Mbeki in Dock With Murder Accused - Leon
July 25, 2002
President Thabo Mbeki is in the dock along with the Apla killer he pardoned, and who is now on trial for murder, Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon said on Thursday.
He was reacting to the court appearance in East London this week of Dumisani Ncamazana, 27, in connection with the murder of delicatessen owner Martin Whittaker on May 27.
The murder came two weeks after Ncamazana's release from prison under a pardon, signed by Mbeki, which saw 33 men, mostly members of the Pan Africanist Congress and the African National Congress, freed..
He was jailed for 16 years for his part in various Apla attacks before the 1994 election, including attacks on the city's Highgate Hotel, on a bus of Da Gama Textiles employees, and the killing of three Baha'i Faith Mission members.
He was granted amnesty for some incidents but not for others by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He escaped from Middledrift Maximum Prison in October 1999 and was later recaptured in Mdantsane.
Leon said in a statement on Thursday that the Whitaker family had asked the Democratic Alliance to intervene to see that justice was done in the case.
"We will not let them down," he said. "The president must explain himself to South Africa."
Leon said that where the TRC had seen fit not to accept Ncamazana's application, Mbeki saw things otherwise.
"Now Martin Whittaker is dead. His murder, and his family's bereavement, is the grim result of the spilling onto our streets of killers by presidential decision.
"When the alleged murderers of Martin Whitaker stand in the dock for their bail application... President Mbeki will in a very real sense be standing alongside them.
"The Democratic Alliance will not let this matter rest."
Ncamazana and his co-accused, Luntu Nguye, 21, will appear in court on August 15 for a bail application.
©Copyright 2002, South African Press Association