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South Africa: Securing the peace: issues of justice and accountability in the wake of the Bophuthatswana uprising

, Index number: AFR 53/020/1994

This report describes human rights violations committed in March 1994 in Bophuthatswana. The dramatic events of the week of 7 March, culminating in the end of President Lucas Mangope's rule, have been widely reported, particularly the incursion into the territory of rightwing paramilitaries, the killing of two of them, the extensive looting and destruction and the eventual deployment of the South African Defence Force on 11 March. However, the circumstances of the deaths of dozens of black civilians at the hands of white paramilitaries, the Bophutatswana Police and the Internal Stability Unit of the South African Police was less well known. Up to 100 people may have died. In AI's view many of these were victims of politically motivated killings or unjustified use of lethal force by security personnel, or of deliberate killings by white rightwing paramilitaries. This report documents the circumstances of some of these deaths, as well as other incidents of violence against detainees and journalists.

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