11-12 March 2016 / bcc Berlin

Tim Jenkin

The Vula Project

Tim Jenkin was active in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in the 1970s. After working underground for two and a half years for the banned ANC, he was arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison. With two others, he managed to escape from Pretoria Prison after serving 18 months of my sentence. They fled South Africa and ended up living in exile in the UK for 12 years.
While in exile Tim Jenkin trained many activists in secret communications and developed a unique, secure communication system using the early technologies of the 1980s, in the years before the internet. This evolved into a secure network that linked ANC activists in South Africa, via London, with the exiled leadership in Zambia. This allowed top leadership figures to return to South Africa and operate secretly under the noses of the security police. The highlight of this operation was to link Nelson Mandela, in his prison cell, with the ANC leadership while he was negotiating the terms of his release with the apartheid regime.