TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 6TH AUGUST 1998

NAME: JABU OBET MASINA

APPLICATION NO: AM 5886/97

DAY : 1

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CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everybody. I'd like to start by introducing the panel that will be presiding over this matter. On my far left is Advocate Bosman, she is from the Cape. On my immediate left is Advocate Motata, he is from Johannesburg. On my right is Advocate Sigodi, who is from Port Elizabeth and I am Selwyn Miller, a Judge from the Transkei.

I'd like to ask the legal representatives please to place themselves on record.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman, I'm Eric van den Berg, together with my colleague, Kabelo Lengane from the firm Bell, Dewar and Hall. We act on behalf of all four applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van den Berg.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairman. J M Mpshe for the Truth Commission Amnesty Committee in particular.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe. Mr van den Berg, the documentation that we have is contained in this bundle. I notice from the documentation that the application forms, or at least three of the four have been signed before a Commissioner. I don't know, sometimes we get it that these are merely typed copies and the originals are elsewhere, do you know whether they have in fact been signed before a Commissioner of Oaths?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, I'm instructed that they were signed. I can lead each individual applicant on that aspect, perhaps just to make doubly sure.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van den Berg. Also Mr van den Berg, I notice from the applications that they only deal specifically with two incidents, one relating to an incident with a Casspir and the other one relating to the incident involving Brigadier Molope but in addition there's mention about other incidents in Annexure A. I take it that we are not concerned with those other incidents, they will be dealt with at another hearing, is that correct?

MR VAN DEN BERG: That is as I understand the position Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, perhaps before ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, before we start, I would just like to inform the people that the proceedings are translated. If you want to hear the proceedings in your language then you should be in possession of one of these instruments.

CHAIRPERSON EXPLAINS TRANSLATION EQUIPMENT

ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Just to add on the Chair's concern about other matters mentioned in the application. It is indeed so, this Committee is not to deal with those matters, particularly on the paginated page 3 where it is mentioned:

"Operation One"

It does not concern us.

Page 2 as well as page 16. The applicants refer to information of the court cases, just to inform the Chair and the Committee Members that these applicants in this matter were never charged. They are referring to other matters wherein they were charged.

Mr Chairman, the victim in this matter is available, the wife of the deceased, Mrs Molope and the daughter to her left. They are here. Unfortunately they are not legally represented. I have just spoken to her and she did not fully understand the whole form as it was given to her by the local police who served it on her but I've just explained everything to her and if she does not need a lawyer at this juncture, I am available to assist her and she is agreeable to that, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe. So you will then be representing the victims as it were.

ADV MPSHE: Yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Do you need time to consult?

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, I have consulted with her.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe.

Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman. As I explained earlier, we act on behalf of all four applicants and that we are dealing with a particular matter which took place in the course of 1986. I'd like to commence by calling the commander of the unit which was responsible for the incident and that is Jabu Obet Masina.

CHAIRPERSON: Page 13 of the papers?

MR VAN DEN BERG: That is correct Mr Chairman, thank you. The applicant will testify in Zulu, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

JABU OBET MASINA: (sworn states)

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, I am advised that there is not a Zulu interpreter available. I'll have to ascertain from Mr Masina if he is comfortable in another language.

Mr Masina, other than Zulu?

MR MASINA: I have a problem with Sotho but I will try by all means.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure that you are comfortable speaking Tswana Mr Masina, otherwise we could perhaps maybe lead the evidence of another applicant who is comfortable with Tswana and in the interim try to secure a interpreter in Zulu, but I don't want to interfere with Mr van den Berg's presentation of the matter. I just raise that as a possibility.

MR MASINA: The applicant is prepared to converse in Xhosa. We will interpret in Xhosa and then he will respond in Zulu.

CHAIRPERSON: If there is any problem that arises, please don't hesitate to inform us.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Masina, is it correct that you were born on the 26th of December 1950 in Western Native township, which is a township adjoining Sofa Town?

MR MASINA: That is correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: At a point in your schooling you decided that you would go and seek employment. During that time you were a victim of a criminal attack and you decided that you would return to school, is that correct?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Could you indicate to the panel when that occurred, which year was that?

MR MASINA: This happened round abut 1974 when I sustained these injuries, and because of these injuries or this attack, I decided to go back to school.

MR VAN DEN BERG: How did it come that you became involved in the African National Congress and you came to be a member of Umkhonto weSizwe?

