View Full Version : ANC atrocities committed during apartheid

03-20-2008, 08:58 AM
Many people who are today shocked by the ANC's performance, do not know their history at all. Rather, people don't want to know. While human rights organizations around the world were helping them in their just cause, they were committing many crimes within and outside South Africa's borders. I am not discussing the merits of their internal campaign, since I know most people agree it was the right thing to do. I am referring to the way in which they treated their own, for instance. Read and form your own opinion whether they should ever have been put in charge in the first place...

Their biggest crime was Camp Quatro, Angola. More will follow:

TORTURE WAS DAILY OCCURANCE IN QUATRO: VICTIM (http://www.doj.gov.za/trc/media/1997/9707/s970722f.htm)


Prisoners in the African National Congress' Quatro camp in Angola were subjected to daily torture, an Umkhonto we Sizwe cadre imprisoned in the camp in the 1980s told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday.

Diliza Mthembu told the commission's special hearing on prisons in Johannesburg that he was tortured and beaten during his four and a half years' imprisonment, often for no reason.

"Prisons in Africa are very horrible. The conditions are bad," he said. He developed asthma and high blood pressure as a result of his imprisonment in various prisons in Angola.

He said he was an ANC chief-of-staff and the commander of a training camp called Caxito in Angola, as well as the ANC's representative in Benguela province in the 1970s.

His father, Abel Patrick Mthembu, a founding MK member and deputy leader of the ANC in then Transvaal, was killed by the ANC in 1978 when it was alleged he had betrayed the organisation. This was always used against him, he said.

When he was in Katenga, Angola in 1977 he was told his father had "sold the movement to the enemy".

In March 1978, a M Piliso had told him his father should be killed.

"He even tried to recruit me to go and to kill my father. Within a week I heard on (the ANC's Radio Freedom) that my father had been killed."

He said his own difficulties began with the ANC leadership when the two vehicles he had in his camp where ordered back to Luanda in 1982.

He refused as the two Land Crusiers were the only transport his camp had.

A few days later Angolan police and an ANC official arrived at the camp and he was jailed in a transit camp before being taken to Luanda, where he was locked in a cargo container for 28 days, without ventilation and often without food and water. He and a few other prsioners were let out once a day to go to the toilet.

He was then taken, via other camps, to Quatro.

Mthembu, now a staff sergeant in the SA National Defence Force, said he was accused of attempting to overthrow the ANC leadership.

During his time in Quatro he was beaten with sticks and tortured with electrodes attached to his body. He and other prisoners were also forced to pull a heavy water tanker.

"Twice I was forced at gunpoint to propose love to a tree and make love to it."

He was also forced to climb a tree full of wasps, lie ***** on an ant-covered piece of ground, and chop down a tree in which bees had built a hive.

When a fellow prisoner went to the camp's hospital, he came back and described it as hell. The man was asked if he drank tea or coffee and when he replied coffee, he was then beaten with a "coffee stick".

Mthembu said the food was not healthy, and often prisoners were forced to go without meals. Some prisoners died because of malnutrition, he said.

"Torture was a daily thing. Torture used to take place even at the hospital. There was no escape even when you were sick."

He said conditions changed after the 1985 ANC conference, brought about by a mutiny at Quatro over poor conditions at the camp.

Inmates were given new uniforms, food and sleeping conditions were improved and windows were built into cell walls. But, the "beatings never stopped".

Mthembu was released from Quatro in 1988.
He travelled to Tanzania, where he was arrested and then released. He went to Malawi in 1990 where he was also arrested and detained for four months. He returned to South Africa in May 1990 and was arrested again and held at the Kimberley police station for three weeks.


SEREMANE SLAMS ANC GOVERNMENT OVER DEATH OF BROTHER IN QUATRO (http://www.doj.gov.za/trc/media/1997/9707/s970722e.htm)


Land Claims Court chairman Joseh Seremane on Tuesday demanded that the African National Congress tell him how and why his brother was killed in the ANC's Quatro camp in Angola in the mid 1980s.

