JOHANNESBURG – A veterans’ group says the last white commander of forces that opposed the guerrilla armies that swept Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to power has died.

Group spokesman Bill Wiggill said Wednesday that Lt. Gen. Peter Walls died Tuesday in South Africa. Walls was 83.

A veteran of British military campaigns in colonial-era Somalia and Malaysia, Walls commanded the army of Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known before independence in 1980. Mugabe retained him to help integrate the guerrilla armies.

But Mugabe later accused Walls of plotting to kill him in a botched 1980 attempt. In a documented account of their conversation, Walls said if it had been his plot, Mugabe would have died. Walls went into exile in South Africa soon afterward.