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  • Written by  News24.com
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No mention of FW'

There has been a scramble behind the scenes and within the ANC, to put out the fires fanned by the decision to prosecute people for human rights violations during the previous political dispensation.

There has been a scramble behind the scenes and within the ANC, to put out the fires fanned by the decision to prosecute people for human rights violations during the previous political dispensation.

Political and church leaders and other society leaders are struggling to counter the emotional upsurge set off by the prosecution of former Minister Adriaan Vlok and General Johann van der Merwe.

Following the news that they were to be prosecuted, there were calls for former President FW de Klerk to be tried, and the names of ANC, IFP, PAC and other political party members were also mentioned.

When they met two weekends ago the National Executive Committee (NEC)of the ANC apparently discussed the broad question of TRC-related prosecutions in considerable detail.

During the discussions, in which President Thabo Mbeki also participated, the view was expressed that justice had to prevail and that the process should be finalised because it could not be allowed to continue indefinitely.

There was no reference to the possible prosecution of De Klerk.

Beeld gathered that there was also concern high up in ANC circles about the extent to which prominent ANC members would be implicated if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were to prosecute other cases standing over from the TRC era.

It's believed that Mbeki and others emphasised specifically that all actions should fall within the Constitution - that the guiding principles should be the independence of the judiciary, a balanced legal process and absolute non-interference by those in power.

It was stressed during the discussion that plea-bargaining should be encouraged on both sides of the political divide.

When asked about the discussion Smuts Ngonyama, national communication head of the ANC, neither denied nor confirmed that it had taken place.

In recent days, various leading clerics have had discussions with role-players in the presidency on the emotional effect of the news that their members could be prosecuted.

On enquiry one of them, Dr Isak Burger of the Apostolic Faith Mission, said there were fears that polarisation could occur.

When approached, various church groups indicated that White congregation members in particular feared that the prosecutions could very quickly degenerate into a one-sided witch-hunt.

Discussions are also being generated between respected non-partisan members of the former dispensation and mediators who have access to the present government, to ensure that the situation remains under control.

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