McBride: I know who apartheid spies were

Suspended IPID head Robert McBride. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Suspended IPID head Robert McBride. Picture Credit: Gallo Images

Independent Police Investigative Directorate boss Robert McBride was given files containing details of ANC members - some yet to be exposed - who worked with the Security Branch through apartheid-era killing machine Craig Williamson.

McBride, a former member of Umkhonto weSizwe's special operations unit, revealed this explosive information in journalist Jonathan Ancer's new book Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson.

McBride told Ancer that he realised the files, given to him in the 90s, were a "Pandora's box" and ANC leaders did not have appetite for the information. He said although the files had no names he worked out the identities of some of the people.

"They still haven't been exposed," said McBride.

"Unfortunately, some of them are still doing s***," he told Ancer.

McBride said he was told by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils to give the boxes to the Intelligence Department and complied but never heard anything afterwards.

Kasrils and State Security Agency spokesman Brian Dube had not responded to requests for comment sent to them last Thursday.

"The leaders in the ANC had a lack of appetite to deal with this thing. I told myself that some people will forever get away with what they did - and maybe it's not in the interests in the bigger scheme of South Africa's project of nation-building that it comes out," McBride said.

Ancer writes that in an interview with Williamson, the man who sent the parcel bomb that killed Struggle icon Ruth First in Mozambique in 1982, he told him that it should not have come as a surprise to his victims that they were targets.

Williamson gave police the information that led to Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko's arrest in August 1977.

Biko was killed by his police interrogators while in custody a few weeks after his arrest.

Williamson, who infiltrated the ANC in exile, is also scathing about some of his opponents.

"Some of the most gullible intelligence people I've come across in my life are the ANC," he told Ancer.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party was not aware of Williamson's files.

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