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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 705

Paragraph Numbers 18 to 24

Volume 6

Section 5

Chapter 5

Subsection 2


18. Like the African National Congress (ANC), the PAC executed a number of persons in custody in their camps without due process. This was usually on the instructions of its high command. In terms of the Protocols, such killings are considered to be grave breaches of the conventions.

19. In its Final Report, the Commission made the following finding:

The Commission finds that a number of members of the PAC were extra-judicially killed in exile, particularly in camps in Tanzania, by APLA cadres acting on the instructions of its high command, and that members inside the country branded as informers or agents, and those who opposed PAC policies were also killed. All such actions constituted instances of gross violations of human rights for which the PAC and APLA are held to be responsible and accountable.70

20. In assessing this finding, it is important to note that the violations that occurred in the ranks of the PAC in exile were largely the result of divisions within the PAC leadership, military command structures and APLA members. Evidence received by the Commission revealed that many such violations took place. Whilst the Commission received a number of statements from victims regarding their treatment in exile, it received only one amnesty application in connection with these violations. Unlike the ANC leadership, the PAC leadership made no submissions on this issue to the Commission.

21. The Commission also received statements from families of individuals who went ‘missing in exile’, and heard evidence of the killing and attempted killing of PAC cadres in exile for which the PAC was allegedly responsible. It also received evidence in respect of a number of cases of assault and torture in PAC camps in Tanzania. Assault and torture were used as mechanisms to deal with suspected dissidents or infiltrators. The PAC did not have a security division responsible for handling such matters. Nevertheless, sections 1.4 and 1.5 of its Disciplinary Code provided constitutional justification for the use of ‘firm iron discipline’ and for ‘chopping off without ceremony’ factional elements in the movement, ‘no matter how important’.

70 Volume Five, ‘ Findings ’ .

22.The Commission found the PAC responsible for the extrajudicial killing and attempted killing of a number of PAC members in exile, particularly in the camps in Tanzania.

23. In reviewing these findings, the Commission records that it received no further information affecting the substance of this finding subsequent to the publication of its Final Report. Moreover, it reiterates that the Geneva Protocols applied to the PAC, even though the latter may not have considered itself bound by its provisions. The Convention on Torture makes it clear that torture is not permitted in any circumstances. Hence, cases of torture clearly constitute contraventions and gross human rights violations. Moreover, the execution of persons in custody without due process is considered to be a grave breach of the Protocols.

24. There is thus no reason, compelling or otherwise, for the Commission to change its findings in respect of these incidents.

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