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South African prosecutors fail families of victims of apartheid-era political killings in contrast to the accountability demanded in post-Nazi Germany

In vast contrast to the efforts of post-Nazi Germany investigators, state agencies tasked with investigating and prosecuting apartheid-era political killers in South Africa, have apparently pursued an unwritten policy that states: “All apartheid-era political killers shall be let off the hook.”

South African author, Kevin Bloom, explains in the attached piece published today in Daily Maverick, (See: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-09-22-history-suppressed-what-didnt-get-revealed-at-the-timol-inquest/#.WcQ8AnZx3Dc) how “With the re-opening of the Timol inquest, the National Prosecuting Authority had a wonderful opportunity to start afresh and to respond to the pleas of long-suffering families of apartheid-era victims searching for answers and justice.”

Instead, the Timol story was sadly revealed in court papers as "a shameful story of great neglect as the authorities in our new democratic order failed or declined to take action while the key suspects were still alive. This was an inexcusable lapse. It regrettably points to a design on the part of the authorities to permit the perpetrators of the past to avoid a reckoning with the truth, and escape justice.”

While the long journey in pursuit of justice for the Timol family has come to an end and the family and the country await the delivery of the judgment in the case, the hopes of many family members for opportunities for the truth to be revealed by those who appear to have been protected far too long from investigative scrutiny and prosecution, have been raised for the opening of a new era that will bring a new regime of disclosure and accountability for all.

 

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