Addressing the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission's special hearing on prisons in Johannesburg, Seremane said he felt betrayed and disappointed by his comrades who had refused to tell him how his brother, Chief Timothy Seremane, had died.

"One thing that is messing the country up is the lack of sincerity. We are still victims of fragmentation," he said.

"It pains me to hear the rhetoric of shallow honour and integrity of disclosure. Underneath it is still villifying for those who don't have voices to speak.

"I want to ask for the true records of the Quatro camp. I want someone to come and tell me why my brother was shot and put down like an animal, and so brutally disfigured so that his best of best friends could not recognise him.

"Why do you cheat me of my brother's bones? Why do you think my contribution is worth nothing? Why do you think we risked our lives calling for your (the ANC leadership's) safe return?"

Seremane, who was imprisoned on Robben Island, said while the former government could provide documentation of his trial, the ANC could give him no record of his brother's trial and execution.

"Why did people like me have to risk my life for the ANC to be treated in terms of the Geneva Convention, but the ANC couldn't treat their own that way."

Seremane said he had sworn affidavits from two other Quatro prisoners who had told him how his brother died, but he did not tell the commission what the affidavits contained.

The commission's investigative head, Dumisa Ntsebeza, said the TRC would want to talk to the two young men, one of whom was in the SA National Defence Force and the other in the SA Police Service.

Ntsebeza said there had already been an attempt on the life of one the men by ex-Quatro guards who had been assimilated into South Africa's new security structures.

Seremane said people were still discriminated against in the new South Africa if they did not belong to "your camp, your tribe, your race." He said he could have resorted to third force activities, but would not do that.
"We are looking forward to the new South Africa that will respect the integrity of everybody irrespective of their colour, creed, tribe or social standing."

Seremane said he had approached the Truth Commission to testify for the sake of his family and the memory of his younger brother.

His family had warned that he would be victimised by the ANC government if he testified.

"I had to make the same decision that I made when I faced the (previous government's) system. If it is for the truth that I must die, so let it be.

"If I continue living without inquiring about Chief, then I might as well think whatever I am getting is blood money," he said referring to his government salary.

"I've been on the island (Robben Island). I've been through hell. I've been tortured and nearly lost my life. But when I think of Chief Timothy and compare the way he died, my suffering means nothing and I've decided to say nothing about it."

He said he sensed something was wrong when he was released from prison and found his younger brother was missing. He did not find out what happened to him for ten years, until a few weeks before SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani's murder, when people who had been at Quatro told him how Chief died.

Until then his efforts to uncover the truth had failed. Those who knew had refused to help him. "They said nothing."

"Suddenly nobody has come across this youngter. Nobody has ever known him. Suddenly nobody has a record to show what kind of trial he had. Was he defended, was he not defended.

"Where was their accountability that they couldn't account to his people?"
He said a full inquiry should be held on the deaths at Quatro.

"Seperately from the platform of the TRC, we still want truth. Because it's hard to forgive when you don't know exactly what happened.

"Questions have to be answered. Because without the questions, weaker ones are going to go back and do it again."

Seremane said access to the ANC leadership was difficult.

He had told an ANC secretary that he wanted to meet President Nelson Mandela to ensure the safety of the two men who had told him what happened to his brother. He said it was not for him to mention the two men's names.

He also said he wanted his brother's bones exhumed and brought to South Africa.

Ntsebeza said they would take up Seremane's case with Mandela. The commission would investigate the matter thoroughly.
He said Mandela, as president of the ANC, was ultimately accountable for everything that happened in the name of the ANC.

03-20-2008, 09:11 AM
Did our current president Thabo Mbeki know about these abuses?

Mbeki and AIDS in Africa: A Comment (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/13868)

by Paul Trewhela (http://www.nybooks.com/authors/7090)

Helen Epstein ["The Mystery of AIDS in South Africa," NYR, July 20] writes of President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa as a "visionary ruler," albeit one who has "not adequately confronted the most deadly threat facing his country," the AIDS epidemic.

