Jeanette Eva Schoon

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Jeanette Eva Schoon (Curtis)

Birthplace: Florida, Roodepoort, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
Death: June 28, 1984 (35)
Lubango, Lubango, Huila, Angola (Killed by a parcel bomb)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Francis Curtis and Joyce Eva Curtis
Wife of Louis Marius Schoon
Mother of Katryn Joyce Schoon and Private
Sister of Neville Wilson Curtis
Half sister of Herbert Michael Curtis and David Curtis

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Jeanette Eva Schoon


Schoon was only thirty-five years old when a parcel bomb ended her life on Thursday 28 June, 1984. Hers was a short life, but one dedicated to the struggle of the majority of South Africans for a better life.

In 1972 Jeanette Curtis, as she was then, served as Vice-President of NUSAS and President of NUSWEL, the welfare arm of NLISAS. Adroit capacity, she played a leading role in the establishment of Wages on campuses throughout the country. She was one of that generation of students who, cut off from their Counterparts in the era of Black Consciousness, found a role for themselves in the emerging organisational work that began in and around the Black working class. The following year she helped to set up the Western Province Workers' Advice Bureau, which began by assisting individual workers with labour problems but served as a basis for organisation and eventually evolved into the General Workers' Union.

Jeanette then moved to Johannesburg, where she was one of the founders of the Industrial Aid Society and served on its executive. She also worked for the Institute of Race Relations as an activist, collecting valuable material on trade unions and prominent individuals in the labour movement.

In September 1975, Jeanette was detained under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act after the detention of Breyten Breytenbach, but was released some two months later without being charged. On being released she issued a strong statement and was praised by many for her courage in the circumstances.

A year later, in November 1976, Jenny Curtis was banned for five years, along with others in the labour movement. Shortly afterwards, she met Marius Schoon, also under a banning order, and married him in June 1977. As banned people they were not, by law, allowed to communicate at all and so they fled South Africa for Botswana, where they lived until moving to Angola recently.

The apartheid system, which Jeanette Schoon opposed so determinedly, has now killed her. Unlike the faceless creature who posted the bomb, and those who sustain him, she will be remembered as a fine human being, one who gave her life for the liberation struggle in her country.

We salute her.

(DACOM Collection, PC3, Alan Paton Center Archives, UNP)

Apartheid spy details letter bomb killings

PRETORIA, South Africa (September 14, 1998 2:13 p.m. EDT ) Seeking amnesty for a career built on betrayal, apartheid's premier spy testified Monday about the letter bomb attacks that killed two women and a 6-year-old girl.

Truth and reconciliation in South Africa by VICTORIA BRITTAIN

"The passion to know more is no different, but where the chain of responsibility simply disappears, and a man such as the apartheid spy Craig Williamson - responsible for the letter bombs designed to kill the two women teachers, Ruth First in Mozambique and Jeanette Schoon and her daughter in Angola - can be an accepted and successful citizen in the new South Africa, justice has been sacrificed. Reconciliation cannot follow. The ruling on Williamson's amnesty request will not be made until next spring. He is expected to get amnesty, though there remain serious question marks over whether he has told all he knew, not only in the case of Ruth First's assassination, but by his amnesty documents' passing reference to Henri Curiel - the only non- South African cited (5) - as a Soviet surrogate helping the ANC. Curiel is the only non-South African mentioned."

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Jeanette Eva Schoon's Timeline

May 5, 1949
Florida, Roodepoort, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
April 22, 1979
Molepolole, Botswana
June 28, 1984
Age 35
Lubango, Lubango, Huila, Angola