Below, you will find a short but in-depth analysis of Dr. Keniston's upcoming book Undercover Stories: The Parallel Lives of Jenny Curtis & Craig Williamson. This true account is being published by Wits University Press and should be available by this time next year.
Dr. Keniston received a Fulbright fellowship, which allowed him to do research in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, the UK, Portugal and Copenhagen. He did interviews with over twenty different people, including friends, family and comrades of Jenny Curtis, and Craig Williamson himself. These interviews go alongside consulting thousands of pages of archival materials, spread out in all of the countries listed above.
Undercover Stories is the first book-length account of the assassination of Jenny Curtis and offers an in-depth analysis of how she became entangled with an undercover police officer – her eventual killer. This book details the parallel lives of Jenny Curtis and Craig Williamson. Jenny Curtis and Craig Williamson first met in 1973, on the Wits University campus. Curtis was a passionate student radical, and Williamson was a security police officer, pretending to be one. As Williamson rose within the ranks of the student movement, Curtis deepened her commitment to the struggle, studying Marxism and connecting with the African National Congress. Alongside her partner, Marius Schoon, Jenny Curtis joined the ANC in exile in 1977, spending six years in Botswana, before moving to Angola in 1984. During this period, Williamson continued to interact with Curtis and her comrades: as a guest in their homes, as the leader of a “railroad” to help activists illegally flee South Africa, as the supplier of funds for their projects, and – soon enough – as an expert witness for the prosecution, in political trials against them. Finally, in June 1984, Williamson’s unit within the Security Police sent a parcel bomb to Curtis’ home in Lubango, Angola, killing 36-year-old Jenny, and her six-year-old daughter, Katryn. Williamson has received amnesty for his role in this murder, amongst other crimes. Still, for the friends & family of Jenny Curtis – and for all those seeking social justice – these crimes remain unresolved, unreconciled.
The text of the plaque translates to: “Garden, Jeannette Eva Schoon: Militant South African Nationalist, Assassinated in Lubango, June 24th, 1984."