1 JANUARY 1965, Page 14

Notes from a Refugee

Sta,—Mrs. Price's use of the words 'saboteurs' and 'traitors' to describe 'such' as Mr. Randolph Vigne reminds me that I once stood guard, as I do believe, over the present South African Minister of Justice at a prison camp near Pretoria for the then traitors; and that sabotage was certainly a weapon which those men then accepted and used. I have long felt that the attempt to make Nazis out of the Afrikaner activists of those days was exaggerated; in general, they were not traitors, and not the servants of a foreign ideology—though there were such servants who were active amongst them; no, they were South Africans with a certain definite loyalty, for which there were historical, social and economic reasons. But the same thing can be said— precisely and at every point—of Nelson Mandela and his followers, sympathisers and allies. There the analogy stops, but it is enough. Whatever else Mrs. Price may have to say, it's no use throwing the word 'traitor' around. It only brings up the old tag: Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason!

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