WHO ARE THE TERRORISTS? Report on the trials of Dean ffench-Beytagh and of 13 non-whites in Pietermaritzburg under the Terrorism Act

(No, 47/71)
by Edgar Lockwood, Unit on Apartheid
New York, New York, United States
November 1971
Publisher: United Nations
10 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States, United Nations
Language: English
The report contains the text of a statement by Mr. Lockwood before the Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on November 9, 1971 on two trials under the Terrorism Act. The report says Mr. Lockwood, a priest and lawyer, is a member of the Social Criteria Committee of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America; and he recently returned from a two-month trip to South Africa where he acted as a legal observer at two trials in Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg, on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International and the National Council of Churches of the United States of America. The report says on 1 November the Very Reverend G.A. ffrench-Beytagh, Dean of the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, Johannesburg, was convicted of violations of the Terrorism Act of 1967.The report says the history of South Africa since the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 has been marked by the steady erosion of the rule of law and repression of internal criticism; the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) were outlawed; African trade unions and the South African Indian Congress were emasculated by banning of their leadership; and strikes and protest demonstrations became illegal. The report says on September 20, 1968, a distinguished group of theologians affiliated with the South African Council of Churches issued A Message to the People of South Africa, attacking the doctrine of racial separation as a false faith and a novel gospel in conflict with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The report says the first charges laid against Dean ffrench-Beytagh sprang from his possession of certain pamphlets issued by the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party; Mr. Justice Petrus Cillie, President Judge of the Transvaal bench, assigned the case to himself' for hearing without assessors or jury; Justice Cillie was appointed judge by the Nationalist Government. The report discusses a trial in Pietermaritzburg charging that the 13 defendants assisted a recruiting drive conducted by leaders of the Non-European Unity Movement from its base in Zambia. The report discusses the Liberal Party; the Prohibition of Political Interference Act (No. 51 of 1968); the Suppression of Communism Act; B.J. Vorster; the World Council of Churches; the Right Reverend Leslie Stradling; the Most Reverend R.S. Taylor; the United Presbyterian Church of South Africa; the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS); the Christian Institute; Reverend Howard Trumbull, an American missionary of the United Church of Christ; the South African Coloured Peoples' Congress; Lawrence Gander; Benjamin Pogrund; the Rand Daily Mail; L.H.K. Jordaan; Stephanie van Heerden; Black Sash; Defense and Aid Fund; Major Zwart; Allison Norman; Robben Island; Colonel T.J. Swanepoel; "Spyker" (Nailer) Van Wyk; Jonathan Beyneveldt; the Security Branch; Transkei; Mtayeni Cutshela; Reverend Bernard Wrankmore; and Imam Haron. • STATEMENT BY THE REVEREND LOCKWOOD • Erosion of rule of law • Arrest of Dean ffrench-Beytagh • Trail of the Dean • Terrorism trail in Pietermaritzburg • Brutality and torture by the Security Branch