The Cradock Four
|The Cradock Four|
On 27 June 1985, four anti-apartheid activists – Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli – from Cradock, Eastern Cape, were intercepted at a roadblock set up by the South African apartheid government security police outside Port Elizabeth.
Goniwe and Calata were rumoured to be on a secret police hit list for their active participation in the struggle against apartheid in the Cradock area.
The South African Bureau of State Security abducted all four activists, killed them and burnt their bodies.
The activists, who came from the Karoo town of Cradock, became known as The Cradock Four.
In December 1999, six former Port Elizabeth security policemen (Harold Snyman, Eric Alexander Taylor, Gerhardus Johannes Lotz, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Johan van Zyl and Hermanus Barend du Plessis) were refused amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Cradock Four murders. TRC spokesperson Nhlanhla Mbatha said the security policemen were denied amnesty because they had never made a full disclosure regarding the killings:
- "The commission could therefore not find a relationship between the act and political motives," he said.