Death of former apartheid minister generates debate on his role during his tenure

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The death of the former Law and Order Minister during apartheid, Adriaan Vlok has generated a debate on the role he played during his tenure at the helm of the South African Police. Vlok who died last week, was part of the apartheid leadership that gave commands to juniors to harass and terrorised those who were opposed to the regime.

A statement from the family says Vlok died after a short illness. In 2006, Vlok washed Reverend Frank Chikane’s feet as a public gesture of apology. He was part of the State that laced Chikane’s clothes with poison in the late 1980s.

A veteran Editor, Professor Anton Harber describes Vlok’s involvement in the atrocities that were committed by the then regime.

“In the late 1980s when some of the worst murders, some of the worst torture and some of the worst bombings happened under his watch. So he was politically responsible for a lot of worst horrors of the late era of Apartheid.”

The former Law and Order Minister was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1999.

Harber says while Vok did appear before the TRC, he did not make a full disclosure during the hearing.

“He did repent more than most. He never tell the full story. He protected others, but he did go further than any other cabinet minister.”

Vlok died at the age of 85.

Veteran Journalist Professor Anton Harber on the death of Adriaan Vlok: