How UK thwarted Mugabe assassination bid
Publish date: 14 May 2018
Issue Number: 773
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The Rhodesian Special Air Service squad planned to assassinate Robert Mugabe and his rival, Joshua Nkomo, ex-leader of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union. However, the attempt was unsuccessful as the British warned Mugabe about the plan, giving him time to escape and hide before the assassins arrived. A report on the face2faceafrica site notes that a new book, We Dared to Win: The SAS in Rhodesia by Hannah Wessels and Andre Scheepers, describes the assassination attempt. Scheepers, a former SAS official, states that the assassins had planned to kill Mugabe in February 1979 in his house in Maputo, Mozambique. Peter Petter-Bowyer, a senior figure at Rhodesian Military Headquarters at the time, claimed that Britain had helped Mugabe escape.