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e-NONGQAI Vol 2 No 8A

Un-official Police Gazette for VETERANS of the former South African Police Force and for those interested in the history of our Police and South Africa’s National Security Nie-amptelike Polisiekoerant vir VETERANE van die ou Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiemag en vir diegene wat belangstel in die geskiedenis van ons polisie en nasionale veiligheid Augustus 2011: Vol 2 no 8A

Beskermheer: genl JV van der Merwe : Patron

Redateur: Hennie Heymans: Editior

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Contents 1. Om vrede te durf maak ....................................................................................................................... 2 2. STIGTING VIR GELYKHEID VOOR DIE REG -

FOUNDATION FOR EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW ...... 4

3. PRESS STATEMENT BY THE FOUNDATION FOR EQAULITY BEFORE THE LAW ................................ 6 4. PERSVERKLARING DEUR DIE STIGTING NVIR GELYKHEID VOOR DIE REG ....................................... 8 5 Background - Politicsweb ................................................................................................................... 10 5.1 John Harris, Gordon Winter and the station bomb .................................................................... 10 5.2 Comment by Mr Pieter Swanepoel (ex-RIS & NIS) and author of Really Inside Boss: ........... 11 5.3 Comment by General Johann van der Merwe (former commissioner of police):.................. 13 6. Death and Scarred for Life! ............................................................................................................... 15 7. The History of the South African Police 1913 – 1988 / ..................................................................... 16 Die Geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie 1913 – 1988 .............................................................. 16 7.1 Harris and the bomb at the station pp 328 - 330 ....................................................................... 17 7.2 Harris en die stasiebom pp 328 - 330 ......................................................................................... 18 7.3 Opmerking/Comment : HBH ....................................................................................................... 20 7. Wikipedia for July 1964 ................................................................................................................ 20 8. Bomb explodes at Johannesburg station ...................................................................................... 20 10.1 Vertolking .................................................................................................................................. 21 10.2 Interprettation .......................................................................................................................... 22 11. Indemity / Vrywaring ...................................................................................................................... 22 12 General HJ van den Bergh ................................................................................................................ 23 12 Volgende Uitgawe / Next Issue ........................................................................................................ 23 13. Conclusion / Slot ............................................................................................................................ 23

1. Om vrede te durf maak 2011-07 - 12 23:00

Jonathan Jansen

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Dit is verreweg die beste boek wat vanjaar gepubliseer is en ek sal baie verbaas wees as dit nie volgende jaar die Alan Paton-prys vir nie-fiksie verower nie. Dit is ’n storie wat die oorheersende verhaaltrant van die apartheidstryd daag: Dié van slegte wit teen goeie swart, van die bose apartheidstelsel teen die edele stryders, van klaarblyklike oortreders teen weerlose slagoffers. Ek praat van Hugh Lewin se verstommende Stones Against the Mirror, waarin ’n aangrypende verhaal vertel word van twee boesemvriende wat in die 1960’s besluit om deel van die stryd teen apartheid te word. Dit is ’n verhaal van vriendskap en verraad tussen ’n groter groep wit vriende, maar veral van die vriendskapsband tussen Lewin en Adrian Leftwich. Hulle word bevriend met nog ’n wit mens, John Harris, wat hul ooreengekome strategie van gewapende verset sonder om mense leed aan te doen die rug toekeer en in 1964 ’n bom op Parkstasie in Johannesburg plant wat die lewe van ’n bejaarde vrou eis en ander mense beseer. Harris het weens hierdie daad die eerste wit mens geword wat deur die apartheidsregime tereggestel is. Die vriende is deur die polisie vasgetrek en gemartel, al het hulle niks van Harris se bomplanne geweet nie. Trouens, sommige van hulle was in aanhouding ten tyde van die ontploffing. Die marteling het dae en nagte voortgeduur, gekleur met rassisme – die redenasie was dat wit opstandelinge Joods móés wees, al was hulle nie. Bekende name uit Suid-Afrika se martelkamers kom opnuut na vore, soos Johannes Viktor en Craig Williamson. Viktor skop Harris in die gesig en breek só sy kakebeen. Die marteling laat een aangehoudene swig. Leftwich verraai Lewin, wat tronk toe gestuur word. In ruil daarvoor word Leftwich vrygelaat. Die verhaal begin en eindig met die besluit van die twee vriende – ná meer as 40 jaar van woede en bitterheid by Lewin en skaamte en skuld by Leftwich – om die weg van versoening en vergifnis te volg. Lewin begin sy boek met sy treinreis vir die ontmoeting en dit voel vir die leser of die trein nooit sy bestemming gaan bereik nie namate die skrywer ’n lang ompad deur ’n taamlik onbekende deel van ons geskiedenis volg. ’n Groot deel van ons openbare geskiedenis spring van swart weerstand in Sharpeville in 1960 na Soweto in 1976, sodat daardie oomblik van gekheid in 1964 en die impak daarvan op wit teenstanders van apartheid ten minste in diepte onvertel bly. In dié opsig verryk Stones Against the Mirror die opgetekende geskiedenis van die apartheidstryd. Ná meer as 40 jaar kry die tweeling – soos een die ander genoem het – mekaar op ’n stasie en die pynlike proses van versoening begin. “Ek is jammer oor wat ek in 1964 gedoen het,” sê die verraaier. “Dis lank gelede,” sê die vriend. Albei word bevry van woede en skaamte. Hul vriendskap herstel.

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Wat die verhaal van dié twee mans bewys, is dat dit wel moontlik is om vergifnis, genesing en versoening te vind. Maar wat Lewin se verhaal ook doen, is om te wys hoe kwesbaar ons almal in die beproewende tye van die stryd was en hoe kwesbaar ons steeds is. Ons almal, selfs dié wat die toegewydste aan ’n lofwaardige saak is, kan swig onder druk en in die proses vriende en familie verraai. Dit is maklik om die boosheid te veroordeel van diegene wat apartheid verdedig het, maar Stones Against the Mirror wys hoe maklik dit was om die grens tussen reg en verkeerd en tussen solidariteit en verraad te oorskry. As ons politici maar net iets van dié nederigheid en kwesbaarheid oor die verlede geopenbaar het. As meer vriende en families wat in die jare van die apartheidstryd verdeel is, die durf sou hê om met die gewelddadige verlede vrede te maak. Dit sou dalk net ons woede en prikkelbaarheid temper wanneer ons voor die gruwels van die nuwe Suid-Afrika te staan kom.

