Shoddy rant de­void of in­tegrity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

I WAS sur­prised to read Rod­ney War­wick’s di­a­tribe against the ECC on your pages. He is en­ti­tled to his view, but one would ex­pect his­tor­i­cal ac­cu­racy and ac­tual re­search from a man with a re­cent PhD in mil­i­tary his­tory.

His claim that it was SADF con­scripts who held the line in the 1994 elec­tion is cu­ri­ous con­sid­er­ing that con­scrip­tion was phased out from 1990 and for­mally ended in 1993.

More sig­nif­i­cant are his in­ven­tions about the ECC. He por­trays the stand of brave ob­jec­tors like the late Dr Ivan Toms as iso­lated ex­cep­tions. In fact, by 1989, 1 023 ECC-in­spired con­scripts had pub­licly re­fused to serve and faced up to six years in prison for this.

What is most sur­pris­ing is that de­spite his claims about the views of var­i­ous ECC “types”, he ap­pears not to have spo­ken to a sin­gle ECC mem­ber.

War­wick’s ar­ti­cle was a shoddy rant, de­void of ac­tual re­search or, in fact, in­tegrity. AS ONE of the women with which the ECC was “top-heavy”, my only com­ment to Rod­ney War­wick would be to say that his ig­no­rance of the re­al­ity of the ECC is star­tling for one who pre­sumed to write about it.

And to re­it­er­ate that all the women I knew in the ECC were coura­geous in their own right, worked pas­sion­ately for other hu­man rights or­gan­i­sa­tions as well as ECC and suf­fered in their own per­sons (so many in de­ten­tion), as well as in their fam­i­lies.

One ex­am­ple: among the friends and close ac­quain­tances of my three daugh­ters, 10 men died as a di­rect re­sult of their ex­pe­ri­ences in the SADF or avoid­ing the SADF, in­clud­ing one who com­mit­ted sui­cide about 10 years af­ter it was all over. Our pre­cise un­der­stand­ing of what was go­ing on in the coun­try was ex­actly why we were in the ECC.

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