Unfortunately, President Mbeki's "African Renaissance" to the contrary, a visionary he is not. In terms of background, ideological formation, and current mode of thought, his closest contemporary parallel is probably…Vladimir Putin of Russia.

How else does one characterize a former member of the Politburo of the South African Communist Party who, post-Gorbachev and as head of state, has embraced the global market?

I knew Thabo Mbeki briefly when I arrived in London in 1967, a few months after being released from Pretoria Prison where I'd served a sentence for membership of the SACP. Still in his early twenties, Thabo was already a crown prince within the inner sanctum of the CP, which increasingly became the guiding force within the African National Congress in exile. The milieu of exile politics at the top of this highly secretive apparatus constituted the whole of Mbeki's political life, from late teens until his return from exile nearly forty years later.

I got to know more about him when I left the ANC in the company of his younger brother Moeletsi, together with another dissident ANC figure (subsequently minister for telecommunications), Pallo Jordan, during the heady period before les événements in Paris and the Tet offensive in Saigon in 1968. In the radical atmosphere of those days, we considered Thabo to be an apparatchik of the classic Soviet type, an organization man through and through, an ideological hit man. Visionary he was not, then; and I cannot see how, now.

As dauphin and heir apparent within the CP and the ANC, Thabo's political line of descent lay through his father, Govan Mbeki, sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island in 1964, alongside Nelson Mandela. While local editor of the CP newspaper, New Age, in the motor industry city of Port Elizabeth, Govan Mbeki had built up the best-organized ANC branch in the whole country.

His virtues of strict, unquestioning Stalinism combined with serious attention to organization provided the model for how the CP was to hold the ANC together—and hold on to the ANC—through the decades of the exile. Thabo inherited his father's immense prestige within the ANC, as well as his unquestioning orthodoxy.

Unlike younger "internal" leaders, who learned the skills of democratic leadership in student organizations, trade unions, and civic associations within South Africa in battle with the apartheid state during the 1970s and 1980s, Thabo Mbeki's skills have been those of the smoke-filled room, behind closed doors, in exile. He is remote, aloof, at home with the cabal rather than the people, unlike Mandela. His instinct is to command support rather than to win it.

This was serviceable enough during the exile. Funded by the Soviet Union, its troops trained in Soviet-bloc states and supported across the world by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the ANC was the only show in town when young militants crossed the border from SA [South Africa] seeking weapons and training, in order to return and fight. By comparison, the ANC's main rival, the Pan Africanist Congress, was in almost permanent disarray, poorly funded and poorly organized, with negligible military facilities.

In this milieu the ANC behaved in exile—especially in Africa—like a one-party state. Dissent of any kind was not tolerated. When Thami Mhlambiso, one of Mbeki's colleagues in the leadership of the ANC youth in the 1960s, became critical of its links with the CP, he was expelled in 1975 in the purge of the so-called "Gang of Eight." Mbeki then tried (unsuccessfully) to get him purged also from his salaried post with the United Nations.

Following a mutiny of about 90 percent of the ANC's trained troops in Angola in 1984, in support of a number of democratic demands, Mbeki raised no objection when their protest was crushed, first by the Angolan Presidential Guard and later (at Pango camp, in northern Angola) by public executions. Leaders of the mutiny were subjected to torture and imprisonment in the notorious ANC prison camp, Quatro. Prisoners from Quatro were paraded before the media and expected to give a sanitized account of their imprisonment at a press conference held in Zambia in 1985, an event hosted by Mbeki.

