Durban — After securing a conviction and a 10-year sentence for an apartheid-era murder this week, the National Prosecuting Authority is preparing to prosecute yet another Truth and Reconciliation Unit matter.
On Tuesday the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Durban Magistrate’s Court indicted a named Askari and Security Police member to stand trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the 1991 murder of an uMlazi ANC activist.
NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said 62-year-old Elliot Mfanozi Ninela, who was alleged to have shot and killed Mthunzi Velemseni Njakazi who was 21 years old at the time, would stand trial in January.
According to Ninela’s indictment, Njakazi was killed in Warwick Avenue, near the Berea Railway Police Station.
It says Ninela was initially a cadre of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), having left South Africa in September 1981, he underwent training in Angola, Germany, and Yugoslavia. He returned to the country in 1988 and was assigned to carry out tasks given to him by the MK command.
“Shortly after his return to the country he was arrested at Durban station by members of the Durban Security Branch.
“After his arrest, the accused became an Askari working for the Durban Security Branch under the command of Colonel Andy Taylor. As it was practised during those times, the accused was appointed as a constable without any police training, he was based in Umlaas Road.”
It’s alleged that on January 28, 1991 while on duty near Berea Railway Station, the accused and Bongani Patrick Ndlovu noticed Njakazi and a certain Madoda Mkhize who they believed were MK members.
“At the time the deceased and Mkhize noticed the accused and Ndlovu approaching them. They ran in different directions and Ndlovu chased after Mkhize while the accused chased after the deceased. The accused allegedly fired shots at the deceased who sustained gunshot wounds and died as a result of gunshot wounds to the trunk and pelvis.”
Ramkisson-Kara said Ninela was currently out on warning, adding that he was not arrested but was served with a summons last month. Ninela appeared in court on Tuesday where he was served his indictment.
On Thursday in a similar matter, Gugulethu “Matir” Madonsela was sentenced in the Durban Magistrate’s Court to 10 years’ imprisonment for the 1989 political murder of 17-year-old ANC political activist Siphelele Nxumalo. Madonsela was alleged to have been affiliated with the A-Team that worked with the Natal Security Branch.
“We are seeing such cases being prosecuted because of investigations that are now coming to fruition. When it comes to cases like these, there are lots of investigations and research that need to be conducted as these crimes took place a long time ago,” said Ramkisson-Kara.
ANC KZN spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said among those who appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were people who were given amnesty and those who weren’t, due to their failure to fully disclose their dealings.
“Such cases where those not given amnesty due to their failures to fully disclose should be followed up. It is necessary that this period be closed and the necessary follow-ups are made and we heal our country moving forward. We support the law enforcement agencies in ensuring that they create a country that is free of any violence and crime.”