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Keeping The Memory of Ashley Kriel Alive: Exposing The Cover-Up

We Commerate the Slaying of Ashley Kriel, Action Kommandant, The Ché Guevara of The Cape Flats

Today 37 years ago Ashley Kriel at the age of 20 was shot dead by police, while handcuffed in a house in Hazendal, Athlone on the Cape Flats.
There was an elaborate cover-up attempt by police and new investigations recently confirmed that even at the TRC hearings the family of Ashley Kriel has been lied to.

A forensic investigation by David Klatzow concluded that the Ashley Kriel was murdered by security police in 1987 and that the evidence is contrary to the submission made by former police captain Jeffrey Benzien at the TRC and according to which he was granted amnesty for Ashley Kriel’s death.
Klatzow’s forensic evidence indicated that Kriel, 20 at the time of his death, was murdered rather than accidentally shot.
He concluded that Kriel was shot from behind and from a distance while his wrists were handcuffed behind his back.

The striking laser-cut steel artwork of Ashley Kriel adorns the wall of the Ashley Kriel Hall in Community House, Salt River.

In his submissions to the TRC, Benzien said Kriel produced a .22 pistol in the course of his arrest. He told the TRC he had tried to take the gun away from Kriel. A scuffle ensued, during which Kriel was shot in the back.
He told the TRC he had tried to take the gun away from Kriel. A scuffle ensued, during which Kriel was shot in the back.
Benzien said the shot was fired from Kriel’s pistol.

David Klatzow however proved that Benzien’s version of what happened on that fateful day was a fabricated cover-up and that Ashey Kriel was murdered in cold blood.

It is quite disconcerting that a petition along with calls from the family of Ashley Kriel as well as the Institute for Justice & Reconciliation to the National Prosecuting Authority to Prosecute Benzien have not yielded any results.

Keeping the Memory of Ashley Kriel Alive

May we never forget Our Fallen Heroes and may All of The Truth be revealed so that Ashley Kriel’s family and many other families who have lost loved ones in the Struggle Against Apartheid may someday soon find closure.
R.I.P Comrade Ashley Kriel
October 17 Monday, 1966 – July 9 Thursday, 1987

The 2016 film by Nadine Cloete, Action Kammandant tells the story of slain South African liberation fighter, Ashley Kriel.  During the oppressive apartheid era Ashley was known as the Ché Guevara of The Cape Flats who joined the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) and was a member of the BonteheuwelMilitary Wing(BMW). Action Kommandant is available for streaming on Showmax.

Below is a Poem by Michael Weeder Dedicated to The Memory of Ashley Kriel

“The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God and there shall not torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die but they are in peace” – Wisdom of Solomon 3:1

You came like the Archangel Michael, warrior of the Lord,
armed with holy anger and justice for your sword
to rout the acolytes of evil and drive
the demons from our land.

You came clad with courage hidden in surprise:
black child of grief and dance of laughter and of light.
They cannot kill your memory, Commandante of the night.

Action, young guerrilla: words en-fleshed in your life,
like love, a weapon of the poor of the unfree
and despised, the forever undenied

the touchstone of your pain, your militancy, your pride.
And now you walk the heroes heaven
found through justice here on earth.

Action, young guerrilla, from Angola to the Cape
from theory to praxis: Action, young guerrilla,
from niks-maak to ‘What is to be done”. Action,
Commandante of the night.

© Michael Weeder. The Feast of St Michael and All Angels, 29 September 1990, Ashton, Western Cape

WATCH: TRC Submission by Jeffrey Benzien which is Refuted by David Klatzow
WARNING: Graphic Descriptions of Torture

What do you think?

Written by Ryan Swano

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