NPA confirms contacting most families of victims in TRC cases

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has contacted most families of victims of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission cases. The NPA, which was briefing Parliament’s Justice Portfolio Committee, said 129 cases were under investigation and 64 had been reopened.

The cases include the Cradock Four matter in which the deaths of Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sicelo Mhlauli and Sparrow Mkhonto are being investigated. The committee members asked why media reports reflect that the Calata family said the NPA had not contacted them.

The Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Barry Modolo explained that they held a meeting with the family earlier this month.

“The team, including myself met with C4 families, 4 November, so if any assertion that we haven’t met, must have been before we met. Briefed family fully, raised a lot of issues, reasons for delays and how we will overcome, also mentioned meeting again next week.”

Acting NPA deputy director Rodney de Kock says the NPA will employ the services of an independent senior counsel to advice on the matters.

“We have appointed outside counsel to act independently of NPA and NDPP that will review work. Counsel we approached, is someone who worked closely with TRC matters, can’t disclose who, not sure if the person has been appointed or not.”

De Kock says the TRC cases are a top priority, “I want to reassure the committee that we take this is a top priority. I am personally responsible for this unit now. We meet NDPPs monthly. There we discuss various matters, all priorities of the country, including the TRC. This is our approach.”

Advocate Shamila Batohi appears before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice: