The Times Obituaries Bob Astles

Astles arriving at court in Kampala: he was an official at the heart of the country’s dreaded State Research Centre
Geoffrey White / Daily Mail / Rex Features

Bob Astles is dead! The LondonEvening Post

The London Evening Post regrets to announce the death of one of our most revered columnists. Robert Asketill, the man famously known to many as ‘Bob Astles’ and to his friends as ‘Bob’ and the man who founded the Uganda Aviation Services, the first airline to employ Ugandans which was renamed ‘Uganda Airlines’ by Idi Amin, has died.

He was responsible for my father’s murder and should have had the guts to admit the part he played in the death of so many innocent people. He even had to conceal his own death for fear of recrimination. He took his ugly secrets to his grave. He tried to fool many in his latter years but he can not fool those who know his true nature. He destroyed my family and many others, only the universe can grant forgiveness to those who commit such atrocities.

It is ridiculous to write a ‘revered columnists. Robert Asketill, the man famously known to many as ‘Bob Astles’…. as though he was actually called Robert Asketill and that he was only famed as ‘Bob Astles’. His name was Bob Astles, and the assumed name of Robert Asketill clear concealed the true identity of a man with blood on his hands. How ever much he did to help people in his latter years he still had to conceal his death and burial for fear of recrimination knowing his own guilt, and the part he played in the murder of my father only one of many innocent people to die at his hands.

The Telegraph – Bob Astles

Bob Astles

Bob Astles, who has died aged 88, was, as the British-born adviser and factotum to the bloodthirsty Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, the most hated white man in postcolonial Africa.

Bob Astles Joins Idi Amin Dada

Bob Astles Joins Idi Amin Dada.

Comment by frankgreen47:

Do you not check your copy before you print artlcles? There are so many spelling and grammatical mistakes, its embarrassing.As for Astles, he was a disgrace – running around after Amin whilst thousands were being butchered and mutilated all over the country by Amin’s thugs. And for those from the north who say that the accounts of Amin’s brutaity were untrue, wake up and smell the coffee. Or do some proper research.

What Did Bob Astles Know?

In an interview with Tim Rice on BBC’s HARDtalk  Major Bob said he ‘always kept his mouth shut’, that Lt. Col. Farouk Minawa (the head of the State Research Bureaux in 1977) was the killer, and that Charles Oboth-Ofumbi (Amin’s Minister of Internal Affairs,  killed in 1977) knew where all the bodies were. Bob Astle’s was a friend of my father’s which is why I could never understand why he did nothing to help us when my father disappeared, he would not even speak to my mother. He always denies having killed any one himself. In his interview with Tim Rice he says ‘….when your own friends are murdered you know there’s something going wrong – who murders them is another thing’.

Giles Foden also had the priviledge of an interview with Bob Astle’s which is reported on in the Bundu Times  May 1978 (I struggled to find the original reference in the Guardian) Dictator’s ‘white rat’ now a Wimbledon wobbly. In this interview Bob Astle’s once again denies being involved in or being responsible for the violence and killings during Idi Amin’s  days. Giles writes:

”What he did or did not do remains murky – even, I suspect, in his own mind, which shows clear signs of mental distress. “Of course,” he says, “you don’t know if I’ve told you the truth. Check it, check everything.”

Scruffy perches on top of Astles’s balding head and starts pecking it, and I think, I’ve got about as much chance of getting in there as that bird has.

Then Astles points to a package wrapped in string and manila paper under the table. “It’s all in there, Betty will publish my book when I’m gone.”

So how could I rely on any account given by Bob Astle’s? An old friend of my father’s  in Uganda said he thinks Astle’s does not know, or he would have written about it himself, as he makes money writing. Yet others including the Kampala Mayor Hajji NASSER NTEGE SEBAGGALA,  ( another old family friend who, incidentally, went with my mother to search for my father on the day he disappeared) tell me I must speak to Astle’s as surely he knows the truth. I can’t find where Astle’s is, and although Giles Foden has on a couple of occasions offer to assist with this, I am still waiting. I think, if Astle’s himself says the truth is in his book only to be published when he dies, then I may have to wait until he does.Tthere would be no way of knowing if what he said was true even if I could speak to him. I suspect he is a tough old goat and may not pop off for some time!