Posts Tagged ‘ANC’

Early in August 2010 Secret South Africa blogged about the Northern Cape town called Orania. Orania is a town that is very reminiscent of the ideals of separation that were fundamental to Apartheid policy. The founders of the town, Carel Boshoff IV being the most prominent amongst them, all have histories that link them to the secret group that was behind the architecture of Apartheid known as the Afrikaner Broederbond.

It therefore raises more than a few questions to find out that President Jacob Zuma visited the town on September the 14th, 2010. The last presidential journey made to the all-white independent enclave of Orania was during the presidential term of Nelson Mandela in 1995.

During the tumultuous era of the 90’s it was considered a gesture of reconciliation with Mandela even sitting and having tea with Betsie Verwoerd, wife of Apartheid Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. (Carel Boshoff IV in background).

President Zuma arrived by helicopter early on the Tuesday and was greeted by schoolchildren dressed in the orange color representing the Dutch ancestry of the Afrikaner. This was as far as the acknowledgement went. The South African Press Association (Sapa) who was present reported that nobody came to the road to see him pass by. A warm welcome indeed. Zuma met with Carel Boshoff IV as well as his son the mayor, Carel Boshoff V.

Both parties saw it as a very positive experience. Spokespeople from Zuma’s office said that the main reason behind the visit was to analyze the management of the local government and understand the workings of the local economy. He also toured a housing scheme in Orania and a skills training programme.

President Jacob Zuma

At a time where workers have been heavily striking and students are causing commotion in schools one wonders how relevant the visit was to the country’s current state of affairs. It is also worthwhile to note that so many communities need the attention of the state much more than Orania does. The problems in impoverished communities are already evident with housing, lack of skills and poor amenities at the centre of the sustainable development debate. Will Zuma deal with the issues at hand head-on or will he keep avoiding the issues and taking tours while the country falls apart?

Eugene Terreblanche

The recent killing of Eugene Terreblanche, leader of Afrikaner right-wing group AWB sparked a lot of anger in the Afrikaner community prompting a potential backlash. If a backlash was being planned, Orania would be quite a suitable setting for the planning to take place. If this is indeed the case then maybe Zuma was right to go sniffing about in the Orania backyard. It is quite curious to say the least that not a soul came out to see the Presidential procession. What do you make of it?

1988 was an important time in the history of South Africa with more and more countries implementing sanctions against the Apartheid government to try and pressure them into changing their policies. Rivalries between guerilla forces and the South African Defence Force (SADF) and the South African Police Force (SAPF) escalated resulting in fatalities and casualties on both sides. This was also the year of the killing of senior ANC member Dulcie September in Paris, March 1988. Before her assassination she had been investigating the trafficking of nuclear weapons between France and South Africa.  

Another incident formed part of a major news story, namely, the Lockerbie Bombing on the 21st of December, 1988. 270 people flying on the Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York were killed after the plane exploded during flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Despite several groups claiming that they were behind the act of terrorism, Libyan intelligence officer and head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA), Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was convicted of the bombing.

Amongst the people who were killed was Bernt Carlsson, UN High Commissioner for Namibia.

Bernt Carlsson

A noteworthy point would be that representatives of South Africa, United States of America, Angola and Cuba met in May of the same year. The meeting was about searching for a solution to the Angolan war and independence for Namibia from South Africa. The killing of the UN High Commissioner would seem to be an act of defiance against discussions towards independence in Namibia. The Commissioner was on his way to the UN signing of the Tripartite Accord which would grant independence to Namibia and end the direct involvement of foreign troops in the Angolan Civil War. Interestingly, Carlsson had links with the ANC.

Oliver Tambo

On the 14th of March, 1982 he tipped off the then ANC president, Oliver Tambo not to attend a meeting in the London offices of the ANC which were bombed by one of Carlsson’s compatriots on the same day.

The main antagonist to countries finding independence in Southern Africa was actually the South African government at the time. They believed that this independence would allow blocs of resistance in the region to strengthen their support, both economically and militarily, for the freedom struggle in South Africa.

It comes as a strange coincidence to know that senior South African officials were booked on the flight. These individuals included foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha, defence minister, Magnus Malan and military intelligence head CJ van Tonder. The men were well-known for their ties and loyalty to the apartheid government of South Africa.

Pik Botha

Shortly before the plane was due to take-off they cancelled their booking for the flight and booked themselves an earlier flight to New York. This led to great suspicion that the Apartheid government in South Africa somehow had a part to play in the bombing.

Magnus Malan

The fact that Bernt Carlsson had been helpful to the president of the ANC (Oliver Tambo) on a number of previous occasions provides possible ascription of motive for assassination to the apartheid government in that the ANC were one of their greatest political enemies. What is the reason behind their last minute change in booking? Is it not conceivable to assume that they knew about the plan to bomb the plane? They were after all travelling with both the military head of intelligence and the defence minister of a country that was in perpetual war… Why was no significant form of investigation done into this matter? Another puzzle in the quagmires of history left unresolved…