This Day in History: 10 January, 1988


On Sunday January 10, 1988, Zimbabwean national Obed Amon Mwanza was killed by a bomb detonated outside an African National Congress (ANC) transit house in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

The detonation was part of a South African Security Police operation launched by agents situated in Zimbabwe. One of the agents involved, Philip Masiza Conjwayo, confessed to the ANC that he was handled by South African Security Police Captain Mary Baker.

Documents submitted to the ANC confirmed that Conjwayo was paid Z$8000 by another South African agent, Henry Thompson to undertake the operation. Conjawo’s role was to hire a vehicle and a driver. Mwanza was the driver hired and the truck booby-trapped. Two other agents, Kit Bawden and Michael Smith, followed Mwanza’s truck to the appointed address.

Once he parked the truck, Bawden detonated the bomb via remote control. Mwanza was killed in the explosion, while six ANC members were injured.