Adriaan Vlok Dies: Adriaan Johannes Vlok was a politician in South Africa. He was born on December 11, 1937, and died on January 8, 2023. In the last years of apartheid, from 1986 to 1991, he was South Africa’s Minister of Law and Order.
During this time, opposition to apartheid and political unrest were getting worse, so the South African government, which Vlok was a part of through the State Security Council, planned and carried out harsh repressive measures. These included hit squads that bombed and killed anti-apartheid activists.
South Africa’s Apartheid-Era Police Minister Adriaan Vlok Dies!
Adriaan Vlok, 85, was a well-known police minister in South Africa when the white minority ran the country. He was essential to keeping the racist apartheid system in place, where police ran hit squads that kidnapped, tortured, and killed activists.
After apartheid ended in 1994, Vlok admitted to some of his crimes and was given a clean slate. In 2006, he washed the feet of the well-known anti-apartheid preacher, Frank Chikane, as a sign of regret. His critics thought it was a trick to get people to like him and keep him from telling the truth about all the bad things the apartheid regime did.
In 1989, police tried to poison Rev. Chikane to kill him, but they failed. The apartheid regime ruled South Africa for more than 45 years until Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president in 1994. Rev Chikane tried to kill Vlok in 2007, so he was given a 10-year prison sentence that was put on hold.
“I’m sorry for a lot of the things I’ve done,” he said when he was sentenced. Vlok’s family said he had died after a short illness at a hospital in the capital, Pretoria. From 1986 to 1991, he was in charge of law and order.
South Africa History Online says in its profile of him that his ministry was in charge of locking up about 30,000 people as it tried to stop the revolt against white minority rule. Vlok testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which Mr. Mandela’s government set up to find out what the apartheid regime did wrong.
Vlok said his police force had bombed places, including the South African Churches’ headquarters. After he said what he did, he was let go. He also washed the feet of the mothers and widows of 10 activists killed by the police after being tricked into an ambush.
In 2015, Vlok said on the BBC radio show Newshour that he was not to blame for the “start of apartheid.” “I helped keep it in place, and I think it would have been wrong to put me in jail for all the crimes of apartheid,” he said.
Former apartheid-era minister Adriaan Vlok dies https://t.co/B8OC8QUGRD pic.twitter.com/T5YzIPafNl
— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) January 8, 2023
Almost 30 years after the end of apartheid, racism is still a problem in South Africa. On Christmas Day, two black teens, ages 13 and 18, were allegedly attacked because of their race at a resort. Sunday, the teens were introduced at a rally by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said they were his “guests.”
“It was so disgusting to see old white men trying to choke and drown these young men in a pool,” he said. “If you’re racist, we’ll make sure you feel the power of the law because, as Nelson Mandela, the father of our democracy, said, the people of South Africa will never, ever, ever again let racism rule in our country,” he said, to loud cheers.
One white man has been charged with trying to kill someone, and two others have been accused of assault and crimen injuria, which means doing something to hurt someone’s dignity on purpose. They haven’t been asked to say anything yet and are due back in court later this month.
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