2. STIGTING VIR GELYKHEID VOOR DIE REG EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW Derdeweg 129 Montana 0129 Tel: 012 - 548 823

Faks: 012–548850

Die Redakteur

FOUNDATION FOR

129 Third Road Montana 0129 Tel: 012 – 548 9823 Fax: 012 – 548 9850

14 Julie 2011.

BEELD Na aanleiding van u berig “OM VREDE TE DURF MAAK” WAT in die Beeld van 12 Julie 2011 verskyn het, vertrou ek dat u in belang van billike en ewewigtige beriggewing ook die volgende kommentaar sal plaas. Ek het kennis geneem van die kommentaar wat reeds deur middel van die Internet gelewer is, waar die meeste gebreke in die professor se kommentaar

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reeds aan die kaak gestel word, maar ongelukkig het ‘n groot getal lesers van Beeld nie daarin insae nie. Professor Jansen het klaarblyklik, soos sommige akademici en lede van die media graag doen as dit hulle pas, Hugh Lewin se boek “Stones Against the Mirror” as evangelie aanvaar sonder om die minste moeite te doen om hulle enigsins van die ware feite te vergewis. Die eerste belangrike feit wat verontagsaam, word is dat daar ‘n hof relaas bestaan waarin getuienis wat in die openbaar onder eed afgelê is, geboekstaaf is en op grond waarvan John Harris tot die dood veroordeel is, Generaal Johan Viktor, toe ‘n luitenant, het saam met luitenant Willem van der Merwe die ondervraging van Hugh Lewin gedoen. Bo en behalwe dat Hugh Lewin genoem het dat John Harris die enigste lid van hulle organisasie was wat nog op vrye voet verkeer het, het Lewin ook besonderhede verstrek oor springstof wat in die noordelike voorstede van Johannesburg versteek was. Luitenante Viktor en Van der Merwe het op die springstof beslag gelê en by die springstof ‘n boekie gekry waarin John Harris die tydstip waarop die bom op die stasie sou ontplof, aangeteken het. Soos dit tydens die verhoor van John Harris baie duidelik deur verskeie getuies onder eed bevestig is, het generaal Viktor nooit John Harris ondervra of hom enigsins tydens sy aanhouding gehanteer nie. Die bewering dat generaal Viktor John Harris in die gesig geskop en sy kakebeen gebreek het, is ‘n growwe leuen. Ek wonder of professor Jansen se morele oorwegings so sterk is dat hy die moeite sal doen om die hof relaas te raadpleeg en generaal Viktor om verskoning te vra vir die leuen wat hy, moontlik onbewus van die ware feite, die wêreld ingestuur het. Die volgende feite word ook uit die oog verloor, doelbewus verontagsaam of kwaadwillig verdraai :  Die RSA was vir drie dekades in 'n verwoede terreurstryd gewikkel waar die ANC en ander rewolusionêre organisasies die regering met geweld omver wou werp.  Motorkarbomme, landmyne, kleefmyne en ander ploftoestelle het op 'n gereelde grondslag ontplof en weerlose persone, van alle rassegroepe wat vrouens en kinders ingesluit het, is gedood of gru vermink en die gemeenskap sodoende daagliks bedreig. Kleefmyne in Wimpy restaurante en ploftoestelle in vullishouers of terreuraanvalle waar persone voor die voet afgemaai kan word, ongeag of dit vrouens of kinders is, was daagliks 'n wesentlike bedreiging. Sekere winkelsentra het veiligheidswagte gehad om alle plastiese sakke en houers te deursoek alvorens klante tot 'n winkel toegelaat is. Die Kerkstraatbomvoorval en die St. James kerkvoorval was kenmerkend van die roekelose en barbaarse wyse waarop rewolusionêre organisasies die stryd gevoer het. Mnr. Mandela het openlik na aanleiding van die Kerkstraatbom erken dat die ANC aanvaar het dat die stryd weerlose persone as slagoffers mag eis. Druk uit alle oorde is daagliks op die polisie, veral die veiligheidstak geplaas om die gemeenskap teen hierdie bedreiging te beskerm. Oënskynlik onthou niemand meer die standpunte wat in daardie jare deur 5


die regering, media, kerk en samelewing gehuldig is dat die terreurvoorvalle tot elke prys gestuit moes word nie.  Polisielede is deur die ANC as harde teikens beskou en aanvalle op lede en hulle gesinne het gereeld voorgekom. Veral swart lede wat in swart woonbuurtes gewoon het was daagliks blootgestel aan hierdie gevaar. In sekere gebiede moes swart lede en hulle gesinne in tente in veilige gebiede buite die swart woonbuurte gehuisves word om hulle teen die aanslag van die ANC te beskerm. Gedurende die tydperk 1973 tot 1990 is 346 polisielede in die rewolusionêre stryd vermoor.  Waar daar die geringste vermoede bestaan het dat 'n persoon inligting aan die polisie verstrek het of met die polisie saamgewerk het, is so 'n persoon as 'n “colaborator” gebrandmerk en op die mees onmenslike en barbaarse wyse met die sogenaamde halssnoermetode lewendig verbrand. Gedurende die tydperk 1/9/84 tot 31/3/93 is 505 persone, uitsluitlik lede van die swart gemeenskap, lewendig deur die halssnoermetode verbrand. 36 Persone wat betyds gered kon word, het ernstige brandwonde opgedoen.. In dieselfde tydperk is 710 persone, weereens slegs lede van die swart gemeenskap, lewendig verbrand en 320 het ernstige brandwonde opgedoen.  Mev. Winnie Mandela het openlik in die openbaar verklaar dat hulle die halssnoermetode sal gebruik om die land te bevry, en verskeie lede van die ANC is weens halssnoermoorde gevonnis. Met agting

Johan Botha Voorsitter: Stigting vir Gelykheid voor die Reg.

