FURTHER SUBMISSIONS AND RESPONSES BY
12 MAY 1997
THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
TO QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE
COMMISSION FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
Nature of the South African Conflict
The TRC has asked the ANC to make a statement on our "views, motivations
and perspectives on the nature of the South African conflict. (...) What
were the values that inspired the leaders of your organisation over the
years? (...) What inspired the sacrifices which many of your followers
made? What drove those who (...) were responsible for the commission of
violations (of human rights)?"
In stating its views on the nature of past conflict, the ANC seeks to promote
the objectives for which the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation was
established. We do so keenly aware that if nursed and not lanced, the boil
of past conflict will fester in our body politic, slowly infecting it and
finally possibly destroying the nascent democracy.
The liberation of South Africa has come with pain: pain of the victims
of colonial policies that decreed the majority of South Africans sub-human;
and pain of the victims of an ideology that could not be sustained forever
because it was inherently iniquitous - thus forcing its proponents and
its beneficiaries, like humans possessed, to resort to brute force in defence
of the indefensible.
At the root of South Africa's conflict was the system of colonial subjugation.
Like other colonial countries, South Africa was victim to the rapacious
licence of an era that defined might as right; an epoch of an international
morality that justified dispossession and turned owner into thief, victim
into aggressor, and humble host into ungodly infidel.
And so history was re-recorded in the image of the mighty, seeking to persuade
the subjugated that they were fortunate beneficiaries of philanthropy;
occasional victims of a well- intentioned experiment gone awry; a hapless
people who should be thankful that, because only a few million among them
were being killed and because they were experiencing population growth,
a crime against humanity was not being committed.
Such was the system of apartheid, a natural continuation of this rapacious
It defined those of our fellow South Africans from Europe, who had chosen
to settle in this country, as superior human beings, with the right to
lord it over others; and with the holy writ to declare all but 13% of the
land the court of the upper caste, in which their fellow human beings should
be temporary sojourners, humbly to serve and to obey.
It fashioned a basic law of the land whose mission was to protect the ill-gotten
privileges of the chosen few: with the land and the riches in its bowels,
and the flora and fauna of its beautiful landscapes, the property of a
white minority that had the sole prerogative to make laws and to choose
the government of the day.
The cry of desperation of the majority and the hunger pangs of their children
were the fodder upon which fed the laughter and comfort of the tormentors.
And the state - the army, the police, the civil service, the judiciary,
and other organs - were built and rebuilt to serve the master and protect
With each passing phase, new constitutions, new laws, new proclamations,
new regulations, new orders were issued to keep the kaffir, the hotnot
and the coolie in their place. And force became the stock-in-trade to maintain
and defend injustice.
Where new constitutions, new laws, new proclamations, new regulations and
new orders failed, the architects of apartheid legality themselves worked
to subvert their own writ: to electrocute their captives to death, to throw
bodies into rivers, to shoot and blow bodies up, to murder children and
their mothers in their sleep, to kill their own in order to discredit the
enemy, and to dispose of those among themselves who dared to question even
a single deed.
Such was apartheid: a crime against humanity.
Yet it would have been nature gone berserk, had the subjugated accepted
their station without protest, without resistance, without struggle and
indeed without war.
It is the decree of millennia, that an oppressed people will rise to reclaim
what is rightfully theirs, precisely because they are not less than human.
South Africans were no exception.
Their humanity accorded them the natural right to revolt; their sense of
justice obliged them to stand up and seek a system where all could be equal
before the law, and where all could have the right to determine their destiny.
It is this humanity that infused the oppressed with the conviction that
"South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white." And it is
the trust in the humanity of others which fed their humility, for half
a century, to write petitions, to march, to gather, to refuse to obey unjust
laws, to withdraw their labour, to boycott puppet institutions...but not
to lift a finger in retaliation.
But alas, it came to pass that their humanity was met by sub-human deeds
in the name of a self-declared superiority.
And thus ranged against one another, in intensifying conflict, were the
oppressor and the oppressed, the owners of the wealth of the country and
the dispossessed, the rightless and the privileged.
The ANC was a product of this history and this conflict, not their creator.
It was born out of the desire of a proud people that sought dignity and
justice in the land of their birth.
Its historic mission was and remains to give expression to these desires
of the majority of South Africans. It led their peaceful protests, and
when the avenues for such protest were closed, it took up arms to achieve
the same objectives. To do otherwise would have been to acquiesce and indeed,
by omission, to help perpetuate a crime against humanity.
In declaring that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, the ANC and
its allies recognised that the anti-thesis to racial subjugation was the
liberation of all South Africans; that the system it fought against was
racial, but the solution to it was the unity of all irrespective of race,
colour or creed. It sought to liberate the oppressed as well as the oppressor.
These politics guided the ANC's struggle over the years; and when it took
up arms, they guided its definition of the enemy as the system and those
who propped it up rather than a specific race group.
In its strategy and tactics, the ANC put politics at the fore, and it defined
itself and its army, Umkhonto weSizwe, as an instrument of a people in
political motion; the barrel of the gun as one of the means - and not the
means, least of all, an end in itself. It mobilised the people to revolt
in an organised fashion; it mobilised the international community to act
decisively against apartheid.
These billions united in the struggle against apartheid, each contributing
in their own way to the demise of this iniquitous system.
The legitimacy and legality of this struggle were written in numerous covenants
of the international community. They were written on the ballot papers
in April 1994.
The legitimacy and legality of the revolt of the oppressed are written
in the constitution which defines the kind of society that the ANC and
the overwhelming majority of South Africans fought for, and to which they
pay allegiance. Above all, they are written in the hearts of millions of
South Africans who were in essence their own liberators; and who today
are taking active part in the reconstruction and development of the country.
In its conduct of armed struggle, the ANC sought to avoid civilian injury
and loss of life. It ensured that its combatants understood the reasons
behind the armed struggle as well as the tactics required to win to our
side the overwhelming majority of South Africans. In its treatment of captured
agents and combatants of the apartheid regime, it emphasised the need for
their rehabilitation. It committed itself to international norms in this
And, even at the height of massive repression, the ANC initiated negotiations
with the apartheid regime; and it persisted over many years despite being
arrogantly spurned, with these efforts culminating in the transition at
the turn of this decade.
Yet, as indicated in the main submission and further elaborated in this
document, mistakes were made, which we sincerely regret.
We are also mindful that armed conflict meant that combatants on both sides
confronted one another in various terrains and under various circumstances.
That is in the nature of war; and for such legitimate acts of war, we expect
a balanced appreciation of the circumstances that obtained at the time.
Yet this appreciation cannot detract from the need to handle with compassion
the victims of the conflict in general, whatever the circumstances which
spawned their privations.
In the final analysis, through the new democratic order, we seek to make
conflict and war unnecessary.
In our new constitution and its recognition of individual rights and rights
of communities; in socio-economic development; in open and transparent
government; in new doctrines and through supervision of the security services;
in the judiciary and other institutions charged with enhancing democracy;
in the media whose independence is guaranteed; and, above all, in an informed,
active and organised citizenry, we have the wherewithal to build a society
in which violent conflict and the excesses that go with it are forever
This is what inspired the members, combatants and supporters of the ANC.
This is what inspires us today as we strive to build a better life for
all South Africans.
In our first submission we concentrated on providing the TRC with an overview
of ANC policies, strategy and tactics within the context of the struggle
for national liberation in this country. We paid particular attention to
those issues which are central to the mandate of the TRC: the nature, causes
and extent of gross violations of human rights, as defined in the Act which
brought the TRC into being.
The questions we have received from the TRC in response to our first submission
indicate that at present your primary areas of concern include establishing
a clearer understanding of ANC policies; of the ANC's structures and lines
of accountability; and of who was responsible for ensuring that ANC policy
was adhered to by the general membership of the ANC. Several questions
indicate the related concern of the TRC to establish a better understanding
of what actions were taken by the leadership of the ANC to deal with instances
where there were deviations from policy. Concern has been indicated regarding
the need for better understanding of the ANC's policies with regard to
Inkatha, particularly in the context of the violence in Kwa-Zulu Natal
since 1984, and the post-1990 explosion of violence in Gauteng.
In addition to several questions reflecting these key areas of concern,
the TRC has asked for detailed information on the activities of Umkhonto
we Sizwe and the ANC's former Department of National Intelligence and Security
(NAT). More information on the activities of the former apartheid regime
has been requested, particularly with regard to the National Co-ordinating
Mechanism and other covert activities.
Our response to these major areas of concern is presented as follows:
We wish to emphasise that this is a supplement to, and not a substitute
for, the main submission presented to the Commission in August 1996. As
such, there are many areas regarding ANC policy, our general approach to
struggle, the context in which our actions took place, the policies and
actions of the apartheid regime, which are not covered in this operational
report. The two submissions should be treated as complementary.
a submission concentrating on questions concerning ANC policies, structures
of accountability within the ANC, other relevant institutions and procedures,
and actions taken by the leadership to halt deviations from policy. Our
responses to questions from the TRC relating to the activities of the former
apartheid regime are also included in this document.
two operational reports which aim to provide the TRC with a clearer
understanding of the mandates and activities of MK and NAT.
In instances where there is insufficient detail, this is either because
the information is not available, or because the relevant issues will be
covered appropriately and adequately in individual applications for amnesty.
1. ANC STRUCTURES
The TRC has asked for information on the functions and composition of a
range of structures, political and military, at national and regional levels.
This information, with diagrams, is attached to this submission as Appendix 1.
A full list of all MK camps, a list of rehabilitation centres, and the
names of the commanders, is provided in Appendix 2.
The TRC has asked how these various sectors interacted, and which formal
and informal channels of communication were in place. These questions,
we believe, will be answered in the context of the detailed operational
2. ANC POLICIES
2.1 ANC POLICY REGARDING "JUSTIFIED TARGETS"
The TRC has requested "further clarification of the ANC's definition
of a "justified target". We have been asked whether there were any recorded
instructions defining justified targets besides the pamphlet circulated
in 1985 in which the ANC called on the people to "take the struggle to
the white areas", and in which targets were inter alia defined as "the
racist army, police, death squads, agents and stooges in our midst." The
TRC wants to know whether this definition of targets could be "used to
legitimize the killing of policemen, alleged informers, community councillors,
and co-opted parliamentarians", and what we mean by the term "stooges in
our midst." Elsewhere we were asked "to what extent should ANC leadership
take responsibility for acts of violence committed by UDF supporters, (eg.
necklacings, petrol bomb attacks)?" The TRC has asked for more information
on Bartholomew Hlapane, and whether the ANC takes responsibility for his
execution. The TRC has asked what was the ANC's "military policy" towards
Inkatha, and whether the ANC leadership considered members of Inkatha "legitimate
Defining targets, 1961 - the early 1980s
In our main submission,
we referred to this subject on a number of occasions. The draft document
Operation Mayibuye (see p 48) defined targets as "strategic road,
railways and other communications; power stations; police stations, camps,
and military forces; and irredeemable government stooges."
In 1978, after the Politico-Military Strategy Commission, a report was
produced in which it was stated that the role of armed activity at that
time was to "concentrate on armed propaganda actions whose immediate purpose
is to support and stimulate political activity and organisation, rather
than to hit at the enemy."
In November 1980 the ANC declared its adherence to the Geneva Conventions.
In his statement at this time, OR Tambo said "We have always defined the
enemy in terms of a system of domination and not of a people or a race...As
we have done in the past, so shall we continue, consistently and unreservedly,
to support, fight for and abide by the principles of international law."
In 1983, the document Planning for People's War noted that there
should be "more concentration on destroying enemy personnel", universally
understood within the ANC to mean members of the SAP, SADF, other security
structures, and their collaborators.
In the light of these quotations illustrating the ANC's definition of justified
targets, it is clear that action against the machinery of repression -
SAP and SADF members and informers - was considered legitimate. These people
had chosen to act in the front-line of repression in defence of the apartheid
In most cases those who were attacked by MK were notorious members of the
Security Branch, or those involving themselves in a particularly direct
manner in acts of violence against communities. There were also many petrol-bomb
attacks on the homes of members of the SAP which were carried out by local
activists. A survey of ANC statements will show that we consistently called
on members of the SAP and SADF to turn their arms on the oppressor, and
come over to the side of the liberation struggle.
Informers were essential tools of the security forces; without them, the
apartheid regime would have been seriously hampered in their attempts to
crush resistance. Many informers and "turned" cadres were directly responsible
for the imprisonment, detention and deaths of literally thousands of activists
and ANC leaders. An example of a particularly dangerous informer is provided
by Bartholomew Hlapane, about whom the TRC requested more details. Hlapane
was the most senior office-bearer to betray the struggle - he had been
a member of the ANC's NEC and of the Central Committee of the SACP. Hlapane
gave evidence in the trials of Braam Fischer, and compounded this treachery
by giving evidence for the state in a number of other trials.
Hlapane crowned these deeds by playing a central role in the March 1982
Denton committee hearings in the USA, which produced "witnesses" supplied
by the apartheid regime. This propaganda exercise sought to seriously damage
the reputation of the ANC in the international arena, and to set back the
liberation struggle, by portraying the Movement as a terrorist group under
the control of the Soviet Union, carrying out depraved acts such as infecting
South Africa's water supplies with cholera. He was shot by an MK unit.
Defining targets in the context of People's War
There have been recent attempts to portray the 1983 constitutional changes
- against which the UDF mobilised millions of South Africans - as evidence
of progress towards a more equitable society, a process in which the ANC
should have participated, rather than intensifying the armed struggle.
We feel it necessary to review this period briefly in order to ensure that
our understanding of the context in which the general uprisings of 1984
onwards took place, and in which the ANC called for the intensification
of the struggle on all fronts, is conveyed to the Commission.
In the late 1970's the NP had begun to realise that it needed to extend
the base for military conscription; the SADF was in favour of extending
the call-up to "coloured" and Indian communities. However, it was generally
recognised that it would be difficult to conscript people who did not have
A perceptive editorial published in the Rand Daily Mail commented
on the issue as follows:
"The growing challenge to the South African state must inevitably
push matters to the point where further military mobilisation will seriously
damage the economy with its endemic shortage of skilled labour. Yet manpower
constraint is not the only factor. (...) Equally important is the public
relations aspect. For propaganda purposes the state clearly needs growing
numbers of non-whites in the Defence Force to project the view that the
military build-up is not part of a racial and class struggle, but rather
a case of all South Africans preparing to fight shoulder to shoulder against
the forces of "communism and chaos." A third reason for Coloured and Indian
conscription concerns the National Party constituency. All along, the Nationalist
leadership has made it clear to its followers that the extended rights
and privileges the Coloureds and Indians will receive in the new dispensation
will carry with them increased responsibilities of "full citizenship".
That means, quite simply, also sharing the burden of defence."1
The majority of South Africans - those not classified "white", "coloured"
or "Indian" - were explicitly barred from the new racist
"tricameral" parliamentary system, which unashamedly sought to further
entrench apartheid by drawing allies into the laager to assist in preventing
These moves were combined with the three Koornhof Bills, which also aimed
to further entrench - not dismantle - existing apartheid institutions:
two aimed to bolster the community councils, while the Orderly Movement
and Settlement of Black Persons Bill, which became known as the "Genocide
Bill", proposed the tightening of influx control so that those in the impoverished
bantustans would be permanently frozen out of the urban areas. The regime
made it clear that it wanted these councils to form the basis for whatever
"Bantu" political expression it would tolerate outside the "homelands";
in essence, the councils were to be the urban equivalents of the bantustans!
The ANC called on people to mobilize against and destroy the structures
created in terms of these laws, as did many community-based organisations
within the country which rallied under the banner of the United Democratic
Front. There were mass boycotts of elections to these puppet structures.
Many councillors were elected on pathetically low polls, and there was
intense pressure from communities on councillors and MPs to resign from
these structures. In many cases councillors resigned and were welcomed
back into their communities.
The quote we used from the ANC's
January 1984 annual statement (p 51 of our first submission) was chosen
because it provides a clear example of the ANC's understanding that military
struggle could not occur in a political vacuum, and was one of a number
of inter- related forms of struggle against apartheid. "The system" in
all its manifestations was the target of mass-based struggle.
These institutions of apartheid are identified as the "organs of central
and provincial government, the army and the police, the judiciary, the
bantustan administrations, the community councils, the local management
and local affairs committees." The statement continues: "It is these institutions
of apartheid that we must attack and demolish...Thus, through our efforts,
the so-called Coloured Persons Representative Council ceased to exist;
as a result of extensive mobilisation, the puppet South African Indian
Council was brought in by an insignificant minority. (...) White South
Africa alone should man the apartheid constitutional posts, which it alone
has created, to its exclusive benefit. Those who elect to serve in these
apartheid institutions must expect to face the wrath of the people."
The TRC has asked us to define what we meant by "stooges in our midst".
These could be described as those among the oppressed who chose to directly
assist in apartheid oppression and repression. Councillors and those who
chose to serve in the tricameral parliament and participate in repression,
certainly fell into this group of collaborators with apartheid.
A critical point which must be made is that a guarantee for conflict
at local level was built into this new legislation: the new community
councils had to be self-financing.
As a study by Haysom noted, resistance to these structures at grassroots
level intensified "as community councils imposed the predicted rent rises
on impoverished townships in a futile bid to balance the books of their
"autonomous" local authorities, as they employed their own police to act
against squatters, as they evicted people from their homes, as they participated
in talks on removals.
"It was in this context, rather than in straightforward political
campaigning, that physical attacks on councillors and on their property
were launched by angry crowds of residents. Attacks on policemen's homes
became commonplace at a much later stage of the...resistance, after fatal
clashes between police and residents had become commonplace and mass arrests
and detentions had become the order of the day. Political reservations
about community councils and the councillors would not have touched ordinary
residents had not the worsening economic situation in South Africa forced
residents into direct conflict with the community councils...Allegations
of corruption levelled at community councillors have been numerous and
This passage from an eyewitness account of the Sebokeng uprising of September
1984 gives insight into the attitudes of many township residents towards
"It is thus not surprising that in September 1984, civil unrest commenced
with a protest march against the rent increases imposed by the community
council at Sebokeng. As a result, several people, including two community
councillors, were killed on that fateful third (day of) September. Unrest
spread from the PWV-Free State area to the Eastern Cape and the Western
Cape. In nearly all these areas, the increasing role of community councillors
(and police) in administering these deprived areas, and the material benefits
they enjoyed as a consequence, were identified as one of the problems and
pressure of various kinds was placed on them to resign."3
"(The Apostle) Paul has said that not all of us should be leaders,
as leaders are more punished than anybody else. So, referring that to our
situation, no man should just agree to be a leader if he has no true qualities
of leadership, and no-one should feel easy on the throne he has been nominated
to occupy, if he has not been freely elected by the public. This I say
because, if you keep on ruling defiant hearts, the time they revolt against
you not one piece of your belongings together with your life will remain
yours. If people are dissatisfied with you, it is better for you to resign
before the terrible dark clouds overwhelm you in your wilderness; if you
defy their needs, then you ask for a brutal retribution.
A survey of available information shows that the overwhelming majority
of attacks on the homes of town councillors (or members of the tricameral
legislature) were carried out by local activists, and were often in the
context of explosive anger on the ground in response to initiatives by
councils or brutalities by the security forces. The number of deaths and
injuries which resulted from these attacks were extremely limited when
compared with the deaths and injuries inflicted on members of anti-apartheid
organisations. Whilst the ANC (and UDF) leadership did not order such attacks,
and took no pleasure in any loss of life resulting from such actions, it
certainly did not condemn them in principle. Although the ANC leadership
did not at all times approve of the methods adopted by people, actions
of this nature were in essence the result of state repression, and they
were in line with the ANC's stated policy to mobilise people against institutions
designed to yet further entrench apartheid.
"This I say to the remaining councillors: that they should never regard
their own opinions as more weighty than those of the people they rule;
and that the well-being of the community should not be ignored, or the
response will be more horrible than the conflagration that destroyed Sodom
A brief review of statistics published by the SAIRR in its annual surveys
covering the years 1983 - 1986 will serve to illustrate these points.
In 1983, there was one attack at a community council office in New Brighton,
which resulted in one death and five injuries. In 1984, of the 175 people
killed in "unrest related incidents" during the year, four were councillors
who were "killed by enraged crowds." 149 of these 175 deaths in 1984 took
place after the 3rd of September - the day which signalled the beginning
of serious civil unrest, when residents of Sebokeng marched against a rent
increase imposed by the council.
By April 1985, according to the Department of Constitutional Development,
twelve councillors had died since the beginning of September 1984. The
SAIRR annual survey for 1985 lists several petrol-bomb attacks on councillor's
homes across the country, and a few incidents in which grenades were used.
There were (according to the SAIRR survey) four cases of attacks on the
homes of tricameral MPs; no injuries or deaths are mentioned. All of these
attacks were petrol bomb attacks, with hand grenades used as well in two
The SAIRR's statistics for 1985 show that twenty-six members of the security
forces were killed by residents of townships, while one was killed by "guerrillas."
In the same period, 441 township residents had been killed by members of
the security forces. These statistics do not include a breakdown of the
large numbers of deaths and serious injuries caused by state- sponsored
"vigilante" groups which intensified suddenly in the latter half of 1985.
MK units were encouraged to support communities in ridding the country
of these violent collaborators with apartheid.
According to the SAIRR's 1986 annual survey, it was difficult to compile
accurate statistics for this year because of heavy censorship of the media
by the apartheid regime. Adriaan Vlok claimed that 18 members of the SAP
were killed and 192 injured in "rioting" during the year. This included
attacks on "special constables" who had been introduced to stamp out popular
organisations and prop up the councils. There are no statistics for the
number of attacks on councillors during this year; there were "spates"
of attacks on councillors and others perceived as collaborators in February
in Alexandra, in May in Thokoza, and in September in Soweto. Besides these
incidents, the SAIRR survey lists seven attacks on councillors in which
one councilor was hacked to death and the child of a councilor was similarly
killed "by a group of five men". Nearly all the attacks listed are described
as being carried out by "mobs" or as petrol bomb attacks. In a few cases
hand grenades were used and in one case a limpet mine exploded at a block
of flats in Fordsburg, which was used to house Soweto councillors.
This survey lists one (1) petrol bomb attack on the home of a Labour Party
MP. In contrast, according to the SAIRR, at least 1,298 deaths in "political
violence" took place during the year, with activists, trade unionists and
religious leaders the targets of petrol bomb, hand grenade and hit squad
According to the SAIRR Annual Survey for 1988 (p. 602), "speaking in Parliament
In March 1988, Chris Heunis declined to say how many community councillors
and members of black local authorities had died as a result of their holding
these offices. Mr Heunis said that although these people had been "attacked
and killed or injured in 1986 and 1987, it cannot beyond doubt be attributed
to their holding these offices."
It would be most accurate to say that the ANC did not define councillors
as targets - they themselves chose whether or not to define themselves
as particular enemies of their communities, and it was usually members
of their own communities who acted against them. There is also the possibility
that some attacks on targets of this nature were "false flag" operations.
In 1988, the home of Allan Hendrickse, leader of the Labour Party, was
the target of a hand grenade attack. In 1992, the SAP took legal action
against the Afrikaans weekly Vrye Weekblad to prevent it publishing
allegations that police were directly involved in this attack. Hernus Kriel
then twice avoided answering questions put to him in Parliament by Michael
and Peter Hendrickse, as to whether the state had been responsible for
this attack. It appears this case remains unsolved.
The ANC's definition of justified targets - and conflict in general in
the 1980s - should also be understood in the context of the parameters
defined by the regime's counter-mobilisation tactics and the harnessing
of the National Security Management System (NSMS) to crush resistance.
The growth of popular and effective grassroots organisations, which successfully
resisted evictions and rent increases, and took up other bread-and-butter
issues in their communities, threatened and marginalised the community
councils. It was critically important to the state to support the community
council system, at all costs: a revealing statement in this regard was
made by Magnus Malan in late 1987. Speaking in Parliament, he identified
what he called six factors which affect security: law and order; structures
in the black community; housing; employment opportunities; education; and
strike activity. By "structures in black communities", he said, he meant
tertiary levels of government, that is, the town councils. "If things go
wrong on this level, the top cracks", he said. This provides some insight
into the reasons behind the degree of ferocity with which the apartheid
regime sought to prop up these utterly discredited structures.
The National Joint Management Centre of the NSMS co-ordinated a network
of Joint Management Committees at local, sub-regional and regional levels;
each JMC had various sub-committees, including an intelligence sub-committee.
At local level, these commi ttees brought together the security forces,
pro-government black figures and township administrators with the aim of
securing political and security control in their areas. Many councillors
were therefore directly collaborating in the violence of the apartheid
Attempts by the state to "counter-mobilise" against popular organisations
to prop up the community council and bantustan systems resulted in the
emergence of the "vigilantes", particularly in the latter half of 1985.
Along with municipal police, the regime used "vigilantes" in an attempt
to destroy popular, legal organisations in the townships; they were also
deployed to crush resistance to the "independence" of KwaNdebele. In KwaZulu,
the same period saw the emergence of a related phenomenon - the "warlords."
Ebenezer Maqina's counter-mobilisation group, the AmaAfrika National Front
(code-named "Project Henry" by the government's covert operation, Adult
Education Consultants, which was responsible for handling him) provides
a key example of the degree to which the state was involved in fuelling
violence at grassroots level during this period.
Maqina served on the local Joint Management Centre in Port Elizabeth, and
was in the forefront of violence against grassroots organisations in the
area, generally portrayed as "UDF/Azapo conflict." SAP agents such as Patrick
Dlongwana were deployed to assist. Another example is provided by the DMI-run
programme of support for the mayor of Zwide, Thamsanqa Linda, which was
code-named "Project Tommy" - also falling under the control of the local
AdEd structure. It is more than probable that all "vigilante" leaders and
councillors were directly linked to these covert intelligence and security
This violence was cynically and deliberately portrayed as "black-on-black"
violence, and is now dishonestly presented as the result of the ANC's refusal
to participate in the regime's legislative programme to further bolster
Just a few other examples of these "vigilante" groups include the "Phakathis"
or "A Team" of Thabong, in which it was alleged several councillors were
involved and which used council property; vigilantes in places such as
Leandra and Huhudi were responsible for hacking to death and shooting many
activists and popular leaders. There were many others, such as the Memesis
and Kekanas in the Eastern Cape, also grouped around unpopular councillors,
which the regime hoped could become part of their covertly-run "Xhosa Resistance
Movement" along with their "AmaAfrika National Front. "
The death of Councillor Kinikini in Uitenhage provides an example of the
circumstances under which a number of councillors were killed, and of how
the state itself was directly involved in fuelling violence at grassroots
level through its attempts to counter-mobilise communities and prop up
the administrative pillars of apartheid. All the councillors in Kwanobuhle
resigned, except for Benjamin Kinikini. He was hated in his community because
he, together with a man named Jimmy Claasen, had surrounded himself with
an armed "vigilante" group calling itself "the Peacemakers."
This gang was mentioned in a number of trials at the time; they "arrested"
people, "tried" them, assaulted them, and handed them over to the police.
They often held people prisoner in Kinikini's funeral parlour. In one case
a sixteen-year-old girl was abducted, raped, and forced to lie in a coffin
all night by this gang of thugs. Counsel for defence in one public violence
trial stated that it was well-known the "Peacemakers" were in the pay of
the SAP. On Sharpeville Day, March 21st 1985, the Uitenhage massacre took
place when police shot dead seventeen civilians. Anger was running very
high in Kwanobuhle and other townships. On the morning of March 23rd, Jimmy
Claasen and at least one Kinikini kidnapped four youths at gunpoint from
their homes, and held them captive in the mortuary section of Kinikini's
funeral parlour; they then took them to the bush and sjambokked them. People
gathered at Kinikini's business to demand the release of the youths, attacked
the building, and eventually an enraged crowd hacked Kinikini and five
male relatives to death.
An article published in Sechaba (April 1987) on the Sharpeville
Six, who had been convicted on the doctrine of common purpose for the killing
of a councillor, expressed the ANC's attitude in this way: "The ANC stands
absolutely with the Six, and with all others facing the same fate, and
does not discriminate between those who identify themselves consciously
with the ANC and those who do not. Because it has won the support of the
masses and thus has the responsibility for providing a disciplined structure
and leadership for that struggle, the ANC has the duty to defend unhesitatingly
those who ally themselves with its objectives. (...) Further, the evidence
in the trial showed beyond all doubt that the councillor identified himself
with the regime, and was willing to enforce its oppressive laws. In fact,
the judges of this regime made this very point, and attached importance
The phenomenon of "necklacing"
As the mass-based resistance against apartheid took root in the mid-eighties,
the ANC leadership strongly disapproved of some of the methods chosen by
people to kill informers and other collaborators, particularly the "necklace",
and stated this on more than one occasion. UDF leaders also condemned the
use of the "necklace" on several occasions. But the ANC leadership refused,
and will always refuse to condemn those who believed they were part of
the struggle for liberation led by the ANC and the UDF, and were making
their contribution by ridding communities of informers and those amongst
them who directly collaborated in apartheid violence (please refer to our
first submission, pp 77 - 78).
The extent to which the NP has consistently tried to use the phenomenon
of "necklacing" to damage the ANC and divert attention from their own atrocities
has always raised the suspicion that they were involved in some of these
incidents. It was certainly their agent, Joe Mamasela, who was centrally
involved in creating the conditions under which the first recorded "necklacing"
took place, which was conveniently filmed in horrific detail, immediately
sent out world-wide, and portrayed as "evidence" of the savagery of the
ANC. A number of covertly-funded fronts were prominent in propaganda campaigns
focused on "necklacing." There has also recently been a profoundly dishonest
attempt to create the impression that Chris Hani expressed approval of,
and claimed ANC responsibility for, the phenomenon of "necklacing" by quoting
one sentence from a lengthy response he made to a question on the ANC's
attitude towards "necklacing". Here is the reply he gave in 1986:
"You know for a long time South Africa, being a colonialist
power of a special type, has depended on the continued repression of our
people through active collaboration by puppets. We know that even in the
classic colonial situation in countries like India, Kenya, the old Tanganyika
and elsewhere, the colonialist has always depended on the African askari.
Similarly, in our country, we know ourselves that the colonialist, the
racist regime if you like, has always depended on the active collaboration
of the oppressed on the recruitment of the Black policeman, the Black special
branch. Because the Black policeman the Black special branch and the Black
agent stay in the same township as we do, they have been the conduit through
which information about our activities, about our plans has been passed
to the enemy. This has made the process of organisation and mobilisation
In October 1987, the Botha regime refused to grant The Sunday Tribune
permission to quote OR Tambo after he had made a speech in which he stated
that the ANC was strongly opposed to the practice of "necklacing." Helen
Suzman commented that this was a "shameless use of selective prohibition.
(...) A statement where "necklacing", one of the most outrageous acts attributed
to the ANC, is strongly discouraged, yet the government does not allow
this to be published."
"So the necklace was a weapon devised by the oppressed themselves to remove
this cancer from our society, the cancer of collaboration of the puppets.
It is not a weapon of the ANC. It is a weapon of the masses themselves
to cleanse the townships from the very disruptive and even lethal activities
of the puppets and collaborators. We do understand our people when they
use the necklace because it is an attempt to render our townships, to render
our areas and country ungovernable, to make the enemy's access to information
very difficult. But we are saying here our people must be careful, in the
sense that the enemy would employ provocateurs to use the necklace, even
against activists. We have our own revolutionary methods of dealing with
collaborators, the methods of the ANC. But I refuse to condemn our people
when they mete out their own traditional forms of justice to those who
collaborate. I understand their anger. Why should they be cool as icebergs,
when they are being killed every day?
"As far as I am concerned, the question of the necklace and how it should
be used belongs to all of us, to the ANC, to the democratic movement. We
should sit down and discuss amongst ourselves how we should mete out justice.
What is revolutionary justice? One fact is that, where agents and collaborators
are concerned, we should establish, where it is possible, our own revolutionary
courts where justice should be meted out. And in those courts we should
involve some of our best cadres so that our forms of justice do not degenerate
into kangaroo justice. We would like to maintain revolutionary forms of
justice. But South Africa is not a normal society; the situation is very
very abnormal. People are angry because we are fighting fascism in that
"The ANC will never abandon its leading role. We are saying to our people,
whatever method you devise, there should be democratic participation, there
should be democratic discussion, and whatever method we use, that method
should conform to the norms of the revolutionary movement. As I say we
understand why the necklace has been used. We know even the negative and
positive aspects of the necklace. There is a lot of discussion now going
on the question of the necklace. But it is not this silly co nclusion that
it is Black on Black violence. The necklace has been used against those
who have been actively collaborating with the enemy. We say the movement
should be vigilant to ensure that whatever sentence is passed on anybody,
it is a result o f participation by the revolutionary elements of our struggle."
(Sechaba, December 1986.)
In yet another example of dishonest attempts to exploit the issue of "necklacing",
untrue statements by bank robber Lucky Malaza, who somehow was "mistakenly"
released by the De Klerk administration as a political prisoner after falsely
claiming to have been involved in a necklace murder, have been quoted at
some length in the NP's latest submission to the TRC.
We trust that as the work of the Commission continues, the truth in regard
to the lengths to which the stratkom structures of the apartheid regime
went to use "necklacing" to discredit the ANC and the UDF, and to promote
the perception that covert st ate-sponsored terrorism was "black-on-black"
violence, will be brought to light.
Targets in the context of violence in KwaZulu in the 1980s
The TRC has asked what was the ANC's "military policy" towards Inkatha,
and whether the ANC leadership considered members of Inkatha to be "legitimate
military targets." The ANC had no "military policy" with regard to Inkatha.
The ANC has never considered Inkatha members or officials as targets simply
because they aligned themselves with Inkatha.
The predominant feature of the violence in KwaZulu-Natal in the 1980s was
attacks on whole communities. "Warlords" played a pivotal role in this
violence, assisted by elements within the SAP who either refused to intervene
or actively supported the aggressors. Those communities (or sections of
communities) who did not actively support Inkatha were regarded automatically
as being ANC- or UDF-aligned, and became the target for violence. In essence
this was the same pattern of violence experienced by urban communities
in other parts of the country at this time, when the "vigilantes" were
armed and deployed in defence of the administrative pillars of the apartheid
These activities were not unique to KwaZulu Natal, Inkatha or any other
organisation in the overall context of the struggle to end apartheid, and
the activities of the former apartheid regime to counter this threat through
a range of illegal covert methods based on the theory of counter-mobilisation.
In Natal, and in KwaZulu in particular, the violence against anti-apartheid
organisations and individuals intensified in the mid-1980s with the emergence
of the "warlords" and "vigilantes" in rural and urban areas. These included
gangs such as the AmaSinyora in KwaMashu, the core of which consisted of
criminals who had been recruited in prison. Others were the Amakwebi in
Chesterville, and the A-Team in townships such as Chesterville and Lamontville.
In addition, the NP covertly set up UWUSA (one of several projects running
under the umbrella of Project Ancor), which operated in the labour field
and concentrated on violent strike-breaking and the destabilisation of
COSATU-affiliated unions; in several incidents people were killed. The
Caprivi trainees were organised into hit squads and deployed in 1986-1987.
All these sources of violence against the enemies of the apartheid state
were deliberately created by the NP government, in line with the counter-mobilisation
tactics they had adopted to crush resistance. They were trained, armed,
managed and covertly funded via the NP's security and intelligence agencies,
particularly the Department of Military Intelligence, the Security Branch,
and the Kwa-Zulu Police. Some of this training was done under the cover
of "white right wing support" for Inkatha.
According to a top secret report to the State Security Council prepared
by a "work group" consisting of "Kat" Liebenberg, Joep Joubert (in command
of the Special Forces at the time) and "Tienie" Groenewald (a stratkom
specialist in DMI), the central objectives of Operation Marion were (to
quote from the report) "to limit ANC/UDF intimidation amongst the black
population by means of Inkatha", and to "establish Inkatha
as a more effective organisation against the ANC/UDF" - in other
words, to use Inkatha to "counter-mobilise" against the mass democratic
movement, in the same way that other groups were covertly set up or manipulated,
as described above.
Given the active involvement of the NP government (via its security forces)
in this conflict, communities were left defenceless; it was up to them
to try to defend themselves. A key example is provided by the formation
of SDUs in Edendale in 1987 in response to wholesale and arbitrary attacks
on the community. In some cases particular Inkatha officials or members
distinguished themselves through violence against leaders or communities
whom they perceived as a political threat, and themselves became targets
for attacks, carried out by members of local communities. Many "warlords",
if not all, were directly supported or controlled by handlers in the NP's
intelligence and security establishment. Possibly at times MK cadres based
in these areas participated in counter- or pre-emptive attacks. Such attacks
were almost invariably motivated by the need for self-defence, or to protect
communities under threat.
Allegations to the effect that MK has been engaged in "serial mass murder"
of hundreds Inkatha officials are part of a long-running stratkom
operation with the objectives of creating confusion with regard to the
true perpetrators of violence in KwaZulu Natal, whipping up maximum levels
of enmity and fear at grassroots level, and ensuring that reconciliation
is as difficult as possible.
The accuracy of this so-called "death list" has been called into doubt
on more than one occasion by violence monitors and investigative journalists,
who point out that the compilers of this list have tended to claim that
anyone killed in certain areas was an "Inkatha leader", and in some cases
those on the list were not members of Inkatha at all.
Attempts by the UDF and other organisations to halt this violence over
the years must be mentioned. These attempts have been consistently derailed
or spurned by elements within the leadership of Inkatha, presumably on
the advice of their handlers. Whilst the late Harry Gwala was in prison,
and also immediately after his release, he advocated peace and negotiations
with Inkatha. On his release, Chief Buthelezi wrote him a letter congratulating
him, which was cordially responded to by Harry Gwala. However, as the violence
in the Natal Midlands took off - which was characterised by indiscriminate
killings of even elderly people and children - Harry Gwala increasingly
urged communities to defend themselves. As he put it, were communities
to fold their arms and passively accept attacks? He encouraged people to
form SDUs and resist attacks, rather than run away and be forced to live
Operation Marion was not terminated when De Klerk took over. The SAP report
written in March 1990, and which came to light at the time of the "Inkathagate"
scandal in 1991, made it clear that a key objective of the continued covert
support afforded to Inkatha at this time was to prevent the Inkatha leadership
"throwing in (their) lot with the ANC" as the negotiations phase began.
This is the context in which conflict in KwaZulu Natal since the 1980s,
and the violence in the post-1990 phase, should be seen.
Information regarding the role of police agent Sifiso Nkabinde in ensuring
that violence continued in the Midlands has very recently come to light,
and will no doubt yet again underline the pivotal role of the NP in this
conflict and bloodshed - the "ANC/Inkatha conflict" in this region was
largely yet another version of "black-on-black" violence (ie. the results
of counter-mobilisation) elsewhere in the country as described in our earlier
2.2 ARMED OPERATIONS AND CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
The TRC has asked for detailed information on "the scope and scale of
legitimate MK operations" as well as attacks not in accordance with ANC
policy which had "become a trend in the late 1980s." In a separate question
the TRC asked "to what extent do MK commanders in the Front Line States
take responsibility for actions - especially those involving civilian targets
- of cadres inside the country?"
The TRC has asked us to assess to what extent "militant rhetoric and
ambiguous statements" led to possible cases of misinterpretation of "ANC
policy on soft tagets."
In a separate section on the Ellis Park bomb of 1988, the TRC has quoted
Chris Hani and Steve Tshwete at some length, commenting on this blast.
The TRC says their comments appeared to imply that "any inner-city location
could represent a legitimate target because of the possibility that the
police or army may have located an office in an ostensibly innocuous-looking
building. Did such statements not confuse the definition of a legitimate
target?" They underline this point by asking whether the leadership condoned
"such actions of killing and injuring civilians", and whether there were
"different perceptions on the definition of legitimate targets among ANC
The TRC has asked what steps were taken by the ANC to avoid civilian
casualties in landmine explosions, and how many civilians were killed in
The scope and scale of MK operations
Whilst regional ANC structures (RPMCs) had a greater level of autonomy
in the post 1983 period, and did not have to clear all operations with
Lusaka before going ahead, all ANC members and officials were bound by
ANC policy with regard to the armed struggle, and did not develop their
We feel it is very important to point out that attacks not in accordance
with ANC policy did not become a trend in the late 1980s, in the sense
that such actions became the dominant form of all MK attacks. This is shown
clearly in the lists of armed actions during the period in question. Attacks
resulting in primarily civilian casualties represented a very small proportion
of all armed actions: the majority of MK actions continued to be in line
with ANC policy during this period, which is testimony to the degree of
discipline amongst our cadres in the face of extreme provocation.
The attached MK Operations report includes two lists of armed operations.
The first of these consists of a list of armed operations, arranged chronologically
and according to nature of target, which we believe were carried out by
legitimate MK units.
The second list consists of incidents of armed action which fall into a
grey area with regard to the nature of the intended target, and also includes
incidents for which we suspect MK cadres were not responsible.
With regard to these lists of incidents of armed action, it is important
to note that the ANC did not keep records of all operations carried out
by our cadres - this in any event would have been a suicidal breach of
elementary security procedures - and as we have tried to show, given the
nature of guerrilla warfare, cadres had to make decisions for themselves
at times; they did not constantly report to their commanders. We must emphasise
that we cannot be certain that these lists are entirely accur ate or comprehensive.
The information was drawn largely from press reports and similar sources,
and given the degree of censorship practiced by the government at the time,
it is possible that many incidents were deliberately prevented from reaching
the press. Where questions arise on specific incidents, the ANC will make
every effort to assist the TRC.
Armed actions and civilian casualties
The ANC, of which MK was an integral part and entirely subordinate to the
political leadership, did not approve of attacks on "civilian targets".
Attacks on civilian targets would be morally indefensible, and strategically
senseless: they would not only be in contradiction to the ANC's work to
avert racial civil war, but would alienate domestic and international support
for the struggle against apartheid.
As indicated in our first submission, a number of attacks did take place,
carried out by MK, which were not in line with ANC policy. What were the
reasons behind this, and what was the attitude of the ANC towards these
Some attacks occurred because of anger. The period between late 1984 and
1988 witnessed unprecedented violence directed at black civilians. This
behaviour of the regime was a significant factor in provoking certain attacks
which were in breach of policy. Anger on the ground was explosive: the
atrocities committed by the apartheid regime demanded retaliation. In some
cases, cadres responded to state brutality by hitting back in anger, as
soon as possible - as in the case of the Amanzimtoti bomb, described in
detail in our main submission.
The attitude of the apartheid regime, which refused to take prisoners of
war, was another factor. When unexpected difficulties arose, cadres had
to decide on their feet: and sometimes they made wrong decisions. At times,
the situations they faced were desperate to the extent that it is highly
unlikely that there would be a peaceful outcome, even if they had surrendered
- the Silverton bank siege and the Goch Street incident are cases in point.
Gathering tactical intelligence was the responsibility of units on the
ground; this was exceptionally difficult given the conditions in the country.
At times attacks which appear to be aimed at civilian targets were nothing
of the sort - the cadre may have had information to the effect that an
SADF or SAP group would be present at a particular railway station or hotel
or restaurant at a particular time, but due to a range of difficulties
- ranging from faulty intelligence to devices which malfunction and go
off at the wrong time - an explosion occurs, apparently senselessly, in
a civilian area. The Magoos Bar attack falls into this category, as indicated
in our first submission to the TRC. It is also possible that some of these
incidents occurred through deliberate disinformation, in which infiltrators
into MK units set up attacks of this nature.
Technical difficulties accounted for a number of these incidents. At times
insufficient training could have resulted in situations in which cadres
were not able to ensure that explosions took place at the intended time,
and made mistakes in setting timing devices. At times accidents occurred.
Defective timing mechanisms accounted for some of these incidents, and
resulted in unintended civilian casualties - the Krugersdorp Magistrate's
Court bomb is a case in point, and there were probably others.
At times, an operation would take place in support of campaigns or other
struggles taking place within the community - such as strike action, mass
retrenchments, a rent or bus boycott. An explosion at an office block,
a railway line, factory or supermarket makes sense in this context. Civilians
were never the targets in these cases - they would in most cases be our
supporters or potential supporters; however, it did happen in some instances
that the timing of a blast went wrong for a range of reasons and resulted
in unintended civilian casualties.
We feel it is important to also bring to the attention of the Commission
certain relevant factors which flow from the essential character of a guerrilla
In contrast with a conventional military force, in which virtually all
planning takes place at HQ level by experienced officers, in guerrilla
warfare most of the initiative is with the unit, and detailed planning
takes place at the lowest level. Each cadre has to be trusted to make decisions
with regard to choice of target within ANC policy, whilst keeping a close
eye on developments and feelings among the people in his/her community
- a responsibility which no soldier in a conventional force ever has to
There were long and insecure lines of communication, command and control.
There was no "hotline" to higher structures to ask for guidance; the vulnerability
of clandestine communication could - and at times did - result in the arrests
and deaths of cadres. Consequently, a great deal depended on the political
maturity, general experience, and immediate situation in which each cadre
operated. Many of the established MK units had been allowed a degree of
initiative in executing their operations, as long as these remained within
policy guidelines; training in MK camps took this reality into account.
In fact it was in part to deal with these problems that Operation Vula
was launched, to establish senior political and military leadership inside
Maintaining discipline in guerrilla and conventional armed forces is also
fundamentally different. In the case of a guerrilla force, discipline flows
from a thorough understanding of the political objectives of the armed
struggle - not from threats of court-martial or punishment.
MK cadres conducted crash courses for eager volunteers inside the country.
Some of these recruits had sketchy political understanding of the nature
of the struggle in comparison with those cadres who had gone through the
intensive political and military training provided in camps in exile. Some
supporters had loose connections with MK units, and drifted in and out
of structures; they were never thoroughly under the discipline of the ANC
and MK, yet commanders on the ground sometimes found their contributions
We have described the conditions under which the Kabwe conference was held
in our first submission. The struggle had to be intensified; in the period
after the Kabwe Conference, less emphasis was placed on avoiding civilian
casualties at all costs in pursuit of attacks on legitimate targets. As
ANC President at the time, OR Tambo, put it:
"I will summarise the position taken by the Conference in these
terms: that the struggle must be intensified at all costs. Over the past
nine to ten months at least - at the very least - there have been many
soft targets hit by the enemy. Nearly five hundred people have now died
in that period...massacred, shot down killed secretly. All those were very,
very soft targets. They belong to the sphere of the intensification of
the struggle. What we have seen in places like the Eastern Cape is what
escalation means for everybody. The distinction between "hard" and "soft"
targets is going to disappear in an intensified conflict, in an escalating
With regard to the quotes from Steve Tshwete and Chris Hani on which the
TRC has requested comment, it is clear to us that their statements do not
depart from stated ANC policy in the post-1985 era on the issue of legitimate
targets. In fact, they are in line with what the President of the ANC emphasised
after the Kabwe Conference: that because of the pressing need to intensify
the struggle, the growing viciousness and use of terrorism by the regime,
the ANC was going to relax the single-minded preoccupation with avoiding
civilian casualties in the course of armed actions against legitimate targets.
"I am not saying that our Conference used the word "soft targets". I am
saying that Conference recognised that we are in it. It is happening every
day. It happened two days before we started our Conference - a massacre
in Gaborone. We did not complain that soft targets were being hit, because
they have been hitting them, as I say, all the time. What we did was to
re-commit ourselves to intensify the armed struggle (...) until the system
which makes massacres and conflicts necessary, is abolished..."
This is a quote from Chris Hani, at the time MK Commissar, from a speech
broadcast on the ANC's Radio Freedom on March 1st, 1986:
"We are saying comrades (...) that our country is in a state
of civil war. It is true that so far the brunt of suffering has been borne
by our people. Our people are attending funerals, our people are mourning
for their dead, but comrades. Umkhonto we Sizwe, instructed by the leadership
of the ANC, is gearing itself to step up activity in white areas so that
the entire country should be ungovernable.
A factor which should not be underestimated is that the banning by the
regime of all ANC literature and jamming of broadcasts from Radio Freedom
made it difficult for senior ANC leadership to get through to cadres and
activists on the ground t o ensure a proper understanding of policy. Every
effort was made to block and distort the ANC's message, or anything which
could be remotely construed as supportive of the message of the liberation
movement. An extraordinary range of items were banne d; possession of ANC
publications such as a pamphlet or a copy of Mayibuye or Sechaba
could result in a lengthy jail sentence.
I want to elaborate on this question of extending the struggle to the white
areas. We don't want to be misunderstood. Unlike Botha. Le Grange, Malan
and Chris Heunis, who go out of their way to butcher children, defenceless
and unarmed children, old people, black civilians, Umkhonto we Sizwe is
a revolutionary army and is not going to embark on mayhem against white
civilians, against children, but we are going to step up our attacks against
enemy personnel. We are referring to the members of the police force, to
the members of the SADF, to those in the administration terrorising and
harassing our people, to those farmers and other civilians who are part
of the defence force of this country, the military, paramilitary and reserves.
The theatre of these actions is going to be in the white residential areas,
and it is inevitable that white civilians will die." (BBC Monitoring Report)
Whilst the above statement provides a clear articulation of the ANC's position,
as we indicate elsewhere in this document, it is quite possible that ambiguity
in some of the formulations on this subject may have given the impression
to some cadres that they should totally disregard the possibility of civilian
casualties in the course of their operations. To the extent that this occurred,
we regret it. However, as again stated elsewhere in this document and the
main submission, where such impressions were created resulting in operations
out of kilter with the ANC's policy, statements were issued and senior
cadres tasked with clarifying the position to commanders in the Forward
Areas, and through them, cadres on the ground.
Increasingly in this period, attacks took place in urban areas, in which
civilians were caught in the crossfire. Bona fide cadres and supporters
who carried out attacks of this nature believed they were fulfilling the
general direction to intensify the struggle and carry it into the white
areas in accordance with the political will of the leadership of the ANC.
With regard to the Ellis Park car bomb in 1988, about which the TRC has
asked a number of questions, the information required is contained in an
amnesty application. With regard to the explosion in Roodepoort outside
a branch of Standard Bank in 1988, at this stage the ANC does not know
who was responsible for this attack, and none of our cadres have applied
for amnesty in this regard. It was reported at the time that an ANC official
in Lusaka stated that a nearby SAP station, not civilians, had bee n the
target of this explosion; we have no details as to what operational problems
Anti-tank landmines and civilian casualties
With regard to landmines, it must be emphasised that the ANC never used
anti-personnel mines, specifically because we were concerned to avoid civilian
casualties. The ANC used only anti-tank mines, which require at least 300kg
to detonate, because our primary targets were the military patrols on roads
immediately next to borders. The mines were laid overnight so that they
would be triggered when the SADF patrolled early the next morning. It was
reasoned that because farmworkers generally did not have transport and
moved around on foot, they were unlikely to be affected.
As we stated in our main submission, cadres were under strict instructions
to do careful reconnaissance in order to avoid civilian casualties, but
it was often more difficult than anticipated to ensure that civilians were
not caught in these explosions; in some cases farm workers travelling in
heavy vehicles were killed or injured.
It is a fact - not an allegation or opinion of the ANC - that farmers in
Designated Areas (that is, declared military zones) were not considered
civilians by the regime itself, and were all active participants in overt
military networks. We provided considerable detail on the relevant legislation
in our first submission, on pp 59 - 60.
