THE State of The Nations Address (SONA) 2020 will best be remembered for the welcoming kiss National Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise gave to the murderer FW De Klerk, days after he denounced apartheid as a crime against humanity as described by the United Nations.
In de Klerk’s warped and sick mind, Blacks waged war against themselves. Black-on-Black violence he says. This is a war which has been documented as orchestrated by his regime and his name has been named by the murderers who killed Blacks – that he made orders on some of these killings. Forget about the systematic plan including laws to keep Blacks as nothing but domestic workers for whites; to dehumanise them, to hang them and kill them through a judiciary consisting of men who still sit on the bench today to decide the fate of Black people.
We live today in a society most unequal: where whites who benefited from apartheid have amassed massive income from being handlers of politically-connected Blacks; where all citizens strive for basic needs like electricity because the ruling party fights among themselves about who the biggest bidder is to our national assets; where the education system has to be lowered and lowered just so we have numbers of students getting into varsity; where we are constantly being hoodwinked to think we have this and that when in reality we have nothing.
There was a time when Mme Thandi Modise was accused of having neglected her pigs on some farm which she apparently got through her political connections. We came out to support her knowing she had paid her dues for our liberation – what are pigs after all given what she had sacrificed – being a mother – that story follows.
She has now deceived us. I published an article about the indecision of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) a year or so ago in which it had made a decision to have the Public Protector investigate wide-ranging allegations of corruption in the DA-run Knysna municipality. I asked, in an open letter whether she was protecting the DA.
Below is the Thandi Modise we thought we knew until she publicly kissed the torturer and killer of many of her comrades.
Thandi Modise was termed “the knitting needles guerrilla”. She was termed this because while she was operating underground as an MK cadre reconnoitring potential military targets she tried to look as ordinary as possible and carried a handbag from which a pair of knitting needles protruded. In an interview shortly after she was released after serving an eight year prison sentence, she said:
I’m a guerrilla because I’m a mother. Some people have accused me of being an unnatural mother but I did it for her (her daughter). It’s better to leave your child and fight. I’m very pleased my children will never turn around to me and ask, ‘Why did you do nothing?’ We have to have a better South Africa for our children. I do it for the children … all the children. (Interview 1991)
Thandi Modise was tried in the Kempton Park Regional Court along with Khowi Moses Nkosi and Slim Aaron Mogale. She was charged under the Terrorism Act, Sabotage Act, and faced charges of arson and malicious damage to property. Specifically, she was charged with undergoing military training between October 1976 and January 1978, with being in possession of a machine gun, ammunition and explosives, and with placing explosives in two department stores in Johannesburg.
Modise was convicted on three charges under the Terrorism Act and sentenced November 7, 1980 to a total of sixteen years, eight of which ran concurrently. Nkosi was sentenced to five years. His counsel lodged notice of appeal and bail was fixed at R2,000. Mogale was sentenced to two years and six months, suspended for five years.
Modise told the court that she had joined the ANC (African National Congress), had the ideology of the ANC explained to her, and had received military training in Tanzania and Angola. She said that the ANC’s aim was for South Africa to belong to all its people, irrespective of color, and that everybody was entitled to enjoy equal rights. At Funda, in Angola, she was instructed in guerilla warfare, specializing in sabotage, topography and reconnaissance, and learned how to use the Scorpion and Uzi firearms.
Until now, the South African Political Prisoner Bracelet Program has focused on political prisoners serving life sentences. These people were used as symbols for all political prisoners in South Africa. To date, only men have been given life sentences. Due to the many requests for female prisoner bracelets, and given the integral role women have played in the liberation of South Africa, we now include Thandi Modise; the woman currently serving the longest sentence in South Africa.
The source of this information is International Defence and Aid’s newsletter, Focus, issues 32 and 33. We appreciate their permission to use this material.
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