Johannesburg - Former Umkhonto we Sizwe operative Nokuthula Simelane was declared dead by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria after her family spent 36 years looking for her following her abduction by the special branch of the apartheid police in September 1983.
The certificate of declaration of death issued yesterday came after her family made a formal application at the court in June this year, arguing that if she was indeed alive, she would have visited their family home, especially her ailing mother, in Bethal, Mpumalanga.
Nokuthula’s sister, Thembi Nkadimeng - executive mayor of Polokwane Local Municipality - lodged the application following her disappearance after she was captured by apartheid security branch officers outside the Carlton Centre in Joburg, 36 years ago.
In her papers, Nkadimeng said: “We know from the TRC hearings that my sister suffered terribly at the hands of the secret branch.
"We know that she refused to collaborate with the forces of apartheid. For this, she paid the ultimate price.”