About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.



Received Mon 3rd Oct 1988

First, will meet John.  Can John bring CP constitution, engineering and arms notes, MK 25th anniversary statement and funds (dollars/pounds), progress updates, two Sony recorders, etc.

2.. Partial reply re TK:  yes, it's working.  Retrieved your letter but attempts to retrieve pre-set Umseb giving problems, top line give P=245 and line =50.  Book does not have so many pages and lines.  Advise.  Have not checked all material yet.

3.. Any word re Nigel/Jenny and Maureen?

4.. Re Thatcher: await word.  Further info – Erwin and co he requested list of UDF people in detention saying ANC wants it to present to her.

5.. Re funds:  in a lengthy report we motivated increased budget.  Await feedback on those reports etc.

6.. In coming week hope to send a book direct to Oscar for Gemma.  Tell her it's for her personal TK.

7.. Will advise soon how we want Umseb text after we have put it out here.  In the midst of this presently.  Finish.


Sent Tues 4th Oct 1988

1.. Adam repeats request for Engineering and Arms notes; reply to Thatcher message; any further info re Nigel and Jenny, Maureen?

2.. Further info re Thatcher:  Erwin and co have requested list of UDF people in detention saying ANC wants it to present to her.

3.. Adam says in lengthy report he motivated increased budget.  Awaits feedback on these reports.  Wants John to bring funds.  John leaving Saturday.  Any chance of getting funds for him to take?

4.. Adam says he's sending direct to Oscar a book for Gemma for personal TK messages.

5.. Have some videos for Adam.  Sending to you soon.

6.. Remember, if you're worried about TK security you can re-encipher files up to 10 times.  You can also use keywords from different sources for each level of enciphering.

7.. Do you have CP constitution?  Adam wants but I don't know what this is.


Sent Wed 5th Oct 1988

1.. Robin been away on delegation (to Cuba): returned today.

2.. Robin will reply to your memos in day or two.

3.. Paul returning to Oscar's early next week; only then can respond re Nigel, Jenny and Maureen.

4.. Robin in touch with Ish last night to arrange £20,000.  I hope to have by Friday to take to John.

5.. John bringing two Sony tape recorders; on disk JS pamphlet, ANC(?) booklet, ANC personal security and surveillance booklet, MK 25th pamphlet; the debugged program disks; (hopefully) money.  Diagrams for MCW will in in back cover of book.  (Please re-use books I've sent).  CP constitution and draft program next time; engineering etc notes when Oscar sends them.

6.. Can't explain that TK documents on F5 demanded unavailable pages/lines.  Only way this could happen is if someone maliciously altered files.  I F5-ed all files on LT before sending.  All were OK.  Have you tried others?

7.. Getting videos to send to you via Oscar.  Any special requests apart from those made before?

8.. When Paul here last time we recruited several people to help me.  Going to get them to do ….?for you.  Should be able to speed process.  Any special requests?


Page 568, Reference 10:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 5 should read:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 6


Received Thurs 6th Oct 1988

[Slovo to Mac]

Raised your Thatcher query at NEC Working Committee.  Thabo gave explanation which I asked him to write out for you.  He did so as follows:

Quote:. "Cosatu were informed that Margaret Thatcher had told us that Buthelezi wants to normalize relations with the ANC and that she is willing to assist in this process if she is so required. They were also told that there was speculation that she intended visiting South Africa in a few months.  It was therefore possible that she was interested in the ANC-Inkatha normalization because if she did visit South Africa she would then be able to see both the MDM and Inkatha and not face the prospect of an MDM boycott for having seen Inkatha.  They were also told that Thatcher's visit would be directed towards beginning the process of negotiations.  For this reason she would be interested that there should be somewhat of a climate favouring such negotiations.  She would therefore be interested in the release of Nelson before she undertook the trip.  We discussed the possibility of the ANC replying to Thatcher re Buthelezi that the latter should end all violence against the people in Natal and enter into agreement with the MDM for this purpose.  The NEC has confirmed this position."

The NEC also reflected on our attitude to Thatcher's trip and we emphasized that we should have no truck with the visit.  Our policy has always been clear.  Why make an exception of this most terrible bitch?  My personal view is that you should mount a campaign and ensure that she receives an even hotter reception than Howe.

Advise whether June and co arrived back safely and if the funds being augmented by 20,000 pounds sterling are sufficient.

Love and best wishes.


Sat 8th Oct 1988

Hello there!

1.. Many thanks to Ken for the lengthy letter of 16th Sept.  At this stage we can only comment on parts of it.

1.1. Have managed to get TK working up to a point.  It will be of great help to us.  One problem experienced so far arose when we set about decoding the version of Umsebenzi marked one.enc, two.enc etc.  To save time we attempted to decode 1-20 in same series with the intention of thereafter saving all 20 on a disk.  Found that everything went well until one made typographical mistake when entering a given code.  There is no way one can correct the error when one has noticed one has made a mistake:  the LT locks and one has to then either switch off or reset.  In either case all articles decoded up to that point are lost.  The answer so far has been to save each page after decoding.  A bit of a tedious exercise but one can manage.  However if Ken could look into it, it would help.

