Apartheid minister Adriaan Vlok washed the feet of 13 former police and army members to apologise for leading them on to ”the wrong path”, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.
Vlok was attending a men’s evening at Grey College in Bloemfontein, a follow-up to the Christian Mighty Men gathering led by potato farmer Angus Buchan earlier this year.
Vlok addressed about 500 men and asked if there were any former police or army members among them.
About 13 men came forward.
”I told the men I was sorry. I led them onto the wrong path and I set a bad example,” Vlok told Beeld.
He knelt in front of each man, washed and dried their feet, looked them in the eye and apologised before giving each man a hug.
”It was very emotional. There were tears in their eyes … they forgave me,” said Vlok.
In mid-2006, Vlok publicly apologised for his role during apartheid and washed the feet of Frank Chikane who, as secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches, had been targeted by Vlok for assassination.
Vlok also washed the feet of the 10 widows and mothers of the ”Mamelodi 10”, a group of anti-apartheid activists who had been lured to their death by a police informant.
The former minister of law and order received a suspended sentence in August 2007 for his role in the 1989 plot to kill Chikane. — Sapa