BULAWAYO, Tuesday, August 30,1966 — Twelve armed African terrorists, who underwent sabotage training in Algeria and Tanzania, were smuggled into Rhodesia with instructions to fight and kill Europeans and police, it was alleged at a preparatory examination at a Bulawayo magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Before the court were 11 men. They were committed for trial before the High Court by the magistrate , Mr Rodney M Woodrow, on a charge of being in possession of offensive weapons-an offence under the Law and Order (Maintenance Act).Yesterday’s hearing was held in camera .Armed police carrying a sub-machinegun, stood guard inside the court.
The 11 men, all handcuffed sat in a line on a bench in front of the dock. At the request of the Crown, Mr Woodrow ordered under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that the name of the political party they represented and the places where they were arrested by police be withheld.
The court was told that all 11 men admitted in statements to the police that they were found in possession of machineguns, automatic rifles, pistols, hand grenades and detonators, and a quantity of explosive material. In his alleged statement, one of the 11said that he was one of the 90 Africans who went to Algeria in 1965 for training.
They were later transferred to camps in Tanzania where they underwent training in the use of explosives and automatic weapons. Some of the group were sent to Zambia. But many were arrested trying to cross the border without passports.
The remainder went to Lusaka where they reported that some of their colleagues were being detained. Orders went through to the police and the men were later released. Twelve men in Lusaka were driven to the Zambezi River. They were armed with weapons and explosives and instructed to fight and kill Europeans and police in the Gwelo, Nkai and Gokwe areas.