Cosas murders of 1982: Former apartheid police officer to stand trial

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Former apartheid police officer to stand trial for the Cosas murders of 1982.
Former apartheid police officer to stand trial for the Cosas murders of 1982.
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  • Christian Siebert Rorich was indicted to stand trial alongside Tlhomedi Ephraim Mfalapitsa.
  • They are charged with the murder of three Cosas members as well as the attempted murder of another.
  • They will appear in court together for the first time on Wednesday.

The family of one of the three Congress of South African Students (Cosas) members murdered in 1982 is relieved that Christian Siebert Rorich, an apartheid police officer, has now been indicted as the second accused in the murders.

Rorich made a brief appearance in the Kagiso Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, where he was indicted to stand trial for the murders of  Eustice "Bimbo" Madikela, Ntshingo Mataboge Matubane and Fanyana Nhlapo.

The three Cosas members were killed by an explosion inside a pump house at a Krugersdorp mine on 15 February 1982. 

"I feel relieved because I want to get closure in this whole thing. This case has been dragging for too long, and I don't know what is going to happen next. The ball is in the NPA's court," said Tshepo Mokgatle, the son of Matubane.

READ | Second apartheid era security branch officer charged in murder of 3 Cosas members granted bail

Rorich was a police officer and bomb expert in the apartheid era. He is alleged to have placed explosives in the pump house. 

He will stand trial with former askari, Tlhomedi Ephraim Mfalapitsa, who allegedly lured the trio, along with Zandisile Musi, into the mine under the pretence of military training. Musi survived the incident.

Mfalapitsa was charged in August.

The pair will make their first appearance together in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday. 

Mokgatle urged all families, whose loved ones were killed by police during the apartheid era, to stay strong and keep fighting for justice.

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