TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
APPLICATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 18 OF THE PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT, NO. 34 OF 1995.
JACQUES HECHTER APPLICANT
The applicant applies for Amnesty in terms of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act No. 34 of 1995 as amended. His co-applicants in the hearing were Cronje, Van Vuuren, Venter and Mentz and the various decisions flowing from amnesty applications no.'s 2773, 2774, 2775, 2776 and 2777 should be read together.
The applicant was a member of the Security Branch of the South African Police.
The applicant's application relates more particularly to the 1980-1990 period. In dealing with this particular applicant, the Committee takes into consideration the applicant's physical and mental condition. The applicant cannot remember all the instances in which he was involved. In certain instances the Committee had to rely on the evidence of his fellow perpetrators. His loss of memory and the reasons therefore were supported by expert evidence which the Committee found acceptable.
The committee has dealt with the evidence of General Van der Merwe, later the Commissioner of the South African Police and Minister Vlok (who succeeded the now late Mr Le Grange as Minister of Police) more fully in the decision on Brigadier Cronje's application (application no. AM2773/96). It was agreed among all interested parties that the evidence of General Van der Merwe which was heard right at the beginning of this hearing would apply in general to applications relating to the background and the then prevalent political situation.
The evidence was later repeated and more fully explained by General Van der Merwe and Minister Vlok during the hearing of application no. AM4399/96.
The applicant applied for amnesty in respect of a number of incidents fully set out in his application under schedules 1 - 26. The Committee will refer to the incidents as listed in the schedules.
The applicant alleged that during the riots of 1976-1978 he acted as a policeman under the orders of his commanders in firing on crowds during uprisings. He was involved in skirmishes at Soweto, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and East London. These incidents clearly related to the conflicts of the past and he acted within the scope of his employment. He testified that he couldn't say whether he in fact killed or injured anybody during those skirmishes.
Although the Committee accepts that the applicant attempted to make full disclosure in this regard, the nature of the incidents and the time that expired, however, makes it impossible to grant amnesty in respect of unidentifiable offences.
For the reasons set out above, no order in regard to amnesty is made in respect of possible offences under this schedule.
INTIMIDATION AND ASSAULTS DURING INTERROGATIONS
Various incidents of assault around the Pretoria area during the period 1984 to 1988 and the offences related thereto.
The applicant, at the time a member of the security branch of the South African Police, says that he assaulted a number of activists during interrogations. He describes various methods which were used to assault and torture his victims; e.g. by shocking them with electricity, suffocating them, beating them up, etc.
There are several problems with this application. For example, the applicant says he cannot remember specific incidents, he cannot remember the names of the victims and very importantly, he cannot remember why they were assaulted, except to say that this would be done only if it was necessary. Did the necessity arise once they gave answers the applicant did not like?
Moreover, the period he asks amnesty for is too long; from 1984 to 1988. The incidents may therefore be so many that, bearing in mind that there might have been several victims (he has no idea how many), amnesty could be granted without the slightest idea as to the actual magnitude of his activities. The incidents may even be so many as to suggest that the cause of the assault was criminal propensity on his part, as opposed to political motivation. The kind of amnesty herein sought is too much of a blanket one.
The applicant has failed to place sufficient facts before us to enable us to determine whether or not he is entitled to amnesty and his application in this regard is THEREFORE REFUSED.
THE MURDERS OF TEN M.K. RECRUITS NEAR NIETVERDIEND
This incident has been fully dealt with in the application of Jan Hattingh Cronje, application no. AM2776, under Schedule 5 thereof. The Committee refers to the decision in that application for the reasons set out in the aforementioned decision, AMNESTY IS GRANTED to the applicant Hechter in respect of:
1. The murders of Abram Makolane, Samuel Masilela, Sepo Sibanyoni, Jeremia Mtudi, Thomas Phiri, Jeremia Mkabula, Morris Nkabinde, Matthew Kekutle, Stephen Makenna and Elliot Sasage during 1986 near Nietverdiend and the offences connected therewith, viz:
2. Desecration of the bodies of the deceased.
3. Arson and malicious damage to property.
4. Contravention of Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act 75 of 1969.
5. Contravention of Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, No. 71 of 1968.
6. Contravention of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act 26 of 1956.
7. Any other offences relating to the incident set out in the above decision.
Various incidents of arson relating to the burning of houses in Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Atteridgeville during the period 1985 to 1987.
