Statement by President Nelson Mandela on arrest of Sifiso Nkabinde and 18 others

16 September 1997

I wish to commend the Special Investigation Unit led by Director Bushy Engelbrecht for the work they have done and which has led to the arrest of Mr Sifiso Nkabinde and 18 others at Magoda, Richmond, this morning.

The arrests are a continuation of the outstanding work the unit has carried out since its deployment in KwaZulu-Natal in general and the Greater Pietermaritzburg Region in particular.

I must repeat that the government is determined to remove whatever vestiges of apartheid-sponsored violence remains in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of the country.

I have been informed that the arrests this morning will not only help solve long-standing cases, but will also prevent further incidents of violence; and that the police have sufficient evidence to secure speedy prosecution of the culprits.

The successes that the Special Investigation Unit has registered would not have been achieved without the cooperation and assistance of the communities. I personally thank the community of Richmond at large for their support and the patience they have displayed, the unacceptable levels of intimidation and lack of safety notwithstanding. I enjoin our communities to give the same levels of support to the Independent Complaints Directorate which is investigating police complicity in acts aimed at frustrating the ends of justice and fomenting violence in the Midlands.

I am convinced that the climate will now set in for the democratically elected local government structures in the area to focus on the urgent task of developing their communities, free from fear and intimidation.

Issued by: Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website