1.2. We have sent off a book for Gemma's use and would appreciate advice of receipt.

1.3. As you know we have acquired a Juki 6200 daisywheel printer.  So far we have used it to set a two-sided ANC leaflet re coming elections.  We cut 36 sets of stencil (36x2) without hassles except that we find the printout is in bold type face.  Suspect either printer is pre-set for bold printout or the settings re editor.  In attempting to get printout of the Umsebenzi article we are up against the same problem with the added one that everything (in lower case) is printed in bold face, captions in capitals are printed out in normal face (not bold), captions appear without underscoring and the entire text which is in lower case comes out with underscoring!  We have fiddled and fiddled to no avail.  Since Adam leaves soon it seems we shall not be able to cut stencils for the third quarter but are leaving behind arrangements for the original version (copies of which we received from Howards) to be put on stencils via the heat scanner.  Hope the guys get it right as I shall not be around to sort it out if they have problems. Anyway, with regard to these problems could Ken please look into it especially from the point of view of the next edition of Umsebenzi.

2.. Thanks for documents on disk.  We have not started accessing them as yet as we have been under pressure to get the ANC leaflet, now we are in midst of Umsebenzi.  However, we intend reproducing them every time the machines are standing free.

2.1. Have not had time to take a further look since we received your comments re the decoding problem we raised.  As far as I can recall it arose in our first efforts to decode Umsebenzi, version named as enc etc.  Will advise as soon as we have looked at it properly.

2.2. A further problem we have is that so far we only have 10 characters per inch daisy wheel (pica).  To reproduce Umsebenzi we need a 12 character per inch. We hope to obtain such a daisywheel within the week.

2.3. From above you will gather we are working under great pressure.  Now that you have info re type of printer we have, you would be helping us immensely if some of the problems referred to above (which may relate to settings on the printer itself) can be sorted out by your advice.  I can't find the time to reach the manuals, let alone try to understand them!

3.. Anxious to sort out TS as there are no card phones at Sollys.  Have recently found out that there are some in Pretoria but sending from there is a bit problematical as the card phones are in the main central areas of the city as in Graces (we presume) and the freeze searches where everything and everybody is stopped in city centres cause some problems during the day and at night roadblocks will be a problem throughout this month.  Hope Ken shall have sent the TS manual with John as no manual was supplied to us (except a crappy video which is of very little help re the problems we have experienced so far.

4.. Have had to make some changes to arrangements re communications to cater for above conditions in light of Adam's trips to Sollys. Accordingly as per message we hope to send today, during my absence Richard can be reached at Graces via TB, TV and AM provided that material sent on TC is done on A2.  Adam will have AM with him at Sollys for duration of trip.  Anyway, in short, each time Adam is out of contact we shall inform you so that messages etc can get to Richard.  We have opted for this also because we are anxious to get feedback on so many items we have reported on including the two tapes sent earlier, and now commencing with this disk, disks which will be sent either to Ken or direct to Oscar.

Many thanks and much greetings!

Received Sat 8th Oct 1988

1.. Adam leaves for Solly's re John and other matters.  Will be away for + week.  No card phones at Solly's – imperative you get TS working.  Will test during trip and try to be in touch with you.  During absence, if you have anything to send, do so on A2 and TE for Richard at Grace's and A1 to Solly's if we succeed in linking up.

2.. Advise Robin, have sent a book for Gemma should reach during this weekend conference in Lusaka.  Ensure it gets to Gemma.  Further, if disks marked Oscar, contents meant for Reg/Robin andhence coded via Mofolo, if marked Gemma, then it personal and coded on book just sent.

3.. Stress, when couriers sent on whatever mission from us, they do not know of Adam/Richard presence – so all should ensure no slip-ups.  When person sent knows we will indicate in advance.  Presently in delegation in Lusaka: Momo and Z? knew of Adam's presence and are connected with tasks.

4.. Mission to Rahim's completed successfully.  Convey thanks to Paul and co. Fuller report on disk via John.

5.. So far managed to read Umseb version one to twenty but problems re print out as after first three lines rest comes out underlined.  Will report fully when we have sorted out all material.


Sent Sun 9th Oct 1988

Comrade Richard:  Robin asked me to try to contact Adam to let him know that Gemma was involved in a car accident.  She is OK but will be in hospital for a few days.  She has a broken arm and maybe a cracked rib.  The car is a bit of a write-off.  The accident was her fault and no other cars were involved.  I have been reassured that she is OK and will be back home in a day or two.  Please let Adam know as soon as possible, but tell him there is nothing to worry about.  Will also let him know if he gets in contact via TS.  Please let me know as soon as you get this.  Ciao.


Sent Wed 12th Oct 1988

From Adam

"Advise Robin have sent book for Gemma – should reach during this weekend conference in Lusaka.  Ensure it gets to Gemma".  (Last weekend – Ken)  Book is for Gemma/Adam personal TK comms.  "Stress, when couriers sent on whatever mission from us, they do not know of Adam/Richard presence – so all should ensure no slip ups.  When person sent knows we will indicate in advance.  Presently in delegation to Lusaka: Momo and Zak know of Adam's presence and are connected with tasks."  "Mission to Rahim's completed successfully.  Convey thanks to Paul and co.  Fuller report on disk via John."

From CB to Patrick

"Received message from Paul.  He's got job and permit in T.    Also found small place till end November.  Is looking for something better.  He has car and sounds optimistic.  I have address and phone number.  Shall I write him about visit?  Respond quickly to this message.

Marianne is leaving eleventh November.  I also need to have what she must take."

Ken to Paul

Running out of funds this end.  Phone bills and trips to Holland costing a lot.  Can you arrange top-up?

Don't think Adam knows about Gemma yet as he's in Solly's.  Richard knows.  Any more news re her?

Is AM connected to 262535 yet?  If not get Eddie to do so.  Contact SACTU.  Need to be able to send to your end without anyone being immediately available.

When will LT be operating?  Should stop using Gemma's computer and use LT instead.

