Sunday, 25 July 2021
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South Africas nuclear weapons programme

Renfrew Leslie ChristieRenfrew Leslie Christie was born in Johannesburg on 11 September 1949. His mother did not remarry after the death of his father just after his second birthday: she brought him up alone on a telephonist's salary. She later worked full time for about ten years for the liberal women's organisation, the Black Sash, advising South Africans endorsed out of their cities under the Pass Laws and Influx Control.
Her Black Sash offices were located in Cosatu House when it was bombed at night by Apartheid operatives.
His mother's brother, his uncle Lieutenant David Taylor, of Cheetah Squadron, South African Air Force, was killed in action flying over North Korea on 20 March 1952.
He graduated from high school in December 1966 and subsequently worked during a vacation as a Metrication Officer for African Explosives and Chemical Industries (AECI) Limited in 1971, which among other things made munitions for the South Africa (SA) Defence Force at Lenz, near Johannesburg.
He was conscripted into the SA Infantry in April 1967, undergoing basic training at 1 Special Service Battalion in Bloemfontein and thereafter was based at 3 SA Infantry in Lenz, until December 1967. He guarded the Sasolburg oil-from-coal plant for some months.
While guarding the AECI Lenz explosive factory and the Lenz ammunition dump in 1967, he saw something entirely fortuitously which told him that the SA Defence Force was involved with nuclear weapons. He spent the rest of his life hunting the details of the Apartheid nuclear weapons.

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