A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

South Africa eyes prosecutions after military role in apartheid violence revealed

[JURIST] South Africa [JURIST news archive] is considering how to handle the recent declassification [Sunday Independent report] of a 1992 report made by a top general to former South Africa President FW de Klerk [Nobel profile] detailing involvement by the South African military in unofficial violence during the final years of apartheid [Wikipedia backgrounder]. According to the Steyn report, named after General Pierre Steyn who compiled it, South African military forces were strongly linked to the so-called "Third State," a group of paramilitary groups that used violence against blacks and desegregation supporters. The report names various military officials reportedly a part of the actions. The National Prosecuting Authority [official website], which handles prosecutions for the state, has reportedly expressed interest in the report, although NPA chief Vusi Pikoli said any prosecution would have to be brought by police first. National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said he would consider the report.

The Steyn report was obtained and made public by the South African History Archives [official website]. According to a spokesman for de Klerk, the report was initially forwarded to South Africa's attorney general, but it became difficult to conduct further investigation after participants became aware of the report. Aljazeera has more. South Africa's Mail & Guardian provides additional local coverage.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.