About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

ANC general proves truth can bring reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that torture and executions occurred in camps run by the African National Congress from 1979 to 1989. Charlene Smith reports on the story of one victim, Timothy Seremane, and the man who ordered his execution, Andrew Masondo.

GENERAL Andrew Masondo is white-haired and courtly.

He blinks through thick glasses, thanks to the torturers on Robben Island. He still mourns a daughter-in-law blown up by a bomb placed by apartheid's agents. But some say he was one of the worst torturers of the African National Congress.

Victors rarely allow their actions to be examined along with those of the vanquished.

Even though the ANC disappointed many when it tried to block parts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report, setting up the commission to investigate atrocities perpetrated by all sides in the South African struggle was itself a big step.

The report accused almost every South African political party of gross human rights violations during the apartheid years -- the ANC included, particularly for torture at its Quatro ''rehabilitation'' camp in Angola between 1979 and 1989.

Atrocities at Quatro included guards pouring boiling water onto a man's head until it burst open like a tomato, interrogators dripping burning plastic onto the backs of victims, women repeatedly gang raped, others left to decay in their own urine and faeces in tiny cells.

"Even today we live in fear," says one former Quatro inmate who bears the scars of his beatings.

"Since 1990, 57 former Mbokodo (members of the ANC security arm) have been assasinated in South Africa and seven former Quatro inmates -- who is killing them? We believe they are being killed because of what they know about those who are in power now. Quatro left a dark shadow that has not retreated."

For full text see http://www.dispatch.co.za/1998/12/04/features/GENERAL.HTM

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.