Klaas de Jonge, de Prijs van Vrijheid

Marlou van den Berge

Dutch anti-apartheid activist Klaas de Jonge revisits the embassy room where he lived for over two years, fleeing the South African authorities who accused him of terrorism. Confronted by people who were affected by his deeds, he is forced to answer the question: does the end justify all means?

Klaas de Jonge was arrested in South Africa in 1985, accused of smuggling weapons for the ANC and perpetrating deadly terrorist acts. After ingeniously escaping the South African police, he fled into the Dutch embassy in Pretoria. He stayed there for 26 months.

Director Marlou van den Berge made an exact replica of the embassy room, including fish tank, chess board and barbed wire outside the windows. In this room, De Jonge relives his past. He meets people whose lives were forever changed by the armed struggle in which he participated. His (step)children, who still bear the marks of the stress he put them through when they were very young. A man who lost both legs in an ANC car bombing. The wife and daughter of an ANC activist who was killed. Underscored with fascinating archival footage, the documentary honestly explores the question: was Klaas de Jonge a freedom fighter, or a terrorist? 


Marlou van den Berge
Carolijn Borgdorff
Country of production
Netherlands, The
66 minutes
Spoken language
Afrikaans, Dutch, English, IsiZulu