More than a decade later, as vice-president of South Africa, and shortly before becoming president, Mbeki tried to prevent publication of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission because of its recording and condemnation of ANC abuses in Quatro and other camps in exile. It is reasonable to think that his objection was grounded in his own complicity in structures that had at least endorsed and at worst directed these abuses. Mandela, by contrast, was the first ANC leader to acknowledge that abuses had indeed taken place, initially in a public statement in April 1990, then by throwing his weight in favor of two internal ANC inquiries, and finally in his support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It was this experience of a practice of suppression of dissent that governed Mbeki's de facto support for fellow president Mugabe in the reign of fear preceding the recent elections in Zimbabwe, unlike his former fellow minister, Pallo Jordan, who criticized the thuggery of Zanu-PF supporters in a speech in the South African parliament.
Jordan, who was never a member of the CP, had himself been imprisoned by the ANC security department in Zambia in the 1980s for having described its mem-bers as "amaBhunu" (that is, as "Boers," because they replicated the thuggery of the apartheid state).
Mbeki's strange stance on the issue of the AIDS virus has two sources, one legitimate, the other not. It is fully appropriate that an African political leader should condemn the massive economic disparity between the rich, white West and AIDS-stricken Africa, where mega-deaths are indeed the wages of poverty. The destruction of Africa's economically active population, aggravated by third-world debt and global terms of trade, is equivalent to the Great Hunger in Ireland in the 1840s. Hatred of the West will be the result for generations if this is not remedied quickly. In however strange a manner, Mbeki in part articulates this anger, as does Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

What confuses their case, however, is Africanist ideology relating to ******ity, most graphically expressed by Mugabe, as president of the country with the highest proportion of total population with HIV/ AIDS. His response to the crisis has been a deeply prejudiced attack on **********ity both within Zimbabwe and in Britain, most notoriously focusing on Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain.

In a similar manner, Winnie Mandela justified her kidnapping and assault of four youths in Soweto in 1988 (one of whom was murdered) on the grounds of the alleged **********ity of the priest in whose manse they were staying. Before her conviction, her supporters paraded outside the court with banners stating "Homosex is not in black culture."

It is this implicitly racially governed as well as homophobic mindset that lies behind Mbeki's refusal of the judgment of the overwhelming majority in contemporary science on the nature of the AIDS virus. On the one hand such a view endorses an Africanist myth of a pure and primal Africa contaminated by a sinful West, a reversion to the race theory of the apartheid state. It reflects on the other hand the cloistered, driven mindset that produced the sham biology of Lysenko in the final years of Stalin.

The problem faced by the ANC in the 1990s was that with the end of the cold war, the ideology of the Brezhnev years ceased to be serviceable in the organization, in much the same way as in Russia or Serbia. The Freedom Charter—the social program of the ANC from the 1950s—was effectively scrapped, as a condition of the ANC entering government. The agreement of the new government to relocation out of the country of its central industrial/ financial nucleus, the Anglo-American/ De Beers complex, was massive proof of the relative weakness of the government.

It has not been able to deliver on its social program, in any substantial way. The best way of interpreting Mbeki's "African Renaissance" is as a nationalist alternative to the loss of his previous ideology.

That said, AIDS was always going to work havoc in South Africa, given the systemic disruption to stable, settled ****** relationships brought about over a century by the migrant labor system created by Britain in the early 1900s to serve the gold-mining industry, and policed by the pass laws (also a British creation, in the unified South African state set up after the Anglo-Boer War).

For this reason alone, South Africa and Zimbabwe are owed a special debt of recompense from the West, and especially Britain, as beneficiary over decades in terms of profit over from the migrant labor system. President Mbeki has not made it easier for this to be forthcoming. As Malcolm X used to put it, he is part of the problem, not the solution.

03-20-2008, 10:24 AM
Interesting. Thanks, Rudolph.

I was a university student in the US during the last years of the Apartheid era, and I remember it was very politically incorrect to question anything about the ANC, who were heroes to the left-wing students on most American campuses.

03-20-2008, 10:55 AM
MBOKODO: a book review (http://www.christianaction.org.za/firearmnews/2003-4_MBOKODO.htm)
by André Lombard

“Mbokodo”, the Xhosa word meaning “the grinding stone”, is a very apt title for a book written by an ex-Umkhonto we Sizwe cadre. Mwezi Twala, in collaboration with Ed Benard, gives an insight into the workings of the training camps of the ANC during the struggle. If the trainee showed any initiative other than ANC policy, he was relentlessly ground until he either died or became so disillusioned that, to save his own life, he agreed to their mindless propaganda.
The current situation in South Africa, especially the crime epidemic we are experiencing is clearly a culture that was fostered and encouraged in these training camps.
What would motivate somebody 20 years later to walk into a police station, draw a firearm and murder the constable behind the desk becomes clear as the total disrespect for human life, much less the dignity of man, was indoctrinated into the MK soldiers. This cold and callous attitude is brought to the fore as you read this very enlightening book.

