DURBAN 31 August 1999 - SAPA

AMNESTY APPLICANTS LIE: AMBASSADOR

Former security branch policemen - seeking amnesty following the death of his sister - were fabricating their evidence, South Africa's ambassador to Denmark, Themba Kubheka, said on Tuesday. "We will use their conflicting statements to nail them," said Kubheka. Kubheka also disputed the policemen's version that his sister, Ntombi Kubhekawas, dumped in the "vicinity of her home" in Inanda. The committee will be told that Kubheka's body was exhumed in an unmarked grave in Groutville, and that she had been shot once in the head. Maj Hendrik Botha told the amnesty committee at the Durban Christian Centre on Tuesday that sometime between late April and early May in 1987, Kubheka, whom they suspected of being a keeper of MK safehouses in the country, was whipped several times with a sjambok in an attempt to extract the addresses of the houses. Also Seeking amnesty for the gross violation of Kubheka's human rights are Major Salmon du Preez, Lieut Casper van der Westhuizen, Col Laurence Wasserman, Lieut-Col Adrian Baker, Simon Radebe, Roelof Visagie, as well as former askari Xola Mbane. Maj Botha commanded the entire "operation", while the late Col Andrew Taylor and W/O Bossie Basson also participated in the crimes. The 41-year-old mother of two from Kwa-Mashu, north of Durban, was overpowered and seized near Battery Beach. Maj Botha told the committee that Mbane had picked Kubheka up and driven her to the pre-arranged rendezvous, after duping her into believing that he was a returned MK member. Mbane would testify that he was instructed to go and fetch Kubheka under some "false pretence". Evidence before the committee suggested that Kubheka was taken to the security branch's operational base in Winkelspruit. "She was made to sit on the floor and while still blindfolded, Col Taylor asked the questions which were interspersed with whippings with a sjambok," said Maj Botha. After the torture had gone on for "about 20 minutes", according to Maj Botha, Kubheka gasped for air, grabbed her chest, fell over and died. "I assumed it was a heart attack because she was physically a big woman and, in my opinion, overweight," said Maj Botha.
South African Press Association, 1999
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