DA taking Pienaar's Trojan Horse involvement seriously – Maimane

2016-01-25 17:21
Sam Pienaar (City of Cape Town)

Sam Pienaar (City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town – The DA is taking councillor Sam Pienaar’s failure to declare his participation in a massacre over 30 years ago seriously, leader Mmusi Maimane has said.

Pienaar had been served a notice of intention to suspend him after he allegedly failed to declare his participation in a shooting of anti-apartheid protesters over 30 years ago.

Addressing journalists at the announcement of the Cape Town mayoral candidate for the upcoming local government elections, Maimane said on Monday that he had instructed provincial leadership to take action against the councillor.

He said the party was not taking it lightly. "But one thing we have to remember is that everyone has to go through due process," Maimane said.

The 73-year-old was a commander in the SA Defence Force (SADF) civilian defence unit on the Cape Flats, and was allegedly present at the planning of the Trojan Horse shootings in October 1985.

The DA had given him until 17:00 on Monday to motivate why he should not be suspended.

Pienaar had been a councillor since 2011 and headed sub-council 6, which included parts of Bellville, Belhar and Bishop Lavis.

Fired on protesters

On October 15 1985, railway police hid themselves in crates on the back of an SA Railways truck that drove down Thornton Road, Athlone. Officers emerged from the crates and opened fire on protesters who had been pelting it with stones.

Jonathan Claasen, 21, Shaun Magmoed, 15, and Michael Miranda, 11, were killed and several others injured.

They did the same thing in Crossroads the next day, killing Mabhuti Fatman, 20, and Mengxwane Mali, 19.

Western Cape DA leader Patricia de Lille said the party had only heard about Pienaar's role in the SADF through recent media reports.

"In 2011 when he applied, all councillors – and there were thousands  had to sign a declaration that they had never been arrested or prosecuted or detail if they had. He did not declare that he was a colonel in the SADF," she said.

De Lille said they would then make further announcements on Pienaar after the 17:00 deadline.

In his testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997, Pienaar said his public involvement in the Trojan Horse incident had caused a great deal of embarrassment and pain and disruption to him and his family.

“It cast a shadow over my proud military career and also my civilian career as an educator,” he said.

He denied having any part in the death of children during the massacre and said he had performed his duties in trying to stabilise the areas of unrest.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane

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