SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT INQUIRY RELEASES REPORT ON DEATH SQUADS

by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Washington, DC, United States
December 6, 1990
2 pages
Type: Report
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The report says that, on November 13, 1990, a government-appointed judicial commission of inquiry issued its long-awaited report into South African government death squads, which have reportedly existed inside both the military and the police. The results essentially absolved the government of any culpability. The inquiry failed to find whether police or army death squads were responsible for any of the scores of assassinations that have haunted the anti-apartheid movement since the early 1970's, and it recommended prosecution in only one of the over 70 killings which the inquiry focused on. The report says State President F.W. de K1erk appointed Justice Louis Harms to lead the inquiry in January 1990. In September, the Southern Africa Project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law issued South Africa's Death Squads, a comprehensive survey of the evidence presented at inquiry. The report says Butana Almond Nofomela, a death row prisoner, confessed in an affidavit to participating in a police death squad based at Vlakplaas farm outside Pretoria. The report says Harms also investigated a military death squad, known as the Civil Cooperation Bureau or CCB. The report says even as the inquiry was being held, assassinations continued. The report discusses South African Minister of Defence Magnus Malan, the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Dirk Coetzee, David Tshikalange, Griffiths Mxenge, anti-apartheid activists, Major-General Eddie Webb, Dr. Fabian and Florence Ribeiro, and David Webster.
Used by permission of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root