Archive for the ‘Apartheid’ Category

Timol inquest: The apartheid police officers accused of torture … – Mail & Guardian

Johannes Van Niekerk and Captain Johannes Gloy. (All pictures from the Timol inquest)

Anti-apartheid activists Ahmed Timol and Salim Essop were interrogated by the same Security Branch officers at the time of their detention in October 1971. Allegations of torture have been at the centre of the inquest into Timols death, and Essop, in a photo identification at the inquest, showed presiding Judge Billy Mothle the men who hadtortured him.

On October 26 1971, Essop was taken to hospital after he fell into a coma as a result of the injuries he sustained at John Vorster Square in Johannesburg. In affidavits submitted to the first inquest in 1972, two of the apartheid security policemen who interrogated him also admitted to interrogating Timol before his death. Their names are Captain Johannes van Niekerk and Captain Johannes Gloy.

Both Gloy and Van Niekerk had been accused of assaulting detainees prior to Timol and Essops detention in 1971. Van Niekerk was convicted of two counts of assault in May 1960 of an injured detainee at Brooklyn police station. Helater died from his wounds. Complaints had also been filed against Gloy for assaulting detainees in 1970 and 1971.

The two were cleared of Timols death in the 1972 inquest, when presiding MagistrateJL de Villiers held that Timol killed himself.

The Timol family believes that Timol was tortured severely until he was in a coma or barely conscious at the time of his death. Timol died on October 27 1971 after he allegedly dived from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square.

On Friday, Essop was handed two photo albums with images of apartheid policemen andgave the names of some of the police officers he recognised. At the time of his detention, Essop didnt know the names of his interrogators, but sought their identities later.

After my release, I went back to the [newspaper] articles and compiled a list of names, he said.

When Essop was admitted to hospital, his family applied for an urgent interdict to stop the police from further torturing him. He had been slapped, suffocated with a plastic bag, forced to imitate sitting on a chair for hours, and sleep deprived for four and a half days, he said. Two judges found in favour of the Essops and ordered the police to stop torturing him.

Essop was emotional as he looked atthe images of Gloy and Van Niekerk. He made an effort to hold back tears.

As he saw the images of the apartheid cops, he would simply say: He was one of my interrogators and torturers.

They had carte blanche to do anythingTimol and Essop were arrested after the car they were traveling in, a yellow Angelia, was stopped on October 22 1971. Police allegedly found anti-apartheid pamphlets the two were said to be distributing. Liberation pamphlets and their dissemination was banned by the apartheid regime.

One of the policeman who arrested the two was Sergeant Leonard Kleyn. Essop testified on Friday that Kleyn had also assaulted him and Timol. Kleyn, in a statement after Timols death in 1971, said he never assaulted Timol and that Timol was never assaulted in his presence.

The sergeant arrested Essop and Timol at a roadblock that had been set up on Fuel Road, Coronationville. Timol and Essop were taken to Newlands police station and then to John Vorster Square. Essopwas tortured on the 10th floor in room 1013 one of the waarkamers (truth rooms).

Essop testified that in the four and a half days he was detained, at least 15 police officers tortured him. There were two or three policemen with him at a time, and they would take it in shifts to deprive him of sleep.

He said that was likely that he andTimol were interrogated by the same policemen, who moved between room1013and room 1026 the room where Timol was allegedly tortured and fell to his death.

They would come to me with a certain question with information they could only get from Timol, Essop said.

The torture took place in vaults -whichhe hasdescribedin previous testimony – attached to the rooms. Among the policemen who tortured him, Essop identified Security Branch cops Major JH Fourie and Lieutenant Colonel WP van Wyk.

At the 1972 inquest, Van Wyk testified that he interrogated Timol from 3.15am to 5.30am on October 23. He requested Van Niekerk and Gloy to help with the interrogation; they arrived at 6am that morning.

He would then interrogate Timol again, according to his testimony, from 8:30am to 19:30pm on October 25 two days before Timols death. He said he had not assaulted Timol and Timol was never assaulted in his presence. There were no injuries, he said.

At the current inquest, Essop testified that Van Wyk and the other security policemen were brutal, but firmly believed their actions were just.

They have no morality about this, they didnt think they were doing any wrong, Essop said.

They had carte blanche to do anything.

Waiting for the truthLast week, Joao Rodrigues dominated the reopened inquest with his testimony that ran for three days. The former apartheid police clerk, who is allegedly the last person to see Timol alive, testified that an agile and healthy Timol dived to his death.

Rodrigues is the only apartheid policemen still alive who is known to have been involved in the Timol case. Evidence presented to theinquest has countered his testimony, and he has been warned that the Timol family will seek his prosecution for murder or accessory to murder.

