The family of missing anti-apartheid activist Nokuthula Simelane has welcomed the High Court ruling that provisionally declared her dead. The court issued a provisional order of presumption of death.

Nokuthula, then only 23-years-old, was kidnapped and tortured in 1983 and was never seen again. Her family believes she was murdered by former security police officers. Her sister Thembisile Nkadimeng, who is also the mayor of Polokwane, says as a family they approached the court because they want a dignified end to her life.

“We do believe that Nokuthula was dedicated to the struggle and in any war there are causalities. We understand that she possibly could have been the casualty but on top of that we say she deserved the dignity. Everybody gets buried. So we are saying regardless of the conditions that she might have died under, what will bring us closer is to say she lived. She became a heroine. Let us dignify her as well. Pointing to a grave so that my child can be able to say I had Mamogolo and I know where she lay,” says Nkadimeng.

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