We do not have reliable statistics on how many people were killed in landmine
explosions for which the ANC was responsible. A rough estimate based on
available press reports shows that approximately thirty explosions took
place between November 1985 and July 1987 resulting in about 23 deaths
in total, including two cadres who were killed whilst laying a mine. We
reiterate our sincere regret that any civilian deaths and injuries occurred.
Response of the leadership
In late 1987, all members of MK HQ were called in by OR Tambo, who expressed
his concern at the number of unnecessary civilian casualties which had
occurred in certain attacks, particularly those involving the use of anti-tank
landmines. He tasked MK HQ with ensuring that all cadres fully understood
ANC policy with regard to legitimate targets. In addition, MK HQ ordered
that the laying of anti-tank mines should be halted.
MK HQ sent senior commanders to the forward areas to meet with MK structures
there, and convey the concerns of the national leadership. When possible
these senior commanders also met with units. In cases where meetings could
not be held with units, command structures in the forward areas were told
to contact all command structures of their units, whether they may have
been involved in operations of this nature or not, and ensure that all
cadres were entirely clear on ANC policy regarding legitimate targets.
Chris Hani, Aboobaker Ismail and Keith Mokoape visited structures in Maputo;
Lambert Moloi, Chris Hani and Julius Maliba ("Manchecker") met with Zimbabwe
structures, and Chris Hani, Aboobaker Ismail, and Lambert Moloi visited
Botswana structures. Ronnie Kasrils visited structures in Swaziland.
In most cases cadres responsible for these actions had not deliberately
set out to flout ANC policy, but had believed they were acting in accordance
with the wishes of the leadership, or had acted in anger. Conveying the
instructions of the leadership in this unequivocal manner through the most
senior officials of MK HQ was sufficient action, as the overwhelming majority
of MK cadres were disciplined soldiers and activists.
We remain convinced that some of these attacks were not carried out by
our cadres, but were the work of the regime itself. We again urge the TRC
to use its powers to obtain information of this nature from those who would
have been responsible for any actions of this nature, with the objective
of damaging the domestic and international image of the ANC. As previously
noted, Stratkom structures at national, regional and departmental levels
should be intensively investigated.
Given the conditions in the 1980s, it is remarkable that so few armed attacks
took place in which there was a high rate of civilian casualties. MK certainly
had the capacity to kill many thousands of civilians. This would have been
easy to do; but we never took this route, even under extreme provocation.
When compared to the policies on armed actions adopted by other national
liberation movements on this and other continents, the degree of restraint
exercised by the ANC and MK is extraordinary.
The humanity of the ANC's approach has never been acknowledged - nor reciprocated
- by the apartheid regime, which always defined black civilians in general
(and all those who opposed the regime) as "enemy forces", whether they
were armed or not.
The ANC largely concurs with the remark that landmines (particularly anti-personnel
mines) are indiscriminate weapons, although efforts were always made by
our cadres to avoid the deaths and injuries of civilians. The thousands
of anti-personnel landmines planted in Angola and Mozambique by the former
apartheid regime and its surrogates continue to take their toll on civilians
to this day. The recent banning of the sale and manufacture of all anti-
personnel landmines by the new government is testimony to our belief that
the use of these weapons is in conflict with a society committed to the
building of a human rights culture.
As stated in our main submission, the ANC takes collective responsibility
for all bona fide MK actions. We regret the deaths and injuries to civilians
arising from MK's armed actions. We apologise to their families and next-of-kin
for the suffering and hurt that these actions caused. Where applicable,
MK cadres have their applications for amnesty with regard to these actions.
3. ALLEGATIONS REGARDING EXCESSES AGAINST CADRES AND CAPTURED AGENTS,
AND STEPS TAKEN TO HALT THESE PRACTICES
The Commission has asked what, in our opinion, were the weaknesses of
the Security Sector of the Department of National Intelligence and Security
(NAT) which may have led to violations of human rights. We have also been
asked a number of questions regarding specific incidents, and on action
taken by the leadership of the ANC to correct these problems.
The TRC has asked us to whom cases of abuse of certain prisoners, and
the steadily deteriorating physical conditions of this camp, were reported.
The NEC discussed these problems on a number of occasions before 1985,
and has asked whether documentation to this effect is available.
The TRC has also asked several questions regarding the functioning of
all tribunals, and the cases they considered.
The TRC has asked how many mutineers died in the Pango mutiny; their
names; the exact circumstances under which they died; they cite the Stuart
Commission, which gives details about the shootings of two people by security
personnel on 07/02/84. They refer to Khotso Morena, who was shot and seriously
injured when running away after exploding a hand grenade. Were mutineers
travelling to Viana ambushed by ANC officials? How many prisoners were
taken after the mutiny? How many of them were transferred to Morris Seabelo
In our main submission to the Commission, we acknowledged that some excesses
had occurred in the treatment of captured agents, and apologised for these
incidents. The matter of violations which did take place in Camp 32 (also
known as the Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre, or Quatro) and other
camps had been a source of serious concern within the ANC, when information
reached the leadership and other structures. The reports of four past commissions
of inquiry appointed by the ANC leadership to look into allegations of
abuse provides concrete evidence of their concern.
The perception that abuses which took place were systematic or widespread
is wrong. Those members of the security department of the Department of
National Intelligence and Security (NAT) who abused prisoners did so in
violation of ANC policy: there was nothing "systematic" about such acts.
NAT personnel were given comprehensive and professional training in security
and intelligence work in socialist and other countries. The suggestion
that any cadre of the ANC was trained specifically in torture is rejected
In addressing the questions raised by the TRC, we will use the reports
of past commissions of inquiry appointed by the ANC as a primary point
of reference, and occasionally augment the findings of these commissions
with other available information. (These reports were presented to the
TRC with our first submission, and were also released to the public.)
We will concentrate on presenting our understanding of how circumstances
arose in which excesses in violation of ANC policy took place, in line
with the mandate of the TRC to establish the truth and ensure that conditions
under which such violations took place are never allowed to recur.
First, we will briefly sketch the backdrop against which some of these
excesses took place. Agents infiltrated into our structures carried out
acts such as the attempted mass poisoning of cadres, supplying intelligence
which led to the bombardment of one of our camps, sabotage of equipment
and deliberate attempts to encourage indiscipline and internal conflict
of various kinds. There were a number of cases in which agents supplied
their handlers with information which led directly to the assassinations
of leaders and the ambushing or arrest, torture, and imprisonment of cadres.
NAT uprooted the regime's most prized network of infiltrators in 1981.
Analysis of the activities of some of these agents in the political context
in which they took place indicated that they were not merely involved in
various attempts to disrupt or damage the ANC, but were actors in a far
broader and more ambitious operation by the regime to eliminate and replace
key leaders of the ANC, thereby setting the movement on a new route which
would culminate in its destruction. (A copy of the "Shishita report", which
covers this investigation in detail, has been submitted to the TRC.)
This was a severe setback which thoroughly rattled the regime. Their response
was a desperate attempt to "jam" our screening procedures by throwing large
numbers of infiltrators into the field. Many if not most would-be infiltrators
in the post-Shishita period were hopelessly ill-prepared for the missions
their handlers had assigned to them. For example, one confessed that he
had been told to attempt to assassinate OR Tambo - but had not been supplied
with a weapon, or any other form of logistical support such as a plan to
retreat after the operation. Others - such as Patrick Dlongwana - had been
so thoroughly exposed inside the country, that his handlers must have known
he would be picked up immediately. It appears the regime hoped the ANC's
machineries would be overwhelmed by this influx, which would to some extent
serve to divert our resources away from prosecuting the armed struggle
inside the country, and create conditions under which the more professional
infiltrators they deployed might slip through the net.
Means to deal with this influx of agents had to be devised. As the NAT
Operations report shows, nearly 40% of confessed agents were never imprisoned.
But others were dangerous, or had committed such serious crimes that they
had to be isolated. It is in this context that Camp 32 was established,
and cases in which excesses on which the TRC has requested more information
3.1 LINES OF COMMAND AND ACCOUNTABILITY
As the organigrams accompanying this document show, the National Executive
Committee (NEC) has always been the ANC's highest policy- and decision-
making body. The National Security Council and the Revolutionary Council
fell under the Office of the President, with the various military, political
and security structures, committees or departments reporting to the Revolutionary
Council. NAT - as the Department of Intelligence and Security was generally
known - was no exception.
In the 1970s and the early 1980s there was significant overlap between
MK and NAT structures, particularly in Angola. Mzwai Piliso was the most
senior leader in charge of all camps in Angola, and was also appointed
head of NAT, of which the Security department was one sub-sector, in 1981.
NAT slowly developed towards more clear-cut lines of command, specialisation
of work, and separation of functions; more details in this regard are supplied
in the operational report. In the early 1980s, confusion set in as the
role of the Security Department (and NAT in general in Angola) veered away
from what should have been its central function - gathering intelligence
and screening recruits to protect MK and the ANC as a whole - towards taking
on largely disciplinary roles and, at Camp 32, guard duties.
In dealing with the question of the weaknesses that emerged over time,
it is therefore necessary to also look at the situation in Angola in general.
3.2. ANGOLA, 1977 - 1984; DISCIPLINE IN MK
Discipline is the cornerstone of any army. MK was guided by the ANC's Code
of Conduct, a copy of which was attached to our first submission. Breaches
of discipline common to most armies were usually handled at camp level
by the camp command structure; these were cases such as fighting between
cadres, abuse of authority, disregard of camp rules, going AWOL, petty
theft, exchanging camp property for liquor, drug abuse (mostly dagga) and
illicit liquor brewing. Punishments for offences of this nature were laid
out in the Code of Conduct (see p. 89 of our first submission.) Sometimes
the punishments meted out for contraventions of the MK Code of Conduct
were entirely out of proportion to the deed.
This is a regrettable feature of many armies. While we would never wish
to compare MK - a guerrilla army composed entirely of volunteers - with
the SADF, which relied on forced conscription, we feel it should be pointed
out that a number of SADF conscripts are known to have died after brutal
beatings; other forms of punishment and ill-treatment (such as excessive
"paal PT" ) resulted in deaths. There were a number of minor mutinies;
in 1979, there was a mass walkout of over 60 SADF soldiers from their base
in Upington in protest at the treatment they were receiving.
In six cases between 1979 and 1981, MK cadres died as a result of being
beaten. (A list of these names has been submitted to the TRC.) Reports
on these incidents would be sent to the Camp Commander, and senior officials
would meet with the Camp Administration to hold an inquiry into the incident
to prevent recurrence of such excessive actions. Measures such as demotion
or redeployment would be taken against perpetrators of excessive punishments.
The case of Joel Mahlatini provides a good example of the manner in which
the ANC leadership handled cases of this nature. Mahlatini was severely
beaten on the orders of his Camp Commander, Kenneth Mahamba; he was dead
on arrival at Camp 32. The leadership took this incident so seriously that
an inquiry was instituted, which facilitated the uncovering of the spy
network some years later, of which Mahamba was a leading member. After
exhaustive investigations of their cases, trial by Tribunal, and a final
decision by the NEC, Justice Tshabalala, Jabu Zikalala, Vusi Mayekiso and
Kenneth Mahamba were executed. Other members of this network - Dick Khumalo,
Escom Maluleka, John Maleke, and Drake Chiloane were executed later after
the same process had been followed. There were other cases over the years
of executions of agents after investigations into their cases, the sitting
of a tribunal, and a final decision by the political leadership. A list
of these names has been submitted to the TRC.
Serious breaches in discipline by MK cadres at times resulted in capital
punishment. It must be emphasised that there were no cases of summary or
Before a tribunal was held, Military HQ in Lusaka would be informed of
the case by the Regional Command structures. The NEC would appoint at least
one senior official to sit on the tribunal with officials from MHQ and
the Regional Command. In some cases local authorities were also involved
in this process. The tribunal would report its findings to HQ, where a
final decision would be made.
Between 1981 and 1989, four cadres were executed for murder and rape of
Angolan women, four for murder, and in 1989, one was executed for rape.
(A list of these names has been submitted to the TRC.) Those who were executed
for rape and murder were imprisoned for around two months whilst the leadership
consulted with the Angolan authorities on the manner in which these crimes
should be handled. They were publicly executed with fellow- villagers of
the murdered women and local government officials present.
The only other occasion on which capital punishment was carried out on
MK cadres was at the time of the Pango mutiny in 1984. Before dealing with
the questions posed by the TRC in this regard, we will deal with the background
to this incident by describing the situation as it developed in Angola.
Growing tensions in the camps
Many of the problems which arose in military camps in Angola at this time
were the result of the tensions between the ANC's policy on armed struggle,
and the intense frustration felt by recruits who had flocked to MK in the
wake of the 1976 uprising when they were not immediately deployed inside
the country after initial military training. Since 1979 the ANC had elaborated
its policy perspectives in this regard, and believed that military struggle
was secondary to building the base for mass political struggle within the
To quote from the "Green Book":
10a) (...) the armed struggle must be based on, and grow out
of, mass political support...All military activities must, at every stage,
be guided and determined by the need to generate political mobilisation,
organisation and resistance..."
Many recruits wanted desperately to just go home and fight, underestimated
the difficulty of the logistics involved in infiltrating them safely into
the country, and did not appreciate the rationale behind the leadership's
b) The forms of political and military activities, and the way these activities
relate to one another go through different phases as the situation changes.
It is therefore vital to have under continuous survey the changing tactical
relationships between these two inter-dependent factors in our struggle...The
concrete political realities must determine whether, at any given stage
and in any given region, the main emphasis should be on political or on
In late 1977, a group of fourteen cadres who had just completed their initial
six-month military training at Novo Katengue camp demanded to be sent to
the front immediately. They refused all orders, and also refused to go
on an advanced training course. They were sent to Quibaxe, where they were
excused from classes but had to contribute to normal camp duties. Again,
they refused to obey orders.
A Tribunal was convened, and seven of them were sentenced to one month's
imprisonment, the others to two months. In addition, they had to carry
out tasks such as digging trenches. After they had completed their sentences
they were accepted unconditi onally back into MK structures. Sworn affidavits
(made in 1993) from all of these cadres have been submitted to the TRC.
These expose allegations that a serious mutiny was put down by troops trained
in the GDR, and that cadres were subsequently ill- treated by Ronnie Kasrils,
as deliberate disinformation typical of the propaganda in the report of
the Douglas "commission", a stratkom exercise covertly funded with taxpayers'
A similar incident took place in 1979 at Fazenda, when about fifteen cadres
demanded to go to the front, refused to be disarmed, and fired shots at
night. They wanted to go to Luanda to meet the ANC leadership to demand
immediate deployment. This "mutiny" was solved politically by Mzwai Piliso
and Moses Mabhida, who talked to the cadres. There was no violence and
these cadres were allowed to remain in MK structures. For some cadres,
a deep sense of depression set in after spending too many years in camps
in Angola. In the words of the Stuart Commission report:
"The Commission believes that the conditions in the camps,
the total isolation from the outside world, the desperation and frustration
of not being deployed, make it practically impossible for cadres to survive
(politically, morally, and psychologically) in the camps for several years."
This problem was exacerbated by steadily decreasing attention to the camps
in the early 1980s - both political and in terms of providing basic resources
- by the seriously overstretched national leadership in Lusaka. In the
words of the report of the Commission, "over the years, visits to the camps
by the leadership has decreased significantly. This has affected not only
the national leadership but surprisingly also the regional leadership.
The latter tend increasingly to spend more time in Luanda than in the camps."
Apart from these problems, general conditions in the camps were at times
difficult. Food supplies were at times inadequate, and bandits specifically
targeted supply lines from Angolan ports, exacerbating the situation. Medical
supplies and other essential items were not always readily available. Tropical
diseases, particularly malaria, were rife, and there were too few doctors
in Angola to adequately service all the those in the camps - cadres and
prisoners alike. Access to clean water supplies was almost always a serious
Angola was a war zone. The constant threat to ANC camps and cadres from
UNITA bandits was yet another source of tension and difficulty. Many cadres
were killed in operations against UNITA, and these deaths and injuries
were a factor which had direct bearing on the 1984 mutiny. Certain agents
also deliberately played on these incidents to create demoralisation and
mistrust of the ANC leadership.
The delays in committing the majority of cadres to battle affected not
only recruits but commanders as well, particularly after the destruction
of Nova Katengue, which had been in many respects a model of the kind of
camp the ANC wanted to maintain.
In addition to these factors, by the end of 1983, according to the report
of the Stuart Commission, a range of practices had set in which had seriously
corroded the ANC's vision of its army, and which had direct bearing on
the mutinies. Some members of camp administrations had begun to abuse their
powers; cadres felt they were no longer being consulted sufficiently, and
that their concerns were not being properly conveyed to the leadership
in Lusaka; an intolerance of valid criticism had developed. In addition,
there was insufficient provision for cultural activities and regular briefing
on current events inside the country. There was poor management of human
resources, and a belief that unfair decisions regarding deployment were
being made; this resulted in much frustration.
One of the key factors which contributed to a drop in standards in general
in Angola in the early 1980s was the deployment of many senior and experienced
cadres out of Angola into machineries in the Forward Areas or inside the
country to develop the armed struggle. This meant that much younger cadres
with less experience had to take over their positions.
As a result of all of these factors problems arose in the camps, and disciplinary
measures also fell short of the ideals the Movement had always aspired
The Pango mutiny, 1984
The lead-up to the Pango mutiny, particularly the mutiny at Viana transit
camp in February 1984, has been described in considerable detail in the
report of the Motsuenyane Commission (pp. 37 - 40.) The question asked
by the TRC regarding the exact circumstances in which the mutineers died,
making reference to the cases of Diliza Dumakude, Zihlangu Zanempi (referred
to as Salier Janemzi), and Khotso Morena indicates that some confusion
has arisen. The Pango mutiny could be described as having two phases.
In the first phase, cadres who had been refusing to accept military discipline
and firing in the air were sent to Viana transit camp after senior officials
spoke to them. The allegation made in the report of the Douglas "commission"
to the effect that some cadres were "ambushed by ANC officials" is untrue.
Some of those who arrived in Viana remained mutinous and refused to be
disarmed. When a second, larger group of cadres arrived, they too refused
to be disarmed. Subsequent events are described in some detail in the report
of the Stuart Commission on p 22. Vuyisile Maseko and Khotso Morena were
captured but the security personnel were unaware that Maseko had a grenade;
he set it off in the car, but all the occupants were able to escape. Morena
ran straight for a tent in which arms and explosives were kept; both Chris
Hani and Joe Modise were very close by, addressing cadres, and it was clear
that their lives could be in danger. Morena refused to stop when he was
ordered to give himself up and was shot.
After intervention by Angolan security forces order at Viana camp was restored.
The mutineers were disarmed and agreed to be relocated to Pango. There
a group of them secretly planned to seize the camp arsenal and mutiny again.
The Pango mutiny occurred in mid-May 1984. The mutineers systematically
killed most members of the camp administration, using heavy calibre weapons.
In all, eight MK cadres were killed by the mutineers, in some cases in
cold blood the morning after the mutiny had begun, when they hunted down
those who had been wounded and were hiding in the bush.
The camp was recaptured by loyal cadres; in the shoot-out seven mutineers
were killed. Others fled the camp; one was found dead some days later when
cadres were fetching firewood; he had committed suicide with a pistol,
which was found next to his body. One captured mutineer died of malaria
before the military tribunal was convened; he refused to accept treatment
for his illness. Two cadres escaped from the camp when it was recaptured,
and have not been heard of since.
A military tribunal was appointed and convened on 22/05/84. Available documentation
on the deliberations of the tribunal have been submitted to the TRC.
Sixty-six people testified before the tribunal. Of these, the tribunal
recommended that sixteen mutineers should receive the death penalty, while
the others were either recommended for demobilisation or were acquitted
and referred to the camp disciplinary committee to face lesser charges.
Seven mutineers were executed by firing squad. The others were spared after
the leadership reconsidered the decision to execute them, and were instead
imprisoned at Camp 32. In all, twenty-three mutineers were imprisoned until
1989, while four were imprisoned for a short time and released in 1984.
A list of the names of all those who died during the mutiny and those who
were executed has been submitted to the TRC.
Response of the leadership: the Stuart Commission of Inquiry
As a result of these events, the Stuart Commission was appointed to inquire
into the causes of the mutinies, consisting of Hermanus Loots ("James Stuart"),
Aziz Pahad, Sizakele Sigxashe and Mtu Jwili. (The latter two later became
heads of Directorates in the restructured NAT.) The Commission presented
its report to all members of the NEC in March 1984 (before the more serious
mutiny erupted at Pango.)
By this time, the preliminary briefings of the Commission had already convinced
the leadership about the need for a National Conference of the ANC to discuss
matters pertaining to the intensification of struggle generally, as well
as the problems in the camps.
The Commission found that while some of those most directly involved in
the mutinies had long histories of disruptive and destructive behavior,
and also had "illusions of power and leadership", the mutinous behaviour
which had occurred by February 1984 could not be described as "an organized
act of conspiracy on the part of the enemy".
In its painfully incisive assessment of conditions in Angola, the Stuart
Commission report noted that since 1979 nearly all petty offences had been
dealt with in a destructive manner "as distinct from the earlier revolutionary
constructive punishment" which sought essentially to rehabilitate offenders
rather than crush them. The report of the Commission notes that the "tragic
fact is that it was at its worst in the training camps."
Grievances against the Security department also came to the fore in this
report. In the words of the report, "interviews carried out by the Commission
in all our camps reflect one unanimous response: that the security department
carried out tasks which are not supposed to be theirs - the task of disciplining
offenders." Instead of concentrating on its role as an intelligence service,
dedicated to exposing agents and protecting the ANC in general, it had
become a "military police" force within the camps. At times such actions
took place "without consultation or approval by other (members of the)
It is also clear from this report that a lack of clear policy guidelines,
and clear lines of command, contributed directly to the ANC's failure to
halt abuse. It recommended that the NEC should "clearly define the tasks
and powers" of the Security Department, draw up a Code of Conduct to govern
the behaviour of these cadres and ensure it was enforced, and "formally
and categorically prohibit(s) the use of violence and torture by the Security
Department (as well as other officers in camps)", re deploy "notorious
security men", and "adopt a coherent policy with regard to captured enemy
Excesses in relation to captured and imprisoned agents and mutineers
Both the Skweyiya and Motsuenyane Commissions were told that prisoners
at Camp 32 had been subjected to serious abuse. It is necessary to point
out that while some of the allegations made to the Skweyiya Commission
were true, others were deliberate attempts to mislead the Commission, and
members of the Department accused of abuses were not given the opportunity
to reply to these allegations; hence the establishment of the Motsuenyane
The report of the Skweyiya Commission notes that Mzwai Piliso, head of
Personnel and Training as well as of the Security Department at the time,
"candidly" admitted that he had personally participated in beating a suspect
in 1981 on the basis that a plot to kill members of the leadership had
been discovered and he wanted information "at any cost."
It is clear that setting an example of this nature would have affected
the behaviour of other members of the security department. These factors
are also relevant:
It is unreasonable to expect people to deal with situations for which they
have no training, particularly when they are young and inexperienced. Most
members of staff at various rehabilitation centres were very young cadres
who had left the country to join MK. They were not trained as Military
Police or prison warders. The training they received was the same as that
of all MK cadres, while some underwent more specialised training in intelligence
work from the late 1970s onwards. But none were trained specifically for
the roles they had to take on - very unwillingly at times.
some of these cadres had themselves been subjected to very brutal treatment
by the apartheid security police before leaving the country for training;
the need to obtain information quickly was at times a factor which
led to the beating of unco-operative captives, such as Keith McKenzie,
who had placed a car bomb somewhere in Botswana: in this case the urgency
to obtain information was fuelled by the desire to prevent deaths by locating
the bomb in time;7
there was anger against some of these prisoners, who have tended to
be all uncritically portrayed as innocent victims: several had committed
vicious, cold-blooded acts of murder, usually in the service of the apartheid
regime, against anti-apartheid activists inside and outside the country.
It was necessary but undesirable work; as a former member of staff at Camp
32 put it, most cadres in these postings had "joined the ANC and the army
with the sole purpose of training and getting back home to engage the enemy
for the liberation of the country, but because of the tasks they were called
upon to perform in this camp, had to lose all those possibilities of ever
going to the front, going for further training, and enjoying other privileges
enjoyed by others".
Structures in Angola had to rely on other structures in the forward areas
and inside the country to provide information necessary to carry out proper
investigations. Because of the weakness of some of these structures, and
the long lines of communication, several persons classified as suspects
took a long time to be cleared.
To summarise, the report of the 1984 Stuart Commission makes it clear that
in some respects Angola, "generally regarded as a reliable rear base of
our struggle...(had) been used as a dumping ground for enemy agents, suspects,
malcontents and undisciplined elements". The report also shows that in
some respects the ANC leadership did not take adequate steps to ensure
effective management of its military camps, which included ensuring that
cadres deployed in these camps had policy guidelines to work by, understood
their "line functions", and were under clear lines of command and control.
Whether this kind of management was possible given the conditions under
which the ANC was working at the time - particularly in Angola, which was
a war zone - is questionable. Nevertheless, stronger action to halt the
excesses described in the report of the Stuart Commission could have been
taken, and in this regard, the ANC again expresses regret at this state
of affairs and its consequences.
3.3. MEASURES TO HALT EXCESSES AND CONTINUING PROBLEM
AREAS, 1985 - 1990
As we noted in our first submission, the ANC took a range of steps to halt
abuses. Within a few weeks of the tabling of the report of the Stuart Commission,
nearly all its recommendations had been adopted and were in the first stages
Most critical in this regard, and as the first major policy action, the
1985 National Consultative Conference in Kabwe took a range of decisions
on all these matters. (It is worth noting that 40% of the delegates at
the Conference were from the camps, and they submitted presentations on
problems in Angola.) The ANC elaborated the existing Code of Conduct ,
and established the Office of Justice, reinforced the existing Review Board,
and established the National People's Tribunal.
Mzwai Piliso was removed from his post as head of NAT to concentrate on
other duties. Andrew Masondo was censured by the leadership, and the post
of National Commissar was abolished; in addition, he lost his post on the
NEC. Both performed well and with loyalty to the ANC in their new postings.
Procedures of the new structures for justice
Previously tribunals had been constituted as needed. They had been convened
to try suspected agents, to decide on punishments for cadres who had committed
offences as defined in the MK Code of Conduct, and to deal with the mutineers.
In all cases, senior political office-bearers would be appointed to tribunals
by the NEC, who served along with high-ranking MK officers such as regional
Commanders and Commissars. The report of the Stuart Commission recommended
that a formally constituted, independent and specialised structure was
necessary. As a result, the National People's Tribunal was established.
The TRC has asked several specific questions on the functions of the new
structures for justice. The first National People's Tribunal was
appointed soon after the Kabwe Conference. Hermanus Loots was the chair,
with Shadrack Pekane, and Z.N. Jobodwana as the other members. The latter
two were lawyers. This structure was tasked with overseeing and making
judgements on the basis of investigations carried out by NAT. It was fully
independent: there was no formal link between the Tribunal and any other
ANC structures, including the Office of the President.
The Tribunal followed procedures laid down by lawyers in the ANC's Legal
and Constitutional Affairs department, which were in essence the same procedures
followed in South African courts. Persons accused of offences would be
summoned to the Tribunal. There were prosecuting lawyers, and every accused
would be represented by one or two lawyers, who had access to the charge
sheet in order to prepare their defence. At the end of the proceedings
both sides would summarise the evidence presented and the Tribunal would
adjourn. This process often took two to three days to complete.
The Tribunal could recommend one or a combination of the following lines
The sentence recommended by the Tribunal was referred to the President,
who would usually refer the case to the Review Board, which was
tasked with acting as a court of appeal with the powers to confirm or change
the decision of the Tribunal as the members of the Board saw fit. Only
after the Review Board had considered the case would sentence be confirmed
(or set aside) by the President.
that the accused be released; in these cases, the person concerned
would be handed over to the Office of Justice, which would ensure that
s/he was taken to the place of her/his choice; for example, some would
prefer to leave Angola and be re-established in Zambia or Tanzania in the
ANC civilian community. In some cases those who decided they wanted to
leave the ANC would be handed over to the Chief Representative in the relevant
country, who would assist the person concerned to apply for asylum in a
that the suspect be expelled from the Movement; in these cases, the
suspect would be handed over to the host government by the Office of the
Chief Representative, and the host government would hand the person on
to the UNHCR.
in cases where the accused was found guilty s/he could be sentenced
to a period of imprisonment at the Rehabilitation Centre
in cases where the accused was found guilty of a capital offence, the
death sentence could be recommended.
The Review Board was also tasked with regularly reviewing cases and making
recommendations to the NEC as to whether prisoners should be released or
not. Their work was considerably facilitated by the adoption of the elaborated
Code of Conduct .
The chair of the Review Board was Dan Tloome; Ruth Mompati and John Motshabi
made up the rest of the Board. The Board would from time to time set up
groups of senior ANC figures to conduct inspections and report back to
the leadership. We regret that we have not been able to locate the documentation
relevant to the work of the Review Board; if specific questions regarding
the work of the Review Board arise, the ANC will assist the TRC in this
In addition to these structures for justice, there was a Presidential
Council to which those whose cases had been considered by the Tribunal
and Review Board could appeal if they were unhappy about the decisions
of these structures. This council, which consisted of the President, John
Nkadimeng, Dan Tloome and later, Joe Slovo, could set aside sentences and
Steps were also taken to ensure that clearer lines of command were in place
over NAT personnel working in Angola. At a meeting held in Lusaka in 1986
between NAT and MK delegations, chaired by OR Tambo, it was agreed that
NAT cadres fell only under the authority of the NAT Directorate, and that
MK structures in the region should not make any unilateral decisions affecting
NAT line functions. Whilst MK structures did not usually issue any orders
directly affecting the welfare of prisoners and suspects, tensions had
arisen due to confusion in the lines of command.
The NAT Directorate itself also took steps to improve the conditions under
which prisoners were held in response to the directives of the leadership.
A report written by the head of the Recording Department in November 1987
which highlights the difficulties of extending Camp 32 facilities given
the physical terrain, and argues that the camp should instead be closed
altogether and transferred to a more convenient place, has been submitted
to the TRC. A report on a visit to Camp 32 in December 1987 by a member
of the NAT Directorate has also been submitted to the TRC. Three deaths
took place in Camp 32 during the first half of 1987, and a Commission was
appointed to investigate the circumstances in which these deaths took place;
the report of this Commission has been handed to the TRC.
The report of the Skweyiya Commission notes that it took some time before
the measures provided for in the Code of Conduct were implemented properly.
Zola Skweyiya was appointed Officer of Justice in 1986, and also had the
responsibility of established in the ANC's Legal and Constitutional Affairs
department. He reported directly to the President.
He experienced considerable difficulties in fulfilling all these roles
for a range of reasons, including a shortage of staff, and a degree of
unco-operativeness from the head of NAT. Whilst Mzwai Piliso fully accepted
the decisions taken at the Kabwe Conference, given the degree of pressure
he was under on various fronts, he was distinctly unenthusiastic about
dealing with the complex and time-consuming logistics involved in flying
staff of the Office of Justice into Angola to interview all prisoners and
review their cases. However, when Zola Skweyiya approached the President
to facilitate this visit, the President took immediate action to "unblock"
bureaucratic channels, and Joe Nhlanhla in his capacity as Secretary of
the Politco-Military Committee (PMC) played a central role in ensuring
that the Office of Justice received all necessary support.
The 1988 Tribunal in Luanda
In May 1988 (not 1987, as stated in the report of the Motsuenyane Commission)
the Office of Justice arranged a sitting of the National People's Tribunal
in Luanda (not at Camp 32, as stated in the report of the Motsuenyane Commission.)
This Tribunal reviewed the cases of twenty-five prisoners held by the ANC
at this time, including some of those who had confessed to being enemy
agents. Hermanus Loots chaired the Tribunal. Penuell Maduna acted as defence
lawyer for the prisoners, and pleaded on their behalf. Mr Loots has pointed
out that members of NAT who worked with this Tribunal had a "very positive
attitude" towards the committee and gave their full co- operation.
In seven of the cases heard, the Tribunal concluded that the "possible
sentence" would be imprisonment; in the view of members of the Tribunal,
the evidence against them left no doubt that they were guilty of the crimes
for which they had been imprisoned. In two cases the "possible sentence"
recommended by the Tribunal was capital punishment; in seven cases judgement
was reserved; and they recommended that two cases be re- investigated.
In seven cases, the Tribunal recommended release as it was felt that there
was insufficient concrete evidence against these accused. Six had been
imprisoned in 1987, whilst the seventh recommended for release had been
imprisoned since 1982. With regard to the group of six, members of the
Tribunal privately felt it was very probable that these prisoners were
indeed guilty; the NAT investigators were entirely convinced of this, and
were very unhappy at this recommendation for release.
However, the Tribunal stuck rigidly to its mandate and argued before the
NEC that they should be released, since the evidence against the six had
not been led properly. The group was released. This case is a good illustration
of the tensions between the ANC's desire to act in accordance with accepted
legal procedures and the abnormal circumstances in which we were attempting
to put such high standards into practice. (A report-back by NAT structures
on the procedures of this Tribunal has been submitted to the TRC. This
document also answers the TRC's questions regarding the background of those
Post 1987: a new NAT
By the time of the appointment of a commission of inquiry into the death
of Thami Zulu in late 1989, the new NAT leadership had been in place for
In the words of the report, "there has been a process of major reorganisation
of the security department, with notable improvements in the conditions
of detainees." Violence was expressly forbidden, and a member of the department
who had assaulted a detainee had been recently sentenced to a five-year
term of imprisonment by the Tribunal, which sat in Lusaka. The commissioners
inspected the rehabilitation centre and noted that "the general conditions
for detainees, poor as they were, had improved immeasurably compared with
their truly parlous situation before Comrade Nhlanhla had taken over."
The report also notes that according to a friend of Thami Zulu's, although
he was indignant about the investigation, "he made no mention of physical
abuse (...) We have no reason to believe he was subjected to torture or
to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." In fact, Zulu told his colleagues
in the military that he had not been tortured, and his parents and family
visited him on more than one occasion during the period that he was confined.
The commissioners also questioned "at length and with some rigour" members
of the department who had been responsible at various times for interrogating
Zulu, and generally undertook a thorough review of the investigation and
the methods used. They concluded that they were "satisfied that the investigation
panels worked in a systematic and objective manner, probing all the pros
and cons of every question. They were not clumsy cops, but skilled interrogators
who prepared carefully, basing themselves on logic, probabilities and attention
to detail. What impressed us particularly was their willingness to take
into account factors which could prove favourable to TZ's position." The
commissioners also noted cases in which the department had "carefully cross-checked"
allegations by taking action such as arranging an identification parade.
(Documents relevant to the investigations carried out by NAT in this case
have been submitted to the TRC.)
Two months after Zulu had been confined, the panel reported that although
it had found no conclusive proof that he had been collaborating with the
enemy, there were "some matters in relation to which he had been unable
to give convincing answers" but these could only be cleared up by obtaining
information from the Swaziland special branch - probably an impossible
task at the time. It recommended that Zulu be disciplined for criminal
neglect in the case of the June 1988 deaths of nine cadres under his command,
who had been ambushed and shot dead by police soon after crossing the Swaziland
border near Piet Retief.
The report notes that despite many improvements, some of the critically
important measures introduced after the Kabwe Conference were not functioning
as well as it had been hoped: "while considerable progress has been made,
the Code has not been fully implemented and the situation of legality inside
the ANC falls short of what the Conference called for." In addition, there
was no regulations to govern periods of investigation; as the report puts
it, "witnesses from Security themselves asked for a clear set of norms
governing detention, since they feel torn between the conflicting objectives
of not giving up their investigations until irrefutable proofs or disproofs
existed and not prolonging their inquires in an undue manner."
Among the findings and conclusions of the Motsuenyane Commission, appointed
in 1993, and which examined the period from the late 1970s to 1985, were
The ANC concurs with these findings, which largely confirm the findings
of earlier inquiries appointed by the ANC itself.
" Concerns (of MK cadres in Angola) were voiced but not properly addressed
by the leadership, which resulted in mutinies."
"Quatro was conceived without proper deliberation. It was located in
Angola, a country at war, and was staffed by inadequately trained youths
of insufficient experience. The first camp commander was only 19 years
old. The failure to train adequately and supervise the staff, the lack
of clear authority between Mbokodo and MK, and the breakdown in communications
between the prison and the Officer of Justice resulted in many abuses of
The leadership did implement mechanisms to address these problems,
mainly the Code of Conduct and the Office of Justice; this "system of justice
represented by the structures in the Code of Conduct was unique among liberation
movements in Southern Africa", comments the report elsewhere, and "represented
a large step forward in respect of human rights protection within the ANC";
however, "the leadership did not follow these measures through sufficiently."
"The absence of clear lines of demarcation between the powers and responsibilities
of Umkhonto we Sizwe and Mbokodo resulted in a lack of accountability for
the excesses that occurred at Quatro (...) The failure to incorporate Mbokodo
properly into the structures of the ANC created a degree of independence
and unaccountability for the Security apparatus which was detrimental to
the overall interests of the Organisation."
It is perhaps necessary to remind the Commission of the conditions under
which the ANC was operating. The ANC was a banned organisation, and every
effort was made to destroy it. The Movement did not have the resources
of a state; it had limited material means, and was operating in impoverished
and developing countries where apparently elementary necessities were very
difficult to organise. Communications were unreliable and intensively monitored;
transport was always a problem. Angola was in the grip of a devastating
civil war in which UNITA bandits were receiving the support of South Africa
and certain Western countries. To travel in Angola in certain areas was
a life-threatening exercise. All these factors contributed significantly
to the lack of effective management of structures in general, particularly
With regard to various questions asked by the TRC on interventions by individual
leadership figures, all officials, whether specifically tasked to or not,
were obliged to halt any activities which were in conflict with ANC policy
on the treatment of prisoners. We have tried to describe to the Commission
how the ANC's policies evolved to ensure that justice was done and the
human rights of prisoners were protected; in this regard the ANC acted
collectively, not as a result of individual interventions.
Various phases in the ANC's attempts to deal with the problems which arose
must be distinguished. It was between 1981 - 1985 that most of the excesses
took place: this is the period covered by both the Skweyiya and Motsuenyane
Commissions. As noted in the findings of the Motsuenyane Commission, the
adoption of the Code of Conduct at the Kabwe Conference "showed that the
leadership of the ANC was gravely concerned with the need to correct the
indentified wrongs once these had been properly investigated." Steps were
taken but there was weakness in implementing these decisions. Between 1985
- 1987, codes of conduct and policy guidelines had been adopted and mechanisms
were set up to ensure implementation of these decisions. While the ANC
had limited resources, we submit that we used what we had well, and that
there was steady improvement in the structures established to ensure justice
The period from 1987 - 1990, when a new leadership was in place - provisionally
under the Secretary-General, and later on a permanent basis under Joe Nhlanhla
- was characterised by ever-greater vigour in ensuring the protection (at
great expense) of the human rights of hard-core agents who had been involved
in atrocities within and outside the country.
With regard to the ANC's decision to appoint the Mostsuenyane Commission
in 1993 - which cost us R3 million - the Commissioners commented in their
conclusions "It would be wrong to ignore the historic significance of the
investigation the ANC, through this Commission, has undertaken, a first
in the annals of human rights enforcement. By its commitment to this inquiry,
the ANC seeks to breathe life into the lofty principles proclaimed in the
Freedom Charter - to render fundamental human rights the Golden Rule, to
be applied in good times and bad, peace and war" (p. 171.)
The ANC acknowledges that more could have been done in all the periods
under review. And, to the extent that we violated the human rights of prisoners
and suspects, the ANC again expresses regret and apologises to those who
were subjected to ill-treatment, to their families, and to the nation.
Above all the ANC apologises to all who were wrongfully accused of working
with the apartheid regime and other hostile agencies.
3.5. ADDITIONAL NOTES RELEVANTTO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS RAISED
BY THE TRC
3.5.1 The Commission has asked how the ANC justifies the fact that Mzwai
Piliso and Andrew Masondo retained senior posts in the post-1994 administration.
Both Mzwai Piliso and Andrew Masondo were seriously censured by the leadership
of the ANC, as described above. These officials both performed well and
with loyalty to the ANC in their new postings.
In addition, an ailing Mzwai Piliso had to testify to both the Skweyiya
and Motsuenayne Commissions in 1993, where he publicly admitted that he
had to take responsibility for allowing certain abuses to continue. To
continue punishing these officials endlessly would be contrary to humane
practice, and to the ANC's belief that after rehabilitation those members
who had erred should be reintegrated fully into structures. In addition,
these officials had not acted with personal vindictiveness; they had acted
within the broader context of weaknesses and problems afflicting the ANC
as a whole, as outlined in this section of our submission.
As the architect of the policy of reconciliation and nation-building, it
is the view of the ANC that all those who have made mistakes in the past
are capable of mending their ways and contributing to the building of a
We wish to bring it to the attention of the Commission that there are a
number of former agents and champions of the apartheid regime who now occupy
senior positions in public and private institutions. To hound loyal anti-apartheid
fighters who made mistakes in the course of struggle would be to perpetrate
a gross injustice.
3.5.2. The TRC has asked a number of questions concerning action taken
against members of the Security Department of NAT who were or who have
been accused of being guilty of ill-treating pris- oners and suspects.
The names of those members of the Department who were imprisoned for offences
by host governments have also been requested. The TRC has also asked for
the list of NAT personnel which was submitted to the President by the Skweyiya
Commissioners. The full names of all NAT officials mentioned in the Motsuenyane
Commission have been requested by the TRC "for research and investigative
Our answer to these questions is informed by the approach above. Those
who have already been severely punished not only by the ANC or the authorities
of host countries should not continue to be punished endlessly.
The list of names produced by the Skweyiya Commission was based on a fundamentally
flawed process. Some members of NAT were falsely accused of abuses by people
who testified to the Skweyiya Commission. This Commission did not even
give those accused the right of reply, let alone properly examine the allegations
made by witnesses. This is precisely why the Motsuenyane Commission was
appointed.. The Motsuenyane Commission followed a far more rigorous process
of inquiry, and drew conclusions regarding the behaviour of certain members
of the Security sector of NAT.
Certain members of the former Security department will be approaching the
TRC with amnesty applications. If in the course of the investigations of
the TRC, more information is needed regarding any specific incident, the
ANC will provide appropria te assistance to the TRC.
3.5.3. The TRC has requested the "full evidence" on the basis of which
the Stuart, Skweyiya, Motsuen- yane and Thami Zulu inquiries came to their
conclusions, as well as all evidence presented to any other commission
of inquiry set up by the ANC.
The ANC has already supplied the TRC with transcripts of the Motsuenyane
Commission hearings, but does not have access to all the other items of
evidence requested. We regret that we have not been able to locate all
the evidence placed before the 1984 Stuart Commission. All available information
connected with the Thami Zulu inquiry has been submitted to the TRC.
The only other commission of inquiry into incidents of relevance to the
mandate of the TRC was a commission appointed to investigate the circumstances
under which three prisoners had died in Camp 32 in 1987/8, and to generally
review conditions. It was found that two had died of natural causes but
one had been beaten so badly that he died of his injuries. A copy of this
report has been submitted to the TRC.
3.5.4. The TRC has asked several ques- tions regarding the procedures
of all tribunals, military or other- wise, held in the past. All rele-
vant documentation has been requested.
We trust that most of the questions asked by the TRC in this regard have
been answered adequately in this section. We regret that we have not been
able to locate all the documentation requested by the TRC. If further questions
arise regarding the procedures of specific tribunals, the ANC will make
every effort to assist the TRC by ensuring (as far as this is possible)
that those who served on tribunals will give oral evidence to the TRC.
3.5.5. More information has been requested to support our "allega- tion"
that the Douglas "Com- mission of Inquiry" and the Returned Exiles Coordinating
Committee (Recoc) were state- sponsored campaigns to discred- it the ANC.
We believe we have already given the TRC all the information necessary
to allow a thorough investigation of the activities of Recoc, the front
called the International Freedom Foundation, and the Douglas "commission"
by going directly to those responsible for running these stratkom operations.
These include the Strategic Communications committee of the SSC; Adriaan
Vlok, Johan van der Merwe, Lt-Col. Alf Oosthuizen of the former SAP (who
appears to have been the main co- ordinator of this stratkom operation
among others), and whoever else was tasked with stratkom operations within
the former SAP; Paul Erasmus (who has, as we pointed out, given official
documentation on the Recoc operation to the press); the former head of
Military Intelligence, "Joffel" van der Westhuizen, and the former head
of DMI's Communications Operations (renamed Command Communications), Brig.
Ferdi van Wyk; Russel Crystal, who has been involved in stratkom operations
since the 1980s and who fronted for the IFF; evidence gathered by the Skweyiya
Commission into corruption in the former Bophutatswana, which found that
Advocate Douglas had been paid with taxpayers' money secretly routed through
the Bophutatswana "national security council."
There is also the agent who fronted for the SAP's Recoc, Patrick Dlongwana
(who later called himself Hlongwane.) Dlongwana has yet to explain why
he publicly claimed that the "armed wing" of his organisation (the "South
African Republican Army") was responsible for the murder of ANC Midlands
leader Reggie Hadebe, and a massacre in Daveyton in which nine civilians
In this regard, it is clear that the Recoc stratkom went well beyond merely
discrediting the ANC, and was used as a smokescreen for certain so-called
"third force" violence.
Advocate Douglas himself, who is currently representing illegal gambling
houses in KwaZulu Natal, could also possibly assist.
3.5.6. The TRC has asked for the names of those who we described as
having been "wrongfully arrest- ed" in the wake of the discovery of the
spy network in 1981, and in what form apologies were ten- dered to them.
With regard to the TRC's questions concerning those who were "wrongfully
arrested" in the wake of the discovery of the spy network in 1981, we would
like to make the following points: firstly, the term "wrongfully arrested",
as used in our main submission, means that people were arrested because
there were grounds for suspicion that they may have been involved in the
network, and were released when it was found that insufficient evidence
existed to confirm this suspicion. They were not arrested for malicious
Secondly, we feel that listing the names of these people would be a serious
invasion of their privacy, which could result in unjustified suspicions
arising against them in their communities. Apologies were tendered to these
people in different ways; there was no standard form of redress. Some received
personal, verbal apologies from senior leadership figures such as Joe Modise
and/or Joe Nhlanhla. In some cases people were provided with bursaries
to further their studies. In other cases, they wer e assisted with reintegration
into various ANC structures.
3.5.7. The TRC has asked why the ANC did not establish a Commission
to investigate all the deaths of exiles (including "killings, extra- legal
executions, and disappear- ances")?
We reiterate that no "extra-legal executions" were carried out in areas
where the ANC leadership had control over its structures and membership.
We have shown earlier that the ANC leadership acted in accordance with
our Code of Conduct and procedures which were refined over time. Executions
were only carried out after the cases had been considered by a tribunal
or other structure composed of senior leadership.
In fact the ANC did set up a structure to gather information on all deaths
in exile: the Bereaved Parents Committee, which is continuing its work;
and the list submitted to the TRC with our first submission is the product
of their labours.
3.5.8. TheTRC's requested more infor mation on attempts to exchange
The apartheid regime was not interested in attempting to free its agents,
presumably because they felt this would mean acknowledging that our imprisoned
cadres were prisoners of war. They cared very little for those who had
4 VIOLENCE BETWEEN 1990 - 1994
The TRC has asked these questions with regard to what they call "ongoing
conflict" in the post-1990 phase: "It is clearly stated (in the ANC's submission)
that the violence was largely due to Third Force activity. While this may
be true, indications are that ANC members and cadres were involved in the
ongoing conflict. What level of responsibility should the ANC leadership
take for these actions?"
They have also asked whether there is "any record of MK's role in SDU's
and instances where their actions may have resulted in gross human rights
violations - even where actions were understood to be in self-defence?
Can the ANC supply detail about the training, instruction and report-back
structures of the SDU's?" In a closely related question they ask "what
role did MK play in the SDUs in KwaZulu Natal, specifically in operations
against the IFP and KZP members after February 1990? Is there a record
of such MK actions?" The TRC wants a "more detailed account of MK
activities in the Transkei in the early 1990s". They want our response
to "claims that MK - especially operating from the Transkei - was responsible
for the killing or assassination of IFP office bearers, especially in the
The nature of violence, post-1990
The TRC has commented that our first submission "showed limited focus on
the 1990 - 1994 conflict. It is clearly stated that violence was largely
due to Third Force activity. While this may be true, indications are that
ANC members and cadres were involved in the ongoing conflict. What level
of responsibility should the ANC leadership take for these actions?"
We feel that certain misconceptions which may have arisen should be addressed.
Firstly, our first submission did not show "limited focus" on the period
in question. A careful reading of our document will show that considerable
care was taken to highli ght the "anatomy" of state repression in the 1980s,
in describing the concept of counter-mobilisation which underpinned the
thinking of the security establishment, in identifying critically important
covert projects (Ancor, Marion, etc.), and in as precisely as possible,
indicating the key structures tasked with work of this nature, rather than
producing endless examples of the tactical expression of these strategies.
The section on the post-1990 violence should be read as a continuation
of the earlier section on the 1980s. We concentrated on identifying key
features of this period, such as the continued existence of the National
Security Management System, renamed the National Co- ordinating Mechanism
(NCM), the continued existence of covert fronts and projects carried over
from the 1980s in some cases, and what we know of the activities of key
units such as the Directorate: Covert Collection, rather than giving many
examples of the thousands of acts of brutality which characterised this
bloodiest period of South Africa's history, in which around 12000 civilians
were killed. We stated unambiguously that we believe the violence was in
essence a continuation of the violence of the 1980s, and exhibited many
of the features of the violence during that earlier period as described
above in this submission, although it was now projected as "political intolerance"
- or the work of a mysterious "third force" which was supposedly against
both the state and the ANC, intent on derailing negotiations.
According to a recent report, official documents show that the State Security
Council first mooted the idea of a "third force" on 04/11/85. Cabinet minutes
of a meeting held in May 1986, which was chaired by PW Botha, and at which
FW de Klerk was present, show that the creation of this "third force" was
discussed again. It would be complementary to the existing security forces,
it was decided, "so that they will not be unnecessarily compromised". It
is difficult not to conclude that illegal, covertly-managed violence was
being contemplated, for which a specialised unit would possibly be required.
In other words, those engaged in developing plans for this covert force
were fully aware that they were going to break their own laws, and were
attempting to make provision for the principle of "plausible denial" on
the part of both the political leadership and the upper echelons of the
According to SSC and Cabinet minutes, final approval was given for the
setting up of an operations centre from which the "third force" would be
commanded on 22/09/86. But the model for this "third force" - which had
been developed by Niel Barnard, Adriaan Vlok, General Johan Coetzee, and
General Jannie Geldenhuys - was not implemented. According to these minutes,
the Cabinet was informed that structures were already in place to carry
out the tasks envisaged for the "third force". These included the CCB,
Unit C10 of the SB, and the Directorate: Covert Collection of the Department
of Military Intelligence.
In addition to these structures, we urge the TRC to investigate the role
of the Internal Stability Division (the re-named Riot Unit) since the 1980s,
and the Reconnaissance Regiments, particularly 5 Recce, which has been
involved in providing support to Renamo for many years and which was, according
to former member Felix Ndimene, involved in some of the train massacres
in the post-1990 phase.
