CAPE TOWN Dec 10 Sapa


A police officer is to appear on Wednesday in the Worcester Regional Court on charges of murder after an intervention by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He is Insp Michael Phillip Luff, and his court appearance follows a complaint to the TRC at its Worcester hearings on June 24 by the parents of William Dyasi, who was allegedly shot dead by Luff on November 3, 1985.

An inquest was held in the Worcester Regional Court between March 1986 and January 1987 into the deaths of Dyasi and Thamsanqa Cecil van Staden in Zwelethemba township on the same day, the TRC said in a statement on Tuesday.

The inquest, presided over by magistrate J P Botha, found that Luff, then a constable, of Worcester police was responsible for the death of William Dyasi and the case was referred to the then Attorney-General, Neil Rossouw.

Rossouw decided not to prosecute.

At the TRC human rights violations hearing Dyasi's parents, Mbedle and Selina Dyasi, told the commission panel, presided over by vice-chairperson Dr Alex Boraine, that before he died he told them that he ran into the police, and had then run into a nearby house. The police had dragged him out and he was shot.

They asked the TRC to find out why the policeman responsible had not been prosecuted.

Commissioner Wendy Orr had approached the current Attorney-General Frank Kahn, requesting the reasons for the original decision not to prosecute, the statement said.

The Attorney-General subsequently decided to re-open the case.

Luff is stationed at the detective branch in Ceres.

South African Press Association, 1996
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