Remains of MK commander Valdez exhumed in Vosloorus

The remains of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) commander Xolile “Valdez” Sam, who was killed by apartheid security police, have been exhumed, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.

“We’ll now conduct forensic tests to get 100% confirmation but we do believe the remains are those of Valdez,” said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

The exhumation took place on Sunday in the presence of Valdez’s relatives at Vosloorus Cemetery, east of Johannesburg.

After the forensic examination, he would be reburied by his family in Port Elizabeth.

Valdez was killed on November 7 1988 in Vosloorus during a joint operation by members of the then Vlakplaas unit and the Germiston and Witbank security police.

According to former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock, security police obtained information through a telephone wiretap about a house in Vosloorus where a senior MK member was thought to be based.

Upon their arrival at the house, Valdez was spotted jumping over a wall. Vlakplaas member Leon Flores shot at him with an Uzi machine gun, seriously wounded him in the leg, De Kock put him in a police vehicle and handcuffed him to a seat.

“He was then tortured and suffocated by De Kock and others in order to extract information from him. Valdez died in the police truck shortly thereafter,” Mhaga said.

He was buried as an unidentified pauper.
- Sapa

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