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“We are ready and we want justice” – families of fallen struggle heroes demand action from NPA

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By Anees Teladia

A memorial service was held in honour of two operatives of the former armed wing of the ANC (uMkhonto weSizwe) last night, marking 30 years since their tragic sacrifice for liberation. The two freedom fighters, Coline Williams and Robbie Waterwitch died for South African freedom in an explosion opposite the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on 23 July 1989. The families of the deceased are calling for action to be taken and for investigations to proceed, following the referral of the case to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) more than 20 years ago.

“The TRC hearing happened 23 years ago, in 1996. After 23 years, we as family members feel that it’s long overdue for the case to be investigated. At the end of the TRC processes, the final report stated that it [the case] was referred to the NPA for further investigation.”

“Up until this day, nobody from the NPA has contacted us. Meanwhile, we have collected our own files and documents…including investigating documents, the inquest report, the police report and the TRC report,” said Selina Williams, sister of the deceased Coline Williams.

“We are part of a collective of families and we say that the investigations are way overdue. We are ready and we want justice.”

Selina has indicated that over 13 families are actively working together in building files and in preparation to assist NPA investigations into all the cases referred to the prosecuting authority, by the TRC.

“Coline and Robbie were committed. They were vibrant and energetic and they committed themselves to fight for our freedom. They were committed freedom fighters,” said Williams.

“We’ve formed a log of 13 families that actively work together in building our files and profiles to assist with investigations. We encourage families to join us – it’s our responsibility as well. We aren’t getting any younger and we want things to happen.”


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