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Tue Jun 28 11:36:47 CAT 2016

State sitting on 'over 300' murder cases from apartheid era

Leonie Wagner | 12 February, 2016 01:05
Yesterday advocate Muzi Sithakhane, representing the Simelane family, said it was a "scandalous indictment" on the NPA that the family had to "force" a post- apartheid government to prosecute the case. File photo
Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The National Prosecuting Authority is sitting on more than 300 cases involving slain anti-apartheid victims.

Following its declaration this week to prosecute four men linked to the kidnapping, torture and murder of ANC operative Nokuthula Simelane in 1983, The Times has learnt that the state is in possession of more than 300 similar cases.

Yesterday advocate Muzi Sithakhane, representing the Simelane family, said it was a "scandalous indictment" on the NPA that the family had to "force" a post- apartheid government to prosecute the case.

Legal experts involved in the case have suggested that the delays were due to political interference.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza said an inquiry was needed to look into "arrangements and deals struck between those representing the old order and the new order".

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has stated that "recommendations on more than 300 cases for prosecution, including [Simelane's] were made to the NPA in 2002".

Tutu added: "The evidence supplied by the former [national director of public prosecutions], advocate Vusi Pikoli, explains how his independence was compromised by politicians - and how unwarranted interference suppressed the so-called political cases of the past."

Willem Helm Johannes Coetzee, Anton Pretorius, Frederick Barnard Mong and Msebenzi Radebe - former Soweto Security Branch members - are facing charges related to Simelane.

Coetzee, Pretorius and Mong are facing charges of murder, while Radebe faces charges of murder and kidnapping.

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