How the SACP in exile imposed the death penalty on its own members

Maximum sentence for ‘gross acts of betrayal’ to be decided upon by a special tribunal set up by Party’s PB (1986)

The following was published as an addendum to the South African Communist Party’s Inner-Party Bulletin, January 1986:


1. Capital punishment may be imposed when a member has committed an act of gross betrayal against the Party or any of its allies and which is calculated to seriously endanger the safety of structures or activists engaged in revolutionary work.

2. Except in an emergency situation under field conditions in which a delay in acting would cause irreparable harm to our revolutionary cause, the following procedures shall apply in all capital cases:

a) The PB shall set up a special tribunal consisting of at least three (3) comrades who shall investigate the capital charge. The tribunal shall, circumstances permitting, ensure that the person charged is fully informed of all the evidence on which the charge is based, and is given every reasonable opportunity to state his or her case.

b) The tribunal shall at the end of its deliberations place before the PB a written Report containing a record of the proceedings, its verdict and the reasoning on which it is based. A recommendation of Capital punishment shall be by majority decision of the tribunal.

c) On receiving such a recommendation the PB may institute whatever further enquiries it deems necessary and/or may, by unanimous decision endorse the tribunal recommendation and issue such orders as may be necessary for its implementation*

Source: DISA