Top-level probe into Renamo claim

The government has launched a top-level inquiry into allegations that members of the police have been co-opening with Renamo.

The investigation follows a report in last week’s Weekly Mail that Renamo, the Mozambiquan rebel movement had access to prisoners in police custody in the Eastern Transvaal.

It is being conducted personally by a South African member of the Joint Security Commission (JSC) and a senior Security Policeman, Major Craig Williamson. However, as the investigation was launched, the SAP division of public relations dismissed the allegations as “absurd”.

Last week, the Weekly Mail interviewed a former prisoner who said that members of Renamo were approaching prisoners about recruitment and for information about Mozambique. The man has signed a sworn affidavit and is considering taking action against the Minister of Law and Order because he also alleges that he was ssaulted in an attempt to make him say he was Mozambican.

The SAP took three days to respond to a request from the Weekly Mail for comment on the allegations. They then sent a telex saying they did not comment on such “absurd allegations”. However, at almost exactly the same time as the SAP said this, Major Williamson informed the Weekly Mail that he was personally investigating the allegations.

Although it was not a crime to assist Renamo, it was a Departmental Offence in the police force, he said. Major Williamson assured the Weekly Mail that any former prisoners who came forward to give evidence would be free to see members of the inquiry in the presence or a lawyer. As a member of the JSC, Major Williamson gave a guarantee that any irregularities would be followed up.

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Janet Wilhelm
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