3. PRESS STATEMENT BY THE FOUNDATION FOR EQAULITY BEFORE THE LAW On 12 July 2011 the Beeld published a review by Professor Jonathan Jansen under the heading “OM VREDE TE DURF MAAK” about the book of Hugh Lewin, “Stones against the Mirror”, which contained not only unbalanced and unfair comments but also a blatant lie. In his review professor Jansen commented inter alia as follows: “It is a story that challenges the dominant narrative of the anti-apartheid struggle - that of evil white against good black, of the wicked apartheid system against noble warriors, of clear-cut perpetrators against defenceless victims” Professor Jansen further mentioned in is review that Viktor (General Johan Viktor) kicked John Harris in the face and broke his jawbone. This is not only a blatant lie but also slander in the extreme sense of the word. Besides that, the review was based on the contents of the book which the professor without more ado accepted as the truth. This is a common phenomenon in the ranks of certain academics and members of the media where the information suits their particular view.

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The foundation sent the attached letter to the Beeld on 14 July 2011 by email to correct the unbalanced and unfair comments in the review as well as the blatant lie that General Johan Viktor kicked John Harris in the face and broke his jawbone. The Beeld did not publish the letter and on 21 July 2011 the foundation sent a letter to the Editor of the Beeld to enquire whether the Beeld intended to publish the letter in the interest of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality and fairness. To this date the Editor did not have the decency to reply to the latest letter of the foundation. While various members of the media may have differences with regard to the publishing of letters, most of them share common elements including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public. It is obvious that the Beeld does not share these principles and is completely indifferent with regard to the dissemination of a blatant lie to the public. The following facts are stated to correct the one-sided, unbalanced and unfair information contained in the review of professor Jansen and also to expose the blatant lie that General Johan Viktor kicked John Harris in the face and broke his jawbone, and the foundation is prepared to prove these facts in any court of law : According to evidence given under oath at the trial of John Harris and recorded in the court record, general Johan Viktor, who was a lieutenant in the Security Branch at the time, never interrogated John Harris during his detention. He was at no stage assaulted by General Johan Viktor.  Lieutenant Johan Viktor and Lieutenant Willem van der Merwe interrogated Hugh Lewin about the explosion on the Johannesburg Railway Station. 23 People were seriously injured, included an elderly women and baby daughter. The elderly woman died shortly after the incident as a result of the wounds sustained. During the interrogation Lewin divulged that John Harris was the only member of their Organisation, the Armed Resistance Movement, not in detention. Lewin also gave details of explosives hidden in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Lieutenants Viktor and Van der Merwe found the explosives together with a notebook kept by John Harris in which he recorded the time that the explosive device would have exploded at the Johannesburg Railway station. The following facts are lost sight of, consciously disregarded or maliciously distorted: For more than three decades the RSA was subjected to a fierce struggle marked by deeds of terror through which the ANC and other revolutionary organisations attempted to take over the Government.  Car-bombs, landmines, limpet mines and other explosive devices exploded on a regular basis and defenceless people – men, women and children - were killed or horribly maimed and the community faced a constant threat. Limpet mines in Wimpy Restaurants and explosive devices in refuse containers or terror attacks, in which persons might be mowed down indiscriminately, irrespective of whether they were men, women or children, were a real daily threat. The Church Street Bombexplosion and the attack on the St James Church were characteristic of the reckless 7


and barbaric way in which the revolutionary groups conducted the struggle. Pressure was mounted on the police from all sides, especially on the Security Branch, to safeguard the community at large from these attacks. After the Church Street Bomb-explosion Mr. Mandela openly admitted that the ANC accepted the fact that defenceless people may be killed in such incidents. Members of the South African Police Force were regarded as ‘hard targets” and attacks on members and their families became a frequent event. Black members of the force, especially those living in black townships, lived under constant threat. In some areas black policemen had to be housed in tents in secure areas in order to safeguard them against attack from the ANC. From 1973 to 1990 more than 346 members of the force were killed in the revolutionary onslaught.  Where the slightest suspicion existed that anyone had given information to the police or cooperated with the police in any way, that such person was branded a collaborator and collaborators were burned alive using the most inhuman and barbaric method known as the ‘necklace method’. During the period 1 September 1984 to 31 March 1993, 505 persons, exclusively members of the black community, were burned alive by the necklace method. 36 persons, whom they were able to rescue in time, were severely burnt. During the same period, 710 persons, once again solely members of the black community were burnt alive by other methods while 320 received serious burns. This all but destroyed the ability of the police to obtain information from the black community or to get people to give evidence against members of Umkhonto we Sizwe or other revolutionary organisations. As a result the legal processes available to the police became impotent. Even the declaration of a state of emergency and emergency regulations were insufficient to stop the terror.  Mrs. Winnie Mandela openly stated in public that they will use the necklace method to free the country and several members of the ANC had been convicted for necklace murders.

4. PERSVERKLARING DEUR DIE STIGTING NVIR GELYKHEID VOOR DIE REG Op 12 Julie 2011 het die Beeld ‘n resensie deur professor Jonathan Jansen onder die opskrif ‘OM VREDE TE DURF MAAK” wat handel oor die boek van Hugh Lewin “Stones Against the Mirror”,

gepubliseer waarin op ‘n eensydige, onewewigtige en onbillike wyse

kommentaar gelewer word en daarbenewens ook ‘n flagrante leuen opgedis word. In sy resensie maak professor Jansen onder andere die volgende stelling : “. Dit is ’n storie wat die oorheersende verhaaltrant van die apartheidstryd daag: Dié van slegte wit teen goeie swart, van die bose apartheidstelsel teen die edele stryders, van klaarblyklike oortreders teen weerlose slagoffers” Die professor meld verder dat Viktor (generaal Johan Viktor) John Harris in die gesig geskop en sy kakebeen gebreek het wat nie slegs ‘n flagrante leuen is nie, maar ook lasterlik in die ergste sin van die woord is. Die Stigting het na aanleiding van die resensie op 14 Julie 2011 per e-pos die aangehegte skrywe aan die Beeld gerig. 8


Aangesien die skrywe nie geplaas is nie, het die Stigting op 21 Julie 2011 ‘n skrywe per e-pos aan die redeakteur persoonlik gerig om te verneem of die Beeld voornemens is om die skrywe te plaas.

