It is important for South Africans to be reminded of the role that foreigners played in our liberation struggle. Hundreds of anti-apartheid activists from especially Holland but also Belgium, Britain and elsewhere risked their lives and jobs to contribute to the fight for democracy in South Africa. We should always remember that. The role of Art in change can never be underestimated.
We remember CASA ... 6 December 1987 ...
On 6 December 1987 they had started arriving in groups of 80, of 30, as individuals in Amsterdam, hometown of South African colonialism and of the apartheid ideology of the Boere in the seventeenth century: but also the city that resisted Nazi anti-Semitism and which now stands against the racism of the apartheid regime. Amsterdam, the Dutch capital and self-declared anti-apartheid city, had been symbolically proclaimed 'cultural capital of Europe'. And during the next two weeks, as Barbara Masekela put it at the closing session of the Conference, Amsterdam became the cultural capital of South Africa.
Within the resonance of the Renaissance New Church at Dam Square, the very heart of Amsterdam, in the building where Dutch kings and queens are crowned, these words sounded almost as a credo. On Sunday 20 December 1987, opening the exhibition The Hidden Camera, at the final event of CASA, Culture in Another South Africa. Barbara Masekela, head of the Department of Arts and Culture of the ANC, began her speech with these lines of poet Mongane Wally Serote:
We have come a long way now.
We are not like spotless white shirts
We are khaki
It is time, the road, the dust, the heat, the rain and the wind which did it all
Read the full article here.
We also remember Operation Vula ...
The basic story of Operation Vula is a fascinating one. Sympathetic people from the Netherlands and Belgium were recruited to smuggle arms into South Africa or to put up safe houses for the Vula operatives inside the country and in neighbouring states. With the help of make-up artists, hairdressers and actors in Amsterdam elaborate disguises for Umkontho we Sizwe agents were done for those who were to infiltrate the country.
Operation Vula, a book by the renowned Dutch novelist and former head of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement, Conny Braam, is an important addition to the literature on the South African struggle for justice and liberation for insight into their remarkable contribution.
On the iStart2 Show today we pay tribute to those foreigners who played a role in the struggle against Apartheid. We chat to one of the unsung hero's of the time, Tineke van den Klinkenberg on a visit to South Africa. We chat about her role in the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement. Tineke looks back and shares personal stories, talks about her special relationship with her exile children in South Africa and her contribution and views on building a sustainable future for all the people of the world.
Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on #DStv audio channel 869. Radio Today also streams globally on www.1485.org.za.