Monday, May 4, 2015

One woman’s extraordinary journey: ‘Je suis Eugene de Kock’

No Fear No Favour no corrupt politicians please.....


In January this year Eugene de Kock, one of Apartheid’s most notorious state assassins, became a free man. Three years before his release, an Afrikaans-speaking mother of three, Anemari Jansen, needing to escape the ennui of suburbia, and also in an endeavour to come to terms with what it means to be an Afrikaner in post-Apartheid South Africa, began visiting De Kock in prison. Her recently published account of their relationship is a compelling, disturbing, brave and timeous voyage of discovery and recovery. By MARIANNE THAMM.

In December 2012, a year after Anemari Jansen had first begun her regular visits to De Kock at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison (formerly Pretoria Central), the country’s most notorious assassin wrote her a letter, setting out some of the things he would like to do if or when he was ever set free (he was finally given parole on 30 January 2015).
De Kock told Jansen that he wanted to live his life “with simplicity and silence and as much dignity as possible.” He added that he would like to find gainful employment to sustain himself, that he would perhaps approach the media for a job that “others wouldn’t want to do”.
“The more dangerous the better, like second-by-second reporting in the vehicle right up front in the frontlines like in Libya,” De Kock wrote.
His clothes, he added, would be “ordinary, practical, neat, workmanlike/outdoorsy, a pair of Hi-Tecs…Nothing expensive, just good quality that will last and last, but as little as possible”.
He was also keen, he said, to set up a bird feeder somewhere as well as watch to his favourite film, The Scent of a Woman, with Al Pacino “six or ten times” because “the depth of it and the never-give-up factor is palpable”.
De Kock told Jansen he would like to see his sons, who live overseas with his former wife, and whom he has not seen for 20 years. And then the strange disjuncture of De Kock’s stated desire to “take care of my health” by making an appointment with Dr Wouter Basson, notorious cardiologist and former head of Project Coast, the Apartheid state’s secret chemical and biological warfare project.
“I have arrangements with Dr Wouter Basson for all the medical tests that have to be done. I will also seek his advice in relation to other aspects, because while I might be older [De Kock turned 66 the day before he was granted parole] I don’t plan on going to my grave celibate. I don’t believe in that. Definitely not! My role model is the late Dr Chris Barnard.”
Somehow an appointment between “Prime Evil” and “Dr Death” for a mundane and routine medical checkup is beyond imagining. Were it not for the horror of the countless brutal and gruesome deaths directly or indirectly linked to the actions of these two men, it might serve as a scene from a very dark and disturbing graphic novel.
Basson refused to seek amnesty from the TRC for his role in Project Coast. And while the TRC found that he had been the primary decision-maker responsible for the “elimination” of SWAPO prisoners of war and SADF members who apparently posed a threat to South Africa’s covert operations and that he should be criminally charged, Basson was later acquitted and granted amnesty after a after a 30-month trial that began in 1991.
While it is understandable that a political mass murderer like Eugene de Kock – who served as a scapegoat for Apartheid’s crimes against humanity and who was rewarded repeatedly for his grisly, illegal work by his superiors who remain unpunished – would be of interest to academics and scholars like Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, author of A Human Being Died That Night, it is curious that an ordinary mother of three would seek a close and intimate audience with the killer.
While it is not uncommon for women to be romantically drawn to incarcerated killers, Jansen’s decision to make contact with De Kock was triggered more by a deep and unsettling notion that as an Afrikaner who had been raised in Apartheid South Africa, she needed to return to the “source”, or perhaps the most grotesque manifestation of the ideology in order not only to come to terms with her history but ultimately with herself.
In that sense her book, Eugene de Kock – Sluipmoordenaar van die Staat, soon to be released in English as Eugene de Kock – Assassin For the State (Tafelberg), is a strangely compelling and painfully honest attempt at owning and confronting the howling ghosts of the past.
Jansen writes, “To tell the truth, I hadn’t thought about Eugene de Kock for years. Like most other people seated around dinner tables. To me he was the man with the glasses who (sic) we used to see on TV. I do, however, remember that shortly before his court case in 1995 he was one of the most highly decorated policemen in the old South African police.”
She sketches growing up as an Afrikaner in Alberton in Apartheid South Africa, the obligatory celebration of The Day of the Vow (as Reconciliation Day was known then), of going to the NG Church, of carefree parties, of servants who lived in cramped “servants’ quarters” and who called her “nonna” and her brothers “klein baas”.
