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Truth body grants amnesty to white right-winger

December 12, 1997

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ The Truth and Reconciliation Commission granted amnesty Friday to a white right-winger who illegally hoarded weapons because he feared rule by the country’s black majority.

Olof Vorster, 28, hid firearms, explosives and more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition at two sites in Pretoria, despite having no firearms license.

Vorster, a member of the right-wing Conservative Party and the Afrikaner Volksfront, said he stashed the weapons because his political leaders had warned of chaos before and after South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994 that ended apartheid.

Last year, Vorster was sentenced to community service for the crime. The weapons were never used, and the conviction now will be quashed.

The commission was set up in 1995 to probe apartheid-era crimes. It can grant amnesty to those who show a political motive for their crimes and tell the truth.

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