The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/r/ratte.willem/press/afp.970807

Subject:      Right-winger planned rocket attack at Mandela's offices:
From:         samcpa@IX.NETCOM.COM (Sam Akintimoye)
Date:         1997/08/07
Message-ID:   <>
Organization: None
Reply-To:     samcpa@IX.NETCOM.COM
Newsgroups:   soc.culture.nigeria

>   JOHANNESBURG, Aug 3 (AFP) - A South African right-winger
>arrested for trying to steal rockets and mortars from a military
>base in February intended to launch an attack against President
>Nelson Mandela's stately offices in Pretoria, a report said here.
>   Willem Ratte and 11 other right-wingers were arrested in
>February after trying to steal RPG-7 anti-tank rockets and 81 mm
>mortars from a military base, sources close to the case told the
>Sunday Independent newspaper.
>   The raiders opened fire after being trapped by military
>personnel in a weapons and ammunition store at the Pomfret military
>base near Vryburg west of here, according to a South African army
>   No one was hurt in the shootout.
>   Witnesses are expected to testify that Ratte intended to launch
>a rocket attack on Pretoria's government admininistrative centre,
>the Union Buildings, where Mandela has offices.
>   The planned attack would have been the signal for a general
>right-wing revolt, sources said, adding that Ratte intended to raise
>the neo-Nazi "Vierkleur flag" over the capital, sources said.
>   An RPG-7 missile can penetrate bulletproof glass as well as
>bricks and mortar more than half a metre (a foot and a half) thick.
>   Ratte has claimed he was "set up" by the military and the police
>who lured him into a trap.
>   The right-wing leader was on bail appealing a 5-1/2-year jail
>term for the illegal possession of firearms and explosives during a
>white right-wing occupation of historic Fort Schanskop near Pretoria
>in December 1993.
>   Ratte, a former soldier who led a reconnaissance unit in the
>apartheid army in the 1970s and 1980s, embarked on a 54-day hunger
>strike last year to demand that people who committed crimes in
>defence of apartheid be given unconditional amnesty.
>   Ratte is currently being held in the maximum security section of
>Pretoria prison with well-known killers such as confessed police hit
>squad boss Eugene de Kock and the two assassins of African National
>Congress leader Chris Hani, Janus Waluz and Clive Derby Lewis.

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