Gloy, Van Niekerk and Rodrigues never appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and therefore do not have amnesty. The Timol family lawyers are trying to track down when Gloy and Van Niekerk died.

General Johan Coetzee, who Essop identified in a photo, was an apartheid police commissioner who told the TRC that he had not condoned political assassinations. Butat the inquest,testimony from Security Branch policeman Paul Erasmusdisputed Coetzees claim to the TRC.

Essop said on Friday that the inquest is an opportunity for apartheid cops to tell the truth and come clean.

Maybe this is the unfinished business the TRC didnt complete, he said.

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Timol inquest: The apartheid police officers accused of torture … – Mail & Guardian

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South African History Archive calls for Bank to release apartheid records – Business Day (registration)

Blaauw, who was allegedly involved in the arms trade, is no longer alive. Hill was prosecuted for fraud, in some cases related to forged Eskom bonds. However, prosecuting authorities elected not to pursue charges at the time.

“The records requested were those that would reveal evidence of significant fraud. What we have [concerning Blaauw and Palazzolo] doesnt constitute a record showing any evidence of that,” said advocate Nic Maritz, representing the Bank.

The National Prosecuting Authority would have the best records revealing serious exchange control contravention and fraud by Hill, Maritz said.

Asking for all documents in the Banks possession concerning Blaauw and Palazzolo, as the archive later did, would unreasonably divert the resources of a public body, which was grounds for refusing access to information under the act, he said.

The Bank, which was seeking a cost order against the archive, also relied on other exemptions under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, such as the mandatory protection of personal and commercial information pertaining to third parties.

For example, a member of the public could not access information pertaining to the movement of foreign exchange, as this was privileged information that the Bank obtained in the course of performing its functions, said Maritz.

Notwithstanding the exemptions, it was in the public interest for the information to be made available, Budlender said.

The act was gazetted in 2000 to give effect to the constitutional right of access to information held by the state. In its preamble it notes that the apartheid regime “resulted in a secretive and unresponsive culture in public and private bodies, which often led to an abuse of power and human rights violations”.

Judgment was reserved.

ziadyh@bdlive.co.za

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South African History Archive calls for Bank to release apartheid records – Business Day (registration)

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BDS conference in Australia: end complicity with Israeli apartheid – International Solidarity Movement

7th August 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, support group Australia | Australia

Multi-award winning poet and playwright Samah Sabawi began Australias second and biggest national conference on Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions last week in Sydney, with words from the diaspora: In 2005, after decades of failed negotiations, Palestinian civil society lit a candle in the darkness. They started a non-violent, grassroots movement, based on international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They called on people of good conscience around the world to apply boycotts, divestments and sanctions on IsraelAnd we are here at this conference to discuss ways in which to respond to this call. Palestinian civil society is not asking us to get involved. They are asking us to end our involvement with Israeli apartheid. Because we are already knee-deep in complicity.

Watch a live video of the conference here.

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BDS conference in Australia: end complicity with Israeli apartheid – International Solidarity Movement

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About 80000 apartheid victims denied access to proper compensation – Business Day (registration)

When Thamsanqa Zitha returned to SA after more than a decade in exile he reached out to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hoping to gain an audience.

Zitha a former operative for the ANC and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) military wings was kidnapped and tortured by Eugene de Kocks death squad in 1984.

He should have been entitled to compensation for the crimes committed against him by the former government but now Zitha is one of an estimated 80000 people who have not benefited from a special reparations fund that currently holds more than R1.5bn according to the Khulumani Support Group.

The Department of Justice has refused to divulge what exactly the money will be used for.

The Presidents Fund was established under the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (34 of 1995) after the TRC recommended that reparations be paid out to apartheid victims who had made successful submissions to the commission.

By 2005, nearly 17000 people had received at least R30000 each to compensate for atrocities they had experienced under the oppressive regime.

“If I had known [about the fund], I would have gone to them but not to accept the R30000. I would have gone as an opposition because what good is R30000 for what Ive gone through? I would ask them to pay for my education that I missed my medical expenses. How can they give me only R30000 when I pay R5000 a month for medicine?” Zitha asked.

“You could count the bones on my body. I was so thin and weak. I couldnt even walk. The people who were taking care of me were scared for my life” Zitha said.

“I never got a response from the TRC. I wrote out my whole autobiography for them.”

Marjorie Jobson national director of Khulumani the countrys largest support group for apartheid victims said the process set up by the commission was biased towards “privileged victims”, and ignored thousands who could not make submissions due to their circumstances.

“[Victims] who got it are people who lived largely in the cities had access to transport had the capacity to find the statement takers and had TV or radio to know where they would be” Jobson said.

