Tuesday, November 12, 2013
People don’t forgive or forget- Magoo Bomb blast -Crime and Terrorism
Greta Apelgren and Robert Mc Bride - crime terrorism- The Magoo bomb blast
People don’t forgive or forget
June 15 2011 at 01:33pm
By Janet Smith
Greta Apelgren - crime terrorism, Magoo bomb blast
Greta Apelgren cannot get a job in Durban. She’ll apply, but prospective employers always ask if she’s “the same” Greta Apelgren. That goes for government jobs, too.
“They ask me: ‘Why didn’t you declare your crimes on your application? Are you ashamed of it?’ And I say: ‘But I got amnesty. That was the whole point.’”
Of course, she is “the same” Greta Apelgren, even if she changed her name and her faith for a while when she was married. She is the woman convicted for her part in the escape of fellow Umkhonto we Sizwe operative Gordon Webster from the Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg in May 1986. And, together with Aboobaker Ismail – her immediate commander in their Special Operations Unit – and her comrades Robert McBride and Matthew Lecordier, Apelgren got amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for that.
She also got amnesty for her part in the explosion at the Why Not Restaurant and Magoo’s Bar on June 17, 1986 – although Apelgren was never convicted for the deadly blast. She applied to the TRC as a matter of conscience, together with Ismail, McBride, Lecordier, Earnest Pule, Lester Dumakude and Johannes Molefe.
Apelgren, like McBride, had apologised, but the geography of anger did not change.
“To a lot of people in Durban, I’m still Greta the terrorist. It does haunt me but I’ve had to just accept that, really, we are thought of and probably will always be thought of, as the most rotten of all. Besides Magoo’s, there was the audacity of springing Gordon from Edendale Hospital. I don’t know. I suppose Robert and I will always be thought of as something of a Bonnie and Clyde.”