The applicant and Paul Jacobus Janse van Vuuren applied for amnesty relating to the aforementioned offences.
The two applicants, both of whom were at the time members of the Security Branch of the South African Police, identified and targeted the houses of several people who, according to information by the applicants, were responsible for a number of political incidents in Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Atteridgeville. The applicants intended victims were people who had allegedly been responsible for the planting of bombs and incidents of petrol bombing. This was during the period of 1985 to 1987, during which time there was a lot of political unrest. The applicants, together with some of their colleagues, set the targeted houses on fire by using petrol bombs. The applicants do not know whether any people were injured or killed as a result of their attacks. They also asked for amnesty for a host of related offences, such as murder and attempted murder. In their applications, both applicants say the following: "Ons het wel voorsien dat mense in the huise kan wees, maar dit was nooit die bedoeling om die mense in die huise to dood nie. Ons het aanvaar dat mense sou kon sterf in the proses."
We are satisfied that they were acting as they did because they considered it their duty as policemen in the course of the struggle referred to in General Van der Merwe's evidence. The attacks were associated with a political objective and so too was the possession of the petrol bombs used.
AMNESTY IS THEREFORE GRANTED to the applicant and the said Van Vuuren (as will be seen from the decision in application no. AM2777/96) in respect of:
a) Various incidents of arson relating to the burning of houses in Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Atteridgeville during the period 1985 to 1987 and any offences including any deaths or injuries that may have resulted from the burning of these houses.
b) Contravening Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 71 of 1968.
c) Contravening of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 for the Explosives Act, 26 of 1956.
THE EKANGALA INCIDENT
During 1986/1987 the applicant and one Sergeant Deon Gouws threw a petrol bomb into the house of a person at Ekangala. According to the applicant's evidence, this man was identified as an ANC activist and had to be intimidated in order to scare him from further participation in revolutionary activities. The applicant acted in terms of the general order to intimidate and scare activists to dissuade them from further participation in the struggle. The bomb was thrown into the sitting room. The applicant did not make sure whether or not there were any occupants in the house at the time. As far as it is known, nobody was killed in the incident.
For the reasons set out in the previous decision, the Committee, after considering the application, the relevant documentation and the evidence is satisfied that the requirements set out in Section 20 of the Act 34 of 1995 have been met and AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of the offences concerning the Ekangala Incident near Bronkhorstspruit during 1986 or 1987 in respect of:
a) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act No. 75 of 1969.
b) Contravention of Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act No. 71 of 1968.
c) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act No. 26 of 1956.
d) Attempted murder of an unknown activist.
f) Malicious damage to property.
h) Conspiracy to commit the abovementioned offences.
i) Any other competent or related verdict flowing from the same facts.
THE MURDERS OF THE KWANDEBELE NINE
The applicant was involved in this incident together with Mentz (application No. AM2275/96). Gouws (application no. AM 3759/96), Oosthuizen (application no. 3760/96) and Mamasela. Hechter, acting under the general instructions referred to previously as originating from Brigadier Viktor. Brigadier Cronje was absent from office at the stage and Hechter himself accepted the command on this occasion. He contacted the other persons involved and informed them that a number of youths were on the verge of leaving the country for military training. It transpired that during the preceding weeks these youths had gathered around Mamasela who was parading as an ANC activist at the time. Mamasela in fact gave them limited military training. According to him, they were eager to receive training. They would leave the country, receive training and thereafter would return to the country as trained soldiers to continue the struggle. Hechter felt convinced that the only way to prevent this was to eliminate them. Previous efforts to persuade youths not to leave the country for military training and then to return to the country as fully trained and dangerous cadres failed.