MR MASINA: I did this because I realised that there was no progress in South Africa because I went back to school with the intention to improve my situation, but when during the June 1976 uprising I realised that the situation here in South Africa was not conducive and I then decided to leave for other countries.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, I'm sorry for the interruption, I've realised that there is no interpretation into Tswana and the victims are Tswana. I just don't know what is happening. I will just sort it out quickly Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you need a short adjournment Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: Please Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you need a short adjournment Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: Yes, please Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry for this but we've got a bit of a difficulty with the interpretation and we will just take a short adjournment to enable that problem to be sorted out. If you can let us know as soon as we're ready and then we can start again.

ADV MPSHE: We are indebted to the Chair and the Committee for the indulgence. We have everything in place now, the second booth has been set up and we are sure to kick off. Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, another things I nearly forgot, as I indicated to the Committee Members that there's a feeling amongst the children of the deceased that they would like to put questions to each and every applicant but I've indicated that we can only allow one to do that. They have chosen one who is going to do that, and at the end she will again be the one who is going to take the stand to say something on behalf of the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly, thank you Mr Mpshe.

Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Masina, when you were testifying prior to the break, you had advised the Committee that you had come to a decision in terms of which you had decided to leave the country ...[intervention]

INTERPRETER: Please give the interpretation a break. Mr Masina must switch on channel 4 for Zulu, not 3. The interpretation is ready, you may proceed, thank you.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you.

When did you leave the country?

MR MASINA: I left in December 1977. I don't recall the precise date but it was in December 1977.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Is it correct that you joined the ANC and underwent basic military training at the Funda Camp in Angola?

MR MASINA: That is correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And thereafter you were deployed in Swaziland?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What were your duties in Swaziland, just very briefly as a background for the Committee.

MR MASINA: In Swaziland I was assisting our other comrades who were supposed to come back to South Africa and those who were to leave South Africa to go to Angola and so forth.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Could I summarise it by saying that you were involved in the infiltration of cadres into the country?

MR MASINA: That is correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And the facilitation of those who wanted to leave the country to join the ANC, to facilitate their path?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Now in 1984 the Komati Accord was signed.

MR MASINA: That's correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: As a result of which you were deported to Mozambique?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you receive any further military training?

MR MASINA: Yes, I got further military training. It was called general training and it lasted nine months, and thereafter I had to specialise in a communication course.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I indicated at the beginning of your evidence when you were called to give evidence, that you were the commander of the unit responsible for the death of Brigadier Molope, how did you come to be the commander of that unit? Could you explain that to the Committee?

MR MASINA: In 1985 I was called by the late comrade Chris Hani and he told me that he wants me to head unit that was to assassinate and I had to find people that will work with me.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can you explain to the Committee the mandate that was given to you, who were you to assassinate?

MR MASINA: In reality Hani did not give us any list of people to be assassinated, he just said that we should concentrate on sell-outs and the police informers.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Were any other people or categories of people identified for purposes of assassination or elimination?

MR MASINA: Some of the people were policemen because he said that they were our enemies as well, but he did not say all policemen would be our victims or targets but there are some policemen who are bringing order in the country, but those who were actually enemies of the people had to be assassinated.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Who were the people that you recruited for the unit?

MR MASINA: I recruited these gentlemen who are behind me. It was Masangonieu Putsani and Joseph Makhura and the other one, Justice who left us, who just disappeared in South Africa. We don't know what actually happened to him. Also there is another one called Rufus who is late.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Justice Mpesani, what was his operational name?

MR MASINA: It was Mandla Shezi.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can you tell the Committee how you came to be in South Africa during 1986?

MR MASINA: Mr and Masango came from Zambia and we crossed via a valley into Botswana and we entered South Africa. We did not go through the Ramatxlabama Border Gate officially, we just jumped the fence at the border.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What was the purpose of your and Mr Masango's infiltration into the country?

MR MASINA: We had to come and further the ANC duties that Chris had instructed us to.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And in which areas were you based?

MR MASINA: We were based in Winterveld and Mamelodi, but we had no stable base.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If I understand you correctly, you and Mr Masango were infiltrated into the country first?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And was it for purposes of paving the way for the remaining members of your unit?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir, because some of our unit members were arrested in Botswana and they were sent back. Therefore myself and Masango, Chris Hani told us that we should infiltrate and prepare the bases because despite the fact that they were sent back they will still come.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You've applied for amnesty for the incident which is being heard today, that is the death of Brigadier Molope.

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can you tell the Committee how it came to be that the Brigadier was identified as a target and how it came to be that he was eventually eliminated?

MR MASINA: There is a thing called Winterveld Massacre and we found out that Brigadier Molope is the one who issued the instruction that people should be killed in that massacre.

The people were busy demonstrating against different things and through our investigations in the community we established that Brigadier Molope was the one who gave the instructions that these people should be shot, and eleven people died in that incident.

