‘Cold Case Hammarskjöld’ is unlike any documentary I’ve seen. It’s occasional deadpan humour in the first half flies in plane-crashing contrast to the chills, sadness and anger that eventually imploded me.
Did South Africa, with assistance from MI5, the domestic intelligence branch of the British Government, attempt to infect Africans with HIV via fake vaccinations?
That question grows as investigator Göran Bjorkdahl and documentarian Mads Brugger seek to discover who assassinated United Nations Secretary General Hammarskjold in 1961.
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld made a mistake. He believed that his actions had to match the noble goals the organisation had put on paper. Believing that every country should be able to control its own affairs, he did his best to assist African states that had been, or were about to become, emancipated from colonial powers.
The movie asserts that his moral efforts made him the enemy of corporations and countries such as Britain and the USA. He had to be killed.
The plane that carried him and 16 others crashed in Northern Rhodesia, now modern day Zambia, on 18 September 1961. I don’t want to give away to too much of the story but the circumstances were extremely suspicious.
The motivation for the assassination isn’t far-fetched in that the USA and Belgium were linked to the assassination of Congo Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba the year before. Prior to that, the OSS, the precursor to the CIA, tried to control the uranium in that area which was also the source for the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The war for the control of African economies remains to this day.
But was South Africa involved in Hammarskjöld’s death? It appears so but that aspect becomes overshadowed by the other dark deeds of the shadowy organisation involved.
THE SINISTER SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR MARITIME RESEARCH
IT’S 1998 in South Africa. Just before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) comes to an end, it produces a document that’s the plan for the assassination of Hammarskjöld. The protagonist is the South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), a possible partnership between mercenaries and the intelligence services of South Africa, Britain and the USA.
It’s leader, Keith Maxwell, who self-labelled himself as ‘Commander’, was allegedly at the crash site of the UN Secretary General’s plane.
Flash forward 20-30 years and one of his projects has Maxwell pretending to be a doctor, opening clinics to service the black poor from the townships of South Africa. Circumstantial evidence points to his purpose being the infection of black people with HIV for the purpose of white supremacy. It’s claimed that the main base of operations for this project was in Mozambique.
Science suggests that their attempts would’ve been unsuccessful but the fact they they tried, possibly with assistance from Western democracies, is sufficient to goosebump me inside.
The lack of ethics isn’t so shocking as to be unbelievable. Around the same period, motivated by profit, drug companies and the British National Health Service treated haemophiliac patients with blood from the USA that they knew may be infected with HIV. Thousands of patients died as result.
Alexander Jones, a former soldier for SAIMR, is the biggest revelation. He left South Africa before the film’s release. He has been reported to have been in contact with the United Nations. Impartial interrogation of Jones is essential.
YOUNG WOMEN ASSASSINATED?
An interesting sub-plot is the alleged murders of SAIMR research staff, as part of the cover-up. That included two beautiful, young ladies.
Debbie Campbell was recruited whilst still in High School. No one has found her. She’s feared dead like Dagmar Feil.
Feil had intended becoming a whistleblower before she was stabbed to death in 1990. She knew she’d be killed, telling her brother, Karl Feil, a few weeks before. He claims that the police were unwilling to investigate. Understand how bizarre that was at the time – a pretty, white women murdered would normally have resulted in a frenzy of action and expectation.
‘Commander’ Maxwell appears to have been a textbook psychopath. The sole contrary fact is that, before he disappeared, he left notes about SAIMR with Dagmar’s and Karl’s mother. Did Maxwell feel guilty about Dagmar’s murder or was he hoping that his legacy would be uncovered?
Karl claims that the TRC repeatedly refused to hear his mother, unwilling to investigate SAIMR. That reluctance continues, the ANC-led government of South Africa refusing to cooperate with new investigation by the United Nations. Britain has also been unhelpful.
Their reaction suggests conspiracy bigger than transitional periods such as Apartheid.
