Interview with Horst Kleinschmidt

by Horst Kleinschmidt (interviewee), Julie Frederikse (interviewer)
Durban, South Africa
October 12, 2004
Duration: 45:30
Type: Interview
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: Netherlands, United Kingdom
Language: English
Horst Kleinschmidt was born in Namibia, but his family moved to South Africa when he was very young. He was twice elected as Vice President of the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) in the 1960s. He joined the staff of the anti-apartheid Christian Institute, where he worked as an assistant to Dr. Beyers Naudé until the organization was banned in 1977 in terms of the Suppression of Communism Act. In 1973 his passport was permanently withdrawn. In 1974 he refused to testify before the Schlebusch Commission of Inquiry into the Christian Institute, for which he was tried but not convicted as a result of a mistrial. In 1975 he was detained without charge under the Terrorism Act and held in solitary confinement for 73 days. In 1976, fearing re-arrest, he fled into exile. In exile, he headed the External Mission of the Christian Institute in Utrecht, The Netherlands through 1978. In 1979 he joined the staff of the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa (IDAF) in London. In 1983 be became Executive Director of IDAF until the organization closed in 1991. In 1991 he returned to South Africa after the African National Congress and IDAF were unbanned. After returning to South Africa, he worked at Kagiso Trust through 2007. When this interview was conducted, he was Deputy Director-General, Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. This interview was conducted during the conference A Decade of Freedom: Celebrating the Role of the International Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa's Freedom Struggle held in Durban, South Africa, October 10-13, 2004.

Copyright 2004 University of KwaZulu-Natal. Used with permission.