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Frank Kennan Dutton

The Order of the Baobab in

Frank Kennan Dutton Awarded for:
His exceptional contribution to and achievement in his investigative work as a dedicated and loyal policeman, for exposing the apartheid government’s “Third Force”; for his role in working for peace in KwaZulu-Natal; his international work in investigating and exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia‚ Kosovo and Darfur; and assisting in establishing the causes of violence in East Timor and Sudan.
Frank Dutton was born in Bela Bela in the province of Limpopo on 20 May 1949. He completed his schooling at Boys Town‚ Magaliesburg, and at the age of 17 joined the South African Police (SAP). After completing his police training, he was posted to KwaZulu-Natal where he worked as a detective for most of his career.

In the mid-1980s, Dutton started exposing the truth behind the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal with the murder investigations and convictions of Samuel Jamile (the former Deputy Minister of Interior for the KwaZulu Government), SAP Captain Brian Mitchell as well as numerous other KwaZulu police officers.

In 1992, Dutton was appointed to head the KwaZulu-Natal investigation team of the Goldstone Commission. This led to, among other things, the exposure of the workings of the SAP Security Branch’s hit squads under the command of former Colonel Eugene de Kock at Vlakplaas and the association of the SAP top command structure in the murders of political opponents and other activists.

In 1994, Dutton was appointed by the Minister of Safety and Security‚ Sydney Mufamadi‚ to establish and command the Investigation Task Unit (ITU) to investigate hit squads within the KwaZulu Police. This investigation led to the prosecution and acquittal of the former Minister of Defence, General Magnus Malan, and 10 former military officials in connection with the 1987 KwaMakhutha massacre.

In 1996, President Nelson Mandela agreed to Dutton’s secondment to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He played an important role in the ICTY’s investigations into genocide‚ war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia‚ Croatia and Kosovo.

He returned to South Africa in 2000 when he was appointed to establish and head the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions).

Frank Dutton retired from the South African Police Service in 2003 for medical reasons after 37 years of service.

Since his retirement, Dutton has remained involved in human rights-related work as a policing expert, both locally and abroad.

During his career, Frank Dutton continuously risked his life in the struggle to advance human rights, justice and peace. The dominant theme in his career was the investigation and prosecution of individuals guilty of committing political violence‚ war crimes‚ crimes against humanity and genocide.

His work has traced the struggle of the country on its journey to freedom and its rightful place in the world.