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Department of Justice and Constitutional Development hands over the exhumed remains of Umkhonto We Sizwe Cadre, Thamsanqa Poto

29 May 2015

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development officially handed over the exhumed remains of Thamsanqa Poto to his family on 29 May 2015 at New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.

Poto went into exile during the times of the apartheid regime and underwent military training as Umkhonto We Sizwe cadre. He was shot dead along with Messrs Sechaba Lawrence Lesimola, Sizakele Buzo (MK Perez Nomvelo), Fuzile Patrick Zigoxo (MK Marvin Kgasupane) and Meshack Komsasa Nyathi by members of the security forces near Alldays in Limpopo on 03 August 1988.

The deceased were all buried as unidentified paupers at Tshikota Cemetery in Louis Trichard/ Makhado. The remains of all five were recovered by the Missing Persons Task Team (MPTT) and were identified through DNA.

As part of implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), all the remains of four deceased have already been handed over by the Department to their families for proper and dignified reburial.  The family has indicated that Thamsanqa Poto will finally be laid to rest on 06 June 2015 in his home town.

The Department expressed its condolences and extended a message of solidarity to the bereaved families. “May all the affected families as well as hundreds of others in similar circumstances get solace from the fact that theirs was not in vain.  Their quest for democracy has been realised. May their souls rest in everlasting peace,” said Dr Khotso De Wee, Chief Operations Officer of the Department at the handing over ceremony.

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Correctional services