NPA to investigate 64 apartheid-era cases stemming from TRC – SABC News

The government is stepping up its efforts to comply with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It has been more than 24 years since the TRC recommended the consideration of criminal prosecution of apartheid perpetrators where evidence exists and where amnesty has not been requested or denied.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) registered 64 new cases for investigation stemming from the TRC.

The TRC was a court-like body established by the democratic South African government in 1995. The goal was to heal and reconcile the people of the country by revealing the truth about human rights abuses committed during the apartheid era.

Experienced advisor

The NPA has appointed a team to be headed by former TRC Commissioner, Barrister Dumisa Ntsebeza, to assess what has been done to prosecute those involved in identified cases. 25 prosecutors and 40 investigators deal specifically with TRC cases.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga says lawyer Dumisa Ntsebenza has also been appointed to review their measures to deal with and prosecute those involved in the cases.

“He must ensure that in the review process – whatever measures we put in place, these cases will be dealt with – without any interference from the executive or outsiders.” We chose an independent outsider because we don’t want to be accused of any wrongdoing like the NPA – therefore we asked for an independent, experienced lawyer – who has handled TRC cases before – given the fact that he was the lead investigator for the TRC – with the late Desmond Tutu at that time,” Mhaga elaborates.

Crimes of Apartheid

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is one of the organizations that has been pushing for justice for the victims, including murdered anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol. The executive director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Nisham Bolton, believes there is merit in the government’s decision to step up prosecution of perpetrators of apartheid crimes.

According to Bolton, “These are unsolved cases where the Timol investigation and the Hafeji investigation have shown that there is a large amount of information that is out there that will first help the families of these victims get a sense of closure and possibly a sense of justice should that the perpetrators are still alive and can be brought to justice, so I think morally and legally the NPA is compelled to do what they are doing, albeit 20 years too late.

Bolton adds that while some apartheid officials have died, many are still alive and can shed light on the country’s dark past.

Bolton claims that “every piece of information helps to close the overall puzzle and give an idea of ​​what the story is, we may not have the full story at the end of the day, but I think we may have pieces of the puzzle that would help us get to certain conclusions that you did not act when the time was right and the people were around and the national mood would be in favor of this kind of work is inexplicable and may at some point have to be explained by those who were in charge at the time .”

The NPA says it wants to work with all TRC referrals within the next three to five years.

Video: Ahmed Kathrada Foundation welcomes appointment of Dumisa Ntsebeza from NPA

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