Department of Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga would not confirm how the remainder of the fund would be spent and if those with valid claims would be allowed to access it.

Mhaga said an amount of R550m was paid out to victims in respect of reparations in line with the regulations contained in the 1995 law.

Under the regulations, the government also paid out about R11m for education for victims and their families and more than R1m for exhumation and reburial of deceased victims.

Some victims who received R30000 from the fund say the payout has made little difference.

“What can you do with R30000 if you are not working?” said Emson Banda who lost the use of his right eye and struggles to walk after being wrongfully arrested and beaten by apartheid police in 1987.

“The government let us down.”

Jobson said that many victims ended up paying back the money to the government because of utility debts they had accumulated.

“All of those who wanted to get a chance in life have missed the bus” she said. “And if this society is going to be built on a foundation of justice they need to be recognised in a registration process and they need to get compensation.”

Khulumani has ongoing advocacy on national justice issues related to the “unfinished business” of the TRC.

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About 80000 apartheid victims denied access to proper compensation – Business Day (registration)

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Historians want to scour Reserve Bank records for details of apartheid-era financial crime – Business Day (registration)

Arguing before the High Court on Friday SAHA counsel Geoff Budlender SC said the Constitution provided that everyone had the right of access to any information held by the state, but in this case that did not happen.

“First [the Bank] said SAHA was trying to intimidate it. There was then a lengthy delay. The Bank then refused to provide any scrap of documentation to SAHA” Budlender said, who contends that in refusing SAHAs request the Bank had misunderstood it.

The Bank said none of the documents it had on three individuals constituted evidence they were involved in fraud or smuggling. “What we requested were records of evidence obtained by the Bank as part of its investigation” Budlender explained.

He said that after the Bank claimed it was being intimidated it then refused to disclose anything and claimed it was excluded from the requirement to provide information in terms of Section 33 of the South African Reserve Bank Act. This section provides that no officer of the Bank shall disclose to any person any information relating to the affairs of the Bank acquired in the performance of their duties.

Budlender said the Banks objection was an objection in principle to disclosing any document that was under its control and that this was inconsistent with PAIA.

The hearing continues.

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Historians want to scour Reserve Bank records for details of apartheid-era financial crime – Business Day (registration)

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Mthembu: Some media groups need to apologise for apartheid role – Eyewitness News

Mthembu: Some media groups need to apologise for apartheid role

He says most media companies refused to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation process in the early years of South Africas democracy.

ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering: Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says its time for some South African media organisations to apologise and account for the role played under apartheid.

Mthembu, however, also acknowledged the progressive work of other press in standing up to the previous regime.

Mthembu was speaking at Thursdays Gathering media edition in Cape Town.

He says most media companies refused to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation process in the early years of South Africas democracy.

The South African mass media also refused to participate in the TRC processes, except, as we have said, the Argus group.

WATCH: Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering

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SA History Archive in court to force Reserve Bank to release apartheid secrets – News24

2017-08-04 06:16

James de Villiers, News24

Johannesburg The South Africa History Archive (SAHA) is expected to head to the South Gauteng High Court on Friday in a bid to force the South African Reserve Bank to release records of suspected apartheid-era financial crimes.

SAHAcreated by anti-apartheid activists in the 80sfirst requested the records in August 2014 in consultation with non-profit organisation Open Secrets.

Several Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests were made which resulted in the matter heading to court on Friday.

“Specifically included in this request was information about fraud through manipulation of the financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange or the forging of Eskom bonds,” according to a press release published this week on the Open Secrets website.

“Given the current public outcry over alleged widespread state capture in South Africa, untangling the extensive networks that enable corruption is more pressing than ever. Private interests remain central to the abuse of state power.”

On Wednesday, SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane was not prepared to comment.

“The SARB is defending the matter and will therefore not comment further pending deliberations and the court’s ruling,” he told News24.

Court papers from November show that the Reserve Bank felt that releasing the records could “jeopardise the economic interests of the country”.

