Move your shadow : South Africa, Black and white by Lelyveld Joseph

Move your shadow : South Africa, Black and white by Lelyveld Joseph

Author:Lelyveld, Joseph
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Lelyveld, Joseph., Apartheid -- South Africa., South Africa -- Race relations., South Africa -- Social conditions -- 1961-, Lelyveld, Joseph, Apartheid, Race relations, Social conditions
Publisher: New York, NY : Penguin Books
Published: 1986-01-11T16:00:00+00:00


196 ■ MOVE YOUR SHADOW

involved in the Biko interrogation. If that was true, he was working the same beat in the same manner. The union leader was made to stand in his Jockey shoFts on two bricks for two days and two nights; during all that time, he said, he was denied toilet facilities. Periodically he was slugged from behind on the right ear, always the right ear; guns were waved in his face, and he was informed in generous detail of the various ways in which he could be killed so that a magistrate at an inquest could be persuaded that he had committed suicide or been shot trying to escape. Electric shocks followed, he said, and so did a visit from an official called the inspector of detainees, who is supposed to collect complaints about maltreatment; the complaints are then referred to the officers in whose custody the prisoner remains. Finally one night he was removed from his cell and taken, with a canvas bag over his head, to a location outside the city, an isolated farm, or so he surmised, where a man can scream all he wants into the terrifying emptiness of the African night without any hope that his screams will reach a sympathetic ear. Wantu Zenzile, the student leader arrested soon after I met him, had also been taken to such a place, I had heard.

There the union leader was handcuffed to a pole and made to stand in his bare feet on something that felt like a soggy rag. A wire was attached to a toe, and the shocks started again, 'i felt like I was being dissected or dismantled," he said. ''Everything inside me just felt loose. Once they take you there, you'll have to prepare many yeses."

Now his interrogators weren't asking him for details of his union activities, he said, or background on people he knew. They were telling him the answers he was going to give them and drilling him to make certain he had them right. Soon he found himself admitting, he said, that he had gone to Lesotho to take instructions on trade union tactics from representatives of the underground, that he had met secretly with Bishop Desmond Tutu, a black Anglican whose prestige the security police were then bent on damaging,* in order to advance the underground's subversive designs. ''And I've never been to Lesotho. Never —ever, ever," the man insisted. "Before my detention I never, ever met Bishop Tutu. I only saw him in the papers and on TV. But I had to admit it. They have it in writing. Later I went to the bishop and apologized. He just laughed and said, 'You're not the first.' "

*In part, to keep thi^ "cheeky" Anglican from winning the Nobel Peace Prize, for which he had already been nominated. The official campaign of calumny succeeded only with South African whites. Tutu became a laureate in 1984.



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