4 Soweto members for apartheid police to appear in court over slain Simelane

Nokuthula Simelane was kidnapped, detained, tortured & interrogated and was never seen again.

Thembi Nkandimeng briefing the media about her sister Nokuthula Simelane who has been missing for past 32 years. Picture Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that four Soweto branch members for the apartheid police will appear in court for the murder of Nokuthula Simelane.

Simelane was an underground ANC operative who disappeared in 1983.

She was kidnapped and detained allegedly by the four men for about a week on a farm in the North West where she was tortured and interrogated.

She was never seen again.

At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), three of the accused applied for amnesty from prosecution for her kidnapping but not her murder.

The NPA says a special unit within the agency is investigating cases in which full disclosure was absent during the TRC process.

The NPA's Luvuyo Mfaku said, "They applied for amnesty for her kidnapping, but not for murder. Hence the docket was then referred to the unit that was established in the NPA to look at the TRC cases where people did not make full disclosure."

Mfaku added, "There are cases that they are looking at but we cannot divulge those because they are still at an investigation stage. We want to emphasise that the prosecutorial discretion is a very powerful tool and that when the [National Director of Public Prosecutions] NDPP exercises it, he exercises it with great caution."

The NPA says there's enough evidence to pursue murder charges against the four.

Mfaku said, "This decision has been taken on the basis of the fact that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution. Remember we've got a precedent [in the William Nkuna matter] where the body was not recovered but he was convicted for murder."

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