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S Africa probes apartheid disappearance of Mbeki son

Written by: Staff
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JOHANNESBURG, Sep 12 (Reuters) South African authorities have launched an investigation into the 1981 disappearance of President Thabo Mbeki's son, who is believed to have been killed by agents of the apartheid-era government.

Kwanda Mbeki went missing in South Africa while attempting to join his father and other anti-apartheid activists in exile.

His body, like those of hundreds of others who disappeared while resisting white minority rule, was never found.

''We will conduct our own investigation and talk to the people who were the last to see the missing person and develop from there,'' Makhosini Nkosi, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told state broadcaster SABC.

Nkosi added that new leads had been developed in the case, but he did not provide details.

President Mbeki last week raised the subject of his son's disappearance as well as that of two other relatives, expressing disappointment that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had not been able to determine what happened to them.

The commission, set up by former president Nelson Mandela to probe crimes committed on both sides of the apartheid struggle, finished its work in 2003.

''I, too, and especially my mother, regret that the TRC process did not succeed to unearth the truth about what happened to our loved ones who disappeared without trace,'' Mbeki said in a weekly message to members of his ruling African National Congress party.

REUTERS SAM BS1554

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