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Minister Masutha to hand over exhumed remains of Nine Anti-Apartheid Activists

20 Mar 2019

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha, MP, will hand over the exhumed remains of nine anti-apartheid activists on Saturday, 23 March 2019 at Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape. This ceremony forms 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 will be handed over to their respective families at the ceremony:

  1. 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.
  2. 2.   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.

    The members of the media are invited as follows:

    DATE:           23 March 2019
    TIME:            09:00
    VENUE:         Cofimvaba High School, EASTERN CAPE

    For media confirmations contact Ms Suzan Mphuthi on 083 672 5805 / smphuthi@justice.gov.za or Mr Steve Mahlangu on 079 878 7587 / Stmahlangu@justice.gov.za

    Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

    Enquiries:

    Max Mpuzana
    Media Liaison Officer
    Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
    Cell: +27 73 149 7657
    E-mail: MMpuzana@justice.gov.za