The biography, Eugene de Kock: Assassin for the State was penned by Anemari Jansen with full consent of the former Vlakplaas commander and was even longlisted for the award.
According to Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko, De Kock was at the Sunday Times Literary Award event as a guest of the publisher of Anemari Jansen’s biography, not as a guest of the Sunday Times. “De Kock was not acknowledged in any way,” Siqoko says. “We only acknowledge the sponsors, authors and publishers at the Sunday Times Literary Awards events.”
Internationally acclaimed author and former journalist Beukes, who asked De Kock to leave the shortlist event, says:
“There were black writers and publishers who were visibly upset that he was there, some of whom were victims of his operation, who had lost family members. There was talk of staging a walk-out in protest and maybe we should have done that.
“But I was angry that the writers should have to leave an event celebrating them. I walked over to him standing by the stairs and asked if he was Eugene de Kock. I said, ‘It’s inappropriate that you are here. People are in tears that you are here and I think you should leave.’
“He said ‘Thank you for telling me’, and left.
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