We again urge the TRC to thoroughly investigate the activities of key NCM
committees including the Cabinet Committee for Security Affairs, the Security
Secretariat (with its various sub-committees, particularly the one tasked
with Strategic Communications), the Security Committee (which replaced
the National Joint Management Centre), and the Joint Security Staff. (More
detail in this regard appears in our first submission on pp. 43-45.)
The former NIS, headed by Niel Barnard until early 1992, was a critically
important role-player at the highest strategic level, and we urge the TRC
to call on Mr Barnard to provide more information in this regard.
If we understand the term "third force" in this sense, the ANC would agree
with the TRC's interpretation of our submission to the effect that most
of the post-1990 violence was "third force" violence. As the official manual
of the National Co-ordinating Mechanism puts it, "the application of the
full powers of the state in order to resist the revolutionary onslaught
is still valid." The post-1990 violence was the work of the state, was
organised at the highest level, and was aimed at strengthening the hand
of the government at the negotiations table by forcing a progressively
weakened ANC into a reactive position in which it would be held hostage
to the violence, and forced to make constitutional concessions.
In this regard, the cynical use of Inkatha in particular remained critically
important. Operation Marion was not terminated when De Klerk came to power.
According to a document dated 12/03/1990, written by General Jannie Geldenhuys,
it is stated that the State President had been briefed on "a range of sensitive
projects" and had given "approval in principle for the running of Stratkom
projects." According to this memo, "covert Stratkom projects are controlled
and managed by the secretary of the State Security Council. This includes
the allocation of areas of work to departments. The secretary of the State
Security Council receives directives and assignments in this regard from
the State President and conveys this to the relevant department. The Stratkom
projects in the attached appendices are managed in consultation with, and
on the request of, the secretary of the SSC." Operation Marion is listed
among the "covert Stratkom projects" in the appendix attached to this memo.
The key question which must at all times be kept in mind is this: who stood
to benefit from the violence?
The ANC was not engaging in "ongoing conflict", nor were the majority of
people on the ground embroiled in "ongoing conflict": they were being attacked
by covert units operating in accordance with the wishes of the apartheid
regime, and by organised, armed "vigilantes" which had, with the assistance
of the NP's intelligence and security forces, established informal military
bases in several hostels from which to launch attacks on civilians in their
homes, on trains, or at bars and vigils. This was fully in line with the
original objectives of Project Marion, and the determination of the De
Klerk administration to maintain control over the pace and content of the
Further information with regard to the use of Low-Intensity Warfare tactics
of this nature - which has not by any means been unique to South Africa
- is provided in an article, from the publication Challenge accompanying
our submission (appendix
We again urge the TRC to investigate those covert operations and key structures
we identified in our first submission, which we are confident will expose
the true nature of the post-1990 violence, and assist in eradicating clandestine
structures still in place to this day. As far as possible, covert units
or fronts were self-financing; some raised funds through illegal activities
such as vehicle theft, the smuggling of ivory and rhino horn, and drug
SDUs in the context of post-1990 state-sponsored violence
With regard to SDUs, we dealt with this question in considerable detail
in our first submission (please refer to pp. 63 - 66.) SDUs were formed
in response to state-sponsored violence which was devastating many communities,
with certain SAP units directly involved in these attacks by omission or
As the violence which exploded on the Reef in July 1990 intensified, there
were repeated calls by communities under attack for MK units to be deployed
to defend them. The ANC (and MK Military HQ) felt that the negotiations
could be jeopardised should MK become formally involved in attempts to
defend people from these attacks, but approved the involvement of MK members
based in communities under threat. in SDU structures.
The ANC also set up a Peace Desk, which included representatives from COSATU,
the SACP, Sanco, and other community organisations. The Peace Desk gathered
information on the violence and participated in structures set up in terms
of the National Peace Accord. The ANC also took the issue of violence to
the negotiations table, and called on the De Klerk regime to take action
to halt the carnage. We took the issue to the United Nations. Despite these
efforts, the violence continued to intensify.
SDUs were established in communities under attack as a joint project between
the ANC and the community concerned. It should also be noted that the legitimacy
of SDU structures was recognised in terms of the National Peace Accord.
As we stated in our first submission, some members of MK Military HQ were
tasked to attend to issues relating to the SDUs, their organisation, training
and the provision of weaponry. The draft document "For the Sake of Our
Lives" clearly states that allowing units of this nature to operate with
party-political bias would be highly dangerous and should be avoided at
all times. A full copy of this document, as requested by the TRC, accompanies
this submission (appendix
9). The units should have been controlled by the communities
in which they operated, but many communities were entirely destabilised
by LIW violence, and organised structures at grassroots levels were almost
It was made clear that the overall control of SDUs was to remain with community
structures, and MK cadres were to participate as members of the community:
MK Command would not play a leading role. Various clandestine units for
the training and organisation of the various SDUs were set up, and some
cadres were tasked to provide weaponry where possible. We do not have records
of MK's role in SDUs since they were not HQ-controlled structures.
Members of SDUs were drawn primarily from the communities in which they
were established. Often they were youths, and in some cases SDUs included
members of MK who lived in those communities.
A dilemma arose with regard to the arming of SDUs. MK members came under
increasing pressure from communities to obtain arms. The ANC called on
communities to make contributions towards to purchase of arms; this was
largely unsuccessful, and the regi me refused to issue weapons licences
to members of SDUs. In addition, people could legally only buy hand guns,
which were futile given the nature of the violence.
The perpetrators of violence were organised and equipped with automatic
rifles and machine guns, including AK 47s. Official spokespersons of the
De Klerk regime pointed to the use of AK's and blamed the ANC; however,
the Cameron Commission discovered t hat the SADF had approximately 38 000
AK 47s at its disposal. Eugene de Kock has testified that in late 1993
he and former undercover SB agent Philip Powell of Inkatha collected truckloads
of weaponry from an Armscor subsidiary, Mechem, including hand grenades,
light machine guns, land mines ammunition and assault rifles (including
AK 47s.) Powell narrowly missed obtaining a further thousand assault rifles
from Eskom (at a cost of R2.1m) this deal had been authorised by the Commissioner
of Police, Johan vander Merwe.
Senior ANC leaders decided that selected SDUs should be assisted in those
areas of the Reef which were hardest hit by destabilisation. Selected members
of MK, including senior officials from the Command structures, were drawn
into an ad hoc structure to assist with the arming of units and to train
and co-ordinate efforts in self-defence in these communities; this was
done on a need-to-know basis. At MK's conference in Venda in August 1991,
the President called on MK to fulfill its responsibility in defending communities
Selected units of the Ordnance structure of MK provided weaponry to certain
SDUs through dead drops or by providing sketches to senior personnel, which
were then passed on. These Ordnance units did not know to whom the materiel
was passed on.
SDUs that had been trained patrolled townships at night, setting up roadblocks
and checking on unusual movements. In some instances, the units carried
out attacks on known warlords in their townships.
Tensions arose between HQ and Natal ANC structures, where some leaders
called for an offensive approach to deal with Inkatha warlords and others
who had been perpetrating violence with impunity for years. The ANC had
to take a very firm stand to preven t offensive action and to maintain
a self-defensive posture.
In a few areas, such as the Vaal, problems arose between "rival" SDUs.
Because of the principle of need-to-know being applied, in areas where
a number of SDUs had been established some SDUs became suspicious of others.
The ANC had to occasionally intervene in an attempt to defuse these tensions.
In addition, as we pointed out in our first submission, the state made
every effort to subvert SDUs in order to prevent any form of sustained
resistance to the state-sponsored violence inflicted on their communities,
and to discredit the ANC. Some SDUs became little more than gangs of criminals,
at times led by police agents, and inflicted great damage on popular, ANC-aligned
community structures: this was well illustrated in the case of the notorious
Phola Park SDU, which was led by an agent of th e SAP, and which we referred
to in some detail in our first submission. Another instance of this nature
is provided by the activities of police agent Sifiso Nkabinde in the Midlands.
We saw the familiar pattern of the state countering the ANC's initiatives
by turning them against us, and against the people in general.
With regard to questions the TRC has asked about MK cadres in the Transkei:
ANC and MK cadres returning from exile and prison, or emerging from the
underground, went to settle in or near the areas where they originally
came from, including the Transkei. Because of the relatively stable security
situation in that territory in comparison to other parts of the country
immediately after the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, some cadres who were
in danger of being killed by apartheid agents, or arrested in the uncertain
period of 1990 - 1991, may also have settled in this area.
As was the case in other parts of the country, MK cadres were tasked with
ensuring the security of the leadership and their own security, and where
applicable, to assist the people in their own self-defence.
With regard to the TRC's request for information on the case of Sipho Phungulwa,
this is contained in an amnesty application.
5. RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RECEIVED FROM THE TRC WITH REGARD TO ACTIVITIES
OF THE FORMER APARTHEID REGIME
5.1. THE NCM (FORMERLY THE NSMS)
The TRC has asked us to "provide evidence illustrating the restructuring
of the NSMS and its subsequent activities."
An original copy of the official handbook on the National Co-ordinating
Mechanism (the renamed National Security Management System) is available
in the set of appendices released with this submission (appendix 10). We
also attach official documents issued in 1992 setting out changes to certain
key structures in the NCM hierarchy (appendix 11).
It is not possible to provide information on the activities of the restructured
NSMS, since this was a not a specific unit or department, but a co-ordinating
mechanism at strategic level designed to ensure that a range of activities
by a various government departments (including the SADF, SAP and NIS) were
carried out in the desired manner. However, a study of the NCM Handbook
will show that various structures at the upper level of the NCM had distinct
We urge the TRC use its powers to obtain information on the activities
of these structures, which is crucial to an understanding of the nature
of the post-1990 violence, from those who were actually responsible for
running them. The activities of the Secretariat of the SSC, which included
a Stratkom branch, and of the Joint Security Staff are of particular importance;
in this regard we refer you to p. 45 of our main submission in which we
explicitly identified the most important structures which, we believe,
should be the focus of inquiries by the TRC.
5.2. ADULT EDUCATION CONSULTANT SAND OPERATION KATZEN
The TRC has requested more information on the activities of Adult Education
Consultants, and the proposed Xhosa Resistance Movement.
A translation of the document in which what was called the "main plan"
for Operation Katzen accompanies this submission (appendix 12)
With regard to Adult Education Consultants (AEC), a memorandum from the
Chief-of- Staff: Intelligence to the Chief of the SADF, titled "Extension
of Counter-Mobilisation Strategy" accompanies this submission (appendix
13). This memo lists over twenty projects running at this time under the
NP's Project Ancor and sub-project Kampong. Adult Education Consultants
was established in order to implement Project Ancor.
With regard to the activities of AEC affiliates, considerable information
on the activities of this group of front companies is readily available
from a range of print media sources. Again, we would urge the TRC to request
information directly from those at SSC Secretariat level who were responsible
for conceptualising these and all other fronts, and those who were tasked
with running such fronts - or to subpoena people if necessary. We specifically
identified key people responsible for these particular operations in our
main submission: see pp 35 and 38. These individuals include Louis Pasques
(who was and possibly still is a member of the Broederbond), Dr. Johan
L. van der Westhuizen (who went on to found the ACDP), Tertius Delport,
"Joffel" van der Westhuizen, "Kat" Liebenberg, Magnus Malan, Louis Pienaar,
Ben Conradie, and the chief of the Army in 1986. After April 1991, responsibility
for Project Ancor was passed to the Chief of the Army, Georg Meiring. It
is highly improbable that Niel Barnard, as head of the NIS, was not involved
in these projects as well.
There were many other fronts, a number of which we mentioned in our main
submission; we trust the TRC intends to ensure that this information comes
to light by actively obtaining information from key officials.
5.3. STEVE BIKO
The TRC has asked what information did Carl Edwards and Craig Williams
have which makes the ANC believe they were involved in his death. We trust
the TRC will question these agents in this regard as they have all relevant
5.4. COVERT OPERATIVES INFILTRATED INTO ANC/MK STRUCTURES,
SDUs, AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANISATIONS
With regard to the TRC's question as to whether the ANC can supply any
evidence substantiating the involvement of South African security forces
in the deaths and disappearances of MK cadres and ANC members, we feel
that the TRC itself has the investigative and research resources available
to pursue this matter, and that this is in fact part of the mandate of
the TRC. Investigations by the TRC have already led to some cases of this
nature coming to light, and we urge the TRC to continue this work.
6. REPARATION AND REHABILITATION
"The Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act...also requires
that we make recommendations on the reparation and rehabilitation of victims.
The views of your party on this matter will be appreciated. The nation
has limited resources, there are a range of initiatives included in the
Reconstruction and Development Programme - and yet, there are individuals
and communities who suffered in a specific way as a result of gross human
rights violations. What is the obligation of the nation towards these people?
What forms of memory, rehabilitation and reparation are reasonably possible?"
The mandate of the TRC with regard to reparations is to make recommendations
to the President about the type of reparations required, and to determine
the number of people entitled to reparations.
The ANC firmly believes that meaningful reparations to the victims of the
system of apartheid are necessary, and in particular to the victims of
gross violations of human rights. Unless there are meaningful reparations,
the process of ensuring justice and reconciliation will be flawed.
The finalisation of the forms, quantum, and implementation of such reparations
must be the responsibility of the State. The State is our only instrument
to ensure that decisions in this regard are related to available resources,
both now and in the foreseeable future.
Further, the State has access to various capacities and instruments within
several line function departments and Ministries which will have to be
mobilised to ensure effective and systematic implementation of sustainable
reparations. For example, special pensions, educational grants, skills
training, medical aid, welfare, the issuing of special medals, the erection
of memorials, and the possibility of a museum in remembrance of those who
suffered these injustices. It is along these lines that we believe the
TRC should look for the forms that reparations and rehabilitation should
The ANC has ensured that government has set up a Ministerial body to look
at the forms reparations could take, and the capacity of government to
implement reparations. This committee has been mandated by the government
to hold discussions with the TR C's committee on reparations. We would
at the same time urge the TRC not to lose sight of the crucial necessity
to identify those who qualify for reparation and rehabilitation.
We take into account the fact that available resources can never match
what would be required to ensure reasonable reparation and rehabilitation
for the gross violations of human rights which arose under apartheid and
in order to bring apartheid to an end. Nonetheless, there is widespread
recognition that there are individuals and strata both within our society
and abroad who have directly benefited from the system which was sustained
by apartheid repression. It would be useful if the Commissioners could
apply their minds to considering the necessity and viability of ensuring
that the doctrine of Odious Debt is given recognition in mobilising some
of the resources that would help make the reparations more feasible.
1 The Rand Daily Mail,
03/12/83; quoted by W.J. Pomeroy in Apartheid, Imperialism, and African
Freedom; International Publishers, New York, 1986. (Banned for possession
in South Africa in December 19988)
2 Mabangalala: The Rise
of Right-Wing Vigilantes in South Africa; Nicholas Haysom; Occasional
Paper No 10, Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand;
1985; page 5
3 Ibid; page 16
4 The Third Day of
September; an eye witness account of the Sebokeng Rebellion of 1984;
page 5. Johannes Rantete. Ravan Press, 1984
ANC STRUCTURES AND PERSONNEL, 1960 - 1994
Please note: In this document we have concentrated mainly on those structures
which are of direct relevance to the mandate of the TRC. There has been
no attempt to cover our diplomatic structures, or departments which fell
under the offices of the Secretary-General or the Treasurer-General over
Most of the information contained in this appendix is drawn from memories.
There may be minor mistakes and omissions.
1. ANC STRUCTURES AND PERSONNEL: PRE - MOROGORO (1969)
Following the banning of the ANC in 1960, OR Tambo was sent out of the
country to represent the ANC abroad; Yusuf Dadoo was deployed to represent
the SACP. After the arrests of most members of MK's National High Command,
some of those who had evaded arrest left the country. Internal ANC (and
SACP) leadership ceased to exist.
Under the leadership of OR Tambo, offices were established in Dar-es-Salaam
in 1964 to organise training of MK cadres. From 1964 onwards an office
was established in Lusaka; by 1965 the ANC's HQ was in Morogoro, Tanzania,
and its main military camp was at Kongwa.
In 1966 the leadership group moved to Morogoro, which became ANC HQ, with
MK becoming the ANC's military wing. In 1967, OR Tambo became Acting President,
after the death of Chief Albert Luthuli. The ANC's Secretary-General was
Duma Nokwe, Moses Kotane filled the post of Treasurer, and Joe Modise commanded
MK. The primary task before them was the reorganisation of the ANC's severely
1.1. The NEC in exile, 1963 - 1969
There were no elected members of the NEC until the 1985 Kabwe Conference.
People were co-opted to this structure as the leadership saw fit. During
the 1960s, the following people were NEC members:
Chair: OR Tambo
Treasurer: Moses Kotane
Secretary General: Duma Nokwe
Other members: Mzwai Piliso, Mendy Msimang, Moses Mabhida, Themba
Mqota, Mark Shope, JB Marks, Tennyson Makiwane, Ambrose Makiwane, Jimmy
Hadebe, Joe Matthews, Alfred Nzo, T.T. Nkobi, Johnny Makathini, Mzwai Piliso,
Robert Resha, Dan Tloome, and Joe Modise.
2. ANC STRUCTURES, 1969 - 1976
At the Morogoro Conference it was decided to form the Revolutionary Council
(RC), tasked with concentrating on the home front, developing internal
structures, creating publicity for the ANC, and waging armed struggle.
The NEC was reduced to eight members after the Morogoro Conference, and
during the period between 1969 - 1985, the NEC and RC (later the PMC) co-opted
additional members as seen fit by the leadership.
The RC expanded over the years by co-opting new members and developing
structures or portfolios, including Communications, Ordnance, Intelligence
2.1. The NEC, 1969 - 1976
Acting President: OR Tambo
Treasurer: Moses Kotane, followed by JB Marks
Secretary-General: Duma Nokwe, succeeded by Alfred Nzo in 1969
Other members: John Motshabi, Mzwai Piliso, Moses Mabhida, Themba
Mqota, JB Marks, Tennyson Makiwane, Ambrose Makiwane, Jimmy Hadebe, Joe
Matthews, Alfred Nzo, T.T. Nkobi, Johnny Makhatini, Robert Resha, Dan Tloome,
Members who were co-opted to the NEC during this period included:
Thabo Mbeki, Chris Hani, Joe Jele, Jacob Zuma, Joe Gqabi, John Nkadimeng,
John Gaetsewe, Robert Manci, Andrew Masondo, Henry Makgothi, Florence Moposho,
The Makiwane brothers and Themba Mqota were expelled in 1972.
2.2. The Revolutionary Council, 1969- 1976
Chair: OR Tambo
Deputy Chair: Yusuf Dadoo
Secretary: Joe Matthews (until 1970), followed by Moses Mabhida
Assistant Secretary: Simon Makana
Other members of the Revolutionary Council, 1969-1976: Joe Modise,
Thabo Mbeki, Jackie Sedibe, Duma Nokwe, Moses Kotane, Tennyson Makiwane,
JB Marx, Robert Resha, Ruth Mompati, John Motshabi, Joe Slovo, Andrew Masondo,
Mzwai Piliso, Reg September, Jacob Masondo, John Gaetsewe.
Military Operations fell under Joe Modise.
The Department of National Intelligence and Security (NAT) was first established
in April 1969 under the leadership of Moses Mabhida.
3. ANC STRUCTURES, 1976 - 1980
In 1976 a Central Operations Headquarters of MK was set up, and the process
of establishing MK training camps in Angola began.
3.1. The NEC, 1976 - 1980
President (as of 1969): OR Tambo
Treasurer: Thomas Nkobi
Secretary General: Alfred Nzo
Administrative secretary of the NEC: Joe Nhlanhla (in 1978)
Other members: Mzwai Piliso, Moses Mabhida, Joe Modise, Joe Jele, John
Motshabi, Andrew Masondo, Robert Manci, Joe Gqabi, Jacob Zuma, Steve Dlamini,
John Nkadimeng, Simon Makana, Florence Moposho, Gertrude Shope, Duma Nokwe,
Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini, Simon Makana.
3.2. Office of the President
Special Operations was set up in 1979 to undertake high-profile acts of
sabotage on key economic installations. This structure reported directly
to OR Tambo.
The first Special Operations Command consisted of Joe Slovo, Montso Mokgabudi
("Obadi"), and Aboobaker Ismail ("Rashid".)
3.3. The Revolutionary Council, 1976 - 1980
Chair: OR Tambo
Secretary: Moses Mabhida
Assistant Secretary: Simon Makana, followed by Job Tlhabane ( "Cassius
Make") in 1977
Other members: Mzwai Piliso, Moses Mabhida, Joe Modise, Joe Jele,
John Motshabi, Robert Manci, Steve Dlamini, Florence Moposho, Gertrude
Shope, Duma Nokwe, Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini, Duma Nokwe, Joe Slovo,
Yusuf Dadoo, Jacob Masondo, John Motshabi, Chris Hani, "Lennox"
Tshali, Peter Dlamini, Bogart Soze
The following members of the RC were co-opted to the structure after 1977:
Joe Gqabi, Mac Maharaj, Godfrey Pule, Jacob Zuma, John Nkadimeng, "Peter"
Tshikare, Sizakele Sigxashe, Andrew Masondo.
The following structures fell under the Revolutionary Council:
3.4. The Internal Political Reconstruction Committee, 1976 - 1980
This committee was charged with re-establishing the political underground
and organising ANC propaganda inside the country.
Chair: John Motshabi
Secretary: Mac Maharaj
Other members: Ray Simons, Reg September, Dan Tloome, John Gaetsewe,
3.5. MK Central Operations HQ, 1976 - 1980
The role of Central Operations HQ was purely to develop armed struggle
internally, and did not control all aspects of MK activities.
Central Operations HQ Personnel: Joe Modise, based in Lusaka, was
responsible for the Western Front (operations via Botswana). He was assisted
by Keith Mokoape and Snuki Zikalala.
Joe Slovo, based in Maputo, was responsible for the Eastern Front (operations
via Swaziland.) He was assisted by Sello Motau ("Paul Dikeledi")
and "Lennox" Tshali and Jacob Zuma.
Logistics and Ordnance (1976 - 1980): Jacob Masondo.
Communications: Jackie Sedibe
3.6. Lesotho, 1976 - 1980
Commanded by Chris Hani and Lambert Moloi. Lesotho reported directly to
the RC. It was in practice run as a separate area, with its own joint command
consisting of political, military and intelligence components.
3.7. Angola (1976 - 1980)
Angola was a special case; it was considered a military zone because of
the war in the country. Various structures, all directly reporting to the
RC, were established in Angola during this period.
The Regional Commander was Mzwai Piliso. Julius Shekeshe took over the
post of Regional Commander in 1979.
Personnel and Training (1976 - 1980): Headed by Mzwai Piliso. This
post entailed responsibility for all MK camps and arranging MK training
abroad. He was assisted by Andrew Masondo (National Commissar), Ronnie
Kasrils (Regional Commissar) and Julius Shekeshe (Regional Commander.)
Commisariat: Headed by Andrew Masondo as of 1976. Political instructors
included Mark Shope, Ronnie Kasrils, Wellington Madolwana ("Francis
Meli"), and Jack Simon. Ronnie Kasrils was Regional Political Commissar
between 1977/78 -1980
Logistics and Ordnance (Angola): Reid Ngake (1976 - 1980)
Security and Counter-Intelligence (Angola, 1976 - 1980): Godfrey
Pule and Sipho Dlamini were key figures in Angola intelligence structures.
Mike Themba ("Mike Sandlana") was in charge of security in Angola
from 1977 - around 1984.
The Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre (originally called Camp 32) was
established in late 1979.
3.8. MK Operations: Regional Structures, 1976 - 1980:
3.8.1. Eastern Front
Four "machineries", or military structures, operated from the
Eastern Front (Maputo via Swaziland):
Commanded by Mduduzi Guma, Lionel Hadebe, Krishna Rabilal, Cyril Raymonds
("Fear"), Zweli Nyanda, "Oscar", Sonny Singh (Bobby
Commanded by "Pass Four" (Johannes Pungula), Henry Chiliza, Mandla
Msibi, Edwin Dlamini ("Chris")
The Transvaal command consisted of Selaelo Ramusi, Siphiwe Nyanda, Ntsie
Manye and Solly Shoke.
Eastern Transvaal Rural:
Commanded by Gilbert Ramano ("Robert Moema"), and then by Glory
Sedibe ("September"), Julius Maliba ("Manchecker"),
and Thabo Gwamanda ("Thabo Mosquito"), Zaba Nkondo was commissar.
3.8.2. Western Front
Two machineries operated from the Western Front (Lusaka via Botswana).
The Botswana Command consisted of Snuki Zikalala and Keith Mokoape.
Commanded by Zakes Tolo and later Thabo Gwamanda ("Thabo Mosquito")
Western Transvaal Rural:
Commanded by Victor Modise
3.9. IPCs at regional level, 1976 - 1980
3.9.1. The Botswana IPC (1976 - 1980) was led by Henry Makgothi
and Dan Tloome. At various times, Jenny and Marius Schoon, Patrick Fitzgerald,
Magirly Sexwale, Zakes Tolo and "Negro" also served on this structure.
3.9.2. The Swaziland IPC (1976- 1980) was led by John Nkadimeng
and Judson Khuzwayo.
It had two sub-sectors:
Natal: led by Judson Khuzwayo, Ivan Pillay and T. Tryon
Transvaal: led by John Nkadimeng, Graham Morodi, Chief Mampuru and
Billy Whitehead ("Archie"), and "General".
3.9.3. The Maputo IPC (1976- 80) Indres Naidoo, Jacob Zuma, John
Nkadimeng, Sue Rabkin, Sonny Singh, John Nkadimeng (Swaziland to Maputo)
3.9.4 The Lesotho IPC (1976 - 1980) Led by Chris Hani and Lambert
Moloi, Linda Mti.
3.10. NAT (1976 - 1980)
Director: Simon Makana took over from Moses Mabhida.
Other members of the Directorate were Godfrey Pule, David Motsweni ("Willy
Williams"), "Peter" Tshikari, and "Ulysses" Modise.
3.11. London RC structure (1976 - 1980)
This was led by. Yusuf Dadoo with Aziz Pahad as Secretary. Other members
were Reg September, Solly Smith, Ronnie Kasrils, Jack Hodgson.
4. ANC STRUCTURES 1980 - 1983
In 1981, in line with the ANC's ongoing attempts to better co-ordinate
political and military activities, Senior Organs consisting of military
and political personnel were established in the Forward Areas.
4.1. The NEC, 1980 - 1983
President: OR Tambo
Treasurer: Thomas Nkobi
Secretary General: Alfred Nzo
National administrative secretary of the NEC: Joe Nhlanhla
Other members: Mzwai Piliso, Moses Mabhida, Joe Modise, Joe Jele,
John Motshabi, Andrew Masondo, Joe Nhlanhla, Robert Manci, Joe Gqabi, Jacob
Zuma, Steve Dlamini, John Nkadimeng, Simon Makana, Florence Moposho, Gertrude
Shope, Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini, Chris Hani.
4.2. Office of the President 1980 - 1983
Commanded by Joe Slovo, Aboobaker Ismail, and "Chris" Nungu until
his death in 1982 in an ambush.
4.3. The Revolutionary Council, 1980 - 1983
Chair: OR Tambo
Secretary: Moses Mabhida
Assistant Secretary: Job Tlhabane ("Cassius Make")
Other members: Joe Slovo, Yusuf Dadoo, Joe Modise, Jacob Masondo,
John Motshabi, Joe Jele, Chris Hani, "Lennox" Tshali, "Peter"
Dlamini, Joe Gqabi, Mac Maharaj, Godfrey Pule, Jacob Zuma, John Nkadimeng,
"Peter" Tshikare, Sizakele Sigxashe, Andrew Masondo, Mzwai Piliso,
Robert Manci, Steve Dlamini, Simon Makana, Florence Moposho, Gertrude Shope,
Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini, Bogart Soze.
4.4. MK Central Operations HQ, 1980 - 1983
Commander Joe Modise, based in Lusaka, was responsible for the Western
Front (operations via Botswana). He was assisted by Keith Mokoape and Snuki
Joe Slovo, based in Maputo, was responsible for the Eastern Front (operations
via Swaziland.) He was assisted by Sello Motau ("Paul Dikeledi")
and Tshali (""Lennox" Tshali").
Communications: Jakie Sedibe
Logistics: Jacob "Mawiele" Masondo
4.5. The Department of Intelligence and Security (NAT), 1980 - 1983
The following appointments were made in 1981:
Director: Mzwai Piliso
Deputy Director and head of Intelligence: Joe Gqabi
Deputy head of Intelligence, and attached to the RC: "Peter"
Head of Processing and Information: Simon Makana
Head of Security: Jan Mampane ("Reddy Mazimbu")
Deputy Head of Security: "Ulysses" Modise
After the assassination of Joe Gqabi in Zimbabwe "Peter" Tshikari
took over as head of Intelligence.
4.6. Senior Organs 1980 - 1983
Each S.O consisted of a joint political/ military committee and the following
substructures: a Political Command, a Military Command, and a NAT structure.
4.6.1. Maputo Senior Organ 1980 - 1983
Chair: John Nkadimeng
Secretary: Jacob Zuma
Other Members: Joe Slovo, R. Manci, Bogart Soze, "Lennox"
Tshali, "Peter" Tshikare , Ronnie Kasrils, Sello Motau ("PaulDikeledi"),
Julius Maliba ("Manchecker")
126.96.36.199. Maputo SO: Political Committee
Chair: Jacob Zuma
Secretary: Ronnie Kasrils - Also Mandla Msibi, John Nkadimeng, Indres Naidoo,
The following structures resorted under the Maputo Political Committee(1980
Led by Graham Morodi ("Tati Mashego"), Oupa Mashinini, and "Comrade
Led by John Nkadimeng, Chief Mampuru, and Billy Whitehead as secretary
Led by Judson Khuzwayo, with Ivan Pillay and Terence Tryon
Led by Shadrack Maphumulo and Jabulani Nxumalo ("Mzala")
188.8.131.52. Maputo SO: Military Command, 1980 - 1983
Chair : Joe Slovo
Secretary: Sello Motau ("Paul Dikeledi")
Members: Julius Maliba ("Manchecker"), Siphiwe Nyanda, Edwin
The following machineries / military structures resorted beneath the Maputo
SO Military Command:
Commanded by Siphiwe Nyanda and Ntsie Manye
Eastern Transvaal Rural:
Commanded by Julius Maliba and Glory Sedibe ("September")
Commanded by Henry Chiliza and later Thami Zulu, Zweli Nyanda, Cyril Raymonds
Commanded by "Pass Four" Pungula, and Edwin Dlamini ("Chris")
4.6.2. Botswana Senior Organ, 1980 - 1983
Chair: Henry Makgothi, succeeded by Lambert Moloi
Leading figures in this SO during this period were Billy Masetlha, Keith
Mokoape, Dan Tloome, Marius and Jenny Schoon, Patrick Fitzgerald (the latter
three were forced to leave Botswana during this period), Wally Serote,
Thabang Makwetla, Hassan Ebrahim.
4.6.3. Lesotho 1980 - 1983
Until the coup, Chris Hani, Lambert Moloi, Linda Mti.
4.6.4. Angola, 1980 - 1983
For the first time a full formal Regional Command with established structures
was created 1980. The Regional Command was composed as follows between
1980 - 1989.
Simon Shekeshe, followed by Graham Morodi in around 1982; then Godfrey
Ngwenya who was injured in a UNITA ambush in around 1985, then Ali Makhosini.
Successively, Thami Zulu (Mzwakhe Ngwenya), Timothy Mokoena (Godfrey Ngwenya),
Raymond Monageng (Robert Mandita), Thabi Mofokeng (Steven Kobe), David
Ngwezane (Ben Senokoanyane)
Successively, Mike Temba, Edwin Mabitse (Edward Mabitsela), Che O'Gara
(January Masilela), Herbert Malinga, Rufus Mbilini.
Regional Chief of Security:
Successively, Alfred Wana (Mdala), Captain Lentsoe (Moeketsi), Morris Seabelo
(Dantili), Zolile Zozi ("Dexter Mbona"), Caeser Kate (Mphakamisi
Regional Chief of Personnel:
Successively, the late Joseph Vooki (Arios Molefe), Peter Seeiso (Phillip
Sebothoma), Tony Montori (Jeremiah M. Nyembe.)
Regional Chief of Logistics:
Successively, Theodore Mothobi, Reid Ngake, Albert Mabeleng.
Regional Chief of Transport:
Successively, Reid Ngake, Graham Morodi ("Dan Mashego"), Frans
Regional Medical Officer:
Successively, Dr Peter Mfelang, Dr Sipho, Dr. "Hagar McBerry"
Regional Chief of Communications:
5. ANC STRUCTURES 1983 - 1985
The Senior Organs in the forward areas had not been particularly effective
in improving co-ordination between the political and military aspects of
struggle. In April 1983 a conference of all Front commanders and commissars
was held in Luanda to address the continuing problem of a lack of effective
co-ordination between the military and political aspects of struggle. It
was felt there should be joint planning, command and control in all operations;
and the ANC had to move towards building military structures inside the
country, taking a longer-term view and preparing the ground for peoples'
war in order to sustain military operations, rather than carrying out a
string of one-off "pot boiling" actions.
The NEC resolved to intensify its work both inside and outside the country.
External work was to be co-ordinated by a newly-created External Coordinating
The Revolutionary Council was replaced by the Politico-Military Council
(PMC), which became the executive arm of the NEC in relation to all matters
pertaining to the conduct of the political and military struggle inside
South Africa. The PMC co-ordinated the activities of the Political HQ,
Military HQ, and NAT, and was supported in its activities by a small Secretariat.
By 1983 a new Military Headquarters (MHQ) had been established, bringing
together and reorganising the old general HQ along formal military lines.
The PMC met once a month and was tasked with the overall strategic planning
for internal ANC/MK work, and to assess the state of the nation. The executive
committee of the PMC, the Secretariat, met between full PMC meetings on
a weekly basis.
The Senior Organs were replaced by Regional Politico-Military Committees
(RPMCs), and were also given the authority and responsibility for making
operational decisions. The RPMCs were charged with co-ordinating political
and military activities in their areas of responsibility, and (where possible)
setting up Area PMCs inside the country. Area PMCs would be responsible
for providing local-level leadership on political and military matters,
the gathering of intelligence, and the screening of recruits.
5.1. The NEC 1983 - 1985
President: OR Tambo
Treasurer: Thomas Nkobi
Secretary General: Alfred Nzo
Administrative secretary of the NEC: Joe Nhlanhla.
Other members: Mzwai Piliso, Moses Mabhida, Joe Modise, Joe Jele,
John Motshabi, Andrew Masondo, Robert Manci, Joe Gqabi, Jacob Zuma, Steve
Dlamini, John Nkadimeng, Simon Makana, Gertrude Shope, Florence Moposho,
Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini.
5.2. The External Co-ordinating Committee, 1983 - 1985
Chair: Alfred Nzo
Secretary: Hermanus Loots
Other members: Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini
5.4. The Politico-Military Council (PMC), 1983 - 1985
Chair: OR Tambo
Treasurer: Reg September
The Secretary of the PMC was Joe Nhlanhla, until 1987
MHQ representatives on the PMC: Joe Modise, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani.
PHQ representatives on the PMC: Joe Jele, Mac Maharaj, Jacob Zuma, John
Motshabi, Ruth Mompati
NAT representative on the PMC: Mzwai Piliso
Other members included: Alfred Nzo, T.T. Nkobi, Job Tlhabane ("Cassius
Make"), Sizakele Sigxashe, Andrew Masondo, Moses Mabhida, John Nkadimeng.
The following structures fell under the PMC:
5.5. Political HQ (1983 - 1985)
John Motshabi, Joe Jele, Mac Maharaj, Jacob Zuma, Jabu Molekane, Joel Netshitenzhe,
Vusi Mavimbela, Ellen Khuzwayo, Gertrude Shope, Ruth Mompati.
5.6. Military HQ, 1983 - 1985
Commander -in -Chief: OR Tambo
Army Commander: Joe Modise
Chief of Staff: Joe Slovo (1983 - 1985);
Deputy Army Commander and Commissar: Chris Hani (1983 - 1985)
Chief of Operations: Lambert Moloi (1983 - 1992)
Chief of Communications: Jackie Molefe (1983 - 1992)
Chief of Military Intelligence: Ronnie Kasrils (1983 - 1987)
Chief of Ordnance / Logistics: Job Tlhabane (1983 - 1987);
Special Operations no longer reported directly to the President.
Aboobaker Ismail was appointed overall commander of Special Operations,
and reported to Joe Slovo at MHQ.
5.7. NAT National Directorate (1983- 1985)
Director: Mzwai Piliso
Deputy Director and head of
Counter-Intelligence: "Peter" Tshikari
Head of Intelligence: "Ulysses" Modise
Head of the Central Intelligence
Evaluation Sector (CIES): Sizakele Sigxashe
5.8. Regional Politico-Military Councils 1983 - 1985
5.8.1. Maputo RPMC/ Co-ordinating Mechanism in Swaziland, 1983 - 1985
(included Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe before 1985)
Joe Slovo, Jacob Zuma, "Lennox"Tshali, Bogart Soze, Sello Motau
("Paul Dikeledi"), Siphiwe Nyanda and John Nkadimeng.
After the signing of the Nkomati Accord in 1984, the Maputo RPMC was replaced
by a co-ordinating mechanism in Swaziland.
This was chaired by Ronnie Kasrils (1984), then Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim
(1985 - 86) Other members included Thami Zulu, Siphiwe Nyanda, and a NAT
Two regional PMCs reported to the co-ordinating mechanism in Swaziland:
the Natal Regional PMC, led by Shadrack Maphumulo, Ivan Pillay,
Thami Zulu, Cyril Raymonds ("Fear"), Terence Tryon, and Doris
Transvaal Regional PMC, led by Siphiwe Nyanda, Sello Motau ("Paul
Dikeledi"), "September", Ntsie Manye and "Archie"
Each of these RPMCs had Military, Political and NAT structures.
Politico- Military machineries resorting under this RPMC were as follows:
Led by Ivan Pillay, Thami Zulu, and Terence Tryon
Led by Shadrack Maphumulo and Doris Skosana
Led by Siphiwe Nyanda, Sello Motau, and Solly Shoke
Led by "Archie" and Glory Sidebe ("September")
5.8.2. Botswana RPMC, 1983 - 1985
Botswana structures went through a number of rapid changes in the 1980s
because of a number of cross-border attacks and severe infiltration by
In 1983, Lambert Moloi headed the Botswana RPMC. In 1984, a Co-ordinating
Committee was established, consisting of representatives from military
and political structures.
Chair: Thabang Makwetla, followed by Thenjiwe Mthintso
Political representative: Wally Serote
Military representative: Lambert Moloi - Also Rogers Nkadimeng (killed
in a car bomb in Gaborone, 1985)
The political machinery resorting under the Botswana RPMC at this time
was led by Wally Serote and Thabang Makwetla.
The military machinery was led by Thenjiwe Mthintso, Patrick Mavundla ("Naledi"),
5.8.3. Lesotho RPMC, 1983 - 1985
This RPMC was headed by Judson Khuzwayo, with "Wana", Linda Mti,
Skenjana Roji and Thenjiwe Mthintso (between 1982 - 1983.)
5.8.4. London RPMC, 1983 - 1985
Chair: Aziz Pahad
5.3.7. Angola, 1983 - 1985
Angola was a military zone under a Regional Command.
Angola Regional Command:
Commander: Timothy Mokoena (Godfrey Ngwenya) (1984 - 1987)
Commissar: January Masilela (1985 - 1986)
NAT: "Morris Seabelo" Dantili
6. ANC STRUCTURES, 1985 - 1990
The Kabwe Conference was held in May 1985. In response to the sharp increase
in mass struggle inside the country, Political HQ was replaced with a strengthened
Internal Political Committee (IPC) in 1987.
Operation Vula was launched in 1986, with Joe Slovo assisting the President.
Mac Maharaj and Ronnie Kasrils were among the leading figures in this project.
By 1988, Mac Maharaj and Siphiwe Nyanda had been infiltrated into the country.
MHQ was also extended, with the appointment of a number of deputies at
A Code of Conduct was adopted. In terms of the general (civilian) Code
Of Discipline, three offices were established specifically to better regulate
disciplinary procedures, and halt abuses that had been occurring. These
were the Review Board, the Officer of Justice, and the National Peoples'
A Provisional Directorate of Intelligence and Security was created to run
NAT, and action was taken to clarify the command structures over NAT personnel
deployed in Angola. A President's Council (also referred to as the National
Security Committee) was established in the latter half of 1987, and was
chaired by OR Tambo; this committee had the brief of overseeing the functioning
of NAT and dealing with security issues in general.
6.1. The NEC, 1985 - 1990
For the first time the ANC had a fully -elected NEC, consisting of 28 members.
President: OR Tambo
Secretary-General: Alfred Nzo
Treasurer: Thomas Nkobi
Other members: Johnny Makathini, Simon Makana, Joe Slovo, Thabo Mbeki,
Chris Hani, Moses Mabhida (until his death in 1986), Tony Mongalo, Dan
Tloome, John Motshabi, John Nkadimeng, Mac Maharaj, Cassius Make (until
his assassination in Swaziland in 1987), Florence Moposho, Joe Nhlanhla,
Joe Modise, Ruth Mompati, Henry Makgothi, Pallo Jordan, Jacob Zuma, Joe
Jele, Sizakele Sigxashe, Robert Manci, Gertrude Shope, Francis Meli, Reg
September, Jackie Selibi, Hermanus Loots ("James Stuart"), Steve
Tshwete, Zola Skweyiya.
Other NEC members were co-opted in 1987: Ronnie Kasrils, Jackie Sedibe,
Aziz Pahad, and "Bra T" (Godfrey Ngwenya), and Sindiso Mfenyane.
6.2. The Office of the President, 1985 - 1990
The President's Committee
This committee was established in late 1987.
Chair: OR Tambo
Other members: The Secretary-General, Alfred Nzo; the Treasurer General,
Thomas Nkobi; the head of NAT, Joe Nhlanhla; Joe Modise.
The Office of Justice
This Office also reported to the President.
Chair: Zola Skweyiya (appointed by the NEC in 1985.)
The National Review Committee (the Review Board)
The Review Board reported to the President and the NSC.
Chair: Dan Tloome
The National Peoples' Tribunal (the Tribunal)
The Tribunal was appointed for a period of three years by the NEC. The
President appointed the Chair from among the members of the Tribunal. The
Tribunal would recommend sentences to the President, who would usually
refer such cases to the Review Board. After the Board had dealt with a
case, sentence would be confirmed by the President and carried out.
Chair: Hermanus Loots ("James Stuart"): appointed in late 1985
Other members: Shadrack Pekane; Z.N. Jobodwana.
6.3. External Co-ordinating Committee 1985- 1990
Chair: Alfred Nzo; also Thabo Mbeki, Johnny Makathini, and Hermanus Loots
6.4. The PMC, 1985 - 1990
Chair: OR Tambo
The Secretary of the PMC Secretariat was Joe Nhlanhla (1983/84-87), followed
by Joe Jele (1987-90)
MHQ representatives on the PMC: Joe Modise, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Steve
Tshwete, Ronnie Kasrils, Job Tlhabane (until 1987)
PHQ was replaced by the Internal Political Committee in 1987. PHQ/IPC representatives
on the PMC during the period from 1985 - 1990 were: Mac Maharaj, Joe Jele,
Jacob Zuma, Ruth Mompati, Steve Tshwete, and Joel Netshitenzhe.
NAT representatives on the PMC: Mzwai Piliso (until 1987); and then Joe
Nhlanhla and Sizakele Sigxashe
Other members 1984 - 1987 included Moses Mabhida and John Nkadimeng.
The following structures resorted under the PMC
6.3.1. Political HQ until 1987, when it was replaced by the Internal
Political Committee in 1987:
PHQ was led by Joe Jele, with Mac Maharaj, Jacob Zuma, Ruth Mompati, Steve
Tshwete and Joel Netshitenzhe.
6.3.2. Military HQ, 1985 - 1990
Army Commander: Joe Modise
Chief-of-Staff: Joe Slovo (1985 - 1987) Chris Hani (1985 - 1992)
Commissar: Chris Hani (1985 - 1987) Steve Tshwete (1987) Godfrey Ngwenya
(1987 - 1992)
Chief of Operations: Lambert Moloi (1983 - 1992)
Deputy: Julius Maliba (1987 - 1994)
Chief of Communications: Jackie Molefe (1983 - 1992
Deputy: Castro Bela (1987 - 1994))
Chief of Military Intelligence: Ronnie Kasrils (1983 - 1989), Keith Mokoape
(1989 - 1992) Mojo Motau (acting head as of 1992)
Deputy: Keith Mokoape (1987 - 1989)
Chief of Ordnance and Logistics: Job Tlhabane (1983 - 1987)
In 1987 Ordnance and Logistics were separated into two separate sections:
Logistics: Bogart Soze
Ordnance: Aboobaker Ismail (1987 - 1994)
Special Operations: Aboobaker Ismail until August 1987; then "Tommy
6.3.3. The NAT Directorate, 1985 - 1990
After the Kabwe Conference, the NEC appointed a Provisional Directorate
of Intelligence and Security to run this Department.
Director: Joe Nhlanhla (confirmed in 1987)
Deputy Director and Head of Intelligence: Jacob Zuma (1988)
Administrative Secretary: M. Timol
Head of CIES/ Processing and Analysis: Sizakele Sigxashe
Head of Counter-Intelligence and Security: "Peter" Tshikari"
(until 1986); then Jan Mampane
6.4. Regional Politico-Military Committees (RPMC's), 1985 - 1990
6.4.1. Swaziland RPMC, 1985 - 1990:
Chair: Ronnie Kasrils (chair, 1984); Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, until 1986
when he was abducted; Siphiwe Nyanda (1986 - 87/88); Silumko Sokupa (1988
Other members: Sello Motau ("Paul Dikeledi") (1985 -1987);
Thami Zulu (1985 -1988); Vusi Mavimbela (1985 - ); Welile Nhlapo (1985
- ) Shadrack Maphumulo (1985 -1987, when he was killed ).
These committees resorted under the Swaziland RPMC:
"Ivan" chaired the Natal structure
Billy Whitehead ("Archie") chaired the Transvaal structure
Siphiwe Nyanda headed Transvaal structures
Thami Zulu headed Natal structures
6.4.2 Lesotho RPMC, 1985 - 1990
The RPMC which had previously been working in Lesotho was structured as
follows during this period:
Chair: Charles Nqakula
Chair of the Political Committee: Mzukisi Gaba
Chair of the Military Committee: Skenjana Roji
Chair of the Labour Committee: Tony Yengeni.
In 1987 - 1988 this RPMC was restructured as follows:
Chair: Charles Nqakula
Chair of the Military Committee: James Ngculu
Head of Special Operations: Edwin Mabitsela
Security and Intelligence structures remained in place. Additional members
taken on in this period were Lindinto Hlekani, Steve Tshwete, and Chris
6.4.3. Botswana RPMC, 1985 - 1990
Botswana RPMC, mid-1985
After the Kabwe Conference, an RPMC was established to replace the Co-ordinating
Chair: Thenjiwe Mthintso, until 1987; then Thabang Makwetla
Military representative: "Naledi" (Patrick Mavundla)
Political representative: Wally Serote
Structures resorting under the 1985 RPMC in Botswana included the following:
Political Committee: chaired by Thabang Makwetla
Military Committee: chaired by Thenjiwe Mthintso
Botswana RPMC, 1986:
In 1986, the RPMC had to change; Wally Serote was withdrawn to Lusaka.
Chair: Barry Gilder (temporarily), then Thenjiwe Mthintso
Secretary: Thabang Makwetla
Military representative: Dan Hatto and Patrick Mavundla ( "Naledi")
Structures resorting under the 1986 Botswana RPMC were as follows:
Political machinery: Thabang Makwetla, Thabo Kubu, James Raditsela,
Mapule Raditsela, Hassan Ebrahim, Kgomotso Jolobe.
Military machinery: Patrick Mvundla ("Naldei Sehume",
who was killed in the SADF raid of 28/03/88); Boy Molokoane (who was killed
in an ambush outside Francistown in January 1988); "Itumeleng"
Tsimane, and Dan Hatto.
Botswana RPMC 1987
After 1986, structures had to change again and the RPMC was composed of
the following cadres:
Chair: Thabang Makwetla
Other members: January Masilela, Zakes Tolo, James Ngculu, Barry
During this period a specialised structure concentrating on the Western
Cape was set up and was composed of the following cadres: James Ngculu,
Dick Ngomane, "Blah" Riekets, and later Miranda Ngculu.
6.4.4. Zimbabwe RPMC, 1985 - 1990
This RPMC was only set up in 1985.
Chair: Julius Maliba ("Manchecker")
Secretary: Garth Strachan
Other members: Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Linda Mti, Jabulani Nkabinde, and
The Zimbabwe RPMC had three committees:
Chair: Ngoako Ramatlhodi (1986 - 1987)
Secretary: Garth Strachan
Other members: Derek and Trish Hanekom; Jimmy Corrigall; Pete Roussos
Chair: Julius Maliba (1985 - 1986) Jabulani Nkabinde (1986 - 1992)
Other members: "Ali", "Oliver", Benjamin Mongalo
There were also NAT representatives.
Ordnance: the head of the regional Ordnance structure was Benjamin
Mongalo, who reported directly to Lusaka. An additional structure was set
up under J. Modimo, tasked with infiltrating arms into the country, which
also reported directly to Lusaka.
6.4.5. London RPMC, 1985 - 1990
Chaired by Aziz Pahad; also Wally Serote.
6.4.6. Angola, 1985 - 1989
Regional Commander: Timothy Mokoena (until 1987)
"Ali" Makhosini (1987 - 1989)
Deputy Commander: Mike Sandlana (until 1989)
Regional Commissar: January Masilela (until 1987/8)
NAT representative: Dexter Mbona (1986 - 1989)
Regional NAT structure:
Head: Dexter Mbona (1985 - 1989)
Deputy head: Gabriel Mthembu ("Sizwe Mkhonto"), 1984- 1986
6.4.7. Uganda (1989 - 1991)
Commander: Thabi Mofokeng
Head of Regional NAT Directorate: Quesh Dlamini
7. ANC STRUCTURES 1990 - 1994
With the unbanning of the ANC, the release of the ANC leadership from prison
and the return of exiles, many changes took place. A range of new structures
had to be set up to meet the challenge of negotiations and the return of
exiles. Tokyo Sexwale was tasked with attempting to take care of the need
of MK cadres until MK HQ personnel arrived in the country. Key structures
set up during this period included the Negotiations Commission. In response
to the state-sponsored violence which took off in July/August 1990, a Peace
Desk was established.
Political structures at HQ were re-organised into an internal re-organisation
committee, which Ronnie Kasrils, Steve Tshwete and Sue Rabkin as key officials.
Here we concentrate only on those structures which are of relevance to
the mandate of the TRC.