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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SA History Archive in court to force Reserve Bank to release apartheid secrets – News24

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Release apartheid money crimes records SA History Archive – BizNews

CAPE TOWN We have arguably the most progressive (and most flouted) Constitution in the world. Imagine a South Africa rising from the Zuptoid and apartheid era-created financial sewer, determined to never-again tolerate wholesale corruption? There are plenty of people determined to make that a reality, among them the South African History Archive. Tomorrow it takes the SA Reserve Bank to court to try and force it to release records on extremely dodgy apartheid-era deals of magnitudes approaching any current Gupta scam you care to name. Its the culmination of a three-year legal battle. Theres so much at stake that the SARB has said any capitulation by it could jeopardise the economic interests of the country. Some terse clues? Jailed mafia-linked, Vito Palazzolo and money laundering for SA-Israeli weapons programmes, manipulation of financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange and forged Eskom bonds, and multiple international arms deals. Thats some heavy-duty house-cleaning right there. Nothing should escape the virtues Madiba espoused in his famous never again inauguration speech; Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Time to claw back the dream, without fear or favour. Chris Bateman

By Caryn Dolley

Cape Town Secret records of suspected financial crimes committed during the apartheid-era and linked to controversial business figures are back in focus as archivists are intent on exposing those who were involved in corruption more than two decades ago.

The South African History Archive has for three years been trying to have the records released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

This matter is set to intensify on Friday as it is expected to be heard in the Johannesburg High Court.

SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane on Wednesday was not yet prepared to comment.

The SARB is defending the matter and will therefore not comment further pending deliberations and the courts ruling, he told News24.

The matter has been dragging on for three years.

In August 2014, the history archive created by anti-apartheid activists in the 80s in consultation with non-profit organisation Open Secrets which aims to hold accountable those in the private sector who commit financial crimes first requested the records.

Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests were made. This later resulted in the matter going to court in a series of matters that have led up to Fridays hearing.

Specifically included in this request was information about fraud through manipulation of the financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange or the forging of Eskom bonds, a press release published this week on the Open Secrets website said.

Given the current public outcry over alleged widespread state capture in South Africa, untangling the extensive networks that enable corruption is more pressing than ever. Private interests remain central to the abuse of state power.

Individuals said to be linked to alleged fraud and who the history archive wants records on are:

Palazzolo, 70, who was based in South Africa and under investigation for years in relation to his activities and possible links to government officials and corrupt police, was never arrested in this country.

He became closely tied to senior apartheid officials and it was alleged that Palazzolo was linked to the Bank of Bisho in Ciskei used to launder money for joint South African Israeli weapons programmes, the Open Secrets press release said.

Palazzolo was detained in Thailand in 2012 as he was returning to South Africa.

He is now jailed in Italy, where he had been wanted since 2009 for Mafia-related links.

Blaauw, who was a brigadier, is believed to be dead. He would have turned 96 this year.

The Open Secrets press release said Blaauw, who ventured into business in the 1970s, was allegedly involved in the international arms trade and was present when Fanie Botha, a senior cabinet member at the time, wrapped up a deal with the Israeli government to provide the government with 500 tons of uranium in return for 30g of tritium, a radioactive substance that thermonuclear weapons require to increase their explosive power.

Court papers filed by the history archive say Hill, 87, is a South African businessman who fled the country in 1988 due to R170m foreign exchange fraud charges.

There were over 500 individual fraud charges, including those involving an alleged financial rand scam through the forgery of Eskom bonds, the papers said.

In court papers previously submitted by the reserve bank, it said it had not been able to find any entries in records relating to certain investigations by the Financial Surveillance Department into allegations of significant fraud.

These allegations were in relation to, among others, apartheid-era chemical warfare expert Wouter Basson, apartheid-era spy Craig Williamson and Italian businessman Giovanni Giuseppe Mario Ricci, who at one point established a company with Williamson.

The history archive had therefore stopped pursuing records relating to these individuals.

But it was still going after records relating to Palazzolo, Blaauw and Hill.

In previous court papers, the reserve bank said when it came to these three, it had refused the request for information based on a section in the South African Reserve Bank Act relating to secrecy.

Court papers from November show that the history archive summed up six reasons as to why the SARB was refusing to release the related records.

SARB claims that the majority of the documents in the investigation files of Mr Palazzolo and Brig Blaauw do not fall within the scope of the request and therefore do not need to be disclosed, it said.

The court papers showed the reserve bank also felt that releasing the records could jeopardise the economic interests of the country.

Source:http://www.fin24.com/Economy/battle-for-release-of-secret-apartheid-money-crime-records-heats-up-20170803

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Release apartheid money crimes records SA History Archive – BizNews

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It’s time to lay this apartheid ghost to rest – Times LIVE

Rodrigues has the answer Timol’s family has searched for, and the presiding officer will decide on the quality of his testimony.

But to us – based on the medical evidence and the contradictions in his story – it seems that Rodrigues is a man prepared to go to his grave believing a lie.

That compounds the tragedy of the Timol story and if it ends like this it will be sad, but life, even in the drama that is South Africa, is rarely a Hollywood script.

Our story has little redemption in it except for the fact that, while apartheid’s violence stole Timol from his family, they lived to see the cause for which he died become reality.