DISTURBING SOUTH AFRICAN PARTNERSHIPS
There are uncomfortable moments in South African history that appear to be companions to the documentary.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a sham. It never investigated the corporations that profited out of the slavery of black people. It left foreign sanction busters alone. Instead, the ANC allowed those companies to relocate their criminal profits to London.
For example, the ANC were supposed to be the enemies of the racist National Party Government yet appear to have been its financial partners. The ANC allowed National Party leaders to remove R30-billion from the country via an operation called Project Spear. Essentially, South Africa’s gold supply was stolen.
As late as 2012, during the reign of Jacob Zuma whom many incorrectly perceived as the defender against capitalism, state broadcaster, the SABC, stopped a documentary about Project Spear from being broadcast.
Ex-Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and ex-South African Reserve Bank Manager Tito Mboweni have been accused of cover-up. And the Reserve Bank, one of the world’s few that are privately owned, has refused independent audit.
The first significant action by Cyril Ramaphosa, when he became interim President in 2018, was to visit the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is an organisation for corporations that many consider to be the the biggest unchecked power in the world.
Ramaphosa then made Mboweni the Finance Minister and Gordhan the State Enterprises Minister. They’re currently viewed as his two biggest allies.
COLD CASE HAMMARSKJOLD
The initial jumpiness and offbeatness of ‘Cold Case Hammarskjöld’ may dissuade some viewers but if they continue watching they’re guaranteed to become as absorbed as me.
It’s one downfall is that it allows the perception that it uncovered everything itself. Reality is that author Susan William’s book, ‘Who Killed Hammarskjöld?’, along with Göran Bjorkdahl’s evidence, instigated the new United Nations investigation.
Nevertheless, the documentary is a 2019 highlight, and will linger long and disturbingly in the minds of South Africans whose country should stop hiding its past lest its future become as tainted.
Watch via Amazon Prime: www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Hammarskj%C3%B6ld-Mads-Br%C3%BCgger/dp/B07WJJ713Q/
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11 August 2019 – United Nations’ Update – Raised expectations of progress as Judge submits final report to UN Secretary-General
Judge Mohamed Chande Othman, the ‘eminent person’ charged to implement UN General Assembly Resolution 71/260 (23 December 2016) has now submitted the final report in his ‘Investigation into the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him’. UN Secretary-General António Guterres will present the judge’s report to the UN General Assembly later this year, together with his recommendations for further action.
This final report follows his earlier report (October 2017) in which he observed “Far from approaching the possible limit of our understanding, the deeper we have gone into the searches, the more relevant information has been found.” Amongst recommendations in that report, he urged more cooperation from nine key countries, later extended to a further five countries (News Item 3 September 2018). The responses from these countries have differed greatly in their support although it is understood the Judge is content with the majority of these, having led to the discovery of important and useful information. Responses from some countries have been disappointing (News Item 3 December 2018).
Sweden continues to serve as lead nation in carrying through the implementation of the General Assembly’s Resolution 71/260. In securing the successful passage of three votes in the General Assembly, it has skilfully coordinated more than one hundred UN Member States, ensuring the continuation of the Judge’s investigations. Even so, its own protocols continue to hinder some requests for access to official Hammarskjöld-related documents on grounds that they are classified under national security laws (New York Times 4 August 2019). This follows its protracted correspondence with the families of those others who died in the plane crash.
In the UK, the Westminster United Nations Association, utilising the Freedom of Information Act, has pursued its request that the British government release information relating to the UN Secretary-General’s request to the UK Government to appoint a high ranking and independent official to examine state records on the matter (News Item 4 May). Having received an unsatisfactory response to its follow-up request, it has referred the matter to the office of the independent Information Commissioner. On 5 August, the Commissioner confirmed that the reference was eligible for further consideration and would be ‘carried forward as soon as possible’.
Is fair investigation possible? Or will facts be devolved into conspiracy theory becoming a Hollywood movie one day?