About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

4. Our Own Amnesty: Release Of Agents

In several cases in the past, agents were pardoned and released. In fact many agents were never imprisoned at all, as mentioned above.

In 1987, when the new Directorate of NAT took over, there were 115 prisoners in Camp 32. By September 1987, the number had been reduced to 81. The number of prisoners continued to be steadily reduced by releases; in 1989, when Camp 32 was due to be closed down, all but 32 prisoners were released; of those released, only one opted to leave the ANC, which he was assisted in doing; he opted to go to Kenya where he was granted refugee status. All the rest, including the mutineers, were pardoned and reintegrated into civilian or military structures of the ANC. Several were given bursaries to study overseas, and are today successful professionals or business people. Only the group of 32 of the most committed agents were held after 1989 in a government prison in Uganda; they too were released in 1991, despite the heinous crimes committed by some of them.

Most of this group of 32 former prisoners made peace with the ANC, but some returned immediately to their masters or came under pressure to do so by the apartheid regime. In the case of De Souza, he apparently became involved in gang warfare in Eersterus and was involved in a number of cases of murder and attempted murder, including of his own wife (see the case study on Da Souza attached to this submission.)

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.