#amaQhawe: Evelyn Groenink - Telling stories of the struggle

Evelyn Groenink Picture: Arushan Naidoo

Evelyn Groenink Picture: Arushan Naidoo

Published Apr 27, 2018


Evelyn Groenink, 57, is a Dutch investigative journalist who was one of the leading activists in the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement. Groenink began her journalism career in the 1980’s writing for a small publication in Amsterdam, called ‘The Netherlands.’ 

In 1987 she became the Deputy Editor for Dutch Anti-Apartheid News. The assassination of Dulcie September in 1988 was the first incident that sparked her curiosity in the investigation of the Apartheid government.

After the assassinations of Namibian Anti-Apartheid activist Anton Lubowski in 1989 and former leader of the South African Communist Party, Chris Hani in 1993 her involvement in the Anti-Apartheid Movement skyrocketed.




Groenink saw patterns of similarity in those specific murders and her focus shifted to the struggle for South African Freedom. Groenink combined forces with journalists across Africa in the 2000’s and she co-founded the Forum for African Investigative Reporters in 2003.

Groenink won a Golden Key award for ‘Best use of the South African Promotion of Access to Information Act’ in 2005, for her work with Dr Peter Hug on Swiss military collaboration with the Apartheid government.

As a result of Groenink’s involvement in the Anti-Apartheid Movement she attained direct access to leading figures all the way up to late ANC President Oliver Tambo. Groenink is married to Operation Vula commander Ivan Pillay and they have two daughters, Vani and Devi.

Groenink’s work is crafted from a deep passion to tell the stories of the South African freedom struggle, including its deep tragedies.

Incorruptible, Groenink’s latest work, explains how corruption was a factor in the assassinations of political activists Dulcie September, Chris Hani and Anton Lubowski. The book was to have been published in 2005, but the publisher was threatened to such an extent they had to abandon the plan to publish.

These threats had an impact on Groenink, "I was damn scared all along. This is not part of a writing career, this was part of coming of age as a bit of an activist. 

Because as an activist I started this when Dulcie September was murdered and we thought Apartheid regime death squads had done it and it was motivated by hatred for black freedom fighters." Incorruptible made its way onto the shelves of bookshops last month.

Groenink's publications will surely rock the old apartheid security establishment several of whom are named in her work.

May Groenink’s journey of sorrow and fear, which liberated the pain of the hearts’ of the families as well as the truth behind the assassinations of our stalwarts, serve as a call for action, for all to stand together and build a unified country that many of our fallen veterans would have dreamt of.

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