Apartheid general dies

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The Independent Online

One of the most hated figures of South Africa's apartheid regime, the former defence minister Magnus Malan, has died at the age of 81.

General Malan was considered the main force behind much of the military repression of the anti-apartheid resistance movement during the 1980s. His "total solution" policy oversaw the violent repression of anti-government riots, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency in 1986, and the bombing of neighbouring countries who supported the fight against the regime.

In 1995, Malan was charged with conspiracy and 13 charges of murder, relating to a massacre carried out by paramiliataries in a KwaZulu-Natal township in 1987. In the subsequent trial, the principal case against the regime's atrocities, he was cleared.