Winter blows the whistle on his career as a journalist working for the South African intelligence forces during the Apartheid years. And he makes it quite clear that the same methods are being used by agencies a lot closer to home. What is quite remarkable in his account is the care with which each planted story is created, with a highly sophisticated spin placed on it to elicit the correct response from the target audience. He refers openly to “the pro-government propaganda I had carefully inserted into the story” and admits: “I was Pretoria’s number one hatchetman; a character assassin.” Reveals Winter: “The unscrupulous journalist does not have to write deliberate lies. He can pervert the truth by concentrating on the negative and diminishing the positive.”
He also explains how he successfully maintained the façade of being a liberal, with “cunningly angled stories” placed in the likes of black magazine Drum and its sister paper Post – South African equivalents of Time Out, one might say. Sometimes this led him to write anti-establishment stories, he recalls. “Some government officials were not amused, but my spy-master, H. J Van Den Bergh, didn’t mind in the least. He knew the story would please the liberals and leftists and make them trust me all the more.”
As well as penning pro-Apartheid propaganda and gathering valuable information on the left for the intelligence forces, Winter was trusted enough to become part of some big secret state initiatives. For instance, he describes himself as having been “number one propagandist” for the MNR, South Africa’s fake Black liberation movement in Mozambique. Thanks to his hype, and much to his bosses’ delight, this eventually actually took on a life of its own.
Author: Gordon Winter
Published 1981, 323 Pages, PDF format. Download link will be immediately available after checkout.
File size: 86.8 MB