So in the end Timol won and people like Rodrigues lost, left to shuffle through what’s left of their lives with apartheid’s ghosts whispering on their shoulders.

That’s how it ends, unless they are prepared to put the ghosts to rest.

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It’s time to lay this apartheid ghost to rest – Times LIVE

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Timol inquest: The apartheid police officers accused of torture … – Mail & Guardian

Johannes Van Niekerk and Captain Johannes Gloy. (All pictures from the Timol inquest) Anti-apartheid activists Ahmed Timol and Salim Essop were interrogated by the same Security Branch officers at the time of their detention in October 1971. Allegations of torture have been at the centre of the inquest into Timols death, and Essop, in a photo identification at the inquest, showed presiding Judge Billy Mothle the men who hadtortured him. On October 26 1971, Essop was taken to hospital after he fell into a coma as a result of the injuries he sustained at John Vorster Square in Johannesburg. In affidavits submitted to the first inquest in 1972, two of the apartheid security policemen who interrogated him also admitted to interrogating Timol before his death. Their names are Captain Johannes van Niekerk and Captain Johannes Gloy. Both Gloy and Van Niekerk had been accused of assaulting detainees prior to Timol and Essops detention in 1971. Van Niekerk was convicted of two counts of assault in May 1960 of an injured detainee at Brooklyn police station. Helater died from his wounds. Complaints had also been filed against Gloy for assaulting detainees in 1970 and 1971. The two were cleared of Timols death in the 1972 inquest, when presiding MagistrateJL de Villiers held that Timol killed himself. The Timol family believes that Timol was tortured severely until he was in a coma or barely conscious at the time of his death. Timol died on October 27 1971 after he allegedly dived from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square. On Friday, Essop was handed two photo albums with images of apartheid policemen andgave the names of some of the police officers he recognised. At the time of his detention, Essop didnt know the names of his interrogators, but sought their identities later. After my release, I went back to the [newspaper] articles and compiled a list of names, he said. When Essop was admitted to hospital, his family applied for an urgent interdict to stop the police from further torturing him. He had been slapped, suffocated with a plastic bag, forced to imitate sitting on a chair for hours, and sleep deprived for four and a half days, he said. Two judges found in favour of the Essops and ordered the police to stop torturing him. Essop was emotional as he looked atthe images of Gloy and Van Niekerk. He made an effort to hold back tears. As he saw the images of the apartheid cops, he would simply say: He was one of my interrogators and torturers. They had carte blanche to do anythingTimol and Essop were arrested after the car they were traveling in, a yellow Angelia, was stopped on October 22 1971. Police allegedly found anti-apartheid pamphlets the two were said to be distributing. Liberation pamphlets and their dissemination was banned by the apartheid regime. One of the policeman who arrested the two was Sergeant Leonard Kleyn. Essop testified on Friday that Kleyn had also assaulted him and Timol. Kleyn, in a statement after Timols death in 1971, said he never assaulted Timol and that Timol was never assaulted in his presence. The sergeant arrested Essop and Timol at a roadblock that had been set up on Fuel Road, Coronationville. Timol and Essop were taken to Newlands police station and then to John Vorster Square. Essopwas tortured on the 10th floor in room 1013 one of the waarkamers (truth rooms). Essop testified that in the four and a half days he was detained, at least 15 police officers tortured him. There were two or three policemen with him at a time, and they would take it in shifts to deprive him of sleep. He said that was likely that he andTimol were interrogated by the same policemen, who moved between room1013and room 1026 the room where Timol was allegedly tortured and fell to his death. They would come to me with a certain question with information they could only get from Timol, Essop said. The torture took place in vaults -whichhe hasdescribedin previous testimony – attached to the rooms. Among the policemen who tortured him, Essop identified Security Branch cops Major JH Fourie and Lieutenant Colonel WP van Wyk. At the 1972 inquest, Van Wyk testified that he interrogated Timol from 3.15am to 5.30am on October 23. He requested Van Niekerk and Gloy to help with the interrogation; they arrived at 6am that morning. He would then interrogate Timol again, according to his testimony, from 8:30am to 19:30pm on October 25 two days before Timols death. He said he had not assaulted Timol and Timol was never assaulted in his presence. There were no injuries, he said. At the current inquest, Essop testified that Van Wyk and the other security policemen were brutal, but firmly believed their actions were just. They have no morality about this, they didnt think they were doing any wrong, Essop said. They had carte blanche to do anything. Waiting for the truthLast week, Joao Rodrigues dominated the reopened inquest with his testimony that ran for three days. The former apartheid police clerk, who is allegedly the last person to see Timol alive, testified that an agile and healthy Timol dived to his death. Rodrigues is the only apartheid policemen still alive who is known to have been involved in the Timol case. Evidence presented to theinquest has countered his testimony, and he has been warned that the Timol family will seek his prosecution for murder or accessory to murder. Gloy, Van Niekerk and Rodrigues never appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and therefore do not have amnesty. The Timol family lawyers are trying to track down when Gloy and Van Niekerk died. General Johan Coetzee, who Essop identified in a photo, was an apartheid police commissioner who told the TRC that he had not condoned political assassinations. Butat the inquest,testimony from Security Branch policeman Paul Erasmusdisputed Coetzees claim to the TRC. Essop said on Friday that the inquest is an opportunity for apartheid cops to tell the truth and come clean. Maybe this is the unfinished business the TRC didnt complete, he said.

