The Cradock Four

Martyrs of The Struggle – Murdered by the Security Forces in 1985

Their noble ideals betrayed by the SACP and ANC government

The Assassins and their Bosses

and after all the lies, they still walk free today!

Gerhard Lotz

No pictures available.

He was part of the Death Squad.

He was refused amnesty by the TRC

He shot himself in Port Elizabeth, March 2016.

Lotz was also implicated in the disappearance of Sipho Hashe, Champion Galela and Qaqawuli Godolozi, known as the Pebco 3.

Did FW de Klerk, who attended the top secret Secretariat of the State Security Council meeting at which these matters were discussed, approve?

Does he have knowledge of the planning of these murders at the highest level?

HE says he doesn't, but we can't see the documents locked away in the archives, so the truth remains hidden.

Many people call him a murderer, but I would like to see those documents made public for us all to see the depth of depravity of apartheid and its predators.

Former President PW Botha (deceased) proclaimed his own innocence, although he chaired the secret State Security Council meetings where the “permanent removal"of anti-apartheid activists was discussed. Known as "die groot ou krokodil" (the big old crocodile), this former Defence Minister was a hardliner who thought nothing of annihilating his enemies.

Minister of Police Adriaan Vlok, who also denied all knowledge of the killings, but who, weeks before their death, had visited Cradock and stood and pointed at Calata’s house. Here he is after appearing in court with  other security force personnel, surrounded by a phalanx of lawyers, security and former henchmen. He still walks free.

Colonel Craig Williamson, a former student police spy who became head of Security Police Intelligence, sent an operative down a year prior to the deaths, to see how Goniwe and Calata could be killed. He is still walking free and hanging out at the St John's School (he is an old boy from there).

Brigadier “Joffel" van der Westhuizen, then-military commander of the Eastern Cape, who said Goniwe and Calata must “never, ever" be reappointed as teachers, He ordered the sending of the secret Death Order signal ordering their “permanent removal from society". He was also responsible for the creation of the mysterious and secretive "Hammer Unit".

Major Hermanus Barend du Plessis, who drafted the Death Order and sent it to the State Security Council.

Major General Frederick Johannes van Rensburg, who received the Death Order signal at the SSC and liaised with Brigadier “Joffel" van der Westhuizen about its contents.

Colonel Harold Snyman (deceased) was head of the Security Police in Port Elizabeth, a particularly savage branch. He received instructions from his Ministers to “make a plan" with the security situation, which was getting out of control.

Lieutenant J M “Sakkie" van Zyl, a Port Elizabeth Security Policeman, who headed up the death squad. After the end of Apartheid, he became a de-miner, helping remove the many thousands of mines laid in the war against those fighting for the liberation of Africa.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Taylor, Van Zyl’s henchman, who later boasted that he personally killed Fort Calata.

Major Eric Winter, a SAP "Koevoet" commander transferred to Cradock to head the Security Police, bringing his more brutal counter-insurgency tactics to Cradock. He denied all knowledge of the killings, and under cross examination, constantly said he “couldn’t remember".

Colonel Eugene de Kock, the former head of the Vlakplaas death squads, who was known to his colleagues as “Prime Evil". He was in jail for confessing to his crimes and honestly exposing what he knew. Although he knew of the murders, he was not personally involved in them. He was the only applicant at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings into the Cradock Four murders to get amnesty for telling the truth. The others were all denied amnesty, and two of them still walk free today. Of their bosses, many still braai on weekends with their henchmen, and laugh about the "good old days".

The Death Signal that brought about the reopening of the inquest into the death of the Cradock Four, and which resulted in a verdict that the Security Forces had been responsible for their murder.

All photographs courtesy the following archives and individuals: These include South African History Archive, Afrivision, Mayibuye Archives, SA National Archives, The Cradock Four Museum, Legal Resource Centre, ITN Source, Reuters, Avusa library, Daily Dispatch library, Eastern Province Herald library, University of Fort Hare, Black Sash archives, Special Collections: University of Cape Town Libraries, ANC Archives, Tony Bensusan, Prof Julian Cobbing, Mark Kaplan, Steven Markovitz, Professor Cornelius Thomas, Anna Zieminski Photography, Gille de Vliege, Jill Edelstein and David Forbes.