Magnus Malan, Apartheid Defender, Dies at 81
Magnus Malan, a South African general and defense minister who in the 1980s helped devise and carry out his nation’s last-ditch strategy to preserve its system of rigid racial segregation, including ordering raids into surrounding countries, died on Monday in Cape Town. He was 81.
A family spokesman said the cause was heart failure, The South African Press Association reported.
General Malan used the phrase “total onslaught” to describe the threats to apartheid, as the country’s racial laws were known. He saw those threats coming from Communists, neighboring African countries and liberals in the United States. His answer was “a total strategy,” combining elements of the political, economic and psychological spheres as well as the military.
He approved counterinsurgencies in Mozambique and Angola; set up a covert agency responsible for disinformation and assassination; sent troops to control unrest in so-called townships, areas designated for blacks; and declared that political rights were not a relevant concern for blacks. He and his aides regularly used terms like “annihilate” and “exterminate.” He approved a biological warfare program....
comments powered by Disqus
- Stanford historian uncovers the dark roots of humanitarianism
- Historian hailed for offering a history of the culture wars
- Scholars to set the West straight about "Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad"
- Why Eugene Genovese’s 2 sentences about Vietnam went viral in 1965
- Historians named to the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences