Jeannette Schoon and her daughter are killed by a letter bomb


Jeannette Schoon Curtis

Thursday, 28 June 1984

Former member of South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), Jeannette Schoon, and her six-year old daughter, Katryn, were killed by a letter bomb at Lubango, in northern Angola on 28 June 1984.

Anti-apartheid activist Marius Schoon (Jeannette's husband) was the target of the bombing because of his prior involvement in anti-apartheid politics. He was banned in South Africa and had initially taken his family into exile in Botswana, but they moved to Angola because they thought it would be safer.

The letter was delivered by Craig Williamson, a spy for the security police who pretended to be a family friend. The explosion occurred in Schoon's kitchen. Jeannette's three-year-old son, Fritz, was also in the kitchen at the time but he was not hurt.

The perpetrators Craig Williamson and Jerry Raven, who manufactured the bomb, appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to apply for amnesty. The TRC granted amnesty to the applicants.

• Coleman, M. (ed)(1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee, p. 133.
• Schoon, J., (1984), 'Jeanette Schoon 1949-1984', from blackendout, 28 June, [online] Available at [Accessed: 18 June 2014]
• Pretoria., (1998), 'Williamson accused in TRC of killing Schoons out of revenge', from Justice Government, 18 September, [online] Available at [Accessed: 18 June 2014]
• TRC decision., 'Amnesty application by Craig Williamson and Jerry Raven', from Justice Government, 18 September, [online] Available at [Accessed: 18 June 2014]

Last updated : 18-Jun-2014

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

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.