Inquiry urged into denial of justice for apartheid victims
Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
Former members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a commission of inquiry ‘into the political interference that has stopped the investigation and prosecution of virtually all the cases referred by the TRC to the NPA’, says a City Press report. In a letter addressed to Ramaphosa, the group also wanted him to apologise to victims of atrocities committed during apartheid who had been denied justice. According to the former commission members, the families of those who suffered at the hands of the apartheid regime felt ‘justifiably betrayed by SA’s post-apartheid state which, to date, has turned its back on them’. ‘We owe them answers and we owe them an apology.’ The letter also said that while compromises had to be made during the transition to democracy, this did not mean that crimes such as murder should go unpunished, especially where the perpetrators had failed to apply for or were not granted amnesty. ‘Most victims accepted the necessary and harsh compromises that had to be made to cross the historic bridge from apartheid to democracy,’ they wrote. ‘They did so on the basis that there would be a genuine follow-up of those offenders who spurned the process and those refused amnesty. Sadly, this has not happened.’ The group said that the SAPS and the NPA ‘colluded with political forces to ensure the deliberate suppression of the bulk of apartheid era cases’.