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The Swiss authority was planning to escape to South Africa

South Africa – this country for many appeared as full of promise, as a country "of the good weather, the mountains, the wine and Golds and a solid, Christian-based Nation".

The Hennie van Vuuren writes in the book "Apartheid, Guns and Money". The 600-page Tome is the result of years of work, Van Vuuren of Researchers, lawyers and activists. The South African Journalist under the linkages sought by Western bankers and politicians with the Apartheid Regime that existed between 1948 and 1994, the society in racial split and a brutal secret service. Van Vuuren shows that this South Africa Switzerland appeared to be local companies and authorities as a chest of drawers, Alternatively, a suitable in-exile, if it would have come in Europe to the Apocalypse: the invasion of the Russians, nuclear strikes, etc.

Hennie van Vuuren is based on documents from the Swiss Federal archive. Specifically, it is a Memorandum of 1960 and to the letters of the Swiss diplomats. A survey under Apartheid-researchers shows that these documents were until now unknown. "New to me" van Vuurens discoveries, says Peter Hug, the most prestigious Swiss Apartheid-expert.


In a Letter dated may 1960, sprint, the Swiss Ambassador to the South Africans. He asks whether it is possible that Swiss company and "other legal entity" in case of emergency, their offices to South Africa, relocate and continue to be under Swiss law could work. In the exchange of letters with the Swiss Federal Political Department, don't rush into be mentioned "events" in South Africa, the Ambassador writes also: "In the determination of the government to ensure, in all circumstances, for peace and order and security, there is no doubt."

Also, you can expect efforts "to maintain a positive understanding between the races." Therefore, according to the Ambassador, it is justified to deepen the exile Option with the South African authorities. The Diplomat wrote these lines not two months after the massacre of Sharpeville, the police of 69 Black shot.

"On the determination of the government (...) click the no doubt": To Zoom in on the letter. (Hennie van Vuuren/German Federal archive)

Particularly striking was the Plan of a "transfer of headquarters" in the case of the UBS. The Bank is operating since 1948, the South African Trust Fund, the managed the "Golden pipeline" from Pretoria to Zurich. At the beginning of the 1980s, the Bank decided to outsource, in a case of war in Switzerland, the Management of the Trust, to Apartheid South Africa. With the authority of South Africa van Vuuren had been, according to a code word agreed with the Bank would be the transfer of the registered office to South Africa is arranged. In 1982, the chief of the South African of the UBS Department, the Swiss Ambassador in Pretoria wrote that he hoped that the agreement may never come into force.

As van Vuuren, the former Minister of Finance of Apartheid, Barend du Plessis, on the relocation plans of the Swiss Bank, spoke, responded to this uninformed, but enthusiastic: "This is one of the biggest compliments that our government ever made." The UBS does not want to comment on van Vuurens Research.

scene of Apartheid: police officers beat up protesters.

For Hennie van Vuuren is clear that Swiss bankers, arms dealers and politicians have contributed to the long life of Apartheid. "Apartheid has filled the pockets, and until today, you had to stand for their complicity." In his Research in Switzerland, the investigative journalist was ambivalent experience. "The way the documents are to be regulated, not helps, obviously, to reveal the secrets of the banks."

Actually, the official Switzerland is struggling with the Apartheid past. In 2003, the Federal Council files lock, the act of the relationship of Switzerland to South Africa, left, and crippled the work of a research project. With the lockout, they wanted to minimize the risk of class action lawsuits against the Swiss company. After a court had rejected in the USA, class actions, gave the Federal Council the of files 2014. For Apartheid-researchers far more interesting are the archives of the Swiss banks, which are still closed now, but anyway.

"What are the Swiss companies and authorities have to hide?", Hennie van Vuuren asks. The denial tactics remember him striking at the Secrecy surrounding dormant assets from the Second world war.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 03.05.2019, 10:47 PM

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