Please send Engineering and Arms notes for Adam.

Any info re Nigel and Jenny and Maureen?

Sent Adam £15,000 as IC did not have £20,000 in kitty.


Sent Sun 16th Oct 1988

I don't know if Richard informed you: Gemma was involved in a car accident on Friday 7th Oct.  She is OK but as far as I know still in hospital.  She has broken arm and maybe a cracked rib.  Robin says she is fine so you must please not worry.  The car is a write-off.  No one else was involved.  Apparently she fell asleep at the wheel.

Consequently haven't heard anything from Oscar for some time.  Enrico has been trying to get TC going and today we swapped first messages.  Eddie is there giving him lessons.  He and Eddie have also rigged up to AMs: one at Gemma's and another at new line.

Will soon have new phone line operative at Irene's.  How do you intend to use it?

Your TS message came out absolutely perfectly.  Very pleased.

I can tell A1 from A2 messages so you don't need to specify.

Not sure which number you want.  My pager number to acknowledge OK receipt of TC is (09 44) 89 373  4461 repeat 89 373 4461).  My number is (09 44) 836 268088.

I suggest when you leave your TS on for ? minutes after sending TC I will reply by sending repeated one TP tone from the keypad of my TS if TC received OK.  If not received OK I will send mixed numbers.  You can acknowledge in same fashion by pressing keys on your TS.  Will work out refinements as we go along.  OK?

Working on system to read key-presses.  Then we can have whole code using TP from our TSs.  Last.


Received Tues 18th Oct 1988


Have firmed up contact with CR of NUM.  In process he requested we pass on following for your advice:  Minorco bid re Consgold has reached stage where Anglo now seeking support and endorsement of NUM in its bid to take over Consgold.  If bid goes through, Anglo would find itself owning 49%of Consolidated Goldfield of SA (CGSA).  SA Competitions Board will not allow Anglo to have controlling interest and monopoly of CGSA.  Anglo will thus be compelled to sell CGSA.  In attempt to tip scales in their favour Anglo wants to throw mud at CGSA by exposing CGSA repressive industrial relations (IR) practices on South African mines and now want NUM to state publicly that Anglo better employers and have better IR practices.  They seek to achieve this by getting NUM to agree that whoever buys CGSA should be made to guarantee that current IR practices of CGSA will be completely changed and comply with so-called progressive modern IR practices.  If such position publicly stated by NUM it will tip scales in favour of Minorco bid particularly in quarters such as Reagan and Hawke who being approached to block takeover bid.  This approach presents a number of problems to NUM but could also yield some advantages.  Problems:

(a). it would, at political level, put us in very awkward position where a trade union is seen as supporting capital in their own battles.

(b). it would confuse our allies e.g. AAM UK who opposed to bid.


1.. If bid went through we would be rid of CGSA who are most intransigent employers in Chamber of Mines.

2.. We (NUM) could thus extract guarantees from Anglo.  Overall problem in Anglo can't claim to be better employers in their current IR practice on the mines today, especially after last strike and no different from CGSA IR practices.

The guidance we seek:  given advantages and disadvantages will an endorsement hurt our position to engage Anglo but short of necessarily endorsing bid.  While discussions taking place in NUM, initial thinking in NUM is to engage Anglo in debate on highlighting state of repression on their mines with a view to extracting guarantees that repression will be completely eliminated in return for some form of endorsement.  Acknowledge and reply urgently as advice (whatever) will reinforce need to consult us (by NUM).  Ends.


Sent Wed 19th Oct 1988


1.. Traced Nigel/Jenny.  Looked into finance.  Retailored facilities created.  They genuinely broke because from private income they maintained flat for themselves and house for Vula for past 16 months.  Agreed Adam will henceforth finance them directly re rent etc.  But need your urgent help to assist them re debts incurred/partial reimbursement in their Canadian account.  Arrange for someone to make cash deposit at UK branch of Royal Bank of Canada equivalent of four thousand Canadian dollars to be transferred to account number 5183314 (five one eight three three one four).  Name of account: R and H Douglas.  Bank: Royal Bank of Canada, five zero five West Broadway, Vancouver BC, Canada V5Z 1E7.  Advise when done.

2.. Await info re Maureen, Staley.

3.. Will outstanding hardware be at Rahim's in time for us to collect on weekend 30-31 Oct.  Sending caravan to make large collection.  Await confirmation.  Will then give details re contact etc.

3.. Funds:  Thanks for parcel via John.  Will advise how much it changes for.  Need more because

(a) . at Grace's now renting five places for accommodation and separate storages – short and medium term.  Rental total R3,000/month.

(b) . All above need basic furnishing.

(c). At Solly's renting one place at R550/month and another at R1,000/month.

(d). Richard and Ben still without personal transport.

(e). Each trip to Rahim/Howard averages R1,500-R2,000.

(f). Invested +R10,000 in propaganda equipment and stationery at Grace's.

(g). Invested R10,000 and still owe balance of R10,000 on facility at Grace's for doctoring vehicles and accessing rotating pool of vehicles for hardware collection.

(h). On verge of deploying full-time in each speciality at Graces.  After checking feel that only realistic allowances for such personnel must be between R1,000-R1,500/month.

(i). To give estimate, paper alone for 5,000 copies Umseb = R2,000.  Current ANC leaflet at Grace's should have distribution of 100,0o00.  Above is just to give some feel of potentials and hence financial needs.

PS :.  Await your OK we spend R10,000 each for Richard and Adam to acquire legit Ids and passports.


