Domenica, 07 Febbraio 2016 17:53 | NPA to prosecute apartheid-era crime

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)intends prosecuting four members of the apartheid-era Soweto security branchfor the murder of Umkhonto we Sizwe operative Nokuthula Simelane.

She disappeared after she was arrested and

tortured in1983.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said on Monday thatNational Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams decided on January 30to pursue the matter.

This was based on evidence gathered by the NPA’s prioritycrimes litigation unit following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)hearings, Mfaku said.

Simelane was 23 when she was arrested. She was apparentlyon an ANC mission to South Africa from Swaziland, under the pretext that shewas going to buy graduation attire.

She was allegedly taken to Norwood, in Johannesburg. `

She was later moved to a farm in Vlakplaas, North West,where she continued to be tortured.

Two years after her disappearance, Simelane's familysought the media’s help to find her.

Her picture was sent to various newspapers.

A policeman who had worked at the Vlakplaas policestation identified her. The policeman said the last time he saw her, shehad fallen ill because of the assaults she endured.

Her remains had never been found. Despite this, the NPAbelieved it had a reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution.

Three of the accused received amnesty from the TRC afterthey admitted to abducting Simelane and would only face murder charges. Thefourth would face both murder and kidnapping charges as he never applied foramnesty.

They were expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate'sCourt on February 26.

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