Of the rev­o­lu­tion

CityPress - - News -

know, it’s go­ing to get to the point that I am go­ing to rape you. And it’s go­ing to be very easy to rape you … and I know there is no way that you are go­ing to stand in front of all these peo­ple and say I raped you.”

Mt­intso also spoke about how men in lead­er­ship po­si­tions would be in love with some­one’s wife and would la­bel the hus­band a mdl­wembe (en­emy agent). They even in­flu­enced the wife to di­vorce the hus­band be­cause of the la­bel.

In his re­sponse to the TRC, Gen­eral An­drew Masondo’s dis­mis­sive re­ac­tion to these al­le­ga­tions of rape and sex­ual ex­ploita­tion could be viewed as a tacit con­do­na­tion. “In An­gola, at one time there were 22 women in a group of more than 1 000 peo­ple,” he said.

“There was an al­le­ga­tion that com­man­ders were mis­us­ing women. The law of sup­ply and de­mand must have cre­ated some prob­lems.”

That there was no apol­ogy for the rape al­le­ga­tions, but in­stead a cav­a­lier re­sponse from Masondo, was harshly crit­i­cised by then TRC com­mis­sioner Hlengiwe Mkhize, who said that “the sub­mis­sion fail(ed) women”. She was right. There were many MK women who lost their lives in ac­tion, some of whom were very young. In Cape Town in 1989, Co­line Wil­liams, a 22-year-old ac­tivist from Bon­te­heuwel in Cape Town, and Robert Water­witch – both mem­bers of the Ash­ley Kriel MK unit – were blown up af­ter a de­fec­tive limpet mine they planned to place at the Athlone Mag­is­trates’ Court de­t­o­nated pre­ma­turely. In 1988, Makhosi Nyoka, Lindiwe Mthembu and Nontsikelelo Co­toza were driv­ing to Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, on a re­con­nais­sance mis­sion with Lenny Naidoo, when they were am­bushed by Eu­gene de Kock and mowed down while sit­ting in their Toy­ota Corolla.

Both these in­ci­dents re­sulted from tip-offs to se­cu­rity po­lice from in­for­mants within MK.

With many lives lost, and even more peo­ple emo­tion­ally and psy­cho­log­i­cally dam­aged, are there any re­grets by the women who chose a path of vi­o­lence to end apartheid? Nei­ther Mo­hale nor Richer re­gret join­ing the armed strug­gle.

Richer says: “I do not re­gret be­ing in­volved in the armed strug­gle. There are small de­ci­sions I would have done dif­fer­ently. I made a con­scious choice that I was will­ing to kill and be killed. I did not kill any­one, but I might have been in­stru­men­tal in giv­ing some­one else the tools to do it. I would not feel bad about killing some­one like Craig Wil­liamson, who had done im­mense harm to coura­geous, good peo­ple in the strug­gle and was re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of many.”

Mo­hale, too, has no re­grets. Does she be­lieve she achieved the dream she al­most sac­ri­ficed her life and san­ity for?

“Not 100%. 45%. There are still a lot of im­bal­ances as far as ed­u­ca­tion is con­cerned. You know, money is the root of all evil. We are po­lit­i­cally free. We should be eco­nom­i­cally free and so­cially free. But that is a chal­lenge. Un­for­tu­nately, things are hap­pen­ing the way we never planned.”

Mo­hale is still in­volved in her ANC branch, which she says is wracked by fac­tion­al­ism. She calls for a re­newal of the val­ues the ANC ini­tially stood for. “Should we fight again for things to be done, or how should we do it?

“How do we break the chain? We have a chal­lenge. This pie is suf­fi­cient for all of us. Can’t we share, piece by piece for ev­ery­one, and have a healthy coun­try?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.