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Historynotes 79 ANC Members Denied Amnesty

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  • REality
    02:24 PM ET 04/06/99 79 ANC Members Denied Amnesty CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A panel probing apartheid-era crimes refused Tuesday to grant amnesty to 79
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 1999
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      02:24 PM ET 04/06/99

      79 ANC Members Denied Amnesty



      CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A panel probing apartheid-era crimes
      refused Tuesday to grant amnesty to 79 senior members of the ruling
      African National Congress, including several Cabinet ministers.

      The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said it could only give
      amnesty for specific incidents, whereas the ANC applicants had
      applied out of a general feeling of responsibility for acts carried
      out by their supporters during the fight against white rule.
      Unlike many government figures from white-run South Africa, few
      of whom have applied for amnesty, the ANC said its leaders had
      applied in order to show faith in the process and encourage
      supporters to come forward.

      People refused amnesty include Welfare Minister Geraldine
      Fraser-Moleketi and Justice Minister Dullah Omar. Last month 27
      other ANC amnesty applications, including one from Deputy President
      Thabo Mbeki, were turned down on the same grounds.

      In its final report delivered to President Nelson Mandela last
      year, the Truth Commission criticized the ANC for some actions,
      especially bombings and torture of its own members.
      Though the panel has recommended people turned down for amnesty
      _ or who did not apply _ be prosecuted for their crimes, it is
      highly unlikely the rejected ANC leaders will be tried because they
      have not been directly implicated in any crimes.
      Set up in 1995, a year after all-race elections ended white
      rule, the Truth Commission was charged with uncovering the facts
      about atrocities committed by all sides in the anti-apartheid
      struggle.
      Officially the body has wound up its operations, but its Amnesty
      Committee is continuing work indefinitely to deal with a flood of
      applications.



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