners in Quatro that he had personally taken part in the executions, blasting his victims with an RPG7 anti-tank bazooka rocket. Survivors were compelled to witness the mutilation of their comrades, (personal communication)

Without citing its source, the WM article of 23 October had repeated a phrase by Ketelo and his co-authors in 55/4 No 5, concerning Seabelo's death. They had stated that in late 1985 Seabelo had 'mysteriously lost his life in an underground ANC residence in Lesotho, where none of those he was with, including Nomkhosi Mini, were spared to relate the story', (p 54)

Ketelo did not state that this mass killing took place in an SADF raid, but it could easily be inferred. It was indicative of the ANC that it chose to make an issue over such a phrase.

In reply, the WM stated that as well as drawing on 55/4 its report had been based 'on a variety of sources, and no names were included unless they were corroborated by more than one source'. It argued cogently that where people in authority had knowledge of torture being carried out by individuals directly under their command, this amounted to complicity. It asked:
If the minister of law and order, the commissioner of police or a senior officer under his command, knew that certain detainees were being tortured in security police detention and chose not to intervene, do we not accuse them of the same crime?

A Type of Ambiguity

KGB Alpha Team Training Manual: How The Soviets Trained For Personal Combat, Assassination, And Subversion, By K.G.B. [*Amazon*]

The WM suggests a much broader scope for inquiry concerning Hani's activities than provided by the Skweyiya Commission. Hani's role, it stated, was 'ambiguous’. It notes that
according to several affidavits and accounts by former detainees he endorsed the decision by the Military Tribunal for the execution of seven of the rebels (which he denies) and was present at the subsequent execution of four others. They also say that he was present when Mwezi Twala was shot in the back in Angola in 1984.

Former ANC detainees also say that at times he suppressed their right to speak and hold office (after their release) and did not keep the promises he had previously made to them. They say he also did little to help them while they were in detention in Quatro.

Investigation of the role of ANC leaders in executions appears to be part of the remit of a new commission named by the ANC a month after publication of the Skweyiya report. It includes Mr. Sam Motsuenyane (an elderly South African businessman), Mr. David Zamchiya (a former Zimbabwean government official) and Ms Margaret Burnham of the United States. (Weekly Mail, 27 November 1992)

554 has no additional information about the working of this new commission. It suffers the same defect as the Skweyiya Commission: whatever the merits of its members, it represents an organisation investigating its own malpractice. The evasiveness of the Skweyiya Commission in relation to Hani does not inspire confidence in the will or ability of the new commission to name names comprehensively, to specify crimes committed and to recommend firm measures for exclusion of the perpetrators from office.

As the WM pointed out, several high-ranking torturers and killers continue to work in the ANC security department operating out of party headquarters in Shell House, Johannesburg. These include Nelson Mandela's personal bodyguard, MB Mavuso (Umkhonto traveling name 'Jomo'), a former guard at Quatro who is 'widely alleged to have been directly involved in torture', (ibid)

Another torturer currently working in ANC headquarters, traveling name Sizwe Mkhonto - a former student at the Moscow Party Institution, trained in intelligence in East Germany and the USSR — was camp commander at Quatro for several years, starting while still in his teens. This brutalised youth called the principal leader of the mutiny, Ephraim Nkondo, from his cell in Quatro on Saturday 26 May 1984. This was shortly after the crushing of the mutiny in Pango camp. Nkondo was seen the same day being pulled through the camp with a rope around his neck, (personal communication)

The next day he was found dead in his cell, with a rope around his neck. Without strict accounting for the torture and murder of individuals such as Nkondo, the ANC continues to carry the mark of Cain. It remains to be seen whether the new commission headed by Mr. Motsuenyane – a director of loci (South Africa), president of the Boy Scouts in South Africa and founder and chairman of the National African Chamber of Commerce (Nifco) — can honestly confront this past.

As its title indicates, the report by Amnesty International, the second to appear, is far more adequate to the subject. Entitled: 'South Africa: Torture, ill-treatment and executions in African National Congress camps', this was the most balanced of the three reports. It notes that officials of politically impartial human rights bodies in South Africa had informed Amnesty that they would have been 'willing to establish a genuinely independent commission of inquiry had they been approached by the ANC. (p 21) The ANC did not approach them.

