Former hit-squad member in court

2010-08-04 15:01

Former apartheid hit-squad member Joe Mamasela appeared briefly on a murder charge in the Protea Magistrates Court today, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

Mamasela handed himself in to the Jabulani Police Station in Soweto yesterday after police had been looking for him since Saturday for allegedly shooting dead his landlord.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said Mamasela appeared briefly on murder charges and the matter was postponed to August 13 for further investigation.

Mamasela remained in custody.

Mhaga said Mamasela would have a chance to apply for bail at his next appearance.

Mamasela was part of the Vlakplaas police unit run by apartheid colonel Eugene de Kock in the 1980s.

Mamasela, in his early fifties, publicly confessed to taking part in the abduction and murder of Port Elizabeth activists Sipho Hashe, Qawawuli Godolozi and Champion Galela, known as the Pebco Three, in May 1985.

He was also involved in the killing of 10 youth activists, better known as the Mamelodi Ten, in 1986 and Durban human rights lawyer Griffiths Mxenge.

In return for his helping the then Transvaal attorney-general track down former security police members involved in human rights abuses during apartheid, he was granted indemnity from prosecution.

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