MR VAN DEN BERG: May I interrupt you Masina? We're in a situation where we're not working from a written statement and the Members of the Committee have to write down what you are saying, so if you'll slow down a little bit, the detail that you are giving now is important.

MR MASINA: Thank you Sir, I will.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You advised the Committee that you had identified Brigadier Molope as a result of reports in the community of his involvement in what you've called: "The Winterveld Massacre".

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you recall the date of that incident, the Winterveld Massacre?

MR MASINA: No, Sir, I don't recall. It happened quite a while ago, but I think it appeared in the media, everybody is aware of it, it appeared then.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it in 1986 when you were in South Africa or was it prior to your infiltration?

MR MASINA: It happened in 1988 just before we arrived.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You say a number of people were killed in that incident?

MR MASINA: That's correct, eleven people died, if I recall clearly.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Was it purely on the basis of that incident that you identified Molope as a target?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir. Also the community showed that Brigadier Molope was their enemy and they were complaining about him, that he was a bad element and another policeman by the name of Mokobojane.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you say another policeman by the name of Mokobojane. Was he criticised as being an enemy of the people or was he a person who criticised Brigadier Molope? I didn't quite understand you.

MR MASINA: The community told us that Molope and Mokobojane are bad people, they are amongst those policemen who are bad elements in the community.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean by the community, when you say: "the community told you"?

MR MASINA: I'm talking about the general public you come across, Whenever you arrived at a place there will such talks about this person, he's very bad and he got people killed. It was just a general discussion amongst the general public. He and Molope were not on friendly terms with the community.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You've described these policemen as a bad element or bad people, what do you mean by that?

MR MASINA: They were bad because Molope issued an instruction that policemen should fire or shoot at people who were showing their dissatisfaction, and they died eventually.

CHAIRPERSON: Could I just ask a question Mr van den Berg?

Mr Masina, with your unit, when you were in South Africa and you identified a target as you've told us, was it in your discretion, you're unit's discretion, to then take action against that identified target or did you have to report back before you took action, to your superiors out of the country?

MR MASINA: We were operating in such a manner that as soon as we have identified a target we would report back to our seniors back there and tell them we have identified such a person and would it be viable if we removed such a person and then Chris Hani and the rest would give us the permission to do it or not, the assassination.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr van den Berg.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Once the Brigadier had been identified as a target, what happened thereafter?

MR MASINA: Ting Ting reported to me and said that they've done the reconnaissance and all the necessary things. As their commander I gave them the green light to go on with the assassination ...[intervention]

MR VAN DEN BERG: May I interrupt you there, you made reference to Ting Ting, that is a reference to Mr Masango, one of your co-applicants.

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: So if I understand you correctly, Mr Masango was responsible for the reconnaissance for the operation?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you participate in the reconnaissance at all?

MR MASINA: No, Sir, I never did.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You say that: "they", understand that that includes Mr Masango, sought what you've described as: "the green light", who else was involved in that discussion?

MR MASINA: It was Joseph Makhura, he was there as well.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you give any specific instruction in the manner in which the operations were to be carried out?

MR MASINA: Yes, Sir, I did.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What were those?

MR MASINA: I said to them, if they believed that they have done a thorough reconnaissance they may eliminate him.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you give instructions as to who was to fulfil which role in the operation, for example, who was to drive and who was to do the shooting or was that left up to them?

MR MASINA: As a commander I gave the instructions that Joseph Makhura and the other one who has disappeared in the country, Justice, because they should shoot Molope with AK rifles and the other one must drive the car.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You refer to the other one, do you mean Mr Masango?

MR MASINA: That's correct, Mr Masango was driving.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Were you present when the operation was carried out, when Brigadier Molope was assassinated?

MR MASINA: No, I was not present.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did Mr Masango and Mr Makhura report to you that they had carried out the operation?

MR MASINA: Yes, they did, they reported back to me that they have done the job.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And this was in turn reported to your structures in Botswana?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Masina, you deposed to an affidavit, and I think you have a copy in front of you.

Mr Chairman, it's at page 19 in the bundle that we have.

MR MASINA: Which page is that you are referring to Sir?

MR MASINA: If you look at the second page of your affidavit - that's page 20 for Members of the Committee -would you just have a look at what is stated at paragraphs 4.1 through to 4.7. You may need some time to read it. I don't want you to read it into the record, I just want you to read through it, so just take your time to read through it as I have some questions I want to ask. Have you read through it?

MR MASINA: Yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you confirm what is stated here?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: So when you referred to the Brigadier as a bad person, you were referring to him as a bad person in the political sense?

MR MASINA: Brigadier Molope was a puppet of the then regime, he was being used against the people.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you have anything that you want to add to what you have already testified to?