For Jansen life is easy and oblivious. After finishing school she marries a civil engineer and quickly has three children while moving between Namibia and South Africa. And then one day she begins to feel unfulfilled, dulled by the ennui of suburbia and the routine demands of motherhood. During a discussion about De Kock at dinner one evening, she writes, she reached a “turning point” and undertook to “challenge” herself. Afterwards she arranged to meet De Kock through University of Johannesburg academic, Piet Croucamp, who had befriended him.
After her first and manic encounter with De Kock in 2011 she writes, “Something shifted in my consciousness.”
“Was I asleep during the 1980s and early 1990s? I was born in 1964 and grew up during the height of Apartheid. But when I think back on my youth, I am shocked at how uninformed and naïve I had been. Did I not want to know how the country was burning or was I just blind?”
And then, “Thirty years later I want to shrink with shame because of my ignorance, how apathetic I had been and by my acceptance of the illusion of normalcy during a time when a low-intensity civil war raged in the townships and South Africa was involved in a full-scale war in the then South-West Africa.”
And so began Jansen’s peculiar three-year relationship with De Kock. Her book is not an attempt at humanising or romanticising De Kock or sanitising the extent of his criminality in any way. Jansen allows De Kock to speak and express himself using the language that he knows, including terms like “terrorist”. It is as if De Kock found it easier to speak freely to an ordinary Afrikaner woman and the portrait that emerges is one of a complex and repressed man who has genuinely come to terms with the extent of the harm and pain he has caused.
De Kock’s gradual excavation of his contaminated psyche is fascinating, tender and repulsive. There are flashes of anger when, at the conclusion, De Kock suggests that prominent Afrikaans novelist, F A Venter, who authored several titles including Geknelde Land (A Country Afflictedand Die Keer toe ek my Naam Vergeet Het (When I Forgot my Name) should have penned a book titled Vervloekte Fokken Land (Cursed Fucking Country).
“I will never pick up a weapon for any country. Never,” writes De Kock.
Jansen’s is a sincere and brave attempt at understanding the man and how he came to be. How she came to be.
Eugene de Kock did not emerge into the world fully formed. He was shaped, moulded and manipulated by a toxic brew of racial nationalism, religion, patriarchy and a grand and fictitious historical narrative that held a nation – including Anemari Jansen – in its thrall. It was an ideology that cost the lives of thousands of South Africans, almost all of them black, who opposed the brutal system.
“I think differently about many things after tracking Eugene’s life for three years. Nothing will ever be the same. Not for Eugene de Kock or for me,” she says.
Jansen writes that it is important to reopen the wounds of the past and to listen to the ordinary men, the conscripts, the foot soliders of Apartheid, who were also damaged by the system and who today live with the scars.
She quotes author Antjie Krog’s observation in Country of My Skull: “And suddenly I know; I have more in common with the Vlakplaas five than with this man (F W De Klerk). Because they have walked a road, and through them some of us have walked a road. And hundreds of Afrikaners are walking this road – on their own with their fears and shame and guilt. And some say it, most just live it. We are so utterly sorry. We are deeply ashamed and gripped with remorse”.
Many who may not feel the inclination or need to revisit the past will no doubt meet Jansen’s book with howls of anger, denial and derision. The project of healing, as post-war Germans learned, is an ongoing one, in spite of contemporary political developments. It is the work of the soul. A general hardening of attitudes in the country is perhaps, as a result of our inability to engage with our past in the manner Jansen, an ordinary woman, has done.
One of the most valuable insights gained, writes Jansen, is that in confronting her past sincerely and honestly: “I can learn, as an Afrikaner woman, how to tackle the future without guilt but with the necessary responsibility, insight and respect.”
During one of her last visits to De Kock on 24 January this year (coincidentally his eldest son’s birthday) Jansen asked him if he understood that had he been found guilty of the same crimes by the government he had loyally served he would have received the death sentence. De Kock’s reply belies just how much the notion of being a “soldier” still informs his “peculiar integrity” as his friend, Piet Croucamp, termed it.
“Yes, I would have…And I would not have opposed it. I would, however, have liked to determine the method. It would have to have been by firing squad, one that would have to be handled by my friends and family, especially those from the army and the SAP. They would do it. I would not like to be executed by ‘the enemy’.”
Jansen’s unusual book is an important contribution to the ongoing and necessary debate about what it means to be a South African, how to own and make peace with the past, and how to find a way of believing in a future. DM



