Book Extract

How Onkgopotse Tiro met his gruesome, untimely end from the 'Parcel of Death'

In February 1974 Onkgopotse Abram Tiro became the first South African freedom fighter to be assassinated by a parcel bomb. Although he had gone into exile in Botswana, this was not far enough to escape the apartheid security forces. In this extract from 'Parcel of Death', Gaongalelwe Tiro describes his uncle's tragic end …

18 August 2019 - 00:00 By Gaongalelwe Tiro

Early afternoon on Friday, February 1 1974, a loud explosion rent the air in Kgale, Botswana. The neighbourhood is little more than 10km outside the capital city of Gaborone and sits at the foot of a hill on which there is a granite quarry. The Kgale Quarry routinely used explosives to blast granite rocks, so loud bangs were not an altogether rare occurrence here. On this day, however, while the explosion failed to raise any eyebrows, it had a sinister motive — an assassination.

Exiled South African Students’ Organisation (Saso) and regional student body Southern African Students’ Movement (SASM) leader, freedom fighter and Black Consciousness activist Onkgopotse Abram Tiro had been martyred. The incident was as gruesome as it was untimely...

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