Eleven members of the African National Congress (ANC), who were implicated in the Shell House and Lancet Hall shootings, have been granted amnesty, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) said on Wednesday.
The shootings occurred on March 28 1998 at an anti-election march organised by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The route of the march went past the African National Congress's headquarters at Shell House, in Johannesburg, and the party's provincial offices in Lancet House.
The applicants said they heard gunshots and thought they were under attack.
Gary Kruser, Mondli Zuma, Marainsamy Singaram, Modise Molefe, Bafana Khumalo, Tebogo Beea, Stephen Moolman, Veli Llale, Neo Potsane, Mathedi Mangena and Smangaliso Simelane were all granted amnesty for the shootings, which left several IFP supporters dead and dozens injured.
The victims' families opposed the applications, but the TRC found that the applicants met the requirements of the amnesty Act.
The commission said it was also satisfied that IFP marchers had not attacked Shell House, although that did not mean that "the conduct of the applicants in shooting at the marchers was without justification".
It found that the applicants' assumption that they were under attack was not unreasonable because of reports to that effect. The marchers were also armed and sang traditional war songs.
Relatives of the victims were all referred to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee for consideration. - Sapa