Tales from Dystopia II: Enemies of the State
A few years ago a shortlived South African newspaper, This Day, published a list of Enemies of the Apartheid State.
The South African archives had discovered and catalogued some of the files that the government kept on people they regarded as enemies of the state. This Day published the list in several successive issues, and I kept them for reference.
A couple of years later I went to the archives and asked for my own file. I was enemy of the state number 1658. I looked through it and began making notes on it, then decided it was too much, and asked for the whole thing to be photocopied, which cost R160, and bought two ring binder files to keep it in. A friend of mine, John Aitchison, also got a copy of his file, and we compared notes. The files give a fascinating insight into the way in which the apartheid government regarded its opponents, and different perceptions of reality. It was interesting to see how much of the information was accurate, and how much inaccurate, and the language that they used, and the thought processes of the bureaucrats dwelling in that Kafkaesque world.
The Security Police (sometimes called the Special Branch, Security Branch or just the SB) kept files on most known opponents of the apartheid regime, but these are not those files. I suspect that most of the SB files were shredded in the run-up to the first democratic elections in 1994. The files that survived are those of the Department of Justice, and consist of correspondence between the Department of Justice and other bodies (mostly the SB) on the people on whom the files were kept, and they consist mainly of reports from the SB to the Minister of Justice, and requests from the SB that people be banned.
Recently I looked at the pile of fading newspapers containing the lists, and thought I would type them into a database. They were in roughly alphabetical order in the newspapers, but some people I knew had been banned seemed to be missing. Now I have finished the typing. I’ve tagged the people on the list that I knew, however slightly, and also added notes about organisations that they belonged to, where I had that information.
After finishing the typing, I realised that quite a lot were missing from the lists. Perhaps the typesetters at This Day found it too boring a task, and skipped some. There are 5051 files, but the references go up to 8418, so several files are missing.
It looks as though the files began to be kept with the passing of the Supression of Communism Act in 1950, because most of the low numbered files are those of communists.
Andrews, W.H 3 Bunting, B.P 4 Carneson, Fred 7 Dadoo, Y.M. (Dr) 15 du Plessis, Daniel Johannes 10 Fischer, Abram 17 Harmel, Michael 9 Kahn, Sam 5 Kotane, M. 2 La Guma, J. 6 Mofutsanyana, E.T 12 Roberts, William John Sydney 20 Slovo, J 19 Watts, H. (Berstein, H.) 18 Wolfson, Israel 13
Then, presumably around the mid-1950s, ANC members began to be added to the list, including the accused in the Treason Trial (1956-1960). Here are some known ANC members from various periods, in numerical order by file reference.
Gwala, Themba Harry Gwala, Harry Temba 53 Mbeki, Govan A. 785 Mandela, Nelson R.D. 929 Sisulu, Walter Ulliot Max 980 Nokwe, Philemon Pearce Duma 981 Kasrils, Ronald 1032 Hani Martin Tembisile Hani, Chris 1132 Sisulu, Albertina 1297 Mandela, Winnie 1501 Mda, Ashby Peter 1574 Gawe, Stephen Pandul @ Popsie 1698 Mbeki, Thabo 3115 Gqirana, Mongameli @ Mobbs 3340 Motlanthe, Petrus Pat Kgalema 3547 Maharaj, Sathyandranath Ragunanan Maharaj, Mac 3694 Sparg, Marion M 7794
Somewhat surprisingly, some prominent ANC leaders, such as Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Jacob Zuma, do not appear in the list at all. Perhaps This Day skipped them in typing the list, or their files were lost. Some who were in exile, like Thabo Mbeki, may only have been added much later than they would otherwise have been. But there are many ANC leaders in the 900-1100 range. The bureaucrats also got the spelling of some names wrong (Walter Sisulu’s middle name, for example). In the early files, where most of the people were Communists, they frequently used initials rather than names. the @ sign seems to mean “alias”.
In the early 1960s, liberals began to be added to the list in increasing numbers. Here are some known liberals who were on the list. They are also in numerical order, which is roughly the order in which they were banned. Those in the 1200-2000 range would have been roughly in the period 1962-1968. Those in the 3000 or above range were probably included for activities after the Liberal Party had been forced to disband in 1968:
Isacowitz, J.L. 129 Attwell, E.L 150 O'Dowd, A.P 210 Mfaxa, Stanford @ Rantyisi 673 Duncan, Patrick 1026 Evans, David Llyn 1039 Mohammed, Ebrahim Vally 1094 Vigne, James Randolp 1110 Ngubane, Jordan Kush 1122 Msimang, Henry Selby 1220 Bhengu, Hyacinth 1230 Goodfellow, Clements Francis 1254 Mdingi, Maqashe Leonard 1270 Mngadi, Thamsanqa Elliot @ Elias 1381 Daniels, Edward Joseph 1384 Harber, Eric Stanchell 1405 Brown, Peter McKenzie 1444 Aitchison, John Jaques William 1486 Magani, Mashamra Christopher @ Shabalala 1487 Ndhlovu, Michael Temba @ John @ Mike Ndlovu 1495 Bromberger, Norman 1507 Craighead, David Hepburn 1534 Hain, Adelaine Florence 1540 Hain, Walter Vannet 1541 Hjul, Peter Donald 1553 Mnguni, Mlungu Enock 1589 Hill, Charles Kenneth 1606 Van den Berg, Frans Ignatius Maritz 1625 Brookes, Edgar Harry 1634 Hill, Jean Farre nee Ballantyne 1636 Hayes, Stephen Thromp Wynn Hayes, Stephen Tromp Wynn 1658 Hayman, Ruth Woodburn (Lazar) 1664 Morkill, Heather Mary 1699 Friday, Iris M. 1891 Corrigall, Mary Ernestine Gwendoline 1940 Hain, Peter 2808 de Keller, David Guy 2828 Kuper, Leo 2850 Wentzel, E.M. 3012 Koka, Kgalushi Drake 3175
Again, there are some known omissions. Among the Liberals who were definitely banned, but whose names are not on the list, are Selby Msimang and Mike Ndlovu (Update: I added them from an online list).
