The startling first-time admission by former apartheid law and order minister Adriaan Vlok that the notorious 1985 military signal demanding the “permanent removal from society” of the Craddock Four was a de facto kill order, is the latest thread of the old regime’s defence of its past criminal actions to unravel.

It comes amid outrage among the families of victims of apartheid death squads that Vlok’s ex-boss, former president FW de Klerk, continues to insist that apartheid was not the crime against humanity the international community insists it was — and remains...

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