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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 659

Paragraph Numbers 349 to 365

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 28

Sabotage and Bombing of Strategic Targets

349 During March 1990, a mosque in Nelspruit was bombed by right-wingers. Two months later Melrose House, the site of the signing of the Anglo-Boer War Treaty, was extensively damaged by a bomb. The Orde Boerevolk claimed responsibility for this as well as for bomb attacks on the office of the ANC and that of a trade union in Rustenburg later the same month.

350 In June, a bomb blast caused damage to a trade union office in Welkom. The neighbourhood watch-style vigilante group Blanke Veiligheid claimed responsibility. During the next two months right-wingers also placed bombs at some NP offices and the home and business of a DP councillor Mr Clive Gilbert, at a Jewish Centre in Johannesburg, at the home of a NP town councillor, at the home of Mr Serge Mokonyane of the Kagiso Residents Organisation in Krugersdorp, at the offices of Vrye Weekblad in Johannesburg and at the Carltonville offices of NUM. The former leader of the AWB in Johannesburg Mr Leonard Veenendal [AM3675/96], Mr Daryl Stopforth [AM3549/96], salesperson Mr Craig Barker and Mr Arthur Archer were charged in connection with inter alia the bombs at the synagogue, Burger’s house and Vrye Weekblad. This was the first time that right-wingers had been charged with terrorism. None of the accused were granted bail, and Veenendal, Barker and Archer went on hunger strike.

351 In July, twenty-seven people were injured when a bomb exploded at a taxi rank in Johannesburg during peak hour. The Wit Bevrydingsleër claimed responsibility. In the same month a waiter was killed when a bomb exploded in the Richmond Hotel in Florida on the West Rand, and one man was killed and twenty-one injured when a white man hurled a grenade into the Roodepoort Hotel. The deceased were Mr Right Ngoma and Mr Kelvin Netsware.

352 The NP office in Bloemfontein was bombed by unknown persons. Commenting on the bomb attack in Bloemfontein, a member of the Boere Weerstandsbeweging warned: “If [the government is] going to continue selling us out to the communists they can expect more blasts like [the one at the National Party office] … We are army guys and used to fighting communists and we will not stop before we have our Boer republics back”.

353 In August 1990, a bomb exploded on a Saturday morning in a Pretoria street, near a taxi rank and COSATU’s offices. About thirteen people were injured, some seriously. A bomb also exploded outside a residential hotel used by ANC and SACP supporters in Johannesburg. An M26 hand grenade was thrown into the third class section of Roodepoort station in Johannesburg. Mr Gilbert Aiking was killed and two women were injured.

354 During September 1990 two bombs exploded outside the Beeld newspaper offices in Johannesburg. The venue for the Weekly Mail film festival in Johannesburg was the target of a bomb attack, after a showing of a film called “How to make love to a Negro without getting tired”. The Orde Boerevolk claimed responsibility for both attacks.

356 A white man petrol-bombed a Putco bus full of black passengers in Johannesburg. No one was injured.

357 In October 1990, a parcel bomb was delivered to a computer company in Durban, which did work for trade unions and anti-apartheid organisations. Several employees were ANC members and it was a venue for ANC meetings. Mr Nicolas James Elvin ‘Nic’ Cruise [KZN/KM/644/DN] was killed opening the parcel and three other workers were injured. The police detained six right-wingers in connection with a taxi rank bombing and the killing of Cruise, including three British citizens,.

358 The home of the American ambassador in Pretoria was the target of a bomb attack. The Orde Boerevolk claimed responsibility. Commercial explosives damaged a block of flats with black tenants and shop windows in Johannesburg. At the East London ANC branch launch, a petrol-bomb was thrown amongst the parked cars from a passing car.

359 Following announcements that the Group Areas Act was to be repealed and schools to be opened to all races, a number of schools were destroyed in a series of bomb blasts. A formerly white school in Pretoria, where ANC exiles’ children were to be accommodated, was the target of two bomb attacks. Various radical right-wing groups simultaneously claimed responsibility. Two CP members, Mr Jan Petrus Kruger [AM2734/96] and Mr Marthinus Christoffel Ras [AM2735/96], bombed the Sabie Magistrates’ Court in 1991 and the Lowveld High School in Nelspruit in 1992.

360 Another applicant, Mr JJC Botha [AM1703/96] applied for the bombing, together with four others, of Hillview School, Cosatu House as well as the Verwoerdburg and Krugersdorp Post Offices during 1991 and 1992.

361 Right-wing acts of sabotage and bombings resumed in late 1993, often with the explicit aim of derailing the election process. Four AWB members were convicted of a number of such acts, including robbery with aggravating circumstances, explosions and attacks on power stations in the former Transvaal during 1992 and 1993. The members were Mr Abraham De Klerk [AM0810/96], Mr JH Zietsman [AM0772/96] and Mr JAvan der Linde [AM0809/96] and Mr Albertus Francois van der Merwe [AM0079/96].

362 Two BWB members from Cullinan, Mr Leo Froneman [AM0395/96] and Mr Pieter Johannes Harmse [AM3275/96], the latter also a commander in the BRL, were jointly convicted for an explosion at an Indian business complex in Bronkhorstspruit on 18 September 1993. Policeman Abraham Labuschagne died in the explosion and six people were injured. The bomb was home-made and one of a series made by the cell, who also aimed to stage a coup d’état by switching off the country’s power supply. During their amnesty hearing, they handed in a video of a 1993 BWB meeting, during which it was stated that the party would declare war against the country. They were granted amnesty.

363 In 1993 an AWB Wenkommando member was arrested in connection with planned acts of sabotage against the Koeberg nuclear power station. In late 1993 a Commandant of the AWB’s Special Task Force, an explosives unit (established allegedly on the orders of Oelofse) was sentenced for several counts of sabotage in the Western Transvaal, including the blowing up the Munsieville electrical substation, and the transport and possession of explosives.

364 In February 1994, three AWB/AVF members, Mr JB de Wet [AM6466/97], Mr de Wet Johan Strydom [AM5168/97] and Mr Pieter Breytenbach [AM5167/97] members went on a bombing and sabotage spree with explosives received mainly from Boere Krisis Aksie. Mr Kleinbooi Ramolla [KZN/SMB/009/BF] was killed when an explosives device which they had planted detonated at a taxi rank in Bultfontein. Eight other explosions were caused by the two in the run-up to the election. Among the targets were two primary schools, the shops of three ANC supporters, and the SABC tower in Schweizer-Reneke.

365 An AWB colonel Jan Cornelis Labuschagne [AM3671/96] claimed responsibility for a series of explosions carried out with two other members, Mr Daniel Wilhelm van der Watt [AM3673/96] and Mr Johannes Jacobus Botes [AM3672/96] between September 1993 and February 1994. The three placed more than twenty explosive devices on railway tracks, power stations and in black townships to disrupt the infrastructure and gain publicity for the right-wing’s anti-election cause. A number of people were injured.

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