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  • Written by  Business Day
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Vlok trial unjust, says support group

THE guidelines under which apartheid-era police minister Adriaan Vlok and ex-police chief Johan van der Merwe are to be prosecuted are too lenient, the Khulumani Support Group said today

The guidelines under which apartheid-era police minister Adriaan Vlok and ex-police chief Johan van der Merwe are to be prosecuted are too lenient, the Khulumani Support Group said today.

"Rather than working to end impunity, these guidelines provide what amounts to a "re-run" of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) process without any of the inherent guarantees of the TRC," said Khulumani in a statement.

The group said the prosecution guidelines - under which Vlok and Van Der Merwe are being tried in connection with the attempted poisoning of Rev Frank Chikane - were amended by the government in 2005 without public consultation.

"These amendments create new and less rigorous amnesty opportunities for apartheid criminals who either failed in their original applications to the TRC or avoided altogether engaging with the TRC," said Khulumani.

"We reject special legal provisions for apartheid perpetrators. This is a travesty and undermines the faith of citizens in our system of justice."

Khulumani said that together with the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and the Legal Resources Centre, they would be challenging the constitutionality of the amended guidelines.

"While new opportunities are created for apartheid criminals to once again seek indemnity from prosecution, no benefits or opportunities have been extended to victims and survivors of apartheid atrocities to address their urgent needs," it said.

Vlok, Van der Merwe and three former high ranking police officials are scheduled to appear in a Pretoria court tomorrow for attempted murder.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said in a statement last month that the charges related to an alleged plot to killChikane, now director-general of the Presidency. Chikane was secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches in 1989 when his clothes were lined with a poison that attacked his nervous system.

Lesufi said the five faced various charges including attempted murder.

Last September, Vlok asked Chikane?s forgiveness and washed his feet.

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