18 August 2007

Adriaan Vlok update

Last September I posted an item about Adriaan Vlok who had been a minister of Law and Order during the apartheid era. After the end of apartheid, Vlok became a born again Christian and last year had sought forgiveness of Frank Chikane, former head of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) when it was one of apartheid's fiercest critics. He did so by entering Chikane’s office and washing his feet (emulating Jesus’ act before the last supper).

Vlok was implicated in an attempt to poison Chikane by impregnating his clothes with poison during a trip to the USA in 1989. Yesterday he became the only senior politician from the apartheid era to be convicted after he pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Vlok received a 10-year suspended prison sentence under a plea bargain by admitting he ordered the security police to kill Chikane, Under the terms of the plea bargain Vlok is obliged to assist in any future prosecutions over crimes he knows about. The former police commissioner, Johan van der Merwe, and three other former high-ranking police officers also pleaded guilty and received suspended prison sentences of between five and 10 years.

Frank Chikane, who is now the director of President Thabo Mbeki's office, said that he hoped the guilty pleas would contribute to reconciliation. "I must say I am pleased that this thing is over and we can move forward. I hope that whatever happened today can be used as a way of resolving all the outstanding issues,"


Garth said...

I can't believe they got suspended sentences - Vlok and van de Merwe are murderous bastards - these guys would have done (and did do)anything to keep white power in South Africa

jams o donnell said...

He certainly got off lightly. It's cold comfort but he seems to be just about the only one to show any remorse for his actions.

Garth said...

somehow I just don't buy his remorse - those guys were on a crusade; they were doing it for god; (white)volk & vaderland.

jams o donnell said...

Could be, but it was a weird way to display it even if insincere.