Durban — A warrant of arrest has been issued against one of four men after he failed to appear in the Pongola Magistrate’s Court in connection with the 1985 kidnapping and murder of a commander of uMkhonto we Sizwe.
Gerhardus Stephanus Schoon, 82, Paul Jacobus van Dyk, 76, Frederick Johannes Pienaar, 77, and Douw Gerbrandt Willemse, 63, who were members of the Security Branch of the South African Police, are accused of kidnapping and killing Jameson Ngoloyi Mngomezulu.
The ANC activist was allegedly abducted in 1985 from Swaziland by members of the Jozini Security Branch, assisted by askaris from Vlakplaas.
It is alleged that Mngomezulu was taken to Jozini where he was subjected to assault, torture and died. His lifeless body was taken to Sodwana Bay where it was blown up with explosives.
Members of the Security Branch including former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock applied for and were granted amnesty for Mngomezulu’s murder, while others were refused amnesty.
On Thursday only two of the four men charged with Mngomezulu’s murder arrived at court.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the indictment was served on the legal representative of accused 1 and 2.
“Accused 3 (Pienaar) and 4 (Willemse) did not appear. Accused 3 is sick. No reason was given for accused 4. A warrant of arrest was issued. The matter was postponed to April 18 before transferring to the High Court.”
At the time of Mngomezulu’s murder, Schoon was the commander of the Jozini Security Branch of the South African Police, Van Dyk and Willemse were based at Vlakplaas while Pienaar was based in Piet Retief.
According to the TRC report, Mngomezulu was severely tortured for several days.
Ten Security Branch operatives, including the commanding officer of Vlakplaas and the commander of the Piet Retief Security Branch, applied for amnesty. Of these, seven applications were granted and three, those currently on trial, were refused. Willemse did not appear before the TRC.
The TRC heard that on June 1, 1985, three people in southern Swaziland, Jameson Ngoloyi Mngomezulu, David Mkethwa Mngomezulu and Leonard Loghudu Mngomezulu were abducted and taken to South Africa.
The latter two were detained and tortured and, after six weeks were released and returned to Swaziland.
Jameson Mngomezulu remained captive because the security police believed he was involved in infiltrating MK guerrillas into South Africa.