|MAGNUS MALAN (AFP/Getty Images/File 1995)|
JOHANNESBURG - A family friend says one of South Africa’s apartheid-era defense ministers has died.
Gert Opperman says Magnus Malan died yesterday in Cape Town. He was 81.
Mr. Malan served as defense minister from 1980 to 1991 and was considered responsible for many of the country’s military efforts against the antiapartheid struggle. In 2005, he was charged along with 19 others with the slaying of 13 people under apartheid. He was later acquitted of murder and conspiracy.
Opperman described Mr. Malan as a soldier at heart. But he also acknowledged that for many, Mr. Malan personified the military successes of the apartheid regime, which ended with the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela.