Sunday, August 1, 2010
Ex-Vlakplaas operative on the run
Vlakplaas cops get amnesty
Search on for apartheid hitman
Amanda Roestoff, Beeld
Johannesburg – Joe Mamasela, a former Vlakplaas operative and self-confessed murderer of the Pebco 3 and Durban lawyer Griffiths Mxenge, has gone missing since the owner of the house in which he stayed was shot dead in Soweto on Saturday night.
Mamasela rented a room at the murdered man’s house in Zola, and had reportedly been given notice to vacate the room shortly before the incident.
The incident happened late on Saturday night.
According to Kay Makhubela, police spokesperson, the 49-year-old home owner was shot four times. He died at the scene, according to a report by Sapa.
Julia Claassen, provincial police spokesperson, confirmed that Mamasela was given notice to vacate his room on the particular day.
The name of the dead man has not yet been released.
Mamasela, who is in his early fifties, fled following the murder and was apparently still missing on Sunday night.
He was part of the former unit at Vlakplaas, led by former colonel Eugene de Kock in the 1980s.
In March 1998 Mamasela denied that he had lied or exaggerated about anything regarding the kidnapping and murder of Sipho Hashe, Champion Galela and Qaqawuli Godolozi, all members of the Pebco 3 (Port Elizabeth Black Civics Organisation).
He testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee that the three were beaten to death.
The revelations came after eight former members of the security police – Gideon Nieuweoudt, Gerhardus Lotz, Herman du Plessis, Sakkie van Zyl, Harold Snyman, Gerhardus Beeslaar, Johannes Kode and Peter Mogoai – applied for amnesty.
The eight police officials admitted to murdering the Pebco 3, but said they were shot and were never questioned or tortured.
Mamasela was also involved in the death of ten youth activists – better known as the Mamelodi 10 - in 1986 as well as that of human rights lawyer Mxenge, who was stabbed to death in the ealry eighties.
He had immunity from prosecution at the time because he had helped snare the former security police officials who were guilty of human rights crimes.
Comments by Sonny
What are the reasons behind Mamasela's flight from Soweto?
Will he be suspected of this murder?