Justice Minister Michael Masutha will hand over the remains of two MK operatives who disappeared 30 years ago, to their families in Durban. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Johannesburg -  Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha will on Saturday hand over the remains of two uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operatives who disappeared 30 years ago to their families in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Mandla Mjwara and Mfaniseni Mdlalose disappeared during the apartheid dispensation in 1987. The two worked under the command of now Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize.

''Minister Mkhize will also pay tribute to the two fallen Umkhonto we Sizwe members that he worked with during one of the most difficult periods in the struggle for liberation. The minister will join the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Masutha whose department is tasked with searching for missing persons and has organised the handover of the remains and the reburial of the heroes of the struggle,'' department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs spokesman Legadima Leso said in a statement.  

Mjwara was born in 1967 and became politically conscious at a young age. He followed in his brother Sipho's footsteps, who had left the country to join MK, the African National Congress (ANC) armed wing. Mjwara joined MK in 1984.

''Mandla left South Africa for Lesotho and later met up with his brother in Angola in 1985. The very last time anyone saw Mandla alive was in Umlazi in Durban in 1987.  He operated under the command of Dr Zweli Mkhize, Mr Muzi Thusi and Mr Kevin Qhobosheane. They were also together with MK members Dumisane Phungula from Pietermaritzburg and the Chesterville group, including Sifiso Kunene and brothers Sabelo and Blessing Ngobese,'' said Leso.

Mdlalose was born around 1954 and lived with his family in Chesterville, he said.

''He left the country with Chesterville activist Lucky Mthembu and others to join MK around 1983. He left behind his partner Busisiwe Nkomo and young daughter Xolile in Road 5, Chesterville. Little is known of his life in exile as most of those who operated with him have since died. However, it is known that he worked with the Ngobese brothers of Chesterville, who also fell under the command of Dr Mkhize, Muzi Thusi and Kevin Qhobosheane.''

The Missing Persons Task Team at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is in charge of seeking and exhuming the remains of pre-1994 political activists.

African News Agency (ANA)