Received Thurs 20th Oct 1988

Ken to Richard:

Sorry balls ups yesterday but no need for you to contact me before sending.  Just send any time; one after another.

Oscar to Ben:

1.. Received one book for Gemma.

2.. Gemma's condition is improving.  Gone to Harare for orthopaedic treatment.

3.. Gemma's brother-in-law gone to Moscow for treatment.

4.. Mission to Rahim:  Comments from Paul.

(a). Revised priority list sent by Richard could not be used.  Independence celebration meant increased vigilance from the authorities.

(b). Compartment not suitable.  A plate taking the shape of the tank needs to be made …???should close the compartment.  The tank should then follow.  Presently it is difficult to get a good fit.  The tank closes directly onto the goods.  Often goods fall or slip from their original position as the tank is pushed in.  This results in numerous removals and reinsertions of the tank with the very real consequences of puncturing the fuel pipes.  In all these attempts to get a good fit in a limited time, items have to be repositioned or even removed.  In the process not only is the priority list affected but crucial items are omitted.

(c). At Rahims not only did we puncture the fuel pipes at +1 a.m., but were forced to remove parcels.

(d). Most frustrating was that after completion, the old and sensitive engine would not start.  We had to bring in a mechanic.

(e). Arising from (d) many persons saw the vehicle.

(f). We advise that the vehicle be cooled off for some time, while you remain sensitive to any enquiries from security.

(g). Driver reported interest from Immigration as he did not know registration number of car he was driving.

(h). No information yet on Nigel and Jenny as we are awaiting feedback from our man.

(i). Please note that Jabu injured by unknown assailant.  He is not in hospital in Bay.  Please take this into account for your security. More later – wait for RM

Sent Thurs 20th Oct 1988

ADAM : 17 Oct:

Stunned and shocked re news about Gemma.  Heard about it for first time last night from Momo (advise Robin he arrived safely).  Hope you guys shooting straight re her condition.  Convey my deepest love and concern.  Thousands of questions I'd like to ask re Gemma, family etc but will wait till I hear from her.

2.. Received TS well – have some problems finding time and places to operate but not insuperable.  Hope to move to Grace's Thurs/Fri but will be in touch before then.

3.. Appreciate your messages re moving too fast.  Thought I'd raised it myself and expressed balanced view in context.  Most are one-to-one basis but e.g. when matter was raised with Momo you guys unknowingly let on to him some I'd seen who he did not know about (e.g. angi).  So, you have direct line to me and best you raise that directly.  Similarly Paul met Poo at Rahim's and thought I haven't received full debriefing initial report was disconcerting i.e. Paul expressed to him surprise we'd sent person like him.  Sure we had processed it but it was wrong to raise with him, raise it with us.  Otherwise it undermines us vis-à-vis Poo and those we use to reach him.  Accept these points in spirit in which we make them.  Revolutionary greetings.  Adam.

Sent Thurs 20th Oct 1988

From Adam 19th:

More arising from meetings with CR of NUM and requiring acknowledgement and guidance:

1.. Transkei:. More than 6,000 miners were fired and sent back to Transkei during last miners' strike.  In fact State-employer actions during this strike setback and weakened NUM.  NUM been grappling with how to assist and keep together deported miners.  From funds received during strike (including from us) set up special fund to assist these workers.  To this end they set up Mineworkers Cooperative Project.  The idea has been to set up cooperatives (e.g. brick-making, etc):

(a). to keep these miners together and politically active, and

(b). to keep them usefully engaged and with prospects of some income.

So far, in all 28 districts of the Transkei they have set out such miners committees through NUM.  About 8 weeks ago CR, Elijah B and J Matlatsi visited Transkei re project.  Received at Umtata airport by large crown of miners doing the toyi-toyi.  Local SB etc were present but did not interfere except at one stage to suggest the miners should cool it and not overdo it.  Miners themselves are firmly opposed to Transkei Bantustan and have introduced into Transkei an unusual level of political activity and rising consciousness.  Now students, churches etc are beginning publicly to rally to side of miners.  Reports say it's been a long time since such open activity was seen in Transkei.   But to set up project it was necessary for NUM to see Holomisa and co who welcomed project for their own reasons.  Of course Holomisa not told of entire agenda of NUM.  CR states political potential of these miners is great and high on NUM agenda.  But complications.  NUM has R1m – R1,5m for project but uncertain that project would give workers in cooperative regular income.  TDC Development Corp of Transkei has incentives e.g. during training for workers for jobs investor is given 120% of trainees salary; after that Transkei gives employers 50% of salary in form of subsidy!  So Transkei is making this offer to project.  NUM does not want to take this – it will lock them into too close embrace of Transkei authorities.  If these incentives are accepted project will be able to ensure continuous income to cooperative members.  How should they move?  NUM still looking into matter and would welcome guidance.  CR and Adam tossed around 'middle' ground formulas but would first appreciate your advise etc bearing in mind dire need for developing vehicles for organizing people in such an area.