Hechter and his four accomplices went to KwaNdebele to the house where Mamasela knew the prospective trainees would be. Mentz stayed in the car, Hechter stood outside the house and Mamasela, Gouws and Oosthuizen went into the house and shot the young activists. Thereafter petrol was spilled all over the bodies and in the room and the house was set alight.
After considering all the evidence of this gruesome incident, the conclusion is that this incident falls within the ambit of the act and that the requirements for the granting of amnesty were met.
AMNESTY IS THEREFORE GRANTED in respect of offences relating to the death of the KwaNdebele 9 during 1985 or 1987 in KwaNdebele. The applicant acted together with Mentz (application no. AM2775/96), AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of:
a) The murder of nine men at KwaNdebele during 1986/1987 and the following offences in connection therewith;
b) Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm;
d) Malicious damage to property;
f) Desecration of the bodies of the deceased;
g) Conspiracy to commit the abovementioned offences;
h) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1969;
i) Contravention of Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act No. 71 of 1968;
j) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosive Act No. 26 of 1956.
BLOWING UP OF A GARAGE IN KWANDEBELE
The application states that in or about 1986 or 1987 he was requested by Bester who was a Warrant Officer at the Security Branch attached to the C-terrorist Unit in Northern Transvaal to assist him in an operation intended to neutralise a garage which was located at KwaNdebele and was alleged to bo be used as halfway station for ANC activists that were operating in KwaNdebele. The people who participated in the operation were, a certain Captain Van Jaarsveld, Sergeant Deon Gouws, Warrant officer Andre Oosthuizen and a black person. We note that gouws and Oosthuizen were not attached to the Northern Transvaal but were members of the Pretoria Murder and Robbery Squad.
The applicant states that they fired several AK47 shots into the building but were unable to ascertain whether any person has been injured. They thereafter bombed the garage using an SZ6 mine. From the evidence before us it is quite clear that the applicant, who was at the time a Captain, was requested by W/O Bester who was junior by two ranks to him to assist and participated in this operation outside his own unit. Secondly W/O Bester was attached to a different division from the one to which the applicant was attached. There is no evidence why he felt obliged to participate in this operation at the request of a Junior Officer who was from a different division. We note that this operation was conducted by other members of another division, namely, members of the Murder and Robbery Squad in Pretoria. There is no evidence why Warrant Officer Bester solicited the assistance of a Senior Security Officer of a division other than his own as well as other policemen of again a different division.
That being so there is no evidence to suggest that he had obtained permission from his commander, Brigadier Cronje, in the execution of this operation. We find it difficult to accept that it was the practice of members of the Security Police to participate in operations outside their units without the approval of their immediate commander, and the applicant has not given evidence to this effect. It is our view that the applicant did not act within the scope of his duties and further the act was not intended to achieve any political objective. Most significantly no reasons have been advanced at all why his participation in this operation was crucial, considering the fact that it was outside his Unit; was without the permission of his commander, and was requested by a policeman junior to him by two ranks and from another division.
We therefore find that the application has not satisfied the requirement of Section 20 (1) of the Act and his APPLICATION IS ACCORDINGLY REFUSED in respect of the following offences concerning the blowing up of a garage in kwaNdebele in or about 1986 or 1987 and the following offences in connection therewith:
b) Contravening Sections 2, 28, 29, 32 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 75 of 1969;
c) Contravening Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of
the Explosives Act 26 of 1956;
d) Malicious damage of property;
f) Attempted murder.
SCHEDULES 8, 17, 19 AND 23
ATTACKS ON UNKNOWN ACTIVISTS
The Committee will deal with the incidents referred to in schedule 8 as well as the incidents referred to in Schedules 17, 19 and 23 together.
