Notorious South African Police Minister Adriaan Vlok Passes Away at 85 After Confessing to His Crimes

Vlok, a former police minister during south africa’s white minority rule, has died at the age of 85. during his tenure, vlok was a key figure in enforcing the racist system of apartheid, with police running hit squads that kidnapped, tortured and murdered activists. in 2006, he made a gesture of contrition by washing the feet of prominent anti-apartheid cleric rev frank chikane.

End of the more than 45 years of rule by the apartheid regime came in 1994 when nelson mandela became south africa’s first black president. in 2007, vlok was given a suspended prison sentence of 10 years for rev chikane’s attempted murder. he passed away at a hospital in pretoria, the capital of south africa, after a short illness.

Was minister of law and order from 1986 to 1991, and during this time his ministry was responsible for the detention of about 30,000 people as it attempted to suppress the revolt against white minority rule. he testified at the truth and reconciliation commission set up by mr mandela’s government and was granted amnesty for confessing to some of his crimes. in 2015, vlok told the bbc’s newshour radio programme that he was not responsible for the “inception of apartheid”, but admitted that he had helped to keep it in place. he also washed the feet of the mothers and widows of 10 activists who were murdered by the police after being lured into an ambush.

By Evey Lovelace

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