Next, another thorny problem i.e. mineworkers in Bophuthatswana.  There are  +50,000 miners in Bophuthatswana mainly concentrated in platinum mines of Rustenburg (mines owned by Gencor, JCI and Rand Mines).  NUM is under increasing pressure from these workers to organize them into a union.  Bophuthatswana legislation prevents them from being organized into NUM.  Bophuthatswana laws allow for union based solely in Bophuthatswana and constituted by Bophuthatswana 'citizens' (they don't apply this law to white MWU.  Presently, operating within Bophuthatswana laws there is a so-called union BONUME) but it does not enjoy confidence of workers.  Workers want NUM.  Present thinking in NUM is that NUM should launch a union which is separate (to conform to law) but has organizational link with NUM.  Your discreet advice please!  When Adam and CR discussed this, they agreed that another pre-requisite, if such a union is launched, is that at deeper level, we should ensure that we should bring together a unit of ANC members from area so that in taking up task these key people would not 'drift' because of operating within framework of Bophuthatswana laws.  Also recognized that NUM link would also be similar counter-weight.  Also companies are RSA-based and we would have to ensure that worker action in Bophuthatswana must always be backed by solidarity action of workers in same companies throughout RSA.  Ends.

NB:  Aware that your guidance in these thorny issues not for public eyes but urge urgent responses, even if it is a series of questions from you!   All for now.

Received Thurs 20th Oct 1988

Congress:  Your man from JCC was briefed on the above.  Key points are:  the two areas to recommend four delegates each for the Congress.  Send bios, photos and passport details.  Centre will choose delegation.  Delegates must prepare for at least a month's stay.  Would prefer that they arrive at their destination in early March enabling Centre to have detailed and confidential discussions prior to Congress and organize discussion for internal delegation.  Hosts have offered special courses for internal delegates after meeting.  They are flexible on length of time.  An extra three months would be ideal but not a must.

On Adam and Richard's presence at congress, our thinking is that it may affect their legend and security or alternatively force a limitation on their participation in order to protect their legend.  What is your view?

1.. Met our friends on the bookshop on 17/8 ………………..???? that the proposed proprietor/s meet representatives of our friends together with us to begin concrete steps.  The venue for the meeting should be Harare.

3.. Please advise of place and times.

4.. Those we meet are business-men they are prepared to help but advise that we discuss with their party for additional assistance.

5.. Umsebenzi and AC we urge you to write and to organize others to contribute to these publications.

6.. Sports discussion – we would welcome your impressions both long term and short term over the impact of the recent exchanges in Harare.

7.. Oct 26 A speedy assessment of the results would be of great value to us.  Regards Paul.

Message to CB

Please send details re Paul including home and work addresses and telephone numbers.  Must reach Lusaka by 4/10/88 (Monday).  Regards Patrick.

Ken  JS will solve problem when he visits London within next week.

Additional message to Adam

Re request for car number.  Number is 373783.  Please note that he did not meet him last trip.  He is out of town.  Ends.


Page 575, Reference 1:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 20 should read:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 22


Sent Oct 22nd 1988

Urgent for Reg and Robin

The Committee of Nine re Madiba met day before yesterday.  They've been advised Madiba (and possibly rest) will be released on 13/14/15 November.  PW reported to have stated as much to two heads of state during recent trip.  Journalists who accompanied him on trip gave same story.  Committee of Nine proposes sending some people over this coming week to Lusaka to consult Reg.  My line into Committee's is through small ANC group I set up as per report to you.  Immediate problems are at Committee of Nine level:

(a). They should broaden out using model of aborted AA Conference, ensure each community, every stratum is represented, place given to influential individuals, each church and religious grouping and stretch into white community to ensure he's received as a leader of the South African nation.  Such a broad reception committee (which will also be large in numbers) would then reconstitute the Committee of Nine as its secretariat to handle day to day and implementation, etc.  In the meantime buried within this would be ANC unit to ensure Madiba has safe, reliable and fast line to you and strategize with him.

(b). I feel that the Committee of Nine is inadequately composed:  GM's Xundu problematic with tendency to exploit relation with GM – e.g. his paper (known to be on behalf of GM) had to be scrapped it was so bad.   More.

Sent Sat 22nd Oct 1988

Contd:  Dullah Omar inadequate as representing W. Cape (neither for coloured community nor black sector in general.  Nor are his credentials so hot.  We need on committee African from W. Cape and a coloured.  Diliza as Natal hopelessly inadequate etc.  But all this can be handled sensitively provided this broad committee does not handle Madiba's communications to and from you.  The broad committee and its secretariat should concentrate on reception and organizing this country-wide.  Problems at ANC unit level:  To be effective and functional such unit will have to be Johannesburg based and liaise with others in various centres.  In this way it will liaise with GM (fear); GM will appoint Xundu to serve as his link, but CR and C(?) will suggest to GM that they'll from Joburg set up link person to by-pass this problem.)

Next:  at movement level our problem is we have to take emergency measures to feel ANC and MK presence in significant way.  Your advice would be valued.  But above all do ensure we're timeously briefed to links with groups and individuals from inside around this question so that we can close gaps for mischief-makers etc.

Next item:  Stayaway on for one day on 26th Oct.  Though Cosatu did not attend today's press conference announcing day of protest CR has assured me that they'll ensure Cosatu comes out in support.  ANC should step up propaganda in support.  Finally will brief you from Grace's on other matters.

Appeal:P  CR and Co. want constant feedback.  Have arranged fast reliable line even when I am at Grace's.  Hope you'll respond.  All for now.

Sent Sat 22nd Oct 1988

For Ivan from Cindy

"Paul has job with National Panasonic in Bellville Cape Town.  I have no address of phone number. By now he must have work permit.  He's rented small house in Rondebosch, probably till end November (living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen).  Address:  Mrs McKenzie, 10 Mayfield Avenue, Rondebosch, 7700 Cape Town.  Phone (Mrs McKenzie) 021-686-8743.  He's looking for better place.  Has bought car: VW Passat station-car.  That's all.  I wrote letter announcing visit of friend.  Asked him to phone and confirm letter.  Marianne will arrive 12th and phone 16th to meet around 22nd and be back before end of month.  I'll keep you informed when I receive more news.  Love."


Sent Sun 23rd Oct 1988

Robin to Ben:

"I'm astonished that news of Gemma only reached you via Momo.  I personally phoned Ken next day to convey all to you after I'd seen Gemma.  Typically she did no even want me to worry you with the news.  Perhaps Ken can explain at end of this message why there was a delay in telling you.  I saw G every day and she seemed to be steadily on mend.  She was to go home after a week.  We however talked her into accepting her employer's offer to go to Harare for more up to date check.  We await full report but it appears that broken arm has to be set and dislocated shoulder attended to.  Otherwise G was in good spirits and her wonderful brave self.  She was more concerned about not worrying you than about herself.  I am not trying to make you feel easier when I say that, all in all, she will undoubtedly have a complete recovery.  The kids are great.  I've made a point of seeing them and your relative is wonderful with them.  Trip which was arranged for her husband (in terms of our discussion) has eased whole situation.  I hope they manage to do something for his condition.  Ivan is in Harare and I will ask him to convey your love and concern to G and to phone Ken with the latest news on her progress.  I apologise deeply on behalf of all of us for failure to reach you immediately."

(Ken: as you now know I let Richard know about G immediately but neither of us were able to contact you at Solly's.  Should think about getting TB for when you're there.)

(Ken to Ben:  Maybe you realized but when using TS there's no need to use tape recorder.  Just plug speaker/mike directly into modem.  Check with any TS supplier when TS to start working at Grace's.  Should be soon.

MORE..when you let me know MR I'll put next on.

Sent Sun 23rd Oct 1988


2.. "We take your point re raising matters you mentioned directly with you rather than being tempted to raise them with people like Momo.

3.. We confirm expenditure for Ids and passports.  I'll be in UK end next week and attend to transfer of more funds.  Please inform us of your amended budget, say for next 4 months.  I'll also arrange cash deposit for Nigel/Jenny as you suggested.

4.. NL queries:  From perusal of reports in Johannesburg Star 22 Sept, pages 1, 11, 12, and 13 and UK Financial Times same date, following emerges:

a.. At moment CGF, based in UK, is world's 2nd largest gold mining group.  Among its interests is 38% holding of shares in GFSA.

b.. Anglo's international investment is Minorco, based in Luxemborg, in which AA and de Beers hold between them 60,6% share.  Minorco already owns 29% of CGF – not enough to give operational control.

c.. Minorco in order to make its bid for control of CGF more palatable politically claims that if successful it would immediately sell CGF's stake in GFSA (38%).  If this happened control of GFSA would in all likelihood pass to Rembrandt which already has preferential option on 30% of GFSA shares.

d.. In general the whole exercise is clearly an attempt by AA to spread its world tentacles and, objectively speaking this would give it additional clout in echelons of western power bloc.

e.. In all circumstances it's difficult to see how Minorco's bid can be affected by anything NUM does.  In any case, as is likely, if we overlooked intricacies of takeover jungle, it would be risky (both for internal and external political reasons for NUM either directly to indirectly to endorse bid on IR practices emphasizing that whoever takes over had better see that things improve.  But even latter needs to be done in manner which will not be seen as endorsing device employed by multi-nationals to get out whilst really remaining in."

(We received your two other NUM queries.  Reggie will take these up and respond soonest.  He's just returned from short break and looks fighting fit and again sends congratulations on your pioneering achievements and wishes you all success.

Meer (more).

Sent Sun 23rd Oct 1988


5.. New Internal Political Committee has begun to function, and it's already clear that we'll have to find way in which there's no unnecessary confusion between its work and special projects during transition phase.  E.g. already issue of how to fit Marshall into internal leadership structures was raised.  In meantime I've been asked to raise with whatever internal contacts I might have following:

a.. PE region needs special attention and GM must obviously be consulted on what steps should be taken to create effective underground structure.  Should we arrange for some cadres this end who originate from that region?  What are priorities in relation to types of cadres? Can safe accommodation bases be prepared?  Is it preferable for some internal cadres to be selected internally for special courses (in underground construction and survival) to be conducted outside or inside? Etc.  Is there safe way of consulting G on these and related questions.  Your ideas and views would be invaluable.

b.. Can CR be of any assistance in providing IPC with names potential recruits for underground in OFS?  We've in mind promising activists from mining areas in OFS, reliable shop stewards etc.  Could a few really good cadres be sent out for special quick training/ We stress, for process of contacting or recruiting.  Perhaps you could exchange ideas with him on best way of making beginning.  At moment we've not single good unit or contact in OFS.

c.. What is your thinking re future of Providence Unit?  We'd before u request for c. R80,000 most of which appears to be intended for financing MK activities and not underground work.  Bearing in mind allegation about 'cabal' activities based partly on access to finances how do you think we should respond?  Should Prov Unit in present form be retained?  Perhaps in consultations with Marshall and other Natal activists you could convey some thoughts on this whole question.  What is best way of putting end to some of unhappy in-fighting in our broad ranks?  Revolutionary greetings.  Stay safe. All.


Received Wed 26th Oct 1988

1.. Current period not easy for getting to phones – election campaign and today stay-away – army etc presence high.  Day or night – each have their different risks.  But we have to be in contact.

2.. Let's try to clear confusion:

a.. Received on 24th message re Gemma ex Robin.

b.. 25th – received message ex Robin re several items including NUM-Minorco.

c.. Each occasion sent acknowledgement to T? so that you could wipe and put on next and advise us via TB.  After NUM-Minorco received no advice from you until your message last night on TB to call TV.

