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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Freedom Fighter No. 1
I N F O R M E R S
ENEMY NUMBER ONE
We have waited too long before striking against the violence of the South African state. In doing so, we have made mistakes, but we are learning from them. When leaders are taken by the enemy, others must carry on where they have left off.
But first we must cleanse ourselves of informers.
South African police have always relied on the informer whether in criminal or political cases. Today, the informer has reached the top of his career.
Most of the political trials depend for evidence against the accused on the informer. Some are police agents like ?dwayi from Port Elizabeth. Others, like Mtombu simply cracked under police hammering, beating or torture, and decided to save themselves at the expense of others.
Nobody knows what makes one man give in when he is tortured while another will die before he speaks.
We do know that the finest people in our country are in prison or on trial for their lives simply through informers.
Until the informer fears the wrath of the people more than he fears the electric wires, the canvas bag and the boots of the police, no-one is safe.
THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH THOSE WHO BETRAY THEM.
THESE ARE THE BETRAYERS:
Mr. X is Bruno Mtolo, formerly on the Regional Committee of the ANC and in SACTU; as State witness at the Rivonia trial, he brazenly betrayed, without conscience. Should he go free while others rot in jail.
Mr. Y is Cyril Davids, a Cape Town member of the CPC. He did not care whether he told the truth or lied to save his own skin.
Mr. Z is Patrick Mtembu, formerly leading member of the Transvaal ANC and regional Vice-President. Many have been jailed and tortured because he spoke their names.
Bob Hepple, who was to have appeared as a state witness, left the country.
1. Tholo Mashilwane - of Johannesburg
2. Bennet Mashinyane - of East London
3. Zizi Njikelana - of Port Elizabeth
4. Sikhumbuza Njikelane - of Port Elizabeth
5. John Tshingana - of Port Elizabeth
6. Elias Kunene - of Durban
THESE ARE THE HEROES :
Former ANC leader ALFRED NZO was held in solitary con-finement for 238 days and nights under the so-called "90-Day" law. When the police arrested him at his home, he told them outright: "Gentlemen, I have nothing to discuss with you." Through all the terrors the police could invent, he refused to say a word. Many times the police released him, just to arrest him again the next minute. At long last the police were forced to free him from the Langlaagte police cells because he refused to speak. One policeman said: "Nzo, you are a strong man, we cannot break you." Freedom fighters must learn this lesson: if you talk to the police, you condemn your comrades and the people will take revenge. If you keep your mouth shut, you save yourself and your comrades.
Vorster's police have tried to break Cape Town leader ARCHIE SIBEKO who has disappeared, by jailing his wife and endangering her unborn child. Nine months ago they arrested MRS. LETTIE SIBEKO as a hostage for her husband. Ten days before she was due to have her baby, they released her after eight months in jail, five of them in solitary.
ALFRED NZO & LETTIE SIBEKO THE PEOPLE SALUTE YOU!
VORSTER THE TORTURER
Like a great beast feeding on the blood and bones of human beings, the courts are churning out their sentence for those who oppose apartheid; for 'membership of an unlawful organisation; or 'furthering the aims'; for 'attempting to leave the country'; for 'sabotage'; for 'perjury'.
'Perjury' is when a man who has been beaten and tortured into signing a police-prepared statement, stands up in court and tells the truth.
During 1963, 40 were sentenced to death, 6 to life imprisonment adding up to nearly 4,800 years.
Hundreds are still in prison, or now before the courts.
In Queenstown, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Krugersdorp, Pretoria, Port Alfred, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, mass trials are taking place or being prepared.
Among those in prison are schoolboys arrested nearly a year ago. They have been held in prison for months often their parents had to search for weeks to find out what had happened to them and their cases have been postponed again and again.
When the courts do acquit people, the police are not satisfied; they arrest them before they can even leave the court, or touch the hand of wife or child. This is what happened to the Rivonia men, when the judge found the indictment faulty. And to S Malinga, arrested in March, charged with belonging to a banned organisation, acquitted at the end of the year, arrested again in January under 90-Days; to Clement Malisa, arrested last April, charged in July, the charge withdrawn, he was immediately re-arrested under 90-days; released in October; he has been arrested again. To Jeremiah Leeuw arrested last April, released, again detained in January; to Michael Pooe, whose charge was withdrawn but he was immediately re-arrested; to Uriah Malika, SACTU worker and father of seven children detained for 90 days last year, charged, released, and now again detained.
