Being labelled a counter-revolutionary extremely 'hurtful'‚ Kasrils tells court
“It carries with it a grave threat to one’s security‚” Kasrils said at the start of the defamation trial against Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe.
Kasrils is suing Maphatsoe‚ who is also national chairman of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association‚ for R1-million for statements he made two years ago.
Maphatsoe accused Kasrils of being an enemy of the people and of giving instructions to “Khwezi”‚ the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape in 2005.
Kasrils testified before the High Court in Pretoria about joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1960 and about serving in various roles in its armed wing‚ Umkhonto we Sizwe‚ in a number countries until the 1990s.
Kasrils said to be called a counter-revolutionary was the deepest form of insult one could make.
When asked by his counsel‚ Dali Mpofu SC‚ what would happen in the past to people who were being referred to as an enemy of the people‚ Kasrils recalled the necklacing of people in the 1980s who were suspected of being enemy agents or informers.
“It was immediate lynching. It is possible some of the people were informers … but we do know there were innocent people‚” Kasrils said.
Kasrils said there were people who believed he was a sell-out.
He said‚ as someone who used to visit rural areas and township on his own‚ he now needed to think twice before making those visits.
“I have to be very careful.”
Kasrils said there were signs that he was under surveillance.
“I now have to behave in the way I did pre-democracy.”
Kasrils said that‚ after the allegations were made by Maphatsoe‚ there were questions from his close friends‚ and home and abroad‚ about the veracity of the allegation that he was an enemy of the people.
“As someone who is proud of my reputation‚ this attack has been very hurtful‚” Kasrils said.
Maphatsoe made what Kasrils regarded as defamatory comments when he condemned Kasrils’ “Vote No” campaign in 2014.
Maphatsoe said: “When he was minister of intelligence … he dismissed most of the cadres of Umkhonto we Sizwe because he wanted to sell our intelligence to the imperialists during our reconstruction.
“It is clear‚ from the beginning‚ uncle Ronnie has never been with us; he has been the enemy of our revolution‚” Maphatsoe said.
The trial continues.
- The Kasrils Affair: Jews and minority politics in the new South Africa by JB Pollack
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