Siyanda Madikane speaks to the remains of his grandfather’s brother Lennox Madikane who was hanged in 1963 and buried in a pauper grave. (Alex Nitchley, News24)
HAVING returned from a trip to the US to garner support for land expropriation without compensation and its trumped-up story about “white genocide”, Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel didnt waste time dominating newspapers headlines for yet another piece of misinformation.
This time, he reportedly said he didnt believe apartheid was a crime against humanity but acknowledged it was wrong.
Now, Kriel knows apartheid was a crime against humanity. He knows it was declared so by the United Nations, a body which he recognises because his racist outfit Afriforum has been to the UN, with now DA Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba in tow, to protest against South Africa’s policy of affirmative action.
His remarks prompted an outcry but it was the response from Madeleine Fullard, on her Twitter account, that summed up the chilling and broad strokes of the inhumanity of apartheid, which she and her team find hidden in mass graves and pauper graves.
“Digging in former Transkei cemeteries, we find heartbreaking pauper graves filled with hundreds of babies who died of malnutrition due to migrant labour, forced removals to homelands. I guess Afriforum wont count those as apartheid deaths since not killed by security police”.
“To see tiny plastic parcels twisted closed like maize husks, with tiny babies’ bones inside, packed by the dozen into a single coffin, is to understand how the land policy, forced removals and the homeland system cut a deadly swathe through rural children for decades”.
“In the urban cemeteries, you will find the bodies of mine workers and migrant workers packed into pauper graves sometimes three to a grave. Their families too impoverished to take their crushed bodies back to the homelands. Apartheid policies killed thousands”.
One Twitter account holder dared to question Fullard’s claims, to which she responded with the most chilling answer: “I dig the graves myself. I see them with my own eyes. Do you want me to post photos of the small skeletons so small they look like birds?”
The Missing Persons Task Team is both an investigative and forensics unit made up of investigators and forensic anthropologists who specialise in the human skeleton.
There are many cases which have not been resolved from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC). To this day there are families coming forward with legitimate cases of political disappearances. There are two types of cases the department investigates; freedom fighters whose bodies were taken and buried where only the perpetrators knew. Many of these cases could only be solved by the testimony of apartheid death squads who operated from places like Vlakplaas – people like Eugene de Kock and other such operatives.
The other cases are simply those of people who were killed and left in public spaces, eventually found and taken to mortuaries and buried with no identities.
So no Kallie Kriel, apartheid is a crime against humanity and it is for this reason that the mass scale atrocities of apartheid should never be forgotten to ensure that you Kallie Kriel and your ilk can never erase its brutal history.