SA Assassin’s link to Swedish PM’s murder

Shadowy agents from South Africa’s Apartheid era are believed to have been involved in the assassination 37 years ago of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. That is the conclusion of former Swedish diplomat and businessman Jan Stocklassa whose investigation was sparked by the discovery of research done by Stieg Larsson, the late author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Stocklassa’s findings are being aired in a documentary based on his book The Man Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and The Hunt for an Assassin. BizNews interviewed both Stocklassa and veteran Swedish Police Authority officer Jan-Äke Kjellberg, who was seconded to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). – Chris Steyn


Watch here

Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:39 – Introduction
  • 01:22 – Jan Stocklassa on how he got involved in the investigation of the murder of Olof Palme
  • 03:34 – On Stieg Larsson’s theory
  • 04:41 – On how he took his findings further
  • 05:47 – On his decision to write a book about his findings
  • 06:43 – On the response from the Swedish officials
  • 08:43 – On if there’s any chance of the case being reopened
  • 09:40 – On the documentary
  • 11:55 – On the negotiations falling apart
  • 13:05 – On his hope for justice
  • 14:24 – Jan-Äke Kjellberg on the motive South Africans would’ve had to murder the Prime minister
  • 16:55 – On if the SA security forces had the capability to murder a foreign Prime Minister
  • 18:37 – On the TRC commission and if any evidence related to the murder came before him
  • 20:58 – On chances of the investigation being reopened
  • 22:42 – On his thoughts on the documentary
  • 27:48 – End

Listen Here


By Chris Steyn

Shadowy agents from South Africa’s Apartheid era are believed to have been involved in the assassination 37 years ago of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

That is the conclusion of former Swedish diplomat and businessman Jan Stocklassa whose investigation was sparked by the discovery of research done by Stieg Larsson, the late author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Stocklassa’s findings are currently being aired in a documentary based on his book The Man Who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and The Hunt for an Assassin. 

“His (Stieg Larsson’s) theory was that it was the South African security agencies that instigated and organised the assassination and with quite a long planning time. And then they were using a middleman based in northern Cyprus, a man called Bertil Wedin, a Swedish citizen, who moved to Northern Cyprus, a country without extradition agreements, three months prior to the murder. And Bertil Wedin worked as a middleman to bring contacts to Swedish right-wingers based in Sweden that could work as helpers and possibly as scapegoats or patsies. And then there were South African agents sent to Sweden to execute and possibly, or either, facilitate the actual operation.”

Read more: Mulder skewers ANC’s political ploy to grab healthcare: “Just fix what we have, dammit”

Stocklassa subsequently took to the road to speak to the people Larsson had identified. “I started travelling around Sweden. I went to Northern Cyprus and I also went to South Africa to meet with people that may have been involved in the murder of our Prime Minister. They said that they were not involved. I would say all of them said that they were not involved…but they also told a very interesting story. And at this moment, I would say that I’m convinced that Stieg Larsson was right. It was some South Africans that were behind the murder…”

Stocklassa handed the evidence he had gathered to the Swedish authorities in 2018. “Well, you have to remember that this is the world’s largest murder investigation. It’s been compared to, it’s actually larger than the JFK murder investigation, and also compared to the Lockerbie bombing investigation. So it’s a huge investigation. And at the time it was run by three or four elderly police officers that didn’t do that much.

“When I came with the material, they actually started doing some things along those lines. That I’ve now realised later what they did, because now we can actually get the documentation from that. So they did react to it, but my feeling is that there was never enough manpower and efforts to be able to bring this to a real ending.

“Instead, in early 2020, the police stepped out and said, ‘we have solved the murder, we will present the solution’. And some months later, they did that. And that was sort of, I would say, it’s the biggest anti-climax in Swedish history, because nobody seemed happy about it – not even the police officers and prosecutors who were in the press conference. 

Read more: South African farmers face racial requirements for water use licences, posing existential threat – Corrigan

“Everybody was disappointed by the result and they pointed to a lone gunman, a graphic designer who was working overtime just next to the murder site, and that by coincidence had a Magnum revolver with him, ran into the Prime Minister and shot him with one shot in the back and managed to kill him, which I don’t believe. I would say nobody, almost nobody in Sweden believes it – and definitely not the police officers who presented that solution.”

Meanwhile, Stocklassa is following up new leads following the airing of the documentary – and is hopeful that this could lead to the investigation being re-opened.

For comment, BizNews asks veteran Swedish Police Authority officer Jan-Äke Kjellberg, who was also seconded to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

He says one of the possible motives that emerged after the assassination was Sweden’s and Palme’s strong support for the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements outside and inside South Africa; Sweden possibly being the biggest financial contributor to the ANC inside and outside South Africa; as well as Palme supporting sanctions in the United Nations (UN) against the South African government. “So, I think there was strong motives for the government at the time to see Olof Palme as a big enemy to the state, to the South African state, because of his actions.”

Kjellberg also says the South African security forces at that time “certainly” had the capacity and the capability to carry out such an assassination.

During Kjellberg’s time at the TRC, certain leads were further investigated following court testimony by former Vlakplaas Commander Eugene de Kock that he had information about the possible link between South Africa and the murder of Palme. “It was never concluded, the investigations. Obviously the De Kock information was second hand or third hand information, and it was difficult to continue or conclude that investigation. So, nothing really was enough to continue any sort of investigation after the Truth Commission. 

Read more: Donald MacKay on SA foreign policy: Impact of AGOA is overstated, neutral stance in SA’s best interest

“But…it’s still alive today, this theory about the South African link. And I think it will continue until the day that we possibly find out the truth about the murder of our Prime Minister.”

Commenting on the documentary currently being screened, Kjellberg says he believes some of the sources used were just after the huge reward. “You know, the Swedish government set up an award of 50 million Swedish Krona a long time ago for any information that could lead to solve the murder. And that’s a lot of money. Fifty million Swedish Krona. It’s about five million Euro. And I know for a fact that in this case, as soon as this private investigation mentioned the reward, things started to happen and people whom you couldn’t believe started to gather information and present information, which was, you know, claiming to be the truth about the South African involvement.

“And I don’t think, I never ever believe, from my experience, from the work I did in the Truth Commission, it will not happen that they will so easily, thirty seven (37) years after the murder, come up with the answer of a possible link. So, I still believe that it’s quite possible that the South African security forces were behind it…but the solution will not happen this way.”