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The Plot to Kill Mugabe - Episode 2

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Peter Stiff

May 16, 2001, 3:26:52 AM5/16/01
This is an extract from the autobiography of British secret agent
Peter Stiff, called "See You in November", published by Galago,
Johannesburg, 1985. Peter Stiff, or "Taffy" as he was known to his mates,
infiltrated the Rhodesian CIO, and was given the job of assassinating the
then wanted serial killer, Robert Mugabe. See http://www.galago.co.za

Episode 2 - In Which Taffy Decides to Blow Mr. Mugabe Up

I thought for a few moments and shook my head. The war had escalated so
much during the past year, that everyone I knew who was likely to be
suitable, was already committed in the forces.

There was one man, I suddenly remembered, Angus Monro. We had served in
the same troop in "A" Squadron 22-SAS. We had been through a lot
together in the old days and were still good friends. He was living in
Salisbury. I doubted that many people, except for myself and a few
others, knew or even guessed he had served in the British SAS. A bloody
fine soldier he had been, too. I doubted he'd bothered to mention his
SAS connections to anyone.

While the vast majority of former British SAS men coming to Rhodesia had
ended up joining the Rhodesian SAS, Angus had remained a civilian.

Angus had the unlikely job of sub-accountant with a Salisbury bank. We
met occasionally and had a few beers together.

He had said, quite firmly, when leaving the British Army with an
excellent record, that he had no intention of becoming a regular soldier
again. He had kept his word.

When compulsory call-ups for his age group had commenced, he'd become a
Police Reservist, performing such mundane duties as guarding police
stations and bridges out in the bush.

He had never complained about the duties he had to do, but that was
Angus. Nevertheless, like me, he was now Rhodesian. I knew he wouldn't
be able to resist coming in with me. Few Rhodesians would have.

"Do you think he'll agree?" Ricky May asked doubtfully. "From what
you've said, he's put all those sort of things behind him."

"He'll agree," I said emphatically. "He's as fit as a fiddle, too. A
real tough little Scotsman."

"All right then," Ricky May said reluctantly. "If he agrees then it's
okay. You mustn't, however, tell him anything about the operation.
Just tell him you need to practise with him."

"No," I said firmly, "I can't do that. I'll have to tell him the
complete story. I won't be able to hold anything back, because I'll
probably need him with me when the time comes."

Ricky May and Colonel Joe both seemed dismayed,so I hurredly reassured

"Don't worry, he won't say a word."

"I hope not," sighed Ricky May. "Is that all then?"

"No," I said, "there's more. I need a quartermaster ... someone who
can get me the things I need. Do any running around that's necessary.
I am also likely to require access to experts in various fields ...
poisons, ballistics, explosives and so on."

"Explosives?" said Colonel Joe in surprise. "I thought you knew most of
what was needed to be known."

"We're talking about Britain," I said. "I can't just pack high
explosives into my bag and go there. This would be foolhardy in the
extreme. It is difficult, almost impossible, to home manufacture high
explosives, such as TNT, pentolite and so on. I need someone to advise
me on the making of low explosives. I don't have the time to read up
such things. That's why I must have experts to talk things over with.
I can't afford to make mistakes."

"I take it you ae thinking of making explosives from dieseline and
ammonium nitrate and that sort of thing, are you?" asked Colonel Joe.

"Yes," I smiled, "that sort of thing, as you say, but it isn't so easy
as it sounds. Since the upswing of international terrorism, almost
every country has compelled manufacturers to add a stabilising agent to
ammonium nitrate. You can attempt to mix it into an explosive until you
go blue in the face, but you won't get a bang. First of all, you need
to remove the stabilising agent. To achieve that, you use a number of
cleansing processes, ending with the very chancy one of baking it to get
out the final impurities. The result, when you've finished, is pure

"Producing it is a dangerous business ... as many an IRA Paddy O'Reilly
has discovered to his cost in Ireland ... when his oven has gone through
the kitchen ceiling ... and him along with it."

Ricky May told me he would place Billy Sweetman at my disposal as
quartermaster. I knew Billy quite well, he was ex-Rhodesian SAS and
was in "insurance" with the CIO. He said he would think about the rest
of the experts I needed.

"Let me know what Angus Monro says," Ricky May mentioned as we parted.

I telephoned Angus at the bank.

"I need an overdraft," I said.

"Join the bloody queue," he replied in his broad Scots' accent.

I met him for a drink when he had finished work.

"I've got a contract from the government," I told him bluntly. Angus
was not a man to beat around the bush with. "It will be just like the
old days, except we will do all the planning together without outside
interference. It involves killing someone ... when the actual killing
takes place, it is possible I will do it on my own. On the other hand,
it could well be necessary for you to be there."

"Sounds pretty interesting, Taffy," he said without hesitation. "Who do
we knock off and where do we do it?"

"Robert Mugabe is the target ... Lancaster House in London is the place."

Angus jumped at the chance.

I warned him of the possible consequences he might have to face if caught
in London, but he shrugged it off.

On top of that, banking could play second fiddle for a while.

