It has been over 24 years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommended that prosecution be considered for perpetrators of apartheid crimes where evidence existed and when amnesty was not sought or was denied.
With the government ramping up efforts to comply, the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) has appointed a team headed by Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who was a TRC commissioner, to assess these cases and point to a way forward.
Ntsebeza will lead a team of 25 prosecutors and 40 investigators that will assess and make recommendations to the NPA on the work being done relating to apartheid cases.
This initiative by the prosecuting authority is part of its efforts to ensure the effective handling and prosecution of all TRC cases.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has welcomed the steps taken by the NPA to appoint Advocate, Ntsebeza to review and prosecute matters relating to TRC. The Foundation is one of a number of organisations that have pushed for justice for the victims including murdered anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.
Executive Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Neeshan Balton commented on the relevance of this move by the state’s prosecuting body.
“These are unclosed cases which the Timol inquest the Hafejee inquest have indicated that there is a large amount of information that is out there that will, firstly, help families of these victims get a sense of closure and possibly a sense of justice should the perpetrators still be alive and be able to be brought to book. So, I think morally and legally the NPA is compelled to do what it is doing albeit 20 years too late,” remarked Balton.
Thus far 64 new cases have been registered for investigation.
Advocate Ntsebeza previously headed an inquiry examining the conduct of any members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants employed by the audit firm KPMG for breaches of ethics and professional norms in 2018 .
The team is expected to complete work in three months’ time.