Amnesty is very forthright that the ANC's torturers and killers should never be
allowed to hold positions of authority within the organization or under any future South African administration. In particular, they should never be in a position where they have responsibility for law enforcement or custody of prisoners, (p 26)

Such a cleansing of the stables has yet to begin.

Amnesty is lucid in pointing out weaknesses in the terms of reference and operation of the Skweyiya Commission, particularly its failure to 'analyze the chains of command within the security department and MK, and between these bodies and the ANC leadership, in order to establish political responsibility for what went on in the camps', (p 23) This is the most sensitive issue for the leaders in exile, and therefore least accessible to an internal closed inquiry. The Amnesty report indicates that the ANC's system of providing nearly all its black members in exile with traveling names, or noms de guerre, continues to screen the identities of both victims and their persecutors. This is shown by continued effective anonymity of torturers such as Sizwe Mkhonto and of the seven men executed at Pango. (They are not anonymous of course to South African state security officials, or to Imbokodo, only to the general public).

The names of the seven people executed at Pango are taken by Amnesty from Ketelo's article. But these are travelling names, fictions, and therefore serve to obscure of the fate of these people to their relatives. The best known of these men, referred to in Searchlight South Africa and in the Amnesty report by the travelling name James Nkabinde, was Mlamli Namba. (personal communication) Along with several other members of Imbokodo, Namba resigned from the security department in 1980 in protest at its authoritarian behaviour and because of corruption at ANC headquarters in Lusaka.[7] As stated in Ketelo's history of the mutiny, he had been a personal bodyguard to Tambo in Lusaka. Namba's fate is therefore a personal reproach against Tambo.

The Responsibility of Oliver Tambo

The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin [*Amazon*]

The third of the three reports summarises the results of an inquiry by a Durban advocate, Robert Douglas SC, commissioned by an explicitly procapitalist organisation based in Washington DC, the International Freedom Foundation (IFF).[8] Its most important section consists of extracts from about 60 sworn depositions made in the second half of 1992, mostly from survivors of the camps. These depositions need to be carefully checked and assessed in their original form, since witnesses were not cross examined and their statements may well contain some individual errors as well as unfounded assertions.

In time, however, and in the course of thorough historical research, they will provide a major source of information for a fuller historical picture of the ANC in exile. Outside the archives of state security and the ANC itself, they represent the biggest body of first-hand statements yet collected about the life of the ANC in exile. Judging from extracts from witnesses whose experiences were previously recorded in this journal, the material presented as evidence by Douglas does appear to reflect the actual statements of survivors of the camps and generally does not appear to have been falsified. Survivors of the mutiny and victims of the security department think highly of the evidence, though not necessarily of Douglas' method of drawing conclusions, (personal communication)

The report is particularly damaging to the reputation of Tambo. Witness 25 (they are not named) is described as having joined the ANC inside South Africa in 1978, eventually becoming a senior member of the intelligence wing after leaving the country. He states:
I am fully familiar with the command structure of both the security and intelligence wings in the ANC during those years. At the head of both was Oliver Tambo, the President of the ANC. The security wing was commanded by Mzwai Piliso [condemned by the Skweyiya Commission for his forthright advocacy of torture] and the intelligence wing by Sezekele Sigxashe [head of the tribunal that ordered the execution of the mutineers at Pango]. (p 45)

A former medical officer in the camps, interviewed by Douglas, is also cited as saying that after the influx in 1976, 'President Tambo appointed him to a senior position in the security department to assist with the screening of new recruits'. This witness is then quoted as saying that:
The security system was directly under the President. We reported to the President directly and his secretary Duma Nokwe was the one we first reported to. (pp 58-59)

Tambo has a powerful case to answer. As president he was no remote, purely formal figure in the ANC — that is, principally a figurehead or symbol, like a modern constitutional monarch. He was more in the manner of the president of the United States, head of the executive: and in this case, at the time of the mutiny, an unaccountable and largely unelected executive, unrestrained by checks and balances. As ANC president he was commander in chief of MK and one of the three senior office-holders in the ANC. (The other two were Alfred Nzo, secretary-general after Nokwe, and Tom Nkobi, as treasurer). Directly under his authority came three sub-departments: 1) army; 2) security and intelligence; 3) information and publicity. As president, he thus had more information than anyone else in the whole organisation.

