Killed for not betraying principles
So says Dutch investigative journalist and author Evelyn Groenink ahead of the launch of her book, Incorruptible: the story of the murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani, in Cape Town next week.
The book, which Groenink has worked on for 30 years, has just hit the shelves.
The families of September and Lubowski will attend the launch.
On March 29, 1988, September was killed outside the ANC’s Paris office. She was shot five times from behind with a .22 calibre silenced rifle, as she was opening the office after collecting the post.
Swapo activist advocate Lubowski was killed on September 12, 1989 in front of his house in Windhoek, Namibia.
Hani was killed on April 10, 1993 outside his home in Boksburg, on the East Rand.
Groenink’s explosive revelations indicate that these political killings were motivated not by racial ideology, but by opaque military and financial dealings between former colonial powers and a South Africa in transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Groenink said it was often thought that September, Lubowski and Hani were killed by apartheid forces simply because they were freedom fighters, but all three had tried to keep their organisations, the ANC and South West African People's Organisation (Swapo) free from wrongdoing.
They had stood against mafias who invaded their movements' inner circles, she said.
The book has already caused controversy. A planned publication in 2005 could not take place because of a myriad legal and physical threats.
“It started in 1988 with the murder of Dulcie September in Paris. Most of the content is about Dulcie but (her story was) also a mould because you find patterns in the cases of Chris Hani and several others.
“That pattern is of a person of high integrity, a good person, with ethics. That is what has stayed with me from what relatives and other people have told me about Dulcie,” she said.
Groenink described September as a teacher who knew that beyond teaching children to read and write, it was important to teach them right from wrong.
“She was an impatient person when it came to people who were not taking their work seriously, or were slacking, cheating. That stayed with me and perhaps helped me stay focused on this work intermittently for so long.
“We are not just talking about political stalwarts who fought the political battle; they did that too. But that’s not why they were killed. They were killed because they were good people who would not betray their principles.”
September did not have much of a following in the ANC, despite being as heroic as her male counterparts, Groenink said.
“The nation hasn’t mourned her. The ANC itself did not take much of an interest in making much noise when she was murdered, and not later. This woman was all along trying to fight the good fight in exile.
“Part of the reason why there was so much silence around what she tried to do, the good fight she fought and her murder, is because she was a woman.”
The launch will take place at the Cornerstone Institute in Salt River on Tuesday, 5.30pm for 6pm.