CAPE TOWN Dec 16 1996 Sapa

NAMIBIA GIVES TRC LUBOWSKI FILE

Namibia's attorney-general has sent the Truth and Reconciliation Commission a file of documents on the 1989 assassination of Swapo activist Anton Lubowski, TRC investigations head Dumisa Ntsebeza said on Monday.

He said he had been corresponding with Namibia's home affairs department and attorney-general on the TRC's Lubowski probe, and received a "fairly large" bundle of documents last week.

They included a charge sheet against alleged CCB operative Donald Acheson, held in connection with the killing but later released.

Ntsebeza said the Namibian High Commission in Pretoria had asked the TRC to help it recover some or all of the archives removed from the territory on the eve of independence by the South African government.

The Namibians had found "empty vaults" when they took over, and their view was that even if the material did contain evidence of wrongdoing in the territory by the former SA Defence Force, it was part and parcel of Namibia's history.

He would take up the request with commission chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ntsebeza said he had contacted the South African ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs indicating that the TRC wanted to probe human rights violations in other countries in the southern African region, and asking for help in facilitating visits.

Ministers Dullah Omar and Alfred Nzo had replied that everything would be done to smooth the TRC's way.

These violations included state-sanctioned cross-border raids and abuses by liberation movements in the countries where they were based.

However the commission had no immediate plans to visit any particular country.

He was aware that the TRC's human rights violations committee wanted submissions from people affected by cross-border raids.

"We are looking into the situation where, if it becomes desirable, we could negotiate with countries for hearings in those countries," he said. "This however is still very much in the planning stage."

A TRC spokeswoman said the TRC wanted to emphasise that it would respect the sovreignty of countries it visited.

It would go there "not to investigate, but to see what our people have done there", she said.

Human rights organisations in Botswana had pledged assistance to the TRC.


South African Press Association, 1996
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