De Klerk awaits Coetzee report: South African President confirms British told him of agents' plot to assassinate defector in London

PRESIDENT F W de Klerk, reacting yesterday to a report in the Independent, acknowledged he had been fully informed of allegations that two South African military intelligence agents plotted three months ago with Ulster loyalists to kill Dirk Coetzee, a South African police defector based in London.

In contrast to the response from the South African Defence Force (SADF), Mr de Klerk did not seek to play down the significance of the allegations, making it clear that he took them very seriously.

'I was fully informed of the situation at the time this incident occurred and gave instructions that every assistance and co-operation be given to the British authorities,' Mr de Klerk said. 'Departmental investigations are continuing and I hope to be informed of the final results in the near future.' The SADF response yesterday was to repeat as fact the cover story provided to the British police by the two agents - Captain Pamela du Randt and Leon Flores - after they were arrested in London on 15 April. In a statement, the SADF said that two members of the Defence Force had been sent to London to confirm a possible link between Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation), the military wing of the African National Congress, and the IRA. Any possible wrongdoing was an 'individual' matter.

British officials involved in monitoring the April operation dismissed the claims of Captain Du Randt and Mr Flores that they were pursuing a possible IRA- ANC connection.

During the visit, the statement said, one member, acting without the sanction or knowledge of the Defence Force or any other government authority, allegedly decided to arrange for the monitoring of Mr Coetzee. The statement added that the SADF had no interest whatsoever in the former security police captain.

However, SADF military intelligence was carrying out a thorough investigation with the close co-operation of the British authorities. 'The possibility of collusion between the individual in question and an individual or individuals who are not members of the SADF is also being investigated,' the Defence Force said.

Asked yesterday as to the whereabouts of Captain Du Randt and Mr Flores, SADF spokesman Colonel John Rolt said that, in the case of Captain Du Randt, he could not divulge this information for reasons of privacy and security. He did confirm, however, that she was not under arrest. As to Mr Flores, Colonel Rolt said he had 'found out nothing about him'.

Yesterday's Independent report said the matter had also been referred to the South African police for investigation. A spokesman for the Minister of Law and Order in Pretoria, Captain Craig Kotze, confirmed that 'reports allegedly concerning us' were being investigated by the police. But, unaware of the details of the investigation, he referred further inquiries to Colonel Reg Crewe of the police PR department.

Colonel Crewe, it turned out, was even more in the dark than Captain Kotze. He said he was aware of the Independent report - but that was all. He knew nothing of any police investigation.

The ANC's response yesterday was predictably more forthright. ANC spokesman Carl Niehaus said that 'the report from London confirmed the ANC's view that security officers are involved in planning acts of violence'.

An ANC statement last night said: 'Reports in the international media indicate that despite De Klerk's assurances of the past, the South African state still employs murder as a crucial instrument of policy. More significantly, the name of General Van der Westhuizen, head of the SADF Military Intelligence, once again is implicated in this murder plot. De Klerk still has not explained why such a person retains his position in the SADF enabling him to use the powers of his office for such nefarious purposes.'

Yesterday's Independent report coincided with an announcement by President De Klerk of a number of new measures designed to halt township violence. He promised to disband three controversial security force units, upgrade single-sex hostels, and ban the carrying of dangerous weapons. The ANC dismissed it as 'cheap party political propaganda'.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Biology Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Biology Teacher for fixed term contrac...

LSA - HLTA in SEN - PRU

£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Luton: SECONDARY PRU / SEN / LSA experie...

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Teaching Assistants Needed in Bolton

£12000 - £14400 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you an...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments