south african cos 88.
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Construction workers have uncovered a mass grave containing human bones and ammunition about 400 meters from a former South African military base in Namibia, The Star newspaper reported Friday.
The newspaper said the bones were believed to be the remains of South West African People's Organization liberation fighters killed during the South African occupation of the country that ended in 1990. SWAPO is now the ruling party in Namibia.
The Star said exhumation of the grave was still in progress near the former Eenhana military base and it was not yet known how many bodies had been buried at the site.
"This is a serious matter. A huge massacre has happened. Those in the South African army need to tell us why they shot these people," Usko Nghaamwa, the governor of the Ohangwena region in Namibia, told the newspaper.
Constand Viljoen, who was chief of the army from 1977 to 1985, said dealing with any bodies had been a police, not military, function.
However, Jane's Defense Weekly correspondent Helmoed-Romer Heitman told The Star photographs existed of South African troops burying SWAPO members toward the end of the liberation war in 1989 when, in the absence of mortuary facilities, the dead were buried in pits dug by front-end loaders.