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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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Zarina's accident

Slovo-Maharaj- Zarina comms

**On 9 October Slovo or Ivan Pillay on behalf of Slovo sent Nyanda a comm.: Cde. Richard: Robin [Slovo] asked me to try to contact Adam [Mac] to let him know that Gemma [Zarina] 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. I will also let him know if he gets in contact via TS. Please let me know via ?? as soon as you get this.

**On 16 October Slovo to Mac: I don't know if Richard informed you: Gemma was involved in a car accident on 7th Oct. She is OK but as far as I know still in hospital. She has broken arms and maybe a cracked rib. Robin (Slovo) says she is doing 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. [] Vula communications 88/ [] Oct 16. ** Before Mac read/ received this he rattled off his own comm. to Slovo on 17 October 'Stunned and QPV? re news about Gemma. Heard about it for 1st time last night from Momo (advise Robin he arrived safely). Hope you guys are 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.

**On 20 Oct, Slovo (Osc?) to Mac: "Gemma's [Zarina's] condition is improving. Gone to Harare for orthopedic treatment."

Slovo to Mac (23 October 88): 'I'm astonished that news of Gemma [Zarina] only reached you via Momo. I personally phoned Ken next day to convey all to you after I'd seen Gemma. Typically she did not even want me to worry you with the news. Perhaps Ken [Jenkin] can explain at end of this message whey there was delay in telling you. I saw her every day & 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 & dislocated shoulder attended to. Otherwise G was Good spirits & her wonderful brave self. She was more concerned about not worrying you that about herself. I am not trying to make you feel easier when I say that, all in all, she will undoubtedly have complete recovery. The kids are great. I've made a point of seeing them & your relative is wonderful with them.

**On 8 December a message from Zarina came through: 'As you know, I have been very much out of my stride since the 7th October when I was admitted to UTH after a road accident. I was subsequently flown to Harare for Surgery. Fortunately the ribs have all healed and so has the shoulder blade, and the pain in my arm and shoulder has at last begun to lift, making me quite optimistic about the surgeon's prediction. He says that once I have the last two operations (on Dec 13 and June 1989) to remove the screws from the shoulder blade and arm and collar bone, I will regain most of the mobility in that region. Robin [Slovo] assures me that you will be kept informed through a copy of the surgeon's report, which Reggie [Tambo] has already seen. The good thing is that I will overcome the limitations in current mobility in my left arm through physiotherapy – also it is my left arm and not my right one, thank goodness [] vula connunications/88/ Dec 8 (part one of two). When Mac visited Zarina in London in July 1989 and she recounted her ordeal, especially what she considered Slovo's callous response to her condition, Mac felt he had been deceived by Slovo. This aggravated their subsequent disagreements and contributed to the break down in their relationship.

(These comms can also be located in vula comms 1988)

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.