Apartheid Security Agents Seek Amnesty for Bombing

By Mnyandu, Ellis | The Birmingham Post (England), September 9, 1998 | Go to article overview

Apartheid Security Agents Seek Amnesty for Bombing


Mnyandu, Ellis, The Birmingham Post (England)


By ELLIS MNYANDU

Special Correspondent

Apartheid-era security agents yesterday sought amnesty for the 1982 bombing of the London offices of the now-ruling African National Congress.

Spymaster Mr Craig Williamson and former security branch commander Mr Johan Coetzee are among eight policemen seeking amnesty for a series of attacks on activists fighting the white minority regime beyond South Africa's borders in the 1980s, including academic and author Ms Ruth First.

"The attack on the ANC London offices was to protect South Africa and its Western capitalist-orientated allies against a violent takeover by communist orientated and communist-led organisations," Mr Coetzee said in a written submission to the amnesty committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Mr Coetzee said the bomb was also to demonstrate to Britain there were risks attached to continuing to allow the ANC to operate from the country.

Nobody was killed in the London bomb, but it caused extensive damage to property.

"It was the policy of the government to resist the onslaught with all the means at its disposal," Mr Coetzee told the hearing into crimes committed by South African agents abroad, expected to last for several weeks.

Ms First, wife of the late leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Mr Joe Slovo, died in 1982 when a parcel bomb exploded in her office in Mozambique. …

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