Main blame for massacre pinned on Ciskei troops
Thursday 01 October 1992
'One can only conclude,' the report said, 'that the conduct of the Ciskei soldiers was deliberately aimed at causing as many deaths and injuries as possible.' The report, produced at the behest of President F W de Klerk, also criticised African National Congress leaders who, it said, 'knowingly or negligently' exposed their supporters to the dangers of death and injury.
But the report's conclusion made clear that the burden of blame for the massacre fell squarely on the side of the 'homeland' army. 'Whatever criticism may be levelled at the organisation of the demonstration and whatever criticism there may be of the decision to lead the demonstrators through the gap in the fence, they cannot in any way justify or excuse the conduct of the Ciskei soldiers . . . any mitigating factors there may have been are completely overwhelmed by the disregard for human life shown by the soldiers.'
The report called on the Ciskei attorney-general to charge 'any person responsible for death or injury' - an apparent reference to senior homeland officials.
Videos of the shooting provoked 'a feeling of disbelief', the report said. The soldiers' 'indiscriminate and prolonged shooting at innocent demonstrators was morally and legally indefensible.'
The commission, which found there was 'a high probability' that one CDF soldier had been shot dead by his own men, issued recommendations that amounted to:
A call on political leaders not to engage in demonstrations designed to provoke violence.
A recommendation to the ANC to censure those leaders, specifically the Communist Party official Ronnie Kasrils, who led a breakaway group of marchers through a gap in the fence.
A call on Ciskei publicly to acknowledge that CDF members acted reprehensibly and caused unnecessary deaths.
An exhortation to authorities everywhere in South Africa to 'tolerate and allow complete freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly'.
The report underlined this final point on the right to freedom of expression. The appeal was aimed at the governments of Lucas Mangope of Bophuthatswana and of the Inkatha leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in KwaZulu. ANC threats to stage marches in these two homelands have generated great controversy in recent weeks.
The stated objective of the proposed marches is to protest at prohibitions imposed by the governments on free political activity, specifically ANC political activity.
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...