Tambo presided over a crucial session of the High Command of MK, meeting in Luanda, either in the last week of January or early February 1984.

This meeting took place immediately after the first stage of the mutiny at Kangandala on the eastern front in Malanje province — when troops refused to go into action against the Angolan rebel movement Unita — and immediately before the second stage of mutiny at Viana camp on the outskirts of Luanda in February, when a Committee of Ten was elected and demands were drawn up.

Present at this session of the High Command besides Tambo were Nzo; Nkobi; MK commander Joe Modise; MK chief of staff (and SACP secretary general) Joe Slovo; SACP leaders Reg September, Mac Maharaj and Cassius Make; Julius Mokoena, MK chief of personnel; David Moshoeu, regional commander; and a number of ranking military and security officers. (Hani was not present). The meeting discussed the grievances already being expressed by the troops, Tambo taking a leading part.

The top political leaders of the ANC, the SACP, and the top military leaders of MK, most notably Tambo and Slovo, were therefore well apprised of the discontent among the overwhelming majority of the ANC's trained troops. They knew the feeling of the troops, then gathering in Viana, before the outbreak of full-scale mutiny, and took no adequate measures to meet their demands. As Ketelo and his colleagues recorded, these were:
  1. An immediate suspension of the Security Department and establishment of a commission to investigate its all-round activities. Included here are also the investigation of one of the most feared secret camps of the ANC, Quatro.

  2. A review of the cadre policy of the ANC to establish the missing links that were a cause for a stagnation that had caught up with our drive to expand the armed struggle. [This was in essence a demand to be withdrawn from the civil war in Angola, and to be sent to fight in South Africa against the forces of the state.-PT]

  3. To convene a fully representative democratic conference to review the development of the struggle, draw new strategies and have elections for a new NEC (SSA, No 5, p 45)

It is most probable that the High Command, acting as a body, and headed by Tambo, directed the suppression of the purely peaceful gathering of the mutineers at Viana, where these demands were formulated in a series of open, public mass meetings. The ANC suppressed this phase of the mutiny principally by summoning the Presidential Brigade of FAPLA, the army of the ruling MPLA party, to storm the camp. In all likelihood this followed a personal appeal by Tambo to the Angolan president. Close questioning of all those present at this meeting of the High Command, by commission of inquiry, meeting in open session, is needed to determine precise responsibility for the tortures, imprisonment and deaths that followed.

The Executions at Pango

KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer's Handbook, By Vasili Mitrokhin [*Amazon*]

In his report, Advocate Douglas suggests further dimensions of responsibility on the part of the ANC leadership. He quotes a very important passage from the interview with Hani in Work in Progress (June 1992) concerning suppression of the mutiny in its third and final stage, at Pango camp in May 1984.

Hani states:
The loyalists (if I may use that term) overran the camps. Lives were lost on both sides. Very sad, because these were all members of the ANC, fellow South Africans. And that was the end of my role. I was never a member of the tribunal which tried them. A tribunal was set up by the ANC to try them, and some of them were sentenced to death. And executed — it was a big number, about eighteen or nineteen, I can't remember. I rushed back to Lusaka and said to the leadership: Stop the executions, (pp 54-55)

This is the first high-level acknowledgement that the number of people executed at Pango was much higher than indicated in the article by Ketelo and his colleagues. Their account was clearly restrained.

Secondly, Hani makes plain in this statement that authority for stopping the executions lay with the top political leadership of the ANC at the organisation's headquarters in Lusaka. This suggests primarily Oliver Tambo himself. Hani's statement is the most important public comment on the mutiny so far by any leading figure in the ANC in exile. It is puzzling, however, because as Army Commissar of MK and as the sole member of the NEC in the region, Hani was himself already the senior leader of the ANC at Pango.

It was left to a relatively far less influential figure in the NEC, Mrs Gertrude Shope to relieve the suffering of the prisoners, as reported by Ketelo and his colleagues in SSA No 5. (p 53) As Douglas observes, Hani's statement raises more questions than it answers. Nothing except questioning, in open commission, of all relevant ANC officials can satisfy the need for justice in this matter. No ANC leader of the exile can be trusted with authority until full knowledge of this individual's conduct is made available to the public.

