Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission today has granted amnesty to three members of the Azanian People's Liberation Army, former armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress, bringing to five the number of Apla operatives granted amnesty this week at a hearing in Kibler Park, south of Johannesburg.
Nkosinathi Mvinjane and Lulamile Khwankwa applied for amnesty for murdering a Pimville traffic officer Mr Simon Kungoane in August 1991. The traffic officer was gunned down while assisting school-going children cross an intersection in the township.
The men testified that they were recruited to Apla by a person they identified as "Moss" who has since died apparently in another Apla operation.
PAC's national executive committee member, Mr Jabulani Khumalo testified that the incident was an Apla operation.
Announcing its decision regarding the killing of the Pimville traffic officer, the Amnesty Committee: "Mr Khumalo (testified) that he was aware of the incident in question and confirmed the status of "Moss" as a member of Apla and that the attack was sanctioned by the PAC and Apla.
"He testified in great detail about the assistance he had given Moss who was wounded in a shoot-out with the police after the arrest of the applicants who had taken the police to Moss's place.
"The latter (Moss) informed the witness (Khumalo) that he had recruited some criminals whose lack of political sense and experience resulted in the police tracking him down and wounding him. This was an obvious reference to the applicants," said the committee.
"In all the circumstances of the case, we have no hesitation in accepting the case presented to us on behalf of the applicants. We have accordingly found that the applicants had made a full disclosure and that the attack upon the was an act associated with a political objective... we are particularly fortified in the latter conclusion by the testimony of Mr Khumalo who has made a particularly good impression as a witness and has dispelled any doubts that could arise in this regard in view of the particular background of the applicants as set above".
Regarding Khwankwa the committee had this to say: "Although (he) did not physically participate in the attack upon the deceased, he clearly associated himself with the incident to such an extent as to render him legally liable.
"We are satisfied that the applicants have met all the requirements set out in the Act (TRC Act) and they are accordingly granted amnesty".
The Committee also granted amnesty to another Apla operative Sonnyboy Johannesburg Sibiya for the killing of Mr Vusumuzi Ephraim Dhludhlu in October 1992 at Emzinoni, Bethal in the former Transvaal. Sibiya was serving 15 years imprisonment for the incident.
Other Apla operatives granted amnesty this week are Phila Dolo and Shakespeare Buthelezi. They were serving 65 and life sentences respectively for crimes ranging from murder to illegal possession of arms, ammunition and explosives. However, Buthelezi will still remain in prison until the Committee has made a decision regarding a count of robbery for which he also applied for amnesty.
The Committee has recommended to the Commission's Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation that the victims and the next of kin of the deceased in all these incidents should be considered as victims of gross human rights violation as provided in the TRC Act.