3.. Read your letter via John while at Solly, then saved it on disk to look at longer term items e.g. advice re settings etc when back at Grace.  But when ensuring I would return with nothing superfluous and clearing working disks I seemed to have wiped out the letter so can you help by sending relevant long term parts of it.

4.. Let's agree on following:

when you TB us – MR=our message received by you;  RM=we shall collect message; SM=you await message from us, TV=we should call TV.  (NB: the MR and RM will enable us to distinguish 2 cases above.  We acknowledge receipt of your messages via TV on your bleep number.

5.. On the eve of departure from Solly – ran into problem with TS seem to have blown fuses to lighter and radio of car.  Then could get TS to work on another car!  Because of time returned to Grace with cable and find loose wire in plug to be put into lighter socket.  Hope this has not damaged TS!

6.. Advise today before 2pm whether John coming and when.

Sent Wed 26th Oct 1988

Received yours this am perfectly.  Don't think you getting all TB calls.  Called each time RM but seems you missed one.  There were two from Robin and this one (total including Gemma) Maybe you out of range TB contact sometimes?

Response to John T? letter:

Don't understand your TK problem on keyword entry.  If you make error entering keyword just F4 or F5 with wrong keyword then redo with correct one.  Or delete all from keyword entry line and press ENTER to go back to menu.

TK and TC will print funny on Juki until you alter printer codes. (F3 in editor).  Explains before that TK/TC set for dot matrix printer so you have to change codes for Juki.  Will send codes again next message as getting Juki manual later today.  To save codes after altering (F1, 'S' in editor) you will have to move write-protect tabs on TK/TC program disks but make sure you move back afterwards, i.e. move s? hole in disk.

Advise what documents you want for next John visit.  Will possibly have Umsebenzi.  Do you want on disk?  How do you want documents – printer ready?  Got extra labour so you can make big demands.

Getting new phone line soon.  How do you plan to use?

Use rubber coupler sent with John to send messages from coin phones.  Use also plastic cap on mouthpiece when picking up from coin phones.  Should cut out noise.

What is name of TB?  Dr RR Badel?  Would help when phoning TB.

New T? codes:  names with initials SE = send/receive from Eddie until SK (i.e. Send: 8830031; Receive 8831623); SK = revert to Ken (i.e. Send: 700 5015; receive 700 5016).

Do you have use for ultra-violet torch and UV pens? Can send with John.

Don't have John's schedule yet.  He's on trip at moment but promised to send soonest.  Will know by Sunday.

Send report elections soonest.  Halt.


Page 564, Reference 45:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 27 should read:

[] maharaj/ vula comms/1988/ [] October 28


Received Thurs 28th Oct 1988

From Reg to Adam

A.. Transkei Issue:  The idea of the project is most welcome and we fully appreciate NUM's problems given the importance of keeping the miners together, politically active and sustaining their morale by keeping them usefully engaged and in receipt of an income.  In this regard, what additional amount for the project would be sufficient to make the Transkei input unnecessary?  Does it lend itself to any realizable international fund-raising venture in the short term? And how can NUM wait before having to start the project?

B.. Bop Issue:  In general we agree with the thinking in NUM but would like to be guided in the following:

1.. Is there no relationship between NUM and Bonume or any of the latter's leading officials?  If so, can they be developed with a view to imposing NUM's influence on Bonume and thus give the latter a pro NUM image which would make it acceptable to the workers?  Such a development would encourage unity amongst the workers on the basis of close relations with NUM.

2.. Given the current campaign of fascist repression, in which leading and progressive miners likely to be associated with Seoposengos or PPP would be targets is the level of militancy  of the workers such that the new union would survive the Bophuthatswana's regime's onslaught.

3.. We are consulting our PPP contacts for an opinion.


1.. Thanks for your information.

2.. A broad reception committee such as you describe is essential, and agree to the idea of the Committee of Nine becoming the Secretariat and recomposed as may be necessary.

3.. We urgently look forward to and would welcome consultation with members of the Committee of Nine.  Let us know expected date of arrival, and composition and number of delegates.  We will thus be able to clear them.

4.. You will be timeously briefed on contacts with home on these and other issues.

5.. We shall comment later on other matters raised in your message, e.g. the inadequacies of representation on the Committee of Nine, the structure of the broad comm. etc.

6.. On stay away, the message arrived late.  NB :  Have just returned from prolonged absence.  Robin currently away.  Most delighted with the operation.  Congratulations to you and Sylvia but remember – make haste not only slowly, but above most warily.  Was shattered to learn about Gemma.  But very fortunately she is out of danger and recovering.  Visited sister and kids M and J most wonderful.  Excellent cooperation with Auntie.  Was welcome as never before.  All of the very best Reg.  Ends.


Sent Sat 29th Oct 1988

A.. Robin at Irene's till Tues 8th.  Reggie at Oscar's all week.  Enrico can F5 disk.

B.. Oscar says : "can't make October appointment.  R not able to deliver.  We will inform you when ready".

C.. Still not certain you got previous message re printer.  Please inform.  CONT PRINTER: Number of characters printed per inch can be set either through hardware or software.

1.. Hardware:  If you lift top cover unit of Juki and look inside where ribbon cartridge is, you'll see two groups small switches behind light indicators on front operation panel (right side).  Right group of switches (called SW22) consists of four little switches.  To print 10 cpi all should be OFF except first one; to print 12 cpi all should be OFF except second one; to print 15 cpi all should be OFF except third one.

2.. Software:  In same way as explained in previous message, press 'F3-Set' from within editor of TK.   Press '9 – Printer initialization codes'.  Type at bottom 27, 31.11' for 12 cpi; type '27, 31, 13' for 10 cpi; type '27, 31,9' for 15 cpi.  Save settings as described before but ensure that disk is 'write protected' after changing settings (i.e. tab hole on disk should be open).

On back of printer next to cable connector is another set of switches (called SW01).  SWo1 consists of six little switches.  If first and second of these are OFF and third ON printer will then print England character set (i.e. pound sign etc).  If all three ON then prints USA character set.

Was having drink in pub with Robin when you – very conveniently – called TV.  He was tremendously impressed and astonished when my TB bleeped and I played him your voice there and then with my TV which I whipped out of my pocket.  He immediately asked me to get him a TV!  All for now.

Received Sat 29th Oct 1988

First, many thanks – kind words and reassurances from Reg and Robin re Gemma.  Await news of injuries, where she is and when she will be back in Lusaka.

Second, advice re NUM-Minorco received 25.10 and delivered by courier 27.10.

3.. Responses re NUM – Transkei and Bophuthatswana received 27th.  Will be delivered next w eek.

4.. Madiba:  The  Committee meeting today at Solly's.  Hope to have outcome by midweek.

5.. COSATU-UDF met informally 27.10 at Grace's to discuss Cosatu-Inkatha accord and what next.  We ensured they also discuss:

(a). Need for truly representative meeting between leaderships of Cosatu, UDF, churches and ANC.  Agreement reached entire executive of Cosatu will attend such a meeting.  Tentative date to coincide with ILO conference starting mid November in Harare – hence likely date would be end November.  You need to prepare as we will work for top leadership.

……….???(text garbled) quo while we need to exchange views re agenda.

(b). Madiba release and

(c). Thatcher visit – meeting agreed to consult churches for all 3 to oppose visit.

(d). What next, after these elections. Effect of meeting – it managed some brainstorming to ensure action and campaigning minded examination in all formations of MDM.

6.. Hope to send long report on disk as soon as we have someone reliable traveling to Lusaka to ensure you are fully briefed on host of issues and how Vula is progressing etc.  May have to send special courier.  Is Ivan around to attend clearing, receiving person etc?  Are Reg and Robin likely to be in Lusaka this coming week to receive disk?

7.. Ken:  Need documents print ready.  Have Pica 10 pitch, Orator 10 pitch and Gothic 12 pitch types.  Need Engineering/Sabotage notes and SACP constitution badly.  Your message 27.10 received in good order.  Warmest greetings to all especially Gemma.  Ends.

Received Sat 29th Oct 1988

Dear Comrade Cindy,  Greetings.

We received your information re Paul.  The position presently is as follows:  Considering:

1.. Paul's newness to the area,

2.. newness to the social system,

3.. his yet unsuitable accommodation, direct contact with Paul will be delayed until he stabilizes.  In the meantime direct contact with Paul will be maintained via you.  Trip by Marianne will be very valuable in enabling us to get a feel of how Paul is adjusting.  Please copy the following message to Paul, code where necessary camouflage and send with Marianne.  Brief Marianne to ask for a reply, which she should also camouflage.

Marianne's meeting with Paul should be on neutral venue and should not degenerate into the sharing of personal confidences;


Hi.  We are delighted with the swiftness with which you have solved the major physical aspects of settling in.  We (you and us) were confident at the outset and that confidence has been vindicated.  After considering your feedback to us we have decided to delay direct contact in order to give you enough time to locate adequate housing and (more importantly) to adjust to your new environment.  Contact will be maintained via the existing means.  We are anxious to learn more about how you are faring:

1.. How did you get your job, accommodation and transport.

2.. How do the employment agency, your employers, your fellow workers and your neighbours see you?

3.. How are you adjusting to the new social system?  In this regard, we remind you that your profile should be consistent with one who is apolitical, interested in earning, and living comfortably, regardless of the political system.

4.. What are the conditions in your neighbourhood?  (This really applies to the housing you are seeking.  Are you aware of any security organization in the area?  Details please.

5.. Your own comments on developments in the country.  Your input will enable us to appreciate your situation and also helping the guidance and preparation of others.  While still awaiting direct contact with us there are minor tasks which you can begin;  study of neighbourhood, location and building of hiding places at home, arrangement of postal addresses, selection of public phone booths, purchase and organizing of material for written communications, selection of neutral meeting places, organization of check routes.  We await your reply and look forward to the time when we will make direct contact with you.  With sincere greetings and best wishes.  Patrick.  End of message.

Received Sat 29th Oct 1988

Enrico re Ken:  Received your message re communication tips.  Will keep to advice given.  However there is a major problem of poor telephone lines.  Will try to desist from using recorder for transmission.  There is however a realized value when receiving.  End.

Message to Adam:

We cannot make October appointment.  R not able to deliver.  We will inform you when we are ready to deliver.  End.


Sent Sun 30th Oct 1988


Parcel will arrive Wednesday second November at your airport.  Contents:  2x text lites; 1 x printer; 1 x foam head; 1 x teeth (for Richard).  On Tuesday I will send you numbers.  I received a message from Paul:  everything is well and he is prepared.  Lennie will arrive 19th Dec at 12.15 hours on flight SH435 at your airport.  She has a tourist visa.  Please meet her.  Love.


Adam has been having some problems receiving from me so I have switched the number around.  If you want to send to me use 700 5016 and if ever I leave something for you it will be 700 5015.  concluded.

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