Apartheid Officials Escape Jail Time in Murder Plot

By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 17, 2007 4:58 PM CDT
Apartheid Officials Escape Jail Time in Murder Plot
Victims of atrocities committed by the white racist government demonstrate outside the High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Aug. 17, 2007. An apartheid-era government minister whose name was synonymous with terror pleaded guilty to attempted murder Friday in a plot to kill a prominent church...   (Associated Press)

After pleading guilty, five former security officials in South Africa received suspended jail sentences today for their involvement in a bizarre, apartheid-era murder plot. Onetime law and order minister Adriaan Volk and four others admitted they had tried to kill Frank Chikane, a priest and anti-apartheid activist, in 1989 by lining his underwear with a deadly nerve toxin.

The case has caused some anguish in South Africa. Volk is repentant about his role in apartheid; last year, he washed Rev. Chikane's feet to prove it. But he wants no more prosecutions of this kind, the BBC reports. Rev. Chikane, meanwhile, says blacks and whites must "join hands" now, but thinks a legal reckoning is essential. (More apartheid stories.)

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