MR MASINA: No, Sir, I've got nothing further to say.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Will you answer any question which either the family members of the victim have or the Committee, to clarify any aspect of your testimony?

MR MASINA: Yes, I'm willing to do that Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr van den Berg, if you look at page 14, 9(a):

"I participated in two operations"

The first relates to the planting of an anti-tank landmine in Mamelodi West. Are we going to deal with that or not?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, I'm advised that this hearing is purely in respect of the death of Brigadier Molope, and that the other incidents for which he has applied for amnesty will be dealt with at a separate time.

CHAIRPERSON: So we're not expected at all to make a decision on that anti-mine incident at Mamelodi West?

MR VAN DEN BERG: That is how I understand the position Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that so Mr Mpshe, I don't want any confusion here?

ADV MPSHE: That is so Mr Chairman. Perhaps to explain the reason why the papers are in this fashion, this was extracted from the bulk application of the applicants wherein they mention all the incidents but we are only interested in the Molope incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, there is one aspect that I neglected to ask a question on.

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly Mr van den Berg.

FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: If I can just ask him that.

The form which you submitted for purposes of applying for amnesty, was that signed?

MR MASINA: Yes, it is signed Sir.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van den Berg.

Mr Mpshe, what is the situation, are you going to be asking questions on behalf of the mother or are the other members of the family going to be taking over your mantle in that regard or also be asking questions in addition to you asking questions, and if so, who is going to ask the questions first?

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, I'm going to ask questions on behalf of the family and only one member of the family will add.

CHAIRPERSON: After you've asked questions the she requires an opportunity?

ADV MPSHE: Yes, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Masina, I note in your application that you refer to this unit as the Icing(?) Unit.

MR MASINA: Yes, Sir.

ADV MPSHE: Now when was this unit formed?

MR MASINA: It was formed immediately Chris Hani called me in Angola saying that I should organise a unit that was going to do this specific task.

ADV MPSHE: I'm sure you are aware that we were not present when you were talking to Chris Hani. We want the date, if only the year please.

MR MASINA: It was in 1985.

ADV MPSHE: Was it specifically formed for this operation or for all other operations?

MR MASINA: All operations Sir.

ADV MPSHE: Were you given - by: "you" I'm referring to the Icing Unit, were you given a specific mandate as to how to go about before you carry out an operation, as cadres would be expected to or were you just given a blank cheque to go to as you choose?

MR MASINA: We were given a mandate and a clear instruction as to how we should work. Chris Hani told us not to just enter the country and kill anyone randomly. As we identify somebody as an enemy of the people, especially in political affairs then we should eliminate such a person, but otherwise if they, as soon as we identify such a person we should go back to them in exile and report the whole information about this person and then they would give us the go-ahead.

ADV MPSHE: I'm trying to understand from what you are saying as meaning that you were to, before you carry out an operation, you were to do your own investigations, you have to ascertain, you have to rekkie the place, you have to get as much information as possible before you can take human life, is that what you were told specifically?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

ADV MPSHE: No was it done in this particular incident, did you rekkie the place, did you get information, did you ascertain this as the actual target?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir, I did. As I have already said, when we were here in South Africa we had to go back to Chris Hani in Botswana to get permission to do the job and then he would give us the green light.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Masina, it would seem you don't understand me. Forget about the country, let's concentrate on this operation, let us call it: "The Molope Operation". Now tell this Committee what you did before he could be killed, to satisfy yourself that this that target, or were you just told by the people that he is not like and you have got to kill him, is that what happened?

MR MASINA: As I have said before, Molope issued the instruction that the policemen should shoot and kill marchers that were boycotting rent, and eleven people were killed. That was proof enough to me that he was the people's enemy.

ADV MOTATA: I suppose other than the general dissatisfaction of the general public, do you do any other thing to establish that he indeed gave those instructions for people to be massacred in Winterveld in other words, or you just went with the word of the public and thereafter did your reconnaissance and eliminated him?

MR MASINA: We did get the confirmation that he was the one that issued the order that eleven were killed. We did do the reconnaissance and investigation and found that he actually did it.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Masina, let's concentrate on this ...[indistinct - zulu word]. We need details here, we need full disclosure here, we don't want generalities. I'm sure you are aware of that. You are aware of that?

MR MASINA: Yes.

ADV MPSHE: Now in order to ascertain that he is the person who gave the order, what did you people do to convince yourself? Reconnaissance meaning - reconnaissance means observing the place where he stays, his movements and other things. I am concerned about the instruction whether it is actually him who gave the order for the people to be killed.