The principal flaw in the Douglas Commission report relates to instances of over-straining of the published evidence, to support conclusions condemning leading figures in Umkhonto: principally Slovo and Ronnie Kasrils, both leaders of the SACP.[9] In the opinion of this writer, the existing evidence, including evidence accumulated by Douglas, provides very strong supposition that both men had extensive knowledge of the system of human rights abuses in the camps, and perhaps actively participated in authorising it. But the evidence which is publicly available at present is not yet conclusive. It cannot be concluded on the available evidence that they had direct, personal, first-hand responsibility.

Slovo is cited in one deposition as having visited Quatro at night, (p 43) Prisoners from the mutiny in Quatro were indeed told this at the time by guards. An Umkhonto soldier, Zondi, whose jaw had been broken at Pango, told fellow prisoners in Luanda State Security Prison that he had been sent to military hospital in Luanda on Slovo's orders, following a visit to Quatro.

Zondi later suffered severely at Quatro, where guards repeatedly hit his still broken jaw, and where he developed epilepsy, (personal communication) Kasrils is cited as being responsible for visiting a prison camp at Nampula in Mozambique in 1982 and for incarcerating fourteen Umkhonto soldiers in a basement at Quibaxe in northern Angola, following their refusal to obey orders in 1977. (pp 7,43,60) The prison at Nampula was deep in the bush, surrounded by wild animals and in an area heavily affected by malaria.

The majority of prisoners were MK veterans of the war in Zimbabwe, where they had fought in the military wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu). When they refused to be transferred to fight in the civil war in Angola, demanding to be sent to fight in South Africa itself, they were confined to Nampula, where some went mad. Kasrils did not deny knowledge of this camp in a press conference in Johannesburg in January 1993. At this conference, he and two former participants in the 1977 'mutiny' at Quibaxe denied that the men imprisoned in the basement had been affected by noxious fumes. (Weekly Mail, 29 January 1993) Slovo and Kasrils bear responsibility as senior officers of Umkhonto. The precise limits and extent or their responsibility for abuses remain unclear.

Douglas unfortunately made no headway in tracking down the drugs mafia within Imbokodo, a line of inquiry that may well hold the key to the murder of several ANC personnel in Zambia in 1989[10], including the high-ranking Umkhonto commander Thami Zulu who died under ANC guard in Lusaka in November 1989.1 Until the criminal network within Umkhonto we Sizwe, and especially in the security department, is uncovered, the precise extent of infiltration by South African Military Intelligence must remain unknown.

Whatever the flaws in the report, these are insignificant by comparison with the additional information it makes available to South Africans about the organisation which now prepares to govern them. The report is full of suggestive leads, which need to be followed up by careful, investigative, historical research. This cannot be done in detail here.

The editors of this journal were invited by letter to assist the investigation by Mr. Douglas. We did not respond, as there was no way of knowing what kind of hidden agenda lay in his commission by the IFF. Paradoxically, the report by Douglas was the only one to quote directly from the article by Ketelo and others m 55^4, and to cite this magazine by name as its source.

There is a long, extended extract from this article in the report - a description of the mutiny, which Douglas describes as a 'vivid and detailed account' (pp 20-23) It is the longest quoted passage in the report.

Some former detainees whom we know of provided depositions to Douglas, others declined. There can be no imputation of 'selling out5 against those who gave evidence to Douglas. They were completely within their rights. So too of course was Stephen Ellis, who gave the benefit of his knowledge to Mr. Douglas in Leiden.

That said, it must be stated that it seems extremely likely that the IFF in South Africa stands close to Inkatha and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and therefore also to the wrecking strategy directed against the ANC and the SACP by South African Military Intelligence. This is no reflection on the standing of Mr. Douglas as a barrister or on the quality of his evidence, but it does indicate the serious weakness of liberal and human rights organisations in South Africa, which all too frequently have compromised their principles through uncritical support for the ANC. There is urgent need for these individuals and/organisations to reassess their mode of thinking and activity.

For many ANC detainees there is nowhere to turn for support, except to an organisation tainted by its relation to the far right. Criticism must be directed, not to these detainees (many of whom are in despair), but to people and organisations in South Africa and abroad who abandoned them. In the absence of liberals and socialists who are prepared to conduct these investigations, this is left to the IFF and individuals such as Advocate Douglas.