The Committee did refer to the applicant's physical and mental condition at the beginning of this decision. The Committee accepts that due to his present mental condition he cannot remember details and particulars of certain incidents. It transpired, however, since the hearing that applicants in other hearings may be able to supply details which may influence or enable the Committee to come to a fair and just decision, regarding the incidents referred to under these schedules.
The Committee is at present of the opinion that the applicant attempted to make a disclosure of his involvement in the incidents under the above schedules and if it transpires that it was bona fide and falls within the ambit of the act after the hearing of further evidence, the matters will be decided on with reference to all the evidence.
THE MURDER OF JEFFREY SIBIYA AND MPHO.
According to the evidence, Jeffrey Sibiya and Mpho were members of a cell of freedom fighters. Sibiya had received military training and was the leader of the cell and Mpho was his second in command. Sibiya and his cell were connected with attacks on police houses, the murder of a policeman and a landmine explosion as well as various petrol bomb attacks. There was an unsuccessful attempt to recruit Sibiya as an informer. Later, information was obtained that the victims intended to ambush and murder the applicants, Hechter and Van Vuuren.
Both Sibiya and Mpho were eager to obtain further military training abroad and expressed this wish to the Askari Joe Mamasela. This enabled Mamasela to kidnap them. They were driven to a farm in the vicinity of Pienaarsrivier where they were interrogated, severely assaulted and tortured. In the end they were strangled with electrical cords, their bodies were removed to a desolate area in Bophuthatswana where they were blown up by a landmine in order to create the impression that in the process of planting a landmine they had blown themselves up.
The applicants averred that they acted under instructions to eliminate the militant leaders of the ANC. The instructions were of a general nature and emanated from Cronje and Viktor and should be seen against the then prevailing unrest and war situation. Van Vuuren further alleges that he acted under instructions of Hechter. Hechter, due to his loss of memory which the Committee cannot reject as untrue and which is supported by expert evidence, cannot recall the incident at all. Although Hechter cannot give evidence to support his applications in this regard, the evidence given by his subordinate Van Vuuren is admissible in Hechter's application. The applicants acted as policemen and would fall within the category of persons referred to under Section 20 (2) (b) and (f). They testified that they acted in order to keep the government of the day in power, that they both were political supporters of the then reigning political party and that the offences related to the conflicts of the past.
The Committee, after considering the application, the relevant documentation and the evidence is satisfied that the requirements set out in Section 20 of Act 34 of 1995 have been met and AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of the following offences which are related to the incident known as the Sibiya and Mpho Murders:
The murders of the two deceased, Sibiya and Mpho and the following offences in connection therewith :
a) Contravention of Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act No. 75 of 1969;
b) Sections 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act No. 71 of 1968;
c) Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act No. 26 of 1956;
e) Conspiracy to commit the offences mentioned or any other competent verdicts;
g) Desecration of the bodies of the deceased;
h) All delicts flowing from the facts related to the murder and/or any of the abovementioned offences.
THE ASSAULT ON SCHEEPERS MORUDI
The applicants, Hechter and Van Vuuren testified that in or about 1986 they arrested Mr Morudi and subjected him to sever torture. This torture included assault on Morudi by the applicants by using fists and kicking him over his body, particularly kicking him on his nose until it bled, and by using electrical shocking devices on his hands, his legs and on his private parts with the view of obtaining information concerning the activities of the Mamelodi Students Congress. The applicants contended that it was important to obtain information from Mr Morudi concerning the activities of his organisation as it was perceived by the Security Forces to have been acting to advance the cause of the United Democratic Front which was then a political organisation which was engaged in a struggle against the then Nationalist Party led government. They contended that the torture was intended to extract important information from Mr Morudi as a student leader and that the method used on Morudi for this purpose was the method which was frequently used by the South African Police and the Security Police and was authorised.
Mr Morudi also gave evidence and admitted to having been elected the President of the Mamelodi Students Congress in 1986 and also testified that he was severely tortured by the Applicants. he however denied that he was an activist and that he was involved in any bombing, or other acts of violence. He further testified that after he was tortured he, because of the torture, became an informer for the Security Police but did not pass on any significant political information.