ANEMARIE  JANSEN was not  to meet Eugene de KOCK by chance.

It was a driven effort on the part of her and her peers.

Eugene de KOCK's life was destined to effect many people and scare many more.

The Broederbond was essential in Eugenes formative years.

He had his career plotted out for him.




One just has to take the history of the Broederbond since 1918, the Ossewa Brandwag ( 8 Augustus 1939) pre WWII and the Nationalist Party post 1948 to see where all the hate and distrust originated. Now most of these members have taken up rank in the FREE MASONS.









  1. Many Afrikaners in South Africa have no doubt about who is the great volksverraaier, the traitor of the race: it is F W De Klerk, the National Party prime minister jointly awarded the Nobel Prize with Nelson Mandela after renouncing apartheid.

    His famous U-turn led directly to the abolition of the 'bantustans' or African homelands and the creation of the unitary 'Rainbow Nation.'

    But was his heart in it? In an interview this week, Mr De Klerk, now 76, controversially insisted that he still believed in the 'bantustan' policy which he did more than anyone to dismantle. Was it true, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked him, that he had never renounced the principle of apartheid?

    De Klerk replied: “I have made the most profound apology in front of the Truth [and Reconciliation] Commission and on other occasions about the injustices wrought by apartheid.”

    In comments that sparked outrage in South Africa, he added: “What I haven't apologised for is the original concept of seeking to bring justice to all South Africans through the concept of nation states.”

    The former prime minister was referring to the bid by his predecessor Hendrik Verwoerd to consolidate the position of whites in South Africa by creating some ten 'bantustans' or black African homelands. Some, like KwaZulu, had a basis in existing economic and political realities and identities, but most were reverse-engineered into existence after Verwoerd sent teams of anthropologists out into the bush to identify territories with distinctive dialects, then declared them to be homelands which could aspire to full independence.

    The catch, for the blacks, was that having been allocated a homeland, one no longer had the right to reside in the 80-plus per cent of South Africa that remained exclusively in the hands of the whites. The allocation of a bantustan was often arbitrary, as millions of blacks belonged to the thoroughly mixed, urbanised and industrialised populations of South Africa's cities. In this process, 3.5 million black South Africans were forcibly expelled to their 'homelands'.

    Mr De Klerk's stout defence of what was known as Verwoerd's 'grand apartheid' provoked irritation and disappointment but little surprise in South Africa. Lindiwe Mazibuko, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said the remarks were “unfortunate and disappointing.”

    “While Mr De Klerk rightfully acknowledges that Apartheid was morally indefensible, he...must recognise that the entire concept of racial division through 'separate but equal' bantustans was an insult to the dignity of black South Africans and an affront to the most basic principles of justice and equality,” she added. Twitter also buzzed with angry reactions.

    In the interview, Mr De Klerk acknowledged the injustice on which the bantustan policy was founded, and said that was one of the reasons for the system's collapse. “Whites wanted to keep too much land for themselves,” he said.

    But he revealed that he had never discarded the vision of separate development that animated the National Party in his youth and in which 'grand apartheid' was compared to the process of post-colonial nation building in places such as India. “What drove me as a young man,” he said, “...was a quest to bring justice for black South Africans in a way which would not...destroy the justice to which my people were entitled.”

    Today, the only place in South Africa where Afrikaners live out that ideal of racial justice is the town of Orania, in Northern Cape province, where the exclusively white population, around 500 in number, live Amish-like lives, doing all manual work themselves. The town has its own flag, which shows a white boy rolling up his sleeves.

  2. In 1996, Eugene de Kock, the former commanding officer of the C1 counter-insurgency unit of the South African Police, was tried and convicted on 89 charges and sentenced to 212 years in prison.He subsequently applied for amnesty for these crimes from the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    The 1993 interim Constitution, which laid the foundation for our new non-racial democracy, stated in its postamble that:

    "The adoption of this Constitution lays the secure foundation for the people of South Africa to transcend the divisions and strife of the past, which generated gross violations of human rights, the transgression of humanitarian principles in violent conflicts and a legacy of hatred, fear, guilt and revenge.

    "These can now be addressed on the basis that there is a need for understanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparation but not for retaliation, a need for ubuntu but not for victimisation.

    "In order to advance such reconciliation and reconstruction, amnesty shall be granted in respect of acts, omissions and offences associated with political objectives and committed in the course of the conflicts of the past."

    The Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (1996) laid the basis for the granting of amnesty for politically motivated crimes provided that:

    The application complied with the requirements of the Act;
    The act, omission or offence to which the application related was an act associated with a political objective committed in the course of the conflicts of the past … and
    The applicant had made a full disclosure of all relevant facts.

    In terms of this process De Kock was granted amnesty for some of the crimes for which he had been convicted. However, amnesty was refused in terms of other crimes that - in the opinion of the Amnesty Committee - did not comply with the above-mentioned requirements - particularly with the Act’s definition of acts associated with a political objective.

    De Kock has served almost 20 years in prison for the crimes for which amnesty was refused. He has from time to time applied for parole, most recently last year. It is understood that the National Council for Corrective Services made a positive recommendation to the previous Minister of Justice, S’bu Ndebele. However, Ndebele failed to take a decision on the application before he left office earlier this year. In May, after an application by De Kock’s lawyers, the Pretoria High Court ordered the new Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha, to make a decision on De Kock’s application within 30 working days. This morning, Minister Masutha announced that he had decided not to grant parole to De Kock because "none of the affected families of the victims were consulted" during the parole process.

    Minister Masutha has given instructions for De Kock’s application for parole to be reconsidered within 12 months and after consultation has taken place with victims’ families. However, it is likely that De Kock’s lawyers will challenge the Minister’s decision in the courts.

    In terms of Section 9(1) of the Constitution "everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection under the law". In the Foundation’s view, De Kock should be treated with exactly the same consideration as any other prisoner in similar circumstances - and that in the process due consideration should be given to the recommendations of the National Council on Correctional Services. The authorities should also take into consideration the postamble to the 1993 Constitution which states that issues arising from the conflicts of the past should be addressed "on the basis that there is a need for understanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparation but not for retaliation, a need for ubuntu but not for victimization".

    Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation

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  4. Eugene de Kock deserves full freedom!!!!