WITH the current national fixation on “state capture”, public fascination with the intrigues of the Zuma administration and calumny surrounding the Guptas, it is easy to forget the blueprint for graft was laid decades earlier. Apartheid, Guns & Money, a 600+ page doorstop of a book by Hennie van Vuuren, and published by Jacana Press, debunks several popular myths associated with the past regime — that corruption is a purely racial phenomenon, that apartheid South Africa was an “isolated state”, that democratic freedom signalled a break from the past, that the defeat of apartheid was inevitable and that we cannot undo this wrong.
Van Vuuren reveals in painstaking detail, utilising research garnered from recently declassified documents and interviews with key players, how a secret economy — “a global covert network of nearly 50 countries was constructed to counter sanctions” and “allies in corporations, banks, governments and intelligence agencies” helped move cash, illegally supplied weapons for the apartheid money for arms machine. ‘In the process whistleblowers were assassinated and ordinary people suffered.’
Revealing a ‘hidden past in a time of oppression”, the work is a masterful coup, providing details on the Special Defence Account (SDA), long the bane of the anti-apartheid movement. An investigation into the assassination of activist Dulcie September is both poignant and long overdue. Dulcie was “not just murdered she was erased.” Obtaining a copy of the TRC investigation unit’s report into the murder, kept under lock and key for 20 years by Dept of Justice officials ‘took an enormous effort by a team of lawyers and the South African history archive’.
The full extent of the apartheid enterprise under PW Botha and Magnus Malan et al, will come as a shock, as we finally discover the details of the secret projects, many of which were only alluded to in proceedings of the TRC, and its 3000+ page report prefaced by an awkward explanation that many documents pertinent to the proceedings had already been destroyed.
It is an extremely disturbing picture which emerges, the more so since it speaks, both to a current generation, for whom the machinations and covert nature of the regime will come as a surprise, as too survivors, many of whom may have been too young to appreciate the high level of manipulation occurring. That the TRC report has its failings can be seen in the statement by Van Vuuren, that not all documents were destroyed by Armscor in Project Masada. There also appear to be tonnes of documents sequestered in archives such as that of the National Party, and this begs the question on what is being done to preserve South Africa’s heritage of the past struggle for future generations.
Sections on “Naspers: the tap root of the National Party” vindicate my own investigation into the subject, as does the discovery of correspondence by one Ton Vosloo gifting the National Party with ample funding. The role of PW Botha, as a Naspers board-member, is also aptly described, as too the controversial incident involving his company’s opposition to the TRC, (the appearance of 127 apartheid collaborators who walked away from the commission, as conscientious journalists) and it is trite that many of the corporate entities upon which the late Anton Rupert sat, and related to the enterprise, like that of Christo Wiese, were also involved in the regime. But according to van Vuuren, nothing has emerged yet from the recently discovered archives, directly linking the Rupert family to the PW Botha administration and earlier Nat administrations, save for his generous donations to party successor FW de Klerk.
One cannot help thinking that any story about Federale Volksbellegings and sanctions-busting would be incomplete without relating the history of one of its founders. It thus appears the author has either not read Anton’s own biography about “the organisation that finally lured Rupert away from academia”– or has sought to downplay the Rupert factor for some political reason, as they say, ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. This failing, minor in comparison to the great work in uncovering details of the SDA speaks to the need for peer review and perhaps a more scientific approach to the puzzle. There are still quite a few surprises in store for readers, and especially related to covert information regarding previously unknown collaborators and I won’t give the game away by relating all the dirt here, suffice to add that Apartheid Guns & Money is certainly a great start for information activists and a must have in any private collection of apartheid arcana, and deserves to be made available to scholars via public and academic libraries.
HOW the memory plays tricks. Not so long ago, Terry Bell, the self-styled labour correspondent who started out at the Independent Group, where he failed to cover any labour disputes involving his bosses, was praising the political dispensation.
Now that he has found a home at Naspers subsidiary Media24, where he once again fails to cover any cases involving his bosses, Bell has taken to writing obscure tracts on state capture and ‘Die Broederbond’.
Perhaps a sign that Bell still has some spine left and could be coming round to Medialternatives’ own exposé of the cartel that is key to understanding state capture of the media and vice versa? (See post here and here)
We certainly hope so.
In a piece published on Bell’s website and ironically also carried by News24, Bell writes about an inquiry during the Verwoerd period, to investigate secretive societies such as the “Afrikaner Broederbond (AB), the Freemasons and the Sons of England”.
In particular he writes about the “exposes (sic) by the brilliant investigative reporter, Charles Bloomberg that revealed that the secretive AB cabal was making the real decisions about the future of the country; that parliament was merely being used as a rubber stamp.”
The inquiry makes an interesting analogy: “Unlike the present allegations of attempts to capture existing state machinery, the first state capture, by the AB, came about through the steady infiltration of leading sections of the Afrikaner nationalist establishment. Over nearly 30 years, leading Afrikaner politicians, academics, religious leaders and educationalists, were recruited to the AB with the object of eventually seizing control of the state and all aspects of society.”
If this doesn’t get your goat, then Bell’s relating of the Teljoy saga (really a prequel to the later Naspers-Multichoice debacle under the regime of PW Botha) definitely gets our blessing, as a piece of apartheid controversy crucial to understanding media today.
“A number of powerful AB members had financial stakes in an embryonic television hire company, Teljoy. This company became South Africa’s leading television and VCR rental organisation with significant interests in cellular telephony. Political modernity had again found its justification in the marketplace.”