I told him I needed his British passport and vaccinations certificates,
so they could be laundered by the CIO, so we went to his house and
collected them. I handed his documents, together with mine, to Colonel
Joe the next day. Mine were clean. My passport showed Zambian, South
African and British stamps only. Angus' had some stamp marks made by
Rhodesian passport control. The CIO cleaning process would ensure they
were removed.

The next day, Saturday 1st September 1979, I again met Colonel Joe and
Ricky May. I told them that everything was in order so far as Angus
Monro was concerned. I told them I had considered the matter and
believed it essential we both go to London.

I went on to say it was vital we travel there to carry out a pre-
conference reconnaissance before the participants arrived. Once they
did, tight security would be installed.

"Our information," explained Ricky May, "is that the SAS are to be
involved in the security arrangements ... for instance, you can expect
snipers on the rooftops of Lancaster House."

"If that's true, it makes getting there before everyone else arrives an
even greater priority," I said. "We must look things over as soon as
possible, as time will be of the essence. It is reasonable to assume
that at least some of the parties involved will get there early to confer
with advisers and to renew contacts and friendships before the talks
start. We must also be prepared for the eventuality of the talks
breaking down during the early stages. If they do, the target will leave
London early and head for his rat's nest in Mozambique. I believe we
should be there by the 7th September at the latest."

"That does not give you much time," said Colonel Joe.

"Not much time," I agreed.

"We have laid on some experts for you," Ricky May said. "There's Sam
Roberts, a brilliant agricultural research chemist and undoubtedly the
greatest authority on exotic poisons in Rhodesia."

"What about explosives people?" I asked.

"We've got you two excellent army blokes ... the best ... Major Simon
Anthony and Lieutenant Jack Butcher. They'll know nothing of what
you're up to and nor will Sam Roberts. You'll be introduced to them as
Taffy. They've been ordered to extend you the fullest cooperation and
to ask no questions."

"I also require an electronics expert to sort me out an initiating
device. I have in mind one designed around the control box and receiver
of a model aircraft. It is a hobby line ... so possession of them
wouldn't arouse suspicions."

"I'll find someone," promised Ricky May.

Tomorrow' Exciting Episode - Taffy Visits the CIO Poisons Laboratory

Mark Richardson

May 16, 2001, 8:02:09 AM5/16/01

Peter Stiff <mi...@MailAndNews.com> wrote in message

> This is an extract from the autobiography of British secret agent
> Peter Stiff, called "See You in November", published by Galago,
> Johannesburg, 1985. Peter Stiff, or "Taffy" as he was known to his mates,
> infiltrated the Rhodesian CIO, and was given the job of assassinating the
> then wanted serial killer, Robert Mugabe. See http://www.galago.co.za

John Giles died during the Lancaster House Conference. He was said to have
jumped from the Monument to the Great Fire. Given your background around
that time, do you know anything of this? He was someone that I had worked
with over quite a long period and it was right out of character for him to
do anything of the sort.

Mark Richardson

Geoff Bird

May 16, 2001, 9:28:36 PM5/16/01
On 16 May, Peter Stiff <mi...@MailAndNews.com> wrote:

> It is difficult, almost impossible, to home manufacture high
>explosives, such as TNT, pentolite and so on.

This sounds like British disinformation. The U.S. Army Improvised
Munitions Handbook has a recipe for making high explosive.
Apparently you first need to make nitric acid, which involves
boiling up battery acid and a nitrate-containing chemical.
If I can get hold of an Improvised Munitions Handbook,
I'll display it on the Internet.

The bit about nitrate fertiliser having a stabilising agent also
sounds like disinformation. However, you can easily test whether
the ammonium nitrate fertiliser in your garden shed has a
stabilising agent, or whether it could be used to make parcel
bombs to mail to war veterans, or a remote control mine to blow
up Mugabe's car.

Take two tablespoons of ammonium nitrate. Mix with the same
quantity of powdered charcoal. Place in the middle of a sheet
of newspaper outside. Light one corner of the newspaper.
Stand back a few yards or metres. If the pile of chemicals
burns vigorously, like gunpowder, then it doesn't have a
stabilising agent in it.

Only School

Oct 13, 2022, 5:25:37 AM10/13/22

Only School

Oct 13, 2022, 5:32:08 AM10/13/22
Hello, John Giles was my grandfather and my grandmother and mother both know for a fact that John didn't commit suicide. If you know anything about this that I might not (our family's calls were being listened to, several people approached with plans to investigate but my grandmother was too scared to do anything because she wanted to protect her daughter) please could you reply to this. I need to know the truth as I found out about his death when I was 3 years ago and have been trying ever since to get answers. I'm only 15 now but I hate being ignorant and my mum's whole life has been ruined by his death.

Briar Giles


Oct 31, 2023, 9:42:51 AM10/31/23
Dear Briar Giles,
Did you eventually obtain more information about your grandfather? Hannes Wessels mentionned him and his assassination in his book "A handful of hard men".


Dec 15, 2023, 10:46:42 AM12/15/23
Hello Briar, I assume you are are familiar with the name Andre Scheepers? He was a Rhodesian SAS officer who says he was told by South African security/intelligence the names of the people who killed John Giles. Scheepers says he was sent to London via Amsterdam to kill the people responsible, but he was compromised and never met the contact in Amsterdam who would have helped facilitate this operation.


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