The bodies of three young men -- a Briton and two South Africans -- who were shot dead last week while allegedly trying to escape from troops in Botswana, were flown on Monday (3 April) to the South African capital of Pretoria.
The bodies of three young men -- a Briton and two South Africans -- who were shot dead last week while allegedly trying to escape from troops in Botswana, were flown on Monday (3 April) to the South African capital of Pretoria. The Briton, Nicholas Love, was a 19-year-old tourist, and the South Africans, Billy de Beer and Mike Arden, were both game wardens. The South African government is reported to have opened high-level talks with the Botswana government over the deaths.
SYNOPSIS: A light aircraft containing the bodies arrives at Wonderboom airport in Pretoria. They were being sent for government postmortem examinations, which were to show, according to Mr. de Beer's father, no outward signs of assault before death.
A Botswana government statement, issued on March the 31st, claimed the three men had all been wearing military-type clothing when they were detained on March the 28th ???ear the Rhodesian border. Their arrests, the statement said, had followed reports that Rhodesian soldiers had crossed the frontier. It further claimed that the three men had attacked their guards as they were being taken to a military camp in the back of an open Land-Rover under armed guard.
The statement said one of the three men had managed to wrest a rifle from a guard, and that they jumped off the vehicle, and two of them started to run away. Because the third man with the rifle made as if to fire, the statement added, the patrol commander ordered his men to open fire, and the three detainees were killed on the spot. The final post-mortem reports were expected to be completed in about three weeks after pathologists had studied tissue and clothing specimens. Mr. John Love, father of the dead Briton, flew to Johannesburg, where he called for an independent judicial inquiry into his son's death. He was reported to be travelling later to Botswana.