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EXCERPT | Confessions of a Stratcom Hitman

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Cover of 'Confessions of a Stratcom hitman'
Cover of 'Confessions of a Stratcom hitman'

Paul Erasmus served with the Special Branch of the police under apartheid. He testified at the Goldstone Commission and at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as at the Ahmed Timol inquest. In his book 'Confessions of a Stratcom Hitman' he tries to explain his own depravity and that of his colleagues, bosses and governments operating under the Stratcom project. Erasmus frames this within the tyranny of the racist, banal and ideological state during apartheid. This book is a letter from history, a visceral confession to South Africans and a letter of love to his family. Erasmus died on 14 July 2021. Here is an excerpt from the book

When I started working at the Security Branch (SB) in January 1977, my parents lent me R100 to buy new suits. Security policemen prided themselves on their two-piece and, even flashier, three-piece suits and ties. We were known for our suits and dark glasses, and our targets recognised us by them. They knew that, once we’d placed our lounge jackets – usually brown, sometimes grey – neatly on the back of a chair and loosened our neckwear, they were in for it. Suits notwithstanding, we never held back. It was usually brutal.

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