Investigators to exhume bodies from mass grave on South Coast farm

2015-06-23 12:42
The grave of famous Xhosa poet SEK Mqhayi shows signs of serious neglect

The grave of famous Xhosa poet SEK Mqhayi shows signs of serious neglect

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Durban - The police have confirmed that an operation to exhume bodies believed to be buried in a mass grave at a former prison labour camp on a South Coast farm began on Monday.

SAPS provincial spokesperson ­Major Thulani Zwane said he could “confirm” officials were on site as of on Monday.

“We are assisting the Missing Persons Task Team of the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] who are leading the investigation. Therefore we will not be able to comment further on the investigation,” said Zwane.

The search is believed to get under way properly on Tuesday.

The Witness was told that the police had dispatched an SAPS Search and Rescue team complete with excavation gear and “four sniffer dogs” while several officials from various government agencies were also on site.

The Missing Persons Task Team were established in the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU) in the NPA in 2004. The task team have since been conducting investigations into cases of missing persons who disappeared in political circumstances between March 1, 1960 and May 10, 1994.

The existence of the graves on a sugar plantation called Glenroy Farm in the Dududu area just outside Amanzintoti was first announced in March by the Office of the Premier.

The site was apparently found by local sangoma Gogo Bongekile Nonhlanhla Nkomo and was first brought to the province’s attention in August 2014.

KZN Premier’s spokesperson Thami Ngwenya said that Premier Senzo Mchunu will give feedback to his cabinet on Wednesday on progress made.

“The premier had referred the matter to the Presidency who confirmed they had tasked the Department of Justice to take the matter further. The premier wants a full inquiry into this matter. There are several agencies involved, including our office,” said Ngwenya.

KZN Department of Arts and Culture communications head Lethukuthula Mtshali said they could not comment “due to the sensitivity of the Glenroy Farm case”.

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