Dimitri Tsafendas, the man who killed apartheid Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd in 1966, was sane and believed that by killing the person dubbed the “architect of apartheid”, the system of apartheid would die with him.
“Tsafendas did not kill an innocent person. He killed the most guilty person that he could get, the person who was called the architect of apartheid,” said author Harris Dousemetzis.
Dousemetzis was speaking during the launch of his book, “The Man Who Killed Apartheid: The Life of Dimitri Tsafendas”, at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg on Thursday evening.
Dousemetzis said human rights lawyers had asked the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in the 1990s to relook at the case of Tsafendas, who was declared unfit to stand trial and was kept as a state mental patient.
He said if the TRC had spoken to Tsafendas, and looked at the evidence contained in the archives, it would have discovered that Tsafendas was sane and killed Verwoerd for political reasons.
“He believed by killing him, apartheid would collapse,” Dousemetzis said.