The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)’s missing persons task team will exhume the remains of 83 political activists who were hanged at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre (formerly Pretoria Central Prison).
Justice Minister Michael Masutha launched the Gallows Exhumation Project on Wednesday.
He promised the families of political prisoners who were hanged during apartheid that the process will begin in early April.
The task team's Madeleine Fullard says the project has taken several years of documentary and field research and will take an estimated three to six months to complete.
When people were hanged the state retained custody of their bodies, and they were never returned to their loved ones. Fullard explained that the prisoners were buried as paupers in various unmarked Pretoria cemeteries.
Fullard explained that the prisoners were buried as paupers in various unmarked Pretoria cemeteries.
It is just large open field, with no markings. You can't see rows or grave numbers. It has taken the team years to try reconstruct the map of the cemetery on the earth itself.— Madeleine Fullard, NPA’s missing person’s task team Head
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