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South African History Archive calls for Bank to release apartheid records – Business Day (registration)

Blaauw, who was allegedly involved in the arms trade, is no longer alive. Hill was prosecuted for fraud, in some cases related to forged Eskom bonds. However, prosecuting authorities elected not to pursue charges at the time. “The records requested were those that would reveal evidence of significant fraud. What we have [concerning Blaauw and Palazzolo] doesnt constitute a record showing any evidence of that,” said advocate Nic Maritz, representing the Bank. The National Prosecuting Authority would have the best records revealing serious exchange control contravention and fraud by Hill, Maritz said. Asking for all documents in the Banks possession concerning Blaauw and Palazzolo, as the archive later did, would unreasonably divert the resources of a public body, which was grounds for refusing access to information under the act, he said. The Bank, which was seeking a cost order against the archive, also relied on other exemptions under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, such as the mandatory protection of personal and commercial information pertaining to third parties. For example, a member of the public could not access information pertaining to the movement of foreign exchange, as this was privileged information that the Bank obtained in the course of performing its functions, said Maritz. Notwithstanding the exemptions, it was in the public interest for the information to be made available, Budlender said. The act was gazetted in 2000 to give effect to the constitutional right of access to information held by the state. In its preamble it notes that the apartheid regime “resulted in a secretive and unresponsive culture in public and private bodies, which often led to an abuse of power and human rights violations”. Judgment was reserved. ziadyh@bdlive.co.za

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BDS conference in Australia: end complicity with Israeli apartheid – International Solidarity Movement

7th August 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, support group Australia | Australia Multi-award winning poet and playwright Samah Sabawi began Australias second and biggest national conference on Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions last week in Sydney, with words from the diaspora: In 2005, after decades of failed negotiations, Palestinian civil society lit a candle in the darkness. They started a non-violent, grassroots movement, based on international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They called on people of good conscience around the world to apply boycotts, divestments and sanctions on IsraelAnd we are here at this conference to discuss ways in which to respond to this call. Palestinian civil society is not asking us to get involved. They are asking us to end our involvement with Israeli apartheid. Because we are already knee-deep in complicity. Watch a live video of the conference here.

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August 7, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

About 80000 apartheid victims denied access to proper compensation – Business Day (registration)

When Thamsanqa Zitha returned to SA after more than a decade in exile he reached out to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hoping to gain an audience. Zitha a former operative for the ANC and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) military wings was kidnapped and tortured by Eugene de Kocks death squad in 1984. He should have been entitled to compensation for the crimes committed against him by the former government but now Zitha is one of an estimated 80000 people who have not benefited from a special reparations fund that currently holds more than R1.5bn according to the Khulumani Support Group. The Department of Justice has refused to divulge what exactly the money will be used for. The Presidents Fund was established under the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (34 of 1995) after the TRC recommended that reparations be paid out to apartheid victims who had made successful submissions to the commission. By 2005, nearly 17000 people had received at least R30000 each to compensate for atrocities they had experienced under the oppressive regime. “If I had known [about the fund], I would have gone to them but not to accept the R30000. I would have gone as an opposition because what good is R30000 for what Ive gone through? I would ask them to pay for my education that I missed my medical expenses. How can they give me only R30000 when I pay R5000 a month for medicine?” Zitha asked. “You could count the bones on my body. I was so thin and weak. I couldnt even walk. The people who were taking care of me were scared for my life” Zitha said. “I never got a response from the TRC. I wrote out my whole autobiography for them.” Marjorie Jobson national director of Khulumani the countrys largest support group for apartheid victims said the process set up by the commission was biased towards “privileged victims”, and ignored thousands who could not make submissions due to their circumstances. “[Victims] who got it are people who lived largely in the cities had access to transport had the capacity to find the statement takers and had TV or radio to know where they would be” Jobson said. Department of Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga would not confirm how the remainder of the fund would be spent and if those with valid claims would be allowed to access it. Mhaga said an amount of R550m was paid out to victims in respect of reparations in line with the regulations contained in the 1995 law. Under the regulations, the government also paid out about R11m for education for victims and their families and more than R1m for exhumation and reburial of deceased victims. Some victims who received R30000 from the fund say the payout has made little difference. “What can you do with R30000 if you are not working?” said Emson Banda who lost the use of his right eye and struggles to walk after being wrongfully arrested and beaten by apartheid police in 1987. “The government let us down.” Jobson said that many victims ended up paying back the money to the government because of utility debts they had accumulated. “All of those who wanted to get a chance in life have missed the bus” she said. “And if this society is going to be built on a foundation of justice they need to be recognised in a registration process and they need to get compensation.” Khulumani has ongoing advocacy on national justice issues related to the “unfinished business” of the TRC.

