Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
STATEMENT BY MR DUMISA NTSEBEZA
Truth Commission investigators today found 12 bodies in three graves on a farm in North-West Province during the course of a search for the remains of three uMkhonto weSizwe cadres.
The TRC team made the unexpected discoveries while searching for the bodies of Mr Watson Majova, Mr Aaron Makwe and Mr Karabo Madiba, who were killed by police in Tlhabane, near Rustenburg, in 1985.
Mr Majova was killed when his home in Tlhabane was flattened by a police Hippo vehicle. His two comrades were shot in the same incident. Our information is that the three men were secretly buried on the farm by police. Members of their families, who accompanied our investigators to the site today, had not previously known their fate.
The Investigative Unit was led to the suspected graves of the three men by employees of an undertakers' company which had a contract with the police to carry out paupers' burials. The investigators found four bodies in each of the three graves they excavated today.
Our investigators suspect there may also be a mass grave containing many more bodies on the farm. However, the matter is still under investigation and no further exhumations are planned yet.