Die redakteur se aandag is daarop gevestig dat dit in belang van

ewewigtige, onpartydige en billike verslaggewing nodig is dat die feite geplaas behoort te word en daarbenewens ‘n flagrante leuen reg te stel. Tot op datum van hierdie verklaring het die Beeld nie die hoflikheid gehad om hom te verwerdig om op die skrywe te reageer nie. Ofskoon lede van die media verskillende beginsels het oor die plasing van briewe, onderskryf almal die beginsel dat verslaggewing billik, ewewigtig, gebalanseerd en die waarheid as grondslag moet hê en dat die media ‘n plig teenoor die gemeenskap het om hierdie beginsels te handhaaf.

Klaarblyklik het die Beeld geen sodanige beginsels nie en

skroom nie om ‘n flagrante leuen die wêreld in te stuur nie. Professor Jansen het klaarblyklik, soos sommige akademici en lede van die media graag doen as dit hulle pas, Hugh Lewin se boek “Stones Against the Mirror” as evangelie aanvaar sonder om die minste moeite te doen om hulle enigsins van die ware feite te vergewis. Die eerste belangrike feit wat verontagsaam, word is dat daar ‘n hof relaas bestaan waarin getuienis wat in die openbaar onder eed afgelê is, geboekstaaf is en op grond waarvan John Harris tot die dood veroordeel is, Die volgende feite word verstrek om die eensydige kommentaar, verdraaide feite en flagrante leuen wat in die resensie van professor Jonathan Jansen verskyn reg te stel en die Stigting is bereid om dit in enige geregshof te bewys: Generaal Johan Viktor, toe ‘n luitenant, het saam met luitenant Willem van der Merwe die ondervraging van Hugh Lewin oor die ontploffing op die Johannesburg spoorwegstasie gedoen. 23 Persone is tydens die ontploffing ernstig beseer met inbegrip van ‘n bejaarde vrou en ‘n babadogter. Die bejaarde vrou het kort daarna aan haar wonde beswyk. . Bo en behalwe dat Hugh Lewin genoem het dat John Harris die enigste lid van hulle organisasie was wat nog op vrye voet verkeer het, het Lewin ook besonderhede verstrek oor springstof wat in die noordelike voorstede van Johannesburg versteek was. Luitenante Viktor en Van der Merwe het op die springstof beslag gelê en by die springstof ‘n boekie gekry waarin John Harris die tydstip waarop die bom op die stasie sou ontplof, aangeteken het.  Soos dit tydens die verhoor van John Harris baie duidelik deur verskeie getuies onder eed bevestig is, het generaal Viktor nooit John Harris ondervra of hom enigsins tydens sy aanhouding gehanteer nie. Die bewering dat generaal Viktor John Harris in die gesig geskop en sy kakebeen gebreek het, is ‘n growwe leuen 

Die volgende feite word ook uit die oog verloor, doelbewus verontagsaam of kwaadwillig verdraai :

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 Die RSA was vir drie dekades in 'n verwoede terreurstryd gewikkel waar die ANC en ander rewolusionêre organisasies die regering met geweld omver wou werp Motorkarbomme, landmyne, kleefmyne en ander ploftoestelle het op 'n gereelde grondslag ontplof en weerlose persone, van alle rassegroepe wat mans,vrouens en kinders ingesluit het, is gedood of gru vermink en die gemeenskap sodoende daagliks bedreig. Kleefmyne in Wimpy restaurante en ploftoestelle in vullishouers of terreuraanvalle waar persone voor die voet afgemaai kan word, ongeag of dit vrouens of kinders is, was daagliks 'n wesentlike bedreiging. Sekere winkelsentra het veiligheidswagte gehad om alle plastiese sakke en houers te deursoek alvorens klante tot 'n winkel toegelaat is. Die Kerkstraatbomvoorval en die St. James kerkvoorval was kenmerkend van die roekelose en barbaarse wyse waarop rewolusionêre organisasies die stryd gevoer het. Mnr. Mandela het openlik na aanleiding van die Kerkstraatbomvoorval erken dat die ANC aanvaar het dat die stryd weerlose persone as slagoffers mag eis. Druk uit alle oorde is daagliks op die polisie, veral die veiligheidstak geplaas om die gemeenskap teen hierdie bedreiging te beskerm. Oënskynlik onthou niemand meer die standpunte wat in daardie jare deur die regering, media, kerk en samelewing gehuldig is dat die terreurvoorvalle tot elke prys gestuit moes word nie.  Polisielede is deur die ANC as harde teikens beskou en aanvalle op lede en hulle gesinne het gereeld voorgekom. Veral swart lede wat in swart woonbuurtes gewoon het was daagliks blootgestel aan hierdie gevaar. In sekere gebiede moes swart lede en hulle gesinne in tente in veilige gebiede buite die swart woonbuurte gehuisves word om hulle teen die aanslag van die ANC te beskerm. Gedurende die tydperk 1973 tot 1990 is 346 polisielede in die rewolusionêre stryd vermoor.  Waar daar die geringste vermoede bestaan het dat 'n persoon inligting aan die polisie verstrek het of met die polisie saamgewerk het, is so 'n persoon as 'n “colaborator” gebrandmerk en op die mees onmenslike en barbaarse wyse met die sogenaamde halssnoermetode lewendig verbrand. Gedurende die tydperk 1/9/84 tot 31/3/93 is 505 persone, uitsluitlik lede van die swart gemeenskap, lewendig deur die halssnoermetode verbrand. 36 Persone wat betyds gered kon word, het ernstige brandwonde opgedoen.. In dieselfde tydperk is 710 persone, weereens slegs lede van die swart gemeenskap, deur ander metodes lewendig verbrand en 320 het ernstige brandwonde opgedoen. Dit het tot gevolg gehad dat die polisie geen inligting uit die swart gemeenskap kon kry of hulle kon oorreed om teen lede van Umkhonto we Sizwe en ander rewolusionêre organisasies te getuig nie. Dit het die handhawing van wet en orde bykans lamgelê en selfs die verklaring van ‘n noodtoestand was onvoldoende om die terreur aan bande te lê.  Mev. Winnie Mandela het openlik in die openbaar verklaar dat hulle die halssnoermetode sal gebruik om die land te bevry, en verskeie lede van die ANC is weens halssnoermoorde gevonnis.