Then there are others, like I. Tlale, who was detained as a state witness; he retracted his statement in court and was charged with perjury. He is the man who first brought out in court, under oath, the terrible electric torture suffered by detainees.
People who are innocent even of thinking about politics are held like criminals for months on end, often in solitary confinement. Those required as state witnesses in the Rivonia trial have been among these. There is Joseph, son of a man who worked at the Goldreich house, who was arrested last June and in court, totally ignorant as to why he had been arrested, why he was in prison, or when he would be released. This terrified child, guilty of no crime, mumbled his contradictory evidence, obviously primed by the police. An old woman, seriously ill, was twice detained under the 90 day law in solitary confinement, suffered a serious heart attack, and was brought, frail and shaking, into the box to repeat what the police had told her.
We do not know how many have died, or gone mad.
CONTINUED ON PAGE THREE/
Li Yung was a hero of the Chinese revolutionary war. During the Second World War the guerilla band under his command only 23 men- killed and wounded over 300 Japanese oppressor troops and destroyed 30 of their lorries.
Rifles and ammunition were scarce. So Li Yung's favourite weapon was the crude home-made land mine. Peasant fighters made cast-iron cases shaped like pineapples, and charged them with black gunpowder mad with locally produced sulphur, charcoal and saltpeter (potassium nitrate). Charcoal made from any wood that crackles loudly under fire (especially the castor-oil plant) has good blasting properties.
The mines were of different sizes the largest contained as much as 40 pounds of gunpowder and were fired by detonators supplied by the guerilla army. Later Li Yung's men learnt to make landmines out of hollowed-out stones. "Even teenagers can learn to make them," says Li Yung.
The guerillas placed land mines in holes along military roads, in specially prepared booby traps and even along special footpaths and in cultivated fields.
Li Yung's best tactic was improvised one day when 600 Japanese troops reached a mine-field while he was watching from a nearby hill-top. None of the mines exploded so he fired two shots, killing an officer and a soldier. The Japanese scurried for shelter, tripped over the mines and 30 were killed or wounded.
Soon the enemy were scared to move, they were unable to steal food and their supplies could not reach them. They were forced to retreat.
A F R I C A R O U N D U P
ZANZIBAR Victory for the People
The new revolutionary regime in Zanzibar has expelled the British and American consular representatives from the Island, because of the refusal by the two western powers to recognize the people's government. The western powers withheld recognition of the new government in the hope that they could put pressure on the people of Zanzibar into giving up their newly-won freedom from British neo-colonialism. But the imperialists have been given their answer they have been told, in effect, that the Zanzibari people were not prepared to be ruled by the Arab minority which the British had set up to rule them. The revolutionary regime has announced that Zanzibar will now be known as "The People's Republic of Zanzibar", and has been recognized by several African states, as well as most of the socialist countries. And Britain and the US were finally forced to follow suit.
GABON Independence and Intervention
An army mutiny overthrew President Leon M'ba in a February palace coup, and set up a civilian provisional government. Under a military pact, French troops restored M'ba to power a few days later. Gabon on the West African coast, rich in timber, iron, manganese and uranium is the richest of France's former African colonies and France still has large economic interests there. M'ba does not have mass popular support but the putschists had even less. France's intervention was the most blatant example of neo-colonialism to date.
GHANA The Road to Socialism
President Kwame Nkrumah is being hard-pressed by his enemies. There have ben several unsuccessful attempts on Nkrumah's life, and he has been forced once again to tighten Ghana's already stringent security laws. The people of Ghana approved the new laws by an overwhelming majority at a referendum. The British and American governments have now become the implacable enemies of the Ghanaian people Ghana, they say, is "undemocratic", "autocratic". But what they really oppose is the fact that Ghana has rejected the way of capitalism and the Ghanaian people are working to establish a better life for themselves after the plundering of their land by British and American imperialist interest. The Ghanaian government may be making some mistakes, but, as Kwame Nkrumah has said: "It is better for a country to be ruled badly by its own people, than for it to be ruled, however, well, by foreigners."
