Popular Posts

Follow by Email

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Spy Confesses

Head of the Security Branch

See also:;postID=6188815290165780703;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=88;src=postname

Sub-title: Why I switched sides - by Berend Schuitema
(Front page, headline story, February 3rd 1980)
BY- Neil Hooper

BEREND Schuitema, cofounder with Afrikaner poet Breyten Breytenbach of
the anti-South African underground Okhela movement, this week confessed that
he was a security police informer.

This is the second shock to the anti-South African organizations within
weeks and follows closely on the news of the successful infiltration of a
South African spy, Captain Craig Williamson, into the Geneva-based
International University Exchange Fund.


He had close links with the International University Exchange Fund
(IUEF), the organization which was infiltrated by the South African spy,
Craig Williamson.

Until 1975 he also had close links with the banned South African
Communist Party and the African National Congress.

The 39 year old founder and former secretary of the Dutch Anti
Apartheid Movement slipped out of South Africa in 1975 when the Security
Branch pounced on Breytenbach, who was later sentenced to nine years
imprisonment on charges under the Terrorism Act.

Both had secretly entered the country to implement the aims of the
Okhela movement - the "white wing" of the African National Congress - which
included "the liberation of the territory of South Africa and the seizing
of power by the liberation movements representing the people of South


Mr. Schuitema returned to South Africa voluntarily on October 7th last
year and was immediately detained by the Security Branch.

He was released unconditionally after being held for 100 days after the
Attorney General of the Transvaal had declined to bring any charges against

Anti Apartheid sources in London claim that as soon as Breytenbach was
detained in 1975 the word went out that that Mr. Schuitema was to be
treated as an "agent provocateur" and should not be trusted, but isolated.

However, this week Schuitema denied that he had been behind the arrest
of the Afrikaner author. "I admit that I passed on information to the South
African. But that was only from 1978 onwards," he said.

He also denied that he had received any payment for the information
that he had passed on.

Security branch sources maintain, however, that Mr. Schuitema was a
paid several thousand rands.

Mr. Schuitema declined to say what sort of information he had passed

"It was that information that came to them via my lawyer".

Mr. Schuitema, who went overseas to live in voluntary exile 10 years
ago, said that he had progressively become more and more disenchanted with
the Left, and in particular with Communism since 1975, and this had
ultimately led to a desire to return to South Africa and his acting as a
police informer.

"I abandoned the Dutch Anti Apartheid Movement. I was basically alone
when Breytenbach went. I was driven by fear. Holland was a very messy place
when I left."

Mr. Schuitema said he had been "politically shattered" by two events.
They were the written offer in 1977 from Breytenbach to the Commissioner of
Police, General Geldenhuys, to act as a spy for South Africa in exchange for
his release from prison, and the assassination of Henri Curiel the next

"I decided to come back. I knew that I had to be politically
responsible for that letter (to General Geldenhuys). I announced my
intention of coming back in Paris in 1978 by getting one of my lawyers in
Europe, Mr. Vellema, to tell the South African Embassy in The Hague that I
was prepared to come back".

It was then, too, that he started passing on information to the South
African Police.

"I took them by surprise. I was in trouble and wanted to come back
home. I asked my lawyer to start sending information I gave him. This was
long before I met Craig Williamson.

"I did also pass on information to the IUEF, but I did not know that
Craig Williamson was working for South Africa. I didn't get money for
information passed on to the police, but I did get money from Craig".

Mr. Schuitema said that after the death of Henri Curiel he then ended
up as an illegal immigrant in America, and in October last year he decided
to return to South Africa. He had informed the police that he was coming and
had been detained upon his return.

"I chose to come back to South Africa for personal and emotional

Asked what his politics are now, he said he was "a nationalist in the
red sense".

The ideology of the international communist movement was bankrupt and
the conflict of the 1980s would be between the Eastern and Western Worlds".

In South Africa he believes that the children of Soweto could be
politically controlled and that there could be a solution to South Africa's
political problems.