There is a major need for a campaign to compel the ANC to implement the recommendations of the Skweyiya Commission calling for disclosure of the names of the guilty and for real, practical monetary restitution to the detainees. The majority of the former detainees are in desperate poverty. It is South African and international disgrace, a pall on the conscience of anyone concerned with civil rights in the region. Likewise, this journal supports the demand of former detainees (and of Advocate Douglas) for the commission headed by Mr. Justice Richard Goldstone - investigating murders and abuses by the security forces of the state - to extend its inquiries to human rights abuses by the ANC and SACP in exile.

The matter becomes all the more urgent, since merger between the old South African state security forces and members of the ANC security department is on the order of the day. Nhlanhla, the head of the ANC's Department of Intelligence and Security - and one of the leading opponents of the Skweyiya inquiry - is reported to be in line 'for a top job' in the new combined force. (Weekly Mail, 29 January 1993)

Maladministration of Justice

Like Amnesty, this journal deplores the government's Further Indemnity Act, which was passed shortly after publication of the ANC commission's report. The effect of this act is to provide state protection for its own torturers and murderers and those of the ANC alike. We endorse the call of the Douglas Commission for those responsible for human rights abuses in the ANC camps to be prosecuted- but as part of comprehensive prosecution of the infinitely greater number of murderers and torturers paid by the South African state. There can be no justice in South Africa without this. Yet it is all but impossible that it will happen.

The former detainees have real cause to fear for their future. This can be seen in the Transkei. As the Amnesty report reveals, two and a half years after the political assassination of the former detainee Sipho Phungulwa in the Transkei, nobody has yet been brought to trial. This is despite the presence of witnesses and ballistic evidence, and the fact that two men were belatedly arrested, charged and released on bail.

Amnesty cites a report in the South African newspaper City Press in late 1992 to the effect that the office of the Transkei Commissioner of Police had circulated a directive signed by the deputy chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, ordering police not to arrest ANC members on criminal charges without first consulting an Umkhonto liaison officer, (p 18) The Transkei police have denied the report. It seems all too likely to be true.

To former detainees from the camps, it is a foretaste of South Africa to come. There is urgent need for connections to be made between former detainees in South Africa and Namibia, and human rights organisations in South Africa and the world. Without Ml and public justice for the victims of the prison camps run by the ANC and Swapo, there is no future for civil rights in the region. Future abuses can not be combatted by people who endorse (or are silent about) past abuses. An issue of this kind can not be buried in a shallow grave.


  1. Report of the Commission of Enquiry into Complaints by Former African National Congress Prisoners and Detainees, Johannesburg, August 1992. Amnesty International, South Africa: Torture, ill-treatment and executions in African National Congress camps, London, December 1992 (AI Index: AFR 53/27/92). The Report of the Douglas Commission, Durban, January 1993.

  2. The Guardian in Britain carried a sharp rebuke on its letter page on 19 February 1993 from Mr. Bill McElroy, of Justice for Southern Africa. He pointed to factual errors and bias in a eulogistic article by Victoria Brittain on Chris Hani, the SACP secretary general, concerning his role in the mutiny in Umkhonto in Angola in 1984.

  3. Ketelo, Bandile, et al (1990), 'A Miscarriage of Democracy: The ANC Security Department in the 1984 Mutiny in Umkhonto we Sizwe,' Searchlight South Africa No 5, July.

  4. Ellis, Stephen, and Sechaba, Tsepo (1992), Comrades Against Apartheid The ANC and the South African Communist Party in Exile, James Currey and Indiana University Press. Ellis and Sechaba note that their account of the mutiny 'relies heavily' on the article in SSA No 5 by Ketelo et al. (p 128, n 3) The reviews of this book were interesting. The ANC newspaper, New Nation, funded by the Catholic Church, waited until immediately after publication of the Skweyiya report before printing a very favourable review which took note of the 'Stalinist socialism' of the SACP and commended the book's "wealth of new information and insights.' (30 October 1992) By contrast, the review by Garth Strachan – formerly close to the ANC security department - in the SACP journal African Communist (second quarter, 1992) - is concerned mainly to question the motives of the authors, and avoids the central issue of suppression of democratic discussion by the security department through a bland reference to 'mistakes.' Strachan's review makes no reference at all to the mutiny.

