Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation today granted amnesty to a man who participated in the necklacing of three people accused of collaborating with the police at the height of political unrest in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape in the late ‘80s.
Mr Tando Dlala, Mr Monwabisi Fanayo and Mr Thozamile Dondashe were hacked to death before tyres were put around their necks and set alight after being accused of collaborating with apartheid security police at KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage between 1987 and 1988.
Norman Gilindonda Gxekwa, a member of the United Democratic Front-aligned Action Committee, was convicted for the killing and given a death sentence. The sentence was later commuted to 90 years imprisonment.
Appearing before the Amnesty Committee earlier this year, Gxekwa admitted to the killing of Mr Dlala and Dondashe but said he was not present when the third deceased Mr Fanayo was killed.
In its decision, the Amnesty Committee said: "While he did not actually participate in the killing of Fanayo, he accepted criminal liability for that murder because he knew of it, associated therewith and that the offence was committed by the action committee because the deceased was regarded as collaborating with the apartheid regime.
"He said that the general activities of the group (Action Committee) were first approved at a public community meeting. Indeed a letter from and on behalf of the Uitenhage branch of the African National Congress supports the application. It seems that it is accepted that whatever the applicant did and supported in respect of the group activities was done in the interest of the community oppressed by the apartheid system.
"We are therefore satisfied that the incidents were of a political nature and that they occurred as described. It is noteworthy that the families of the three deceased were present at the hearing and were afforded an opportunity to dispute anything they wanted to …(and) there was no opposition to the application and we are satisfied that the requirements of the relevant provisions of Act 34 of 1995 have been complied with".
The Committee has also recommended that the next of kin of the deceased be declared victims of gross human rights violations by the TRC's Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee thus making them eligible for reparation by the President's Fund.