Thirty-seven years on and still no justice for ‘Mother of Peace’


Thirty-seven years on and still no justice for ‘Mother of Peace’

To this day, no one knows what happened to abducted Umkhonto we Sizwe courier Nokuthula Simelane

David Forbes

It was a normal Thursday at the Carlton Centre in busy downtown Johannesburg on September 8 1983. The floors bustled with shoppers, workers on lunch hour, cleaners and security guards. A young woman in jeans walked purposefully through the centre. She had got out of a taxi from Soweto. The 23-year-old had just completed her studies at university in Swaziland and would graduate the next month. At a table in the Fun Foods Restaurant sat a man in a yellow shirt and brown trousers. He looked no different, really, from any of the other men swirling around him.

What no one suspected as they glanced at the young woman was that she was a courier for the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or MK. She was bringing instructions from “Mpho”, the MK name of the commander of the ANC’s “Transvaal Urban Machinery” in Swaziland.

Norman “Scotch” Mkhonza, the man in the yellow shirt, was her contact, his clothes the rendezvous signal to the young woman, who by now had arrived at the entrance to Fun Foods. Her eyes settled on Scotch and she moved towards him. What she didn’t know was that he was a security police spy who had infiltrated the ANC...

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