The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha, MP, recently handed over the exhumed remains of nine anti-apartheid activists at Cofimvaba, in the Eastern Cape.
This ceremony formed part of the Department’s efforts in implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which seek to bring closure to the families of freedom fighters whose lives were lost due to political activities during the apartheid government.
The exhumed remains of the following nine activists were handed over to their respective families at the ceremony:
PAC Cofimvaba Six: the six members of the PAC’s armed wing Poqo who were charged with murder found guilty and were sentenced to death on 7 February 1963. They were denied leave to appeal and all six were hanged at the Pretoria gallows just three months later on 9 May 1963. The six are Modi Mbiso, Zenzile May, Goli Sonamzi, Katzekile Pilapi, Siqwayi Mhlaba and Nkosinam Ngalo.
Popular revolt against Glen Grey Headman: Three residents of Rwantsana location in Glen Grey, Eastern Cape who were hanged for their role in a community killing of Thompson Nqayana, a local headman and member of the local Board. Thirty five residents were charged with the murder and defended pro bono inter alia by Judge Albie Sachs. Twenty were convicted and sentenced to prison terms. Three were ultimately sentenced to death, namely Katyana Zoya and Mpitizeli Zoya, who were brothers, and Mute Yawa. The three were hanged on 15 December 1961.