DeSouza, Ogunseye hold on to claims Burnham’s gov’t killed Walter Rodney
On the stand, Karen DeSouza, who described herself then as a foot soldier for the Working People’s Alliance, was put to defend her claim that she believed the then Burnhan government had killed historian and political activist Dr Walter Rodney, who ended up dead when a bomb exploded inside the car he was sitting in in the vicinity of the Camp Street prison on June 13, 1980.
Basil Williams, Attorney for the PNCR, the party which was in power at the time of Rodney’s death, attacked DeSouza on what she said about the incidents immediately after the explosion when Walter Rodney’s brother Donald went to her house seeking help. DeSouza had testified that Donald Rodney reported to her that an accident had happened, and Attorney Williams suggested that that statement shattered any theories the WPA had happened to Rodney.
Further, DeSouza was grilled on why immediately after the explosion she did not question Walter Rodney’s brother about what had happened.
Earlier in the day, Tacuma Ogunseye, who was then a WPA executive had testified that Walter Rodney was a threat to both the ruling PNC and then then main opposition PPP. The PNCR Attorney Williams used that to suggest that the PPP could have had a hand in what happened, but DeSouza rejected this.
DeSouza and Ogunseye had both testified that they believed Dr Rodney was killed by the Burnhan government. Today, Ogunseye maintained that position, claiming that Bunrham was vindictive and even his seemingly good initiatives did not erase what he could do to those who opposed him.
The Commission of Inquiry has been set up to settle once and for all what led to the explosion that killed Rodney and determine who or what was responsible, including the role of the military under Burnham’s command. It was widely believed that a soldier named Gregory Smith handed Rodney the walkie talkie which exploded and then he was assisted in escaping the jurisdiction by the Army.