CAPE TOWN (REUTER) - Five former policemen have confessed to beating anti-apartheid icon Steve Biko to death in 1977, but it could be months before they are called on to tell the nation why they did it, and on whose orders. The five announced through their lawyer on Tuesday that they would seek amnesty from Archbishop Desmond Tutu`s statutory Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for killing Biko while he was detained in an apartheid prison. TRC spokesman John Allen said on Wednesday the ex-policemen would have to take their place in a queue of over 4,500 people seeking amnesty for politically motivated crimes committed in the struggle over apartheid. He said the TRC investigative unit would examine the evidence submitted by Biko`s killers and would determine whether they had met the requirement for full disclosure. White Afrikaner legislator Nic Koornhof told Reuters the confession that Biko was killed and did not die as a result of any accident was not unexpected, but had still come as a shock. "The big question is going to be why they killed Biko... It would be fair to them and to the nation to see the chain of command. Someone was thinking up the orders they followed." Koornhof said the truth commission, which has been at work for a little over a year, had forced most Afrikaners to accept that terrible things were done in their name under apartheid. "So many people just looked the other way - myself, the churches, all of us," he said. University of Cape Town political scientist Robert Schrire said pardons for Biko`s killers and last year`s amnesty for policeman Brian Mitchell, who organised the slaughter of 11 black men, women and children in 1988, probably would be the toughest tests of the reconciliation process.