Father Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest, is injured by a letter-bomb

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father Michael.

Saturday, 28 April 1990

Father Michael Lapsley was born in New Zealand on 2 June 1949. He was trained as an Anglican priest in Australia, where he joined a religious community, The Society of the Sacred Mission. This organisation transferred him to South Africa in 1973. Father Lapsley served as a university chaplain at three campuses in Durban, while in South Africa. While serving as a priest, Father Lapsley became involved in politics as he felt it was his duty to speak out against the injustices of the Apartheid regime. In 1976,  the Apartheid government exiled Father Lapsley for his affiliation to the African National Congress (ANC) as well as for the support of students after the 1976  student uprising. Father Lapsley then moved to Lesotho and later Harare, Zimbabwe, where he served as a chaplain in the ANC.   In 1982,  Father Lapsley moved from Lesotho to Zimbabwe,  after the South African government launched a raid into Lesotho that killed 42 people. 

 It was believed that Father Lapsley was one of the targets. While living in Zimbabwe, he discovered he was on a South African government hit list . On the 28 April 1990, Father Lapsley received two pieces of mail from South Africa. Included in one of the pieces of mail was a powerful letter bomb that gravely injured him. This attempt on his life was organised by the Civil Cooperation Bureau, a covert organisation of the South African Government's security apparatus.   He has dedicated his life to helping others deal with the suffering and scars inflicted by oppressive regimes. Father Lapsley currently runs The Centre for Healing Memories in Cape Town

References:

  1. Pastor Michael ("Allan") Lapsley (online), available at: sahistory.org.za [Accessed 20 April 2010]
  2. Wednesday, April 28(online), available at: news24.com [Accessed 20 April 2010]
  3. Michael Lapsley (South Africa), (online), available at: theforgivenessproject.com [Accessed 20 April 2010]
  4. Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Day 1-10 June 1996 (Victim: Father Michael Lapsley), (online), available at: justice.gov.za [Accessed 20 April 2010]
  5. Allied with Apartheid: Reagan supported Racist South African Government(online), available at: democracynow.org [Accessed 20 April 2010]

Last updated : 28-Apr-2015

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

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