March 31, 2007

BNP activist took part in terror campaign

· South Africa bomb past of web expert revealed
· He says now: 'I was young. I made a mistake'

A white supremacist who planted a bomb at a mixed-race school in South Africa as part of a campaign of terror designed to destabilise the post-apartheid government has become a leading figure in the British National party's online operation.

Lambertus Nieuwhof, who now lives in Hereford, was given a suspended sentence after he and two other men tried to bomb the Calvary church school in Nelspruit in 1992. The bomb, which was made from 25kg of stolen explosives, failed to go off.

Now it has emerged that Mr Nieuwhof, who moved to the UK in 1994, has helped set up a number of BNP websites through his company Vidronic Online, as well as helping to establish a BNP branch near his home last November.

Researchers at the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, who uncovered Mr Nieuwhof's terrorist past, say his appearance is part of a wider trend. "We know that several far right extremists have left South Africa and have put down roots among groups such as the BNP and pose a growing problem," said Gerry Gable of Searchlight.

At his home this week, Mr Nieuwhof admitted his role in the bomb plot. "I was a young man and impressionable. It was in the evening and we were trying to make a point because it was a mixed-race school, not hurt anybody." He said he had turned his back on violence and now believed in the "power of the pen and the ballot box".

"Everyone should be allowed a mistake," he added. Mr Nieuwhof was an activist in Eugene Terre' Blanche's rightwing Afrikaner Resistance Movement [AWB], which in the early 1990s engaged in a terror campaign aimed at provoking a race war. When the bomb he planted failed to go off one of his fellow AWB activists handed himself in, naming Mr Nieuwhof as one of his two accomplices. Mr Nieuwhof says he received a 12-month suspended sentence.

Mr Nieuwhof is not the first far-right South African to turn up on the political scene in the UK. He told the Guardian that he is close friends with another exile, Arthur Kemp, who has played a key role in several BNP campaigns since moving to the UK. Mr Kemp was linked to the murderer of the South African Communist party leader Chris Hani in 1993.

He was one of a number of far-right activists arrested after Hani's death, but was released without charge. However, information drawn from a list of names produced by Mr Kemp and said to have been passed to the wife of far-right South African MP Clive Derby Lewis was found at the home of Polish-born Janusz Walus, who was convicted of shooting Hani. At the trial Mr Kemp admitted producing a list of names but denied having knowingly supplied a "hitlist".

"He is a very good friend of mine," said Mr Neiuwhof yesterday.

Mr Nieuwhof's company is involved with a number of BNP projects online, including the website for Barking and Dagenham, the party's most successful branch, where the party has 11 councillors, and he is the administrator for the BNP's online members' forum. He is also named as the administration organiser for the Solidarity trade union set up by senior BNP members to protect the rights of "British" workers.



Anonymous said...

25kg. That's well over 50lb - a substantial bomb to plant anywhere, let alone at a school.

Anonymous said...

"I was young. I made a mistake"
Funny how they all say that, from Nick Griffin down.

Anonymous said...

Bit of a fucking big mistake to make!

DR said...

Attempted murder of children....yep, what a mistake. What's the BNP's stance of child killers again? And it'll be interesting to dig some of their 'reaction' to Beslan eh?

Antifascist said...

'I was young, I made a mistake' only really works when you're talking about nicking a packet of sweets from a shop when you were a kid, or pinching a couple of your Dad's cigarettes. It doesn't really work that well when it's applied to attempting to kill a bunch of schoolchildren because they attend a school for both blacks and white.

Jeez, the extraordinarily flexible morality of the BNP is staggering. Gays not okay in the party but attempted mass child-killers are fine. For fucks sake.

Anonymous said...

True. Very true. And well said.