19 August 2005
Location: back to this day in history search archive Gideon Nieuwoudt a former apartheid-era security police colonel, who was involved in the murder of several political activists in the Eastern Cape, died in Port Elizabeth after a battle with cancer. In 1982, two student activists who belonged to the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), Siphiwe Mthimkhulu and Topsy Mdaka, were abducted, tortured and murdered at the behest of Nieuwoudt. During his amnesty hearing in 1997, Nieuwoudt confessed his role in the 1985 murder of three anti-Apartheid activists of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO) known as the PEBCO three. These included the president of PEBCO, Qaqawuli Godolozi, the secretary, Champion Galela and executive Committee member, Sipho Hashe. Nieuwoudt was also implicated in the 1989 car bomb that killed three security branch policemen and an askari (soldier) in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, in what became known as the Motherwell four. Nieuwoudt testified that the four were killed because they were passing information to the ANC.  In 1998, Nieuwoudt, who was accompanied by television cameras, went to meet the family of Siphiwe Mthimkhulu to ask for forgiveness. During the incident Siphiwe Mthimkhulu's son hit Nieuwoudt with a vase, fracturing his skull. Nieuwoudt was denied amnesty in 1999 for his role in the death of Steve Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). At the time of his death, Nieuwoudt was waiting for the outcome of his application for amnesty for the murder of the Motherwell four. In 2009, the remains of the PEBCO three were returned to their families for burial.

Anon. (2005) 'Former apartheid-cop Gideon Nieuwoudt dies' from Mail and Guardian [online] Available at: www.mg.co.za [Accessed 10 August 2010]| Anon. (2005) 'Gideon Nieuwoudt dies' from News24 [online], Available at: www.news24.com [Accessed 10 August 2010]| Herd, f. (2005) 'No reprieve for Gideon Nieuwoudt' from Mail and Guardian [online], Available at: www.mg.co.za [Accessed 10 August 2010]| South African History Archive (2010) 'Revelations of the TRC: the case of the Pebco Three' [online] Available at: www.saha.org.za [Accessed 10 August 2010]