During the late 80's (when activism was at its height), I had a video hiring shop in Stanger (KwaDuguza). One of my suppliers of pirated and blue films handed me a video copy of " BBC- Prisoners of Conscience; Nelson Mandela", the lead role played by Sydney Poittier. The Rivonia Trial was replayed with Mandela stating 'Brought in by a white police, white prosecutor and white judge...in the country of my birth...where I have n say...'
The prelude on the video was 'Not the 9 o'clock news'. I made 2 copies and labelled the 45min tapes as M1 and M2 and began circulating them amongst my Natal Indian Congress colleagues, one of whom was Moon Ramlakan (he was Chief Magistrate at the Johannesburg Court couple years back).
A few months later the local security branch head phoned me to meet him urgently at my house where I made copies of videos (he was my client for the blue movies and kept me informed of happenings!).
Anyway, he came accompanied by this burly security cop who made me make a copy of the films (M1 & M2) which he said he received from a 'source' and had to return them within 2 hours!
The man who allegedly gave the tapes (Moon and I traced) was none other than a chap who stood up at Billy Nair's welcoming, shouting 'Down with apartheid! Forward to freedom!'
I was also amongst that band of 'sellouts' who said we must rather engage in discussions with the regime; yet, Madiba was already holding meetings with Botha about unbanning the ANC and release of political prisoners!
Yes! But, who is going to admit that?
Hanif Manjoo (Umlilo)
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