What about Christian opposition to apartheid? Well, there were undoubtedly many Christians on the list. The following are some of those I knew to be clergy of various Christian denominations. There are probably many more that I didn’t know or know about. Again, they are in numerical order, which is roughly the order in which the government got annoyed with them.
Blaxall, Arthur Williams 1078 Aitchison, John Jaques William 1486 Calata, James Arthur 1567 Reeves, Ambrose 1572 Brookes, Edgar Harry 1634 Hayes, Stephen Thromp Wynn Hayes, Stephen Tromp Wynn 1658 Magoba, Stanley Mmutlayane 2062 Ntlabati, Gladstone Mxolisio 2294 Beyers Naude, C.F 2568 Robertson, Robert J.D. 2659 Collins, Collin 2862 Crowther, Clarance Edward 2901 Mercer, Robert (Eerw) 2926 Desmond, Patrick Anthony Desmond, Cosmas 2980 Moore, Basil Scott 3027 Winter, Colin O'Brien 3131 Kemeeta, Zephania Kameeta, Zephania 3353 Uanivi, Hiskia Ndojoza 3371 Hendrikse, Helenard Joe @ Alan 3821 Russell, David Patrick Hamilton 4893 Kotze, Theodore 4949 Moselane, Tebogo G 5175 Tutu, Desmond 5862 Boesak, Allan / Allen 6658 Xundu, Mcebisi 7462 Brittion, Susan B 7519
So there it is. The Lord encouraged Elijah by telling him that there were at least 7000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, and so it was in South Africa too. At the time their names were known only to God and the Department of Justice, but now it can be told.
But I did know some of them, and here are the ones I knew and had met face to face. Some I knew quite well, and others I have only met once or twice, often at church meetings or conferences, but most of them are people I’m glad to have known. Perhaps the fact that I knew so many of them proves the thesis of the little grey men in the government offices that there was indeed a sinister conspiracy against the government, a concerted effort, a master plan for the total onslaught against White Western Civilisation, for which South Africa was the last bastion of defence. This time they are in alphabetical order.
Aitchison, John Jaques William 1486 Bastomsky, Saul James 1556 Beyers Naude, C.F 2568 Bhengu, Hyacinth 1230 Blaxall, Arthur Williams 1078 Boesak, Allan / Allen 6658 Brittion, Susan B 7519 Brookes, Edgar Harry 1634 Brown, Peter McKenzie 1444 Buthelezi, Manas @ Malaria 3220 Camay, Phiroshaw 7124 Collins, Collin 2862 Corrigall, Mary Ernestine Gwendoline 1940 Curtis, Jeanette Eva 3382 Curtis, Neville Wilson 3014 de Beer, Cedric 6452 de Beer, David Edmund 3059 Desmond, Patrick Anthony Desmond, Cosmas 2980 Dunn, Timothy Terence 3015 Friday, Iris M. 1891 Gawe, Stephen Pandul @ Popsie 1698 Hemson, David Christopher Law @ Dave 3248 Hendrikse, Helenard Joe @ Alan 3821 Hill, Charles Kenneth 1606 Hill, Jean Farre nee Ballantyne 1636 Josie, Mervyn Jayaprakash 2210 Kemeeta, Zephania Kameeta, Zephania 3353 Khoapa, Bennie 3211 Kleinschmidt, Horst Gerhard Herman 3341 Kotze, Theodore 4949 Lebenya, Sechaba Noel 2999 Magani, Mashamra Christopher @ Shabalala 1487 Mngadi, Thamsanqa Elliot @ Elias 1381 Mnguni, Mlungu Enock 1589 Moore, Basil Scott 3027 Morkill, Heather Mary 1699 Msimang, Henry Selby 1220 Ndhlovu, Michael Temba @ John @ Mike Ndlovu 1495 Ntwasa, Sabelo Stanley @ Sabela Nywada 3030 Reeves, Ambrose 1572 Robertson, Robert J.D. 2659 Russell, David Patrick Hamilton 4893 Simkins, Charles 3794 Tutu, Desmond 5862 Uanivi, Hiskia Ndojoza 3371 Van Wyk, Frederick Johannes 5022 Webb, Colin de Berri 1928 Winter, Colin O'Brien 3131 Xundu, Mcebisi 7462
We were told by the government that we were at war, and these were the people they were fighting against. I’m glad to have known some of them. And some of them are no longer with us; may their memory be eternal.
Tales from Dystopia is a series of posts I am doing at irregular intervals, with memories of the apartheid era. Some of my fellow South African bloggers said that we should not forget what happened in our past, so that we can learn the lessons of history. So these posts are my contribution to that.