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Historians want to scour Reserve Bank records for details of apartheid-era financial crime – Business Day (registration)

Arguing before the High Court on Friday SAHA counsel Geoff Budlender SC said the Constitution provided that everyone had the right of access to any information held by the state, but in this case that did not happen. “First [the Bank] said SAHA was trying to intimidate it. There was then a lengthy delay. The Bank then refused to provide any scrap of documentation to SAHA” Budlender said, who contends that in refusing SAHAs request the Bank had misunderstood it. The Bank said none of the documents it had on three individuals constituted evidence they were involved in fraud or smuggling. “What we requested were records of evidence obtained by the Bank as part of its investigation” Budlender explained. He said that after the Bank claimed it was being intimidated it then refused to disclose anything and claimed it was excluded from the requirement to provide information in terms of Section 33 of the South African Reserve Bank Act. This section provides that no officer of the Bank shall disclose to any person any information relating to the affairs of the Bank acquired in the performance of their duties. Budlender said the Banks objection was an objection in principle to disclosing any document that was under its control and that this was inconsistent with PAIA. The hearing continues.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Mthembu: Some media groups need to apologise for apartheid role – Eyewitness News

Mthembu: Some media groups need to apologise for apartheid role He says most media companies refused to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation process in the early years of South Africas democracy. ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering: Media Edition at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 3 August 2017. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN. CAPE TOWN African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says its time for some South African media organisations to apologise and account for the role played under apartheid. Mthembu, however, also acknowledged the progressive work of other press in standing up to the previous regime. Mthembu was speaking at Thursdays Gathering media edition in Cape Town. He says most media companies refused to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation process in the early years of South Africas democracy. The South African mass media also refused to participate in the TRC processes, except, as we have said, the Argus group. WATCH: Jackson Mthembu at The Gathering However, we will NOT condone the following: – Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality) – Sexism – Homophobia – Religious intolerance – Cyber bullying – Hate speech – Derogatory language – Comments inciting violence. We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section. We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all. EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules. Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines. EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

SA History Archive in court to force Reserve Bank to release apartheid secrets – News24

2017-08-04 06:16 James de Villiers, News24 Johannesburg The South Africa History Archive (SAHA) is expected to head to the South Gauteng High Court on Friday in a bid to force the South African Reserve Bank to release records of suspected apartheid-era financial crimes. SAHAcreated by anti-apartheid activists in the 80sfirst requested the records in August 2014 in consultation with non-profit organisation Open Secrets. Several Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests were made which resulted in the matter heading to court on Friday. “Specifically included in this request was information about fraud through manipulation of the financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange or the forging of Eskom bonds,” according to a press release published this week on the Open Secrets website. “Given the current public outcry over alleged widespread state capture in South Africa, untangling the extensive networks that enable corruption is more pressing than ever. Private interests remain central to the abuse of state power.” On Wednesday, SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane was not prepared to comment. “The SARB is defending the matter and will therefore not comment further pending deliberations and the court’s ruling,” he told News24. Court papers from November show that the Reserve Bank felt that releasing the records could “jeopardise the economic interests of the country”. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

