SABC News - Defence ministry denies that MK killed anti-apartheid activist:Friday 26 February 2016

Defence ministry denies that MK killed anti-apartheid activist

Friday 26 February 2016 18:32

Ofentse Setimo

The four former apartheid police officers are in the dock three decades after the murder of 23-year-old Nokothula Simelane after the TRC refused to give them amnesty.(SABC)

Defence and Military Veterans Deputy Minister, Kebbie Maphatsoe, has denied allegations that Umkhonto we Sizwe could have been responsible for the death of anti-apartheid activist, Nokuthula Simelane. This after one of the four accused and former police officers denied responsibility and hinted that MK could have killed her.

The Pretoria Regional Court has released the former police officers on R5000 bail each.
  
The four former apartheid police officers are in the dock three decades after the murder of 23-year-old Nokuthula Simelane after the TRC refused to give them amnesty.

Simelane was abducted by the Soweto security branch in 1983.  According to evidence by the TRC, she was taken to a farm in North West‚ where she was tortured for several weeks. The officers claim to have dropped her off near the Swaziland Border post to join her MK counterparts.

Accused number one, Musebenzi Radebe, has been charged with kidnapping and murder, as he did not apply for amnesty, while accused number two, Willem Coetzee, hinted that Simelane could have been killed by MK.

A lawyer for the accused says, "My clients did not seek amnesty for her death as they have throughout denied killing her. Speculation is rife even that Umkhonto we Sizwe may have killed her themselves."

However, Maphatsoe says, "MK operatives would not do such a bad thing. If you were an enemy agent, there were facilities where we would keep them safe in the camp."

Simelane's mother says it took a long time for the prosecuting authority to prosecute.

"I am not sure if the four accused will be truthful in their testimony. I also do not have faith in the magistrate. I just want them to tell where the body of my daughter is so I can bury her with dignity," says Ernestina Simelane.

Fellow MK veterans assembled at the Court to show solidarity. The case will be back in court next month.

All four accused in the Nokuthula Simelane's murder and kidnapping trial have indicated that they will not evade court. This as they want to clear their name instead of being falsely accused.

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