18 May 2002

Controversial Presidential amnesty

The 33 prisoners granted special presidential amnesty include ANC and PAC members, former Ciskei strongman Kwane Sebe and a Ciskei headman. Many were previously refused amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Seven are members of the PAC's armed wing Apla.

The TRC refused amnesty jointly to 12 others for killing four gangsters in Mdantsane's NU1 in February 1987. The 12, members of the Mdantsane Residents' Association, aligned to the ANC, took the gangsters to a scrapyard, beat and burned them. They were refused amnesty on the grounds that their actions were not politically motivated, but were motivated by revenge.

Sebe was released on parole in 1999 after nine years of a 21-year sentence. The son of former Ciskei state president Lennox Sebe, he was the head of the Ciskei Police Elite Unit. He was convicted of bombing properties of his former colleague. (Business Day online

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