Having regard to the evidence led before us, we are satisfied that the applicants tortured Mr Morudi because they believed that he, as a President of a youth congress, could provide them with important information which they could use to counter the activities of the United Democratic Front which was a political organisation at the time.
We are therefore satisfied that this act was an act associated with a political objective and AMNESTY IS ACCORDINGLY GRANTED to the applicant in respect of the following offences relating to the assault on Mr Scheepers Morudi:
a) Assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
b) Contravening Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 75 of 1969;
c) Contravening Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 71 of 1968;
d) Contravening Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosive Act, 26 of 1956;
g) Malicious damage to property;
h) All delicts.
THE MURDERS OF ANDREW MAKUPE, JACKSON MAAKE AND HAROLD SEFOLA.
This is an application for amnesty in respect of the abovementioned offences. The two Applicants who were at the time of the commission of the offences referred to herein above, members of the Security Police, testified that Mr Maake was initially one of their trusted informants but with the passage of time they became suspicious of his loyalty once he started coming to their offices unannounced and without any appointment having been secured for his attendance and furthermore showed no concern about his identity being exposed. Shortly after their suspicions were formed, they received a report from another source that Maake was a double agent informing about the activities of the Security Police to the ANC.
The applicants then decided to interrogate Maake in this regard and arranged for him to meet them at their offices, in Pretoria. Once Maake arrived at their offices, the Applicants took him to Pretoria Portland Cement Mine which was a few kilometres north of Messina. There they tortured Mr Maake until he disclosed that he was working for the ANC and that his contact in Mamelodi was a certain Andrew Makupe. This torture lasted for approximately an hour. Once Makupe's name was disclosed, the applicants put him under surveillance and ultimately abducted him whilst he was driving to his home and took him to an unidentified property about five kilometres north of the Pienaar's Rivierdam which was unoccupied. Both Maake and Makupe were left on that property until the following day.
On the following day Makupe was also tortured using electrical shocks from the generator which was on the property. Once more the interrogation and torture took approximately an hour. During his interrogation Makupe admitted that he worked for the ANC and that he received instructions from Harold Sefola who was their cell leader.
The applicants then left for the Security Branch head office in Pretoria where they drew out Sefola's file and therein confirmed that he was not only an ANC activist but also a trained "terrorist". Constable Mugaba and Selahle were left on the property to look after Maake and Makupe. The following morning the applicants, together with mr Mamasela, left for Witbank where Mr Sefola resided. They managed to locate him and brought him to the place where Maake and Makupe were being held. he was similarly interrogated but for a much longer time than his other two comrades allegedly because he was very brave and withstood torture more than his other colleagues.
During his lengthy interrogation he ultimately admitted that he was an ANC activist and that he provided housing for those activists in need of same and was also involved in bombings and limpet mine explosions and was responsible for the planning of many violent incidents against the government. Sefola also advised the applicants (who were in the presence of Mamasela who was present during the interrogation of Sefola and participated therein only to the extent that he forced a knife in Sefola's nose) that the ANC would govern in the future and that apartheid would disintegrate and democracy would prevail. He then requested to be given permission to sing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica to which the applicants acceded. The applicants then killed all the activists by shooting them.
The applicants testified that it was necessary to kill the deceased in order to destroy the entire cell. They further testified that after killing them they blew them up with a landmine to make it impossible for anyone to recognise and identify the deceased. The blast occurred on a road in Bophuthatswana close to Warmbaths.
The Committee is satisfied that the applicants made a full disclosure and that they have satisfied the requirements laid down by the Act.
Amnesty in respect of the murders of Makupe, Maake and Sefola IS GRANTED in respect of the following offences:
b) Assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm;
c) Violating a dead body;
d) Contravening Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 71 of 1968;
e) Contravening Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 29 of the Explosives Act, 26 of 1956.