7.1. The NEC, 1990 - July 1991
The NEC as constituted after the Kabwe Conference was reinforced by released
The NEC, 1991 - 1994
At the National Conference in July 1991, the following people were elected:
President: Nelson Mandela
National Chairperson: OR Tambo
Deputy President: Walter Sisulu
Secretary-General: Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy Secretary-General: Jacob Zuma
Treasurer-General: Thomas Nkobi
The rest of the NEC:
Kader Asmal, Thozamile Botha, Cheryl Carolus, Jeremy Cronin, Ebrahim Ismail
Ebrahim, Harry Gwala, Chris Hani, Pallo Jordan, Ronnie Kasrils, Ahmed Kathrada,
Terror Lekota, Saki Macozoma, Mac Maharaj, Rocky Malebane-Metsing, Winnie
Mandela, Trevor Manuel, Gill Marcus, Barbara Masekela, Thabo Mbeki, Raymond
Mhlaba, Wilton Mkwayi, Andrew Mlangeni, Joe Modise, Popo Molefe, Ruth Mompati,
Mohammed Valli Moosa, Elias Motsoaledi, Mendi Msimang, Sydney Mufamadi,
Billy Nair, Sister Bernard Ncube, Joe Nhlanhla, John Nkadimeng, Siphiwe
Nyanda, Alfred Nzo, Dullah Oimar, Aziz Pahad, Albie Sachs, Reg September,
Albertina Sisulu, Zola Skweyiya, Joe Slovo, Marion Sparg, Raymond Suttner,
Steve Tshwete, Mcwayizeni Zulu.
7.2. Office of the President, 1991 - 1994
This was closed down after 1991.
7.3. Military HQ, 1990 - 1994
Commander-in-Chief: Nelson Mandela
Army Commander: Joe Modise
Chief of Staff: Chris Hani (1985 - late 1992) Siphiwe Nyanda (1993-1994)
Deputy Chief-of-Staff: Siphiwe Nyanda (until late 1992)
Chief of Personnel: Godfrey Ngwenya
Deputy: Johannes Modimo
Chief of Operations: Lambert Moloi (1983 - 1992)
Chief of Communications: Jackie Molefe (1983 - 1992)
Chief of Military Intelligence: Ronnie Kasrils (1983 - 1987) Keith Mokoape
Logistics: Bogart Soze
Ordnance: Aboobaker Ismail (1987 - 1994)
(Note: most of these posts were no longer operational posts in accordance
with the ANC's commitment to suspend armed actions in 1990.)
7.4. The NAT Directorate, 1990 - 1994
Director: Joe Nhlanhla
Head of Intelligence: Jacob Zuma, until 1993; Terror Lekota, 1993; Alfred
Nzo, 1993 - 1994
Head of Counter-Intelligence: Daniel Oliphanti
Deputy Head, CI: Lizo Njenje
Head of Security: J. Mampane
Head of marshalls/
Deputy head, Security: Nceba Skumbuzo Radu, 1992 - 1994
Administrative Secretary: Billy Masetlha (1991 - 1994)
APPENDIX TWO MK CAMPS AND COMMANDERS
During the period from 1976 - 1980, camps in Angola fell under the command
of the late Mzwandile Piliso, at the time head of the department of Military
Training and Personnel. In 1980, Simon Shekeshe ("Julius Mokoena")
was appointed Regional Commander. He was succeeded by Graham Morodi ("Mashego")
in 1982. Godfrey Ngwenya
("Timothy Mokoena") was the next Regional Commander until 1985
when he was injured in a UNITA ambush, and then Ali Makhosini took over
this post. The following MK camps were maintained by the ANC in Angola;
all camps were closed down in 1989, when military structures were shifted
to Uganda and Tanzania.
Gabela Training Camp
This was the first training camp to be opened in Angola by the ANC, in
1976. It catered for the first group of 40 MK cadres to receive military
training in Angola, and was under the command of FAPLA and Cuban instructors.
Gabela Training Camp was merged with Benguela Camp in 1977.
Engineering Luanda (Transit Camp)
This camp opened in late 1976 and was closed in mid-1977. It catered for
only two intakes of cadres who were in transit to training camps. The average
number of cadres present was 200.
Commander: Simon Shekeshe, then "Castro" Ramokgopa
Benguela Transit Camp
This transit camp was established in mid 1977 for cadres who had been at
Engineering Camp and Gabela camp, and who were on their way to open Nova
Catengue Training Camp. The numerical strength was around 300 cadres. The
camp was closed in 1982.
Commanders: Simon Shekeshe, followed by "Dlokolo."
Nova Catengue Training Camp
Established in 1976, this camp accommodated around 500 cadres from the
transit camps listed above. The camp was destroyed in an aerial bombardment
in 1979, based on intelligence supplied to the apartheid regime by infiltrators
Commander: Simon Shekeshe.
Quibaxe Training Camp
Originally a transit camp established in September 1977, it became a training
camp in 19.. It accommodated around 200 cadres. The camp closed in 1989.
Commanders: Successively, Parker Tsie (1977 - 1980), Oupa G. Banda, Seremane
Kgositsile ("Kenneth Mahamba"), Livingstone Tom Gaza, Herbert
Malinga, and Lloyd Mabizela, Sydney Mpila.
Funda Training Camp
Established in 1976, this camp usually had fewer than 100 cadres present
at any time. It was closed in 1988. This camp provided specialised training.
Commanders: Zakes Tolo, then Seeiso Morapedi.
Fazenda Military Camp
Fazenda camp was established in 1978. It catered for trained cadres who
were undergoing further training courses, including "survival"
training. The numerical strength was around 200 cadres at any time. It
was closed in 1980 or early 1981 when it was merged with Quibaxe camp.
Commander: Livingstone Tom Gaza
Founded in 1979 after the destruction of Nova Catengue in April that year.
The numerical strength was around 400 cadres at any time. It closed in
Commanders: Successively, Thami Zulu (1979 - 1981), Seremane Kgositsile,
Godfrey Ngwenya, Matthews Nkosi, Phillip Sebothoma, Dumile Thabekhulu,
Viana Transit Camp (also known as Camp 001)
Established in 1979, this camp catered for newly recruited members of MK
on their way to other camps for military training. The average strength
of the camp was around 400 cadres. It closed in 1989.
Commanders: Sucessively, Dan Hatto, Golden Rahube, Steven Kobe, Johnson
Langa, Lawrence Madi, Leepo Modise.
Hoji Ya Henda (also known as Camalundi)
Founded in 1980, the camp was short-lived and was closed in January 1981,
when it was shifted to Caculama and became known as Caculama Camp or Malanje.
It catered for around 300 - 400 cadres at any time.
Commanders: Mzwakhe Ngwenya, then Godfrey N. Ngwenya
Established in January 1981, as described above. Around 400 cadres were
accommodated at this camp. It was closed in 1989.
Commanders: Successively, Godfrey N. Ngwenya, Sipho Binda, Thibe Lesole,
Dumisane Mafo, Themba Nkabinde, Steven Kobe.
Caxito Training Camp
This camp replaced Funda camp in 1979. The number of cadres varied from
time to time but seldom more than 100 were present. Caxito was in a malaria
infested area and was for this reason closed down in 1984.
Commanders: Successively, Andile Ndzanga, Robert Mandita, Dumile Thabekhulu,
and Ben Senokoanyane.
REHABILITATION AND DETENTION CENTRES
1. The Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre
(also known as Camp 32 or Quatro)
This facility was opened in 1979 and closed down in 1989, when inmates
were moved to a government facility in Uganda.
The commanders of Camp 32 were successively: Sizwe Mkhonto, Morris Seabelo,
Afrika Nkwe (for a few months only), Mzwandile Damoyi and William Masango.
Note: more information on Camp 32 appears in the NAT Operations report.
2. The RC, Lusaka
Initially this building was used by Military HQ, and MK cadres who had
been found guilty of disciplinary offences would be confined here for limited
periods as punishment - a kind of "detention barracks." Later,
it was used to hold discovered agents or definite suspects in transit to
Camp 32. It was closed in 1987 when Sun City was opened to take its place.
Conditions at the RC were good, and very few people were held here at any
time; it is not possible to give an estimate, as requested by the TRC,
for the number of inmates at the RC at any one time. The RC did not have
a commander as such; those responsible for people held at the RC would
be senior MK and NAT officials in the region.
3. Sun City, Lusaka
Sun City was opened in 1988 and closed in 1991. It was not like Camp 32,
with a command structure - it was largely a holding facility, as described
above. There were one or two guards, and Jan Mampane ("Reddy Mazimba")
of the Regional NAT Directorate was responsible for people held at Sun
City. Most of those held were definite suspects who had been isolated for
purposes of investigation, and some who could not be held at Camp 32 because
it was so badly overcrowded.
4. Various holding facilities and the rehabilitation centre known as
"The Farm" in Tanzania.
A brief description of the ANC's facilities in Morogoro and Dakawa is necessary
to clear up confusion which may have arisen. The Solomon Mahlangu Freedom
College was built in Morogoro in the late 1970s. There was a primary school,
high school, day care centre and also an adult education centre, with staff
houses and other facilities. Unit 1 was part of the dormitory and kitchen
area, and a small office was used here to briefly confine people who had
committed serious breaches of discipline before they were sent to Lusaka
for their cases to be considered. It was not a prison in any sense of the
The Tanzanian government also had an office and representative at the entrance
to the complex, where there was a temporary holding facility since there
was no police station in the immediate area. People who had broken the
laws of the land would at times be held here by the Tanzanian government
before being taken to the nearest police station, after which the law would
take its normal course. This too was not in any sense a prison.
The Farm was established in late 1987 as a rehabilitation centre for ANC
members based in the area who had committed offences in terms of the ANC's
code of conduct, but whose cases the Tanzanian government considered too
petty to be dealt with in their courts of law (for example, stealing and
selling clothing.) It was also at times used as a holding facility for
confessed agents and definite suspects whilst the security structures in
Tanzania were waiting for tickets to arrive from Lusaka so that these agents
or definite suspects could be flown out of the area. Conditions were not
harsh; the centre consisted of proper buildings with tiled rooves; there
was running water and flush toilets.
In 1989, when all camps were closed down in Angola, a batch of six dangerous
agents who had in fact been sentenced to death by tribunal, but who had
not been executed, arrived in Tanzania. The local NAT structures had no
information as to why these agents had arrived in Tanzania and were alarmed
at their appearance in this civilian area; they temporarily confined these
agents at the Farm whilst seeking clarity from structures in Lusaka. The
Tanzanian government assisted by clearing a wing of a local prison to confine
these agents. Conditions in the prison were not harsh.
The regional NAT structures responsibile for these holding facilities and
the rehabilitation centre during the 1980s were headed successively by
Daniel Oliphant ("Mtu Jwili"), Gabriel Mthembu ("Sizwe Mkhonto"),
and David Motshweni ("Willy Williams").
5. The Ugandan prison
By the time Camp 32 was closed down, there was a total of 69 prisoners.
After negotiations with the Ugandan government, they were transferred to
a small prison in the town of Kayunga, where conditions were considerably
better. The number of prisoners was further reduced by releases until only
32 of the most hardened agents remained; these too were released in 1991.
The head of NAT structures in the region was Wandile Dlamini; Lister Mooi
along with Ugandan prison officials were responsible for guarding the prisoners.
Return to Contents
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operations report
1. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ARMED STRUGGLE
"The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain
only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa.
We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means
within our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom".
The objective of the armed struggle was the overthrow of the apartheid
state in order to achieve democracy, freedom and peace in South Africa.
The ANCs decision to embark on armed struggle was reached after many decades
of non-violent resistance, which was met by increasingly brutal repression
by the apartheid regime.
The African National Congress (ANC) had no choice but to resort to armed
struggle after the National Party government first narrowed the arena of
legal political activity and finally closed it in 1960 by banning the movement.
The ANC asserted moral legitimacy for the resort to violence on the grounds
of necessary defence and just war. Further, Umkhonto we Sizwe was a means
to channel the revolutionary violence the oppressed were calling for, especially
after the Sharpeville massacre:
Some (spontaneous actions of the people) result from Government provocation,
the peoples patience becomes exhausted, and the masses become desperate
in the absence of a strong militant organisation. In these circumstances
people are likely to resort more and more into senseless dangerous forms
of action. If we embark on unplanned and misguided political actions, we
are playing into the hands of the enemy. (ANC National Executive Committee
From the very beginning, the ANC emphasised that armed resistance took
place within political context, and was one of a number of inter-related
methods of struggle. Cadres had to fully understand the basic policy positions
of the ANC, the first step in military training; they were at all times
guided by and subordinate to the political leadership of the ANC.
Cadres were taught to maintain the moral high ground occupied by the liberation
movement, owing to the justness of our cause, in the actual theatre of
battle. This meant that the choice of targets, attitude towards civilians
and treatment of captives had to reflect the ANCs policies. The forms of
armed struggle adopted by the ANC and MK were intended to achieve the goals
of the movement with the least loss of life: in essence, the armed struggle
was waged to bring peace to South Africa - to stop the apartheid regime
as quickly and as effectively as possible in order to prevent the conflict
in the country degenerating into racial civil war.
2. THE POLITICO-MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND
MK was at all times subordinate to the political leadership of the ANC.
Detailed information on ANC structures and personnel, including military
structures and personnel, is attached to the main document of this second
submission (appendix 1.)
3. MK TRAINING AND TRAINING CAMPS
Few liberation movements have had to wage armed struggle under such complex,
difficult and harsh conditions. In the early years, South Africa was surrounded
by countries hostile to the idea of liberation, particularly Rhodesia and
the former Portuguese colonies. There were no friendly bases on the borders
of our country, which made infiltration into South Africa difficult and
dangerous. Cadres spent many lonely years in the camps long after they
had completed their training because of this difficulty. At times there
was a scarcity of food and clothing, a lack of medicines and health facilities.
In this regard, the role of the Commissariat became crucial. In all the
camps, there was a commissariat responsible for the political education,
general welfare and cultural well-being of cadres.
Serious attention was given to the general education of cadres. Special
literacy classes and bridging courses were designed. So successful were
these courses that many who completed them were able to enroll in formal
education institutions in countries such as Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and
In a centre outside Luanda called Technical Training Centre (Moscow), formal
education was given in mechanics and auto electrics; driving lessons were
also available. The ANC also ran a huge centre called the Self-Help Medical
Centre (the Plot) where courses in nursing, advanced motor mechanics, building
and carpentry were offered. Hundreds of cadres trained in these centres
There were two centres in Angola (Quela and Camalundi) for training cadres
in agriculture and the production of food for the army. Production was
very successful, especially in the early 1980s. We were able to supply
most of the camps. Our camps were bee-hives of cultural activities. There
was a network of committees to promote music, drama, literature, etc. In
all camp programmes, cultural activity was compulsory. Many excellent choirs,
drama and musical groups were formed. Many poets emerged from our camps,
who continue to produce magnificent work to this day. Perhaps the highest
achievement in this regard was the formation of the cultural ensemble known
as Amandla Group. It was supported and nurtured by great South African
artists such as Jonas Gwangwa, Dennis Dipale, Abdullah Ibrahim, Letta Mbuli,
and others. The group became internationally renowned, staging successful
tours in Southern Africa and Europe.
Military training courses were designed to produce a cadre with
a broad range of skills, well equipped to execute the various tasks of
the liberation struggle. Lectures were conducted on political science,
and the art of warfare.
The following military subjects were taught in the camps:
Courses ran for three weeks, three months, six months, nine months or longer
depending on the mission/tasks for which the individual or unit was being
March and Drill
Military Combat Work (ie. underground or clandestine methods
of organisation, and methods of planning insurrection)
Over the years thousands of cadres were produced, among them commanders,
commissars, instructors and specialists in various military fields. Some
would remain to staff the camps and continue to train other cadres; many
infiltrated the country for various tasks; yet others joined the diplomatic
corps to run the many external missions of the liberation movement.
Today many of these cadres are to be found among the leadership of the
Alliance; some are ambassadors and officials in foreign missions; others
are Ministers, members of Parliament, in the civil service and the private
sector. Others served many years of imprisonment, or gave their lives for
the liberation of this country.
A full list of MK training camps and the names of commanders, as requested
by the TRC, is attached to the main document of this second submission
as appendix 2.
4. MK OPERATIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MAJOR PHASES OF THE LIBERATION
4.1. The Sabotage Campaign to the Morogoro Conference
The first MK actions in 1960 were sabotage operations; cadres were under
strict instructions to avoid all loss of life. Targets included government
installations, police stations, electric pylons, pass offices, and other
symbols of apartheid rule; in rural areas, there were arson attacks on
sugar cane fields and wattle estates.
The sabotage campaign failed in its objective of convincing the apartheid
regime to engage in negotiations in a National Convention. By the time
of the Rivonia arrests, MK leaders were discussing the possibility of embarking
on guerilla warfare to take the struggle forward.
The draft document Operation Mayibuye indicated aspects of the thinking
of the leadership at this time, and identified targets as follows:
In the years following the Rivonia arrests the ANC built up a force in
some of the liberated countries in Africa. It was decided to launch a joint
campaign (later known as the Wankie campaign) with ZIPRA in Zimbabwe in
1967/8. This operation was aimed at infiltrating trained MK operatives
into South Africa in line with the concept of rural-based guerilla warfare.
However, some of the operatives were forced to move into Botswana and others
had to withdraw to Zambia after considerable difficulties were encountered,
particularly the lack of bases among the population. A group of cadres,
including Chris Hani, were captured in Botswana and served prison sentences
strategic road, railways and other communications.
police stations, camps and military forces
irredeemable Government stooges.
Following the Wankie campaign, the ANC held a watershed Consultative Conference at Morogoro in 1969 to discuss ways of taking the struggle
forward. Conference adopted a new programme, Strategy
and Tactics of the ANC. This was the first comprehensive set of strategic
guidelines for the ANC in the period of armed struggle.
A decision was made to shift the ANCs approach from sending armed groups
of cadres into the country to spark off guerilla warfare, and instead emphasised
that period of political reconstruction inside the country was necessary
since the successful development of armed struggle depended on political
mobilisation and strong underground structures, an important precursor
to theories of peoples war developed in the early 1980s.
Military struggle was seen as forming only part of, and being guided by,
a broader political strategy to ensure that the battle against apartheid
was fought on all possible fronts, involving not just an army but all those
oppressed by apartheid:
When we talk of revolutionary armed struggle, we are talking of political
struggle by means which include the use of military force (...) It is important
to emphasise this because our movement must reject all manifestations of
militarism which separates armed peoples struggle from its political context.
4.2. 1969 - 1979: from Sabotage to Guerilla Warfare
Guerilla warfare is carried out by a small and militarily weak organisation
- poorly armed but highly mobile - against a highly organised conventional
force which has all the resources of the state behind it. From the outset
MK aimed to limit the loss of civilian lives, and constantly targeted the
military and police, who formed the frontline of defence of the apartheid
Classic guerilla warfare roots itself among the rural population and moves
from there into urban areas; it is dependent on the availability of suitable
terrain, such as inaccessible mountains or forests where base camps can
be established. In contrast, MKs tactics had to take into account the relatively
unfavourable terrain in South Africa. A multi-faceted approach was adopted,
with guerilla operations carried out throughout the country in both rural
and urban areas, targeting the central pillars on which the apartheid state
This basic approach did not change over the years, even under extreme provocation,
However, by the early 1980s it was accepted that in the context of intensified
confrontation between the apartheid regime and forces for democratic change,
the fear of civilians being caught in the cross-fire could no longer be
a decisive factor in avoiding certain armed operations directed against
the personnel and infrastructure of the apartheid state.
Economic infrastructure: this entailed attacks on fuel supplies, the
lifeblood of the economy; the power network without which no modern developed
country can function and the strategic road, railways and communications
network essential for trade.
Military targets included the SADF and paramilitary police forces
Political-state infrastructure, which included all government installations
and personnel involved in the administration of the apartheid state.
The Soweto Uprising
The 1976 uprising, and subsequent massacres and other atrocities by the
security forces, gave new impetus to the struggle. Thousands of new recruits
flooded into MK, bringing with them a fresh will to fight the enemy, born
of their own bitter experience in fighting a brutal enemy only with stones.
New vistas opened to intensify the struggle and to hit back in defence
of the people.
The key challenge was to channel this youthful and impatient militancy
into military/political struggle within ANC policy guidelines. The ANC
had the responsibility to educate these youths to understand that the enemy
was in fact the system of apartheid itself, not white individuals. It is
a remarkable achievement on the part of the ANC that we succeeded in doing
this. Many of these youths, after initial training in MK camps and in Eastern
Europe, were briefed and infiltrated back into the country to begin operations.
Between 1976 and 1979 there was a marked escalation of armed actions: about
37 armed actions took place between June 1976 and the end of 1978. Railway
lines were sabotaged, police stations attacked, and Bantu Administration
offices were bombed. The battle was slowly but surely being taken to the
enemy, and MK had moved from concentrating purely on sabotage operations
to the first stages of guerilla war.
4.3. Guerilla warfare and Peoples War, 1979 - 1990
As we stated in our main submission to the Truth Commission, the watershed
1978 Politico-Military Commissions Report (also known as the Green Book)
again stressed the central importance of political mobilisation:
"The armed struggle must be based on, and grow out of, mass
political support and it must eventually involve all our people. All military
activities must at every stage be guided by and determined by the need
to generate political mobilisation, organisation and resistance, with the
aim of progressively weakening the enemys grip on his reins of political,
economic, social and military power, by a combination of political and
In line with this approach, the Revolutionary Council (formed in 1969 and
chaired by OR Tambo) was reorganised to reinforce the supremacy of political
leadership. It was also intended to ensure that the task of mass mobilisation
and underground organisation received the necessary emphasis - to reinforce
the links between the armed struggle the mass base and the underground
structures of the ANC.
A Central Operational MK HQ was established by Joe Modise and Joe Slovo.
After several years in which there had been no MK actions inside the country,
following the impetus of the Soweto uprising units were sent into the country
in 1978 to carry out attacks on police stations - this has come to be known
as the G5 Operation. It was commanded by Siphiwe Nyanda; stations attacked
included Moroka, Orlando and Booysens The following year, in 1979, the
President, OR Tambo, asked the NEC for a mandate to form a special unit
to attack key strategic targets - spectacular operations that would hit
the economy hard, and inspire the oppressed majority. The unit would report
directly to him; he would authorise such attacks and take political responsibility
for them. This was agreed to, and the first Special Operations Command
consisted of Joe Slovo, Montso Mokgabudi (Obadi), and Aboobaker Ismail
As with other MK units, targets were carefully selected in accordance with
the political policies of the movement, and planning for operations was
as careful as possible. Whenever possible, a final reconnaissance was undertaken
just before an attack to ensure that conditions had not changed: this was
to ensure we minimised the loss of civilian life. A further aspect of all
planning was to ensure that cadres had planned for their safe withdrawal
after attacks, and had the necessary resources to do so.
Initially the targets were limited to oil refineries, fuel depots, the
Koeberg nuclear plant and military targets such as Voortrekkerhoogte. With
the increasingly indiscriminate attacks on neighbouring states and the
viciousness of attacks on South African civilians by the security forces,
it was decided by Special Operations Command to attack military personnel.
This resulted in operations such as the car bomb at South African Air Force
HQ in Pretoria.
The case studies presented will indicate that such operations were not
carried out on the spur of the moment or on the whim of a particular individual,
but were based on months of careful preparations.
Parallel to operations carried out by Special Operations, there was a steady
increase in the number of operations carried out by other MK units from
Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and, in later years, Zimbabwe. One study estimated
that 150 cases of armed action took place between 1976 and 1982, overwhelmingly
concentrated on economic targets, the administrative machinery of apartheid,
SAP and SADF installations and personnel.
In mid-1983 MHQ produced a discussion document Planning for Peoples War1
which posed the question as to whether the time was ripe to move away from
the 1979 approach towards peoples war, defined as war in which a liberation
army becomes rooted among the people who progressively participate actively
in the armed struggle both politically and militarily, including the possibility
of engaging in partial or general uprising. Among the conclusions were
that the ANC should continue carrying out and even escalating those actions
which had played an important role in stimulating political activity, mass
resistance and mass organisation, but that there should be more concentration
on destroying enemy personnel. )The term enemy personnel referred primarily
to members of the SAP and SADF.) The concept of potential future guerrilla
zones inside the country was raised.
This document noted that the policy of arming the people cannot mean that
we begin now to distribute arms to whosoever wishes to receive them among
the oppressed. In the first place, we had neither the capacity nor the
means to do this on any meaningful scale. In the second place it would
be completely wrong to engage in a policy of merely distributing weaponry
to people, trusting to luck that they will use them on the side of the
This document reflected the debates that were taking place all the time
in the ranks of the liberation movement on how to respond to new situations
as they emerged. The essence of these debates was around the restraint
of the ANC in the face of the enemy s brutality - whether we should not
adopt the easy route, and allow less discriminate control over the usage
of weapons and choice of targets. At each stage of struggle, people on
the ground would respond with anger to repression, and themselves start
to take initiatives which would not strictly accord with the strategy and
tactics of the ANC.
The constant challenge facing the ANC and MK was how to channel anger on
the ground to ensure that the strategic perspective of a democratic and
non-racial society is not sacrificed on the alter of quick-fix, dramatic
and misguided actions. The tension between such intensification of struggle
and the need to avoid a racial war that the MK Manifesto eloquently expressed
at the founding of the liberation army, remained with the movement to the
last day of armed struggle.
In contrast to this highly disciplined and restrained approach to the use
of violence, the South African regime committed atrocity after atrocity
against civilian targets inside and outside the country, including supporting
the war efforts of UNITA and Renamo, and massive raids against what were
portrayed as ANC targets in neighbouring states such as Matola in 1991,1982
Maseru massacre, Gaborone in 1985, Lusaka in 1987, Harare and Bulawayo,
to quote a few examples. Several of the casualties in these operations
were nationals of the host countries. No distinction whatsoever was made
between hard and soft targets - between MK operatives and unarmed refugees
and civilians including women and children.
In an interview with OR Tambo published on 06/08/83 in The Guardian,
the issue of civilian casualties was dealt with:
"When we blew up the Sasol tanks, where thousands of people were working,
the attack was carried out in such a way that no-one was injured. Yet on
the other hand our people were being captured, tortured and mercilessly
interrogated. We have fought back when attacked, and there have been many
clashes with the police, but only the police. Lately the regime has become
almost desperate. There have been assassinations of our people. In 1979
they tried to kill hundreds of our people at a military school in Angola."
Referring to the Matola raid, the Maseru raid and the SAAF bombing of Maputo,
OR Tambo added:
"This means the conflict is escalating. We always thought it was going
to be a bitter, brutal , vicious struggle, almost as a necessary precondition
for the liberation of South Africa. We have to go through that. The conflict
is reaching new levels. There is to be much destruction, much suffering,
and a lot of bloodshed which will not be confined to South Africa. (...)
4.3.1. 1985: The Kabwe Conference and controversies surrounding the
issue of soft targets
...In 1980 we signed the Geneva protocols and said that if we captured
any enemy soldiers we would treat them as prisoners of war. The fact is
we are not against civilians. We do not include them in our definition
of the enemy. The ANC was non-violent for a whole decade in the face of
violence against African civilians. What do we mean by civilians? It really
means white civilians. No one refers to Africans as civilians and they
have been victims of shootings all the time. Even children. They have been
killed in the hundreds. Yet the word has not been used in all these years.
Now it is being used, especially after the Pretoria [SAAF/HQ] bomb. But
implicit in the practice of the South African regime is that when you shoot
an African you are not killing a civilian. We don t want to kill civilians.
But some will be hit, quite accidentally and regrettably. I am sure we
are going to lose many civilians and many innocent people, as happens in
any violent situation. (...)
We do not boast about it in the way the SA regime boasts about its killings...I
think South Africa is going to be a very happy country one day and we will
avoid all avoidable loss of life but - harsh though this sounds - we cannot
allow the system to persist for the sake of saving a few lives. It is not
so harsh when one considers how many lives apartheid has destroyed. "
The questions of ANC policy towards soft targets and taking the struggle
to white areas arise in the context of the unprecedented, mass-based confrontation
with the apartheid state which was taking place at all levels of society
within the country from the early 1980s onwards. Civics, community organisations,
and trade unions were all engaged in intense struggles. MK operations increased
sharply, most of them carried out by formal units based inside the country,
many of which were supported and housed by underground political cells.
The Kabwe conference was held in June 1985 to assess developments since
the Morogoro conference of 1969. The day before it opened, Pretoria attacked
several homes in Gaborone, Botswana, killing 12 people - two young female
citizens of Botswana (who were blown to pieces), one Somalian, a six-year
old child from Lesotho, and eight South Africans, five of whom were members
of the ANC, but none of them members of MK. All those killed were unarmed.
Conference reaffirmed ANC policy with regard to targets considered legitimate:
SADF and SAP personnel and installations, selected economic installations
and administrative infrastructure. But the risk of civilians being caught
in the crossfire when such operations took place could no longer be allowed
to prevent the urgently needed, all-round intensification of the armed
struggle. The focus of armed operations had to shift towards striking directly
at enemy personnel, and the struggle had to move out of the townships to
the white areas. This was immediately seized on by the propaganda machinery
of the apartheid regime, and falsely portrayed as a decision to begin indiscriminate
killings of white civilians.
OR Tambo expressed the mood of the Conference eloquently. It represented,
"...a turning point in the history of all the people of South Africa.
Our Conference itself will be remembered by our people as a council-of-war
that planned the seizure of power by these masses, the penultimate convention
that gave the order for us to take our country through the terrible but
cleansing fires of revolutionary war to a condition of peace, democracy
and the fulfilment of our people who have already suffered far too much
and far too long."
At a press conference he noted that in the preceding nine to ten months
many soft targets had been hit by the enemy - nearly 500 civilians had
been killed. The distinction between hard and soft targets is going to
disappear in an intensified confrontation, in an escalating conflict. (...)
I am not saying that our Conference used the word soft targets. I am saying
that Conference recognised that we are in it. It is happening every day,
By the end of 1985 an official pamphlet titled "Take
the Struggle to the White Areas!" was distributed inside the country.
Targets were identified as follows: the racist army, police, death squads,
agents and stooges in our midst, and the call to take the war to the white
areas is defined as follows:
The ANC leadership had called on all members and supporters of the ANC
to intensify the struggle at all costs, to move towards creating a situation
of ungovernability and peoples war.
"Strengthening our workers organisations and engaging in united action
in the factories, mines, farms and suburbs
Spreading the consumer boycott to all areas of the country
Organised and well-planned demonstrations in the white suburbs and
central business districts.
Forming underground units and combat groups in our places of work and
taking such actions as sabotage in the factories, mines, farms and suburbs,
and disrupt the enemys oil, energy, transport, communications and other
Systematic attacks against the army and police and the so-called area
defence units in the white areas.
Well-planned raids on the armouries and dumps of the army, police,
farmers and so on to secure arms for our units."
There were long and insecure lines of communication, command and control.
Many of the established MK units had been allowed a degree of initiative
in executing their operations, as long as these remained within policy
In contrast with a conventional military force, in which planning takes
place at HQ level by experienced officers, in guerilla warfare most of
the detailed planning takes place at the lowest level: each cadre has to
be trusted to make principled and educated decisions with regard to choice
of target, whilst keeping a close eye on developments and feelings among
the people in his/her community - a responsibility which no soldier in
a conventional force ever has to face. There was no hotline to higher structures
to ask for guidance; communication could - and at times did - result in
deaths, given the degree to which communication lines were monitored. Consequently,
a great deal depended on the political maturity, general experience, and
immediate situation in which each cadre operated.
Maintaining discipline in guerilla and conventional armed forces is also
fundamentally different. In the case of a guerilla force, discipline flows
from a thorough understanding of the political objectives of the armed
struggle - not from threats of court-martial or punishment.
MK cadres conducted crash courses for eager volunteers inside the country.
Some of these recruits had sketchy political understanding of the nature
of the struggle in comparison with those cadres who had gone through the
intensive political and military training offered in camps in exile. Some
supporters drifted in and out of structures, were never thoroughly under
the discipline of the ANC and MK, yet commanders on the ground sometimes
found their contributions indispensable.
Cadres made decisions in the context of pressures they encountered on a
day-to-day basis, in which enemy atrocities against civilians were mounting.
Increasing numbers of attacks took place in urban areas, and civilians
were increasingly caught in the crossfire. Bona fide cadres and
supporters who carried out attacks of this nature believed they were fulfilling
the general direction to carry the struggle to the white areas in accordance
with the political will of the leadership of the ANC.
The period between 1985 and 1988 witnessed unprecedented violence, overwhelmingly
directed at black civilians, as the regime fought to regain the strategic
initiative it had lost.
Increasingly in this period, attacks took place in urban areas, in which
civilians were caught in the crossfire. Bona fide cadres and supporters
who carried out attacks of this nature believed they were fulfilling the
general direction to intensify the struggle and carry it into the white
areas in accordance with the political will of the leadership of the ANC.
This behaviour of the regime was a significant factor in provoking certain
attacks which were in breach of policy. Anger on the ground was explosive:
the atrocities committed by the apartheid regime demanded retaliation,
and the careful response was at times met with angry contempt. In some
cases, cadres responded to state brutality by hitting back in anger, as
soon as possible - as in the case of the Amanzimtoti bomb, described in
detail in our main submission. A comment by OR Tambo in response to this
attack is worth repeating:
"Massacres have been perpetrated against civilians: Mamelodi,
a massacre. Uitenhage, a massacre. Botswana, a massacre. Queenstown, a
massacre...certainly, we are beginning to see South Africans of all races
(burying) their loved ones who have died in the South African situation.
The whole of South Africa is beginning to bleed...If I had been approached
by an ANC unit and asked whether they should go and plant a bomb at a supermarket
I would have said, Of course not . But when our units are faced with what
is happening all around them, it is understandable that some of the should
say, Well, I may have to face being disciplined, but I am going to do this."
A factor which should not be underestimated is that the banning by the
regime of all ANC literature and jamming of broadcasts from Radio Freedom
made it extremely difficult for senior ANC leadership to get through to
cadres and activists on the ground to ensure a proper understanding of
policy. Every effort was made to block and distort the ANCs message, or
anything which could be remotely construed as supportive of the message
of the liberation movement. An extraordinary range of items were banned;
possession of ANC publications such as a pamphlet or a copy of Mayibuye
or Sechaba could result in a lengthy jail sentence.
Given the circumstances at the time, it is remarkable that so few armed
attacks took place in which there was a high rate of civilian casualties.
MK acted with great restraint; we certainly had the capacity to kill many
thousands of civilians - it would have been easy to do this - but the ANC
leadership never took this route, even under extreme provocation. The humanity
of this approach has never been acknowledged - nor reciprocated - by the
apartheid regime, which always saw black civilians in general (and all
those who opposed the regime) as forming an integral part of enemy forces,
whether they were armed or not.
Operational and technical difficulties leading to unintended
When unexpected difficulties arose, cadres had to think on their feet:
and sometimes they made the wrong decisions. At times, given the refusal
of the regime to treat MK members as prisoners of war, the situations they
faced were desperate to the extent that it is highly unlikely that there
would be a peaceful outcome, no matter what they decided - the Silverton
bank siege and the Goch Street incident are cases in point.
Gathering reliable information and tactical intelligence was often exceptionally
difficult. At times attacks which appear to be aimed at civilian targets
were nothing of the sort - the cadre may have had information to the effect
that an SADF or SAP g roup would be present at a particular railway station
or hotel or restaurant a particular time, but due to a range of difficulties
- ranging from faulty intelligence to devices which malfunction and accidentally
go off at the wrong time - an explosion occurs, apparently senselessly,
in a civilian area. It is also possible that some of these incidents occurred
through deliberate disinformation, in which infiltrators into MK units
set up attacks of this nature.
At other times, an attack would take place in support of campaigns or other
struggles taking place within the community - such as strike action, mass
retrenchments, a rent or bus boycott. An explosion at an office block,
factory or chain store makes sense in this context, although the timing
of the blast could go wrong for a range of reasons and result in unintended
In some cases, cadres were entirely correct with regard to the political
reasoning behind their choice of target but placed a bomb at an inappropriate
time which resulted in unnecessary civilian casualties. In addition, they
did not have sufficient capacity to convey the intentions of their actions,
or were blocked from doing so by censorship.
At times insufficient training could have resulted in situations in which
cadres were not able to ensure that explosions took place at the intended
time, or accidents occured. Technical failures also occurred, resulting
in unintended civilian casualties.
False flag operations
The regime did not only block ANC communications of all kinds. It saw the
active dissemination of disinformation as a critically important aspect
of its programme of counter-revolutionary warfare, in which much emphasis
was laid on psychological and strategic communication operations. A central
concern of successive apartheid regimes has always been to alienate the
people from MK and the ANC. No effort was spared to discredit and demonise
MK - and certain attacks on civilian targets portrayed as the work of MK
were carried out by the regime, such as the KwaMakutha massacre. In this
regard the regime was drawing on the experience of other wars against liberation
movements, including the tactics adopted by the security forces in the
Zimbabwean war of liberation, such as pseudo operations in which they would
attack civilians whilst masquerading as guerrillas. The tactics developed
in Namibia in attempts to counter-mobilise the civilian population against
Swapo were also harnessed (see our main submission, pp 35 - 36.)
In the mid- to late 1980s, the situation was further complicated by the
stepping up of false flag operations as the regime intensified its efforts
to discredit the ANC internationally, and alienate growing popular support
on the ground. Various examples of work of this nature - such as the Khotso
House bomb and the murder of Griffiths Mxenge were cited in our main submission,
and there is little doubt that several other operations of this nature
will come to light as the work of the Commission proceeds.
In some cases agents infiltrated structures and consistently attempted
to influence people towards un-planned or ill-considered violence, in order
to discredit the ANC, create divisions in communities, and disrupt structures.
There have been indications that some of those who have applied for amnesty
have information on the extent to which false flag operations were carried
out in the 1980s and 1990s. We call on the TRC to ensure that all available
information on covert projects, including what the NP has called disinformation
projects approved during this period is obtained, in particular strategic
communications projects, which were controlled by a sub-committee of the
State Security Council. Considerable detail in this regard was presented
in our first submission, pp. 34 - 40.
Paul Erasmus, a member of the SAP security branch tasked with stratkom
(strategic communications) work, has stated that a number of the limpet
mines that exploded in central Johannesburg in the late 1980s, for which
the ANC was blamed, were planted by the security police in order to discredit
the ANC. Joe Mamasela has made similar claims regarding blasts in certain
Wimpy Bars. We trust that the TRC will ensure that the truth in this regard
Response of the leadership
In late 1987, all members of MK HQ were called in by OR Tambo, who expressed
his concern at the number of unnecessary civilian casualties which had
occurred in certain attacks, particularly those involving the use of anti-tank
landmines. He tasked MK HQ with ensuring that all cadres fully understood
ANC policy with regard to legitimate targets. Failure to comply with these
orders would be considered violations of policy and action would be taken
In response, MK HQ sent senior commanders to the forward areas to meet
with MK structures there, and convey the concerns of the national leadership.
When possible these senior commanders also met with units. In cases where
meetings could not be held with units, command structures in the forward
areas were told to contact all command structures of their units, whether
they may have been involved in attacks of this nature or not, and ensure
that all cadres were entirely clear on ANC policy regarding legitimate
Chris Hani, Aboobaker Ismail and Keith Mokoape visited structures in Maputo;
Ronnie Kasrils visited structures in Swaziland and other areas. Lambert
Moloi, Chris Hani and Julius Maliba (Manchecker) met with Zimbabwe structures,
and Chris Hani, Aboobaker Ismail, and Lambert Moloi visited Botswana structures.
In most cases cadres responsible for these actions had not deliberately
set out to flout ANC policy, but had believed they were acting in accordance
with the wishes of the leadership, or had acted in anger. This was particularly
the case with younger, more recent recruits. Conveying the instructions
of the leadership in this unequivocal manner through the most senior officials
of MK HQ was sufficient action, as the overwhelming majority of MK cadres
were disciplined soldiers and activists.
In August 1988 the NEC issued a statement specifically on the conduct of
armed struggle in the country:
"The NEC further re-affirmed the centrality of the armed struggle
in the national democratic revolution and the need to further escalate
armed actions and transform our offensive into a generalised peoples war.
(...,) However, the NEC also expressed concern at the recent spate of attacks
on civilian targets. Some of these attacks have been carried out by cadres
of the peoples army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, inspired by anger at the regimes
campaign of terror against the oppressed and democratic forces, both within
and outside South Africa. In certain instances operational circumstances
resulted in unintended casualties."
4.4. Post 1990: Suspension of armed operations
"Yet it has come to our notice that agents of the Pretoria regime have
been detailed to carry out a number of bomb attacks deliberately to sow
confusion among the people of South Africa and the international community,
and to discredit the African National Congress."
Most MK MHQ personnel returned from exile for the December 1990 Consultative
Conference. After this conference, MHQ awaited further instructions from
the NEC with regard to its role and future direction. MK cadres inside
the country had begun surfacing and coming to the ANC office to seek guidance.
A rudimentary structure was set up to look after the needs of these cadres
while awaiting policy decisions from the political leadership.
The ANC had taken a principled decision to release agents of the regime
who were still imprisoned in Uganda at this time as part of the process
of furthering the negotiations. However, the regime did not reciprocate
and many ANC cadres, especially those on death row, were only released
in 1992 after the signing of the "Record of Understanding".
The Groote Schuur Minute, the Pretoria Minute and the DF Malan Accord determined the future of MK activities.
The armed struggle was suspended in August 1990 with the signing of the
Pretoria Minute. It was decided that those MK cadres who were outside the
country - in camps or in the Front Line States - should undergo further
training to prepare them for integration into a new South African Defence
Force. Limited numbers of cadres were sent for advanced officers training
in conventional warfare. Countries including India, Ghana, Pakistan, Uganda
and Tanzania hosted these cadres.
In terms of the Pretoria Minute the ANC had agreed to stop bringing arms
into the country. The DF Malan Accord of 1992 aimed to bring the arms of
all the armed forces in the country under control. However, the De Klerk
regime interpreted the Accord to mean that this applied only to MK; various
negotiations ensued, without resolving the matter.
We dealt with the issue of SDUs in considerable detail in our first submission,
and our responses to questions raised by the TRC in this regard are dealt
with in the main document of this second submission. It will suffice to
note that SDUs were formed in response to the violence which erupted as
the ANC suspended armed struggle. In response to pleas for assistance from
communities under attack, the ANC tasked some members of MK Military HQ
to attend to issues relating to SDUs, their organisation, training and
the provision of weaponry. It was made clear that SDUs would be exclusively
for the purpose of self-defence, that the overall control of SDUs was to
remain with the communities concerned, and if MK cadres participated in
SDUs they would do so as members of the community: MK Command would not
play a leading role, as it was felt this might jeopardise negotiations.
In 1991, MHQ organised a conference for MK in Venda to inform cadres of
the state of the negotiations and to get their views on the future of MK.
The conference was attended by representatives of cadres from inside the
country as well as those in camps in Tanzania and Uganda.
The Venda MK conference supported the decisions taken at the ANCs July
conference in Durban, and called on the ANC leadership to secure the release
of MK combatants who were still in prison. Cadres called on Chris Hani
to remain MK Chief-of-Staff.
The conference also called for a reorganisation of MHQ with the view to
preparing for serious negotiations with the regime on military matters
and a future defence force. It was decided that multi-lateral talks would
be held with all forces within the country, and that the homeland armies
should be discouraged from individually holding bilateral negotiations
with the SADF.
Following the Venda Conference, the ANC re-organised MHQ (details in this
regard appear in the appendix on ANC structures and personnel.) Regional
structures were established in each of the ANCs 14 organisational regions
and cadres appointed to liaise with MK personnel living in these areas.
By this time, in preparation for negotiations, MHQ had begun to have some
contact with the SADF.
There was increasing pressure from the military camps from cadres anxious
to return home. Once negotiations appeared to be proceeding relatively
smoothly at Kempton Park, the return of these cadres was speeded up.
After initial bi-lateral negotiations between MK Command and the SADF,
we went on to have multi-lateral negotiations with the seven existing armed
forces in the country. MK and other forces participated in the Joint Military
Co-ordinating Council under the Transitional Executive Council.
In December 1993, MK held its final parade. After the elections, the integration
of all members of all armed forces into a new SANDF began in earnest in
May 1994. Later that year, the weapons that were in MK Ordnance stockpiles
were handed over to the SANDF. Other weapons were collected and handed
over. The President decided that all MK arms stockpiled in foreign countries
should he donated to those countries; they were not compatible with those
used in the SANDF.
5. CASE STUDIES
We have selected two case studies - one from Special Operations, the other
from general military operations - to illustrate some of the points regarding
the conduct of armed struggle that we have highlighted in our submissions
to the TRC. Operations such as the attack on SAAF HQ and the laying of
anti-tank mines have been seen in some quarters as contradictions of ANC
policy regarding the avoidance of civilian casualties.
The SAAF HQ operation illustrates the problems which arose as a result
of the enemy locating strategic installations in high-density civilian
areas. In the section on anti-tank landmines, we provide the TRC with more
detail on the objective of these operations and the operational difficulties
5.1. The Attack on SAAF HQ
This operation came in the wake of a cross-border raid into Lesotho in
which 42 ANC supporters and BaSotho were killed, and the assassination
of Ruth First in Maputo. The objective was to carry out a highly visible
attack, which was impossible to cover up, against military personnel in
uniform. No direct operations had previously been carried out against military
personnel except for a number of skirmishes between MK cadres and the security
forces, usually in the remote border areas.
It was decided to target military personnel who waited for buses outside
SAAF HQ at approximately 16h30 each day. In the early stages of planning
this operation, discussions were held on the possible loss of civilian
life, and whether this would be justified. After careful consideration
it was decided by OR Tambo, in terms of the mandate he had been given by
the NEC, that Special Operations should proceed with the operation, taking
great care to ensure that the target was unmistakably military.
On the afternoon of May 20th, 1983, the unit drove into Pretoria and parked
the car packed with explosives in Church Street, at the entrance of Air
Force HQ. When the bomb exploded a few minutes earlier than planned, 19
people were killed, including both MK cadres and 11 Air Force officers,
According to initial media reports, more than 200 military personnel and
a few civilians were injured, but these figures were later distorted by
the government in an attempt to portray this attack as aimed at civilians.
5.2. Anti-tank mine operations
The ANC never used anti-personnel mines, specifically because we were concerned
to avoid civilian casualties. The ANC used only anti-tank mines, which
require at least 300kg to detonate. The objective of these operations was
to strike at the SADF personnel patrolling borders, and at the Commando
units consisting of farmers linked to the area defence systems within the
overall security network. The areas in which these operations took place
were primarily the designated areas along the Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland
In 1979 the Promotion of Density of Population in Designated Areas Act,
No. 87, was passed in an attempt to stem the exodus of white farmers from
border areas, and increase the number of farmers in these areas to serve
as the first line of defence against the infiltration of guerrillas from
neighbouring states. At least R100m was made available over a period of
five to six years for the provisions of loans to such farmers, and for
the construction of strategic roads and airstrips in these areas.
The Act stipulated that loans be given on condition that farms were managed
according to SADF directives, and that all white farmers in the areas had
to undergo military training, be members of the regional and area commandos,
and make themselves available to the SADF and Department of National Security
to carry out reconnaissance and intelligence tasks whenever called on to
do so. All were linked into the Commando system of part-time SADF forces
and the military radio network known as MARNET. Many farm buildings were
constructed in such a way as to constitute a chain of defence strongholds
along the borders ready to be used by the SADF whenever necessary. The
Act stipulated that the SADF was empowered to enter any property in the
designated area to demolish or erect military facilities or any other structure
without the consent of the owner. (For more information, please refer to
p. 59 of our main submission.)
These measures were not only defensive: Messina, Louis Trichardt, Alldays,
Ellisras, Thabazimbi, Zeerust, Piet Retief, and Amsterdam were all key
towns from which acts of aggression were launched against neighbouring
The tactic adopted was to lay anti-tank mines overnight so that they would
be triggered when the SADF patrolled first thing the next morning. Roads
in the immediate border area were used primarily by the SADF and farmers
actively supporting the efforts of the SADF, thereby defining themselves
as legitimate targets. Most farm workers went on foot and would, it was
reasoned, not be affected.
The decision to use landmines and the choice of area of operation was made
at Military HQ; the commands were based in Zimbabwe and later, for operations
in the Eastern Transvaal, in Swaziland.
Units would be sent into the country to conduct reconnaissance with the
aim or determining the movements of enemy personnel on the roads, their
routines and schedules, the habits of local people, etc. This usually took
a few days; once the reconnaissance had been completed, cadres reported
back to their commanders. Operational plans were drawn up, and the reports
and plans were then sent to Military HQ. When operations were approved,
detailed implementation plans were drawn up and cadres instructed to lay
Initial operations were carried out fairly close to the borders - within
2-4 km. However OR Tambo ordered that operations should be carried out
deeper inside the country as the governments of neighbouring countries
were coming under pressure from the apartheid regime. The effect of this
was to move some operations into areas where the roads were not used almost
exclusively by the defence force and Commando farmers. In addition, because
cadres had to be in the country longer there was an increase in the number
of firefights between guerrillas and the security forces.
When it became apparent that the landmine operations were not having the
desired effect of consistently striking at security forces, they were suspended
5. APPENDICES: MK OPERATIONS AND OTHER ARMED ACTIONS
It is not possible to give a detailed account of every MK operation, as
requested by the TRC. We did not keep records of this nature, mainly for
security reasons. More detail will be forthcoming in applications for amnesty
by various commanders and combatants.
There are two lists of armed actions attached to this submission. Appendix
4 provides information on operations
carried out by members of MK, arranged chronologically and according to
the nature of the target in each case. It is drawn from reports, recollections
of the MK commanders, press reports, and the SAIRR annual surveys. There
are probably omissions, and some mistakes may have occurred due to incorrect
reporting or a range of other reasons.
The incidents and attacks listed in Appendix 5
fall into the grey area described above. We are not certain that all these
attacks were carried out by MK personnel or by people trained by MK personnel.
We cannot state with certainty what the objectives of these attacks were,
but it is probable that many were carried out in good faith in the belief
- incorrectly at times - that the cadre was acting in accordance with the
injunctions by the leadership to intensify the struggle at all costs and
carry the struggle to white areas. In other cases we strongly doubt that
our cadres were responsible, but do not have sufficient information to
In the course of war life is lost. The challenge before us was to avoid
indiscriminate killing of civilians, which MK certainly had the capacity
to carry out. Although it is possible that entirely accurate statistics
will never be known beyond any doubt, it is evident that MK acted with
This record should be compared with the many thousands of deaths of civilians
at the hands of successive apartheid regimes - with this continuing right
until April 1994 - in countless massacres, assassinations, and executions.
In addition there have b een millions of civilian casualties - bloodshed
of holocaust proportions - in wars waged by surrogate forces in neighbouring
We also register our deep regret for the deaths of innocent civilians killed
in the course of the struggle for justice and freedom. We extend our condolences
to the families of all those who were killed or injured, including the
soldiers and police wh o fought against us. The taking of life is not an
easy thing; to us all life is sacred, and we have never been callous in
1 We regret that we have not
been able to locate a copy of this document
LIST OF MK OPERATIONS
Information in this list was drawn from press reports and the Annual Surveys
of the SAIRR. These are not MK records. There are probably omissions and
errors, due to censorship during the apartheid era and other difficulties
in collecting information of this nature.
