Loyalist guns from South Africa

Former Blanket columnist Dr John Coulter lifts the lid on how apartheid South African weapons were used by loyalist death squads to murder dozens of Catholics. It featured in the Daily Star on the 13th September 2012.

Where are the remainder of the South African weapons which loyalist death squads used to slaughter 135 people, mostly Catholics, during a five –year murder spree? That’s the hard-hitting question which well-placed nationalist sources have demanded an answer to.

And the current South African government also needs to launch a Bloody Sunday-style public inquiry into who in the former apartheid regime knew about a massive arms cache sent to those death squads in 1988, urged the sources.

The damning dossier of death has been given to the Star as the collusion debate in Irish bloody past takes another twist.

In January 1988, the UDA intelligence boss and British agent Brian Nelson masterminded one of the biggest consignments of illegal weapons to loyalists since the Larne gun-running of 1914 to arm Carson’s Ulster Volunteers.  The loyalist bloodbath bonanza consisted of 200 Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-47 automatic rifles; 90 American Browning 9 mm pistols; around 500 fragmentation grenades; 30,000 bullets; a dozen Russian-made RPG7 rocket launchers, and an unknown number of warheads.

The nationalist sources also maintained Nelson – who died in 2003 – because of his senior UDA post, would also have known where the loyalist caches were hidden. Within hours of landing in the North, a significant consignment bound for the UDA was seized by the security forces, followed a month later by another major cache belonging to the UVF in Belfast.

The massive consignment had been divided between three loyalist terror gangs – the UDA, UVF and the fledgling Ulster Resistance, which had only been formed a few years earlier with strong DUP backing. It was suspected that the UDA’s part was deliberately sacrificed to ensure the bulk of the remainder of the initial consignment made it past the security forces. The DUP later distanced itself from Ulster Resistance – known for its distinctive red berets – after Resistance members were ironically involved in a plot to smuggle missile plans to apartheid South Africa.
It is thought many of Ulster Resistance’s consignment were distributed to the UDA and UVF. According to the nationalist sources’ documentation, in spite of the loyalist terror ceasefires and decommissioning, just under half the original consignment remains unaccounted for.
There is the real fear some of these weapons could find their way into the caches of dissident loyalist groups, such as the Loyalist Volunteer Force, Orange Volunteers, Red Hand Defenders, Real UFF, or even criminal gangs.
The South African weapons had a major impact on the murder rate of the loyalist death squads.
According to our sources, in the six years – from January 1982 to December 1987 - before the smuggling of the huge arsenal, loyalists murdered 71 people. In the five years after the weapons’ arrival, loyalists killed 135 people – almost double the rate before acquiring the South African haul.

The nationalist dossier details some 54 attacks attributed to the haul in which people were murdered, ranging from single deaths to massacres such as the Greysteel and Loughinisland pub slaughters.  The blood lust began within weeks of the consignment’s arrival with the Belfast Milltown Cemetery Massacre on 16 March, 1988, in which UFF killer Michael Stone murdered three men using the Browning pistols and grenades. Stone was again later jailed for a failed bid to bomb a sitting of the Stormont Assembly.

According to the documents, the final murder act attributed to the smuggled weapons was the UDA killing of Catholic security guard Harry O’Neill in Belfast on 10 August, 1994 – some two months prior to the mainstream loyalist paramilitary ceasefires in October.

This was also the same year the white-dominated apartheid regime was formally ended in South Africa when elections brought Nelson Mandela and his ANC to power. The document also noted: “There have also been many attempted killings using such weaponry, which have resulted in many serious injuries.”
Ten Murders Caused By The South African Weapons:
1, October 1993: Rising Sun lounge massacre, Greysteel: Karen Thompson, Steven Mullan, Joseph McDermott, Moira Duddy, James Moore, John Burns, John Moyne, Samuel Montgomery (died later from his injuries). Claimed by UFF using AK-47s and Browning.
2, June 1994: Loughinisland pub massacre: Adrian Rogan, Daniel McCreanor, Eamon Byrne, Patrick O’Hare, Barney Green, Malcolm Jenkinson. Claimed by UVF using AK-47s.
3, March 1988: Milltown Cemetery massacre: Thomas McErlean, John Murray, Caoimhin MacBradaigh. Killed by Michael Stone.
4, May 1988: Avenue Bar massacre, Belfast: Stephen McGahan, Damien Devlin, Paul McBride. Claimed by UVF using AK-47s.
5, March 1991: Cappagh massacre, Co Tyrone: John Quinn, Dwayne O’Donnell, Malcolm Nugent, Thomas Armstrong. Claimed by Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright’s UVF unit using AK-47s.
6, March 1991: Craigavon mobile shop massacre: Eileen Duffy, Katrina Rennie, Brian Frizzell. Claimed by Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson’s UVF unit.
7, November 1992: North Belfast betting shop massacre: Francis Burns, Peter Orderly, John Lovett. Claimed by UFF using AK-47s and grenades.
8, February 1992: Ormeau Road betting shop massacre: Peter Magee, James Kennedy, Christy Doherty, William McManus, Jack Duffin. Claimed by UFF using Ak-47 and Browning.
9, August 1991: senior IPLO member Martin O’Prey: Claimed by UVF using Browning.
10, May 1991: Sinn Fein Councillor Eddie Fullerton, Donegal: Claimed by UFF using Browning.
The Key Ten Questions The South African Government Needs To Answer About The Gun Running:
1, How far up the apartheid regime of the South African ruling National Party did the knowledge go that illegal weapons were going to loyalist death squads?
2, Many of the weapons were of communist make, so did the South Africans take them from captured or killed guerrillas from communist organisations in South Africa, Angola and Mozambique rather than the while government’s own home-produced weaponry?
3, What was the role of the South African secret service, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and rogue elements of its fore-runner, the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) in the gun-running given Nelson’s link to British intelligence?
4, Who paid for the consignment? Did the cash come from Unionist businessmen, loyalist robbery proceeds, the British intelligence community, or a generous donation from the apartheid regime in South Africa?
5, What did the South African regime get in return for supplying the loyalists?
6, Was targeting anti-apartheid groups and people in the UK and Ireland part of the deal to supplying the massive arms cache?
7, Did the loyalist groups agree to gather intelligence on possible targets in the UK and Ireland who opposed apartheid for the South African agents to murder?
8, How much does the modern African National Congress government of South Africa know about this January 1988 gun-running and will it use its Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help the North’s Historical Enquiries Team to solve murders?
9, Where is the remainder of the South African consignment? Did Nelson before he died give any indication to either his South African contacts or British intelligence handlers as to their locations?
10, Could the South Africans confirm or deny that any loyalist or Unionist politicians were involved in the arms deal given the DUP’s links to Ulster Resistance at that time in 1988?  