MR MASINA: The newspapers, the media actually mentioned that Molope is the one who gave the instruction that people killed, and we also went to our external mission in Botswana and Chris Hani actually told us that he was the people's enemy, Molope.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Masina, do you expect this Committee to accept for purposes of amnesty, that you read the newspapers and the newspapers satisfied you that he is the person, without you as the commander, well trained cadres, taught how to investigate, taught how to rekkie a place, doing anything to ascertain for yourself, you depended on the newspapers which may have been wrong, is that what you did as a commander?

MR MASINA: It was the truth that appeared on the papers because even the community said that Molope was the one who issued the instruction, and even our external mission did explain that he was an enemy and we should target him.

ADV BOSMAN: Can I just come in here please Mr Mpshe? Was Mr Chris Hani not actually relying on you to tell him who the enemies were in a particular community?

MR MASINA: No, he was not necessarily relying on me but some of the information he would expect from me. As I have said, we would come, we would identify the target and get back to him, but in this instance he did confirm that he is a legitimate target.

ADV BOSMAN: But do you have any idea as to from whom Mr Hani got his information, apart from you?

MR MASINA: I don't know where he got that information but he was a prominent figure in the ANC and he knew all the enemies of the ANC.

ADV BOSMAN: Were there any other of your colleagues who had come from Botswana in the area at the time, who may have given that information? Did you know of any other cadres in the area at the time who may have given this information?

MR MASINA: Are you referring to Chris Hani?

ADV BOSMAN: ...[inaudible]

MR MASINA: Yes, we were all present at the moment but the main person who was reporting to Chris Hani was myself.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chair.

ADV MPSHE: I'm sorry about that Mr Chair. I'm a Leader of Evidence, technician, whatever. Sorry about it.

Mr Masina, I don't want you to get a picture from me that I say you are not telling the truth but the picture I want you to get from me on behalf of this Committee is that full disclosure is not being seen to be done by yourself. And I hope your layers will take care of this.

I'm continuing on the aspect of identifying Brigadier Molope as a target. Let us assume for a moment, even if it is difficult to accept that the people in Botswana would give information, the position is that you do the research and you give that information but let's accept that that is what happened, what did they tell you in exile about Molope, for you to decide to go and kill, because you did absolutely nothing yourself?

MR MASINA: They told me something that I was aware of, that was appearing in the newspapers, that Brigadier Molope was the people's enemy because he is the one who issued the instruction that the eleven people should be killed in Winterveld.

ADV MPSHE: I'm stepping off on that one, but I want to put it on record clearly. So you are saying you gave the order to your operatives to kill Molope on the basis of information given to you, for matter to call it hearsay, on the base of hearsay, would that be correct?

MR MASINA: I don't whether the newspapers report lies or not but we had this in the newspapers and confirmed this from the community. Also, my senior officials confirmed this and that made me to believe that he was a real enemy of the people.

ADV MPSHE: And that is what you believed as a commander without doing anything yourself, as a commander? I'm talking to a commander now?

MR MASINA: Yes, that's what we did.

ADV MPSHE: Now let's go back to the victims in the Winterveld Massacre. Of what significance were they to your cause?

MR MASINA: Are you talking about the people who died in Winterveld? They were important because they were South African citizens and me as an MK cadre, I was taught to protect the South African citizens.

ADV MPSHE: Do we have to accept that you had to protect anybody in South Africa, irrespective of his political convictions or alliance?

MR MASINA: Yes. If it's a policeman who was killing a South African, I would regard him as enemy of the people.

ADV MPSHE: Just to make an example, if a policeman gets word that somebody's wife has been raped in your vicinity and the policeman chases that person and in the process of trying to arrest the person who has killed, will you kill that policeman? You see I'm worried by your generalities here.

MR MASINA: When I say a policeman that kills South African citizens, I was talking about political situations.

MR LENGANE: Excuse me. Mr Chairman, I think I need to just interpose a little bit. Sorry to you Mr Mpshe. When replying to the previous question, the applicant did say that the political affiliation would not be significant, in direct answer to the question when it was raised by Mr Mpshe.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: If the Chair could just bear with me a little bit.

Turn to your application, page 20, if you have a copy, page 20 thereof.

CHAIRPERSON: It's the second page of your affidavit, that's at paragraphs 4.1.3 to 4.7.

ADV MPSHE: 4.2 in particular. I will read it for you for your convenience. You say:

"Mr Molope was identified as one of the persons who were willingly used by the apartheid regime"

Let us stop there. Did you ascertain how he was used and what he did to further the apartheid regime?

MR MASINA: The mere fact that he could shoot people who were marching against the apartheid regime showed that he was on the white man's side. And that clearly showed me that he is the enemy of the people.

