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 3-7-3 Johan
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  Dagbladet, Oslo, July 24th. 2006
Original article in Norwegian, printed in Dagbladet and presented on the Oftebro website with permission of journalist Arvid Bryne

A hero has passed away

From Cape Town comes the message that Barry Streek has passed away, 59 years old. For more than 20 years, until halfway through the nineties, he was the permanent co-worker for (Norwegian newspaper) Dagbladet in South Africa, and contributed strongly to this newspaper having the best coverage of the development in the apartheid country.

In his own country he was a highly respected political reporter in the liberal newspaper Cape Times. Covered by the facade of a bourgeois behaviour he conducted an extensive illegal activity by distributing help to the destitute persons among the black population, who, according to the apartheid laws, were stowed together in their terrible sheds in the so called townships. For long periods most of the resources came from Norway, smuggled into the country by priests and diplomats.
The priest was Trond Bakkevig, general secretary in Mellomkirkelig Råd, and personal adviser for foreign ministers Knut Frydenlund and Thorvald Stoltenberg. The diplomats were Knut Vollebæk, later on foreign minister himself, and today ambassador in USA, and Bjarne Lindstrøm. He was general consul in Cape Town before he became almighty Secretary General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and now ambassador in London.

According to laws and rules what these persons did was both illegal and unacceptable, but in the struggle against apartheid formal actions were not enough. Vollebæk, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whitewashed governmental money before they were transported to state church accounts. From such accounts Bakkevåg brought the money in his pockets, or elsewhere on his body, to Lindstrøm in South Africa. He forwarded the money to Streek.
I believe Norwegian International aid seldom reached its target group with less loss than in these operations, says Dean Bakkevig in Gamle Aker Kirke today. He believes that some 12 million Norwegian kroner found their way to worthy receivers in South Africa this way.

Early one cold October morning in 1989 I experienced myself how the aid was distributed to the receivers. Before 7 o’clock in the morning between 30 and 40 people had gathered in Barrys living room. Dressed in a big towel round his waist he came directly from the shower to his decently dressed secretary and the expectant crowd. He called out to his secretary how much each one was to receive, and for what purpose the money was to be used.

And when the money had been received he announced to the receivers that at the next crossroad they would be asked to report how the money had been used.We kept the accounts and audited the accounts Bakkevig assures today. Anyway, it is more than doubtful that the Office of the Auditor would have accepted what happened and the way the operations were carried out.

Barry Streek established the organisation “Social Change Assistance Group” which was, and currently is one of the most effective relief work organizations in South Africa. Last month the organization moved into its own new house in Cape Town. Its official name is Barry Streek House”.

The name ceremony was the last joy of life that Streek experienced, before his cancer disease chained him to his sickbed

Director Ian Barry Streek (3-7-2-1-1) descended from (3-7) Berte Marie Oftebro Hojem. (Oftebro family book p. 221)

External links:

Collegues pay tribute to Barry Streek

Farewell to 'good guy' Barry