By Caroline Hooper-Box
It's not surprising to find struggle leaders such as Bulelani Ngcuka, the national director of public prosecutions, and Penuell Maduna, the justice minister, on the apartheid police surveillance list. But somewhat unexpected is discovering the names of an international cricketer, a film director, a world famous immunologist, and a venerable classicist on that same list.
The national archive has received some 100 requests this week from people wanting to view their files following the publication of a list of 7 000 names and file numbers published by This Day newspaper. They were among the people kept under police surveillance between 1950 and 1990, and the files were kept by the former security legislation directorate of the department of justice.
Basil D'Oliveira, the cricketing legend, known as "Dolly", prevented from playing top-class cricket in South Africa as he was not white, moved to England in the 1960s.
His talent saw him join the England side, and was part of the team due to tour South Africa in 1968/69. The South African government said that he would not be welcome, the tour was cancelled, and that was the beginning of the sports boycott that lasted 25 years. At what point the security police opened a file on him is not yet known.
Another South African on the list who hotfooted it out of apartheid South Africa was Alan Aderem, a professor of immunology and medicine in the United States. Under house arrest for five years as a result of his involvement in establishing trade unions, Aderem received a PhD in 1979 from the University of Cape Town. He is now an internationally lauded immunologist and cell biologist, and was appointed chair of the parliamentary review commission of South Africa's Medical Research Council last year.
Superspy Craig Williamson was responsible for the capture and interrogation of the then-21-year-old Edwin Angless, who as a student leader at the University of Cape Town had begun recruiting for Umkhonto weSizwe.
He was detained in 1980 under the Terrorism Act and had his passport confiscated the following year. He went into exile, crossing the Caledon River into Lesotho by foot, and then studied film in Paris.
Now living in Cape Town, Angless began his film career as assistant director on Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom. He has worked with Africa's greatest directors, including Souleymane Cisse and Idrissa Ouedraougo.
Corresponding with The Sunday Independent via e-mail from Australia, Saul Bastomsky said he was not aware that the files had been released. He lectured in classics at Pietermaritzburg university in the early 1960s, and was a friend of Tom Sharpe, Harry Gwala "and others who were not liked by the regime".
His involvement in the Congress of Democrats saw his banning, and his citizenship was taken from him when he left the country in 1965. He retired from Melbourne's Monash University as head of classics and archaeology in 1998.
Bastomsky wrote to the South African high commission in 1999 asking to see his files, but was told that they could not be found, possibly having been destroyed by the former security police.
"I certainly am going to apply to see these files," he wrote. "I don't like being lied to.
"In Australia I was active in anti-apartheid doings as well as taking part in the general cultural life here. I enjoy the country. I married an Australian in 1969 and now tend to consider myself more Australian than South African. I do not associate with the newly arrived white South Africans and tend to regard them with some suspicion."