Aug 17, 2007, Denis Goldberg wrote:
I am sure that you know that I was married to Edelgard, your auntie who was married to your brother Zenzo. You are also aware that Edelgard died in December 2006 after a long battle with cancer. Among the things she had brought with her was Zenzo’s photographic archive that Edelgard protected through thick and thin, for many years and in a number of countries. Before she died Edelgard and I worked out that the best thing to do was to scan the negatives and try to get an archive to accept them. There are thousands of images and there is a need to identify the people in the them and the date and place where they were taken. We had made a start with this with equipment I had bought. Unfortunately Edelgard became too ill for us to get very far.
In the meantime we had got the South African History Archive (SAHA) which is based at the University of the Witwatersrand to agree to take the archive, our scanned material and they will provide the resources to make the images usable as an historical resource available for researchers to access.
Since Edelgard’s death, your cousins, J.and T., have through their lawyer in Germany laid claim to Zenzo’s intellectual property rights over his archive, together with your rights. They say that Zenzo left the archive to Edelgard, the daughters and you. Edelgard transferred her rights to Tina. I do not know if this is so or not.
My interest has always been that the archive should become available for access by researchers and I have devoted energy and finances to achieving this goal. J. and T. have said that they accept that SAHA should hold the archive and may make use of it for non-commercial purposes provided that their and your rights to the intellectual property are acknowledged. Since I worked out the proposal with Edelgard to honour Zenzo’s work as a photographer of “the struggle” I fully accept that without reservation.
I hope that you too will accept this idea so that the images will become available and be a contribution to history and so honour Zenzo NKOBI.
Please let me know what you think about this.
It will also be necessary for SAHA to make official contact with you about all this as they will have to make a large financial investment in the project and will want to know that they have the legal right to work with the images. Therefore at some point you will need to give us a physical address where they can contact you to get documents signed and witnessed. They will also make contact with your two cousins for the same reasons.
There is some urgency about this because now that my beloved Edelgard has died I no longer want the responsibility that I shared with her to preserve Zenzo’s life’s work and I need to move the materials to the SA History Archive for safe keeping, and they need to be able to work on the project.
I await your reply.
Your sister Thuto gave me your email address and I hope this finds you well.