A Ministry of Great Risk: Frank Chikane Speaks About His Experience

Frank Chikane was interviewed by phone on June 9, 1989, the day after his press conference in Madison, Wisconsin.  -- The Editors

Jim Wallis: How are you feeling after this ordeal you have been through?

Frank Chikane: Well, I am trying to rest; it was quite a heavy day yesterday. But otherwise I am fine.

How do you think this chemical contamination reached you?

If I had a police force and I wanted to cover all the possibilities, I would send those police to my home and interview everybody who's around. I would also send the police to my office. Not that I suspect the people in my home or office; the point is that there could be infiltration. People could come to the house when it's unattended and gain access to it.

There is another area that people don't think of; I would send the police to the dry cleaners. And I would send the police to the airport. You like to imagine that home is a controlled environment, but the airport situation is different. It is completely out of your hands. Because of [the perpetrators'] sophistication, once they gained access to my baggage or clothes, they could have used any method. I have been told it is not difficult to spray that type of chemical.

Could the chemical have been sprayed on the outside of the baggage and then penetrated, or would the baggage have had to be opened?

I would imagine that if somebody wanted to do a good job, it would have to be opened.

What do you think would have happened to you if you had been in South Africa during these attacks of illness?

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