THE INCIDENT OF THE MURDER OF AN UNKNOWN ACTIVIST DURING 1986/1987 IN BOPHUTHATSWANA.
The offences were committed near Warmbaths and the activist was allegedly a member of the Sefola cell of activists. Applicants Hechter and Van Vuuren were involved in this incident and what was previously said in these decisions about their personal as well as their general background should be regarded as included in this decision.
Applicant Hechter ordered Van Vuuren and Mamasela to abduct the deceased. The deceased was allegedly a member of the Sefola cell involved in bomb blasts, petrol bombs, instances of necklacing and a landmine explosion in the then Eastern Transvaal where people were killed. The purpose was to obtain information from him and thereafter to eliminate him in terms of the general order referred to before to eliminate the more active and dangerous leadership personalities of the opposition in the struggle.
The Committee, after considering the application, the relevant documentation and the evidence is satisfied that the requirements set out in Section 20 of Act 34 of 1995 have been met and AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of:
The murder of an unknown activist who was a member of the so-called Sefola cell of activists during 1986/1987 in Bophuthatswana near Warmbaths, and the following offences relating thereto:
a) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act 75 of 1969;
b) Contravention of Section 2 of the Act of Dangerous Weapons No. 71 of 1968;
c) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Act on Explosives No. 26 of 1956;
g) Desecration of the bodies of the deceased;
h) All the other competent verdicts and delicts flowing from the aforementioned offences.
THE BOMBING OF THE HOUSE OF JEFFREY THIBEDI AND THE ATTEMPT TO MURDER HIM.
The applicant and Van Vuuren say that on the instructions of Colonel Loots, Jerry Thibedi was to be eliminated. The information against him was that he instigated consumer boycotts. The applicant, together with Van Vuuren and Colonel Loots and Mamasela, started to hatch a plan as how to eliminate Thibedi. The information they had was that he incited people to make petrol bombs, commit acts of arson and intimidate others; he was also involved with Cosas. After Van Vuuren had broken the window pane of Thibedi's house with the barrel of an AK47 assault rifle, the second applicant threw a bomb into the house. It exploded and the house was virtually destroyed. It was in fact a shack. Fortunately nobody was injured. The attack took place during the night.
The attack on the house, as well as the illegal possession of the bomb that was used, were acts associated with a political objective. The other requirements having been met, the applicant and Van Vuuren are accordingly hereby GRANTED AMNESTY in respect of:
a) Conspiracy to murder Jerry Thibedi.
b) Attempted murder of Jerry Thibedi.
c) Contravention of Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act 75 of 1969.
d) Contravention of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act 26 of 1956.
e) All other offences relating to the attack on Jerry Thibedi and/or his house during 1986 or 1987 in Bophuthatswana.
THE ATTACK ON THE UDF OFFICES IN PIETERSBURG AND THE ATTACK ON TWO BUILDINGS IN THE TOWNSHIP NEAR PIETERSBURG.
These incidents do not relate to gross human rights violations. According to the evidence there was no intention to injure people. The buildings were attacked with explosives to intimidate the liberation movements and the attacks were associated with the political objectives more full referred to in the abovementioned application no. AM2773/96 of Cronje.
AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of the damage to the abovementioned property and for being in unlawful possession of explosives and the contravention of Acts 75 of 1969 and 26 of 1956 in this connection.
AIDING AND ABETTING THE ATTACK ON DR RIBEIRO AND HIS WIFE.
The Committee refers to the decision in Cronje's application no. AM2773/96 and more specifically to the incidents set out in relation to Schedule 8 thereof.
The applicant in his evidence mentioned that the State Attorney and a Prosecutor, Adv. Roets, assisted him in preparing his evidence. He implicated that they suggested answers to possible questions which may be put to him during the preparatory examination concerning the death of Dr Ribeiro. The applicant's insinuations were rather vague and he couldn't give any details. The implicated persons were notified and the Committee is satisfied that Adv. Roets on the evidence now before the Committee didn't act unprofessionally and did not act in any way unbecoming of his profession.
