10/05/2018 07:34 SAST | Updated 10/05/2018 07:35 SAST

NPA To Tackle Apartheid-Era Murders

The NPA says it is working on 13 cases of unsolved cases where anti-apartheid activists were murdered.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
National Director of Public Prosecutions,Shaun Abrahams speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, May 23, 2016.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will prioritise those cases of murders of anti-apartheid activists stemming from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), TimesLive reported.

On Wednesday, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams reportedly told Parliament that there were about 15 cases that the state was currently considering for possible prosecution. These reportedly include the murders of Neill Aggett, the Cradock Four, and Victoria Mxenge.

Abrahams reportedly said the NPA was "absolutely committed" to the victims of "past atrocities".

He reportedly said it was "regrettable" that issues arising from the TRC had not been given the preference they should have had, but that significant progress had been made in addressing these cases in the last three years.

"I personally made a decision that the perpetrators in respect to the disappearance of Nokuthula Simelane must be prosecuted. I personally had to make the decision and recommendation to the Minister of Justice in relation to the reopening of the inquest in the Ahmed Timol matter‚" he added.

Abrahams announced that the Timol case would be reopened in October 2016, according to the Mail & Guardian.

Last year, judge Billy Mothle of the North Gauteng High Court found that Timol did not commit suicide as alleged by the apartheid regime, but that he was pushed out of a window and died, at the hands of the apartheid police.

This week, lawyers and activists who campaigned for Timol's case to be reopened said they are now going to tackle eight other unsolved cases, News24 reported. This includes Aggett's case, as well as the deaths of Hoosen Haffejee, Babla Saloojee, Matthews Mabelane, Nicodemus Kgoathe, Solomon Modipane, Jacob Monnakgotla, and Nokuthula Simelane.

Noone applied for amnesty at the TRC in these cases, the activists reportedly said.

The TRC reportedly recommended that these cases be investigated for the purpose of prosecution but little progress has been made so far.