ADV MPSHE: Are you saying the eleven people who were killed at the massacre were fighting for liberation?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

ADV MPSHE: Somewhere in your papers it is mentioned that they were against the rent hikes.

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir. Marching against rent hikes against the government, it just showed that they are just fighting for their own rights.

ADV MPSHE: When you speak of liberation you speak of political liberation, the political freedom and not the financial convenience?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: We don't really need to get into the intricacies of the politics of the struggle. I think it can be accepted Mr Mpshe, that a lot of the opposition against the previous government and regime was not only confined to strictly political matters but did show itself through strikes and mass actions and resistances. You don't need to spend too much time on this. You can ask the question, but it's more a matter of argument really.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairman, I will abide by the Chair's comment. I will take it up in argument, thank you.

Could you look at 4.6?

"We believe that this action would re-instil in the intimidated people of the Winterveld, faith that the ANC and its military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe would not tolerate atrocities against them"

You're referring here to people of Winterveld in general once more?

MR MASINA: Yes, I'm referring to the general public of Winterveld and South Africa broadly, but this happened in Winterveld and that is why I've mentioned Winterveld here.

ADV MPSHE: Finally Mr Masina, when you directed your operatives to go and carry out this operation, did you tell them the reason why this has to be done?

MR MASINA: Yes, I told them. I told them that Molope is an enemy and therefore he's got to be eliminated.

ADV MPSHE: You did not give them any other information other than that one?

MR MASINA: I don't recall any other information, other than the fact that Molope was an enemy and he had to be removed from the community.

ADV MPSHE: You told the Committee that Masango was a person who was doing the reconnaissance.

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

ADV MPSHE: For how long did he do it?

MR MASINA: I don't recall clearly, maybe he might refresh my memory.

ADV MPSHE: Okay, did he give a report to you?

MR MASINA: Yes, he did report back to me that they have done the reconnaissance already.

ADV MPSHE: And you were satisfied with that?

MR MASINA: Yes.

ADV MPSHE: That will be all Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, the application that I made, one of the children would like to put question if the Chair allows.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.

Sir, could you for record purposes tell us your name please?

MR MOLOPE: My names are Gideon Molope.

CHAIRPERSON: And what was your relationship to Brigadier Molope, the deceased?

MR MOLOPE: That's my father.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Molope, you may ask the witness questions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOLOPE: Mr Masina, I heard from you that you were the commander of that particular unit, you were given orders by Chris Hani to come and kill Mr Molope because he's a puppet of the previous regime. Whilst you were giving evidence I heard you talking about Mr Mokobojane. I'm surprised at why you killed Mr Molope only and not Mr Mokobojane or both. You said you did not kill him, you were a commander. You were military trained in foreign countries ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I think, Mr Molope, that we've got a question, let's answer that otherwise the question will get too long and we will forget all that has been asked.

I think at this stage if you could answer the question which is: You identified two people and you mentioned Brigadier Molope and Mr Mokobojane as being, as said by yourself: "enemies of the people" and now you've only testified to the killing of Brigadier Molope, why did you not target and carry out an operation against the other person?

MR MASINA: Mokobojane was a target as well. If we had a chance to eliminate him we would have done, but immediately after this he left Winterveld and we never managed to get hold of him. We never knew what happened to him or where he went to.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Molope, you can continue.

MR MOLOPE: Where you found him you were looking for him, is that so?

MR MASINA: That's correct.

MR MOLOPE: Why did you not look for Mr Mokobojane?

MR MASINA: We were looking for him but we couldn't get him. Maybe if we were not arrested on time, maybe we would have got hold of him as well.

MR MOLOPE: Were you arrested?

MR MASINA: That's correct.

MR MOLOPE: When?

MR MASINA: In 1986.

MR MOLOPE: What were you arrested for?

MR MASINA: We were arrested for other things that we had done.

MR MOLOPE: Not about Molope's death?

MR MASINA: No, we were not - we were arrested for Molope's issue as well but we were not charged for it.

MR MOLOPE: I don't understand you.

MR MASINA: I say, we were arrested regarding Molope's matter as well but we were not, the South African Police did not charge us regarding that matter. They told us that it would be a Bophutatswana matter.

MR MOLOPE: I don't understand you. You say that after you killed him you were arrested. I asked you what you were arrested for and then you said you were arrested for other cases and not for Molope's case. Now you're saying the South African Police said that case would be dealt with by Bophutatswana. I'm talking about Molope's case, not about other cases. When you answered me you said you were not arrested, but you say the South African Police said that that case would be dealt with by the Boputhatswana Department of Justice. Can you answer the question directly?