AMNESTY IS GRANTED to the applicant insofar as he might have been involved in the planning of a conspiracy to kill Dr Ribeiro and his wife and/or for defeating the ends of justice.
THE INCIDENT KNOWN AS THE MOUTSE BOMB BLAST.
During 1986 or 1987, the applicants Van Vuuren and hechter, in terms of their general instruction to counter the revolution, planned to destroy a so-called safe house used by the liberation movement to harbour fighters in transition. The operation was carried out with the assistance of mamasela and Danny Selahle also known as Slang.
Hechter prepared the explosive device and they drove to an identified house in the vicinity of Moutse at around midnight. Van Vuuren broke a window and Hechter threw the bomb into the house. The bomb exploded and the house was severely damaged. As far as is known nobody was injured during the incident.
The applicant seeks amnesty for the malicious damage caused to the house and the illegal possession of explosives.
According to the evidence before the Committee, the act was associated with a political objective and was carried out in accordance with instructions to counter the infiltration and harbouring of freedom fighters.
The Committee, after considering the application, the relevant documentation and the evidence, is satisfied that the requirements set out in Section 20 of Act 34 of 1995 have been met and AMNESTY IS GRANTED in respect of the following offences which are related to the incident known as the Moutse bomb blast:
a) Malicious damage to property;
b) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of Act on Weapons and Ammunition No. 75 of 1969;
c) Contravention of Section 2 of the Act on Dangerous Weapons No. 71 of 1968;
d) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act No. 26 of 1956;
f) Attempted murder;
See Schedule 8.
THE DEATH OF PIET NTULI.
This incident has been fully dealt with in application no. AM2773/96, the application of Cronje under Schedule 7 thereof.
For the reasons set out in that decision, AMNESTY IS ALSO GRANTED this application in respect of the same offences, viz.
The murder of Piet Ntuli committed in KwaMhlanga KwaNdebele during or about July 1986 and the following offences connected therewith:
a) Malicious damage to property;
b) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of Act on Weapons and Ammunition No. 75 of 1969;
c) Contravention of Section 2 of the Act on Dangerous Weapons No. 71 of 1968;
d) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act No. 26 of 1956;
f) Defeating the ends of justice.
PETROL BOMBS AND EXPLOSIVES IN OUKASIE, BRITS.
See Schedule 8.
THE MURDER OF JOE TSELE.
This incident has been fully dealt with in the Cronje application, application no. AM2773/96 under Schedule 6 thereof.
The Committee is satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been met and AMNESTY IS GRANTED to the applicant in respect of the following offences:
The murder of Joe Tsele in Bophuthatswana during or about 1986 and the following offences connected therewith:
a) Malicious damage to property.
b) Defeating the ends of justice;
c) Contravention of Section 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of Act on Weapons and Ammunition No. 75 of 1969;
d) Contravention of Section 2 of the Act on Dangerous Weapons No. 71 of 1968;
e) Contravention of Section 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 27 of the Explosives Act No. 26 of 1956;
THE ATTACK ON E. CHAWN.
The applicant and Van Vuuren both of whom were at the time members of the Security Branch of the South African Police, say that they were instructed by Colonel Loots (then a Captain) to eliminate the person referred to above. This person was targeted by Unit A of the Security Branch, which was to deal with White, Indian and Coloured activists. The applicants described their victim as a White person. He was allegedly also involved in NUSAS. The applicant says that NUSAS also wanted to overthrow the then government. The applicant and his co-perpetrators intended to use explosives to carry out their mission.
The applicant and Van Vuuren and Mamasela were actually in Chawn's room when the plan was called off as it emerged that Chawn was an informer for Military Intelligence. The applicants say that the fact that they were prepared to kill a White person, indicates that their activities had nothing to do with a person's race; their concern was the maintenance of stability.
In our view the applicant has satisfied the requirements for amnesty, and it is therefore GRANTED to him in respect of the offences.