  1. Why ask South Africa anything? Sure Nelson was working for Brit/RUC inteligence. Paisley and 1st minister Robinson could also provide the answers no doubt. But given that the RUC seemed oblivious to 14 murders of Catholics by Mount Vernon UVF and that Peter Robinson was unaware of his wife's romantic indulgences, they may indeed have been oblivious to it all. Maybe...maybe not!!

  2. Sometimes, with the greatest of respect, I think that Dr John Coulter is living in some sort of post GFA drug-induced cookoo-land.
    To imagine 'a Bloody Sunday style inquiry' into arms supplied to loyalists, in this basket case of a country, is beyond, certainly my own comprehension.

    This is the country where, after State police murder 34 black innocent miners for striking, the State charge their workmates with the same murders for 'encouraging' them to be there.[later to be dropped]. Where economic apartheid is practised more corrosively than even the worst racist apartheid of the past. It is more a colony of western zionist corporate America now, than ever it was under the descendants of Dutch settlers.
    It's a country that has shamefully sold the lie to its people of a supposed AIDS epidemic, as a cover for poor sanitation, hygiene, malnutrition and drink and drug related diseases, induced by State sanctioned poverty.
    Yes, South Africa has come a long way since apartheid. Nelson Mandelas' grandson owns one of the largest platinum mines in the country, whilst he and his family and their cronies in the ANC have amassed great fortunes and enriched themselves, pandering to white corporate interests on the backs of their impoverished nation.
    Dissenting voices? Enquiries? Truth? Forget it.
    Remind you of anywhere?

  3. Truerevisionist,yes indeed a cara QUISLING $inn £ein have been cloned into an exact replica of Gerry Mandela,s ANC,and the lies,corruption and cronyism of qsf has only been surpassed by that of the ANC,with the result that for the people of both these countries truth and justice never mind peace shall be further away than ever,its no wonder that they are so fond of backslapping each other,they have fucked those who put them into power,

  4. Marty
    I totally agree with your take on this.
    I began having my suspicions when Mandela the zionist puppet formally met with Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg. The 'backslapping' confirmed all to me some five years or so ago, when in a friends'[ex long term republican prisoner] house I was amused to view his photos of himself and Mandela and other PSF people all 'chummy chummy' on a visit to South Africa.
    Guess those PSF peacemakers were over there to educate themselves in the political art of subterfuge, deception and of course self-aggrandizement.

  5. truthrevisionist

    'Guess those PSF peacemakers were over there to educate themselves in the political art of subterfuge, deception and of course self-aggrandizement.'

    Correcto!! was talking to a S. African [white] yesterday and he was telling me the mine where the strikers were shot is Brit owned as are most out there. The Brits call a lot of the shots in that regard and have no interest in paying better wages. We have little idea of how it works there. Mandella's son is now owner of his own mine seemingly and it's the mine companies who 'bought' Mandella and why the ANC have done bugger all about the shanty towns etc. Sound familiar? Looks like political power but it's really just window dressing....? New world order..nothing changes haha

    Until some way is found to prevent contamination of leaders then what's likely to change? An example could and probably should have been set some time ago though. But sure look at America, Obama had ideas and that's all they will remain.

  6. Truthrevisionist I became slightly concerned when Winnie built the swimming pool way back in the day when Winnie was a big thief.and as you rightly say P.O.Neill and the broys were on a information trip there, as you may be aware,when you have lots of dosh to invest one needs all the best advice one can get and the anc had by that stage learnt all the ins and outs of swilling at the big boys troth.

  7. In respect of Q. 5 above, the attempted murder, in south Belfast of Adrian Geulke, QUB politics lecturer, apartheid regime critic, truthsayer and proponent of democratic majority rule.

  8. Larry,
    Very well put. Nelson acted with the full knowledge of the British security services who it seems were quite willing to arm their murderers even better...Paisley and Robinson will never be brought to account - there is no-one to do it.