  5. Mkatashingo (letter to the editors), The ANC Conference: From Kabwe to Johannesburg,' Searchlight South Africa No 6 (January 1991).

  6. For the mysterious death of Thami Zulu (real name Muzi Ngwenya), poisoned with a chemical Diazonin used by South African Military Intelligence while under ANC guard in Zambia in November 1989, see Paul Trewhela, 'A Can of Worms in Lusaka: The Imprisonment of Hubert Sipho Mbeje,' Searchlight South Africa No 9 (August 1992). A definite criminal network existed within the ANC in Angola, Zambia and the frontline states. (See note 10.)

  7. The following appear to be the real names of some of the people executed at Pango: Mlamli Namba, Vusumzi Maxwell Tonisi, Loyiso Victor August, Lucky Samuel Twala, King George Matshika. These names are derived from named photographs of Umkhonto members published in an 8-page Fact Sheet titled 'ANC Hell Camps,' abstracted from the Aida Parker Newsletter No 141, Johannesburg. Names and photographs are almost certainly from the files of South African Military Intelligence.

  8. The Johannesburg newspaper City Press has stated that the IFF is headed by US Congressman Jesse Helms, whom it describes as 'a renowned ANC-basher and supporter of
    Renamo in Mozambique, Unita in Angola and other rightwing causes elsewhere in Africa and Latin America.' (18 October 1992)

  9. Kasrils is described in the Douglas report as deputy commissar of Umkhonto in Angola, head of Umkhonto special operations and head of its military intelligence (1983-88). He played a prominent part in events leading to the massacre by Ciskei troops at Bisho in September 1992. (See this issue, Paul Trewhela, 'A Massacre of Innocence.')

  10. Earl, a senior figure in Imbokodo in Angola and Tanzania, fled to Kenya in 1990 with his wife after they rejected efforts by a leading figure in Imbokodo to recruit them into an operation involving smuggling of drugs into South Africa. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees moved them to the United States, (personal communication) Earl was based at this time in Zambia, where a series of mysterious deaths took place around the same time, in some cases involving security personnel. One of those murdered was Jackie Mabuza, a member of the security directorate and nephew of the Imbokodo security chief Joe Nhlanhla. Mabuza was poisoned in Lusaka in 1989 while attempting to investigate corruption in the National Executive Committee. (See note 6) A major scandal involving the top ANC leadership in Lusaka has still to break.

» » » » [Submitted as List of Authorities to Concourt in The Citizen v. McBride (CCT 23-10), on behalf of Argument that TRC's 'Crime of Apartheid' was a Falsification of History; in Radical Honesty SA Amicus Curiae in Support of Population Policy Common Sense Interpretation of the TRC Act (PDF)]

No comments:

FLEUR-DE-LIS HUMINT :: F(x) Population Growth x F(x) Declining Resources = F(x) Resource Wars

KaffirLilyRiddle: F(x)population x F(x)consumption = END:CIV
Human Farming: Story of Your Enslavement (13:10)
Unified Quest is the Army Chief of Staff's future study plan designed to examine issues critical to current and future force development... - as the world population grows, increased global competition for affordable finite resources, notably energy and rare earth materials, could fuel regional conflict. - water is the new oil. scarcity will confront regions at an accelerated pace in this decade.
US Army: Population vs. Resource Scarcity Study Plan
Human Farming Management: Fake Left v. Right (02:09)
ARMY STRATEGY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Office of Dep. Asst. of the Army Environment, Safety and Occupational Health: Richard Murphy, Asst for Sustainability, 24 October 2006
2006: US Army Strategy for Environment
CIA & Pentagon: Overpopulation & Resource Wars [01] [02]
Peak NNR: Scarcity: Humanity’s Last Chapter: A Comprehensive Analysis of Nonrenewable Natural Resource (NNR) Scarcity’s Consequences, by Chris Clugston
Peak Non-Renewable Resources = END:CIV Scarcity Future
Race 2 Save Planet :: END:CIV Resist of Die (01:42) [Full]

Fair Use Notice...

FAIR USE NOTICE: The Crime of Apartheid blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to provide information for research and educational purposes, and advance understanding for the Boer Volkstaat 10/31/16 Theses Petition and Briefing Paper submitted to EU & NATO. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Copyright owners who object to the fair use of their copyright news reports, may submit their objections to Crime of Apartheid Blog at: []