South Africa will, within the next week, commence the exhumation of 83 political prisoners who were previously hanged at the then Pretoria Central Prison during the apartheid era, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announced on Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of the gallows exhumation project at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Pretoria, Masutha said the dignity of at least 83 of the 130 people who were hanged for politically-related offences between 1960 and 1990 will be restored from April 4 when the Missing Persons Task Team in the National Prosecuting Authority will be conducting the exhumations of their remains.
At least 130 people were hanged for politically-related offences between 1960 and 1990. The remains of 47 of mainly members of the Pan Africanist Congress and United Democratic Front anti-apartheid organisations had been exhumed at various stages, while 83 of them remain buried in unmarked graves.
“Our Truth and Reconciliation Unit and various provincial governments will then arrange for the remains to be formally handed over to the families for dignified reburials,” said Masutha.