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International Socialism, Winter 1964/5



Letter to Readers


From International Socialism, No.19, Winter 1964/5, p.16.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The South African Government believes it has finally broken all organised opposition to its Apartheid laws. In a series of trials starting with the marathon Treason Trial of 1956-1960, continuing through minor ones to the 1963 ‘Poqo Trials’ and the 1964 ‘Rivonia Trial’ and ending this Autumn with another rash of sentences, the Government has picked off the centres of resistance. A definite pattern has emerged. In the early trials, the majority of the accused were non-white – generally members of the banned African National Congress or Pan African Congress, or the Indian National Congress – interspersed with a few whites from the equally-banned Congress of Democrats. They were leaders of a potential mass opposition. The most recent trials have been directed primarily at whites, many of them members or ex-members of the Liberal Party. Their purpose has been less to break a serious threat to the regime than to terrorise the white population into uncomplaining acceptance of oppression.

The plight of the recent victims is none the less cruel. Amongst them are Norman Bromberger, 28, more than 100 days solitary during interrogation; Keith Brookes, 24, tortured during interrogation, 4 years; Edward Joseph Daniels, 38, 15 years (there is no remission for political offences in South Africa); David Guy de Keller, 22,10 years; Raymond Eisenstein, 27, tortured during interrogation, 7 years; David Glyn Evans, 29, 5 years; Baruch Hirson, 42, 9 years (information about this man of immense principle is to be had from the student journal Shell, Reading University, Reading, Berks); Stephanie Kemp, 23, 5 years; John Laredo; Hugh Francis Lewin, 24, 7 years; Anthony Trew, 4 years. These are the latest crop. They need support through protest at the South African High Commission, South Africa House, London SW1. They need money to sustain appeals and families (c/o Defence and Aid Fund, 2 Amen Court, London EC4). They are not alone. A previous swathe of victims, Dr. Neville Alexander and his co-defendants at Cape Town, can be helped through the Alexander Defence Committee, 27 Thursley House, Holmewood Gardens, London SW2.

Nor is South Africa alone in the continent. Dr V.L. Allen, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Leeds University has been made a scapegoat for the brutal anti-unionism of the Nigerian Government. Readers will know of his predicament. Let them not forget it nor the even more alarming predicament of his Nigerian co-defendants who have no one to watch their interests from abroad. Protest to the Nigerian High Commissioner, Nigeria House, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC1; money to Roy Wilkinson, Department of Economics, University of Leeds, Leeds 2 (who will also be pleased to supply furthur information) or direct to Dr V.L. Allen, c/o Barclays Bank DCO, 40 Marina, Lagos, Nigeria; and letters to him and his friends at the same address.

Erich Gerlach is a new name amongst our contributors. He is a member (SPD) of the regional Parliament of Lower Saxony, with special interest in culture and education. He contributes to progressive magazines and publications. His special interests are workers’ management, Marxism, syndicalism, economics (in which he graduated) and Spain. Tony Cliff, on our editorial board, has written widely. His most recent book – Russia, A Marxist Analysis – can be had from us for 18s ($3) plus postage.

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