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Motlanthe pardon nearly freed racist killers

By Anna Majavu | Jun 09, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FOUR Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging members who went on an "unashamedly racist" rampage against black people at Kuruman in the Northern Cape in 1995 would have been freed from prison after serving only two years - if former president Kgalema Motlanthe had got his way.

The names of Ryan Allbut, Alexander George Whitehead, Arend Christian de Waal and Hans Jacob Wessels appear on a list of 120 people that Motlanthe tried to pardon last month, before he was prevented by a coalition of victims' families and six civil society organisations.

The list was released for the first time on Sunday night by the group that interdicted Motlanthe last month, stopping him from handing out the pardons.

The presidency had refused to release the list, even to the families of the victims, claiming it was not obliged to do so.

Allbut, Whitehead, de Waal and Wessels were part of a group of eight men who killed one person and left nearly 200 injured in an organised attack described by the Supreme Court of Appeal as "unashamedly racist".

The four AWB members were convicted of culpable homicide and grievous bodily harm but only began serving their eight year prison sentences in 2006.

Also included in the list of those in line for pardons was former apartheid minister of police Adriaan Vlok.

Vlok was recently forgiven by former director general in the presidency Reverend Frank Chikane for attempting to kill him with poison.

Yesterday Civil Society Coalition's attorney, Lwazi Kubukeli, said his group was disappointed that government "had refused" to provide the victims with the list as ordered by the court. The coalition only got hold of the list by accident - from Allbut's Constitutional Court application.

"That secrecy is unfair because the political parties and the perpetrators know everything and are colluding to keep that information away from the public."


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