Details are not available, but it is estimated that the MK High Command
co-ordinated over 190 acts of sabotage between October 1961 and July 1963.
There were no deaths or injuries.
Note: a study by Tom Lodge of the University of the Witwatersrand estimated
that there were 150 MK attacks between 1976 - 1982
Skirmish with SAP: Eastern Transvaal Two SAP killed as arrested
cadres escape custody, throwing grenade into SAP vehicle
Economic: railway line near Soweto
Unplanned actions/skirmish with SAP: Two civilians killed in warehouse
in Goch Street during unplanned panic reaction when cadres realised they
were being followed by SAP; two cadres captured; Monty Motlaung beaten
so badly by SAP he was brain damaged; Solomon Mahlangu hanged
SAP buildings: Daveyton SAP station Bomb causes structural damage;
Economic: Umlazi/ Durban Damage to railway line
Skirmish with SAP: Vosloorus One cadre killed
Skirmish with SAP: Dobsonville One cadre killed, 2 SAP injured
SAP SB personnel: Leonard Nkosi; turned ANC cadre killed.
SAP personnel: Bophutatswana; Three cadres killed by SAP after throwing
at a police patrol; 1 SAP injured
Skirmish with SAP: near Pongola One cadre killed, 1 SAP injured
Economic: railway at Dunswart & Apex Train driver slightly injured
SAP building: Germiston police station Structural damage
Personnel actively assisting SAP:
Former ANC member (Steve Mtshali) who turned state witness in various trials;
shot and wounded
Skirmish with SAP: near Swaziland border Two SAP killed
SAP building: Daveyton police station Structural damage
Skirmish with SAP: Witkleigat area No details
Government buildings: Bantu Affairs Admin. Board, Port Elizabeth
outside offices; One civilian killed, three injured
SAP personnel: Swaziland border Cadres ambush SAP patrol; two SAP
Personnel actively assisting SAP: Former deputy president of
the ANC in the
Transvaal (Abel Mthembu) turned state witness at the Pretoria ANC trial
SAP Personnel: Det-Sgt Chapi Hlubi shot dead
BOSS personnel: B. Mayeza; shot dead in Umlazi
Government buildings: Soweto Community Council Bomb damages offices
Economic: Sasol Oil Refineries Massive structural damage
SAP building: Orlando police station attacked
Skirmish with SAP: farm near Zeerust; Seven cadres clash with SAP;
I captured, others escape over Botswana border
Economic: near New Canada station Explosion damages railway
Economic: railway between Fort Beaufort and King Williamstown Large
quantity of explosives on line found and defused
SAP SB personnel: Sgt Benjamin Letlako shot dead in Katlehong
Economic: railway near Soweto Explosives discovered and defused
SAP personnel/building: Moroka SAP Station Cadres open fire in charge
office; 1 SAP killed, 3 injured; 3 civilians injured; extensive damage
caused by grenades in offices
Economic: railway in Eastern Transvaal Explosives found, defused
SAP building/personnel: Orlando SAP Station Cadres open fire, hurl
grenades into charge office; 2 SAP killed, 2 SAP wounded; pamphlets distributed
SAP SB personnel: Lt Magezi Ngobeni; grenades thrown into home;
5 children wounded
Economic: railway near Alice Explosion damages line
SAP building: Booysens police station Damage to building
SAP building/ support for community resistance: Soekmekaar SAP Station
Little damage; minor injury to one SAP; local community involved in struggle
against forced removal
Skirmish with SAP: Meadowlands No details
Skirmish with SAP: Bophutatswana Two cadres killed, one escapes
SAP buildings & personnel: Booysens SAP Station Attack with
grenades, rocket launchers, AKs causes damage, no injuries
Personnel actively assisting SAP: Tennyson Makiwane Expelled ANC
official; shot dead
Economic: Sasol 1,2 and Natref Eight fuel tanks destroyed in series
of blasts; no injuries; R58-m damage
SAP SB Personnel: Det-Sgt TG Zondi; shot at in Sobantu Village;
Economic/support for community resistance: Railway line in Dube
blown up; Soweto community had called for a stayaway previous day to protest
against rent increases, visit by Koornhof
Government buildings: West Rand Administration Board Two grenades
cause extensive damage, injure security guard and friend
Government residence: Port Elizabeth House of Transkei consul damaged
with bomb; no injuries
Skirmish with SAP: Chiawelo; cadre killed, SAP injure child
According to the SAIRR, between January and October 1981 there were at
least 40 ANC guerilla attacks in urban areas; there were 17 between July
1979 and June 1980.
Skirmish with SAP: house in Chiawelo; One cadre killed; possible
SAP building: Wonderboom SAP station No details
Economic: Capital Park sub-station Damage by limpet mine
SAP building:Mabopane SAP station Two dead (no details)
Economic: Rosslyn sub-station Damage by limpet mines; Two injuries
Economic: Richards Bay / Vryheid line 20km railway destroyed, coal
Economic: power station, in Durban Two transformers destroyed by
Personnel actively assisting SAP: Hoedspruit Railways policeman
killed with grenade
06/05/81 Economic/ Republic Day protests: railway in Hoedspruit
area Line damaged
21/05/81 Economic/Republic Day protests: PE rail link to Johannesburg
and Cape Town Line damaged by explosion
25/05/81: Series of actions in support of Republic Day protests:
Propaganda: pamphlet bomb in Durban;
SAP building: Fort Jackson SAP station;
Economic: railway line near Soweto
Economic: railway line on Natal South Coast
Economic: powerlines cut in Vrede, OFS
27/05/81 SADF buildings: recruiting office, Durban Destroyed in
01/06/81 Firebombs at three PFP offices, Johannesburg No injuries
04/06/81 SAP building: SAP station, Johannesburg SAP building:
SAP station, Meyerton
11/06/81 Economic: railway line Natal North coast
16/6/81 Economic: railway line near East London
28/06/81 Economic: railway near Empangeni
03/07/81 Economic: fuel storage dept, Alberton Limpet mine defused
21/07/81 Economic: power supply; Pretoria, Middelburg, Ermelo At
least six explosions at three installations
11/08/81 SADF personnel & buildings: Voortrekkerhoogte Military
Base Damage by rocket attack
19/08/81 Economic: railway line near East London
02/09/81 SAP buildings & personnel: Mabopane SAP station Two
SAP, two civilians (one a child) killed
12/09/81 Economic: main railway line, Delville Wood, Durban Explosion
10/10/81 Economic: Durban railway station Government buildings:
Durban offices, Dept. Co-operation and Development Four injuries; no details
21/10/81 Economic: Transformer in Evander destroyed Economic:
Sasol III water pipeline, Secunda
26/10/81 SAP buildings & personnel: Sibasa SAP station Two SAP
killed, station destroyed
01/11/81 SADF buildings & personnel: Jeppes Reef House near
Swaziland border occupied by SADF Destroyed in rocket/grenade attack
09/11/81 Government buildings: Orlando Magistrates Court Explosion;
12/11/81 Economic: Rosslyn power substation, Pretoria Damage by
4 limpet mines
09/12/81 Government buildings: office of Chief Commissioner, Department
of Co-operation and Development, Cape Town
14/12/81 Economic: Pretoria power sub-station bombed
23/12/81 Government buildings: E. Cape Admin. Board, Duncan Village
26/12/81 SAP buildings: Wonderboompoort SAP station No details
According to the SAIRR, there were at least 26 sabotage attacks by the
ANC between December 1981 and November 1982; 13 suspected ANC cadres were
killed in shoot-outs with the SAP. According to the SAP, there were 39
acts of insurgency in 1982.
21/05/81 Government buildings: Port Natal Administration Board,
Pinetown bombed Government buildings: Offices of Dept. Coloured
07/01/82 Government buildings: West Rand Administration Board, Soweto
Bomb damages office
12/05/82 Government buildings: West Rand Administration Board. Soweto
Bomb damages offices again
20/03/82 Government buildings: Langa Commissioners Court Damaged
28/05/82 Economic: Fuel depot and power transformer, Hectorspruit
Damaged by limpet mine
03/06/82 Economic: railway near Dube Damaged in explosion
04/06/82 Government buildings: offices of Presidents Council, Cape
Town Bomb explodes in lift shaft of building housing these offices; one
28/06/82 Economic: railway depot at Vryheid Damaged in explosion
28/06/82 Economic: Scheepersnek: Two bombs cause extensive damage
to railway depot, pump station, stores, vehicles; Durban-Witwatersrand
oil pipeline shattered SAP & Government buildings: Port Elizabeth;
Station Commanders office and New Law Courts damaged
July 1982 Government buildings: PE court building
28/08/82 SADF buildings: Umvoti Mounted Rifles Army Camp, Red Hill,
Durban Extensive damage to building and three SADF vehicles
September 1982 Skirmish with SAP: Boksburg Two cadres killed
24/09/82 Economic: railway bridge near Upington Explosives placed;
October 1982 Skirmishes with SAP: KwaZulu One SAP SB member killed;
one cadre killed
26/10/82 Government buildings: Drakensberg Administration. Board,
Pietermaritzburg Three bombs explode
November 1982 SAP personnel: W/O P. Selepe, Mamelodi killed; gave
evidence in many trials
08/11/82 Economic: Mobil fuel storage depot, Mkuze Blast causes
December 1982 Personnel actively assisting SAP: B. Hlapane
13-14/11/82 Skirmishes with SAP: Piet Retief Two SAP seriously wounded
18-19/12/82 Economic: Koeberg nuclear power station Massive damage
in four explosions; no injuries
20-21/11/82 SADF/SAP installation & personnel: SAP rural station
& temporary SADF garrison at Tonga Rocket attack seriously injures
two SADF personnel
31/12/82 Government building / SAP building: Johannesburg Magistrates
court (200m from John Vorster Square) Explosion; no details
1983 Economic: line near Phomolong station Damage to railway line
1983 SADF building: offices in Marshall Street Structural damage
1983 Economic: pylon in Denneboom Structural damage
1983 SAP personnel: Soweto Grenade attack on patrol; no injuries
26/01/83 Government buildings: New Brighton Community Council offices
Building extensively damaged; one dead, five injured
30/01/83 Government buildings: Pietermarizburg Supreme Court Explosion;
10/02/83 Economic: Richards Bay area 500 hectares burned in arson
11/02/83 Government Buildings: Drakensberg Admin. Board Offices
Explosion, no details
08/02/83 Skirmishes with SADF: Paulpietersburg No details
20/02/83 Economic: Pelindaba Nuclear Research Station Set on fire;
21/03/83 Government buildings: Supreme Court, Pietermaritzburg Explosion,
21/04/83 Government buildings: Supreme Court, Pietermaritzburg Second
explosion; no details
May 1983 Skirmish with SADF: Botswana border Four cadres, one SADF
May 1983 Government buildings: Roodepoort; Offices of Dept. Internal
Affairs Damaged in two explosions: R250 000 damage
20/05/83 SADF personnel and building: Nineteen killed (2 MK, 11
SAAF officers) in car bomb at entrance to SAAF HQ, opposite building housing
military intelligence personnel; 217 injured (number of military/ civilian
17/06/83 Economic: pylon at New Canada station SAP defuse bomb
28/06/83 Government buildings: Dept. Internal Affairs, Roodepoort
Explosion; no details July 1983 Economic: Sasol plant, Secunda Minor
07/07/83 Government buildings: Durban Supreme Court Two bombs defused
07/07/83 Government buildings: Dept. Internal Affairs, Roodepoort;
SAP building: Roodepoort Bombs detonate at 00h40 causing structural
06/08/83 Armed propaganda: Bomb explodes at Temple Israel, Hillbrow,
before Marais Steyn due to speak there; no injuries
20/08/83 Economic: substation near Mamelodi Explosion causes damage
of R100 000 26/08/83 Government buildings: Ciskei consular generals
offices, Carlton Centre Limpet mines explode at 18h50; one injured
08/09/83 Economic: electrical sub-stations, Johannesburg area Two
(Randburg and Sandton) bombed
11/09/83 Economic: substations at Bryanston North and Fairland Limpet
mines cause structural damage
12/09/83 Government buildings: Ciskei offices in Pretoria Limpet
mine planted after hours causes structural damage
13/09/83 Economic/support of industrial action: Rowntree factory,
Umbilo Bomb blast at 19h45; structural damage
29/09/83 Economic: pylon in Vereeniging Police defuse explosives
11/10/83 Economic/SADF personnel: Warmbaths; Mines explode at 02h20;
extensively damage large fuel storage tanks, three rail tankers, one road
tanker; two devices set to explode 1 hour later found on door of Civil
Defence office; no injuries. PW Botha due to speak in Warmbaths.
14/10/83 Economic: two electricity pylons, Pietermaritzburg Mines
explode at 02h00, 03h00
01/11/83 Economic: Durban Buses at municipal bus depot damaged by
bomb at midnight Economic: Germiston Railway line bombed Economic:
Springs SAP defuses bomb on railway line SAP building/personnel:
Durban SAP workshop Bombed; no details
02/11/83 SAP vehicles: Wentworth; Explosion at 02h55 damages vehicles
in SAP mobile store and adjacent student residence (Alan Taylor Residence)
03/11/83 Economic: Bosmont railway station Damaged by bomb Economic:
bus depot near Durban SAP buildings: SAP store near Durban 22/11/83
Economic: Durban Pylons damaged by two explosions
03/11/83 Economic: railway line, Bosmont/Newclare railway line damaged
in explosion railway line near Germiston damaged by explosion railway line
near Springs; explosives defused
03or 07/12/83 Government building: office of Department of Community
Development, Bree Street., Johannesburg Explosion; no injuries
08/12/83 Economic: railway 1km from Bloemfontein Locomotive and
two trucks derailed
12/12/83 Government buildings: offices of Dept Community Development
and Commissioners Court, Johannesburg Severe damage in limpet mine explosion;
15/12/83 Government buildings: offices of Dept Foreign Affairs,
Johannesburg Seven injured in explosion SADF buildings: Natal Command
HQ Three bombs explode on beach front nearby; no damage
19/12/83 Government Buildings: KwaMashu township offices Explosion
causes R60 thousand damage
According to the Institute for Strategic Studies, Pretoria, there were
44 MK attacks during this year.
1984 Skirmish with SAP: Mapetla One cadre killed; no SAP injuries
1984 Skirmish with SAP: SAP ambush, Jabulani One cadre killed, one
04/01/84 Skirmish with SAP: Mamelodi One cadre killed
03/02/84 Government buildings: Ciskei consulate, Durban Offices destroyed
23/02/84 Economic: Escom installation, Georgetown Slight damaged
caused by explosion
29/02/84 Economic: Mandini Power Station Bomb explodes; no information
SAP building: Mandini SAP station Bombed; no details
11/03/84 Economic: Mobil fuel depot, Ermelo; Four explosions, extensive
damage, five storage tanks destroyed; no injuries
12/03/84 Skirmishes with SAP: area unknown Two SAP seriously injured
April 1984 Skirmish with SAP: De Deur Onecadre killed
05/04/84 Government buildings: Transkei consulate in Botshabelo
Explosion destroys offices
12/05/84 Government buildings: Durban, Trust Bank; Explosion causes
extensive damage to offices of Dept. Internal Affairs and Durban HQ of
SA. Railways Police injured
13/05/84 Economic: Mobil Oil Refinery, Durban; Cadres set fire to
refinery in RPG.7 attack; running skirmish lasting several hours ends when
car in which cadres were travelling is followed to construction site by
police; all were killed along with three labourers who burned to death
when paint store set alight in the battle. 4 SAP also injured.
16/05/84 SAP personnel: Jabulani; Explosion destroys two private
vehicles belonging to SAP members outside Jabulani SAP station
18/05/84 Economic: railway near Lenasia Damaged by explosion
06/06/84 Economic: petrol rail tankers, Merewent, Durban Four mines
damage railway / defused (unclear)
08/06/84 Skirmish with SAP: Ndwedwe Two cadres killed in running
gunfight with SAP
21/06/84 Economic: substation, Berea (Durban) Explosion damages
substation, disrupts supply
12/07/84 SAP personnel: Jabulani SAP vehicle attacked; one SAP killed,
28/07/84 Government buildings: SA Railways Police charge office,
KwaMashu Attacked with hand grenades
03/08/84 Skirmish with SAP: Ellisras area; one cadre killed Details
7/08/84 Property of government personnel: Extensive damage to Tshabalala
Dry Cleaners, Soweto Economic: Glenmore, Durban Escom sub-station
12/08/84 Government buildings: Department of Internal Affairs, Johannesburg
Explosion causes minor damage
16/08/84 SAP buildings/personnel: SAP HQ Soweto East; Roodepoort
City Centre Building Two mines destroy the second and third floors of building,
injure District Commander, four SAP, two civilians; R260 000 damage
17/08/84 Skirmish with SAP: Mapetla Cadre resisting arrest killed
23/08/84 Government departments: DET, Booysens Explosions destroy
4th floor at 18h30
24/08/84 Government buildings: SA Railways Police Regional offices,
Dept Internal Affairs offices in Anchor Life Building Bomb explodes at
17h30; two civilians and four Railways Police injured
03/09/84 Government buildings: Dept. Internal Affairs, Johannesburg
Explosion at 16h07; four injured
05/09/84 Economic: Escom sub-station, Rustenberg; Explosion destroys
installations, disrupts power to Rustenberg and large area of Bophutatswana.
13/09/84 Economic: Escom sub-station, Durban Limpet mines cause
14/09/84 Government Buildings: Department of Community Development,
Krugersdorp Bomb at 17h00 causes damage
11/12/84 Economic: railway near Durban Explosion damages line, goods
14/12/84 Skirmish with SAP: Ingwavuma One cadre killed, one SAP
25/12/84 Skirmish with SAP: Ingwavuma Cadre killed
According to the Institute for Strategic Studies, Pretoria, there were
136 MK attacks during this year, a 209% increase compared with figures
??/01/85 Skirmish with SAP: Nongoma Three cadres, 1 SAP killed
??/03/85 SAP personnel: Mamelodi Limpet mine destroys SAP vehicle;
??/03/85 Skirmish with SAP: Eastern Transvaal Two cadres killed,
??/03/85 SAP SB personnel: Tembisa Grenade attack on unnamed SB
members home; no details
22/03/85 Skirmish with SAP unit: Bushbuckridge Two cadres killed
??/04/85 Economic: Escom sub-station, Durban Parking attendant killed
02/05/85 Economic/ support for workers: explosion at Anglo American
and Anglovaal, Johannesburg R170 thousand structural damage caused. Both
had engaged in mass dismissals of mine workers
09/05/85 SAP personnel: two grenade attacks in Pretoria townships
15/05/85 SAP building & personnel: Brakpan SAP barracks Three
explosions; no details
15/05/85 Government buildings: Brakpan Commissioners court and offices
of Messenger of the court Attacks on the morning of the funeral of Andries
Raditsela who had died in detention
30/05/85 SADF building: Military Medical Centre, Johannesburg Limpet
mine causes structural damage
31/05/85 SADF building/personnel: Southern Cross Fund offices Fourteen
??/05/85 SAP personnel: GaRankuwa SAP member killed by suspected
??/06/85 Government buildings: Lamontville Three limpet mines
explode at Natalia Development Board
??/06/85 SAP buildings: Umlazi SAP station Three limpet mines
explode; no details
??/06/85 Economic: Durban Escom sub-station damaged by explosion
??/06/85 Economic/support of worker struggle: AECI offices, Johannesburg
Bomb damages offices; company was involved in labour dispute
??/06/85 SAP personnel Mmabatho: policeman who fired on crowd
killed by alleged insurgents
//?06/85 Economic: Umtata Explosion destroys Transkei Development
Corporation bulk fuel depot; disrupted water and power supplies
??/06/85 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Attack on home
of Rajbansi with petrol bombs and hand grenades; no injuries Government
personnel: Attack on home of former Gugulethu town councillor; no details
??/07/85 Economic: Durban Limpet mines destroy sub-station
??/07/85 Skirmish with SAP: roadblock near East London Two cadres,
one SAP killed in shootout
??/07/85 SAP personnel: Soweto Group dubbed the Suicide Squad
attacks home of two Soweto policemen
??/07/85 Support for worker struggles: Umlazi Hand grenade damages
bakery in Umlazi where workers were on strike
??/07/85 Government personnel: hand grenade attack on former
community councillor in Gugulethu
??/08/85 Home of MP Barend Andrews attacked with hand grenade No injuries
02/08/85 Skirmish with SAP: roadblock near Mount Ruth Two cadres,
one SAP killed
10/08/85 Economic: petrol bowser, East London fuel depot SAP
defuse limpet mine
??/10/85 SAP personnel: Cape Town; Shots fired at police patrol;
two incidents of attacks on police with hand grenades; no further details
??/10/85 SAP personnel: Mamelodi Home of SAP member attacked
with hand grenade
??/11/85 SAP personnel: Cape Town Four people including SAP officer
and wife, railways policeman, killed in various hand grenade attacks; total
of 20 such attacks recorded by this time say SAP.
??/11/85 SADF personnel: Cape Town Three SADF injured in grenade
??/11/85 Economic: Central Johannesburg Building housing Institute
of Bankers damaged in blast
??/11/85 SAP personnel: Cape Town Two grenade attacks on homes
of SAP personnel SAP buildings: Manenberg SAP Station Vehicles damaged
in grenade attack
??/11/85 Economic: Sasol 2 and 3 Rocket attack; three cadres
killed by SAP
??/11/85 SADF/Personnel actively assisting SADF: Soutpansberg
area Anti-tank mine explodes; four SADF, four others injured
??/11/85 Skirmish with Bophutatswana Police: Four cadres killed,
two cadres injured
??/12/85 Economic: Bus depot Umlazi No details
6/12/85 SAP personnel: police patrol in Soweto One SAP injured
by grenade 08/12/85 SAP personnel: Chesterville Home of SAP member
bombed; no details
13/12/85 SADF personnel: troop carrier in Messina One soldier
injured in anti-tank mine explosion
??/12/85 Skirmish with SADF: near Botswana border One SADF killed
??/12/85 Government buildings: Chatsworth Magistrates Court;
Limpet mine explodes at 18h00; structural damage
14/12/85 Skirmish with SAP: Chiawelo One cadre killed
17/12/85 Economic/support of industrial action: Limpet mine explodes
at 03h00; damages eight buses, PUTCO Fleetline depot, Umlazi
19/12/85 SADF/Personnel actively supporting SADF: Wiepe area
One farmer or civilian injured in anti-tank mine explosion
20/12/85 SADF/Personnel actively supporting SADF: Messina Six
killed in anti-tank mine explosion in game farm
23/12/85 Cadre response to state brutality: Five civilians killed,
40 injured in Amanzimtoti shopping centre blast; attempted warning failed;
Andrew Zondo hanged.
29/12/85 Propaganda: pamphlet bomb, Durban Defused by SAP
In Parliament in February 1987, Adriaan Vlok refused to disclose the number
or nature of incidents of sabotage, armed attacks and explosions that had
occurred during 1986 as this was not in the interests of the safety of
the Republic. According to the Institute of Strategic Studies at the University
of Pretoria, there were 230 incidents of insurgency during the year, a
69,1% increase over the 136 incidents in 1985.
??/??/86 SAP personnel: home attacked in Springs One person injured
in grenade and AK attack
??/??/86 Economic: Springs railway station Limpet mine damages
??/??/86 SAP personnel: Vosloorus No details
??/01/86 SADF/ Personnel actively supporting SADF: Ellisras area
near Botswana border Two killed in anti-tank mine explosion; no details
January 1986 SAP personnel: Soweto Cadre throws grenade at 3
SAP members; cadre killed; no details
04/01/86 SADF/personnel actively assisting SADF: Stockpoort (Botswana
border) Two killed and two injured in anti-tank mine explosion
05/01/86 Skirmishes with SAP: roadblock on East London /King
Williamstown road One SAP killed, one cadre killed
04/02/86 SADF personnel: Gugulethu Four SADF injured when grenade
thrown into their military vehicle
07/01/86 Personnel actively assisting SAP: Soweto Grenade thrown
at Railways policeman
06/01/86 Skirmish with SAP: near East London One cadre killed
08/01/86 Economic: Pretoria sub-station Damaged by explosion
09//01/86 Economic/ SAP personnel: Durban Limpet damages substation
in Jacobs, 21h15; second limpet explodes kills one SAP, injures three -
five SAP (or one SAP, two engineers)
18/01/86 Economic: substation in Westville, Durban Two limpets
20/01/86 Economic/SAP personnel: Four limpets damage pylon near
Durban 20h45; fifth probably aimed at SAP explodes later; no injuries
24/01/86 SAP personnel: Mamelodi Sgt Makhulu killed in grenade
attack on his home
??/02/86 SADF personnel: Gugulethu Buffel attacked with grenade;
four SADF injured slightly
01/02/86 SAP personnel: Lamontville Grenade thrown at patrol;
one SAP injured
09/02/86 SAP personnel: Umlazi Limpet mine destroys two
SAP vehicles at Umlazi SAP station when parked after returning from riot
patrol; no injuries
19/02/86 SAP personnel: Cambridge East SAP station; Explosion
in toilet block near Radio Control room; no injures
February 1986 Skirmish with SAP: near Port Elizabeth; Two cadres
killed, two SAP injured
February 1986 Economic: Durban Explosion at Durban sub-station;
12/02/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: near Messina
Bakkie detonates anti-tank mine; no injuries
2/02/86 Skirmishes with SADF: near Alldays One SADF, one cadre
16/02/86 SADF personnel: Mamelodi Casspir severely damaged by
17/02/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Zwide Two SAP killed, two cadres
killed, one arrested SAP personnel: area unknown One SAP injured
when vehicle hit by 10 bullets
??/02/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Zola, Soweto Cadre blows up two
SAP, kills self with grenade
??/02/86 Economic: De Deur Limpet causes structural damage to
substation 01/03/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Port Elizabeth or Grahamstown
One SAP seriously injured, cadre killed
03/03/896 Skirmishes with SAP: Gugulethu Police execute seven
04/03/86 SAP building/personnel: John Vorster Square Two SAP
members, two civilians injured in explosion on 3rd floor
07/03/86 SAP building/personnel: Hillbrow SAP Station Limpet
found and detonated by SAP
15/03/86 Government buildings: Limpet mine explodes in front
of Springs railway station, outside Indian Administration Offices; one
civilian seriously injured
17/03/86 SAP personnel: Mamelodi SAP member shot; dies in hospital
18/03/86 SAP personnel: Mamelodi Constable Sinki Vuma shot dead
19/03/86 SAP personnel: limpet mine attack on SB member (no area);
car destroyed member
21/03/86 Economic: Durban Four mines explode at Escom sub-station
26/03/86 Skirmish with SAP: Volsloorus One cadre killed when
he allegedly threw grenade at SAP members
08/04/86 Collaborators in apartheid repression: attack on home
of former LP secretary in Natal, Kevin Leaf No injuries
??/03/86 SAP Personnel: Dobsonville SAP come under fire at funeral;
21/04/86 SADF / personnel actively assistingSADF: Breyten/Chrissiesmeer
district Two anti-tank landmines detonate, injuring two civilians in taxi
and one tractor driver
21/04/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Alexandra Cadre attacks SAP, one
seriously injured; cadre retreated unharmed
23/04/86 Government buildings: Cala Blast at Cala post office;
24/04/86 Government building: Meyerspark post office Explosion
causes tructural damage
27/04/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Edendale hospital Gordon Webster
rescued; one civilian killed, two SAP injured
25/05/86 SADF / personnel actively assisting SADF: farm of Colonel
Koos Durr, near Davel Anti-tank miine kills two, injures eight
26/05/86 As above: same road landmine detonated by tractor No injuries
10/06/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: the farm Boshoek,
5km from Volksrust Anti-tank mine injures one person
10/06/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: the farm Blomhof,near
Volksrust Anti-tank mine injures two farmworkers
14/06/86 SADF personnel: Magoos/ Why Not bars Car bomb kills
three, injures 69, the majority civilians; McBride sentenced to death
16/06/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: Winterveldt:
Probable anti-tank mine explosion kills three BDF troops in troop carrier
22/06/86 Economic: fuel storage tanks, Jacobs; Limpet damages
tanks Economic: liquid fuel pipeline betw. Sapref and Limpet damages
pipeline Mobil Refinery near Durban
26/06/86 SAP personnel: Soshanguve Grenade attack on SAP members
27/06/86 Skirmishes with SAP: roadblock near Botswana border
Four cadres killed, one SAP injured
29/06/86 Government buildings: Alice post office Explosion; no
30/06/86 SAP personnel: Westville, Natal Mine explodes 03h15
on pedestrian bridge; second limpet aimed at responding SAP members explodes
15 minutes later
July 1986 Skirmish with SAP: Mdantsane After a two-hour gun battle
SAP kill one cadre
05/07/86 SAP buildings: Mowbray SAP station, CT Explosion slightly
injures two SAP
05/07/86 SADF/Personnel actively assisting SADF: Volksrust One
person injured by anti-tank landmine; no details
05/07/86 Government personnel: Vosloorus and Katlehong; Five
Development Board. officials killed in two attacks on their vehicles; two
06/07/86 Skirmishes with SAP: Empangeni Three cadres killed,
10/07/86 SAP building: Silverton Explosion injures seven people
22/07/86 SAP personnel: Katlehong One SAP killed
26/07/86 SAP personnel: Katlehong; Cadres attack municipal police
twice; both cadres killed, five police killed, 12 police injured
30/07/86 SAP personnel: Umtata SAP station Three SAP, four civlians
die , seven SAP injured in grenade and AK attack
28/07/86 Skirmish with SAP: Nelspruit Two cadres killed
30/07/86 SADF/Personnel actively supporting SADF: near Nelspruit
Anti-tank landmine explodes: no injuries
03/08/86 Government buildings: Lakeside post office Explosion;
09/08/86 SAP Personnel: Durban Lt Victor Raju killed in grenade
attac on his home
16/08/86 Skirmish with SAP: Eastern Tvl, near Swaziland Four
cadres killed, one injured
16/08/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: E. Tvl border
area Anti-tank landmine kills five, injures two civilians
17/08/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: the farm Stellen
Rust near Nelspruit Anti-tank mine injures two civilians
22/08/86 Personnel actively assisting SAP: Natal Grenade attack
on Inkathas Winnington Sabelo; AK 47 fired at car of his wife as she entered
the driveway, killing her and injuring 3 children
24/08/86 Government personnel: Imbali Grenade attack on home
of town councillor Austin Kwejama; one child killed, one child injured
24/09/86 Government personnel/ support for community action Home
of Soweto Housing Director, Del Kevin, extensively damaged by limpet mine;
30/09/86 Skirmishes with SAP: N. Natal One SAP injured
Early Oct. 1986 SAP building: SAP station Newcastle Attacked,
06/10/86 SADF/ personnel actively assisting SADF: Mbuzini, near
Mozabique border Anti-tank landmiine injures six SADF members in military
20/10/86 SAP buildings: Lamontville SAP station Limpet mine explosion
outside; no injuries
22/10/86 Personnel actively supporting SADF: two anti-tank landmine
explosions Damage to property (Van Zyl)
31/10/86 SAP personnel: Umlazi Det. W/O Seleka(?) killed in grenade
attack on home
Early Nov. 1986 Economic/ support for community struggle Two
offices of PUTCO bombed in Soweto after fare increase of 17,5% announced
02or04/11/86 SADF/Personnel actively assisting SADF: near Nelspruit
Anti-tank landmine explosion kills one woman, one child injured
04/11/86 SADF personnel: landmine, E Transvaal One soldier on
10/11/86 Government buildings: Newcastle Magistrates Court Two
bombs explode; 24 injuries including Magistrate and Public Prosecutor
14/11/86 SADFl/ personnel actively assisting SADF: Alldays district
Landmine injures farmer and son
23/11/86 Government buildings: Fordsburg flats Limpet mines explode
at new housing for Sowto town councillors; no injuries
??/11/86 SAP Personnel: KTC Camp Grenade injures two SAP members
15/12/86 SADF / personnel actively assisting SADF: Barberton
area Anti-tank landmine injures two SAP in SAP vehicle
19/12/86 SADF / personnel actively assisting SADF: Komatipoort
area Anti-tank landmine injures SADF member Government personnel:
Soweto Grenade attack on home of Soweto councillor; two SAP injured
27/12/86 Skirmishes with SAP: near Messina Two SAP, three cadres
killed; two cadres escape
Note: According to the Institute of Strategic Studies at the University
of Pretoria, there were 234 incidents of insurgency during 1987; there
had been 230 in 1986.
1987 SAP personnel: home of Hlongwane, Mamelodi Damage to property
1987 Government buildings: Jhbg Magistrates Court Four killed,
several injured 1987 SAP buildings: Kwandebele SAP station No details
01/01/87 SADF personnel: Alexandra National servicemen attacked;
at least one injured
08/01/86 SAP personnel: AECI plant Policeman shot at; skirmish
followed inwhich two SAP and one civilian injured
09/01/87 Support for strike action: OK Bazaars Eloff Street Bomb
explodes, no injuries
12/01/87 OK Bazaars HQ: Bomb causes extensive damage, no injures
(Note: there had been a protracted strike.)
09/01/87 SAP personnel: near KTC Riot Squad member killed, two
injured by grenade thrown into their vehicle
23/01/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Soweto Two cadres killed
24/01/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Mendu, Willowvale One TDF or Transkei
police member injured
30/01/87 SAP/SADF personnel: Alexandra Three SADF, one SAP killed
31/01/87 Government personnel: Diepmeadow; Home of town councillor
Senokoane attacked; six injured including two SAP officers
02/02/87 SAP personnel: Single Quarters, Bokomo SAP Station Two
attacks with grenades; one SAP injured
18/02/87 SADF personnel: Tladi Secondary School Grenade attack
kills for SADF personnel
19/02/87 Personnel actively assisting SAP: Grenade injures Chief
Lushaba and Samuel Jamile of Inkatha
03/03/87 SAP personnel: Gugulethu Cadre shot dead by police after
he allegedly fired on their patrol with an AK 47
09/03/87 SAP personnel: Gugulethu One SAP. two municipal SAP
killed; one cadre possibly killed
11/03/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Zone 13 Mdantsane Ciskei police
confirm skirmish, no details
11/03/87 Skirmish with SAP: New Crossroads Cadre shot dead in
13/03/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Atteridgeville Four municipal police
killed, one injured
16/03/87 SAP personnel: Kagiso Grenade attack on home of SAP
member; no injuries
17/03/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Inanda SAP raid; cadre resisted;
SAP kill cadre, one woman, injure man and baby
17/03/87 Economic: railway line between Newcastle and Johannesburg
Three explosions damage line
28/03/87 SADF / personnel actively assisting SADF: Josefsdal/Swaziland
border area Anti-tank landmine kills four, injures one civilian
01/04/87 SAP/SADF personnel: Mabopane or Mamelodi Grenade thrown
into Hippo, three SADF killed, two injured
01/04/87 Government personnel: Dobsonville Grenade thrown at
home of Councillor Radebe; no injuries
02/04/87 SAP personnel: Nyanga Grenade injures three SAP
08/04/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Ventersdorp Two cadres, 1 SAP killed
09/04/87 SAP personnel: Meadowlands Zone 10 Three SAP attacked;
14/04/87 SAP personnel: Chesterfield, Durban Grenade attack on
home of SAP member; no injuries
15/04/87 SAP personnel: Umbumbulu SB officer killed by sniper,
another SB injured
20/04/87 SADF personnel: Dube station Grenade thrown at group
of soldiers; casualties not reported
??/04/87 Skirmish with SAP: Umlazi Three cadres killed, four
SAP injured, one critically, in shootout
23/04/87 SAP personnel: Bonteheuwel Grenade attack on home of
SAP member No details
Personnel actively assisting SAP: Mitchells Plain Grenade attack
on home of security guard; no details
SAP personnel: Ravensmead Grenade attack on home of SAP member;
24/04/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Umlazi Riot SAP raid; cadres resisted;
three Riot SAP injured, two cadres killed
30/04/87 SAP personnel: Osizweni, Newcastle SAP barracks Grenade
attack; four SAP injured
??/04/87 SAP personnel: KTC Seven SAP injured in grenade attack
on their patrol
04/05/87 SADF / personnel actively assisting SADF: area west
of Messina; Driver killed and 10 passengers injured when truck detonates
09/05/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Mamelodi One SAP, three SADF, one
16/05/87 SAP personnel: Newcastle; Explosion at Newcastle station
waiting room; second explosion at 01h34 while SAP investigating first blast;
one SAP injured
20/05/87 Government buildings; SAP personnel: Johannesburg Magistrates
Court Car bomb kills three SAP, injures four SAP, six civilians injured
11/06/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Emdeni, Soweto SAP raid/ ambush
of raiders: one cadre, one SAP killed
12/06/87 SAP personnel: Witbank Two SAP found dead Government
buildings: Athlone Magistrates Court Limpet mine explodes; no details
15/06/87 Government personnel: Gugulethu; Grenade attack on home
of councillor; four injured, two of them special constables
16/06/87 Government personnel: Guglethu Grenade attack on councillors
home; two injured
21/06/87 SAP personnel: KTC camp Grenade attack on SAP patrol
injures seven SAPs
22/06/87 SAP personnel: KTC Two SAP, five municipal police injured
in grenade attack
12/07/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Athlone SAP raid; one cadre killed,
06/07/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Mdantsane; SAP ambush: cadre kills
two, injures three Riot Unit SAP; cadre shot dead
08/07/87 Skirmish with SAP: Motherwell SAP crush alleged cadre
and his sister to death in shack after they allegedly were fired on
18/07/87 SAP personnel: Mamelodi East SAP member and wife injured
in attack on their home
??/07/87 Skirmish with SAP: Mdantsane Two SAP, one cadre killed
20/07/87 SADF personnel: SADF flats, District Six Car bomb explodes;
25/07/86 SAP/SADF personnel: Pimville Grenade thrown at home;
exploded outside house
26/07/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Katlehong Cadre escaped; no details
30/07/87 SADF personnel/ personnel actively assisting SADF: the
farm Bodena owned by Danie Hough Anti-tank landmine injures three civilians
30/07/87 SADF personnel and buildings: Car bomb explodes outside
Witwatersrand Command killing one SADF, injuring 68 military personnel
??/07/87 SAP personnel: Gugulethu Home of SAP officer attacked
05/08/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Ntsekisa Rd, New Brighton Cadre
killed in shootout
13/08/87 SAP personnel: Emdeni SAP Sgt. injured in grenade attack
on SAP van
23/08/87 SADF personnel: Emdeni Shop frequented by SADF members
attacked with grenades; no details
24/08/87 SAP personnel: Emdeni Grenade thrown at SAP vehicle;
two SAP, eight civilians injured
27/08/87 Government personnel: Soweto; Home of former Mayor Kunene
attacked; two council police killed
30/08/87 SADF personnel: Military barracks, Dobsonville Grenade
thrown at five soldiers outside barracks; estimated eight SADF members
killed or injured
02/09/87 Skirmish with SAP: Sandton SAP kill cadre after he allegedly
threw a grenade at a roadblock
??/09/87 Skirmishes with SAP: near Zimbabwe border SAP say six
cadres killed in various incidents
24/09/87 SAP personnel: Soweto 10 people including two SAP injured
in grenade attack on SAP patrol
??/09/87 SAP Personnel: Marble Hall Commander of KwaNdebele National
Guard Unit and his son (also SAP officer) found shot dead by AK 47 fire
01/10/87 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Bomb placed outside
door of Rajbansis NPP office in Lenasia explodes hours after official opening;
17/10/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Heidedal, Bloemfontein SAP raid on house
comes under fire; no details
28/10/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Swaziland border Cadre wounded;
killed SADF member who approached him
06/11/87 SAP personnel: Khayelitsha One Special constable, two
civilians killed by sniper fire
12/11/87 Government buildings: Zola Municipal offices Two limpet
mines explode, third detonated by SAP
14/11/87 SADF personnel: Cape Town; SADF commemoration march
from CT to the Castle: limpet mine explodes in bin which over 700 SAP and
SADF filed past; 1 SADF injured
18/11/87 Government buildings: Johannesburg post office Limpet
23/11/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Umlazi; SAP raid on house: two
cadres and alleged collaborator killed; two SAP injured by cadres who resisted
30/11/87 SAP buildings/personnel: Dube municipal training centre
Three explosions; no injuries
10/12/87 Skirmishes with SAP: Port Elizabeth area SAP raid on
shack; heavy resistance from cadres; SAP drove Casspir over shack, killing
12/12/87 SAP personnel: Soweto Group of SAP fired on by cadres
in car; two SAP killed, four injured
??/12/87 SAP personnel: Nyanga Group of five Special Constables
come under fire; one killed
1988 SAP personnel: ambush in Emdeni, Soweto No information
January 1988 SAP personnel: attack on police in Kliptown No information
25/01/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Ugie; roadblock Cadres wound 1
SAP, retreat safely
25/01/88 SAP personnel: Kokstad; Limpet exploded at Kokstad Mens
Club opposite Kokstad SAP station; frequented by SAP; building, two vehicles
27/01/88 SAP personnel: Soweto Cadres open fire on SAP vehicle;
three SAP, one civilian injured
01/02/88 Skirmishes with SAP: ? Transkei; roadblock Cadres attempted
to resist; three killed, one injured by Transkei police
02/02/88 Skirmishes with SAP:? near Mount Fletcher Cadre killed
in skirmish: no details
06/02/88 SAP personnel: East London One SAP killed in attack;
12/02/88 SAP personnel: Soweto Municipal police guarding installation
attacked; two injured
12/02/88 Personnel actively assisting SAP: Johannesburg; Cadre
opens fire on car driven by ex-Rhodesian soldier, now private security
firm official; details on injuries unclear
01/03/88 SADF personnel: Benoni Explosion causes extensive damage
to bus transporting SAAF personnel; no details
07/03/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Queenstown SAP raid; cadre resisted,
wounded six SAP; cadre and civilian killed by SAP
08/03/88 SAP personnel: Phiri Hall SAP mess Prolonged attack
kills one SAP, wounds 10 SAP
14/03/88 Government building: Johannesburg City Hall Bomb explodes
at; no injuries
17/03/88 SAP personnel: Krugersdorp magistrates court and adjacent
SAP Station Two SADF, one civilian killed; 20 injured in car bomb court
and adjacent SAP station; plan to prevent civilian injuries failed
18/03/88 SAP personnel: Atteridgeville Cadres attack tavern frequented
by SAP; three SAP killed
25/03/88 Skirmishes with SADF: Batavia, Far Northern Transvaal
Three cadres killed
27/03/88 SAP/SADF personnel: Pietersburg; Antheas Club, frequented
by SAP and SADF, slightly damaged by limpet placed in back garden; no injuries
28/03/88 Skirmishes with SADF: island on Mutale river Four cadres
killed, one injured
??/03/88 Economic: Fort Jackson electrical sub-station Three
limpet mines cause damage, no injuries
??/04/88 SAP building: attack on municipal police training centre
09/04/88 Government buildings: Atteridgeville Development Board
canteen Limpet explodes nearby; no injuries
12/04/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Mpumalanga township; SAP cornered
cadre who killed self and two SAP with grenade; trapped second cadre who
resisted: cadre killed one SAP and three civilians wounded in crossfire
15/04/88 Government buildings: Atteridgeville Municipal offices
Limpet mine explodes; no details
15/04/88 Explosion outside Pretoria Sterland cinema One cadre killed,
one civilian injured According to an ANC official in Lusaka, the intended
target was a nearby government building; the bomb exploded prematurely
22/04/88 SAP personnel: Soweto Cadre ambushes municipal police
vehicle, wounds four SAP, one civilian
25/04/88 SAP personnel: Newcastle Sgt JM Mazibuku killed at bus
01/05/88 SAP personnel: Cape Town; Special Guard Unit vehicle
attacked No injuries
04/05/88 SAP personnel / buildings: Kagiso SAP Single Quarters
Limpet mine explodes against wall; no details
10/05/88 SAP personnel: Mamelodi Grenade attack on SAP members
home; child killed
14/05/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Newcastle SAP raid home of cadre;
cadre resisted but was killed
24/05/88 SAP personnel: Germiston station Cadre opened fire on
SAP at station; killed when SAP returned fire; three civilians injured
03/06/88 SADF buildings / personnel: SA Irish Regiment HQ, Anderson
St, Johannesburg Explosion; no details
03/06/88 SAP personnel / buildings: Explosion outside Standard
Bank, Roodepoort during lunch hour kills 4, injures 18 civilians According
to an ANC official in Lusaka, the target had not been civilians but an
SAP station nearby; no details on what operational difficulties caused
20/06/88 SAP personnel: Mdanstane W/O Swelindawo of Ciskei police
injured in explosion at his home
29/06/88 SADF personnel: cafe in Poynton building frequented
by SADF and Prisons officials Explosion injures two SADF, two Prisons personnel,
05/07/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Gugulethu Police raid; cadre resisted
for 3 hours; shot dead
12/07/88 Landmine incident - no details
14/07/88 Skirmishes with SADF: Kruger National Park; follow-up
operation after 12/07 landmine Four cadres killed
16/07/88 SAP personnel: Nyanga Cadre fires on SAP vehicle; one
civilian killed, one injured SAP return fire; cadre wounded
17/07/88 SAP personnel: Soweto highway Cadre opens fire on SAP
vehicle from back of bakkie; two SAP injured
22/07/88 Government personnel: Soweto Grenade attack on home
of Soweto Council personnel manager, BE Qakisa; no details
23/07/88 SAP personnel: Pinetown Cadre wounded SAP member; no
26/07/88 Government personnel: Soweto Three grenade attacks on
homes of Administration Board employees( P. Legare, Mr Naledi, Mr Gumede);
??/07/88 Collaborators in apartheid represssion: Lenasia Explosion
outside home of member of Presidents Council, Dr Ismail Jajbhay; no injuries
03/08/88 SADF building and personnel: Wits Command Car bomb explodes;
no injuries Skirmishes with SAP: Bridgewater area Five cadres killed
in two incidents
04/08/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Wild COast hotel SAP raid; one
cadre killed, one escaped
08/08/88 Skirmishes with SAP: near Palala river No details
19/08/88 SADF buildings/personnel: The Castle, Cape Town Mini-limpet
mine explodes within Castle grounds; no details
20/08/88 Government personnel: Duncan Village Grenade attack
on home of mayor, Eddie Makeba; extensive damage; no injuries
??/08/88 Government buildings: Westville Post Office Mini-limpet
explodes; no injuries
??/09/88 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Bomb goes off
at Laudium home of Pretoria municipal election candidate; no injuries
22/09/88 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Explosion at
the home of municipal election candidate SD Goolam injures four SAP, two
guards, one civilian
??/09/88 Three limpet mines in Lenasia explode at the offices of the
Lenasia bus service, at the home of the Lenasia Management Committee, and
the offices of the House of Delegates; no injuries
??/09/88 Government buildings: King Williamstown Magistrates
Court Bomb explodes, no injuries
02/09/88 Government buildings: Standerton post office Limpets
03/09/88 Skirmishes with SAP: Molweni, Durban Cadre fires on
SAP from house; cadre killed, four injured
10/09/88 SAP building/personnel: Moroka SAP Station barracks
No details on results of explosion
10/09/88 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Mini-limpet placed
under basin next to back door of Lenasia HOD candidate, Mrs Ebrahim; no
19/09/88 SAP building & personnel: Benoni Car bomb explodes
in flats 100m from SAP station; two civilians injured
??/09/88 SAP buildings & personnel: Woodstock Police Station
Mini-limpet explodes, no injuries
??/09/88 SAP Personnel: Soweto Home of municipal policeman attacked,
??/10/88 Government buildings: Redhill Post Office Bomb explodes;
??/10/88 Collaborators in apartheid repression: Bomb damages
campaign HQ of a Wentworth municipal candidate in Durban
??/10/88 Government personnel Municipal councillor and assistant
escape injury when hand grenades thrown at them in Thokoza
??/10/88 Explosion at KwaThema civic centre used as polling point in
municipal elections; baby killed, four people injured
??/10/88 Government buildings: Magistrates Courts at Wynberg
(Johannesburg), Bishop Lavis, and Stellenbosch Explosions at these three
places cause no injuries
??/10/88 SAP Buildings: Woodstock Police Station Bomb causes
damage, no injuries
??/10/88 SAP Personnel: Tembisa police barracks Limpet mine explodes,
injures four SAP
??/10/88 SAP Buildings & personnel: near Alexandra Municipal
Police offices Limpet mine causes extensive damage, no injuries
??/10/88 Government personnel: Wattville and Thokoza: Homes of
municipal candidates attacked with hand grenades; no injuries Tumahole;
Limpet mine explodes at homes of two councillors; no injuries Gompo Town;
Hand grenade attack on home of deputy mayor; no injuries
??/10/88 SAP buildings & personnel: Katlehong Municipal Police
barracks Mini-limpet explodes, no details
??/10/88 SAP personnel: Potchefstroom: building housing Security
Branch Bomb explodes, at least one SAP injury
??/11/88 Government buildings: Port Elizabeth Post Office Limpet
mine explodes, no injuries
??/12/88 Government buildings: Boksburg Receiver of Revenue offices
Limpet mine explodes; no injuries
??/12/88 Government offices: Brakpan Dept. Home Affairs Limpet
mine causes damage, no injuries
??/12/88 Government buildings: Cape Two municipal buildings,
Magistrates Court in Paarl. Bombs explode; no injuries
??/10/88 Economic: Sandton Eskom substation Limpet mine explodes
??/10/88 Government buildings: Diepmeadow Mini-limpet damages
offices, no injuries
??/??89 SAP personnel: Jabulani, Soweto
Mine detonates on vehicle; no details
??/??89 SAP personnel: attack in Diepkloof Unnamed SAP member
killed by AK fire
??/01/89 Economic: Post Office, King Williamstown No details
Economic: Railways, Wilsonia, (E Cape) No details Economic :
Mount Ruth railway station, Mdantsane No details
??/01/89 Economic/SAP personnel: Glenwood, Durban Escom sub-station
damaged by explosion; SAP defuse second bomb nearby
??/01/89 Economic: Sandhurst Explosion at Escom sub-station
??/01/89 Collaborators in apartheid repression:Benoni Limit mine
explodes at home of the chair of the Ministers Council in the House of
Delegates extensive damage no injuries
??/01/89 Economic/military: Ciskei Explosion at aircraft factory;
no injuries; no further details
??/01/89 SAP building/personnel: Katlehong Municipal Police Station
Two municipal police killed in grenade attack
??/02/89 SAP building: municipal police barracks, Soweto Structural
damage; 4 SAP injured
??/02/89 SAP personnel: parade in Katlehong One municipal constable
killed, nine injured
??/02/89 SAP personnel: Col. D. Dlamini, commander of Katlehong
SAP Station Limpet explodes at his home; no details
??/03/89 SADF buildings: Natal Command HQ Explosion; no injuries
??/04/89 SAP buildings/personnel: SAP HQ Durban Explosion at
single quarters; no details
??/04/89 SAP buildings: Yeoville SAP Station Bomb explodes; no
??/04/89 SAP buildings: SAP station, Durban No injuries in explosion
??/04/89 SAP Outpost: Katlehong Five special constables injured
??/04/89 SAP personnel: Thokoza Two municipal police injured
when grenades thrown at councillors home
??/04/89 Government personnel: Thokoza Grenade thrown at home
of Councillor Abram Mzizi; no details
??/04/89 SAP personnel: Single quarters No details
??/04/89 Economic: Nigel post office Explosion; no injuries
??/05/89 SADF installation: Klippan Radar Station Attack by large
group of guerillas using mortars; no injuries reported
??/06/89 SAP personnel: Duduza Limpet explodes under SAP vehicle;
four civilians injured
??/06/89 SAP personnel: Tsakane Limpet explodes under vehicle
outside SAP members home
??/06/89 SAP personnel: Tsakane Grenade thrown at SAP patrol;
??/06/89 SAP personnel: Soweto Limpet explodes in rubbish bin
outside home of SAP member
??/06/89 SAP personnel: KwaThema SAP station Bomb shatters window
of dining hall
??/06/89 SAP personnel: Ratanda SAP Single Quarters Limpet mine
explodes; no injuries
??/06/89 Collaborators in apartheid repression Limpet mine at
home of Boetie Abramjee LP MP; no details
??/08/89 Armed propaganda Grenade explodes at Labour Party polling
station, Bishop Lavis
??/08/89 SAP building/personnel: Brixton Flying Squad HQ Attacked
with hand grenades and AKs; no injuries reported
??/08/89 SAP personnel: Lt-Col. Frank Zwane; Former liaison officer
for SAP, Soweto; Zwane and two sons injured in grenade attack ??/08/89
SAP building: Athlone SAP Station Explosion; no details
??/09/89 SAP equipment/personnel: Duduza Limpet mine on SAP vehicle:
??/09/89 Government buildings: municipal offices, Alexandra No
??/09/89 SAP personnel: patrol ambushed, Katlehong No information
??/09/89 SAP building: Mamelodi SAP station Mini-limpet explodes
outside; SAP vehicle damaged
ARMED ACTIONS FOR WHICH TARGET CATEGORY AND/OR RESPONSIBILITY IS UNCERTAIN
This list includes all incedents we have found in press reports and from
SAIRR annual surveys which cannot be classified according to the target
categories used in the appendix headed "list of known MK operations".
