Security Council resolution 615 (1988) [South Africa]

Resolution 615 (1988) of 17 June 1988

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 503 (1982), 525 (1982), 533 (1983), 547 (1984) and 610 (1988) in which, inter alia, it expressed its grave concern that the Pretoria régime's practice of sentencing to death and executing its opponents has adverse consequences on the search for a peaceful resolution of the South African situation,

Gravely concerned at the deterioriating situation in South Africa, the worsening human suffering resulting from the apartheid system and, inter alia, the South African régime's renewed state of emergency on 9 June 1988, its imposition of severe restrictions on 18 anti-apartheid and labour organizations and 18 individuals committed to peaceful forms of struggle on 24 February 1988, the harassment and detention of church leaders on 29 February 1988, all of which further undermine the possibilities for a peaceful resolution of the South African situation,

Having considered the question of the death sentences passed on 12 December 1985 in South Africa on Mojalefa Reginald Sefatsa, Reid Malebo Mokoena, Oupa Moses Diniso, Theresa Ramashamola, Duma Joseph Khumalo and Francis Don Mokhesi, known as the Sharpeville Six, as well as the decision to execute them,

Conscious that the Court proceedings of the Sharpeville Six show that none of the six young South Africans convicted of murder was found by the Court to have caused the actual death of the Councillor and that they were convicted of murder and sentenced to death only because the Court found that they had a "common purpose" with the actual perpetrators,

Deeply concerned at the decision on 13 June 1988 of the Pretoria Supreme Court to reject an appeal to reopen the case to ensure a fair trial,

Deeply concerned also at the Pretoria régime's decision to execute the Sharpeville Six in defiance of world-wide appeals,

Convinced that these executions, if carried out, will further inflame an already grave situation in South Africa,

1. Calls once again upon the South African authorities to stay execution and commute the death sentences imposed on the Sharpeville Six;

2. Urges all States and organizations to use their influence and take urgent measures, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, the resolutions of the Security Council and relevant international instruments, to save the lives of the Sharpeville Six.

Adopted unanimously at the 2817th meeting.


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