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March 05 , 2010

Total Onslaught

Apartheid’s dirty tricks exposed


For much of its time in power, the National Party government was shored up by the direct involvement of its security forces. Ordinary citizens had no idea that their taxes were being used to fund unorthodox and even illegal operations, ranging from international propaganda campaigns to local death squads. From the dreaded Security Branch, the sinister Civil Cooperation Bureau, the aptly named BOSS and the ubiquitous front companies set up to bypass an arms embargo and economic sanctions, South Africa was run by stealth. It was the government’s Total Strategy against the enemy’s Total Onslaught. A handful of intrepid journalists began the process of uncovering the truth about apartheid, but despite their dedication and the later efforts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa’s recent history remains fraught with secrets. Now, for the first time, investigative reporter De Wet Potgieter can reveal the truth behind some of the most enigmatic events in South Africa’s past, from what happened during PW Botha’s final cabinet meeting to the assassination of Olof Palme. These, and many other news stories of the time, afford a rare and fascinating glimpse into the behind-the-scenes machinations of South Africa’s security apparatus in the apartheid era.
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