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Authority record

Cole, Ernest

  • Person
  • 1940-1990

Ernest Cole (1940-1990) was born as Ernest Levi Tsoloane Kole, in Eersterust, Pretoria. He joined the DRUM group of journalists, and thereafter started working as a freelance photographer. In 1966 he eventually decided to leave South Africa, as his work and movements became increasingly restricted by Apartheid laws. He managed to take with him a body of work which he had collected, including his negatives, which he used for the book "House of Bondage", published in New York in 1967, and one year later in London. He continued living and working in the USA, where he received a grant from the Ford Foundation to support a photographic project mainly on Afro-American issues and race relations in the USA. He also travel and lived in Sweden. He died from cancer in a hospital in New York in 1990.

Commission of Inquiry into certain alleged murders

  • Corporate body
  • February-September 1990

The Commission of Inquiry into Certain alleged Murders was appointed by the then State FW de Klerk on 2 February 1990, in response to outcries by South African and international human rights groups over allegations by three former police officers in October and November 1989 that they had been members of an officially authorized and funded police death squad. In early 1990, another death squad, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB), sponsored by the South African Defense Forces, was revealed. The allegations presented the de Klerk government with one of its first major domestic crises

However, the Harms Commission suffered from extremely restricted terms of reference that were very strictly applied by Harms and which prevented the investigations to go beyond the borders of the country. Therefore, the Harms Commission was seriously flawed in both design and practice. At the outset, Justice Harms announced that he would limit the inquiry to acts committed within the borders of South Africa, even though many anti-apartheid activists had been assassinated on foreign soil. Government witnesses, some of whom showed up to testify in wigs and other disguises, were not required to produce pertinent documents. The CCB was disbanded in August, but no prosecutions resulted. The Harms Commission report, which was released in September 1990, failed to name any special units of the army or police, let alone any individual officers, as participants in the death squads. The report was denounced by opposition groups as a whitewash.

Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation

  • Corporate body
  • 1991-1994

The Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation, under the chairmanship of Justice Richard Goldstone, was appointed by President FW de Klerk on 24 October 1991, to investigate incidents of public violence and intimidation in South Africa prior to the 1994 general election. Other commissioners were Adv. Danie Rossouw, SC (ViceChairman), Adv. Solly Sithole, Ms. Lillian Baqwa, and Mr. Gert Steyn. The commissioners were appointed for a statutory period of three years. The Commission became commonly known as the Goldstone Commission.
During its three year life-span the Commission, in terms of its founding Act, No 139 of 1991, presented 47 reports, usually following public inquiries, containing a large number of recommendations.
The Commission closed on 27 October 1994.

Conco, Dr. Wilson Z

  • Person

Dr. WZ Conco, having graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1948 as a medical doctor, joined the African National Congress in 1950, where he became the national treasurer of its Youth League and played a prominent role at the Congress of the People in 1955. He was banned and restricted to the Ixopo district in Natal. After his release from the Treason Trial he moved to Swaziland and later to London, where he became involved in the work of the Luthuli Memorial Foundation.

Cowen, Charles

  • Person
  • 1828-1914

He was born in England but emigrated to the Cape in 1853 and soon became active in journalism, using the pseudonym "Caractacus". He was one of the first to visit the Diamond Fields and to publish something on them. In 1875 he moved to Port Elizabeth where he edited local newspapers and wrote on commercial subjects. In 1887 he went to Johannesburg and was again active in journalism. He was interested in native affairs and was an important figure in free-masonry. Amongst his published works were the South African Exhibition, Port Elizabeth 1885 published in 1886, Johannesburg: Golden centre of South Africa, 1889 and Memoir of W.H. Schrader, artist, 1894.

Cullinan, Sir Thomas

  • Person

Sir Thomas Cullinan - (1862-1936)

He was born in the Eastern Cape, entered the building trade, and took part in the native wars during the eighteen seventies. He moved to the Eastern Transvaal where he was successful at his trade but soon entered the field of mining. In 1896 he founded a plant at Olifantsfontein for the production of brick and tiles. After taking part in the South African War, Cullinan secured the right to exploit the still unprospected property of Willem Prinsloo, on which in 1902 was discovered the Premier Diamond Mine, the world's largest diamond property. During his industrial career he was Chairman of the Premier Mine, Chairman and Director of the New Eland Diamonds Ltd., director of several gold mining companies and owner of the Consolidated Rand, Brick, Pottery & Lime Co, Ltd. In addition he was interested in farming and aforestaton and owned several farms.

Sir Thomas took a keen interest in politics, being an advocate of responsible government for the Transvaal and the Free State and representing Pretoria North in the first Transvaal parliament, He was a great advocate for Union and was elected for the same constituency to the first Union Parliament. In 1910 he was knighted for his services to the Diamond Fields. During the First World War he served as a major in the campaign against the Germans in S. W. Africa and was mentioned in despatches for gallantry in the field.

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