David Rabkin was born in South Africa, but emigrated to Britain with his family. He holds a PhD in African Literature and had been employed as a sub-editor at the Cape Argus newspaper at the time of his, and his wife, Susan’s arrest on 28 July 1978.
Both Rabkins were charged with conspiring with members and supporters of the ANC and SACP and with preparing and distributing 14 or 15 different pamphlets from January 1973. They were tried in the Cape Town Supreme Court during September 1976 under the Terrorism and Internal Security Acts.
David Rabkin pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in Pretoria Local Prison. Susan Rabkin was convicted in the same trial for serving the interests of an unlawful organisation and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment of which eleven months were suspended. The couple has two children. David was due for release in 1986.