Tony Weaver who epitomises the macho gun-slinging war correspondent, now wants to ingratiate himself with the End Conscription Campaign and its 25th Anniversary celebration. In a recent column in the neo-con daily Cape Times, Weaver relates his military career in the apartheid war machine. Listing several occasions in which he served in the same military responsible for dirty tricks against anti-apartheid activists and the death of Neil Aggett and David Webster, he then appears to regret “not having the opportunity” to join the ECC as an afterthought.
Surely too late to join the ECC now, Mr Weaver, not after 911. Maybe in a parallel dimension somewhere, another life, one in which you didn’t support the apartheid military-industrial complex? No, Tony, you are a disgrace to the memory of all those who died because of apartheid, all those who suffered in detention or at the hands of apartheid torturers. The fact that you are able to get away with writing your claptrap on a regular basis for the Cape Times is a testimony to the outright prejudice and wilful ignorance of the publishers — INM continue to maintain that having a military record is preferably to a dishonerable discharge.*
Your sterling record of service in the apartheid military which fought to uphold race segregation and class privilege has been noted. I thank you for making my life easier by allowing me to quote your pitiful misgivings at having participated in the slaughter of fellow South Africans. The company employs more than a few white soldiers and has continued to deny basic human rights to those who opposed the apartheid system.
For the record, when I suggested to the late Colin Howell that the newspaper publish an article giving the perspective of local COs on the war in Afganistan and Iraq (i.e an anti-war op-ed), I was excoriated and forced to fight a lengthy labour case against INM. Then when the CCMA found that I was an “Independent Contractor”, despite being on INM’s wage roll, I sued the Cape Times in the Small Claims Court and won. The company still maintains that I do not have the right to contract my labour
*Section 59(3) of the Defence Act determines that: A member of the Regular Force absent from official duty without permission of their commanding officer for more than thirty days is regarded as having been dismissed if an officer,(or discharged if of other rank), for misconduct .