Simelane family still seeking justice

2015-05-22 15:51
Nokuthula Simelane, an anti-apartheid activist who disappeared in 1983. (City Press)

Nokuthula Simelane, an anti-apartheid activist who disappeared in 1983. (City Press)

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The family of an anti-apartheid activist who disappeared in 1983 have renewed their bid to have justice served and closure for their family by taking the matter to a high court. 

The family of Nokuthula Simelane – led by her sister Thembisile Nkadimeng, who is the mayor of Polokwane – have filed an application before the North Gauteng High Court. They are hoping that the court will compel the national director of public prosecutions and the minister of justice to refer what they believe to be the kidnapping, torture, disappearance and murder of Simelane to a formal inquest. 

The application names the national commissioner of the SAPS, the minister of justice, the national minister of police as well as the policemen who are known suspects in the disappearance of Simelane as respondents. 

Simelane was a courier for uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC during apartheid. She disappeared in 1983 when she met with an undercover member of the SAP security branch, Norman “Scotch” Mkhonza, at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg 30 years ago. 

In 1996 a police docket was opened and in 2001 the amnesty committee of the Truth and ReconciliationCommission (TRC) granted some of the perpetrators amnesty for Nokuthula’s abduction. This included certain police officers who the committee found had lied about the brutal torture. 

This was despite the fact that they did not give full disclosure of the details of Simelane’s whereabouts. In the application, which City Press has seen, the statements made before the TRC by the perpetrators were not consistent with each other. 

The family said that they have not been able to live in peace and have never stopped searching for the remains of their daughter and sister. They want to see the suspects bought to book before a court of law and the location of Simelane to be made known. 

The lawyers of the Simelane family await opposing affidavits from the respondents.

Read more on:    trc

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