Anc, Cradock Four, Fort Calata, Lukhanyo Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sicelo Mhlauli, Sparrow Mkonto

Anc, Cradock Four

D168 POLITRIX: The Cradock Four: A son’s quest for justice for Fort Calata and fellow activists

D168 POLITRIX: The Cradock Four: A son’s quest for justice for Fort Calata and fellow activists

2021-07-24 10:31:00 PM

D168 POLITRIX: The Cradock Four : A son’s quest for justice for Fort Calata and fellow activists

It’s been 36 years of waiting for answers about Fort Calata ’s murder and trying to understand why the party the Cradock Four fought for would betray them.

In 1993, the inquest verdict of Judge Neville Zietsman had found that security forces were responsible for the deaths of the Cradock Four, although no individual was named as responsible. Six of the security force members connected to the killings were denied amnesty at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and have all since died.

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However, the thread pulls back to a top level meeting believed to have taken place in May 1984 attended by 12 Cabinet ministers, including De Klerk, then minister of internal affairs, and Du Plessis, then head of education and training. That meeting was apparently to discuss strategies to deal with terrorists in what was then South West Africa. Also believed to be on the agenda was the matter of how to “remove” activists who were becoming a growing headache in Craddock for the apartheid regime. Thirteen months later the four men were killed

The unanswered question remains about how and why the original docket into the killings went missing while in the NPA’s possession over the last few years. Lukhanyo opened a case of theft but to date investigations have gone nowhere.Lukhanyo’s quest for justice is the story of SA’s democracy and the need to finally face up to dark truths. It’s knowing about the closed-door deals of immunity from prosecutions – both from within the ANC ranks and the apartheid government – that were struck as part of negotiated settlements in the transition to democracy. It’s also about knowing why this remains a closed book – 27 years into SA’s democracy. headtopics.com

Not knowing weakens democracy and the rule of law. As Lukhanyo puts it: “We don’t have a culture in South Africa that says that no matter who you are, no matter what you are, when you do something wrong, you will be held accountable. We don’t see FW de Klerk – who had a hand in the murders of the Cradock Four – being held accountable. We don’t see Adriaan Vlok being held responsible for his crimes – not in 1994, not even in 2000 and not now.

“Our apartheid baggage has not been dealt with in a manner that gives value to black lives.“Because the ANC never prosecuted my father’s killers, my father’s killers, their children and their grandchildren continue to look at me and my father’s life as having no value.”

Lukhanyo needs answers and closure so that when he makes real the story of his father to his son, there is an ending he can tell. He needs this. SA’s democracy needs it too.DM168 Read more: Daily Maverick »

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