Border War in the Horn of Africa
There has been heavy fighting on the border between Ethiopia and Somalia over a disputed strip of territory. America has supplied arms and ammunition to Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, declaring the Somalis to be 'aggressors'. The Russians who supplied arms to Somalia under a previous agreement have not taken sides. The West Germans seized upon this troublesome time to announce that "substantial" oil deposits had been found in the disputed territory. The war weakens the power of the anti-colonialist forces in the horn of Africa, and weakens the solidarity of the African people was a whole. But sooner or later the peoples of the two countries will settle their differences and realize that their common interests are far stronger than their disagreements.
VORSTER THE TORTURER Continued from Page Two.
We know of Looksmart Ngudle, strongest and most-admired of men, who was said to have hanged himself; of Sipho Tyitya, found hanging in a Port Elizabeth cell and another in Graaff Reinet.
We know of William Tsotso, kept in solitary confinement in the Cape for months, until something snapped and he howled like a beast for days and nights on end. The warders ignored him until finally he was brought from his cell, emaciated and in an animal-like condition, to be taken to a mental institution. We know of Jafta Mabulelong, arrested last April, charged and released. While still in court he was re-arrested under 90 days. In November he was released without being charged; a little later he suffered a severe mental breakdown and was sent to Sterkfontein.
We know of Ebrahim Sayanyala, who drowned himself when he thought he was going to be re-arrested; of a man in Valkenburg, described by the priest who visited him as a complete mental and physical wreck.
This is justice, South African variety, in the second hald of the twentieth century. How long will it last. As long as we allow it. How can we end it. By striking back, a thousand times over, for every once that they strike at us. For we must never forget: they are armed, and think they are strong; but they are few, and frightened. We, the people, have the strength and the numbers to defeat them.
WATCH FOR FREEDOM FIGHTER! NEXT ISSUE WILL SHOW HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO TURN THE AFRICAN AND INDIAN PEOPLE INTO LABOUR SLAVES THE BANTU LAWS AMENDMENT BILL GROUP AREAS BANTUSTANS. READ THIS AND PASS ON!
SOUTH-WEST AFRICA - ANOTHER HOAX
APARTHEID IS BEING FORCED TO DIG ITS OWN GRAVE, FROM THE TRANSKEI TO SOUTH WEST AFRICA
With the Odendaal Plan for. South West Africa, the Nationalist Government has knocked a hefty nail into its coffin. The international case against baaskap South Africa is no longer centred around subtle legal points on the meaning of mandate and trusteeship. The 1963-4 case is based on the fact that South Africa has international obligations on South West Africa, and that she has violated these by imposing apartheid and discrimination on the territory.
The Odendaal Report, by recommending 10 Bantustans, thus falls right into the trap. South Africa has supplied the International Court, and the United Nations, with the ammunition to shoot her down. Every chapter in the report, every fact and figure, every little Bantustan, underlines a blatant record of discrimination and oppression of the Non-White people.
And what Bantustans! One of them, Tswanaland, will house 245 people! Three large ones, by the Commission's own admission, will NEVER be self-supporting and will ALWAYS have to import food. Not even subsistence farming will be possible in these arid regions. Some freedom - Freedom to go on starving.
All the immense wealth of the country will still be for Whites Only - the diamonds along the coast, the bountiful fishing industry, the best farming land, the karakul sheep and the cattle. Half a million Non Whites are to be fobbed off with 40 per cent of the land (they have a bare 24 per cent now), while 73,000 Whites hog the rest.
As for the R156 million five-year plan, most of the money will not go to Africans anyway. It will go to pay for electrification of the American mine at Tsumeb, and industrial development outside the African areas; to roads and communications outside the proposed Bantustans; and to compensate 427 White farmers for land which they ought never have occupied in the first place.
