Bodies of black victims of apartheid exhumed

Click to follow
The Independent Online

South Africa is to exhume the bodies of hundreds of black apartheid-era victims and may prosecute those responsible for their murders.

South Africa is to exhume the bodies of hundreds of black apartheid-era victims and may prosecute those responsible for their murders.

Prosecutions are likely to target mainly white former officers from the security forces who served in apartheid-era hit squads. The exhumation is expected to explain the deaths of at least 477 people who went missing and were presumed dead from 1960 to 1994.

A spokesman for the National Prosecutions Authority dismissed fears that the decision, announced yesterday, could create problems. "What about for a poor old woman whose child mysteriously disappeared in the struggle, never to be seen again? How do you even suggest to that woman that unravelling the mystery behind her son's death and finding the killers will open old wounds? The objective is to resolve this whole issue of missing persons, but where evidence of those who might have committed any murders is found, prosecutions will follow."

Asked whether this could lead to the prosecutions of the apartheid-era security staff, many of whom are now retired, the spokesman said: "In South Africa no one is above the law."

The exhumation process begins tomorrow.

Comments