Garden of Remembrance unveiled for slain Cradock Four
Calata said he was three years and eight months old when his father was buried, and the big funeral was the only memory he had of his father.
“Next month, on June 27, it will be exactly 35 years since he was killed. Imagine if we can get some sort of response from the NPA saying ‘yes we will prosecute’ – that would be a very nice gesture to celebrate during his commemoration and, for me, to stand and say ‘dad you can now rest in peace’.”
The Cradock Four were brutally murdered near Port Elizabeth by members of the Security Branch of the erstwhile South African Police, the foundation said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the foundation’s spokesperson Ahmed Mayet said: “Last week, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), which acts pro bono for the Cradock Four families, demanded in writing that the NPA investigate how the criminal docket went missing. CDH also rejected various excuses put up by the NPA for the long delay in finalising this case, noting that such excuses would justify an ad infinitum delay – notwithstanding the fact that the murders took place 35 years ago and suspects, witnesses and families are elderly and dying.
“CDH further noted that the opportunity to hold anyone accountable for one of the most notorious crimes committed in South Africa’s history fades with each passing day. CDH accordingly demanded that the NPA decide by no later than 10 July, 2020, whether to prosecute the known suspects in the murder of the Cradock Four. Should no decision be made by close of business on Friday, 10 July, 2020, CDH will launch legal proceedings in the high court to compel a decision,” said Mayet.
‘Elimination’ of activists
NPA national spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke confirmed receiving questions and promised to respond.
At the time of writing, she had not responded. Her comments will be added once we have received the response.
Mayet said: “The Cradock Four investigation docket went missing from the offices of the NPA nearly two years ago. It appears that no investigation has been instituted into how the docket into one of the most serious crimes in South Africa’s history disappeared. Family members are deeply concerned that the removal or concealing of the docket is possible indication of an ongoing cover-up or obstruction of justice.”
The foundation claims the instruction for the “elimination” of the activists was issued at the highest levels of the apartheid government.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the 1994 Zietsman Inquest concluded that the murders were carried out by the security forces, and the fact that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) disclosed the identities of the suspects in 1998 and recommended to the NPA in 2002 that prosecutions proceed, no such decision has been made. Indeed, the investigation docket has gone missing,” said Mayet.
Comment has also been sought from ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe and SAPS spokesperson Vish Naidoo. It will be added once received.