SOUTH WEST AFRICA IS AN EVEN BIGGER FRAUD THAN THE TRANSKEI
The case against South Africa is unanswerable
The big question now is how South West Africa can be prised out of Verwoord's grip - fat once his fingers are forced open there, his hold over South Africa itself will be easier to smash. We must fight on three fronts - inside South West Africa, at the international forums of the world, and with 9n South Af r. ica;
International pressure against South Africa will mount high as the SWA issue moves to crisis point in 1964 and 1965. The anti-colonialists in the UN, Africa, Asia and the Socialist countries, are now pressing for a full-scale naval blockadeof South African portsi
Freedom is moving south very fast - already Free Zambia is touching our own borders at the Caprivi strip. In Angola the liberation movement is preparing another massive armed onslaught against the White dictatorship. Angola will Almost certainly be fro() within three years. Then I1ocambique will crumble
And in Southern Rhodesia, the gathering storm has thrown the White settlers into a frenzy of panic and fear.
The people of SWA and their freedom movements - SWANU and SWAPO - will not take the Odendaal Bantustan mass removals sitting down. The liberation struggle in South West is nearing the groat, final battle - and it is our struggle too. We in South Africa and our brothers across. the border have a common onenry. We are oppressed ton:ether.. wn s?,,~77 'Nigh'-. +.nc7-fnhr
APARTHEID IS BEING FORCED TO DIG ITS OWN GRAVE, FROM THE TRLISKEI TO SOUTH WE
With the Odendaal Plan for South West Africa, the Nationalist Govornment has knot hefty nail into its coffin. The international case against baaskop South Africa i longer centred around subtle legal points on the meaning of mandate and trusteeship. 1963-4 case is based on the fact that South Africa has international obligations on Som West Africa, and that she has violated those by imposing apartheid and discrimination orb the territory.
The Odendaal Report, by recommending 10 Bantustans, thus falls right into the trap._. South Africa has supplied the International Court, and the United Nations, with the =mum, nition to shoot her down. Evor. chapter in the report, every fact and figure, every little Bantustan, underlines a blatant record of discrimination and oppression of the Non-White people.
And what Bantustansl One of them, Tswanaland, will house 245 pooplol Three largo ones, by the Commission's cwn admission, will NEVER be self-supporting and will ALWAYS have to import food. Not even subsistence farming will be possible in these arid regions. Some freedom! - Freedom to go on starving.
All the immense wealth of the country will still be for. Whites Only - the diamonds along the coast, the bountiful fishing industry, the best farming land, the karkul sheep and the dattle. Half a million Non Whites are to be fobbed Off with 40 per cent of the land (they have a bare 24 per cent now), while 73,000 Whites hog the rest.
As for the 8156 million five-year plan, most of the money will not go to Africans anyway. It will go to pay for electrification of the Amorican mine at Tsumeb, and industrial development outside the African areas; to roads and communications outside the proposed Bantustans; and to componsato 427 White farmers for land which they ought never have` occupied in the first place.
SOUTH WEST AFRICA IS AN EVEN BIGGER 1,ILUJD THAN THE TRANSIIEII
The case against South Africa is unanswerable
* The UN condemns apartheid - so Dr. Venaoord force-foods SWA with oven more apartheid.
er The UN accuses South Africa of incorporating South West - so the Nationalists tighten their grip all the harder, scrapping what little autonomy is loft.
The big question now is how South West Africa can be prized out of Verwoerd's grip - for once his fingers are forced open there, his hold over South Africa itself will be easier to smash. We must fight on three fronts - inside South West Africa, at the international forums of the world, and within South Africa.
International pressure against South Africa will mount high as the SWA issue moves to crisis point in 1964 and 1965. The anti-colonialists in the UN, Africa, Asia and the Socialist countries, are now pressing for a full-scale naval blockade of South African ports
Freedom is moving south very fast - already Free Zambia is touching our own borders at the Caprivi strip. In Angola the liberation movement is preparing another massive armed onslaught against the White dictatorship. Angola will almost certainly be free within three years. Then Mocambique will crumble and in Southern Rhodesia, the gathering storm has thrown the White settlers into a frenzy of panic and fear.
The people of SWA and their freedom movements - SWANU and SWAPO - will not take the Odendaal Bantustan mass removals sitting down. The liberation struggle in South West is nearing the great, final battle - and it is our struggle too. We in South Africa and our brothers across the border have a common enemy. We are oppressed together, we shall fight together and we shall triumph together.
WE MUST REINFORCE ONE ANOTHER BY ACTION NOW!