Few can claim to have personally met and befriended quite as many ANC leaders in exile the 1970s as Conny Braam, one of the founders of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement. Oliver Tambo, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, Mac Maharaj, a young Thabo Mbeki and many others all crossed paths with Braam, who played a key role in the ANC’s 1986 underground Operation Vula. Braam has just visited South Africa to research her next book.
One of the most surprising developments for Conny Braam – whose enthusiasm and stamina for writing and engaging global political undercurrents remains undiminished after six decades – is that many of her former Operation Vula comrades today find themselves working for SARS, overseeing the collection of tax revenue and particularly from those who are reluctant to hand it over.
One of the key figures in the underground mission to establish communication links between London, Lusaka and Nelson Mandela in Victor Verster prison in 1986, was, of course Pravin Gordhan, former SARS Commissioner, Minister of Finance and current Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Gordhan is credited with turning SARS into one of the most ethical and effective government departments.
Source : Daily Maverick