Shoddy rant devoid of integrity
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.