In addition, we are uncertain as to whether these attacks were carried
out by bona fide MK cadres. Some appear to be the result of operationla
difficulties; others very probably "flase flag" operations.
07/03/77 Pretoria restaurant destroyed by bomb - no details
25/11/77 Bomb explodes at Carlton Centre, Johannesburg; 14 injured. 3
0/11/77 Bomb explodes on Pretoria boundtrain
14/12/77 Bomb explodes in Benoni station 22/12/77 Unexploded bomb found
in OK bazaars, Roodepoort
??/02/78 It is reported that an unexploded bomb "capable of destroying
22 storey building found in Johannesburg office block"
??/02/81 Bomb blast in Durban shopping centre; two injuries
26/06/81 Durban Cenotaph: 2 bombs explode
26/07/81 Two bombs extensively damage motor vehicle firms in central
Durban, 05h50 and 06h10; three injuries
06/08/81 Bomb explodes in East London shopping complex minutes before
rush hour; no details
08/08/81 Bomb explodes in Port Elizabeth shopping centre in similar
manner to East London bomb
??/12/82 Southern Free State Administration Board, Bloemfontein; blast
leaves one dead, 70 injured
12/02/83 Free State Administration Board offices; bomb injures 76 people
12/03/83 Bomb on railway coach on Johannesburg bound passenger train
13/05/83 Explosive device (37kg of explosives in gas cylinder) found
by SAP under bridge on Southern Freeway, Durban; defused
03/04/84 Car bomb at Victoria Embankment, Durban, kills three civilians,
injures 20 civilians Note: According to the SAIRR, two of those killed
were Daya Rengasami and his wife Navi. He had been a member of the SA Students
Organisation and the BPC. The ANC in Lusaka denied an SABC report that
it had claimed responsibility; other reports claimed that the ANC had prepared
a statement on the blast which was held back once it emerged that the Rengasamis
were casualties of the bomb. Rajbansi said he believed his offices nearby
had been the intended target of the bomb. The investigating officer was
Capt. Andrew Taylor of the SB who is one of the accused in the Mxenge trial;
he may be able to supply more details.
08/04/84 Arson attack at Hermansberg German Mission, Natal; extensive
damage to vehicles and farming equipment
??/08/85 Three limpet mines explode in department stores in Durban,
causing limited damage and no injuries
??/08/85 Bomb explodes in night club at an Umlazi hotel; 30 children
27/09/85 Limpet mines damage basement of OK Bazaars
(17h00 and early hours of 28/09), Smith Street; Game Stores (17h30),
Checkers (17h30), all in central Durban Limpet mine defused in Spar, 18h30,
??/10/85 Home of Umlazi headmaster attacked with hand grenade. Limpet
mines found at school in Durban (no details on area)
??/11/85 Building housing Institute of Bankers in central Johannesburg
damaged in blast
??/11/85 Hand grenade explodes at Barclays National Bank branch, Woodstock
??/12/85 Grenade attack on tourist kombi in central Durban; no details
21/12/85 Limpet mine attached to minibus injures 8 or 13 civilians
??/02/86 Hand grenade explodes in Transkei minister's official car;
10/02/86 Large bomb defused by SAP in Amanzimtoti 200m from where the
December 1985 blast (for which Andrew Zondo was hanged) took place.
17/03/86 Mini-limpet discovered at Afrikaans high school at Elsburg,
Germiston; police detonate limpet
19/03/86 Bomb blast inside wall of Springs New Apostolic Church
10/04/86 Limpet mine at Braamfontein station; 1 person killed, 4 injured
18/04/86 Bomb explodes in casino of Wild Coast Holiday Inn; 2 civilians
killed, 1 injured Note: the ANC denied responsibility for this attack.
01/05/86 Two grenades thrown at the home of Mr Klein, principal of Wentworth
Primary School. Klein says he is not politically involved. He was a police
reservist some time ago. Klein and wife both injured.
07/05/86 Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, Sandton: bomb causes extensive
damage, no injuries
??/05/86 SAP say a 15kg bomb was found under a car in downtown Durban;
22/06/86 Limpet mine explodes at 01h45 outside Copper Shop, West St,
24/06/86 Explosion at 14h00 injures 16 civilians at a Wimpy Bar, Rissik
Street ? Outside President Hotel, Johannesburg; explosion at 14h26 seriously
injures five civilians
28/06/86 Queenstown shopping centre; explosion just before 12h00 injures
??/06/86 Bomb explodes at Jabulani Amphitheatre, Soweto; no injuries
??/06/86 Ten people killed in explosion in minibus in Bophutatswana
??/06/86 Limpet mine explodes in Queenstown shopping centre; one child
??/06/86 Limpet mine explodes in Johannesburg restaurant, injuring 17
01/07/86 Explosion outside Carlton Hotel injures 8 civilians
04/07/86 Limpet mine explodes outside Checkers supermarket in Silverton;
20 civilians injured
01/09/86 Pick and Pay supermarket Montclair, Durban; bomb injures 1
07/09/86 The Durban holiday home for underprivileged children escaped
unscathed after a car bomb blast nearby
??/09/86 Mini-limpet explodes in bar of Devonshire Hotel injuring three
civilians (this was a popular venue for Wits students)
??/09/86 Grenade thrown into crowded night club in Edenpark (Alberton)
03/01/87 Corner Jeppe/Delvers St, Johannesburg; limpet mine injures
05/02/87 Explosion at bus shelter outside Groote Schuur estate; 1 civilian
??/02/87 Limpet mine causes damage to a shop in Matatiele (Transkei)
??/04/87 Bomb explodes in a shop in centre of Newcastle; no injuries
03/04/87 Car park of Came Arcade shopping centre: limpet mine injures
16/04/87 Parking area of Newcastle supermarket: explosion injures two
05/05/87 Johannesburg Civic Centre: two mini-limpets explode, no injuries
19/05/87 Carlton Centre; explosion; no details
08/07/87 Bar of Village Main Hotel, Johannesburg: limpet mine explodes
at 11h12; no details
28/09/87 Standard Bank arena: two bombs explode, no injuries
??/04/88 Bomb explodes at Johannesburg City Hall; no injuries
19/04/88 Explosion at private office block less than 100m from Parliament.
Back entrance destroyed, branch of Santambank seriously damaged
25/05/88 Grenade attack on Sofasonke Party rally in Soweto; two killed,
38 injured Note: an ANC spokesperson blamed "armed political renegades"
for carrying out attacks which were then blamed on the ANC, and denied
knowledge of this attack.
26/05/88 Outside African Eagle Building, Pretoria: limpet mine injures
four civilians Outside Ruth Arndt Early Learning Centre, Pretoria: limpet
mine detonates during lunch hour (target may have been SADF offices, Proes
28/05/88 Explosive device at bottom of platform staircase at Johannesburg
railway station: - 1 civilian injured
05/06/88 Bomb detonated while train was standing at Saulsville railway
22/06/88 Amusement arcade in Winning Side Arcade, Johannesburg: limpet
mine kills ten civilians
26/06/88 Papagallo Restaurant, East London: limpet mine discovered and
??/06/88 Bomb blast near Soweto's Inhlanzani station; no injuries
??/06/88 Mini-limpet mine explodes at Pretoria snack bar, injuring 18
people 09/07/88 Outside Johannesburg Cambrians hockey club: limpet mine
explodes outside; no details
29/07/88 Bus stop cnr. Victoria/Odendaal Streets, Germiston: limpet
mine injures one civilian
30/07/88 Wimpy Bar, Benoni Plaza: limpet mine explodes at lunch hour;
1 civilian killed, 57 injured
??/07/88 Two explosions at a meeting of Sofasonke party; no injuries
05/08/88 Morula Sun Casino: limpet mine discovered and suppressed; minor
13/08/88 Hyde Park Shopping Centre: explosion injures three civilians
23/08/88 Wimpy Bar, Oxford St, E London: explosion at lunch hour injures
24/08/88 Limpet mine discovered outside Wimpy Bar, Standerton: limpet
mine discovered; dragged into street and detonated; no details
??/08/88 Powerful explosion at a bus terminus used by black people;
??/09/88 Bomb explodes at discothËque in Hillbrow injuring 19 people
??/09/88 Limpet mine explosion at Vinderbijl Square bus terminus in
Johannesburg injures 19 people
??/09/88 Hand grenade thrown at home of Allan Hendrickse, leader of
the Labour Party, from a moving car
02/09/88 Outside a shop on the corner of Smith and Fenton Streets, Durban:
limpet mine explodes at 17h30; two civilians injured
07/09/88 Basement of North Park Plaza Shopping Centre: explosion kills
08/09/88 Grenade thrown into the home of couple who did not join a strike
(Mr and Mrs Modiko); child injured
21/09/88 Vanderbijlpark bus terminal: explosion after 17h00 injures
??/09/88 Bomb under a car in parking lot of East London hotel explodes
after area cleared; no injuries
??/10/88 Limpet mine explodes at central Johannesburg bus terminus,
injuring four people
??/10/88 Car bomb explosion outside a Witbank shopping centre; two killed,
??/11/88 Explosion at Lenasia civic centre; no injuries
??/11/88 Explosion damages section of railway line on outskirts of Durban;
??/12/88 Two explosions in Bisho result in damage to garage and shop;
one minor injury
??/12/88 Five people, one an SAP member, killed in Soweto; police said
an AK 47 was used indicating that the ANC was responsible
??/02/88 12 civilians injured in a blast at Wits Medical Command administration
building in Braamfontein. The head of SAP public relations (Brig. Herman
Stadler) claims that the ANC was responsible and had carried out the attack
for propaganda purposes; this was proved by the fact that newspapers had
received an early tip-off, he said.
??/07/89 Bomb at JG Strijdom hospital; no details
??/10/89 Bomb explodes outside BP centre, Cape Town and at a Woodstock
garage a few minutes later
??/11/89 Bombs at First National Bank ATM at Berlin railway station,
King WIlliams Town
The Department of Intelligence and Security of the
African National Congress
The conditions which led the ANC leadership to adopt armed struggle as
one of the "four pillars" of struggle for the liberation of South Africa
have been described in some detail in our main submission.
The roots of NAT can be traced to the establishment of a military intelligence
unit in the 1960s, tasked with undertaking reconnaissance missions to find
routes for the infiltration of trained MK cadres; the establishment of
reception areas inside the country for these cadres; and the selection
of inanimate targets for armed propaganda attacks.
At this time the Department had no counter-intelligence capacity: there
was no structure specifically tasked with the screening of recruits and
exposure of agents in our midst.
In the 1960's, cadres were carefully recruited or selected by ANC branches
inside the country before being sent abroad for military training.. This
screening and selection process inside the country resulted in a degree
of complacency in the ANC's mission in exile.
These weaknesses were exploited by the intelligence services of the apartheid
regime, which managed to infiltrate some of its agents into ANC and MK
structures. They went about their missions aimed at destroying the ANC's
exile mission unhindered, since no professional structure existed to thwart
their operations. In addition, Pretoria extended its defensive and offensive
capacity through forging alliances with the intelligence services of neighbouring
colonial states, and was also supported in this regard by a number of Western
The ANC achieved some success with infiltrating cadres back into the country
but in most cases they were quickly tracked down by the regime before or
immediately after they had accomplished their missions. These cadres were
arrested, usually tortured, imprisoned and later banned, or at times executed.
The suspicion grew that the regime was well informed of MK's plans, and
it was decided that the situation could not be allowed to continue unchecked.
It was decided at the Morogoro conference that a Department of Intelligence
and Security should be formally established, tasked with the protection
of human and material resources of the ANC. Moses Mabhida, who was appointed
head of this Department, was also head of MK's Training and Personnel section.
This unit was tasked with establishing military training camps in Africa,
and arranging courses in military training in sympathetic countries.
This was a huge mandate, entailing several different sets of tasks. Under
ideal conditions, these tasks would have been carried out by clearly demarcated
structures and personnel trained in various distinct skills.
In reality, as the tasks before the Department increased over the years,
it came to assume the roles of Military Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence,
Military Police, VIP protection, and correctional services in a relatively
ad hoc fashion. In addition, from the late 1970's onwards, the Department
began to build its strategic intelligence capacity, capable of forewarning
the leadership of enemy moves, rather than merely being on the defensive.
Besides this broad range of tasks, the head of the Department had the responsibilities
of ensuring that all training camps were properly run, arranging specialised
courses, and ensuring that only trusted cadres were sent on further training
or on missions inside the country.
Despite these problems, the Department worked at improving its capacity
and scored some major successes. In 1981, when an MK cadre died as a result
of a beating ordered by Kenneth Mahamba, the commander of the camp where
this incident had taken place, the case was investigated by NAT. This investigation
facilitated a major breakthrough with the discovery of an extensive network
of infiltrators in a number of countries, some of whom were linked not
only to Pretoria, but also to the intelligence services of some Western
As we mentioned in our first submission to the TRC, some of these agents
had managed to move into important strategic positions within the structures
of the Movement. Analysis of the activities of some of these agents in
the political context in which they took place indicated that they were
not merely involved in various attempts to disrupt or damage the ANC, but
were actors in a far broader and more ambitious operation by the regime
to eliminate and replace key leaders of the ANC, thereby setting the movement
on a new route which would culminate in its destruction.
Given the very limited resources accorded to this Department, the trying
physical conditions under which it worked, the nature of missions with
which enemy agents had been tasked by their masters, and the lack of training
of cadres in certain duties (such as prison services), it was probably
almost inevitable - but by no means excusable - that regrettable incidents
occurred. The lack of clearly defined lines of authority at times exacerbated
these problems. These issues are dealt with more fully in the main document
of this second submission to the TRC.
Because of its past achievements in disrupting enemy attempts to destroy
the ANC, and the danger potentially posed by this Department to the success
of the many covert operations which were running during the negotiations
era, this Department was targeted for sustained attack by the former apartheid
regime's stratkom structures. The perception has been deliberately created
in some quarters that the Department became a monstrous and lawless force
which terrorised ANC members in exile, and killed large numbers of detainees
or "dissidents." While our main submission will deal with some of these
issues, this operational report will also serve to dispel some of the mythology
and disinformation surrounding the work of the Department.
We will provide a clearer picture of the evolution of the Department, the
nature and scope of its activities, and the context in which they took
2. EVOLUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT
2.1. From 1969 to the June 1976 Uprisings
The Department was first established in April 1969 under the late Moses
The Morogoro Conference, held in 1969, assessed the first phase of the
ANC's armed struggle. The Revolutionary Council (RC) was established and
was instructed by the NEC to concentrate on the home front: developing
internal structures, gaining publicity for the ANC, and waging armed struggle.
During this period, the embryonic Department had no formal structure, and
all members of the Department were also members of MK. Intelligence gathered
was primarily on routes back into South Africa and on inanimate targets.
In addition to this these tasks, the physical security of the President
was attended to.
2.2. June 1976 - Kabwe, 1985
The 1976 Uprisings ushered in a new era for the Department. The sudden
mass influx of new recruits to some extent rendered screening procedures
ineffective This infusion of new blood into the Movement, though welcomed,
was equally fraught with danger since the regime was quick to exploit the
situation by sending in several agents to infiltrate the Movement.
It soon became evident that some agents had escaped the screening procedures
of the time. There was an attempt to kill about 500 cadres by poisoning
their food in the infamous Black September episode of 1978. This was followed
by the aerial bombardment and destruction in April 1979 of Nova Catengue
military camp, which indicated that the enemy had good intelligence. However,
the Department had received forewarning of the attack, and the camp was
evacuated in time.
In response to these threats, certain cadres were selected and sent for
specialised training in Security and Intelligence work in various countries,
mainly the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic. The latter
courses were different to previous ANC courses followed by all MK recruits,
which centred on Military Combat Work, with Security and Intelligence forming
only a part of the course. This training emphasised that the use of force
was counter-productive, and stressed the use of the intellect.
MK personnel sent for training in intelligence work qualified in the period
from 1978 - 1979. On their return, they joined the 60's generation of officers,
and NAT began to take shape.
Screening procedures were improved and re-organised, with the introduction
of a standard questionnaire for all new recruits.
Regional structures were reorganised. Reception centres to screen all new
recruits were set up in Forward Areas. The Department concentrated on Angola
first, where screening procedures had as yet not been formalised.
Investigations into the poisoning ('Black September') of 1978 and the bombardment
of the Nova Katengue camp in 1979 continued. These cases were solved only
some years later.
Other changes followed. Camp 32 (later called the Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation
Centre) was established in 1979 near Camp 13 (Quibaxe) in Angola in order
to create a means to contain and rehabilitate cadres who had committed
offences, and to imprison enemy agents who could not be isolated in the
other military camps.
By 1981 a National Directorate of NAT had been appointed by the NEC, and
the Department was organised into three main sectors: Intelligence, Security,
and Processing of Information.
A number of agents were identified as a result of these improved screening
procedures. The information gleaned in this manner was augmented by several
voluntary confessions, and ongoing investigations into earlier cases of
sabotage. It was evident that the apartheid regime felt confident and had
adopted a very arrogant attitude, telling some of these agents that they
had nothing to fear from the Department even if they were discovered: they
would merely be given political education and released, they were told,
and would be able to resume their activities as agents. To some extent,
this was true. But in 1981, the Department dealt a heavy blow to the enemy
when it uprooted its most prized network of infiltrators. This operation
was popularly known as Shishita (the report prepared at the time on this
network has been submitted to the TRC.)
2.3. Kabwe to Negotiations: 1985 - 1990
As we stated in our first submission, with this being dealt with in more
detail in the main submission to which this report is attached, a number
of decisions were taken at the Kabwe Conference specifically to halt the
abuses that had occurred by members of the security department of NAT,
to reorganise and improve the functioning of the Department, to improve
conditions under which prisoners were held, and to ensure that investigations
and sentences were carried out fairly, with the accused entitled to proper
The most important of these were the establishment of the Review Board
and the Office of Justice, both of which reported to the President's office.
NAT would in future send reports on its investigations into suspected agents
to the Office of Justice, which would take over from that point. The Review
Board would broadly act as a court of appeal. (Considerable detail on these
structures has been presented in our first and second main submissions,
and they are also covered in the report of the Motsuenyane Commission.)
It was decided to remove Mzwai Piliso from his post as head of the Department,
and an interim Directorate was set up under Alfred Nzo, consisting of Joe
Nhlanhla, Jacob Zuma, Sizakele Sigxashe, and Tony Mongalo.
This provisional Directorate was tasked with restructuring the Department
in order to ensure that its practices were in line with the new structures
for justice established after the Kabwe Conference, investigating the style
of work within the Department, and assessing its ability to respond to
the changed circumstances of struggle within the country and in the international
The NEC had declared Angola a military zone between 1983 - 1986. NAT in
Angola fell under Military HQ during this period. In 1986, a meeting was
held between MK and NAT, chaired by OR Tambo, in which the vexed question
of lines of authority over NAT in Angola was addressed. The delegations
committed themselves to ensuring that the NAT Directorate would be in command
of NAT cadres deployed in Angola and that they would report only to the
NAT Directorate in Lusaka.
In July 1987 the new permanent Directorate of the Department was appointed
by the NEC. Joe Nhlanhla was appointed the Director, with Jacob Zuma as
Deputy Director, Sizakele Sigxashe as head of the Central Intelligence
Evaluation Sector (CIES) Simon Makana as Administrator, Tony Mongalo, and
Daniel Oliphant heading Counter-Intelligence. Most of them were members
of the NEC.
NAT was restructured into more clearly defined Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence,
Processing, and Security sub-sectors. The task of Intelligence was confined
to investigations, on the basis of which reports were submitted to the
officer of Justice, whose office would decide on what further action to
take, The new leadership tightened up supervision of interrogation practices,
systematically investigated conditions in detention centres, and implemented
other corrective measures where appropriate. A programme to review the
cases of all those held in Camp 32 was set in place, and the National People's
Tribunal met in Luanda in 1988 for this purpose. More details in this regard
appear in the main document of this second submission. The mutineers were
fully pardoned, demobilised, and sent to Tanzania to be re-integrated into
the civilian structures of the ANC in 1989. Plans were drawn up for a modern
prison in Uganda.
By this time, the ANC's intelligence structures had begun to function within
the country and was assisted by various MDM networks, and contacts within
the intelligence services of the regime. This led to greater confidence,
efficiency, and a greatly improved intelligence capacity in general. It
became relatively easier to cross-check biographies, follow up on accusations,
investigate suspicious tendencies, and obtain advice on possible agents
from activists and cadres inside the country.
NAT built up an extensive dossier of files on agents; this was not guess-work,
but hard information on the names of their handlers, their force numbers,
their grading by the SB, their activities and contacts. The dossier was
updated regularly with fresh information from inside the country. The extent
of infiltration of anti-apartheid structures was immense, running to thousands
2.4. The Negotiations Era: 1990 - 1994
All ANC camps in Angola were closed down in 1989, including Camp 32. All
but 32 prisoners were released, and these were transferred to a small prison
in Uganda after negotiations with that government. In 1991 the group of
32 were also released and allowed to return to South Africa, where several
immediately rejoined their handlers and fronted for the SB-managed stratkom
outfit, the "Returned Exiles Co-ordinating Committee". The activities of
this front are dealt with in more detail in our first submission, and in
the main document of this second submission.
The negotiations era was characterised by the worst ever state-sponsored
violence known in the country, in line with the De Klerk regime's strategy
of negotiating from a position of strength in order to extract constitutional
concessions from the ANC, which entailed covert measures to destabilise
the ANC's support base and disrupt its ability to function effectively.
Threats to the physical security of the ANC's membership in general, its
leaders and physical installations, increased drastically on a number of
fronts, from state-sponsored covert operations through to the white far
By this time (at national level) the Department had six main sub-sectors:
Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence, Central Information Evaluation Section,
Security, Technical, and Administration.
The Department developed policy on the restructuring and reorientation
of the existing intelligence services; workshops were held inside and outside
the country to discuss the shape and role of a future intelligence service
in a new democratic order. Open meetings were also held in military camps
to discuss these issues and contribute to this policy debate. Towards the
end of 1993 preparations for the amalgamation of NAT and the National Intelligence
3. ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT
3.1. Protecting the ANC from enemy activities
The posture of the ANC's NAT was always defensive. The apartheid regime
defined all ANC members and sympathisers as the enemy, and as potential
targets. The lives of the ANC leadership were con-stantly under threat;
for example, OR Tambo had to be moved from safe house to safe house on
a permanent basis.
Any organisation deemed to share the same aims as the ANC was also considered
an enemy of the state. The "enemy" included Trade unions, particularly
those aligned to Cosatu, SACTU, and the SACP. The "enemy" included youth
organisations, civics,. students groups, women's organisations, even religious
officials and groups (such as the SACC), organisations such as the End
Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash - all who did not support apartheid,
whether civilian or not, were defined as the enemy.
There were countless attacks on the offices, activists, cadres and leaders
of these groups - assassinations, ambushes, car bombs, letter bombs, accidents
caused by tampering with cars, massacres by the SAP, massacres and killings
by surrogate forces or covert hit squads, aerial bombardments, poisonings,
petrol bomb and hand grenade attacks.
In addition, the neighbours of activists or refugees were at times deliberately
targeted in order to sow fear and alienate support. To give just one example,
the home of a neighbour of Chris Hani's in Lesotho was blown to smithereens.
They had no respect whatsoever for the distinction between civilian and
military targets, whether inside or outside the country. Even children
were fair game. On more than one occasion the Department averted plans
to poison the food and water supply at ANC civilian installations in Tanzania:
the children at Somafco were the intended target of one of these agents.
There are countless other examples of civilians being targeted.
The apartheid regime also had no respect whatsoever for diplomatic norms,
and attacked ANC offices in Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia,
London, Sweden, and Belgium. They assassinated the ANC's representative
in France, Dulcie September; the Zimbabwe Chief Representative, Joe Gqabi;
and the Chief Representative in Lesotho, Zola Nqini. They attempted to
murder Godfrey Motsepe in Belgium. They killed the wife of another Chief
Representative in Zimbabwe, Mhlope Masondo. The deputy Chie f Representative
in Lusaka, Adolphus Mvemve was killed, and Max Sisulu narrowly escaped
with his life in the same incident. A plane on which Steve Tshwete was
travelling from Lesotho had to be diverted to Gaborone where it made an
emergency landing when it was discovered it had been tampered with. Such
examples could be multiplied.
Besides this overt aggression, the enemy also went to considerable lengths
to infiltrate agents into all organisations considered to be in the enemy
camp, particularly the ANC and MK. No effort was spared to penetrate our
structures at all levels of the Movement. The failure to pick up enemy
agents in time resulted in serious setbacks and losses.
The 1981 breakthrough profoundly shocked the ANC leadership when the extent
and sophistication of this penetration became clear. Despite this success,
other agents remained in place, some in senior positions.
Analysis of the missions of agents who were captured and confessed, or
who voluntarily confessed, shows that the primary areas of interest of
the enemy were the gathering of information on the movements of leadership
figures; infiltration routes into South Africa; MK operational plans; lines
of communication and means of transport; the location of camps, other installations,
and residences; the strength of MK in terms of numbers of trained personnel;
MK training programmes; and political developments within the Movement
in general. We lost many committed and talented leaders and cadres through
the activities of such agents, as in the cases of Zweli Nyanda, Joe Gqabi,
Paul Dikeledi, and Cassius Make to mention just a few (see the attached
case studies for more information.) Some of these informers are yet to
Some agents were tasked not only with passing on information of this nature,
but also with carrying out acts such as poisoning and sabotage of essential
equipment. Others were trained in the psychological warfare field; their
work aimed at destroying the ANC from within, and they usually took on
the role of agent provocateur. They sought to damage MK and the ANC in
general through stirring up dissent, tribalism or other forms of factionalism,
spreading false rumours, encouraging general demoralisation, creating suspicion
within structures, damaging relationships, and instigating or encouraging
acts of indiscipline. Given the conditions under which the ANC was operating,
such acts could be highly dangerous and destructive.
The apartheid regime did not hesitate to get rid of its own agents when
it appeared they were about to change sides or give the ANC damaging information.
The ANC is convinced that both Solly Smith and Francis Meli were poisoned
in order to silence them. The truth about the death of askari "September"
(Glory Sidebe), the poisoning of Thami Zulu, the death of "Fear" (Edward
Lawrence) in 1988, and the extent to which poisons have been used as a
weapon by the apartheid regime, remains to be discovered. We strongly suspect
that some of those cadres and activists who died of "natural causes" may
have been in fact victims of poisoning or other chemical agents: for example,
an agent was assigned the task to use a chemical of some kind on the food
of Dullah Omar, which would induce a heart attack, according to his handlers.
The introduction of rigorous screening methods at the beginning of the
1980's was therefore not the result of paranoia or hysteria: this was a
matter of taking obviously necessary steps in self-defence, given the nature
of the enemy we faced.
3.1.2. Screening volunteers and recruits
Reception centres were established in Angola and in the Front Line States
bordering South Africa to receive and screen all new recruits. Indicators
such as inconsistencies in biographies, false statements, unconfirmed accusations,
and certain patterns of behaviour were used to identify possible suspects.
Despite their training, many agents feared having to face NAT, and confessed
readily. Many felt little loyalty to their apartheid masters.
As noted earlier, by the late 1980s NAT had substantially improved its
intelligence capacity inside the country, and had compiled an extensive
dossier of hard information on agents, which was updated regularly with
information from inside the country, and as a result of other investigations
Among other duties, NAT members in the forward areas (the Front Line States)
were tasked with the gathering and analysis of information on the strategy
and tactics of the regime, its surrogates and supporters; recruitment of
activists to the ranks of the Movement; the screening of new volunteers
and recruits; and the training of operatives who were based inside the
country. Such training included methods of gathering information in areas
of interest to the ANC.
At times we knew in advance that certain agents were being sent into the
field, and were able to confront them with detailed information as soon
as they arrived: in these cases agents confessed within minutes, since
it was obvious that they could not deny the information NAT had on them.
Keith McKenzie and Patrick Dlongwana provide examples of this nature. In
other cases, NAT would lure agents out of the country, feigning ignorance
of their treachery, and confront them with information when they arrived.
The sloppiness of the SB (which accounted for the overwhelming majority
of discovered infiltrators) also assisted NAT at times, and resulted in
agents being picked up immediately - on one occasion ten infiltrators were
sent in with a weak "legend", pass ports which had all been issued on the
same day, signed by the same official, and with sequential numbers!
The screening procedure was as follows:
On arrival, recruits were welcomed by the official in charge, and advised
of the rules that would govern their stay in the reception area or centre
by the person in charge. The Chief Recording Officer (CRO) would formally
explain to the new arrival the necessity of providing the Movement with
his or her biography. Recruits had to supply detailed information on their
family and educational history, their reasons for leaving the country,
reasons for wanting to join the Movement, and details on the political
activities in which s/he had been involved. Biographies also served as
skills audits, and as a means of gathering valuable information of various
Completed biographies were collected by the CRO, and handed to another
officer to study and prepare for interviewing the recruit. The biography
would be evaluated on the basis of information at the ANC's disposal, including
information from confessed agents or information on collaborators supplied
by other cadres. Biographies were also cross-checked against biographies
written by other recruits where there were points of similarity (such as
the area from which recruits came, the organisations in which they said
they had been involved, and so on.)
The preliminary interview
When possible, an officer who was familiar with the area or region the
recruit came from would be deployed to carry out the interview. The objectives
of conducting this interview were to clarify any questions arising from
the recruit's biography.
On completion of the preliminary interview, a report would be tabled for
a panel which discussed and analysed the case. In the majority of cases,
recruits were cleared immediately. The following categories were used:
Cleared (Category A): the recruit / volunteer was considered to
be neither a security threat nor an impostor, and was cleared to join MK,
be sent to school, or for immediate deployment inside the country.
Doubtful (Category B): where the volunteer / recruit was considered
by the panel to be neither a security threat nor an impostor, but had possibly
exaggerated or embroidered her/his biography. They were usually given the
benefit of the doubt.
Confessed (Category C): In this category there were:-
Definite suspect (Category D): in these cases the panel concluded
that the person concerned was definitely or highly probably a security
threat, since the biography showed significant inconsistencies with other
information at our disposal. In these cases, the person concerned would
be further interviewed or interrogated.
cases of spontaneous confession. In several cases recruits confessed
spontaneously, without being prompted or encouraged, to having been recruited
by one or other intelligence structure of the apartheid regime. In a very
high proportion of cases, this had occurred in prison, with the SB promising
to drop charges in return for working for them. Many of these "agents"
had little or no sense of loyalty to their "handlers", and were ill-prepared
for infiltrating the ANC. In cases where the panel had satisfied itself
that the recruit was telling the truth, and had no ulterior motives, s/he
would be cleared.
cases of confession after an interview in which inconsistencies or
untruths were pointed out to the recruit/volunteer (more detail in the
implausible "confessions" in which prepared "legends" or cover stories
were used in an attempt to deceive the interviewers with regard to the
true nature of the agent's connections, and hopefully lay the ground for
infiltration of the Movement.
Subsequent interviews or interrogation
If the panel felt that a biography indicated there was cause for concern,
there would be a second (even at times a third) interview in which emphasis
would be laid on discrepancies, false claims, or other questions arising.
Sometimes people confessed at this stage. Confessions were handled in various
In cases where recruits confessed after being prompted or persuaded to
do so, the panel would seek to understand the recruit's motive in withholding
this information. In some cases it was merely prompted by fear of the consequences
of confessing, without other ulterior motives. The panel would usually
clear these cases with the proviso that the recruit would be barred from
joining the military until they had demonstrated their trustworthiness.
If concern about the recruit remained unresolved, the suspect would be
informed that the interviewers required further information with regard
to discrepancies arising in the interview process, and would be moved to
a "safe house" for interrogation.
The suspect would be confronted with details of discrepancies that had
arisen in the earlier processes of screening and interviews, giving the
suspect room to realise that the Department had specific information which
was in obvious conflict with what s/he had been claiming, which had to
be clarified. In some cases where agents had continued to maintain their
innocence through the screening and interviewing processes, it now dawned
on their minds just how grave the situation was, and some would confess.
Various techniques were used in interrogation. It was common to ensure
that suspects were sitting in uncomfortable positions to put pressure on
them. Using force was explicitly against policy, but this did occur at
times, particularly in cases where the Department was aware that lives
of other people in the field were at stake. There were some cases in which
suspects were severely beaten, particularly before 1985.
In cases where the truth had finally come out and had been verified by
cross-checking other sources of information, this would be conveyed for
assessment to the panel, which would report its finding to the Officer
of Justice. After this, the case was out of NAT's hands. The office of
Justice would decide whether he felt there was a case, and if so, recommended
that the Tribunal hear the case. Confessions or other information extracted
under duress were unacceptable.
There were some cases where suspects would continue to flatly refuse to
co-operate, or continued to deny, at times in the face of strong evidence
to the contrary, that they were working for the regime. These cases would
also be referred to the Office of Justice.
Although screening procedures were exhaustive, we have no illusions that
some agents entirely escaped the net; others were only picked up years
later (see the attached case studies.) To illustrate the entire process
described above, of 500 new recruits who arrived in Angola for training
in 1987, the breakdown was as follows:
(At the time these statistics were produced 58 recruits had not yet been
attended to i.e. gone through the screening process.)
Category A (cleared): 262
Category B (doubtful): 140
Category C (confessed): 26
Category D (definite suspect): 14
3.2. Who was imprisoned and why; categories of prisoners
We feel it is important that the TRC and the nation is given more information
on how the ANC handled cases in which agents confessed. Some had been sent
to infiltrate the ANC exile structures or had infiltrated ANC underground
structures inside the country and the other Front Line States, or had infiltrated
other anti-apartheid organisations. Some were agents who had been operational
in the field in violent attacks, at times of the "false flag" variety,
on anti-apartheid activists. Yet others remained dormant for some time
and spontaneously confessed some years after being accepted into ANC structures.
A considerable proportion of those who confessed were never imprisoned
or punished. Those who voluntarily confessed on arrival or joining the
ANC were not imprisoned. Several of those who confessed after some time,
when their consciences had begun to trouble them, were never imprisoned
or punished. Some were people no-one had suspected, whilst others had raised
suspicion but we had no tangible evidence against them. Some agents had
committed minor or no crimes against the struggle, and were not imprisoned.
People who had confessed and who had not been imprisoned were allowed to
participate as full ANC members, and were not exposed to the rest of the
ANC/MK community. They enjoyed every right a genuine cadre deserved, except
in some cases in which selected individuals were barred from being deployed
in strategic or sensitive areas of the Movement.
Categories of prisoners
Imprisoned confessed agents = 65.58%
Confessed agents who were not imprisoned = 34.42%
There have been sustained campaigns of disinformation aimed at creating
the impression that hundreds of people were tortured, imprisoned or killed
in the ANC's camps, particularly Camp 32.
We present the following statistics based on analysis of available information
on the approximately 308 persons who were imprisoned at various times.
The following categories of prisoners were imprisoned between the years
What happened to people who had been imprisoned by the ANC?
193 confessed agents = 62.76%
35 suspects = 11.38% (Detainees in this category had for various reasons
been considered strong suspects, but did not confess. In some cases, we
were wrong to suspect them.)
19 cases in which confessions were retracted = 6.2% (These were people
who had confessed to being enemy agents but later retracted those confessions.)
13 disciplinary cases = 4.13% (These were cadres who were being punished
for breaches of the ANC and MK codes of conduct such as refusing to recognise
authority, abuse of ANC property, negligence which resulted in the loss
of life/lives, sabotage of ANC property, dagga-smoking, injuring other
29 mutineers = 9.31%
9 deserters = 3.44% (These were cadres who had been caught deserting
MK - a violation of the MK Code of Conduct.)
The vast majority of those imprisoned by the ANC were released (245 cases,
or 82,41% of cases.) Four escaped from custody, and two drowned when they
tried to swim across a river; fourteen died of natural causes, usually
malaria, which was rife in the region. In four cases, prisoners died as
a result of being beaten. There was only one case of suicide in prison.
4. OUR OWN AMNESTY: RELEASE OF AGENTS
In several cases in the past, agents were pardoned and released. In fact
many agents were never imprisoned at all, as mentioned above.
In 1987, when the new Directorate of NAT took over, there were 115 prisoners
in Camp 32. By September 1987, the number had been reduced to 81. The number
of prisoners continued to be steadily reduced by releases; in 1989, when
Camp 32 was due to be closed down, all but 32 prisoners were released;
of those released, only one opted to leave the ANC, which he was assisted
in doing; he opted to go to Kenya where he was granted refugee status.
All the rest, including the mutineers, were pardoned and reintegrated into
civilian or military structures of the ANC. Several were given bursaries
to study overseas, and are today successful professionals or business people.
Only the group of 32 of the most committed agents were held after 1989
in a government prison in Uganda; they too were released in 1991, despite
the heinous crimes committed by some of them.
Most of this group of 32 former prisoners made peace with the ANC, but
some returned immediately to their masters or came under pressure to do
so by the apartheid regime. In the case of De Souza, he apparently became
involved in gang warfare in Eersterus and was involved in a number of cases
of murder and attempted murder, including of his own wife (see the case
study on Da Souza attached to this submission.)
For years, much emphasis has been placed on the unacceptable treatment
meted out to certain agents and suspected agents in Camp 32, particularly
in the period from 1981 - 1984. By its own actions to halt these excesses,
through the range of measures we have described in our various submissions,
the ANC has shown clearly that the leadership never considered such practices
acceptable. This commitment to the protection of the fundamental human
rights of all has carried through into the policies adopted by the new
government, and in the legislation which now governs the functioning of
the intelligence and security services of this country.
The considerable achievements of NAT must also be taken into account when
assessing its role in the conflict of the past. On a number of occasions,
the Department uncovered enemy plans timeously, preventing attacks on our
camps and residences. Although Nova Katengue camp was destroyed, the Department
was able to protect cadres by receiving advance warning of the plans of
The extent to which the regime had managed to penetrate the ANC was timeously
discovered in 1981, as described elsewhere in our submissions. Without
doubt the greatest achievement of this Department was the protection of
the Movement, particularly its leadership core, which has been responsible
for the transition to democracy and peace in this country - although there
were some very painful failures, particularly in the cases of Chris Hani,
Joe Gqabi, Cassius Make, Dulcie September, Morris Seabelo and other leaders
and cadres who fell victim to the assassins and raiding parties of the
apartheid regime, which carried out massacres in every Front Line State.
There was no limit to the lengths to which the apartheid regime was prepared
to go in its attempts to destroy the ANC. There were many attempts on the
lives of leadership figures, and they lived under constant threat. For
example, OR Tambo had to be constantly moved from safe house to safe house
by the Department. The same measures were taken for the protection of Nelson
Mandela during the negotiations phase. Despite certain failures and regrettable
incidents at Camp 32, we submit that this Department contributed substantially
to creating the conditions under which it was possible to begin building
the new democratic order.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MORRIS SEABLO REHABILITATION CENTRE
1. The Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre (Camp 32 or Quatro.)
1.1. Background to the establishment of Camp 32
Before a decision was taken to establish a rehabilitation centre in an
isolated place, the ANC leadership embarked on a political campaign of
appealing to those who had agreed to work for their enemy through being
blackmailed or because of poverty and other reasons to come forward and
confess, so that they could be pardoned. The President himself took part
in this campaign, which met with considerable success: several people came
forward and confessed.
Prior to the establishment of Camp 32, agents would be kept in the military
camps established in Angola. Negotiations were carried out with the Angolan
authorities and it was arranged that the ANC could move these agents to
local jails. However, th is arrangement also proved inadequate, because
some of the agents managed to escape back to South Africa. This caused
deep concern to the Angolan authorities. Given the fact that Angola was
just emerging from a protracted war in which South Africa ha d played a
central role, there was the potential danger that these escaped agents
could give vital information about Angola to Pretoria.
Because of these factors, the Angolan authorities granted the ANC the use
of a deserted farm to set up a facility under its control. Camp 32 was
the only place at which prisoners were held for any significant period
of time, besides the government facility in Uganda to which the occupants
of Camp 32 were sent in 1989.
1.2. Conditions on the farm and in our training camps
The farm was situated 200 km north of Luanda between two MK training camps,
Pango and Quibaxe. Because of the condition of the road, and due to the
war situation, it took a full four hours to travel the 200km by car. The
only available transport was shared between the three camps.
None of the three camps had running water. Water had to be fetched from
nearby streams; in the case of Camp 32, the nearest stream was 4 km away.
In the late 70's and early 80's food supplies in all ANC centres in Angola
were at times inadequate, as we relied heavily on donations from sympathetic
countries. These supplies arrived by ship irregularly and had to be transported
to the camps; Unita bandits specifically targeted these supply lines. Supplies
were shared equally amongst those in the camps, including the prisoners.
Efforts were made - with mixed success - to improve conditions by growing
vegetables and keeping poultry and pigs. Clothing was exchanged with local
people for fresh supplies.
Inadequate medical care was a problem for all members of the ANC in Angola.
Malaria was endemic. We had to rely mainly on medical orderlies who were
locally trained. Serious cases had to be referred to hospitals in Luanda,
which were ill-equipped because of the war. Adding to all these problems
there was a serious shortage of transport, which affected all three camps.
1.3. Conditions in Camp 32 and steps to deal with these problems
The dilapidated buildings on the farm were adapted to suit a prison building.
It had no windows but there were ventilation vents. One large room was
converted to a cell that could accommodate about 15 people; six other rooms
were converted to accommodate between 5 - 10 people and another room was
converted to host 4-6 single cells. Inmates used plastic containers as
toilets when they were in their cells, and emptied these in the mornings.
The ANC's faith that there would never be a large number of people who
would have to be confined proved to be misplaced. The problem of overcrowding
at Camp 32 got steadily worse over the years, but was addressed in 1987
when a programme of reviewing cases and granting pardons began, as described
elsewhere in our submissions.
Difficulties with transport, food, water and medical supplies were general
in the region, and common to all camps. The camp did have a truck, but
when it broke down it was not replaced. In the absence of transport, inmates
had to push a water tank to the nearest source of water, a river about
3km away. The camp had no doctor, but relied on some Medical Orderlies
who were not equipped to deal with complex medical problems. Overcrowding,
and the unhealthy conditions in the cells, created conditions for disease
and did result in some deaths, although most deaths occurred because of
There were ongoing attempts to improve conditions at Camp 32. A tractor
was obtained to alleviate the problem of fetching wood and water. A generator
was obtained, as well as a television set and sports equipment. More medical
orderlies were trained. Ventilation was improved, and plans drawn up for
the building of a modern facility (this plan was submitted to the Motsuenyane
1.4. Administration and Staffing at Camp 32
The camp was under the command of the Commander; his deputy was the Camp
Commissar. The rest of the administration consisted of the Chief-of-Staff,
Chief of Logistics, Chief of Ordnance, and the Chief Recording Officer.
Commanders of Camp 32 were, successively, Sizwe Mkhonto, Morris Seabelo,
Afrika Nkwe (for a few months only), Mzwandile Damoyi, and William Masango.
The Staff consisted of the Staff Commander and Staff Commissar, the Communication
Officer, a medical orderly, drivers, and Recording Officers.
The next layer of the administration was a platoon of guards led by a Platoon
Commander and Platoon Commissar. The platoon was divided into Sections,
each with its Section Commander and Section Commissar.
Camp 32 was staffed by members of NAT. The reasons for this anomaly arose
out of the non-existence of a defined structure -viz. military police
or at best, qualified prison warders, to take on responsibility for this
1.5. Day-to-day life in Camp 32
On arrival, detainees would be put in isolation cells until their cases
had been cleared. They would be issued with uniforms different from other
people in the camp. Those in isolation were exempted from participating
in any camp activities. The only people with whom they would have contact
with would be their interrogators. As soon as the investigation had been
completed, they would be integrated with other inmates in communal cells.
Each communal cell had a commander and a commissar who saw to the discipline
and general welfare of his cell mates.
Relations between guards and prisoners
Being deployed in the camp for guard duties did not mean that the cadre
concerned was cut off from all other opportunities, but there was a general
perception that once deployed in this capacity, one's chances of ever taking
on other duties in the Movement were slim. Cadres tended to regard the
inmates as being the cause of their being what they saw as "grounded",
and this resentment contributed directly to certain cases of abuse of prisoners.
The situation was not made any easier given the fact that some of the inmates
would taunt the guards - one of the most common insults was that the guards,
fearing to go to the front areas and tackle the forces of the regime, had
pleaded with NAT to be deployed at the rehabilitation centre where life
was relatively easier and less dangerous. This infuriated some guards.
Contrary to the general perception created by deliberate disinformation,
prisoners often got better food than the guards. This was because it was
envisaged that those who were already irretrievably lost in serving the
regime's cause could in future be used in a prisoner exchange programme,
thereby freeing some of our captured combatants. When there was a food
crisis, this policy also aggravated relations between guards and inmates.
Programmes followed at RC's
At the RC, the suspects followed a programme which included political education
and manual chores around their 'residence'. During these periods within
the camp, armed guards would be deployed about them. The guards were not
informed of the reasons for the detention of the inmates. Only the recording
officers knew this as part of their investigations. This is also why prisoners
were given names different to their real and MK names - to protect their
identities. Usually these names were meaningless or made reference to the
offence they had committed (e.g. Dyasop was called "APC" because he had
thrown a grenade into an Armed Personnel Carrier of the Angolan army, killing
an Angolan soldier.) The only knowledge the guards had was that they were
guarding what were called imidlwembe (traitors), as the camp was
known to be a security camp.
05:30hrs: General wake up call. Except for those that were responsible
for preparing breakfast, inmates did not necessarily have to follow this
programme (wake up call).
05:30 - 06:00 hrs: Morning sport. (Inmates excluded)
06:00 - 07:30 hrs: Inmates individually empty their pots and wash
themselves under armed supervision. Those who sought medical assistance
or consultation with medical orderlies utilised this time.
07:30 - 08:30hrs : Breakfast for all in the camp. It was common
practise during meals for Commissars to read and analyse the news in the
communal dining hall. Those still in solitary confinement would be visited
later by the Commissar.
08:30 - 13:00hrs : Daily duties, including the fetching of water
and wood for the camp plus the general cleaning of the camp.
13:00 - 14:30hrs: Lunch. Programme and arrangements similar to breakfast
14:30 - 17:00hrs: Unless unforeseen circumstances had arisen (e.g.
insufficient water in the camp or firewood), this time was used for leisure.
Those who wished to study could use this time for visiting the library.
Others chose to occupy themselves with indoor games and political discussions.
17:30 - 18:30hrs: Leisure time. Consultations by inmates with the
medical orderlies could also take place during this period.
18:30 - 19:30hrs: Supper.
19:30 - 20:30hrs: Cultural rehearsal.
20:30 - 22:00hrs: Leisure
22:00hrs : Curfew.
Weekend Programme The programme was similar to the weekly
routine except that inmates began their day at
06:30hrs. 08:00hrs: Breakfast was then inmates would do their washing.
Commissars would join them for discussions.
10:00hrs: Sports (football or volley ball) and indoor games. It
was not uncommon in Angola and also in Uganda for the guards to challenge
the inmates to a soccer match.
13:00 -14:30hrs: Lunch
14:30-16:30hrs: Leisure or indoor games.
18:30 - 20:00hrs: Supper.
20:00 - 22:00hrs: Leisure.
We have selected these case studies from our files with theese objectives
to provide a clearer understanding of the missions and activities of agents
aof the former apartheid regime
to provide a clearer understanding of the nature of the work entrusted
to the Department in the period under examination by the TRC
In all cases of South Africans who worked as agents, and who are not dead,
we have given only their travelling names. Foreign nationals are named.
Should the TRC require real names for a specific investigation, the ANC
will co-operate in this regard.
We have also deleted the names of the siblings of agents, and the names
of all those who (we believe) unwittingly assisted these agents, for obvious
We have also deleted the names of those who agents implicated unless we
were able to verify such claims.
CASE STUDY 1
AGENT: RAYMOND DLANGAMANDLA (aka "Librarian")
In 1967 the subject moved to Benoni. Early in 1969 he wrote a letter
to the station commander of the Benoni police, complaining of the number
of thefts in the Indian areas committed by Africans living in Wattville.
In response to his letter, he was visited by Sergeant Saddie/Sadie, who
told him that he would be paid R30 for any information he supplied to them.
He was referred to the Benoni Security Police for briefings, where he met
a Captain Van der Merwe, a Station Commander, who told him that he wanted
information on political activities. Subject accepted the task.
Work with the police
After the death of Sergeant Saddie, Sergeant John Vilakazi replaced him
as subject's handler. The subject claims that he was receiving his R30
monthly salary although he was not submitting any information to Captain
Van der Merwe.
By 1970 the subject was running his own taxi service business, says he
lost interest in police work, and concentrated in his business. In fact
the money he was getting from them was nothing compared to what he was
making from his business. Eventually payments stopped. All the same, John
Vilakazi kept on paying him friendly visits.
It was in 1975, after the Frelimo take-over in Mozambique, that he was
called by John Vilakazi to the Security Police offices in Cranbourne, Benoni.
He was informed that Captain Van der Merwe had been promoted to a Major,
and was transferred to Germiston. He was introduced to the new Station
Commander Captain Abrie/Abrey who was to be his next handler. Captain Abrie
instructed the subject to befriend students residing at Actonville, since
he was transporting them with his Kombi from Durban to Westville University.
