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South Africa: Govt to reopen inquiry into probe deaths of apartheid

Johannesburg   -  
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South Africa

South Africa will reopen an inquiry into the murder of four anti-apartheid activists which became one of the era’s most notorious crimes but remains unsolved nearly four decades on.

Justice minister Ronald Lamola said in a statement dated Jan. 5 that it was “in the interests of justice to finally bring closure to the families of the deceased who have been waiting decades for the truth about who killed their loved ones”. Lamola added the move was needed for “confidence in the justice system to be restored”.

Two inquests were held – in 1987 and 1993 – but “produced more questions than answers”.

The so-called Cradock Four were abducted and murdered while returning home to the southern town of Cradock in June 1985 after a meeting.

The bodies of the four – Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkonto, Fort Calata and Sicelo Mhlauli – were discovered days later, badly burnt and with multiple stab wounds.

The security forces under the apartheid regime were suspected of being behind the killings. But no one has been brought to justice.

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