Release apartheid money crimes records SA History Archive – BizNews

CAPE TOWN We have arguably the most progressive (and most flouted) Constitution in the world. Imagine a South Africa rising from the Zuptoid and apartheid era-created financial sewer, determined to never-again tolerate wholesale corruption? There are plenty of people determined to make that a reality, among them the South African History Archive. Tomorrow it takes the SA Reserve Bank to court to try and force it to release records on extremely dodgy apartheid-era deals of magnitudes approaching any current Gupta scam you care to name. Its the culmination of a three-year legal battle. Theres so much at stake that the SARB has said any capitulation by it could jeopardise the economic interests of the country. Some terse clues? Jailed mafia-linked, Vito Palazzolo and money laundering for SA-Israeli weapons programmes, manipulation of financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange and forged Eskom bonds, and multiple international arms deals. Thats some heavy-duty house-cleaning right there. Nothing should escape the virtues Madiba espoused in his famous never again inauguration speech; Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Time to claw back the dream, without fear or favour. Chris Bateman By Caryn Dolley Cape Town Secret records of suspected financial crimes committed during the apartheid-era and linked to controversial business figures are back in focus as archivists are intent on exposing those who were involved in corruption more than two decades ago. The South African History Archive has for three years been trying to have the records released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). This matter is set to intensify on Friday as it is expected to be heard in the Johannesburg High Court. SARB spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane on Wednesday was not yet prepared to comment. The SARB is defending the matter and will therefore not comment further pending deliberations and the courts ruling, he told News24. The matter has been dragging on for three years. In August 2014, the history archive created by anti-apartheid activists in the 80s in consultation with non-profit organisation Open Secrets which aims to hold accountable those in the private sector who commit financial crimes first requested the records. Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) requests were made. This later resulted in the matter going to court in a series of matters that have led up to Fridays hearing. Specifically included in this request was information about fraud through manipulation of the financial rand dual currency, foreign exchange or the forging of Eskom bonds, a press release published this week on the Open Secrets website said. Given the current public outcry over alleged widespread state capture in South Africa, untangling the extensive networks that enable corruption is more pressing than ever. Private interests remain central to the abuse of state power. Individuals said to be linked to alleged fraud and who the history archive wants records on are: Palazzolo, 70, who was based in South Africa and under investigation for years in relation to his activities and possible links to government officials and corrupt police, was never arrested in this country. He became closely tied to senior apartheid officials and it was alleged that Palazzolo was linked to the Bank of Bisho in Ciskei used to launder money for joint South African Israeli weapons programmes, the Open Secrets press release said. Palazzolo was detained in Thailand in 2012 as he was returning to South Africa. He is now jailed in Italy, where he had been wanted since 2009 for Mafia-related links. Blaauw, who was a brigadier, is believed to be dead. He would have turned 96 this year. The Open Secrets press release said Blaauw, who ventured into business in the 1970s, was allegedly involved in the international arms trade and was present when Fanie Botha, a senior cabinet member at the time, wrapped up a deal with the Israeli government to provide the government with 500 tons of uranium in return for 30g of tritium, a radioactive substance that thermonuclear weapons require to increase their explosive power. Court papers filed by the history archive say Hill, 87, is a South African businessman who fled the country in 1988 due to R170m foreign exchange fraud charges. There were over 500 individual fraud charges, including those involving an alleged financial rand scam through the forgery of Eskom bonds, the papers said. In court papers previously submitted by the reserve bank, it said it had not been able to find any entries in records relating to certain investigations by the Financial Surveillance Department into allegations of significant fraud. These allegations were in relation to, among others, apartheid-era chemical warfare expert Wouter Basson, apartheid-era spy Craig Williamson and Italian businessman Giovanni Giuseppe Mario Ricci, who at one point established a company with Williamson. The history archive had therefore stopped pursuing records relating to these individuals. But it was still going after records relating to Palazzolo, Blaauw and Hill. In previous court papers, the reserve bank said when it came to these three, it had refused the request for information based on a section in the South African Reserve Bank Act relating to secrecy. Court papers from November show that the history archive summed up six reasons as to why the SARB was refusing to release the related records. SARB claims that the majority of the documents in the investigation files of Mr Palazzolo and Brig Blaauw do not fall within the scope of the request and therefore do not need to be disclosed, it said. The court papers showed the reserve bank also felt that releasing the records could jeopardise the economic interests of the country. Source:http://www.fin24.com/Economy/battle-for-release-of-secret-apartheid-money-crime-records-heats-up-20170803

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed

It’s time to lay this apartheid ghost to rest – Times LIVE

Rodrigues has the answer Timol’s family has searched for, and the presiding officer will decide on the quality of his testimony. But to us – based on the medical evidence and the contradictions in his story – it seems that Rodrigues is a man prepared to go to his grave believing a lie. That compounds the tragedy of the Timol story and if it ends like this it will be sad, but life, even in the drama that is South Africa, is rarely a Hollywood script. Our story has little redemption in it except for the fact that, while apartheid’s violence stole Timol from his family, they lived to see the cause for which he died become reality. So in the end Timol won and people like Rodrigues lost, left to shuffle through what’s left of their lives with apartheid’s ghosts whispering on their shoulders. That’s how it ends, unless they are prepared to put the ghosts to rest.

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Apartheid  Comments Closed


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