Tuesday, July 7, 1998 Published at 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Plea for amnesty over massacre
The Inkatha Freedom Party was blamed for the massacre
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa has begun hearing a request for amnesty from members of the mainly Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party convicted of involvement in the massacre of 46 people at Boipatong, south of Johannesburg, in 1992.
The 16 amnesty applicants are currently serving prison sentences for their part in the killings which almost derailed talks aimed at bringing about multi-racial elections in South Africa.
Women and children were among the majority who died at Boipatong, but the killings were seen at the time as part of the conflict between the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
Accusation of collusion
The ANC accused the South African police force of helping the Inkatha Freedom Party to carry out the attack.
Our correspondent in South Africa says subsequent investigations seemed to prove that the South African police had helped almost 200 heavily armed Inkatha Freedom Party supporters to sneak into the camp where the attack took place.
After a judicial inquiry into the killings, the Inkatha Freedom Party members found guilty of murder and attempted murder received sentences of between 10 and 15 years.
They are now applying for amnesty under the statutes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Our correspondent says that if they are to be given amnesty, the 16 will have to admit to their crimes and give details of how they were committed.
He says their evidence is expected to touch on the alleged role of the former South African police commissioner, General Johan Van Der Merwe, and a senior Inkatha Freedom Party official, Themba Khoza.