Later the same year, the Benoni Students Movement was formed, but the subject
claims he never managed to get any information from them. His payment was
increased to R40 or R60 per month.
After 1976 (he claims) his contact with Abrie relaxed because he was
now operating his own engineering business, the I.C. Engineering Construction
Supplies. He informed the handler about this, and did not receive any monthly
payments afterwards but continued to keep in touch with Abrie and John
Missions Assigned and fulfilled(ANC connected):
He was instructed:
1) To try and befriend Shrish Nanabhay so as to monitor his activities.
The police suspected he was connected to the ANC/SACP.
2) To monitor the activities of Kisten Moonsamy, an ex-Robben Islander,
released in 1978. The subject went to visit him, and Moonsamy took him
into his confidence and introduced him to George Naicker.
3) Through Naicker he met Ebrahim Ismail, Poomoney Moodley, Rajes Pillay
in Durban, Amin Kajee, Rokaya Adams, Prema Naidoo, and Shrish Nanabhay.
He reported to Abrie about all these people.
4) In 1979, George Naicker asked the subject to post him a letter in
Swaziland but before posting it the subject took the letter to Abrie.
5) After Rajes Pillay had skipped the country, Naicker established contact
with her through the subject who became a courier. On four occasions when
given material like cassettes, leaflets, literature, etc. by Rajes and
Ivan Pillay in Swaziland he took the material to Swanepoel (his new handler
after Abrie) before he took it to George.
6) He was reporting all the contents of his meetings with Ivan and Rajes
to Swanepoel and was also contacting Warrant Officer Van Dyk of Oshoek
border post for clearance.
7) After the Swaziland ANC machinery discovered that the subject was a
plant, Naicker and Ebrahim were called to leave the country, which they
did in December 1980. Swanepoel instructed the subject to trace their whereabouts.
8) The subject contacted Ivan in Swaziland, who said he did not know
of their whereabouts. In Mozambique he was informed by Idris Naidoo that
they have passed through Mozambique, and the subject went back home to
inform his handler.
9) When Rajes and Ivan proposed that he go for a crash course in Maputo,
he went to inform Swanepoel about this offer and was encouraged by him
to proceed. He also briefed the subject on how to behave.
Apprehension of Subject
Information from a very reliable source within the police was received
to the effect that there was a police agent working as an ANC courier who
would be arriving with ANC material from Swaziland on 26/09/1980. The material
was to be dispatched to George Naicker.
When this information was compared with other information at our disposal
it was found that the subject was to go back inside the country on the
26/09/1980 with leaflets, literature, etc. to give to George Naicker. It
was beyond any doubt that the subject was the culprit and that he had submitted
this information to the enemy. It is then that George Naicker and Ebrahim
Ishmail were called outside the country, to save them from the police.
After the two comrades had disappeared, the subject reappeared without
pre-arrangements in Swaziland, to contact comrades Ivan and Rajes. He went
up to Mozambique after he was told that they (Ivan and Rajes) did not know
where Naicker and Ebrahim were.
He was then lured out of the country by the offer of a five-day crash
course in Mozambique. His handler Swanepoel agreed to this. On arrival
in Mozambique the subject was arrested with the help of the local security
and interrogated. He willingly gave an incomplete confession. Later, when
imprisoned in Angola, he made a full confession.
Before he was locked up at Camp 32, while still kept in Viana camp,
he tried to desert the movement with the help of one local, together with
Dominic Kgati. He was then locked up at Camp 32 for rehabilitation and
released on 1/06/1987.
Given a chance, he was deployed at our regional logistics in Angola
as a Secretary. The subject managed to accumulate a lot of money, by selling
200 bags of potatoes from the stores. This was in preparations for his
intended marriage and desertion. He ultimately deserted the organisation
in 1988/1989 and sought help of the United Nations. Unfortunately for him,
he was recaptured before leaving Angola through the United Nations and
again locked up. In his possession he had 1 000 000 Kwanzas which was confiscated.
Captain Van der Merwe (promoted to Major), Captain Abrie, Captain Swanepoel,
Sergeant Saddie, Sergeant John Vilakazi
CASE STUDY 2
EDWARD LAWRENCE (Aliases: "Fear", "Ralph Mgcina",
"Cyril Raymonds" )
Below we are reproducing extracts from a number of reports on this subject:
A. EXTRACTS FROM THE
CONFESSIONS OF EDDIE LAWRENCE (RALPH MGCINA:)
1. According to the confession made towards the end of May 1988, he attended
the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 1973. After its closure due
to student protests he ended up in Durban living with his sister, while
searching for a job. He could not find a job. It was at this time that
he was recruited by a white man to work for the South African Special Branch.
He made contact with SASO office in Durban and also medical students who
were politically active and submitted reports to his handler on their activities.
2. Early in 1974 he was instructed to go back to the Western Cape and enrol
at UWC in order to monitor the political situation there. At this time
many students were leaving the country because of police harassment and
joining the national liberation movement in exile. He was instructed to
join these students, leave the country, join the ANC, study its internal
situation, gain experience, and remain dormant.
3. He made contact with the enemy again when he was deployed in Swaziland.
He was serviced by couriers who travelled to and from his brother in law,
Paul Meyer, who is a policeman in Lusikisiki. Paul Meyer was the linkman
with the main handler who is a senior Security Branch officer (based at
CR Swart Square, Durban). At this time the subject's main task was to keep
close to MHQ personnel, analyse MHQ strategic thinking, and with time establish
the main lines of ANC work in developing the armed struggle.
4. In 1983 whilst deployed as a leading cadre in the Natal Military
Machinery in Swaziland he was arrested by the Swazi police. He knew that
one of these policemen, (name deleted) was working for the South African
Security Branch. During questioning he revealed to (deleted) the following
information about his unit in Swaziland: comrade Zweli (Gebuza's brother)
is commander of the unit; comrade Magagula is in charge of logistics in
the area; that Madolo works for Border infiltration. He also told the police
the location of the infiltration point, told them about codes of communication
and the location of DLBs.
5. Ralph was introduced by the police station commander, (deleted),
to two Boers who introduced themselves as Captains Van Niekerk and Van
Der Walt. They wanted to know about residence of ANC members. They were
particularly interested in the location of the place where Comrade Zweli
Nyanda stayed, and this happened to be the same place where Ralph was staying.
The subject described and drew a sketch of the house, which was at Mobeni.
They told him that they wanted to attack the place but needed his collaboration
to effect this plan. He agreed to do this.
6. In his words, "my task would be to alert them as to when the
comrades were asleep and to unlock the back door, switch off the outside
light for the attack, keep in touch with (deleted) and break my bedroom
window to "escape"." He did exactly as instructed by his
masters and the result was that comrades Zweli Nyanda and Keith MacFadden
were killed in that raid through his practical assistance to the Boers.
7. Also on the basis of his experience in MK work, he was also instructed
to push MHQ for deployment in the country which he did. The enemy was confident
that he would succeed in doing this due to his experience at the front.
The enemy objective was that he would develop his own structure and also
rise in MK structures inside the country. The strategic goal of the enemy
here was to allow the structures inside the country to grow and then cut
them down, but leave an embryo for the ANC to build on and within that
embryo leave its own forces so that the new structure is also controlled.
This would go on indefinitely.
Subject died before implementing this next enemy plan (details below.)
DATE OF REPORT 03/08/1988, Lusaka
B. THE RAID IN 1983 (DEATHS OF ZWELI NYANDA AND KEITH MACFADDEN)
"The origin of the plan to attack this residence came about as a result
of my compromise and treachery whilst in the hands of the Swazi police
in 1983, a few weeks before the actual raid.
"During my arrest and detention I displayed cowardice when confronted
on the question of where I stayed. I referred them to No 6, the known ANC
flat. This they dismissed telling me that they knew all the ANC refugees
who lived there and reported regularly to the police station as was expected
of legally registered refugees. This took place in the first sessions with
Mtunga leading the questioning.
"I then had to point out some other place. I pointed out the late
comrade Nzima's flat at Mzimnene in Manzini. The following day they took
me to the flat with a number of policemen. The place was raided and three
young recruits including comrade Eddie (FAPLA) were arrested. I was not
aware that these comrades would be there. The van which had recently been
purchased was parked there. Among the items in my clutch-bag were the keys
for the van.
They, the police, went back to the police station and returned to fetch
the van. "It was after this first act of betrayal that (deleted) from
Headquarters was then involved in leading interrogations. During these
sessions there was (3 names deleted) whom I knew at that stage (through
our Security Department) was working with the Boers. At a certain stage
(delete)d from HQ told me that what information they received from me would
be kept secret. "What I exposed during these sessions was that:
- There were self-explanatory codes of communication in the clutch-bag;
- Bank statement bearing Mr Cohen's banking account number;
- There was a telephone number of Prof, an operative at home;
- There were post-keys of P/boxes which we used for communication.
"I also exposed the people I worked with, the structure, comrade Zweli
being in charge, comrade Magagula and Belgium, Magagula for logistics.
I also exposed to (deleted) the workings of border infiltration and mentioned
the Gege area as a place we used.
"At an earlier stage there was a wrangle over the van which I insisted
was not an ANC vehicle but belonged to a girlfriend of mine, (name deleted.)
She was subsequently called in for questioning and at the initial confrontation
stubbornly denied having laid eyes on me but through reasoning and influence
by the comrades outside, she came back to change her statement and said
she was my girlfriend and had borrowed me the van. At a later stage comrade
Duma was called and through his insistence to the special branch that this
was an ANC vehicle I was forced to agree that it was.
"The station commander, then came into the scene. Earlier on I
had noticed two Boers at the police station. (Deleted) shifted me to a
cell where I was alone and threatened that he would see to it that I was
handed over to the Boers unless I co-operate with the Boers. I met these
two Boers who introduced themselves as Captain Van Niekerk and Van Der
Walt. They wanted to know our places. I revealed the house at Moneni where
the attack took place, and described and drew a sketch. They needed my
collaboration to effect this plan. I agreed to do this.
"My task would be to alert them as to when the comrades were asleep
and to unlock the back-door, and also to switch off the outside light for
the attack. I would keep in touch with (deleted). I was also to break my
bedroom window to "effect my survival". I kept in touch with
(deleted) under the guise of trying to secure back the contents of my clutch-bag
which (deleted) of HQ said he would return.
"I informed (deleted) of the trip to Maputo and the time of our
departure. I also exposed the house/farm at Malkerns where we kept material.
The house in Fairview I also exposed. These were subsequently raided by
Swazi people and weapons were captured."
"On that particular evening myself and Keith (MacFadden) were busy
trying to phone Maputo to make sure that we were picked up from Lomahasha.
Zweli had gone earlier in the night to pick up Fikile whom we were to send
to Durban as a courier. When we were at home we had something to eat and
had some Scotch (liquor).
"Then around 11.30pm Zweli and I left for the house in Fairview to
try and make a last attempt to phone Maputo. We failed and he phoned home
to wish his mum happy birthday. When we reached home Keith had gone to
bed. I lay on the bed with my clothes on. I then heard cars make their
way down the road and then turn to come up. This was around 2 am or 2.30
or so. I stole out of the house through the back-door and went to these
vehicles - a Mercedes and two vans. I told them in the Mercedes (boers)
that the comrades were asleep. I was then to move down and immediately
afterwards break my bedroom window and dash to wait by the cars.
"I broke the window and dashed into the bush. I remained there
until the attackers left and heard one of the neighbours (Marcel) at the
"I emerged and then went to the house. I saw Zweli lying near the
gate and Marcel checked his pulse. He confirmed he was dead. I inquired
after Fikile and was told that she had been heard by the neighbours after
the enemy had left asking for assistance which she was denied and left.
I then left with Marcel for the police where I found Fikile. I reported
the attack to the policemen on duty. I made my way back to the house with
Marcel. I saw Keith with a bullet hole in the head crouched in a corner.
It was clear he was dead.
"I covered him with a blanket and quickly looked through the house
for my travelling bag which had reports. This had been taken by the boers.
I found an executive bag with some documents which I took with me.
"I then left with Marcel for Matsapa and reported the attack to
comrade Vundla who advised that I go back to the police since I had already
reported to them. I asked him to keep the documents which I had retrieved
but said this was not possible since the Swazis may raid. I took the bag
to Reggie Msibi whom I told about the raid. I then also went to the opposite
flat to inform comrade Paul Dikeledi of the raid.
"I went back to the house with Marcel where I found top brass of
the police force - Sotsha Dlamini (CID), Edgar Hillary, Anton Dlamini (Special
Branch) and others. I gave them a brief report of what `happened'. Their
main interest was where our weapons were. They and myself went through
the house where I was pointing out the various bedrooms. The confiscated
political literature and did police work (finger prints).
"We then had to move to the police station. I remember having to
start our cars (the Golf, the Stanza) since the cops were saying they could
be booby-trapped. On arrival at the police station I was questioned and
I gave my version of how I escaped, pointing out why I still had my clothes
on (were to leave for Maputo) and that I had broken the window when jumping
out with my back. They remarked about my `miraculous' escape. I was then
kept in one of the traffic department offices for what they called `protective
custody'. I had free movement around the police station. I was kept there
for two weeks and released into the care of comrade Duma's custody with
one of the vehicles. The other car, (the Golf) was released into the custody
of Favin, Keith's brother. My release enabled me to attend comrade Zweli's
"During my stay at the police station it was suggested to me by
(deleted) from HQ that I leave Swaziland. My response was that I would
leave per instruction by the ANC. I was recalled by the ANC to Maputo around
December. I gave my version to the Movement. It was false.
"P.S. During the interrogation sessions with (deleted) from HQ,
he asked me about King (an enemy agent whom we had recently kidnapped about
a month ago.) I admitted knowing him, but blamed his disappearance on comrade
From the reports of the investigation panel, it is evident that the subject
was scared of writing freely about his activities against the ANC on behalf
of the South African Security Branch.
One thing is certain: the subject, like his wife, confessed only because
he was cornered. Like his wife (also a confessed agent), subject never
had the courage or the intention to face the Movement squarely about his
crimes and confess fully.
C. REPORT ON CYRIL RAYMONDS: BY `OSCAR DLAMINI' RECEIVED 04/02/1987:
"I first met the subject in the camp, I was not very close to him.
But as he was part of the camp commissariat of which I was also a member,
we would now and then discuss some political questions. In the process
I gathered that he came out of the country in 1975 to Botswana but did
not immediately join the ANC. In fact he was one of those elements who
were anti-ANC that time in Botswana. Of course one can understand that
since people were coming from Black Consciousness and he found himself
in Botswana which was then a stronghold of BCM. But the way he immediately
became so positive to the ANC was rather too fast to be sincere. That is
my own opinion which can be wrong.
"In the camp he was very close to (deleted) who once worked in our
Radio Freedom in Lusaka and later had some security problems.
"I left him in Quibaxe for Katengue. I stayed in that camp for
about five months and left for the Party School in Cuba for two years.
When I came back he was no longer in Angola. I went for further training
in the GDR. When I came back I was again immediately sent back as the Commander
of the group of 40.
In January 1982, I went to Maputo and became the Commissar of the Natal
Urban Military Machinery. I worked with Cde Problem (Commander), Zweli
Nyanda (Chief-of-Staff), the subject (Chief of Communications) and Belgium
as Chief of Recce. Later Problem left the machinery and Zweli was appointed
Acting Commander. (...)
"Early in 1982, I left with the subject to Swaziland. I did not
know very well the area since I was once there in 1977. I was then underground
after having trained with the unit of Solomon Mahlangu in Funda. We got
the car waiting for us on the Swazi side of Lomahasha. I had no weapon
nor money for emergency. The subject had a Scorpion (pistol) and some money.
"As we were proceeding on our journey to Manzini we were stopped
by police but we managed to run away. When we approached Simunye we could
see that a road block was being mounted. We alighted from the car and took
cover in the bush. Unfortunately it was next to the garage and the security
guards spotted the subject. They did not see me. He was arrested. When
I saw this I jumped onto one of these security guards. The subject was
freed and instead I was arrested. He did not help me but instead ran away.
When he came to Manzini he reported that I was asleep that is why I got
arrested which was an incorrect report of what actually took place. I took
this incident as a simple question of cowardice on his part.
"In 1983 before the formation of the Natal Military HQ of which
I was a treasurer, we infiltrated Cde S'khusele to Pietermaritzburg. He
found some problems with his unit. Some members of that unit deserted.
S'khusele managed to go to the Transkei, arranged a document and left for
Lesotho. He was met by Zweli and reinfiltrated back home. He carried out
about five operations and retreated back to Lesotho and later to Maputo.
We got a report from our security that the enemy knew when he retreated
and the exact date when he was infiltrated inside the country. Up to now
we do not know who gave the enemy that information.
"When S'khusele was in Maputo he wrote a hand written report. He
was infiltrated back to Pietermaritzburg with somebody who later became
a state witness against him. During the trial of S'khusele the enemy produced
the report he had written in Maputo, saying that they got it from a highly
sensitive source in the ANC. He is serving 20 years now. To my knowledge
that report was filed in Maputo. I know because S'khusele's unit was being
briefed in Swaziland it was in my house, and the subject did not have that
report with him. Therefore it was in Maputo.
" "Later when I was in Dar es Salaam I tried to find out how
did that report reach the boers from (deleted), I was told that that report
was captured when the boers killed Zweli.
"Before the death of Zweli the subject was arrested in Swaziland.
He showed the Swazi police where he had parked the car he was driving.
Later he came with them to my house and showed them where we had parked
the new van we were using for our route recce inside the country.
"Later he came with the police to my house claiming that he was
staying there. I was about 20 metres from the house discussing with another
comrade. Unfortunately there were SACTU underground comrades in the house
coming from home and one of our comrades. They were all arrested. The subject
also pointed another house which we used for underground cadres coming
"All along he was defended by Thami Zulu. I think Thami did this
because he thought that the subject was being victimised because he once
commented that there were people who did not like the subject because he
was not coming from Natal. Such comments can be demoralising and one feels
not to confront somebody if other people would think that you are confronting
somebody on regional or tribal grounds. You become disarmed.
"Zweli died when the subject was in the same house. He did not
suffer any injury. One is not trying to suggest that everybody must die
when there is an attack.
"I was later arrested in Swaziland. Zweli's sister came to Swaziland.
She wanted to see me but could not. "In prison I was told by Cdes
Alzina Zondi and other female comrades that Zweli's sister had told them
that the subject was responsible for the death of Zweli. She had found
this from a Special Branch (policeman) she was close to. I reported this
to Thami Zulu but I was ignored.
"Before the death of Zweli we had captured a sellout who had infiltrated
us. In his confession he said the enemy knew about the communication we
maintained with him. No force had been used against him. He just confessed
and he seemed to be sincere. I was responsible for his interrogation.
"Then came the Nkomati Accord. I was arrested. Thami Zulu and the
subject were arrested together. They had bought two cars for the machinery.
Already Swazi police knew about those cars. The one who had arranged for
them these cars was arrested later and the police were saying that he was
responsible for buying ANC cars.
"There was an old man we used for banking our money. The police
knew about this. He was later arrested and questioned about this.(Note:
Fear acknowledges betraying this man in the previous record .... CIES,
10/05/1992) "The subject had been arrested with weapons. To our
surprise the subject was released and not deported like others. In fact
an advocate was saying he was not going to defend a man who had said so
much to the police.
"I am not prejudiced against the subject. I am just stating facts."
D. REPORT ON THE DEATH OF ENEMY AGENT RALPH MGCINA DATED 28/07/1988:
1. PURPOSE OF SESSION:
1.1. After a thorough preparation, the panel felt that in order to achieve
better results it was necessary to begin on the involvement of his wife
with the enemy. He had previously mentioned her in the long list of enemy
agents as the first one that he was sure of.
1.2. We also had information from our source that his wife was seen in
Durban (purpose of visit not known). Ralph could have known about this.
This could not have been the first time that she went home.
1.3. Information from another source revealed that when subject's wife
left the country, she was under enemy instructions to join and inform Ralph
to join the ANC. This does not appear in the biography that she wrote when
she joined the Movement.
1.4. It was also felt that after breaking him on the above mentioned
aspect this was going to open avenues for him to reveal his handler or
handlers and how they used to communicate. From his last confession (about
how his wife came to work for the other side) it was felt that he should
be in a position to know more on how she used to work with the other side.
2.1. After being asked to relate about his wife, he merely repeated all
that he had revealed in the previous sessions without any additions (for
about one and a half hours).
2.2. After being asked on how many times (that he knows of) did his wife
go to SA from Bay and for what purposes, he claimed not to have been in
a position to monitor her movements when they were staying together; which
to us seemed ridiculous.
2.3. He then revealed that his wife went to SA for about 4 (four) times
as far as he knows; and never wanted to reveal the purposes of her visits
2.4. He also revealed that she refused to submit her Lesotho Passport
when asked to do so; because it reflected her trips to SA and could have
led to her being questioned and discovered to be an enemy agent.
2.5. Seeing that we were all tired; we could not proceed with the session
and we all went to sleep.
2.6. When we woke up Ralph up (27/07/88) to start work, he complained
of stomach pains and wanted to vomit. We saw that we could not continue
and we decided to consult the doctor. A comrade walked to get a lift to
town since our transport had not yet arrived.
2.7. On arrival; the doctor certified him dead and informed us that
he suspects that he could have taken some poison.
E. UPDATE FROM REPORTS
RECEIVED FROM WITHIN THE SAP "The placing of agents at high
levels remains one of the prime objectives of the enemy and this program
is conducted from the highest levels e.g. Lawrence was handled by Major
Stadler of HQ."
CASE STUDY 3
Cordelia Senwedi Sebenyana MOSINIKI (nee Kereng)
HOME ADDRESS: (deleted)
NATIONALITY: Botswana National.
MARITAL STATUS: Divorcee (1985)
OCCUPATION: Vegetable Hawker; runs a Chibuku beer depot in Ramotswa.
VEHICLE PARTICULARS: In 1988 had a BR 949 registered Isuzu vannette.
FATHER: Joseph Sello Kereng. Passed away in 1984/5
MOTHER: Sophia Kereng. Passed away in 1969.
CHILDREN OF SUBJECT: (deleted)
EDUCATIONAL LEVEL: Grade at Mogotsi Primary/Junior Secondary School, Ramotswa.
RECRUITMENT BY THE ENEMY (South African Police):
In 1977 or 1978 subject started a (love) affair with one Modise. Modise
was a uniformed member of the South African Police working at Ramotswa
Border-gate. At the time subject was working at the Gaborone General Post
Office. Modise asked subject to report to him about people who cross into
Botswana from South Africa illegally.
Later Modise introduced subject to Sergeant Smith who was working with
him (Modise) at the border.
*+ Sergeant Smith - Zeerust home telephone number 21919; Work place telephone
number 22012 or 22013, Zeerust Security Branch Offices.
*+ Modise, SB working at the Ramotswa Border Post; also using the Zeerust
Security Branch Offices telephone numbers 22012 or 22013.
MISSIONS CARRIED OUT BY SEBENYANA MOSINKI ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
While working at January's restaurant in Ramotswa, she came to know Gilbert
Moilwa, Isaac and others to be refugees. Subject reported these to Modise.
Gilbert later returned to South Africa while his friends proceeded to Zambia.
In 1978 subject visited Violet Pule in Johannesburg. There they took photographs
with Sadi Pule's family. Soon after that trip, Sadi Pule visited Botswana.
Sadi gave subject a passport size photograph of a woman, named Maria, who
Sadi said was goin g to visit Botswana. Sadi requested subject to assist
Maria when she arrived in Botswana. Subject took the photographs she had
taken with Sadi Pule's family and that of Maria to Modise. Modise later
returned them and subject posted them to Sadi Pule.
Sadi was detained during 1978 by the South African Security Branch after
the visit to Botswana. In detention she was shown the photographs her family
had taken with subject and was asked to identify subject. Sadi did not
know where the enemy got the photographs. (This information on Sadi Pule's
detention is from Sadi herself).
MISSIONS CARRIED OUT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE ANC ON BEHALF OF THE SAP:
Subject was recruited by Sadi Pule in 1982 for the Women's Section work.
She was to serve as a courier. Subject reported that approach to Modise.
Subject reported to the handlers the following tasks assigned to her by
Was sent inside the country to deliver ANC cloth material and pamphlets
to a certain Mapule in Mapetla, Soweto. Shortly afterwards Mapule was taken
in by the enemy.
Subject was sent to recruit several individuals in Botswana and Bophutatswana
(names deleted). Comrades Florence Mophosho and Aurelia Gqabi gave subject
a letter to deliver to comrade Albertina Sisulu. Subject showed the letters
to Modise who later returned them.
Subject reported to Modise (SB) about Lehlohonolo and that he uses a
Modise (SB) once asked subject to monitor Clement Bogatsu, a Motswana
who is a driver at BHC. Subject reported that Clement was close to Lekoto
and Chris of Special Ops. Clement was later arrested in South Africa.
Subject reported to Modise (SB) that two cadres under Special Ops had
been infiltrated into the country by a driver of Phillip Moletsane in Moshaneng.
The driver was later arrested and allegedly recruited by the enemy. Subject
claims to have got this information from Phillip Moletsane.
Lekoto of Special Ops once gave subject a code - list and money in an
envelope and weapons for safe-keeping. Lekoto also sent subject to call
Phillip to Botswana. When subject went to call Phillip she took the code-list
with and gave it to Modise and also told him about the money and weapons.
Modise later gave the subject the code-list.
SUBJECT'S ROLE IN KILLING OF
Comrades Steve (Sebata alias Luvuyo Mzana alias Enoch Muiseng Mashoala)
and Naledi assigned subject to recruit somebody in Moshaneng to take cadres
to South Africa.
Subject went to report to Modise about her task. Modise, Langa and Sergeant
Smith (all policemen) later met subject and told her that she would have
to report to Botswana that she had recruited Mr Richard Maduenyana. Maduenyana
was also called into the meeting, (or Richard Moduenyana or Richard Muduenyana)
Richard arrived in Botswana and was given money to buy a canopy for
his vannette in South Africa. He was also given instructions on how and
where to pick the four cadres inside the country.
Comrades Steve/Sebata/Mashoala and Naledi took the four cadres across
and went to the rendezvous. On arrival there they heard the sound of a
big truck in the bushes. They waited there until Richard Moduenyana came
to the meeting spot. When Moduenyana pulled off with the four cadres, Steve
and Naledi heard the sound of the truck again. They got worried because
they felt the truck was following the vannette. Early the following day
they heard news over BBC radio that the four cadres had been killed. The
two (Naledi and Luvuyo) instructed subject to go and check on Moduenyana.
Subject went to report on Modise (SB) about the task she was assigned.
Moduenyana was called by Security Branch police to a meeting on a secret
farm in Zeerust. Present at the meeting were Major Crouser (Crouse?), Sergeant
Smith, Wehrman, Modise and Langa (all these SB controllers). Also in attendance
were Moduenyana and subject. Here a strategy was worked out on how Moduenyana
was to handle comrades Steve and Naledi.
After the mmeting subject returned to Botswana and there she reported
that Moduenyana was going to visit Botswana the following day, that he
had sustained injuries and was treated by an Indian doctor who was his
friend in Rustenburg.
On the said day, Moduenyana arrived in Botswana. He gave Steve and Naledi
the story and showed them old wounds in his body which the comrades believed.
They arranged with him to visit Botswana for medical treatment. The car
Moduenyana was driving when he visited Botswana was riddled with bullets.
Later Steve and Naledi sent subject to call Moduenyana when the arrangements
for his medication were finalised. On arrival in South Africa subject met
Sergeant Smith who gave her the story to pass to the comrades, that Moduenyana
Moduenyana was later given an Isuzu vannette with a radio (for communication),
the registration number being YBG 1345, blue in colour with a white canopy.
Moduenyana is also a member of the Opposition Party of Bophuthatswana.
Subject received R3240 at the end of the month for the operation.
SUBJECT BETRAYS A SPECIAL OPS CONTACT AS WELL AS WEAPONS.
Subject was introduced in Botswana by Lekoto of Special Ops to a contact
who was to receive material (weapons) in Magaliesburg. This was on the
16/12/1985. The person left Botswana same day. On the same day subject
reported telephonically to Modise (SB) and then left Botswana the following
+ On arrival in Moshaneng subject phoned Modise again telling him that
she (subject) was on the way with the car loaded with material.
+ Subject telephoned the contact at Swartruggens and arranged that they
meet in Roodepoort. After meeting with contact person, who took the car,
subject was booked in a Johannesburg hotel.
+ Sebenyana was later visited by policemen Modise and Langa who informed
her that the contact had been arrested at a roadblock.
+ Meanwhile cadres in Botswana after failing to reach the contact person
over the phone decided to find out from his girlfriend. The girlfriend
told the comrades that on the same night when they received the vannette
they took it into the garage for unloading the material. After finishing
they took the vannette out and were about to leave for the hotel where
Sebenyana was put.
Outside they found policemen waiting for them. They were ordered back
into the garage and the material was found. The police took the contact
person with them plus the material and left the girlfriend behind. The
material taken by the enemy from the contact was made up of: two car-bombs
material; three AKs; grenades; money for Special Ops cadres.
The girlfriend was later detained - on the 24/12/1985 and was to be
charged for perjury when she refused to testify against her boyfriend.
The contact person was sentenced to about 18 years imprisonment.
OTHER REPORTS SUBJECT SUBMITTED TO HER HANDLERS:
In 1985 subject met Sergeant Smith, Major Crouser, Wehrmann, Modise
and Langa. They showed subject a map of Gaborone and asked her to identify
Sadi Pule's house. Subject pointed Sadi's house in Tlokweng and another
house across the road where a female comrade lived. Two weeks later Muzi
Nkwanyana visited Sadi in Tlokweng. A week later, Sadi's house was attacked
during the Gaborone June 14 raid.
After the raid subject visited Sadi's house (which had been attacked)
and later reported to handler Modise that Sadi was safe. Subject also reported
the location of the residence of Naledi behind the Community Centre to
In May 1987, subject phoned Smith and Modise (SBs) in Zeerust and reported
to them that Abraham Pule had arrived in Ramotswa from South Africa and
was proceeding to Gaborone. Subject also told them the date he would be
coming back to Ramotswa. Subject states: "The day before Abraham Pule
left Botswana I phoned Modise and Smith to inform them. Modise later told
me that Abraham got arrested at a roadblock having weapons..."
PAYMENTS THAT SUBJECT RECEIVED FROM THE SECURITY BRANCH:
++ Initially Modise used to give subject R50 to R150 per month.
++ Around 1987 subject was getting about R400 per month. In May 1987 was
given R700 apparently for leading to the arrest of Abraham Pule. Abraham
was arrested in the Zeerust area when he was going to Johannesburg from
++ For her role in the killing of four MK cadres in December 1985 who were
from Botswana, subject was paid R3240 at the end of the month.
MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE SBs:
Subject was given a radio and shown how to operate it by Smith, Modise
and Langa. Only used the radio once when handlers wanted to know whether
there were any cadres in her place. Apart from this used to use telephone.
CONFESSION OF SUBJECT:
Subject was lured into Lusaka, Zambia where she confessed to her dealings
with the Security Branch against the ANC. This was in March 1988. She was
returned to Botswana after the authorities there demanded her as their
national. For more on that you may see the file of Enoch Muiseng Mashoala
DATE OF REPORT: March 1988
AUTHOR : NAT in Lusaka. Information based on interviews with subject and
information from cadres she had "worked" with in Botswana.
CIES COMMENTS: Correct spelling unknown : Maduenyana/Moduenyana/Muduenyana.
FILE/DOC. NUMBER: C001973
CASE STUDY 4
Jose Joachim Rebeiro DE SOUZA (aka Alex Jackson, Fernando Lopez)
ADDRESS OF ORIGIN: 454 Sheuck Avenue Eersterus Pretoria Transvaal
CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO RECRUITMENT:
Subject's interest to work with the police force was aroused when he was
in his last year in high school. Together with 150 other school mates (boys)
they were taken to a semi-military training camp.
The camping was organised by the South African Defence Force (SADF), the
welfare organisation of Pretoria, the South African Police (SAP) and his
school viz. Eersterus High School. Main function of this camping was to
introduce and expose them to career opportunities in the South African
Defence Force (SADF) and the South African Police (SAP). It was held at
Rashoop military base outside Pretoria.
End of the same year (1979), all those who had attended this camp were
sent applications forms to go to the Police College. Subject was unable
to join the police because of his father's refusal to sign those forms,
he wanted him to get a university education.
In 1980 he was recruited, together with his friend (deleted) by Colonel
Dries van der Merwe to work for him. Their task was to monitor the unrest
(1980 school boycotts) in their area, Eersterus. For every piece of information
submitted to their handler they got R200.00. The same year he was introduced
- by his handler - to Jonathan Nel of the Security Branch who was to be
his next handler the rest of his time with the police.
During 1980, a training course in fire-arms, surveillance, personal security
and politics was organised for him, in a farm outside Erasmus in Pretoria.
MISSIONS ASSIGNED AND CARRIED OUT INSIDE THE COUNTRY:
1) In 1981 he was infiltrated at the University of Western Cape (UWC) to
monitor and report any political activity in the campus especially about
the anti-Republic Day campaign nd people behind the formation of the Students
Representative Council (SRC).
2) In 1982 he was instructed to enroll at Witwatersrand (Wits) University,
for a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree so as to conduct similar tasks
of reporting any political activity there.
MISSIONS ASSIGNED AND CARRIED OUT IN THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA (First year):
The following year, 1983, he got a scholarship in the United States of
America (USA) through the Educational Opportunities Council. (He was instructed
and assisted by Jonathan Nel to get scholarship). In the United States
he was studying at Wesleyan University.
1) He was instructed to join anti-apartheid student groups, report on their
activities, their support on the campus and the degree of their contact
with the ANC. He was to attend rallies and demonstrations.
2) Make a list of all students who are in the institute of the international
educational programme, that is to say, all those who come from South Africa
because the boers feared that this might be the recruiting ground of the
His contact in the United States was a lady by the name of Carla.
TASKS ASSIGNED AND CARRIED OUT DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS:
At the end of that academic year on May 1984 he was ordered to go home
for holidays and his route had to via London where he had to meet Nel and
get new instructions for the time in London. The tasks in London were:
a) To join the South African Communist Party (SACP) and pick up literature
at its office;
b) To visit the ANC London office and also take new literature
He fulfilled both the above tasks and gave a layout of both offices
Tasks at home:
a) He went home on June, 1984 with the task of infiltrating the United
Democratic Front (UDF) up until the time he left for the United States
in August the same year.
Tasks on his way back to school via London:
a) He again went via London where he was instructed to work in the ANC
office and report on its activities and contacts with other people around
b) To report on the Nothinghill Carnival i.e. the attendance of people
at the ANC's stall, their attitude and the amount of literature sold.
c) To visit the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM)'s office and pick up new
NOTE: He submitted all the information gathered to Nel who was there
at that time. Nel also took pictures of the subject, Dali Tambo and George
while they were busy working at the stall.
TASKS ASSIGNED AND CARRIED OUT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
At the end of August 1984, he went to the United States. He started this
academic year at Columbia University in New York. He came to this university
through transference which he applied for on the previous year. He applied
for this transference by order of Captain Nel because Columbia University
is where the anti-apartheid activities were concentrated. His tasks there
a) To work for the American Committee on Africa (ACOA)
b) To join the anti-apartheid group of Columbia
c) To slowly start to consult the ANC office in New York and report its
d) To report on March/April actions in 1985 and American Committee on Africa's
e) To visit the Pan African Congres (PAC) office and meet its staff.
f) All the above tasks were accomplished and in addition he submitted plans
of office lay-outs.
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED STATES:
Just before he went home on June 1985 holidays Nel arranged a visit to
the United States by his wife. In June, after the Columbia University had
proclaimed its disinvestment in the companies which had businesses in South
Africa, Nel ordered him to go home. The subject has participated in these
disinvestment campaigns to an extent that he even went on hunger strike.
PREPARATIONS FOR INFILTRATING THE ANC:
Around July 1985, while he was still on school holidays he was briefed
about his new mission of infiltrating the ANC in Africa and try by all
means to work for the International Department in Lusaka. During one of
these briefings he was introduced to a certain Fish (Security Branch policeman)
who he (Fish) claimed (deleted) was an acquaintance. Arthur was to help
the subject through to be deployed at Thabo Mbeki's office. (Subject later
withdrew the implications this person as false).
He was not to undergo any military training in the ANC. All the information
gathered was to be sent through J. Burton, Dominium Press, P.O.Box 391813,
Bramley. He then went to the United States on July and started arranging
with comrade Neil Mnumzana to go to Lusaka.
ACTIVITIES WHILE IN THE ANC (INCLUDING INFORMATION PASSED
ON TO THE ENEMY):
In Lusaka he used to phone Nel from the Ridgeway hotel so as to submit
reports. At one stage he received R500.00 from Nel through the Grindlays
Bank in Lusaka.
He was in Lusaka up until comrade Chris Hani suggested that he goes to
Harare and be stationed there. In Harare he used to communicate with Nel
through a certain Bruce. He gave information about ANC facilities in Harare,
personnel and places of stay including comrade Chris Hani's movements.
He even set up appointments with comrades Raphael and June so that Bruce
(contact sent by Nel in Harare) could take their pictures. His activities
led to the attack of some of our houses in Harare.
In April 1986 he went back home, South Africa, without the consent of
the ANC. On arrival at home he was detained as a cover story aimed at deceiving
For all his activities he was receiving R1 500.00 per month deposited
into his bank account. While he was at home he went several times to Gaborone.
POSSIBLE DE SOUZA CONTACTS WITHIN UDF (SUSPECTS): (Most
Subject was instructed by his handler Nel (Louis Pasteur Building, Prinsloo
Street, Pretoria - fourth floor, room 401) to go to UDF offices in Khotso
House for purposes of spying on their activities. De Souza reported about
the results of this visit to Khotso House to his handler, Nel and drew
the lay-out of the UDF and Afroscope offices. Later on the offices of Afroscope
were raided and all video materials which were there were confiscated De
Souza was also about to leave the country for his studies abroad. Nel told
him that he should recommend to his UDF contacts certain `progressive'
people in Eersterus area who would take over his UDF tasks in the area
after he had left the country. These `progressive' people who were given
to the subject by Nel for recommendation were (six people who subject said
his handler told him were working for NIS.) He says his UDF contacts left
with names, telephone numbers and work places of the people recommended
COMMENTS (CIES 12/04/1991): Comrades who were dealing with his
case felt that he had given an incomplete confession. Subject implicated
a lot of people but later retracted on account that the confession was
made under duress.
HANDLERS: Major Dries van der Merwe (subject says he is now a
Colonel); Captain Jonathan Nel; Bruce (surname unknown)
SOURCE: Confessions and Reports by Nat Lusaka, Nat Angola
Note: De Souza was amongst the last group of 32 released in
1991. As outlined in the ANC's first submission to the TRC, he returned
to Eersterus where he apparently became involved in gang violence; he was
eventually tried for murder and attempted murder but died under circumstances
which remain unclear before serving this sentence.
CASE STUDY 5
Please note: the video tapes of Dlongwana's confession, as requested
by the TRC, are in the process of being coverted into a format compatible
with ordinary VCRs and will be handed over shortly.
Patrick Mncedisi Dlongwana (aka Harvey Maringa, Patrick Hlongwane)
DOB: 23/09/1958 in Port Elizabeth
ADDRESS OF ORIGIN: 33 Mgengo Street, Zwide Township, Port Elizabeth, Eastern
EDUCATIONAL LEVEL: Std 8
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Father: Jeffrey Dlongwana Mother: Elizabeth Dlongwana
He was recruited in detention, in 1980, by Sergeant Nkomane (Bra) at Swartkop
police station. Nkomane was a Security Branch policeman at Sanlam Building
and staying at Ferguson Road, New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.
Subject was arrested together with people who were involved in a bomb blast
(dynamite) on 15/02/1980. In this case, he (subject) gave evidence in court
against his colleagues. The co-accused, a certain Mzamo and Mzwabantu were
sentenced to 11 years and 12 years respectively. (In first confession subjectmentions
this recruitment as his second recruitment. The first recruitment took
place at Algoa Park Police Station in 1977 during their arrest for boycotting
classes. He was recruited by Sergeant Buzani. He was released whereas others
got lashes.He claims to have never worked up until 1980 when recruited
1) He was instructed by Sergeant Buzani of Sanlam Building to attend political
gatherings and take names of speakers and the deliberations.
2) He was instructed by Lieutenant Deon Nieuwoudt and Captain Roelofse
to petrol bomb houses of members of the progressive organisations.
3) He was instructed by Lieutenant Kallie Van Dyk of Germiston, to look
for ANC cadres and people who support the ANC. 4) In 1986, he was instructed
by Lieutenant Kallie van Dyk to infiltrate theANC in Botswana.
In 1980 he was trained by Constable Van Vuuren at Queenstown Golf Club,
on how to shoot with a Presto automatic gun. He was again trained at Sanlam
Building on fire-arms, communication (walkie talkie), intelligence and
photography. Instructors were Lieutenant Momberg and Sergeant Van Wyk.
1) He petrol bombed the houses of:
a) Sipho Hashe, a Secretary General of PEBCO (Port Elizabeth Black Civic
b) Themba Duze, a PEBCO/MACWUSA Organiser.
c) Lulu Johnson, Congress of the South African Students (COSAS) National
d) Mr/Mrs Gcina of PEWO
e) Mkhuseli Jack, PEYCO President
f) Vuyani Vena, executive member of Cosas
g) Mono Badela, press reporter
2) He shot one Nompumelelo in the right thigh. Together with six Security
policemen, they raided one Toto of Veeplaas who was a member of Port Elizabeth
Students Congress (PESCO), also a boyfriend to Nompumelelo. On their arrival
at the place where they thought Toto could be, people started running away,
and the police started shooting. The subject claims he was the one who
shot Nompumelelo. Her leg was amputated
3) In 1983 he stabbed one Mzolisi Gxuma at No.29 Siyongwana Street, Zwide
Township (a shebeen house). Mzolisi had exposed the subject as a police
informer. Subject only appeared once in court and the case was squashed.
4) Shot dead one Mpumelelo Mpendu, an uncle to Mkhuseli Jack - leader
of Port Elizabeth Youth Congress (PEYCO) and chairman of the Consumer boycott.
Reason for shooting him is that they wanted to frustrate and demoralise
Mkhuseli Jack. Mr Mpendu was living at No.12 Fumba Street, Zwide, P.E.
5) Shot dead one Mr Mateza, chairman of school committy based at Loyiso
6) Shot dead Mr Lulamile, a member of PEYCO.
7) Shot one Xola, a member of PEYCO. Due to pressure in Port Elizabeth,
the subject was transferred to Germiston in 1986. His home was petrol bombed.
Whilst in Germiston he carried out the following tasks:
8) In 1986, he reported about (deleted) of NAFCOC. He used to give money
to people leaving the country. (Paid R100 for the report)
9) Reported on Sam Ntuli, chairman of Thokoza Residents Association.
10) Reported one Radebe, a shopowner.
11) Sold some executive members of Vosloorus Students Congress. The
following are missions conducted outside South Africa:
12) In 1982 he photographed ANC houses in Lesotho per instructions of
Momberg. (He went to Lesotho in September 1982 and was staying at Hilton
and Victoria hotels. Completed his mission and went back to South Africa
in November 1982. The mission was sponsored by Sergeant Swarts)
13) Actively participated in the December 9, 1982 Maseru massacre.
He left South Africa on December 8, 1982 instructed by Lieutenant Momberg,
and met his operational unit at Hilton Hotel.
With his unit of six, they went to one house where they threw a grenade
at the main door. After the door fell they then stormed in. They found
three ladies sitting on top of the bed. Whilst checking the whole house
they found three men. They were put against the wall,ordered to make mock
marriages with their girlfriends, and thereafter executed. m According
to the subject, he shot the one in the middle.
From here they went to Chris Hani's house, and shouted that he must surrender
himself. Noting no response, they stormed the house with grenades and bazooka.
Subject says they attacked all the houses he photographed earlier on. After
the raid he was taken by helicopter back to the country. For this mission
he was paid R1 800.00 and given a new car (2.1 Cortina).
14) In February 1983 he was instructed by Lieutenant Smuts to confirm
survivors and casualties of the raid. When he arrived in Lesotho, he joined
the ANC. Upon completion of his mission, he told comrade Sparks that he
wanted to go back to South Africa. It is then that he was handed over to
the local police on suspicions. He was released after 16 days and deported
to South Africa. He received R1000 for this mission.
15) In 1986 he infiltrated the ANC in Botswana.
16) Other missions fulfilled: Together with "Reverend" Ebenezer
Maqina they were instructed to infiltrate ROOTS, to carry out the following
a. To disrupt PEBCO, COSAS meetings, by
i) Whenever there is a stayaway called by PEBCO, Roots should distribute
pamphlets that Pebco has cancelled the stayaway.
ii) If students boycott, Roots should go to that school and beat up
the students to go back to classes.
iii) Whenever PEBCO or Cosas has called a meeting, Roots should organise
a similar meeting on the same day.
iv) Other task was to blacklist Pebco and Cosas activists.
(Note: it has subsequently come to light that Maqina was being handled
by the PE branch of Adult Education Consultants, which was managed by the
Department of Military Intelligence.)
17) At a funeral of one MK cadre, Samuel Segole, who died in a shootout
in Natalspruit, the subject presented a paper prepared by the police. He
was masquerading as Stephen Nhlapo from Alexandra - a Release Mandela Committee
LEAVING THE COUNTRY:
Left the country in 1986 per instructions of Lieutenant Kallie van Dyk
of Germiston through Ramatlabane .
MISSIONS TO BE FULFILLED IN THE ANC:
To identify as much as possible people coming from his area.
Location of ANC targets
When sent back inside the country on a mission, to surrender weapons including
Confession (prepared for the Tribunal) in 1990; A report by Nat in Lusaka
dated 12/05/1987; Confession statement by subject dated 02/05/1987.
UPDATE: ACTIVITIES OF SUBJECT IN SOUTH AFRICA:
As outlined in our first submission to the TRC, after Dlongwana was released
in 1991 he went back to his handlers and fronted for an SAP-run stratkom
operation called the "Returned Exiles Co-ordinating Committee."
He was also linked with the warlord Thomas Shabalala.
CASE STUDY 6
D.O.B: 09.01.1966 Xaba Location .
ADDRESS OF ORIGIN: 25 Baba Street, Kwa Nobuhle, Uitenhage, Cape Province.
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Father: John Mapu; Mother : Dinah Mapu; Siblings: (deleted)
He was recruited by Danie Gerber of Uitenhage.
Was Lt C.Groenewald, of the South African Defence Force.
Subject went twice with Groenewald to the shooting range near Ngqalo.This
was around 1984.
He was asked to check on students who were at rallies, boycotts and
stay-aways. He was asked about where the residences of Mkhuseli Jack, Henry
Fazzie, Mike Xhego and Boy Njomba were and claims he said he did not know.
MISSIONS FULFILLED INSIDE THE COUNTRY:
He goes on to say the only mission he carried out was of killing a
person (unnamed) in Langa around April/May 1986.He claims he shot the guy
with two shots and the third shot he directed to the sky to silence the
dead man's girlfriend who was screaming.
Thereafter he took his girlfriend (deleted) of Mabombo street in Langa
to Port Elizabeth. He was given R100.00 for the mission and R100.00 for
submitting the gun.
INFILTRATING THE ANC OUTSIDE:
He was forced to find a contact which would assist him to leave the
country by Gerber and Groenewald. Subject together with Vuyani Jibiliza;
Boy Njomba and Mthunzi Thoba met Lundi Shayi of Adelaide. Lundi came after
two weeks and informed them about Reverend Stofile. Groenewald had told
subject to report once he found a contact so that he could give him something
to take to the Movement.
MISSIONS TO BE CARRIED OUT IN THE ANC OUTSIDE:
On the 16th September 1986 subject was given a blue powder (poison) and
told how to use it by one Richard who claimed he was an Instructor of Physical
Training in one of our Camps around 1984 in Angola. He was told to promote
tribalism and if possible mutiny.
He was told by Richard that our cadres eat frogs and lizards and was shown
a video cassette of people eating those things and being portrayed as Umkhonto
cadres. He was then given R500.00 by Groenewald and promised more money
by the time he comes back. He claims he gave the money to his mother.
LEAVING THE COUNTRY:
The following day, the 17th, he went to Alice with Lundi using money given
by Filton Kona.They met with Reverend Stofile who organised them passports.
On the 7th November 1986 they left Alice and Reverend Stofile was arrested.
They were given money by Mrs Stofile and went to Johannesburg to Winnie
Mandela who organised passports for them.They were later briefed by Vuyisile
On the 13th May they left for Botswana with Stelfox Godlo, Vela Qwamashe
and Motlatsi. He claims he had thrown the poison in dirty water upon arrival
in Chelston (Lusaka) he arrived in Angola in September 1987 and commenced
with training the following month (October).
MISSIONS FULFILLED IN ANGOLA:
Three to four months thereafter he started his dirty work. He met a person
by the name (deleted) who he claims behaved in the same manner as he was
instructed by his handlers. One day he met another person during the digging
of dugouts by the name (deleted) who had shown him a weapon belonging to
one soldier (David) and he hid it in the dugout. Subject attempted to cache
other weapons in this way.
He did not mention that people like Reverend Stofile and other comrades
were arrested because of his dirty job. Subject never mentioned that he
was given several warnings in the camp (Caculama) to stop spreading his
ideas of tribalism.
At some point after failing to steal the second weapon (both were SHE
Petersons) he was a sentinel at one of the Posts (ant hill) where there
was a machine gun. He had stolen a pair of pliers from the maintenance
unit and he emptied the gun powder from the first five cartridges and the
last five on the loading belt of the PKM company machine gun and later
returned the belt back to the weapon. The next sentinel never noticed.
The next morning the machine gun was taken on a convoy to Malange where
it failed to fire during a UNITA ambush. One comrade died and the Camp
Commissar was wounded. The subject was a suspect at this time since he
was also on duty in the same post.
In a second incident some time later he forced an empty cartridge casing,
with the end of the primer removed (to make sure no one discovers the casing
inside) into the barrel of another PKM machine gun.This was discovered
minutes before the convoy took off when all weapons were checked. All weapons
were inspected and that casing was discovered.
The recording officers checked all areas of suspicion and possible suspects.
This was narrowed down and the other incident of sabotage was also taken
into account. The list of possible suspects was further narrowed down by
looking at biographies of the suspects. It was found that the subject's
biography had been considered doubtful in the first place although there
had been no tangible evidence to interrogate him.
Security went to the dwelling where subject was staying, a pair of pliers
was discovered and subject claimed he used it to fix his bed and he stole
it from the maintenance unit.
Thirdly, in Luanda after the subject was removed from the camp for investigation,
his unit was taken from the camp with the legend that they were going to
get new deployments.They were given several weapons to clean in preparation
for the convoy which was bound to the Northern Front. Subject told the
investigators that he was cleaning a rifle. But to the suprise of investigators,
they discovered that a striking pin missing from a PKM machine gun which
he had assisted in disassembling. Subject was later taken away for thorough
questioning and he confessed.
CASE STUDY : 7
False Flag Operations
BACKGROUND TO RECRUITMENT
In January 1984 the subject and his friend by the name of Alfred Makene
were looking for a job at Checkers stores, where they were given forms
to fill in.
Several days later he received a telephone call informing him that there
was no work (at the store) but he should try a place in Prinsloo Street.
When he got there he was given forms to fill in. A week later a policeman
came to his place and took him to Silverton police station. Later he was
taken to Compol.
There he was offered to work with the police, which according to him,
he refused. Then he was asked to spy for the police in his township, Mamelodi.
He agreed. He was tasked to report especially on the activities of Moses
Chikane (Transvaal Secretary of the UDF), Mike Mailula, who worked at Khotso
House; and Louis Khumalo of Mamelodi Parents Action Committee. He was also
to report on the activities of organisations such as the Congress of South
African Students (COSAS) United Democratic Front (UDF), and the Mamelodi
Youth Organisation. He was told by his bosses that he would be given training.
His handler was Johnson, of Compol Pretoria.
He received his training at a farm house in the north of Pretoria. He spent
three months at that farm house studying banned books about the African
National Congress. He received training in developing legends and covert
communication methods (coding and decoding). For the next six months he
was taken to a place called Onverwacht near the Odi/Moretele district,
between Ga-rankuwa and Mabopane townships on the way towards Klipgat and
Jericho villages. He did physical training, and was instructed in surveillance,
counter surveillance, engineering (usage of explosives), driving and car
maintenance, interviewing, interrogation, and house breaking. In all he
did a nine months training course.
MISSION FULFILLED INSIDE
In June 1985 he participated in the grenade attack on Louis Khumalo's home
in D Section Mamelodi East, together with (deleted) who was driving the
car, and some trainees from Hammanskraal Police College. They spread pamphlets
bearing the name of the United Democratic Front in Khumalo's yard so as
to create confusion in the ranks of the democratic movement. He received
The second mission (also in June 1985) was the distribution of anti-United
Democratic Front pamphlets bearing the name the Azanian People's Organisation's
name in Atteridgeville. He was given R100.00. In around June 1985, subject
took part in a night march by police in Duduza location, Nigel, pretending
to be comrades in the township by singing revolutionary songs. The aim
was to arrest the youth who were blamed for unrest in township. The mission
was a failure.
Again in June he participated in a clash between members of the UDF and
Azapo in Mohlakeng; the police were wearing Azapo T-shirts, and threw stones
at UDF members. The subject was paid R100.00.
In July 1985 he took part in the booby-trapping of explosives that killed
three comrades of the seven Duduza activists who were detained at John
Vorster Square. Subject and another black policeman acted as African National
Congress guerrillas on a mission to sabotage an electrical substation on
the outskirts of Kwathema township near Springs. He was paid R150.00. Also
in July, he participated in the hand grenade attack at a house belonging
to a member of the United Democratic Front, in Huhudi, Vryheid, together
with three others from the local police station. They each got R110.00.
TASKS IN LESOTHO:
At the end of July 1985 he started preparing himself to go for studies
in Lesotho at the National University of Lesotho. On the 10 August 1985,
he travelled by train from Pretoria station via the Germiston-Bloemfontein
line to Marseilles station on the Maseru border. There he met his handler
Johnson and was briefed to monitor the activities of South African students
on the campus, follow the movements of a student leader called Kutwanakutwana
and other ANC-aligned students. Johnson gave him the telephone number 72369
and told him that when dialling he should start with the last number (9)
and end with the first number (7). He was given the codename "Boaparo"
to use when phoning.
He received a bursary from the World University Service instead of the
United Nations. Subject joined student organisations such as Committee
in Action Solidarity with Southern African Students (CASSAS) and the Union
of Namibian and South African Students (UNISAS). When he went home on vacation
he reported to Johnson on his contact with Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Mpumulwana
Tolo, who were ANC-aligned students. Subject declared himself a refuge
in Lesotho, and joined the ANC.
MISSIONS TO PERFORM WITHIN UMKHONTO WE SIZWE
1. To draw maps of camps.
2. To note the guarding system at camps. 3. Encourage subversion and dissatisfaction
In the event of being discovered he was told to run away to the South of
Angola and hand himself over to the South African Defence Force in Namibia.
He gave himself up to the African National Congress before fulfilling his
CASE STUDY 8
In her confession the subject had this to reveal:
She was recruited by Allan Ndlovu in Swaziland in 1985 and handed over
to Captain Ronnie Nel. Nel has been described as Head of the Elimination
Squad for Swaziland, based in Compol Building, Pretoria. There was no contact
from the end of 1985 until March 1986. She was then approached by a Van
Vuuren, whose actual name was Lange - this she discovered on signing for
the money after the death of Viva Yethu, an MK cadre.
MISSIONS FULFILLED AGAINST THE ANC ON BEHALF OF THE SECURITY BRANCH:
She pointed out the house where Pantsu, a cadre of the Movement, was living;
he was killed early in 1986.
She informed Allan Ndlovu that September was travelling between Mbabane
and Manzini. This led to September's arrest, and eventual abduction to
South Africa. She worked in an enemy cell which included (deleted) and
(deleted.) The latter is a Mozambican renegade, who was suspected to be
an MNR member in Swaziland. Subject confirmed he was an enemy agent.
This was the unit responsible for killing Viva, an ANC cadre.
The operation was carried out as follows: subject was to lure comrades
to her place for a meal, they would be tailed from there and executed.
However, the comrades came and left early that afternoon. It was then planned
to try again on Saturday. Subject made contact with the comrades on Friday
and telephoned Ronnie Nel about this in the morning. The comrades were
kept under surveillance the whole day and in the late afternoon the subject
phoned her handler, telling him that they would gather at (deleted)'s place
that night. Subject arrived at (deleted)'s place last and found everyone
there. They were preparing to leave for a party in Tembemile.
(Deleted) and the subject refused to go with the rest, and went to inform
Nel who was parked in the yard of the flats. The enemy had three cars,
a red Golf, a Mitsubishi and a white BMW. The Mitsubishi followed Viva's
car from the flats and the two travelled in the BMW. They went directly
to the party to enquire whether Viva and the others had arrived. They were
in for about ten minutes, on their return the engine of the car was running
and Nel was in radio contact with the other car. They travelled straight
to the scene of the execution. (Note: Subject did not actually witness
these executions as she remained in the car.)
(Deleted) and the subject then quickly checked Viva's car for anything
important. (Deleted) took from the car a pistol, house keys, about R800
in cash and a notebook from Viva's clutch bag.
Back in the car, the subject was asked about which places the survivors
may have gone to. She suggested Tod Masilela's place nearby. They were
to kill the survivors if found. At Tod's place, Tod chased her away. (The
survivors were in fact inside - note from NAT panel.)
The subject was later dropped at Mary Mkuhlase's house where she spent
the weekend. (Deleted - the Mozambican) then took the enemy to the house
where the comrades lived, which they searched and took weapons.
The killing of Paul Dikeledi and Cassius Make:
The subject was told by Paul, about two days before his death, that there
was an important person arriving with whom she could discuss some of the
financial problems she had raised with him. She later overheard (an office
worker) receiving a telephone message from Maputo for Paul that this person
was arriving on Thursday and that he should be met at the airport. She
duly informed Ronnie Nel about this.
That Thursday Paul Dikeledi, Cassius Make and a Mozambican woman travelling
with them were killed on their way back from the airport by white persons
driving a white BMW.
The subject reported on the location of houses of our comrades in Maputo
after her trip in September 1986.
Sums paid to her ranged between R50 and R200.
For special operations she received more. For the killing of Viva she got
R800. For passing on information which led to the ambush and killing of
Paul Dikeledi and Cassius Make she got R500; originally she had wanted
CASE STUDY 9
(POSTAL) ADDRESS: Khabazela High School, Private Bag X1013, Hillcrest 3650.
ANOTHER ADDRESS: (deleted) P.O. Clernaville, 3601, NATAL
FATHER: (deleted), worked at AECI Limited in Natal.
MOTHER: (deleted), domestic worker
Recruited in March 1985 (elsewhere he says September 1983) by Sergeant
Shekheshe Ntombela, a Security Branch policeman at C.R. Swartz Square,
Smith Street, Durban. Shekheshe lives at Ntuzuma Township at E Section.
Actual place where recruited was in one of Shekheshe's flats which he rented
to (name deleted) at Indunduma Section, 28th Avenue, on the third floor,
Brigadier Pieter Swanepoel, C.R. Swart Square; Sergeant Shekheshe Ntombela,
C.R. Swart Square, Durban.
SUBJECT'S POLICE CODE NUMBER: 0/656
Was promised a house, a car, a lot of money plus security for himself.
Underwent training from March 1985 to 06/09/1985. Training included food
poisoning, firearms, etc. Trained together with (two names deleted).
Instructors were Brigadier Swanepoel from C.R. Swart as well as a Mrs Smith
and Shekheshe. Used open ground near Westville Womens Association near
Lamontville for firearms practise and a house in Morningside for classes.
MISSIONS CARRIED OUT INSIDE THE COUNTRY
Contacts given outside:
(Four names with work addresses supplied in Bulawayo, Angola, and Zambia,
one allegedly within the UNHCR.)
MISSIONS FULFILLED (AS THEY APPEAR IN HIS HANDWRITTEN STATEMENT SIGNED
AND DATED 15/01/1990) ON BEHALF OF THE SECURITY BRANCH POLICE:
*** Killed Eugene Nunu Kheswa a close friend of his (subject) after making
sure he was drunk. "I was given money to make him drunk and later
I was joined by (3 names deleted). I stabbed him on the neck and they finished
him off and I go to report to his family ... nobody was arrested.. the
date was 30/06/1985".
*** "In the following week we killed Thandi Poswa who was always in
touch with Reverend Xundu church ... we shot her thrice on the chest when
she was crossing the 24th Avenue..."
*** "Unfortunately we were spotted by Nelisiwe Octavia Lamola,
a student at Ziphathele High School. We were given a mission to silence
her because she reported the matter to KwaDakeka Police Station. We used
our initiative there by crushing her with a car." This took place
*** On Mrs Victoria Mxenge "...(deleted) shot her five times on
the chest but she never fell, where I followed her with an axe and chopped
her next to her dining room door."
*** On Mbongeni Ngema, a unionist from Umlazi: "...we parked our
car next to his house in pretext that our car gives us the trouble, at
dawn when he was supposed to go (to work) in his office, when he tried
to assist us on our car, we shot him and ran away.
*** " I also found myself shooting the people who were coming for
a memorial service at Umlazi Cinema where 19 people died and over 20 got
injured. I was exposed there by a stupid play between myself and Mike Evans,
a riot squad man. The people saw me and said that they are going to kill
For the missions which Bongani Raymond Malinga fulfilled he was given R27,500
plus R250 a week for transport. For the massacre of 19 people Bongani got
R18,000. Bongani left R36,000 in Allied Building Society, Smith Street,
Durban; left R4,000 at Barclaysbank Cromptece Street, Pinetown; left R1,800
at Nedbank, West Street. " I left these blood monies under Shekheshe's
protection, we also gave back our weapons to him".
MISSIONS CARRIED OUT AS OUTLINED IN CASE NUMBER 7/1990 OF THE PEOPLE'S
TRIBUNAL IN THE MATTER: THE PEOPLE VERSUS BONGANI RAYMOND MALINGA: 07/05/1990:
*** In contravention of the common law principle that every person has
a right to life, and further, in contravention of Section 2(A) (I) (II)
(III) (IV) and (V) the accused intentionally and unlawfully murdered comrade
Victoria Mxenge, and was paid by the racist regime R5000 for this criminal
*** Intentionally and unlawfully murdered one Thandi Poswa (Phoswa) and
was paid by the racist regime an amount of R2800.
*** Intentionally and unlawfully murdered, one Nelisiwe Octavia Lamola
because she had seen them murder the said Thandi Poswa, for which criminal
activity the accused was paid R2000 by the racist regime.
*** Intentionally and unlawfully murdered one Eugene Nunu Kheswa on 01/06/1984
for which the regime paid the accused the sum of R3500.
*** Intentionally and unlawfully murdered Bongani Mngema for which crime
the racist regime paid the accused the sum of R2500
*** Intentionally and unlawfully participated in a massacre at Umlazi
Cinema where 19 people were murdered and 34 seriously suffered badly harm.
*** In contravention of Section (A) (I) (II) (III) (IV) and (V) read
with Section (B) (I) and (III), the accused infiltrated the ANC with the
intention and acting on behalf of and/or in collaboration with the enemy;
or, -- causing confusion in the ranks of the ANC; in particular in the
ranks of MK and/or -- encouraging the ANC students at SOMAFCO to defect
from the ANC and run to Western countries.
*** In contravention of Section 2 (A) (I) (II) (III) (IV) and (V) read
with Section (B) (I) and (V) the accused acting on behalf of and/or in
collaboration with the racist regime, infiltrated the ANC with the intention
to murder comrade Chris Hani (the Chief of Staff of MK) and/or comrade
Joe Modise (the Commander of MK).
Confession Statement of Marvin Sefako dated 15/01/1990; People's Tribunal
Report dated 07/05/1990. Authored in Angola and Lusaka respectively.
OUTCOME OF THIS CASE:
Sefako was first imprisoned in 1988; recommendation to imprison subject
confirmed by the National People's Tribunal; he was released in 1991.
CASE STUDY 10
Phillip Masiza CONJWAYO
DOB: 01/08/1933, Gweru, Zimbabwe.
RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: 75 Malvern Road, Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe.
(Remark: this is a summarised version; our interest was only in the other
people Phillip Conjwayo implicates. Therefore other activities of subject,
or tasks he carried out have been omitted.)
Date of report: 07/04/1988
JOINING THE POLICE FORCE:
* On 20/12/1952, joined the then BSAP
* On 20/12/1960 transferred uniformed branch to Criminal Investigations
* In April 1962 was attached to the Special Branch/Security Branch until
he retired on pension in November 1980.
RECRUITMENT (AS A SPY FOR SOUTH AFRICA) AND HANDLING:
In October 1985 whilst working at Peter Wild Associates, Masasa, Harare,
Conjwayo was approached by one Mary Baker, a South African Intelligence
operative. Enquiries revealed that Mary Baker is possibly also known as
Merry Patrice Mackenzie. She is formerly known as Mrs Richardson.
Conjwayo was shown a photograph of Winston Hart and Peter Berg. He was
asked if he still remembered Hart whom he had worked with before, when
he was a serving member of the Special Branch. After a positive response,
he was told that Hart wanted him to do a job on his behalf. Conjwayo enquired
on the nature of the job and he was told that it involved the monitoring
of the ANC(SA) President, O.R. Tambo and Chris Hani whenever they visited
Zimbabwe. Conjwayo refused to co-operate initially.
During the September 1986 visit by Mary Baker, Conjwayo finally agreed
to Hart's previous propositions thereby agreeing to work for the South
African intelligence against the ANC in Zimbabwe. Baker immediately went
to South Africa where she informed Hart about Conjwayo's submissions. Nothing
was heard from either Baker or Hart until April 1987.
HANDLING AND ACTIVITIES OF CONJWAYO:
* In April 1987, Baker came to Zimbabwe in the company of a white man known
as Frank Cloute (Cloete?). Cloute was introduced to Conjwayo as Hart's
business partner who was on a business trip. Baker informed Conjwayo that
Hart wanted him to travel to South Africa for a meeting. Before Baker left,
she gave Conjwayo a South African contact number: 79524444 Randburg.
* In June 1987, Conjwayo visited South Africa to fulfil his promises. At
Hilbrow Railway Station, he contacted Baker on the above telephone number.
Baker arrived and soon afterwards Hart also arrived. A short while later,
another white man only identified as Brian arrived, and he appeared to
be senior to Hart. Conjwayo's tasks were repeated to him. His monthly salary
was outlined as $450 plus $100 vehicle allowance; plus vehicle to be maintained
by Hart and tyres supplied whenever Conjwayo visited South Africa. Was
to be paid through Baker in Zimbabwe.
* Sometime in September 1987, Conjwayo was phoned by Mary Baker from
South Africa and he was instructed to go and wait for a call from John
of the Innez Terrence public call box. John has since been identified as
Christopher John Bawden, aka Kit. Kit instructed Conjwayo to proceed to
number 8 Durban Road and check whether Jeremy Brickhill was staying there.
If he failed to locate him at the above address, he was to proceed to Grassroots
Bookshop in Stanley Avenue, which Brickhill owned.
* Conjwayo after locating the home and work place of Jeremy Brickhill
reported all that to Christopher John Bawden who was booked at the Holiday
Inn in Harare. * A few days before 1987 Christmas holidays, Conjwayo was
contacted by Mary Baker to expect a call from John. This John has since
been identified as Michael Anthony Smith. The message was that he should
look for Jabulani (ANC cadre) and lure him to an RV along Beatrice Road,
from where he would be abducted to South Africa. Conjwayo tried but failed
to lure Jabulani to the RV because he was elusive. The South Africans had
hoped to airlift Jabulani to South Africa using the aircraft that para-dropped
Henry Thompson alongside three consignments of arms of war at Carlson's
farm, Fort Rixon on 27 December, 1987.
* In January 1988 Conjwayo was given $8000 by Henry Thompson to purchase
a vehicle and to look for a driver. After buying a vehicle Conjwayo proceeded
to the Employment Exchange where he secured the services of Obed Amon Mwanza,
a Zambian national as the driver.
* On the 10/01/1988 Conjwayo parked the vehicle at the Bulawayo Sun
Hotel from where it was collected by Christopher John Bawden (Kit) and
Michael Anthony Smith who armed it on the 11/01/1988.
After arming the vehicle they parked it at Kine theatres along Grey Street
from where it was later collected by Mwanza under Conjwayo's instructions.
Mwanza was told to drive the vehicle to Number 16A Jungle Road, North Trenance
on a purported foreign currency deal.
Upon arrival at the house, Mwanza was to hoot three times to signal his
arrival. Mwanza did not know that the car was armed with a bomb. He also
did not know that Chris Bawden and Anthony Smith were following behind
up to the corner of Jungle Road and Hydrang Road. Upon arrival he did as
instructed and then Christopher Bawden, using a remote control device,
detonated the bomb instantly killing Mwanza and injuring six ANC cadres,
one of them seriously.
* Conjwayo was eventually arrested at Number 29 Makwiro Road, Mabvuku,
on 15/01/1988 and was immediately conveyed to Bulawayo. Kevin John Woods
was arrested alongside the owner of the garage, Rory Burt Maguire and his
manager, Michael Howard. Through their interrogations, Michael Smith, Barry
Bawden and Guy Bawden were arrested. Kevin John Woods is a former member
of the CIO and one of the arrested Zimbabwe based South African sabotage
and spying operatives.
CASE STUDY 11
D O B: 23-09-1968
ADDRESS OF ORIGIN: 7698 Site & Service, Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Father; Huge Mhlathunzima . Mother; Gladys Mhlathunzima.
POLITICAL BACKGROUND: In 1985 he joined the Port-Elizabeth Youth Congress.
DETENTION BY POLICE:
The subject was arrested in December 1985 (he was 16 years of age) whilst
moving with two of his friends who managed to escape. He was beaten up
and thrown in to the hippo by the South African Defence Force soldiers,
who dropped him at Algoa Park police station.That ultimately laid basis
for his recruitment.
RECRUITMENT AND HANDLING:
He was recruited on 18-12-1985 by a white police man,whose name is Sergeant
Gerbe, and a black police man known as Nombombo,they are both based at
Algoa Park in Port-Elizabeth. He was given a code name James,a telephone
number:541034 Algoa Park, and a brown identity card written Gerbe's name,
and beneath of the subject and photo.
1. Education up to University level in the United States of America.
2. Gerbe promised to enlarge his home & decorate it, and also pay rent.
3. In case of going abroad for studies his family will be supported.
In March 1986 he was taken for 2 weeks course at Saint Johns More military
camp. At this place also Bantustans armies & police got trained by
the boer instructors. The place is situated next to the place called Motherwell
out side Port-Elizabeth,on the way leading to Uitenhage.
SUBJECTS AND INSTRUCTORS:
Pistol cobra/M3 use 8 rounds - by Nombombo, practical shooting in the near
- Walkie takie by Gerbe, for emergency situations.
- Camera, Hallena1985 model, 4 cornered flash which is removable, taught
to take photo's of all actions. Also on how to use it at far away distances
and when it is cloudy, by Nombombo.
3 weeks of anti- African National Congress and anti-communist propaganda
politics for 3 weeks. Covering topics such as anti-Sovietism,distorted
Freedom Charter, invincibility of the racist regime, causes of the Maseru
massacre, and the Ethiopian starvation. He was taught by Van der Merwe,
Botha and Van Vuuren who were sharing topics. He was learning with 20 other
people (he doesn't know their names.)
In February 1986 he was given a mission to attend the funeral of a cadre
of Umkhonto weSizwe by the name of Thandoxolo Mbethe, to:
Look at people who are armed;
Check on who will be delivering speeches;
Look at those who necklace others;
Spy on all secret meetings of Port-Elizabeth Youth Congress
In April 1986 the subject was moving with the racist police and vigilantes.
He shot a girl in the chest while the Bedford car they weretravelling in
was moving at a very high speed.
Managed to photograph a group of comrades burning a bus. A group of
comrades holding meeting at a shop known as Kwa-Vantjie.
On leaving the country the subject was given the description of his
contact as Vusi who wears a red earing on the left ear and black soleless
shoes Given R450.00 to use for travelling.
To poison food;
Sabotage property of the organisation;
To get names, description, and places of origin in South Africa of camp
commanders and instructors;
To memorise residences of the organisation in the front line states.
Material given for fulfilling them:
A yellow powder, in a container.
Route to leave South Africa:
He was told that Vusi had addresses of contacts in all the front line states
In May 1986 he mobilised a friend by the name of Mzimkhulu to leave
the country. they got a lift from Port-Elizabeth to Johannesburg, and found
their way to Meadowlands to a person called Tirewo of Zone 9. Tirewo took
them to his relative Kenneth Ngwedzeni of Zone 8 where they stayed for
From there they left for Botswana, On arrival in Botswana they were
taken to Dukwe transit camp were he met Vusi talked about their missions
Vusi went to an extend of showing him the list of addresses he had with
him. They last saw each other in Zambia.
Whilst in Zambia Mthobile claims to have poured the poison given to him
into the soft porridge when he was on duty on September 16 1986 in Cherlston
transit camp in Lusaka. He says he only poured in half of it. Because he
was afraid, he claims to have taken some of the poison in a glass of water
and drank it, trying to commit suicide, the reason being he was afraid
to account for the mess. About 40 people were rushed to the Hospital with
severe diarrhoea. Other comrades were discharged from hospital, leaving
him behind at the hospital.
REPORT DATE: 1988.
CASE STUDY 12
NAME: LESLIE JOHANNES LESIA
Subject had been in contact with the Movement since 1986. On 15th May 1987
subject was sent by the Maputo cdes to be investigated in Lusaka because
he was linked to a bomb explosion which took place in Harare on 12/05/87
in comrade Mhlophe's residence resulting in the death of his wife. (Cde
Mhlophe is a former ANC Chief Representative in Mozambique).
In Lusaka subject confessed the following:-
CONTACT WITH ANC:
In around August or Septmebr 1986, a comrade named Victor Ephraim Tebogo
Lesia passed away in Tanzania as a result of a car accident. The late comrade's
family was informed and the mother came to Maputo accompanied by the subject,
who claimed he was Victor's uncle, and proceeded to Tanzania. It was during
this period that subject got acquainted with our comrades in Maputo and
struck up a close relationship with Cde Mhlophe (former Chief Representative
in Mozambique) and Herbert (Chief Rep. in 1987).
Subject had also been visiting Lesotho where he knew cdes Ngalitye and
Herbert. On the family's return to South Africa they were contacted by
the Security Branch enquiring on their trip to Tanzania.
CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO RECRUITMENT:
In 1985 subject claims to have formed a project which he called Leslie's
Performing Arts and Cultural Institution. He applied to various foreign
companies for sponsorship. The American Embassy in Pretoria responded and
sent him forms to fill in.
In October 1986 (after the trip to Tanzania) the application was approved
and he received a grant of R15 000 to purchase equipments. A Mr Hutchison
from the American embassy met the subject to start the project. A short
while later, a Mr Brown and Ernest Becker were introduced to him at the
American embassy in Pretoria. He was told about a white organisation called
the Orange Free State Art Foundation and was advised to make contact with
its members and subsequently join.
At some point Mr Hutchison flew to Bloemfontein to meet subject and
introduced to him a Mr Cooper, a lawyer to handle the financial side of
Subject was recruited by Mr Brown and Becker to gather information on the
ANC in Maputo.
MISSIONS ASSIGNED AND FULFILLED:
During the period of October 1986 to May 1987 subject made about five (5)
trips to Maputo from Bloemfontein as per instructions from his handlers,
Brown and Becker in Pretoria. In general his missions were to establish:
+ the number of ANC members in Maputo
+ identities of ANC members
+ whether ANC members expelled by the Mozambican government had left.
+ whether cdes Joe Slovo and Sue Rabkin were in Mozambique.
PAYMENTS: Subject claims that for his first mission he received
a sum of R2 000; for the second mission he received R1 000; he was not
paid for the third trip, because he did not report to his handlers about
secretly taking his son, David Makhaya Lesia, to join the ANC in Maputo.
For the fourth mission he was paid R800, and for the fifth, R2 000
LEGEND (TO THE ANC):
++ He wanted to do underground work and he claimed to have already formed
underground structures. He needed trained cadres and materials to carry
plans to eliminate enemy personnel.
++ Another one given by his handlers was to establish business contacts
in Maputo for purchasing prawns and ivory.
Subject's account of the bomb which killed the wife of Cde. Mhlope:
Cde Mhlophe had asked the subject to obtain a colour television for him.
The subject mentioned this to his controllers and asked them whether they
could get one at a discount. The handlers agreed. During April cde Mhlophe
was in Maputo for cde Gibson's funeral. Mhlophe phoned the subject who
informed him that he got the television and would bring it to Maputo.
Subject then contacted his handlers in Pretoria who gave him the television.
They told him that there were certain wires which were part of the packing
material, and had to be removed to operate the remote controls. The subject
went to Maputo and delivered the television to cde Mhlophe.
Behind South Africa's Low Intensity War
Despite all the peace initiatives of the churches and human rights
organisations, despite all the peace accord, despite all the exposures
and revelations about the involvement of the security forces in the conflict,
the violence continues. Why?
JEFF MARISHANE has been studying this kind of violence in South Africa
and in other parts of the world. The killings are not as senseless as they
appear to be. Viewed against the background of what the military strategists
around the world call LIC (Low Intensity Conflict), South Africa's violence
makes complete sense-rather frightening sense.
We publish a brief summary of Jeff's research.
The violence in South Africa today is a classic example of what the military
strategists call Low Intensity Warfare (LIW). This counter-insurgency strategy
has a long history in South Africa and other parts of the world. Some acquaintance
with this history will help us to understand the reasoning behind the violence.
Their humiliating defeat in Vietnam finally convinced the United State
military strategies and politicians that guerilla wars, insurrections and
revolutions cannot be defeated by conventional armies using conventional
military strategies. The mightiest army in the world with well trained
personnel, sophisticated weapons, endless bombardment, wholesale massacres,
torture and even the notorious napalm bomb could not defeat the Vietnamese
Will and determination were on the side of the Vietnamese who kept coming
back despite the merciless war of attrition conducted against them. Not
only did the US Army lose the minds and hearts of the Vietnamese, they
almost lost the minds and hearts of their own citizens.
It was obvious that from the perspective of US military interests that
new and imaginative strategies of counter-insurgency would have to be found.
Low Intensity Conflict was born out of this search for alternatives, although
many of the elements of the new military strategy had been formulated earlier.
THE AIM OF LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT IS NOT A MILITARY VICTORY BY DESTABILISATION.
HEART AND MINDS
In 1952, when General Sir Gerald Templar, the British Military High Commissioner
in Malaya, was asked whether he had enough troops to defeat the insurgents
in this British colony, he replied: "The answer lies not in pouring
more soldiers into the jungle, but in the hearts and minds of the Malayan
In the USA, even before the Vietnam war, the CIA (Central Intelligence
Agency) had begun to develop this "hearts and minds"strategy
in their covert operations.
Edward G. Lonsdale, a former advertising executive, was sent to the Philippines
as a CIA operative in the fifties to destroy the Huk rebellion by winning
the hearts and minds of the people.
He did this by planting informers, recruiting defectors, spreading disinformation
and by numerous other "dirty tricks". But most of all he constructed
a political alternative in the person of Ramon Magsaysay, a friendly, popular
man performs, for peace and for elections. Like F.W. de Klerk?
In the fifties in the Philippines this formula worked. After the Vietnam
fiasco this was the formula for counter-insurgency around the world - it
was even used a second time in the Philippines when Marcos, the new dictator,
lost the minds and hearts of the people.
This approach came to be known as Low Intensity Conflict. It was further
developed over the years and its tactics became more and more sinister
In the days of P.W. Botha we heard a lot about the total onslaught that
required a total strategy on the part of the State. The idea and the words
came from General Andre Beaufre's book, "An Introduction to Strategy"
(Faber 1963) which was based upon his experience of counter-insurgency
as a French general in Algeria.
Basically total strategy or total was means "anything goes" -
any kind of dirty trick or deception or even terrorism. The argument is
that we can only defeat "the enemy" by adopting the methods and
strategies they use. Their total onslaught requires a total response. If
they lie, we lie; if they kill, we kill; if they plant bombs, we plant
bombs; if they destabilise communities we do the same.
The perception of what any particular liberation movement is trying to
do may be wrong, but LIC is thought of as giving terrorists a dose of their
own medicine with disinformation, sabotage, death squads, hitmen, assassinations,
planting bombs in buildings, killing civilians and generally destabilising
The US Army has defined LIC as " a limited political military struggle
(which) ranges form diplomatic, economic and psychological pressure through
terrorism and insurgency". A former commander of US Special Operations
in EI Salvador describes LIC as "total war at the grassroots level"
High Intensity Warfare means a nuclear war. Mid-intensity Warfare means
a war with conventional weapons like the war against Iraq. Low Intensity
Warfare uses unconventional methods against any kind of "communist"
or "terrorist" threat.
LIC is anti-communist. It is a way of destabilising revolutionary movement
which are thought to be communist and a way of destabilising governments
that have been taken over by communists. In the late started low intensity
wars against the new Marxist governments in Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua
and Afghanistan. They trained, armed and supported right-wing guerrilla
groups in each country to do the work of destabilisation: Unita in Angola,
Renamo or MNR in Mozambique, the Contras in Nicaragua and the Mudjahedin
Two very important lessons were learnt from this exercise in Low Intensity
Warfare. The first was that the aim of LIC should not be a military victory
but destabilisation. Once the country had been thoroughly destabilised
and the economy in ruins, the long suffering and war-weary people would
quite happy to vote for a pro-Western government in a general election.
This happened a short while ago in Nicaragua.
Counter-revolutionary terrorism is far more effective than any amount of
propaganda as a way of getting people to vote for peace, reform and moderation.
The second lesson the strategists learnt was that you must use puppets
or surrogate armies. You must not introduce a foreign army of occupation.
You must no introduce a foreign army of occupation. You must get the people
of the same nation to fight the government you want to destabilise. Angolans
must fight Mozambicans.
The lessons of the Vietnam war are now clear: don't try to win the war,
just your own troops, get the "native" to fight one another.
DIVINE AND RULE
Finally, LIC terrorism had now become the most effective way of keeping
a pro-Western government in power. In countries like Guatemala, EI Salvador,
the Philippines and South Africa, LIC is a kind of divide and rule strategy
that prevents and effective revolution form the left. Every possible means
is used to get the poor to begin fighting one another. This demotivated
and confused to organise a liberation struggle against the government.
It then becomes possible for the government to pose as the neutral peacemaker.
A variety of means are now being used to instigate internal conflict: vigilantes,
gangsters, death squads, agents provocateurs, recruiting mercenaries form
the unemployed, exploiting political rivalries and tribal loyalties.
Today the most sophisticated use of LIC to destabilise the left and the
communities that might support them is being planned and executed in South
LIC IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa's military strategists are very well versed in the theory
and techniques of LIC. Many of our generals, including Magnus Malan, studied
counter-insurgency in the military academies of the USA. Their links with
other military strategists from Chile to Israel are well known.
The generals and the politicians have not only made use of the theory of
total strategy and dirty tricks and winning hearts and minds, but they
have also gained much experience in the use of death squads, as we learnt
from the Harms Commission and numerous other revelations, and in the "art"
of destabilising other countries by means of hit squads or surrogate forces
like Renamo, Unita and the Lesotho Liberation Army.
By 1989 it had become abundantly clear that these strategies were not working.
More subtle forms of counter-insurgency would have to be worked out.
At the beginning of 1990, the new plan began to emerge: abandon the policy
of apartheid, unban the opposition, present the National Party as a moderate,
reformist party working for peace, improve the image of white South Africa
and stop sanctions. But what if the black majority took advantage of the
new freedom to rise up and take power? Whether that is likely to happen
or not, it represents what whites fear most.
Addressing these fears on March 8. 1992, during the white referendum debate
on TV, Hernus Kriel, the Minister of Law and Order, pointed our that since
February 2, 1990 the violence has changed from "black on white"
to "black on black". Does that mean that there was deliberate
strategy not only to stop the ANC's armed struggle, but also to destabilise
the black community by instigating internal conflict?
BEHIND THE VIOLENCE
The pattern of violence since the beginning of the 90's is clear. In ICT's
booklet on violence, "The New Kairos" published in September
1990, a clear distinction is made between "the causes of the
violence and the conditions that make violence possible."
The conditions that are being exploited include political rivalry, tribalism,
hostel dwellers and residents, squatters and residents and competing taxi
associations. But the instigators of the violence are a "third force"
that most commentators and analysts now trace back to the Special Forces
of the SADF. Nobody else could orchestrate conflict throughout the country
on such a massive scale without being discovered. The operation is now
so extensive and so complicated, employing thousands of highly skilled
people, planning hundreds of attacks and conspiracies, using vast amounts
that it is not longer possible to monitor the operation, left alone stop
What still puzzles many commentators, however , is the motive. Are they
trying to wreck the negotiations process? Acquaintance with the long history
of low intensity conflict as strategy shows that the violence is meant
to complement the government's negotiation policy by demotivating demoralising,
destabilising and confusing the war-weary people of the township who are
then supposed to opt for peace at all costs as they did in Nicaragua, Angola
and Mozambique. It has all been very carefully thought out to confuse and
On February 2, 1990, the security establishment did not abandon the low
intensity war that they had been waging against the people for years. They
simply adapted it. Sergeant Felix Ndimene claims that his SADF superiors
described the new mission of the Special Forces as "a different kind
of war". The same people are now busy with a more extensive, more
invisible and more destructive war against the people
Published in: Challenge April 1992
FOR THE SAKE
OF OUR LIVES!
the creation of peoples self-defence units
1.1 In the wake of the ugly violence unless against our people by security
forces, vigilante groups and hit-squads it is imperative that our liberation
movement takes responsibility for guiding and building people's self-defence
In the past our attempts to defend ourselves have been spontaneous and
sometimes poorly planned, and lacking in discipline.
What we need is an organised and disciplined force, guided by political
leadership, which will serve both to protect the community and ensure law
1.2 This task is urgent and should be given top priority by the ANC
and our allies.
The minister onslaught on our movement and on the people is an attempt
by the regime to divide our people, weaken our movement and sow suspicion
and confusion. Failure to find ways of protecting our people will inevitably
lead to a loss of confidence in the ANC and liberation movement. There
is also the danger of widespread demoralisation among the masses if no
solution is found.
One of the aims of the reactionary forces is precisely to intimidate
the masses and eliminate leading activist.
1.3 A political solution to this problem must be sought.
Initiative such as the talks with Inkatha are extremely important. Campaigns
at local and trade union levels to improve understanding between township
communities and hostel dwellers are imperative.
Political pressure on the regime, side by side with well-documented
exposure of the role of the security forces, and mass protests throughout
the country, are means through which we can force the government to curb
But side-by-side with these political endeavour, we must build organisational
structures that can protect the lives and homes of the people.
The building of strong ANC and SACP branches, trade unions, civic associations,
youth and women's organisations and street committees are the foundation
of our people's unity and power.
No matter how strongly we develop these democratic structures, however,
in the current climate of violent assault we need to establish specialised,
broadly-based people's self-defence structures.
These should embrace all our people's political, social and cultural
organisations irrespective of ideological differences and political affiliation.
In other words defence units should not be affiliated to any political
party or movement by the a protective force which serves the community
as a whole.
1.4 We need a two-pronged strategy:
- a political offensive for peace an unity among the people based on
strong political organisations; and
- self-defence structures to protect our people.
1.5 Self-defence structures need, by definition, to be para-military.
They differ from all the other forms of organisations referred to, including
They must be tightly structured to repulse aggression an ensure law
and order, they need a specific command and control system; their members
must be trained and have a high degree of discipline.
1.6 At present, in the light of the Groote Schuur and Pretoria Minutes,
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) alone cannot undertake the task of our people's
defence, although this is a right we need to forcefully demand and struggle
The August 6 cease-fire does not neutralise MK.
It has an important role to play. MK cadres, particularly ex-prisoners
and those due to return from exile, must play a leading and active role
in the establishment of the defence.
1.7 As we proceed to establish defence units so we must raise the demand
for the right of self-protection.
Government Ministers, including De Klerk an Vlok allow the Inkatha bands
to carry so-called "cultural" weapons.
What is more they allow the AWB to organise military training camps
and concede to them the right of "self protection" as long as
in Vlok's words their commandos "do not attack anyone".
Our people, who are overwhelmingly the victims of aggression, must demand
the right of self-protection too! It is a demand the regime will find extremely
difficult to deny and by pressing energetically ahead with a programme
of establishing defence units we will make it impossible for the authorises
to prevent their growth.
1.8 Our people have the moral right to state: "We do not intend
to attack anybody by we demand the right to protect our lives, our lives,
our families, our homes and communities! We are forced to create defence
units for the sake of our lives".
Clearly we cannot rely on the apartheid police and army for protection.
When they are not attacking the people they are encouraging, siding with
and arming the ultra-right forces, warlords and vigilantes.
The impression is also very strong that the sinister hit-squads are recruited
form their ranks.
If we are to protect our lives then we must rely on our own strength, organisations
1.9 Our strength is in our numbers but it must be organised strength.
A group of 200 armed thugs cannot possibly overcome a township of 20
000 if the people are prepared united and determined.
1.10 In the past there were some examples of township or shanty-town
inhabitants setting up loosely formed defence units.
These often degenerated into sectarian or personal power-bases and sometimes
were used as a cover for criminal activities.
To guard against this defence units must have firm political direction
and be rooted amongst the communities they serve.
1. 11 Considerable experience has acquired from township an rural resistance.
This must be utilised to develop the best way of organising defence structures.
We need to collect such contributions, organise group discussions, and
work-shops etc. to learn and generalise from the practical experience.
This booklet is a contribution to ongoing discussions.
Theory must grow out of practise and in turn guide practise.
1.12 In forming defence structures there are various elements and tasks
we will have to tackle
- Among these are:
- Street defence system
- Barricades & fortifications
- Auxiliaries (support group)
- Work with hostile forces
- Tactics an the operational plan
2.1 The creation of a defence system for a township, shanty town, rural
district or other such area should first be discussed with local organisations.
Involved in these consultations should be ANC and SACP branches, civic
associations, local trade union structures, women and youth groups, an
other formations irrespective of ideological or political affiliation.
As broad a spectrum of groupings as possible should be involved.
There should be no intention of setting the defence units up as "armies"
of any political groupings or individuals.
This is undesirable and potentially dangerous - it is prescription for
"Libanonising" a conflict.
The defence units are created for the purpose of protecting the community.
But this does not mean that the ANC and its allies should not initiate
and guide the process.
2.2 Having agreed on a common approach the local organisations should
next approach the community at large in order to explain the need for a
local defence system and ensure their understanding and acceptance.
Time and attention must be given to this important process.
It is pointless to proceed unless the people are fully behind the idea.
2.3 Once agreement has been reached by the community, local organisations
should appoint or elect a defence committee. It is probably preferable
that the committee should be appointed because popular individuals do not
necessarily make the best commanders but such appointments should arise
out of careful consultation. The committee should be composed of reliable
and decisive people who have the ability to organise and command without
being dictatorial. Comrades with military skills, such as MK cadres or
reliable ex-policemen, could be likely candidates for key positions.
2.4 The committee and the entire self-defence structure serves the community
and the people's organisations and is subservient to them.
This principle must be made perfectly clear to all members of the self-defence
structures and to the people.
2.5 Whether the committee is appointed or elected, the popular organisations
should have the right to replace anyone on the committee who proves to
be unsatisfactory or even to replace the entire committee if need be.
2.6 But when the community is under attack or in danger, all must obey
the defence committee's orders.
This is not the time to attempt to replace members of the committee:
that must be done before the danger arises, or after it is over.
3. Township Defence Force (TDF)
To begin with we should concentrate on creating defence structures at
the township level. This will give us a chance to test and experiment with
the appropriate structures.
This booklet will concentrate on a model for a Township Defence Force
(We will need to elaborate models for both urban and rural localities,
for squatter camps and possibly for industrial zones. There is the need
for defence structures on mine compounds. NUM have established these at
some mine hostels and important lessons have been learnt. There is also
the need to elaborate some form of protection on the trains, at taxi ranks
and in city centres where a system of patrolling is required).
For the purpose of this booklet we will elaborate a structure for an
urban township taking a population size of 20 000 inhabitants as our demonstration
3.2 Township defence committee(TDC)
The TDC must be headed by a commander who works with a deputy (second
in commander or 2iC) and about eight others.
These head the various defence formations and structures.
On the committee will be the company commanders plus those responsible
for the various specialist responsibilities: chiefs of communications;
intelligence; political instructions; ordinance/Logistics(for organisations
of weapons and materials).
Other portfolio could be medical and Engineering (construction of barricades/
The TDC must have a permanent headquarters (HQ) - with alternative workplace
for reason of security.
Security must be promised to ensure the safety of the TDC and its HQ.
For this purpose a security section under the TDC's deputy commander
should be created.
The TDC must be linked to all subordinate structures by an efficient
and reliable means of communications.
3.3 Company formations
Immediately under the defence committee are the company formations.
These should be organise along para-military lines and are probably
the most manageable units for the defence of a township of about 20 000
Because of the defensive aspect of the tasks and para-military nature
of the structures the company and subordinate formations will be larger
than found in a regular army.
Each company could consist of about 500 volunteers.
Four companies totalling 2 000 volunteers would make up the full complete
of the TDF.
Each company would be under the charge of a company commander and deputy
(It will take time for the companies to reach full strength. The numbers
is involved will depend on the success of the recruitment drive. It might
be necessary to first build one company and then proceed to develop additional
Alternatively companies could be started simultaneously and gradually
built to full strength.
The strength of platoons and sections, referred to below, will therefore
depend on the success of recruitment.
If there are not enough recruits then the figures suggested could be
halved without interfering with the structural arrangement).
A platoon would consist of 100 volunteers, under a platoon commander
A section would consist of 20 volunteers, under a section leader and
deputy. Five sections make up a platoon. The section is the basic unit
of the defence force.
4. Street defence systems
4.1 There are a variety of ways in which the township could be defended.
The most rational system would be to give each unit a specific area
of responsibility which it would protect with the co-operation of eh residents
of that area. Such a system could be referred to as a "street defence
Units could move out of their allotted defence sectors and take up different
positions if need be. This would depend on tactical considerations.
At present we will simply outline the basic defence sectors of the units.
4.2 Each section is responsible for the defence of a single street from
one intersection to the next.
4.3 Five sections (one platoon) defend a block of five streets.
4.4 Five platoons (one company) defend a block of 25 streets.
4.5 Four companies should cover the entire township. If this is too
small, additional companies can be established.
4.6 During the period before full strength has been achieved on section
could be responsible for defending two or more streets.
4.7 The residents of the respective streets fall under the protection
of the appropriate sections.
They will be organised on voluntary basis in an auxiliary or support
capacity for the defence of their street and homes and to render assistance
to the section.
This support should be organised with the assistance of the street committees
where these exist or through the popular organisations.
Every inhabitant, young and old, has a role to play and should be organised.
(For the tasks of these auxiliary forces see section 12)
5.1 Joining the defence force must be on a voluntary basis.
A lively and active recruitment drive must be launched to popularise
the need for joining up.
As the first units are formed and begin to train and drill in uniform
much excitement and enthusiasms will be generated and the ground well to
join will increase.
Membership should be open to able-bodied adults, both men and women.
The community must set a minimum age-limit - probably 18 or 16. Youth under
the age-limit and others of all ages can be deployed in the auxiliary forces.
5.2 Volunteers must be carefully selected. Criminals and other unreliable
element must be excluded until they prove their reliability.
5.3 Would - be recruits must be screened and checked by the street committees
and popular organisations to prevent infiltration by impimpi's. If no street
committees exist, a system of neighbourhood checking must be instituted.
5.4 Recruits must accept the requirements of discipline and readiness
to obey orders. They must be prepared to undergo physical and other training.
They must be ready to give their time and service and understand the need
for punctuality. Above all they must understand the need for punctuality.
Above all they must understand that they are serving the community.
The wearing of uniforms, drilling in formation and political education
will build the required discipline and morale.
5.5 Those who display the best qualities appointed to leadership positions.
6.1 There will need to be a basic training programme for all volunteers
and a specialised training programme for commanders and those dealing with
specialised tasks such as communications, intelligence etc.
Instructors will need to be appointed and in most cases given some training
guides and assistance. Commanders and deputies from section, platoon and
company levels will need to be given some initial training slightly in
advance of their units so they in turn can act as instructors.
6.2 Physical Fitness
Volunteers need to be physically fit. Light physical training is best
conducted at the section level.
Time will be a constraint, however, especially for those going off to
work early and return home late. Where possible the section should exercise
as a unit.
Ten minutes light exercise followed by a twenty-minute daily jog is
If the section can only exercise together on the weekend then individuals
should be encouraged to exercise on their own on a daily basis.
The joint weekend run can be increased to 30 minutes and is strongly
As well as developing strength and stamina the joint run (or toi-toi)
will develop a collective spirit.
A longer run is not recommended because time on the weekends will be
needed for other training and activity.
6.3 Unarmed Self-Defence
The joining of martial arts classes like karate should be encouraged.
Those with such skills should be utilised to teach the basic exercises
to the others ("each one teach one").
6.4 Drilling time on weekend should be allotted to marching and drilling
information from section to platoon and finally to company level.
Units will have to trained to speedily assemble ("fall in")
and to rapidly move in formation from one point to another. They must become
used to rapid "on the double" movement.
Drilling is the basis of organised and disciplined manoueuverability.
It is also the way of conditioning the volunteers to respond to commands
The units must be trained to immediately respond to various signals
and alarms. The use of whistles should be used to convey certain commands.
For example three blasts of whistle could be the order for a section
to assemble at a particular point their street.
There needs to be a signal that commands the sections to assemble in
their platoon formations and an other which brings the entire company together
at a particular assembly point.
There need to be commands which order sections to take up defence positions
in their streets and others which speedily bring the platoons and even
companies to specific points of impending attack.
There need to be signals for advance and retreat and of course an alarm
which mobilises the entire township into a state of battle readiness.
All these signals and manoeuvre must be practised until perfection is
6.5 Political Instruction
At least one evening class should be conducted every week. Initial lectures
should deal with the reasons for self-defence and the role of the TDF.
They syllabus should deal with the national liberation struggle, the
current political situation, strategy and tactics etc.
A political campaign will have to be waged for the arming of the self-defence
All avenues need to be explored, including the setting up of licensed
Licensed weapons van be obtained.
Funds will have to be collected on a voluntary basis from the community.
Once even a few firearms have been obtained firearms training can begin.
This should be handled by MK cadres and sympathetic township police.
For initial training purpose airguns should be used. Air rifles and
pistols (the pellet gun type) can be bought for about R200 each.
The advantages is that no license is required and they are not excellent,
cheap and safe way for teaching people how to aim and shoot correctly.
A suitable practise ranges needs to be organised.
While everything must be done to adequately arm the defence units we
should not scorn the use of rudimentary weapons.
From early times people have used clubs and stones, catapults and spears
for hunting and self-defence.
The martial arts illustrate how formidable simple weapons can be.
A history of township and rural resistance simple weapons can be.
The material arts illustrate how formidable simple weapons can be.
A history of township and rural resistance shows that rudimentary weapon
can be effectively used.
The Vietnamese peasants used rudimentary weapons extremely effectively
against the might American invaders (for example traps of sharpened bamboo,
In countries like EI Salvador and Nicaragua home-made weapons have been
used on a mass scale in the struggle against dictatorship (e.g. petrol
bombs, homemade handgrenades, dynamite).
Our people must be encouraged to make homemade weaponry purely for defensive
We need to face the fact that it is going to be a problem to obtain
the necessary firearms. Until we do, we will simply have to make do with
In a country like South Africa, however, there are plenty of sophisticated
means of protection that can be legally purchased among them gas guns and
sprays. Cross bows and bow-and-arrow sets can also be bought without a
Factory and engineering workers have the skills and the equipment to
manufacture rudimentary weapons.
Volunteers who do no, have firearms should at least be quipped with
two stout sticks, clubs or iron bars and a homemade shield.
With training these can be utilised in a formidable way for self-defence
against assailants armed with rudimentary weapons.
A section or platoon of determined volunteers, acting in unison, can
offer stiff resistance.
Would-be aggressors will think twice before advancing on a company of
500 trained volunteers beating their shields with the sticks and displaying
a militant attitude.
In fact in many countries this is how the police are equipped for riot
Neither should we scorn the use of missiles such as stones. We have
seen how stone throwers can put even the police to flight. A platoon or
section of volunteers throwing stones on command and in unison can disrupt
and put to flight a hostile attacking force.
If a few armed volunteers are informed by units hurling stones and other
missiles, such as petrol bombs, a very strong defence can be put up.
This means that training should be conducted to improve the throwing
ability of the volunteers.
The auxiliary forces, township youth etc. need to be given such training
In this way any hostile force can be met by a sustainable hail of missiles
which will make it impossible for them to advance and can actually put
them to flight.
The auxiliary forces can be given the task manufacturing home-made weapons
and stockpiling reserves of missiles.
Work and storage place need to be organised for this purpose and the
weapons safely hidden.
The ordinance/logistics chief is responsible for the acquisition, manufacture
and safe storage of all weapons and material. For this purpose he will
need a small staff of assistants. They will issues instructions to all
units and auxiliaries in this respect.
We can make up for our shortage of firearms by the well organised use
or rudimentary weapons. When these are used by highly manoueverable battle
formation and groups, following well prepared plans and employment flexible
tactics, utilising a barricades system and other fortifications and reinforced
by the whole population acting as and auxiliary force, the township acting
as an auxiliary force, the township will be turned into a hornet's nest
for the aggressor.
As the defence units become better equipped with modern firearms so
their defence capacity will be increased. The prior used of rudimentary
weapons will have served as useful training and practise apart from their
6.7 Training Time-Table
A time-table for training might look like this:
- Physical Fitness - 3-0 minutes first thing every morning plus a longer
group run on weekends;
- Political - evening class once a week;
- Drilling - two to three hours on the weekend;
- Firearms - one to two hours on the weekend; Classes should not be too
large and are therefore best conducted at section level ( that is for 20