MR MASINA: Your question is, were we arrested regarding Molope's matter. I'm saying that it was not only Molope's issue but the South African Police did not charge us regarding Molope's issue, they just told us that it's a Bophutatswana matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Molope, at that time the courts in South African wouldn't have had the jurisdiction to try an offence which was then committed in a then different country, that is why that charge relating to your father would have to have been processed and handled by the Bophutatswana authorities and not the South African authorities.

MR MOLOPE: In other words, if I understand you correctly, about the incident you were not arrested? They did not arrest you for this particular case?

MR MASINA: Yes, we were never charged for Molope's issue but the South African Police were aware that we assassinated Molope, after being tortured by them.

MR MOLOPE: You said Chris Hani is the one who gave you orders to tell members of your unit to kill Molope?

MR MASINA: That's correct.

MR MOLOPE: That is to say that the work which you used to do and the way you have told me, you did not only kill Mr Molope?

MR MASINA: That's correct.

MR MOLOPE: Where are you working presently?

MR MASINA: I'm working for NIA.

MR MOLOPE: I don't understand you.

MR MASINA: I'm working for the National Intelligence Agency.

MR MOLOPE: Why do you ask for forgiveness for what you have done?

MR MASINA: I'm asking for amnesty because things have changed, they are not like before. And taking somebody's life is not an easy thing as such. I know that many people are disturbed by this and I know that nobody would like a person. Everyone has got their enemies.

I know that no matter the fact that Molope was a bad element to the other people of South Africa, but those who loved him endeared him and therefore we are bound to ask for amnesty because of the situation that was a war which was prevailing at the time.

MR MOLOPE: We, the next of kin to the deceased, we accept that that was your work, as you explained that Mr Chris Hani did that. It is for the first time we hear this information. All this time we did not know what happened. The way you express yourself, this was your work and that is why I said to you you did not kill Mr Molope only. We dispute your application for amnesty. We are suffering even now, we are still crying for him, we are still bereaved. It shows that that was your work or your profession.

You were instructed by your seniors and we are suffering, we as members of the family. You were not arrested and it is for the first time we hear of this information and that hurts us, so we are rejecting your application for amnesty. They may give you amnesty if they would do so. Even if we

say we reject your amnesty and if they are going to give you amnesty they will do so. You are working now, you are working at a good job which I cannot afford to be in that position which you are in.

If my father was still alive he would try to do good things for us. You have benefited for what you have done, now you are asking us to forgive you. Those who forgive will do so or maybe God will forgive you but we will not forgive you because you were not arrested for this case and then you have killed our father.

Thank you Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOLOPE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Molope.

Mr van den Berg, do you have any re-examination?

MR VAN DEN BERG: None, Mr Chairman.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions you wish to put to the witness?

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Masina, did you ever know Mr Molope personally?

MR MASINA: No, I did not know him personally.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you have anything against him personally, apart from his political views?

MR MASINA: No, I did not hate him personally but just because he was an enemy.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Motata, do you have any questions?

ADV MOTATA: Yes, Mr Chairman.

Mr Masina, you say you received training and you mentioned further that you received further training, general training in other words, and thereafter you did a communication course. What did this training of your entail?

MR MASINA: Are you talking about the communication?

ADV MOTATA: Let's start with the general training, the further training you received generally, briefly.

MR MASINA: General training lasts nine months where you are taught tactics of guerrilla warfare and once you've finished that if the organisation feels that you can go for further training then they send you for any other training where you can specialise.

ADV MOTATA: Now you mentioned that you were once based in Swaziland where you assisted people from South Africa and people to infiltrate South Africa. I want to you just explain to us, whilst you were in exile how could you assist people to get into exile?

MR MASINA: I used to take them from exile and assist them with jumping the fence in Swaziland to infiltrate South Africa and leave them wherever, where they would get public transport in South Africa and then I would go back.

ADV MOTATA: The infiltration which eventually brought you to the subject matter of today, were you told by Chris Hani that you should specifically go to the Winterveld area or South Africa in general, were you deployed to a certain area in other words?

MR MASINA: We decided where we wanted to be deployed and we opted for Winterveld.

ADV MOTATA: And prior to your departure, because the Winterveld Massacre had occurred, were you told by Chris Hani when you selected Winterveld that you should concentrate on Molope?

MR MASINA: No, they didn't say that we should focus on Molope only.

ADV MOTATA: Other than the massacre of the eleven people in March 1986 you mentioned that Molope was bad, were you specifically just referring to the massacre or were there other general things which Molope was bad about?

MR MASINA: Nothing that I'm aware of other than the massacre of 1986. Maybe the fact that he was in the Bantustan(?) Government might have been one of the things but there were some policemen in the Bantustan who were good and we wouldn't do anything to them.

