MK soldier to be reburied in Paarl

2016-07-30 12:34
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendation that the remains of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) soldier Norman ''Billy Holiday'' Pietersen be handed to his family for reburial will be fulfilled in Paarl on Saturday, the Justice Department said.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Advocate Michael Masutha is expected to officiate at the ceremony at the Klein Nederburg Senior Secondary School, where he started his political journey.

In a mini-biography, the department recalled that Pietersen, born in 1966, went on for military training in Bulgaria and eventually slipped back into South Africa in 1986.

He went into hiding in New Crossroads, Cape Town.

On the morning of 11 March 1987, apartheid-era security police raided the house and shot him dead in his bedroom.

During apartheid the African National Congress was banned, as was its military wing MK.

''He was buried in Paarl under police guard in an unmarked grave. Fourteen buckshot pellets were found in his chest,'' the department said.

After his remains were found, they were exhumed and a proper burial will be held for him on Saturday.

According to a TRC transcript, Pietersen was shot by unrest unit member Sergeant Wilfred Gunder who worked at the Nyanga Police Station at the time.

The shooting was after a planned "anti-terrorist action" by the then-Riot Squad, police and other security operatives who descended on the house.

According to the police's account at the time, when confronted, Pietersen reached for a weapon and was shot.

But for the ANC in the Western Cape the matter is not closed yet.

Provincial secretary Faeiz Jacobs called for full disclosure on his death, wanting to know in particular, who it was that gave him away.

''It is important to remember our struggle heroes,'' he said.

Jacobs said coming generations should know what their contribution was.


Read more on:    trc  |  anc  |  cape town
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