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South Africa

The White Men who Hold the Black A.N.C. Puppets' Strings

by David Irving

Photo: Joe Slovo (BBC)

N A LITTLE WOODEN stage in Central London sat the leadership of South Africa's Communist Party (SACP) and the African National Congress.

Among them was Joe Slovo. From an office in nearby Euston, London, this rarely seen, paunchy, sixty-year old White chairman of the SACP manipulates the utterances and actions of the African National Congress, the organization struggling to overthrow the South African government.

I had smuggled myself in because I was curious to see the White brain behind the ANC. The brain was clearly not the suave Alfred Nzo, Secretary General of the ANC: Immaculately dressed in a grey mohair suit, his bald head shining like a brown Oxford shoe, Nzo read out a speech which -- to judge from his halting, incomprehending delivery -- had been written for him.

No, the real mastermind was Slovo. Benignly blinking through thick-lensed spectacles, this grey- haired Communist veteran folded his hands across his ample waist and listened to Nzo's speech, mouthing the words and occasionally shutting his eyes against the TV lights' glare -- the lids closing upwards like the eyes of a benevolent toad.

Somehow Slovo stood out from the others on the platform. All wore expensive suits of a quality and Gentleman's Quarterly stylishness not normally associated with the chosen representatives of the proletariat. But around Slovo there was an unmistakeable aura of "I am boss here." Born in 1926 in Lithuania, now a Soviet republic, this former Johannesburg barrister is a high-ranking KGB staff officer; although reputedly a Soviet citizen, he travels on a British passport.

I do not know what persuades the British authorities to allow the unsavoury Slovo, founder and since 1985 Chief of Staff of "Umkhonto we Sizwe," the terrorist wing of the ANC, to come and go as he pleases between London, East Berlin and Odessa, as he masterminds the terror campaign. Ever since Harold Macmillan began the British stampede from Africa with his speech on the Winds of Change, there has been an ignorance in Whitehall, a reluctance to face up to the outcome of a Marxist takeover of southern Africa, a frantic desire to appease rather than to prevent.

In Pretoria last week President Botha tried to bring this home to Sir Geoffrey Howe. "I can never hand South Africa," he said, "to Communist forces in disguise."

Framed portraits of Karl Marx, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and a hirsute White South African gentleman glowered at us from the platform, and banners of the South African Communist party: sixty-five to-day, an age when most working folk draw their pension. But not these Communists, for now they have the scent of victory in their nostrils.

The meeting was a departure from the norm. Moscow does not want the world to wake up to their stage-management of what is ostensibly an all-Black liberation struggle for South Africa.

But that role is undeniable: of the thirty-strong national executive of the African National Congress twenty-five are dedicated Communists.

One of their defectors, Bartholomew Hlapane, underscored this to a 1982 US Senate committee investigating terrorism in southern Africa. "I decided," he testified in 1982, "to pull out . . . because innocent people were being arrested and did not know that the Communist party had in fact captured the leadership of the African National Congress."

Hlapane revealed that it was Joe Slovo who had drafted the "Freedom Charter," ostensibly the cornerstone of the ANC programme. The ANC assassinated this squealer on December 18, 1983. They and the SACP have their own Mafia-style of ethics. Among Slovo's aides is White Communist terrorist Dennis Goldberg, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1960 by Pretoria along with the Algerian-trained Nelson Mandela for a conspiracy which included the manufacture of 48,000 landmines and 210,000 hand-grenades.

Early last year Goldberg undertook not to commit further acts of violence. Botha released him: Goldberg fled and surfaced in March 1985 in London -- again evidently declared persona grata by the Home Office -- as Slovo's principal lieutenant, having declared to shocked Israeli audiences on the way north that he intended to resume the terror campaign.

"Innocent people will be killed," Goldberg announced. "That's the price." Details of a new Marxist terror campaign in South Africa, using landand limpet-mines, were thrashed out at a unique secret ANC conference in Zambia last June. This reached two significant decisions:

  • to admit Whites to the ANC leadership for the first time (Slovo was the first); and
  • to start killing civilians in South Africa.

