Blanket amnesty for top ANCs? statement by Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer (09 December 1997)

The Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has now asked legal opinion on its decision to grant amnesty to Mr Thabo Mbeki and 36 other top ANC officials. Since granting amnesty, the Committee has not informed the nation for which human rights transgressions these amnesties were granted. As a matter of fact, the Committee has indicated that they need not do any explaining.

This is of course totally unacceptable. It is a disservice not only towards the Commission’s mandate and the transparency that is an essential part of the process towards truth and reconciliation, but also towards the applicants themselves. Thabo Mbeki, as a potential president of the country, cannot face the future with the cloud of an unexplained and nebulous amnesty hanging over his head.

The situation should be fully explained and rectified, as speedily as possible. The TRC, as the torchbearer into our obscure past, should not start fumbling around in the dark itself.

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