1 February 2014 marks the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Onkgopotse Ramothibi Abram Tiro way back in 1974, while he was exiled in Botswana. This writer has previously written about the life and times of Tiro in Mayihlome News and other publications. This time around I will focus on trying to bring to book, so to speak, those who were responsible for Tiro’s death and also make readers understand why the killers of Tiro got away with murder in the so called ‘new’ South Africa. I will let the facts speak for themselves.
In my previous articles I mentioned that the author of the book Inside Boss (1981), Gordon Winter, who is a former Bureau of State Security (BOSS) wrote that Tiro was killed by The Z-Squad. The following extract from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report, Volume 2, Chapter 2, at page 99, corroborates what Winter revealed in his book.
At paragraph 211 the report states that: “The Commission has no corroborated evidence of any external assassinations during the 1960 to 1973 period for which South African security operatives can be said to have been responsible.”
The report also states the following at paragraph 212: “The first known cross-border assassinations in the 1974–79 period occurred in February 1974, when, within two weeks of each other, MK founder member John Dube (aka ‘Boy’ Mvemve) and former South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) founder member Abraham Onkgopotse Tiro were killed by letter bombs in Zambia and Botswana respectively.”
The report further states at paragraph 213 that: “The Commission received no amnesty applications for these two killings. Former BOSS agent, Mr Gordon Winter, alleges that the killings were the work of BOSS’s recently formed covert unit, the Z-squad. At a Commission briefing, a former BOSS and later senior NIS and NIA member confirmed the existence of the Z-squad and named amongst its small band of original members Mr Phil Freeman, an explosives expert, and Mr Dries Verwey.”
Paragraph 214 of the report states the following regarding the operations of the Z-Squad in relation to Tiro’s assassination: “Another former BOSS agent, Mr Martin Dolinchek, also confirmed Z’s existence. In an interview published in the New Nation (9 August 1991), he named Kuhn and Verwey as “among those responsible for his [Tiro’s] death”. In an interview with the Commission, Dolinchek stated that Tiro was killed by the insertion of an explosive device into a package addressed to him from the Geneva-based International University Exchange Fund (IUEF). At that time, all mail destined for Southern Africa (including the BLS states, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and the Seychelles) passed through the airmail sorting office in Germiston near the then Jan Smuts airport. The actual running of that office was contracted out by the Post Office and, according to Dolinchek, South African Airways (then a state corporation) deliberately bid low to gain the contract so that the security police could have easy access to the millions of pieces of mail, including diplomatic traffic that flowed through it annually.”
Lastly, paragraph 215 states that: “According to Dolinchek, in the 1970s and 1980s some 400 police, mostly retired officers, worked in the facility, amongst them Security Branch officers. Dolinchek claims that Tiro’s package from the IUEF was “doctored” at this facility. That particular item of mail would have been a strategic choice as the IUEF, an international anti-apartheid non-governmental organisation (NGO), worked closely with SASO and was channelling funds to the organisation. Tiro was in regular contact with the IUEF and a package would not have aroused suspicion.”
I have previously stated that another South African spy, Craig Williamson, who had infiltrated the ANC, worked for the IUEF. In one of my articles on Tiro in Mayihlome News, a relative of Tiro’s, Ratanang Tiro posted a comment to the effect that the late Tiro’s mom passed away not having known who the killers of his son were because they never came forward. Unfortunately it would seem the ruling ANC provided them with a cover because of the secret deals clinched between the ANC and the former Apartheid government officials.
In fact, a US researcher, John Judge revealed in an interview titled Assassination as a Tool of Fascism that “Many of those scientists, many of the munitions and aerospace experts, many of the spies, (about 300 of them, in fact, under General Reinhard Gehlen, who had headed up Hitler’s intelligence network for the east and the Soviet Union) were brought, from 1943 up until even more recently in the present day, into the United States and into other countries around the world, South Africa included. There’s quite a bit of collaboration between the South African government and World War II Fascists and Nazis. But the Fascism was an indigenous problem in many, many countries. It didn’t just exist in Nazi Germany. There were groups of Fascists that the Nazis were able to use in many countries as collaborationist governments.”
I encourage readers to look for John Judge’s interview on the internet and read it in its entirety. They should also search and read John Judge’s Good Americans article to learn more about the Gehlen Network and its nefarious ways.
One would have expected that when the so-called new South African government came to power twenty (20) years ago, it would search for the records of these fascist Nazis and prosecute those that they could find for the atrocities they have committed, including political assassinations.
Colonel Huyghe, a Belgian rogue who shot Patrice Lumumba on the temples has been living in South Africa for the past fifty (50) years. Interestingly, the ANC government is not bothered by this. Perhaps many people are asking themselves why the ANC government is protecting these white supremacists. I have already alluded to the secret deals the ANC and Apartheid government officials signed and agreed that the ANC would not expose Apartheid war criminals and while the former Apartheid government officials would not expose who, among the ANC leaders, were spies, key amongst them Nelson Mandela, who was named a British M16 spy in the book MI6: Fifty Years of Special Operations, authored by the acclaimed intelligence expert Stephen Dorril and another book, The Big Breach by Richard Tomlinson.
The Black Consciousness organizations and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania must demand justice for the Tiro family.
By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Fellow at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).