Khotso House is bombed

Wednesday, 31 August 1988

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) headquarters, Khotso House, based in Johannesburg, was bombed for harbouring anti-apartheid groups a year after a blast at Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) House. The Khotso House blast, which resulted in nineteen people injured, was executed by police led by Colonel Eugene de Kock. During the 1996 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings, police chief Johan Van der Merwe who was applying amnesty for his acts revealed that he received injunction from Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok to bomb the house. Vlok, who appeared before the TRC two years later, testified that he had received orders from the state president P.W. Botha. Both Vlok and Van der Merwe were granted amnesty by the TRC.

F.W De Klerk admitted to the TRC that the government was responsible for the bombing of the Khotso House.

Click here to read his admission.

Click here to read statement by Rev. Frank Chikane on the granting of amnesty by the TRC to Eugene de Kock and Adriaan Vlok

References:
• timelines,' apartheid groups ',[online],Available at www.timelines.ws [Accessed: 20 August 2013]
• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.

Last updated : 31-Aug-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011