Known terrorist was the head of Oxfam Belgium

The recent Oxfam scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of charity workers after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, is a good moment to remember that several years ago, Oxfam Belgium appointed a known terrorist, Guido van Hecken, as its president.

The Belgian blog Re-Act details his involvement in a 1983 terror attack in Pretoria, South Africa, leaving 19 dead and hundreds more wounded. The attack was part of a violent campaign the ANC was waging against the Afrikaner government those days.

Guido van Hecken then played a key role in smuggling the car bomb across the border, notably by providing falsified plates. Passtoors will occur as a Belgian tourist, and therefore the car is equipped with Belgian red -white plates. Once the car bomb is driven across the border, it will be provided with South African license plates, to blend into the South African scene.

His involvement in deadly terrorism has not put much of a damper on his career, in a way only the left can reward its violent extremists:

The terrorist activities of Van Hecken were virtually no brake on his future career. He was active in the left-wing ecological party Agalev, later called ‘Green’, and he became an employee of Green-Cabinet Secretary Eddy Boutmans – who, according to Van Hecken, was perfectly aware of his past as a former terrorist. Van Hecken later had no trouble getting started working in the services of the European Parliament. Apparently the Belgian State Security had all that time no objections….

Apartheid was still in effect in South Africa during the time of the attack, but condoning and even rewarding political violence in any context lowers the threshold for more political violence. If the left accepts murder in the battle against actual racism, it will also accept murder in the battle against imagined racism. The normalization of left-wing extremism is one of the most destabilizing developments in Western politics since the Second World War.

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