5 Background - Politicsweb 5.1 John Harris, Gordon Winter and the station bomb Piet Swanepoel and General Johann van der Merwe 10


07 September 2010 Piet Swanepoel and General Johann van der Merwe comment on the Harris case In late August Politicsweb published a review by Jeremy Gordin of David Beresford's new book "Truth is a Strange Fruit: A personal journey through the apartheid war." At the centre of the book is the story of John Harris of the African Resistance Movement who was hanged in 1965 for planting a bomb on the concourse of Johannesburg Station which killed one and injured others. This article provoked a response from all sides of the historical divide which Politicsweb extracted and published here. The question around the Harris bomb is whether he gave sufficient warning to the police to enable them to clear the station concourse, or not. In Inside Boss (1981) the former journalist and spy Gordon Winter said that in a private interview with him General HJ van den Bergh of BOSS had "admitted that the Railway Police had alerted him about the anonymous telephone call it had received at 4.18 saying a bomb had been planted. HJ had got this warning by 4.20 and had used his hot line to call Justice Minister John Vorster." Winter further claimed that JJ Viktor of the security branch had been responsible the brutal interrogation of Harris, which had left him with a broken jaw. This version is strongly disputed by Viktor and other former members of the security services. Politicsweb asked Pieter Swanepoel, formerly of Republican Intelligence and the National Intelligence Service and one of the commentators on Gordin's article, for his view of Winter's version of the events. This and a further comment on the case by former police commissioner General Johann van der Merwe were published in The Police Gazette: Un-official Newsletter for SAP-Veterans edited by Hennie Heymans. They follow below: 5.2 Comment by Mr Pieter Swanepoel (ex-RIS & NIS) and author of Really Inside Boss:

The fact that a lie has been repeated umpteen times does not make it "common cause". I prefer to believe general Viktor. You ask what the truth, as I see it, is about Harris and his warning about the bomb. Well to start with, it has always been my belief that a man who plants a bomb anywhere and then phones the Police to tell them about it, does so purely to attract the Police to the scene so that they will be the first to be destroyed. Gordon Winter, who wrote his book in 1981, claims to have known Harris well. He writes that evidence by a state witness that Harris was a violent man, was not true. "He was, in truth, a softie and dozens of his friends who live in Britain, will, I am sure, confirm it". Strangely enough, Winter allowed this softie friend to be tried and 11


never thought it prudent to offer this knowledge about him for the benefit of the court. Winter provides the following description about the placing of the bomb: "The court did not believe that Harris had only meant the bomb blast to be a symbolic protest which would be witnessed by hundreds of people safely herded outside a police cordon. The court was not interested in Harris's insistence that he had put two gallons of petrol in the bomb so that the cordoned-off crowd would witness a massive sheet of flame and would be able , as he put it, ‘to visualize it quite clearly'". Winter writes that the warning about the bomb was phoned to a senior official of the Johannesburg Railway Police at "just before eighteen minutes past four". He was told that the bomb was set to explode at 4.33p.m. In other words the Police would have to clear the concourse within 15 minutes. Could any "softie" in his right mind think that the police would necessarily believe the warning from an anonymous person, and understand it? Remember the warning was in English and most railway policemen were Afrikaans-speaking. Winter claims that the evidence heard at the trial that the bomb was placed under a bench was incorrect. He claimed that the girl, Glynnis Burleigh, wrote a book about the experience in 1974. She wanted publicity for the book and Winter writes that he took her to the spot where she was when the bomb exploded and had a photo of her taken. She showed him that the bomb had in fact been placed right out in the open, "but this evidence came far too late to save John Harris". Winter claims that he wrote a story about the matter. It was published in the Johannesburg Sunday Express on 15 December 1974. (It would be interesting to read that story. Could you get hold of it for us?). The truth, as I see it, was that Harris was an unfeeling and reckless person. His fellow members of the African Resistance Movement had all been arrested on the 4th of July 1964 or had fled the country and he was probably motivated by a desire to ‘outshine' them. In the event they went out of their way to make him into a hero. In my research book "The New African" I included five pages of quotes from that journal in which they tried to do that. The tragedy (for all the parties at that time), about Harris, was that he was not a communist, he was not an Africanist, he was not black, a liberal, who, with his associates, were all united in a strange desire to crush the Boers. The fact that they were financed by the CIA to publish their journal will always serve as an impediment to include them in the ranks of those who were the heroes of the "struggle".

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5.3 Comment by General Johann van der Merwe (former commissioner of police): In the case of the Johannesburg bomb incident where 22 persons were seriously injured, including one baby daughter who sustained serious burn wounds, and an elderly lady killed, the following facts are not disputed: (a) The suitcase containing the explosives and timing device device had been left on the new Johannesburg Railway station by John Harris in a place where the explosion would have caused massive death, injuries and destruction. (b) The explosive device in the suitcase was timed to go off at 16h33. At approximately 16h18 a person phoned the Rand Daily Mail and the "Die Transvaler" and informed them about the suitcase containing the explosive device left at the new Johannesburg Railway Station and which was timed to explode at 16h33 (c) Harris was found guilty and sentenced to death. Subsequently deliberate and malicious lies were published to the effect that the Security Branch and General Hendrik van den Bergh were aware of the suitcase containing the explosive device and that they wilfully failed to take any steps to prevent ent the explosion in an effort to manipulate the incident for political ends. Apart from the fact that during the trial of John Harris no shred of evidence was submitted to substantiate these wild allegations, the stupidity of the allegations is clearly emphasized mphasized by the followings facts: (a) If the intention of John Harris was that this incident should serve merely as a symbolic act of protest against apartheid he would not have used real explosives. (b) If, further, the intention was that only the Railway y Stationed should be damaged, there were several other options which would have excluded the killing and maiming