Conspiracy to murder and/or attempt to murder an unidentified person, believed to be named Chawn, in Watermeyer Street, Pretoria, during 1986 or 1987 and the contravention of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 29 of the Explosives Act, No. 26 of 1956 in connection therewith.
THE MURDER OF AN UNKNOWN ACTIVIST AT DIE BRON.
This matter has been dealt with under Schedule 5 of the application of Van Vuuren, application no. AM2777/96.
For the reasons set out in that decision, AMNESTY IS ALSO REFUSED in this application.
ASSAULT AND INTERROGATION OF ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN MAMELODI.
See Schedule 8.
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ZOZO - HUT.
This incident has been dealt with in the application of Van Vuuren (see application no. AM2777/96) under Schedule 8.
AMNESTY IS GRANTED to the applicant in respect of the following offences:
Damage to property, namely a ZOZO house in Mamelodi, during 1987 and the following offences connected therewith.
b) Contravening Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, 75 of 1969.
c) Contravening Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 71 of 1968.
d) Contravening Sections 3, 4, 6, 9 and 29 of the Explosives Act, 26 of 1956.
e) Any other offence directly connected with the destruction of the aforementioned ZOZO House or relating thereto.
The attempted murder on Father Mkatshwa in Durban during or about 1987.
The applicant as well as Van Vuuren (application no. AM2777/96) apply for amnesty in this regard.
According to the applicants, both of whom were at the time members of the Security Branch of the South African Police, Colonel Loots (at the time a Captain), gave instructions for the assassination of Father Mkatshwa, the present Deputy Minister of Education and Culture. He was seen as a sympathiser of the African national Congress who allegedly offered his church as a springboard for the activities of the ANC.
The applicants were given specially adapted weapons. They waylaid Father Mkatshwa at the airport in Durban, alongside a runway; they had foreknowledge that he would disembark from a plane. Although both the applicants and Father Mkatshwa lived in Pretoria, we were told that the operation had to be carried out far away from Pretoria so that it could not be easily traced back to the applicants. Although Father Mkatshwa did disembark from the plane as expected, the operation could not be carried out. Firstly, other people kept on placing themselves between Father Mkatshwa and the applicants; secondly, once he was out of the airport premises, the applicants lost track of his car. The applicants returned to Pretoria. They say that subsequently, General Basie Smit suggested to them another method of eliminating Father Mkatshwa, but they declined to carry out the plan as they did not trust the General.
Father Mkatshwa testified and from his evidence, it emerged that he too was aware that the Security Police regarded him as a political activist.
In our view, the attempt to assassinate Father Mkatshwa, as well as the illegal possession of weapons that were to be used, are acts associated with a political objective. The other requirements for amnesty have been met and the applicants are therefore hereby GRANTED AMNESTY in respect of the offences.
Conspiracy to murder and/or attempted murder of Father Mkatshwa in Durban during or about 1987, and the following offences connected therewith:
a) Contravening Sections 2, 28, 29, 32, 36 and 39 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, 75 of 1969;
b) Contravening Section 2 of the Dangerous Weapons Act, 71 of 1968;
c) Contravening Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 29 of the Explosives Act, No. 26 of 1956.
THE MURDER OF A POLICEMAN AND WIFE AT HAMMANSKRAAL.
The murder of Richard Motasi and Irene Motasi during or about 1987 at Hammanskraal.
This incident has been fully dealt with under Schedule 17 of application no. AM2777/96 and for the reasons set out in that decision, AMNESTY IS REFUSED in respect of the murder of Irene Motasi.
AMNESTY IS, HOWEVER, GRANTED in respect of:
a) The murder of Richard Motasi during or about 1987 at Hammanskraal.
b) The offence of defeating the ends of justice insofar as it relates to the murder of Irene Motasi during or about 1987 at Hammanskraal.
JUDGE H. MALL
JUDGE A. WILSON
JUDGE B NGOEPE
ADV C. DE JAGER
ADV S. KHAMPEPE