The ANC makes no bones about its intent. "We want to make the death of a collaborator," explained Tim Ngubane at California State University on October 10 [1986], "so grotesque that people will never think of collaborating."

The East Germans provide the training. The ANC journal Sechaba (which the East Germans print) stated that the killings are designed to create "free zones in which underground activity by the liberation movements can be carried on." The journal explicitly applauded the method of "petrol-dousing their treacherous bodies which are set alight and burned to a charred and despicable mess." Since then, the terror has intensified.

"The distinction between 'hard' and 'soft' targets," confirmed Oliver Tambo, Black president of the ANC, after the June 1985 conference, "is going to disappear." (Oil-plants are hard targets; civilians "soft".) He has repeated his threat of a "White civilian bloodbath" several times since then. He was nonetheless welcomed to London last month for talks with Foreign Office minister Linda Chalker.

SOUTH AFRICA will become a one-party dictatorship. While Nzo talked smoothly about the right to vote for any party, he added "-- as long as that party is not a vehicle of racism and fascism."

Equally clearly Nzo does not see any future for the White man in a "liberated" and "non-racial" South Africa. "To talk of White minority rights," he intoned, using standard Marxist double-speak, "is to propagate an anti-democratic principal!"

The loudest cheers came from Whites in the audience. But for the time being Joe Slovo is the man who calls the shots for the ANC. He is a dangerous man. When he opens his mouth, it is the rhetoric of the hardline Marxist-Leninist that comes out, spoken in the mellifluous tones of the 1960s graduate of the London School of Economics that he is. His Holborn speech provided an unplanned whiff of coming events in Pretoria. When one woman interrupted, three Palestinian thugs descended on her like angry Doberman Pinchers and a front-row choir of red-bloused Blacks loudly bleated the African equivalent of George Orwell's "Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good," until order was restored.

The 1982 Senate committee talked of coming events as "a triumph of Soviet propaganda aided and abetted by tragic self-delusion on the part of many opinion leaders in the west." On every other political front Slovo and his henchmen adopt postures that are profoundly distasteful. Nzo blames the "forces of Zionist Israel" for supplying "murder machines" to Pretoria.

His ANC declares support for the "national liberation" struggles in Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Afghanistan. They preach and practice murder and maiming and mutilation. Soviet global strategy is plain -- to lay hands on the vital naval and air bases in South Africa and her near-monopoly of key raw materials like platinum, chrome and vanadium.

"Our aim," confided Leonid Brezhnev in 1971 to the Somali president, then a Soviet ally, "is to gain control of the two great treasure houses on which the west depends -- the energy of the Persian Gulf and the mineral resources of central and southern Africa." Nine years later General Alexander Haig, the later U.S. Secretary of State, warned that if allowed to obtain this crucial area,

the USSR will control as much as ninety percent of several key minerals for which no substitutes have been developed, and the loss of which could bring the severest consequences for the economic and security framework of the free world.

That is what it is all about. While world public opinion, steeped in the images of World War II, yawns at the soporific disarmament conferences in Geneva, the real war is already being fought and lost. "South Africa's 'liberation'," London's Communist Morning Star gloated on February 3, "will change the balance of forces throughout the world."

This is why the Joe Slovos have only one real fear now: that the Communist hand will be revealed before it can plunge the Black knife into Pretoria, and sever the economic jugular of the western world.

© David Irving, 1986

David Irving sent the above article to a number of editors who often published his features, with this letter dated London, August 5, 1986:
SIX nights ago I unobtrusively attended a meeting of the London-based South African Communist Party, whose boss, Lithuanian-born Joe Slovo, is the real controlling force behind the black African National Congress.
  As your readers may not have appreciated the extent of Soviet objectives and tactics in South Africa, I submit the enclosed short article.
  Should you decide to publish it, I would appreciate a brief 'phone call to notify me at the above number in London. Please do not feel obliged to return it if unwanted.
  I am a British author and historian. This spring, as you may be aware, I made a controversial round-the-world speaking tour which included cities in South Africa.



Notes for the above article
David Irving: A Radical's Diary
Update on Pretoria's parole refusal for Clive Derby-Lewis

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