“The charade, which then followed, was a classic of its kind. John Vorster appointed an official commission of inquiry into whether and when South Africa should introduce television. The commission was chaired by Broeder 787, Piet Meyer, who was simultaneously head of the national broadcaster, the SABC and of the AB. Eight of the other 11 members of the commission were also AB members while a ninth was a National Party senator. But the 12 commission members merely constituted the public face of the process. As soon as the inquiry was announced, the Broederbond notified its cells and canvassed the opinions that would really matter.”
WHAT is more embarrassing than Kohler-Barnard tweeting about PW Botha?
SANEF and the Minister of Justice supporting the career of PW Botha at Naspers.
Both parties (Justice and Naspers) have acknowledged papers served in a case before the Equality Court EC19/2015. The case has been brought in terms of the Equality Act, to restore and preserve the TRC Final Report as evidence before the courts, in a suit following the trashing of the report by representatives of Naspers in 2010, which, in and of itself, is a form of unfair discrimination.
The TRC Report details Naspers’ gross violation of human rights of persons such as myself, during apartheid, but was rejected as evidence by Acting Judge Cheadle. The subsequent campaign of opposition to the outcome of the commission was also presented, and now forms part of a broader case of discrimination, flowing from the “repetition of errors” documented by the commission.
Kahanovitz SC previously hauled posts from Medialternatives into the courtroom, in order to demonstrate that, apparently I have a “vendetta against his client” and an ongoing campaign against apartheid, in search of the truth. He is now facing a disciplinary hearing before the Cape Bar Council because of his over-zealous interrogation of my Jewish identity, amongst other things.
In May 2010, Cheadle proceeded to deliver a judgement against me, in my absence, on the basis of my opposition to racism and apartheid. The criminal investigation into his affairs, in particular, a labour brokerage firm with strong ties to Naspers, is now pending a review before the NPS.
Here are links to the documents which have been lodged before the Equality Court
There is a little shop of apartheid horror with a gothic bookshelf, forever emblazoned with the collected works of Pieter Willem Botha. For so many victims of a racist conflict that claimed the lives of countless youths, both black and white, PW Botha represented the ideology of a cruel and inhumane system.
It is pointless trying to rehabilitate the paragon, although a mere mortal, a post-mortem will show that he was heartless, but had been kept alive with science and logic — the strange wonders provided by a daily dose of opiates, heroin and methamphetamine, dispensed by the likes of Dr Death and the Truth Commission. Wouter Basson or someone resembling him, is said to have eaten PW’s liver, before rigor mortis set in, and to have proclaimed that it was infused with the intoxicating blood of the poverty stricken masses.
If Madame Tussard were alive, she would no doubt put up a wax-work effigy of the eternal apartheid ghost, or perhaps a brown-shirted werewolf sans silver bullet, a National Party vampire without a stake through a deep chest cavity, next to the followers of Hitler and Stalin. Yet compared to these two megalomaniac fascists, PW was lame and impotent. He is also rumoured to have suffered from a strange malady associated with intermittent bouts of flatulance and priapism a permanent erection of the penis whenever ‘Die Stem’ was played.
Although a Nazi sympathizer, PW failed in his master-plan to create a nation of Bantustans cooking up separate development within the context of a bizarre ‘tricameral’ parliament that excluded Africans, and merely implicated other ethnic groups in the aegis, administration and final control, of the apartheid system.
PW Botha’s supreme gift then, to all of us, was the formalization of an absurd ‘rule by proxy’ created by the drunkard, John Vorster. He is also credited with the ‘total onslaught’ strategy against communists, Jews, anarchists, gypsies and homosexuals. If members of Botha’s cabinet, were not brainwashed power addicts and hypnotized control freaks, then Botha must have picked up a herion habit as a young boy, in the SANDF.
The legend of the National Party infatuation with a gangly boy from the Paul Roux district in the Free State, ignores his membership of the Ossewabrandwag, a group of foul-smelling brown-shirts, who hated Blacks, and of course, Catholics. PW’s corpse is also said to have the aroma of a camphorated whore from Babylon, in the Free State.
Needless to say, PW the Man, was first elected to South Africa’s national parliament from the town of George in the Southern Cape, as a member of the National Party in 1948. When BJ Vorster resigned in 1978, following alchohol poisoning and his inability to utter anything coherent as prime minister, Botha was elected as his successor by parliament. Botha’s reign steadily descended into a profound form of national psychosis, after successive ‘States of Emergency’ in which a military putsch created by the securacrats Magnus Malan, and Adrian Vlok, installed an effective ‘Junta’ following the Information Scandal.
During the civil war that insued, PW was likened to a Roman emperor, a Nero fiddling with his penis while the townships burnt, until he eventually went stark raving mad, and had a stroke after attacking his own cabinet for selling out to the ‘communists’ and cavorting with prostitutes.
PW will be remembered for his political complexion, with the rubbery consistency of a piece of marbled ham, and sickly sweet complacency of mutton fat. His putrid finger that never crossed the Rubicon, will no doubt rot away in a grave, or be incinerated into dust along, with a classification card marking him as a ‘white’ person, a scion of the human race, whose apoplexy about ‘racial purity’, ‘immorality’ and ‘moral prudery’ continue to entertain millions of South African’s who now flock to the tomb of one of the last great ghouls of modern history.