Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The amnesty committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Wednesday granted amnesty to two former members of the Pan Africanist Congress's armed wing, the Azananian People's Liberation Army, who were serving life sentences for crimes ranging from murder to illegal possession of arms, ammunition and explosives.
Phila Dolo, who was serving a life sentence, was seeking amnesty for his role in an ambush on a police vehicle at Diepkloof on May 28, 1993 in which a police constable Jacob Mabaso was killed and his colleague Constable Edward Nelushi was wounded.
Dolo was arrested following a shootout with the police, as a result of which he lost his right arm.
In making its decision, the amnesty committee said: "There can be no doubt that the applicant was a cadre of Apla. His actions were all within the ambit of the policies of both Apla and the PAC. The applicant's conduct falls in our view within such a framework and accordingly are held to be acts associated with a political objective.
"We are satisfied that the applicant has made full disclosure of all material facts. He has not tried to minimise the nature and extent of his involvement in these incidents and has further applied for amnesty for an aspect for which he was acquitted.
"He has also disclosed additional facts which evidences his bona fides in this regard."
The committee also said Dolo was not from the area where the events took place and had no personal interest or agenda in respect of the persons injured or killed.
"There is no suggestion that he acted for personal gain as the victims were all unknown to him."
The committee recommended to the commission's committee of rehabilitation and reparation that Constable Mabaso's next of kin, Constable Edward Nelushi and a Ian Veldman should be considered as victims as provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act.
Another Apla operative, Shakespeare Buthelezi, was granted amnesty, among others, for the killing of Constable Freddie Mashamaite, near Monaheng section in Katlehong in January 1993.
Buthelezi was serving 65 years imprisonment following his conviction of murder, robbery, illegal possession of arms and ammunition and three counts of attempted murder.
However, the committee has reserved its decision regarding the robbery of an alleged informer, Basie Tladi, until it has considered evidence before it.
The victims were also referred to the committee on rehabilitation and reparation.