Lubowski family waits for 'deathbed confession'

13 September 2018 | People

Almo Lubowski, the son of slain Swapo stalwart Anton Lubowski, says the only way his family will get justice is if someone was to come forward with critical information.

“I believe it will take somebody that was directly involved coming forward and talking. Perhaps on his or her deathbed,” Almo said on Tuesday, a day before the anniversary of his father's death. The 37-year-old anti-apartheid activist was shot by a group of assailants in front of his house in Sanderburg Street in central Windhoek 29 years ago, on 12 September 1989. He was hit by several shots fired from an AK-47 automatic rifle and died from a bullet wound to the head. Almo said his family does not believe that revelations contained in a recent book, detailing the events leading up to his father's death, are enough to reopen the murder case. The book by investigative journalist Evelyn Groenink, titled 'Incorruptible - The Story of the Murders of Dulcie September, Anton Lubowski and Chris Hani', fingers former South African foreign affairs minister Pik Botha for having played a key role in Lubowksi's death. Almo said while the book gave his family some insight into “why” his father was killed, he felt the revelations were not damaging enough to prompt a relook at the case.

“Incorruptible gave more insight into possible theories and most importantly answered some of the 'why' about his assassination, but I don't think it is enough yet to reopen any case,” he said. In his testimony before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1996, Lubowski's father, Wilfried Franz Lubowski, said it is clear that the investigation into the assassination was plagued by misinformation, obfuscation, subterfuge and lies.

This, he said, was in order to conceal the fact that the assassination was planned and executed under direct orders from the apartheid government's Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB).

The CCB was the secret military hit squad generally believed to have killed Lubowski.

While giving testing at the same TRC hearing, his mother Molly Lubowski said the hardest thing for the family to swallow was that as taxpayers they had effectively paid to have their son killed.

“The instruction for the assassination was given to (CCB members) Staal Burger, Chappie Marais, Ferdi Barnard, Kalla Botha, Slang van Zyl and Wouter Basson, and Donald Acheson, a professional hit man,” she said.

The TRC report presented to former South African president Nelson Mandela in 1998 said Derrick Nielsen had sent a letter to the commission dated 4 December 1996, in which he alleged he supplied an AK-47 to Barnard for “a hit”.

He added that three days later Barnard had “bragged that they had got rid of a kafferboetie”.

The commission paid several visits to Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town, where Nielsen was serving a sentence for a traffic offence in 1997, but he refused to discuss his TRC application and divulged no further details. His main interest seemed to be to bargain information for a speedy release, the TRC report said.

Acheson, who had previously served in the Rhodesian army, was connected to the killing through the car he allegedly rented for the operation.

He was arrested and subsequently released.


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