Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission today has granted amnesty to three African National Congress members who are serving lengthy prison terms for illegal possession of large quantities of weapons.
Antonia Alberto Tovela, who was an ANC member based in Mozambique, is serving a 10 year prison term after he was convicted for illegal possession of 17 AK 47s, a large quantity of ammunition and explosives and four Makarov pistols by the Barberton Regional Court in February 1994.
Jim Sambo is serving seven years imprisonment following his conviction by the Northern Transvaal Regional Court in 1994 for illegal possession of 17 AK 47s, a large quantity of ammunition and a hand grenade. Silumko Mama is serving seven imprisonment following his conviction of arson and public violence by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court on September 27 1993.
The applications of the three men were dealt with in chambers as the offences for which they applied for amnesty do not relate to gross human rights violation as defined by the TRC Act. Making its decision, the Amnesty Committee said: " -as members of the African National Congress, the applicants acted completely in the interests of (their) organisations".