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of innocent civilians. (c) The mere fact that the Rand Daily Mail and "Die Transvaler" were phoned only 15 minutes before the explosion clearly indicates that there was no intention whatsoever that the explosive device should be defused before the time set for the explosion. It is quite obvious that this was a cold blooded, calculated and barbaric act to draw members of the police, whether it is Railway or South African Police, to the scene so that they could also be killed or maimed in the explosion. This was a well known technique of Umkhonto we Sizwe and members of Mkhonto we Sizwe substantiated this fact during the TRC process. General Johan Viktor, at the time of the incident a lieutenant in the Security Branch, never interrogated John Harris. Johan Harris had been interrogated by General Gerrit Erasmus, at that stage also a lieutenant in the Security Branch. These facts are being substantiated by General Erasmus and several of the former members of the Security Branch who had been involved in the investigation of this incident. It is once again obvious that in all the instances where wild allegations are being made at this stage, the persons responsible for these allegations either are completely ignorant about the facts or otherwise are fabricating these allegations in such a clumsy and inept manner that only a lunatic will believe it. Source: The Police Gazette: Un-official Newsletter for SAP-Veterans, Vol 1 No. 14, September 5 2010 1

1

http://issuu.com/hennieheymans/docs/1-14

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6. Death and Scarred for Life! 2

2

Picture credits: Strydom, L: Rivonia Masker Af, Voortrekker Pers, 1964 – including photographs on page 13 and 14.

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7. The History of the South African Police 1913 – 1988 / Die Geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie 1913 – 1988

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7.1 Harris and the bomb at the station pp 328 - 330 Following the verdict in the Rivonia case on 11 June 1964, the Republic was rocked by a spate of bomb attacks. The Police soon established that the majority of these attacks were perpetrated by an organisation known as the African Resistance Movement, which concentrated mainly on blowing up electric power stations and railway installations by means of explosives and mechanical devices. The African Resistance Movement consisted mainly of white university students with radical political and communistic views and was extremely hostile to the Government. On 4 July 1964 the first members of this movement were arrested for acts of sabotage and the Security Branch commenced investigations, armed with only the scantiest information concerning the organisation's numerical strength and activities. On Friday, 24 July 1964, anonymous telephone calls were received by a few newspapers in Johannesburg intimating that a bomb had been planted somewhere on the Johannesburg Railway Station and would explode within minutes. Despite hurried efforts to pass the information on to the Police, the news was received too late. At precisely 16h33 a time bomb comprising eight sticks of dynamite, a can of petrol and a time mechanism in a suitcase exploded in the main concourse of the Johannesburg Station. It was the rush hour, and 23 passers-by were seriously burnt and injured. One 77-year-old woman, Mrs Ethel Rhys, subsequently died and her 12-year-old grandchild, Glynnis Burleigh, was permanently disfigured. The explosion was so powerful that it tore a hole in the concrete wall covered with mosaic tiles. It was unquestionably the most shocking act of sabotage perpetrated in South Africa up to that time. Investigating officers and senior officers of the Security Branch arrived on the scene shortly after the explosion and commenced their investigation as soon as the injured had been attended to and removed to hospital. /.../ When Minister Vorster arrived at the scene he was assured that the guilty party would be arrested before midnight that very same day. In a subsequent press release, Mr Vorster stated: "We are confronted by people who have no conscience. The full power of the law will be brought to bear to bring them before the court. My confidence in the South African Police is such that I do not doubt that the persons responsible will be apprehended. " At approximately 23h00 the same evening the Police arrested John Harris, a 27-year-old white school teacher in Johannesburg, at his home in Hamberg near Roodepoort. He was taken to The Grays, the Security Branch Johannesburg Headquarters, for interrogation and broke down when confronted by Brigadier Van den Bergh. His guilt was subsequently confirmed when the Police searched his home and found all the necessary material to manufacture a bomb similar to the one that had exploded at the Johannesburg Station. /... On 11 September 1964, Harris was charged with the murder of Mrs Rhys and two charges of sabotage, and the trial commenced in the Palace of Justice, Pretoria, on 21 September of that 17


same year. Despite pleading that he was mentally disturbed at the time he had committed his crime, Harris was found guilty in the Supreme Court on 6 November 1964 and sentenced to death on a charge of murder. Although at the time of his arrest the Police had had very little evidence against him, irrefutable evidence of his guilt had been unearthed by their thorough and efficient investigations. Harris had perpetrated his despicable deed in the full knowledge that people could lose their lives and had in fact delayed making anonymous telephone calls to the press to ensure that there would not be sufficient time to inform the Police and defuse the bomb. Following the rejection of an appeal by Harris against his sentence, only a successful plea to the State President could save him from hanging. Harris' wife, Ann, and her father-in-law drew up a petition and desperately attempted to get people to sign it but in the entire Johannesburg they managed to collect barely 360 signatures. Attempts at a reprieve proved fruitless and in the end Harris paid with his life for his dastardly crime. He was executed on 1 April 1965. His cowardly deed was condemned by all and sundry, including the Government, the Opposition, the Press, the Church and the general public of all races, all of whom had been at risk because of the contemptible deed perpetrated by Harris and his Communist collaborators. When the new police station at Colesberg was officially opened on 9 October 1964, Minister Vorster availed himself of the opportunity to announce that, thanks to the action of the South African Police sabotage and terrorism in the Republic was a thing of the past. The Police, however, had not yet eliminated all subversive elements in the country, nor taken action against them. The leaders of the South African Communist Party, in particular, had not yet been detained, and the Police were aware of their activities. Action thus had to be taken against subversive elements with all speed in order to safeguard the Republic against further acts of sabotage. At the beginning of 1965, therefore, the situation was that while the public was convinced that sabotage and terrorism was a thing of the past, the Police were fully aware of the fact that Communist leaders were still on the loose and active in the Republic. The end, however, was almost in sight. On 11 January 1965 the 90 Days clause in the General Law Amendment Act was suspended. Harris en die Stasiebom

