PRETORIA June 5 1997 - Sapa


The Rev Frank Chikane has asked the Truth and Reconciliation Commission whether anyone has applied for indemnity in respect of human rights violations perpetrated against him between January 1977 and June 1989.

Chikane, who is director-general in the office of Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and vice president and pastor of the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA, also wanted to know whether anyone had made any disclosures relating to these issues, a spokesman for Mbeki's office said in a statement on Thursday.

Thami Ntenteni said between January 1977 and June 1989, Chikane was detained several times without trial, and brutally beaten and tortured. His Pimville, Zone 7 house was attacked with petrol-bombs and in 1989 he was poisoned with an organophosphate chemical.

He said in a letter to Chikane dated November 5, 1996, Safety and Security Ministr Sydney Mufamadi said Paul Erasmus, who is alleged to have knowledge about the poisoning experience, was in the Justice Department's witness protection programme.

Ntenteni said the deputy Attorney-General, a Dr Pretorius, was also reported to have said that subsequent to the recent evidence by former Colonel Eugene de Kock, the Attorney-General's office had become "aware of more names of possible witnesses and/or perpetrators who could assist in this investigation".

"As the police could not gain access to the witnesses it was agreed between the Department of Safety and Security and the Attorney-General that further investigations on this matter be conducted by the office of the Attorney-General," Ntenteni said.

"Rev Frank Chikane has expressed serious concern that no progress has been reported to him in this regard. He has written a letter to the Attorney-General of the Transvaal to inquire about progress in this matter."

He said Chikane was also concerned about a report from the SA Police Service that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation had destroyed all exhibits such as fluid samples and clothing relating to the incident. Only copies of the medical reports compiled at the time of the incident in the US were still available.

South African Press Association, 1997
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