The suffering, hunger, humiliation and physical torture endured by those cadres who became disenchanted with the ANC is exposed in this book. The living conditions in the ANC bush camps spread over Central Africa were atrocious to say the least. Their isolation served a double purpose, preventing the South African Security Forces infiltrating and at the same time stopping the MK soldiers from deserting. Many MK soldiers had become disillusioned with the ANC leadership. These “training camps” were, in effect, very efficient concentration camps.
Numerous MK soldiers were murdered in these camps. Some simply disappeared. Others died as a result of the terrible conditions in these camps.

Some very interesting people are mentioned in the book. Amongst them are our current Deputy President Mr Jacob Zuma. The ANC's total disregard for public opinion and the needs of their own soldiers, which were relentlessly ignored as they embarked on a road of physical and psychological torture, is highlighted in the book. The ANC had no desire to pursue the interests of the public whom they were supposed to serve. The cadres suffered while the ANC leaders lived in luxury, defrauding their donors.

We are currently on a witch-hunt to find out whether Bulelani Ngcuka was an apartheid era spy. These are all smoke screens to prevent the public from getting to know our own Deputy President. Some very interesting facts will be revealed, not only in his past, but also in many serving in our current government.
Mwezi Twala resigned from the ANC and joined the IFP. His resignation was a direct result of his personal experience at the hands of a then government in waiting. We are now at the mercy of this very same government.
This book is a must read for every South African looking for answers and a better understanding of the ANC government and the forces that drive them.

03-20-2008, 10:59 AM
ADVISORY BY THE AMNESTY COMMITTEE OF THE TRC (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/2000/000721410p1001.htm)
"The Amnesty Committee of the TRC is to hear the remaining ten amnesty applications next week, by former ANC security "Mbokodo" members for Gross Human Rights Violations they committed in the ANC detention camps at the Idasa Centre, corner Prinsloo and Visagie Streets, Pretoria next week. The matters are scheduled to be heard between Monday and Tuesday July 24 -25.

The "Mbokodo", as the ANC's security apparatus was known, has been accused of torturing detainees suspected of being apartheid Security Agents who had infiltrated the organisation during its exile in Zimbabwe, Angola, Tanzania, Lesotho and Mozambique. Of the original list twenty two members who had applied, eight have been heard while four withdrew their applications during the hearings.

The remaining matters for next week are the following:

George Nkosinathi Thwala and Martin Mmapatla Ramphomane have applied for the killing of Monde "Chief" Mpatheni in Botswana in July 1981.

Keith Mokoape has applied for causing the arrest of several people and collecting information in respect of Dumisani Khoza which was then passed to the ANC's security department.

Oupa Shadrack Khumalo has applied for Human Rights Abuses that may have been committed while a Senior Officer in Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Reginald Rabotapi has applied for the assault on Norman Phiri in Camp 32 (Quatro).

Ndima Saliwa and Kakole Motlatsehave applied for the killing of Isaack Seleke in Maseru in 1985.

Harold Khoabane has applied in relation to alleged supervision of the torture of Sipho Bongani Ngema at the Tironova Camp in Angola in November 1988.

Lulamile Lennox Magajana has applied for the assault on David Mbatha in Lusaka in 1988.

Thlomedi Ephraim Mfalapitsa has applied for the killing of
Thembisile Tuku (alias Shorty) in 1980 and the torture of "Disco", "Sewela" and "Tumisang". Mfalapitsa who later voluntarily decided to join Vlakplaas while on a mission, is a now priest.

For more information, call Mbulelo Sompetha at 082 452 7870.
Issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 21 July 2000"