Wednesday, March 03, 2004

It looks as if the government is going to go through with its threat to prosecute individuals denied amnesty after the TRC hearings. News 24 is reporting that Johann van Zyl, one of three men being charged with the murder of the Pebco 3 in 1985, has just flown back to South Africa to hand himself over to the authorities.

'The Pebco Three were abducted from the Port Elizabeth airport on May 8 1985 and taken to an empty police station in the Cradock district. They were questioned and repeatedly tortured until they died. Their bodies were apparently burnt and the ashes thrown into the Fish River. They were members of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (Pebco)'

Bizarrely, van Zyl had been in South-East Asia working on a UN humanitarian campaign at the time that the warrant for his arrest was issued.

I can't remember the exact numbers but I seem to recall that of the six thousand or so people who testified before the TRC only about a thousand were ultimately granted amnesty. It will be interesting to see if the government is serious about prosecuting all five thousand of the remainder.

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