7.2 Harris en die stasiebom pp 328 - 330 Na die Rivonia-uitspraak op 11 Junie 1964 het 'n vlaag bomaanvalle in die Republiek voorgekom en die polisie het spoedig vasgestel dat 'n organisasie bekend as die" African Resistance Movement" vir die dade van sabotasie, hoofsaaklik van elektriese kragtorings en spoorweginstallasies, verantwoordelik is. Daar is veral van plofstowwe en tydmeganismes gebruik gemaak. Die "African Resistance Movement" het hoofsaaklik bestaan uit Blanke universiteitstudente, wat polities radikaal van die Regering van die Republiek verskil het en noue kommunistiese bande nagestreef het.64 Op 4 Julie 1964 is die eerste lede van die" African Resistance Movement" vir hul aandeel aan die dade van sabotasie aangekeer. Met die aanvang van die operasie het die lede van die Veiligheidstak oor uiters geringe inligting 18


aangaande die organisasie se ledetal en hul doen en late beskik. Op Vrydag, 24 Julie 1964, het 'n paar koerante in Johannesburg anonieme telefoonoproepe ontvang met die strekking dat 'n bom iewers op Johannesburg se spoorwegstasie geplant is en binne enkele minute sou ontplof. Hoewel haastige pogings aangewend is om die polisie betyds in kennis te stel, was dit te laat. Om presies 16h33 het 'n tydbom, wat onder meer bestaan het uit agt dinamietkerse, 'n kan petrol en 'n tydmeganisme wat in 'n reistas in die groot ontvangsaal van die stasie geplaas is, ontplof. In totaal het 23 mense, wat gedurende die spitstyd in die omgewing van die reistas was, ernstige brand- en ander wonde opgedoen, as gevolg waarvan die 77-jarige mevrou Ethel Rhys later beswyk het, terwyl haar 12-jarige kleindogter, Glynnis Burleigh, lewenslank geskend is. Die ontploffing was so geweldig dat 'n gat uit die mosaiekbeklede betonmuur geruk is. Dit was sonder twyfel die skokkendste daad van sabotasie wat Suid-Afrika tot op daardie tydstip belewe het. Kort na die ontploffing het etlike ondersoekbeamptes, insluitende senior offisiere van die Veiligheidstak, op die toneel toegesak en nadat aan die beseerdes die nodige hulp verleen en hulle verwyder is, is daar begin met die ondersoek in 'n poging om die verantwoordelike persoon of persone aan die man te bring/ .../ Met Minister Vorster se aankoms op die toneel het hy die versekering gekry dat die skuldige dieselfde dag, voor middernag in arres sou wees. Minister Vorster het hom daarna in 'n persverklaring soos volg uitgelaat: "Ons word gekonfronteer deur mense sonder gewete en die volle krag van die reg sal toegepas word om die skuldiges voor die hof te bring. My vertroue in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie is sodanig dat ek nie twyfel dat diegene wat skuldig is gevind sal word nie. "65 Om ongeveer 23:00 dieselfde aand is die 27-jarige Blanke onderwyser van Johannesburg, John Harris, in sy huis in Hamberg, naby Roodepoort, in hegtenis geneem en na "The Grays", die Veiligheidstak se hoofkwartier in die stad, geneem waar hy ondervra is. Gekonfronteer deur brigadier Van den Bergh het Harris in duie gestort. Sy skuld was bevestig toe die polisie sy huis deursoek en al die materiaal om 'n bom te vervaardig, soos die een wat op die stasie ontplof het, daar gevind het. /... Op 11 September 1964 is Harris weens moord op mevrou Rhys en twee aanklagte van sabotasie aangekla en op 21 September 1964 het die hofsaak in die Paleis van Justisie, Pretoria, 'n aanvang geneem. Ten spyte van sy pleidooi dat hy geestelik versteur was ten tye van die pleeg van die daad, is hy op 6 November 1964 in die Hooggeregshof ter dood veroordeel op die aanklag van moord. Hoewel die polisie op die dag van sy arrestasie nog,oor uiters min getuienis teen hom beskik het, het hulle met onvermoeide en doeltreffende ondersoek 'n onwrikbare saak teen Harris opgebou. Hy het sy verwerplike daad gepleeg met die volle wete dat mense kon sterf en selfs seker gemaak dat daar, na sy telefoonoproepe aan die koerante, nie voldoende tyd sou wees om die polisie in kennis te stel en die bom onskadelik te stel nie. Nadat Harris teen sy vonnis geappelleer het en sy appel verwerp is, kon net 'n suksesvolle 19


pleidooi aan die Staatspresident hom nog van die galg red. Sy vrou, Ann Harris, en haar skoonvader het 'n petisie opgetrek en desperaat rondgesoek vir mense om dit te onderteken, dog in Johannesburg kon hulle beswaarlik 360 handtekeninge kry. Alle pogings om Harris te begenadig was vrugteloos en sy gewetenlose gruweldaad het hom sy lewe gekos. Op I April 1965 is Harris vir sy misdaad gehang. Sy lafhartige daad is allerweĂŤ deur die Regering, die Opposisie, die pers, die kerk en die algemene publiek van alle rasse, wat een en almal aan Harris en sy kommunistiese meelopers se verwerplike dade blootgestel is, verdoem. Met die opening van die nuwe polisiestasie op Colesberg op 9 Oktober 1964 het Minister Vorster die geleentheid benut om aan te kondig dat sabotasie en terrorisme in die Republiek tot die verlede behoort, danksy die optrede van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie.66 Die polisie het egter nog nie alle ondermyners uit die gemeenskap verwyder of teen hulle opgetree nie. Veral die leiers van die Kommunistiese Party van Suid-Afrika was nog op vrye voet en die Mag was van hulle handelinge bewus. Ten einde die Republiek volkome sabotasie-vry te maak, sou daar heel spoedig teen die ondermyners opgetree moes word. So het 1965 aangebreek - met die publiek se siening dat sabotasie en terreur iets van die verlede is en met die polisie se wete dat die kommunistiese leierskader steeds in die land aan die konkel was. Die einde was egter naby. Op 11 Januarie 1965 is die 90-dae klousule van die Algemene Regswysigingswet opgeskort.

