There's 'no deal not to prosecute perpetrators of apartheid crimes'

There's 'no deal not to prosecute perpetrators of apartheid crimes'

2021-12-08 05:46:00 PM

There's 'no deal not to prosecute perpetrators of apartheid crimes'

Deputy justice minister John Jeffrey has denied any knowledge of an agreement between the NP and ANC not to prosecute perpetrators of apartheid crimes.

“We feel the agreement was to delay these prosecutions and those accused of the atrocities are busy dying out. It's been 27 years of democracy and there have been no arrests.“Government is busy defending negotiators of Codesa and not giving the NPA resources to conduct these investigations and prosecutions,” Hendricks said.

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The NPA has come under pressure to prosecute suspects in the Cradock Four murder cases.The families of the Cradock Four approached the NPA in May last year to make a final prosecutorial decision.A deadline of July 10 last year passed. A further date of December 2 was given but the NPA missed that deadline too.

Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sicelo Mhlauli and Sparro Mkonto, known as the Cradock Four, were abducted in June 1985 after coming from a meeting of the United Democratic Front in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, when they were intercepted at a police roadblock before being abducted, tortured and their bodies later burnt. headtopics.com

National director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi told parliament that Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) matters need a dedicated investigative capacity and they could not move without this.“TRC matters have, for various reasons, not received focus and attention they needed. It's important for families and victims to receive justice.

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“Our country as a whole has failed to bring those responsible to face justice. It was only in 2017 where investigations on paper were set to begin but during that time our institutions were deeply weakened and there was no capacity to deal with these cases that required a dedicated focus,” she said.

During the meeting, justice minister Ronald Lamola revealed the department had approached retired Constitutional Court judge Kate O'Reagan to look into alleged political interference in TRC cases, however, she declined.ANC MP Nomethemba Maseko-Jele said families of victims of apartheid crimes have been waiting for a long time.

“We want to see perpetrators of apartheid in orange overalls, as old as they are. Progress is what is needed,” she said.

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