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the accused have access to neither lawyers nor the courts, there’s nothing to stop the security police from using methods more brutal than solitary confinement. Recalcitrant detainees are often tortured or assaulted. Some, like Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, are murdered. \(From August 1976 to September 1977 when Biko’s death occurred more than 20 people are Trials under the Terrorism Act are bizarre affairs. The accused will probably have been in solitary confinement for weeks, months sometimes years. Unless he’s a person of superhuman fortitude, he’ll have made some sort of confession, whether true or false. Very likely he won’t understand the rules relating to the admissibility in evidence of his statement. Nor will he understand the complex charge to which he’s forced to plead without, benefit of legal advice or representation, for only after he hag pleaded is he able to obtain counsel. In addition, witnesses for the prosecution, victims of section 6, are likely to have been in solitary confinement as long as the accused and, like the accused, may be brought directly from detention to court. Usually witnesses will have made statements implicating the accused; whether these statements are true or not, witnesses will have been warned that retraction may lead to prolonged detention or the charge of perjury. What of the South African Bar? How_ does it play the game? According to Maria, it does the best it can. It tries to keep pace with the endlessly shifting laws, tries to win under ever more loaded rules. Yet sometimes a witness has gone insane during detention. Or a defendant, after acquittal, is automatically rearrested. \(This happened to Winnie Mandela, wife of Nelson Mandela, these, when the only logic seems to be that of betrayal, many lawyers wonder what, in South Africa, the notion of justice is worth. I Was Scared Sometime after midnight we veered back to Marja’s story: She’d been studying law at a good Afrikaans university. Her parents Afrikaaners for whom the sine qua nons of decency were, typically, the Nationalist Party and the Dutch Reformed Church were skeptical of her determination to become an attorney and, eventually, an advocate. \(The South African legal profession is divided into attorneys, or solicitors, and advocates, or barristers. Advocates must meet stricter qualifying requirements and, unlike attorneys, may also looked askance at her verligte \(“enwere communist and hence immoral. ” ‘We won’t pay for the devil’s education,’ they told me. So I entered a beauty contest, came in first and used the prize money toward my degree.” In her last year she met Piet, an engineering student who, like Maria, had begun to rethink his roots. Although they were married by a dominee formed Church, Marja’s parents refused to attend the wedding because one of the bridesmaids was black. “This was 1974, two years before the Soweto riots. The Black Consciousness movement hadn’t been banned, and neither had the Christian Institute and the South African Students’ Organization. When Piet and I started our student discussion group it didn’t occur to us we’d find ourselves face to face with BOSS. We were such innocents, such idealists. . . .” To BOSS, the group’s multi-racial membership looked suspicidus. In particular it didn’t like the occasional visits of Steve Biko and Barney Pityana; both had been under surveillance since 1968 for alleged connections with the African National Congress, banned since 1963. Nor was BOSS willing to sit back while. Marja and another law student opened a legal advice clinic for domestic workers in a black Catholic church. Early in 1975, the harassment began. Marja and Piet were followed and threatened. Their mail was opened, their. house was bugged and their tires were routinely slashed. The law firm that had offered Marja a job was warned of her “activities,” and she was soon unemployed. Then, after the Soweto riots of June 1976, when the Suppression of Communism Act became the Internal Security Act and BOSS detained hundreds suspected of threatening “the internal security of the republic,” Piet disappeared for a week. By the time he was released the discussion group had disbanded. “But I held on to the clinic,” Maria said. “I was determined to. Until I got pregnant and the security police found out you must understand, they’re cruelly efficient. As soon as they gathered I was pregnant they began calling and saying things like ‘You really think you’ll live to see that kid grow up?’ ” Marja smoked for awhile. I remember watching the lights of a ship crawl the harbor like a bug; two lights became three and then a cluster as the ship changed direction, throwing a thin beam on Lord Coke. “I was scared, man.” The interjection popped softly, clipped as it always seemed on the Afrikaner tongue. Then, pushing her hair out of her eyes: “Yes, I was scared. They’d call the church hall when I was working late. And sometimes they’d call here, especially when they knew Piet was away on business. After two months I was so nervous I couldn’t concentrate. I was smoking three packs a day, drinking too much. . . . In my fourth month I closed the clinic. In my fifth I miscarried. The day after I got back from the hospital the security police pulled up in a silver Mercedes. When I answered the door they told me to come with them. “There were three of them, two whites and one black. When I asked where we were going they said, ‘To a nice, quiet place where you can account for your sins.’ After that I didn’t say anything. I just sat in the back between two of those huge chaps. “They took me to police headquarters I’d been there before, when Net was in detention, but I’d never gotten past the front desk. This time I was led down a corridor and then another to a room where the windows were covered with heavy cloth. Off to the side was a sort of gym closet. They sat me down on a wooden bench, and while. I waited I watched policemen troop into the closet to practice on punching bags. There was a constant stream of them, and the room, I remember, was full of smoke. After an hour or so a young black plainclothesman came over, perfectly polite he was, and offered me a cigarette. When I refused he got angry or pretended to. It was all so strange. “Finally I was taken into another office and introduced to Major V–. For a long time he just looked at me with these chemical-blue eyes. Then he blew his nose and said, ‘You killed your baby. If you’d cooperated, that baby would be alive.’ “It was too much. I broke down and cried in front of them something I’d sworn I’d never do. After half an hour they took me home, and when I went in I didn’t go out again. I just lay in bed staring at the ceiling . . . for the next six months.” It was during this period that Maria began having what she described as waking nightmares. One in particular still troubled her. It usually happened around two a.m. She would be lying in bed, unable to sleep, when the first notes of the . Brahms lullaby would come at her in the darkness. For several minutes she’d lie still, certain she was hearing an ice cream trolley. At last, pulling on a robe, she’d go out to the street. Nothing not THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13 -mot…440.4.41911110 ,…rac. rt. ,Araulm4404erftwv.s. 11,