7.3 Opmerking/Comment : HBH Volgens lede van die Veiligheidstak het Hugh Lewin die besonderhede oor die springstof verstrek voor Harris se arrestasie. According to members of the Security Branch, Hugh Lewin provided particulars of the explosive before Harris's arrest.

7. Wikipedia for July 1964 •

•

24 July - Frederick John Harris, a schoolteacher, explodes a bomb at Park Station (Johannesburg's main railway station) killing Ethel Rhys, a 77 year old woman and injuring 23 others Nelson Mandela is awarded the Joliot-Curie Gold Medal for Peace3

8. Bomb explodes at Johannesburg station Date: 24 July, 1964 A time bomb placed in the Johannesburg railway station exploded during the evening rush hours. The explosion resulted in the death of one person and severe injuries to more than twenty others, including Ms Clasina Vogel. Ms Vogel was severely injured with burn wounds to her body, hands, legs, face and head, shrapnel wounds to her legs and burst eardrums. It later emerged that Frederick John Harris, a teacher and member of the African

3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_in_South_Africa

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Resistance Movement (ARM), was responsible for this incident. He was charged with murder and two counts of sabotage. Harris was convicted by Mr Justice Ludorf and sentenced to death.4

10.1 Vertolking Dit is opvallend dat wanneer dit oor die konflik van die verlede gaan die mees weersinwekkendste en afskuwelike gruweldade wat sogenaamd in die stryd teen apartheid gepleeg is gepleeg is, verontskuldig of versluier word. Die ploftoestelsel wat John Harris op die spoorwegstasie in Johannesburg geplaas het, was volgens plaaslike of internasionale reg ‘n daad van terreur wat teen weerlose persone gerig was en inderdaad weerlose persone getref het. Die lotgevalle van slagoffers wat in baie gevalle wreed vermink en geskend die letsels vir die res van hulle lewe moet dra, word heeltemal misken. Generaal Chris Serfontein meld dat hy ‘n jong konstabel in Johannesburg was en na die voorval op die stasie weer met sommige van die slagoffers te doen gehad het.

Die

brandwonde wat die slagoffers opgedoen het wat in sekere gevalle hulle gelaatstrekke ernstige geskend het en die lyding wat hulle moes verduur, het hom so diep getref dat hy met afgryse vervul was oor die weersinwekkende daad. Generaal Serfontein meld ook dat professor Jansen se stelling dat John Harris die eerste wit mens was wat deur die apartheidsregime tereggestel was, ‘n skokkende gebrek onkunde die verlede openbaar. Daar was voor John Harris verskeie ander wit mense tereggestel, hetsy weens gewone moorde of politieke dade. John Harris was weliswaar die eerste wit mens wat weens ‘n terreurdaad waar weerlose persone die slagoffers was, tereggestel is. Die harde werklikheid is ongelukkig dat persepsies meer gewig dra as feite en dat die Stigting vir Gelykheid teen die Reg ‘n ongelyke stryd voer om feite te laat seëvier en eensydige, onbillike en leuenagtige verslaggewing reg te stel. ‘n Mens sou in alle billikheid verwag dat die Beeld indien hy nie saamstem met die feite wat die Stigting verstrek het nie, dit sou weerlê. Die indruk ontstaan onwillekeurig dat waar dit ‘n lid van die voormalige veiligheidstak van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiemag raak, die Beeld enige beswaddering sal publiseer wat met hulle persepsies strook. Die feite wat deur die Stigting verstrek is, kan in enige hof bewys word. Derhalwe is dit noodsaaklik dat alle moontlike middele gebruik moet word en dat almal wat waarde aan die waarheid heg, sal help om die leuens en verdraaiings aan die kaak te stel en die feite so wyd as moontlik sal versprei.

4

http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/bomb-explodes-johannesburg-station

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10.2 Interprettation It is conspicuous that whenever it concerns the conflict of the past the most gruesome and revolting atrocities committed in the so-called struggle against apartheid are lightly regarded, covered up or excused. The explosive device which John Harris place on the railway station in Johannesburg was in terms of local or international law a deed of terror aimed against defenceless people which in fact eventually struck defenceless people.

The sufferings of victims in many cases

brutality maimed or crippled with which they are burdened for the rest of their lives are complete disregarded. General Chris Serfontein mentioned that he was a young constable in Johannesburg at the time of the explosion on the railway station and after the incident encountered some of the victims. The burns which some of the victims sustained which mutilated their features and the consequent suffering struck him deeply and filled him with horror for the abhorrent deed. General Serfontein also remarked that the submission of Professor Jansen that John Harris was the first white person condemned to death by the apartheids regime disclosed shocking ignorance regarding the past. Several white persons were sentenced to death before Johan Harris whether for common murders or political deeds. It is however true that John Harris was the first white person condemned for an act of terror where defenceless people were the victims. The hard reality, however is that perceptions carried more weight than facts and that the Foundation for Equality Before the law has an almost impossible task to rectify one-sided, unfair and untruthful publications. One would have expected in all fairness that if the Beeld did not agree with the facts furnished by the Foundation, that they would have refuted such facts. The impression is created involuntarily that whenever it concerns a member of the former Security Branch the Beeld will publish any details which besmirched these former members if it is in line with the perceptions of the Beeld. The facts that the Foundation submitted to the Beeld can be proved in any court of law. It is therefore important that all means should be utilised to establish the truth and to expose deliberate lies and distortions and disseminate the facts as wide as possible,

11. Indemity / Vrywaring The e-Nongqai contains various and sundry personal opinions of different correspondents and the compiler of e-Nongqai cannot be held responsible for any of their comments.

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Die e-Nongqai bevat die uiteenlopende en diverse persoonlike menings van verskillende korrespondente en die opsteller van e-Nongqai kan nie vir enige deel van die inhoud daarvan in sy persoonlike hoedanigheid verantwoordelik gehou word nie.

12 General HJ van den Bergh

12 Volgende Uitgawe / Next Issue Begin van September 2011 / Beginning of September 2011

13. Conclusion / Slot Greetings / Groete Salute! Saluut! Hennie Heymans 23


eNONGQAI Vol 2 no 8A