Adriaan Vlok

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Adriaan Vlok
Minister of Correctional Services
In office
July 1991 – 1994
President Frederik Willem de Klerk
Minister of Law and Order
In office
December 1986 – July 1991
President Pieter Willem Botha
Frederik Willem de Klerk
Preceded by Louis le Grange[1]
Succeeded by Hernus Kriel
Personal details
Born (1937-12-11) 11 December 1937 (age 77)
Sutherland, Northern Cape
Nationality South African
Alma mater University of Pretoria

Adriaan Johannes Vlok (born 11 December 1937 in Sutherland, Northern Cape)[2] was Minister of Law and Order in South Africa from 1986 to 1991 in the final years of the apartheid era. Facing increasingly-intense opposition and political unrest in this period, the South African government – through the State Security Council of which Vlok was a member – planned and implemented drastic repressive measures, including hit squads, carrying out bombings and assassination of anti-apartheid activists.[3] He obtained Dip Proc from the University of Pretoria in 1962.[4]

Controversial minister[edit]

Vlok's position as minister became especially controversial after 1990 during the negotiations to end apartheid, with the African National Congress insisting on his dismissal. President FW de Klerk responded by moving him to a less controversial post as Minister of Correctional Services in July 1991. In 1993–1994 he was the last chairman of the minister's council of the House of Assembly, the white chamber of parliament.

TRC amnesty[edit]

In 1999, Vlok was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) – the sole cabinet minister to have admitted committing crimes, including the bombing of the headquarters of the South African Council of Churches at Khotso House, and the COSATU trade union headquarters.[5][6]

Incomplete disclosure[edit]

In mid-2006, Vlok came forward with public apologies for a number of acts that he had not disclosed to the TRC, and for which he could therefore be prosecuted. In a dramatic gesture, he washed the feet of Frank Chikane who, as secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches, had been targeted by Vlok for assassination.[7] Subsequently, he washed the feet of the ten widows and mothers of the "Mamelodi 10", a group of anti-apartheid activists who had been lured to their death by a police informant.[8]

On 17 August 2007, the High Court in Pretoria handed Vlok a suspended ten-year sentence for his role in the 1989 plot to kill Frank Chikane.[9]


  1. ^
  2. ^ ANC Today 8-14 September 2006
  3. ^ Adriaan Johannes Vlok, South African History Online, accessed 3 December 2007
  4. ^ Adriaan Vlok Retrieved June 25, 2011
  5. ^ Amnesty Decision AC/99/0349, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 1999, accessed 3 November 2006
  6. ^ Amnesty Decision - Khotso House incident AC/99/0242, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 1999, accessed 2 November 2006
  7. ^ Feet washed in apartheid apology, BBC News, 28 August 2006, accessed 3 November 2006
  8. ^ "Many feet to wash". South Africa - The Good News. 2006-09-08. 
  9. ^ Apartheid murder plotters guilty, BBC News, 17 August 2007, accessed 18 August 2007