Four former Security Branch policemen who have applied for amnesty in connection with the 1981 murder of ANC activist Sizwe (Goinisizwe Kwezilomso) Kondile will testify at a hearing scheduled for next week in Cape Town. In addition, four witnesses are also expected to explain their versions of the events that led to Mr Kondile's death.
The four applications to be heard from Monday, February 9, are those of former security policemen Nicolaas Johannes van Rensburg, Hermanus Barend du Plessis, Johannes Gottfried Raath and Gerrit Nicholas Erasmus, some whom also applied for amnesty over a range of other incidents, including the deaths of the Cradock Four, the Pebco Three and Siphiwo Mtimkulu. Mr Kondile died after allegedly being abducted from Lesotho by Security Policemen, tortured in the Eastern Cape, and later shot dead near Komatipoort after being given knock-out drops.
His body was then burned to ashes. Some applicants and witnesses allege that Kondile was killed to cover up the fact that he was injured while tortured in police cells in Jeffrey's Bay. The four witnesses subpoenaed to appear include former Vlakplaas commander, Dirk Coetzee, and his former operatives, David Tshikalanga and Almond Nofomela.
Their applications for amnesty in relation to several human rights violations were heard in Durban a year ago. The other witness is Mr Geoffrey Danster, a former policeman in the Port Elizabeth area who was present at the interrogation and alleged torture of Kondile.
Coetzee allegedly supplied the knock-out drops used on Kondile before he was shot. The family of Mr Kondile made human rights violations statements to the Commission in 1996, urging the TRC to look into his disappearance. They will be present at the hearing with their legal representatives.
The amnesty panel will be chaired by Judge Hassen Mall, and Adv Andre Steenkamp will lead evidence for the TRC.
The hearing is due to start a 10h00 am in the Cape Town offices of the TRC at 106 Adderley Street, central Cape Town on February 9. It is due to last for 5 days.