/ 20 August 1998

UN will watch Hammarskjold inquiry with interest

OWN CORRESPONDENT, Johannesburg | Thursday 3.00pm.

THE United Nations on Wednesday night said it will watch with interest a possible South African government investigation into claims that the former government was involved in the mysterious 1961 death of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold.

The UN’s response comes after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Wednesday released documents suggesting that an organisation called the South African Institute of Maritime Research was involved in a plot blow up the aircraft carrying Hammarskjold and 15 other passengers.

The documents also suggested that the United States’ CIA and United Kingdom’s MI6 was involved in Hammarskjold’s death. The CIA, however, on Wednesday night denied any involvement: “The notion that the CIA was behind the death of a former UN secretary-general is absurd and without foundation,” a CIA spokesman said.

The truth commission on Wednesday handed the documents to Justice Minister Dullah Omar to investigate the plot as its investigative mandate has expired.