ADV MOTATA: The escapee, Mokobojane, you said these people were bad, you spoke inclusively. If we may just ask what was bad about Mokobojane, did he massacre people in Winterveld as well?

MR MASINA: He was second in command of Molope. They concurred in many things, him and Molope.

ADV MOTATA: Just a last one Mr Masina. I heard you - correct me if I'm mistaken, that after you had identified, after your reconnaissance of the whereabouts of Mr Molope you went back to Botswana to get your final orders, did you actually go out and come back the second time?

MR MASINA: That's correct Sir.

ADV MOTATA: Thank you Mr Chairman, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sigodi, do you have any questions?

ADV SIGODI: No questions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, do you have any questions arising from questions that have been put by the panel?

MR VAN DEN BERG: I have none Mr Chairman.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: None Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Masina, you may stand down.

MR MASINA: Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, it was my intention to call Mr Masango. I note that we've worked right through tea. We did start late, so I don't know if this would be an appropriate time to adjourn for a short period.

I also note that family of the late Brigadier are somewhat distressed and it might be an appropriate time for them just to take a break.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you just want a short adjournment, because we have wasted quite a lot of time, when I say wasted, not intentionally but a bit of time has been wasted or lost this morning and I think we should try to catch up. We can take a short adjournment now, let's say just until 12 o'clock or very shortly thereafter and then we'll go through to the lunch adjournment and then proceed again.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 6TH AUGUST 1998

NAME: F. TING TING MASANGO

APPLICATION NO: AM 7087/97

DAY : 1

-----------------------------------------------------------------------ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] page 5 of the bundle.

Mr Masango, do you have an objection to taking the oath?

F TING TING MASANGO: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Masango, if we can get one technical aspect out of the way before we start with your evidence in chief. You submitted an application for amnesty, a copy of which is before the Committee. The copy before the Committee is unsigned, do you recall signing the application form?

MR MASANGO: Yes, I did sign it.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Is it correct that you were born on the 14th of August 1958, in Mamelodi?

MR MASANGO: That is so.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Your political awakening and the motivation for your joining the African National Congress and joining as an MK cadre, could you explain to the Committee how that came about?

MR MASANGO: Well, to start with as I've said, I was born in Mamelodi and there are various neighbouring suburbs where white people in the past used to stay and as a young boy I used to work as a so-called garden boy in those areas, in those white areas, the white homes there and actually my politically awareness started exactly there at those white men's gardens, where I realised the disparities, the inequalities between us and them and I started asking why they should have such beautiful house, why should their children have so many toys, why should they have such big houses when ours were so small. That is how my political awareness, so to say started.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You were involved in student politics whilst you were at secondary school?

MR MASANGO: I was very much involved in the student activities. Actually I do not know of a single political activity in Mamelodi that took place without my participation physically or otherwise. I have always been there.

MR VAN DEN BERG: In consultation you told us about the execution of Solomon Mahlango and how that was the pivot which led to your going into exile, would you explain to the Committee what that was all about?

MR MASANGO: The execution of Solomon Mahlango was quite a turning point in my life, both in my personal and my political life. I was at a time just shortly before Mahlango was executed, I was the Chairperson of the Save Solomon Mahlango Committee. I was the Chairperson of that committee, the aims of which were to try to save, as the name suggests, to save the life of Mahlango, that he shouldn't be executed.

I remember so vividly, on the 5th of April 1979 we had a night vigil at his place in Mamelodi. I was presiding over that night vigil and it was there that I publicly took the vow that should Solomon Mahlango be hanged, which was said to be the following day, the 6th of April, I publicly vowed that should he be hanged I'm going to skip the country to join the ANC and its military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe.

Two weeks after exactly after that, after his execution I did exactly that, left the country.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You received military training in Angola in 1980, is that correct?

MR MASANGO: That is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You received further training in the German Democratic Republic, what did that training involve?

MR MASANGO: That basically was a specialised training involving urban guerrilla warfare. It also involved surveillance so to say, marksmanship, specialising in military operations generally or the usage of military weapons.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What other activities were you involved in as a member of the ANC at that time?

MR MASANGO: Well ever since joining the ANC from Maputo, because I skipped through Maputo through to Mozambique and I stayed in Matola, ever since my arrival there at that place I was responsible for reading the news for the comrades in our houses there and in our camps in Angola. After that I worked with the Right of Freedom, also as a commentator and a news presenter.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You received an approach from Chris Hani, can you tell the Committee about that approach and what it entailed?

MR MASANGO: Yes, that was in about 1985, mid-1985 in Luanda, that is the capital of Angola, whereby I was approached by the late Chris Hani and there he told me that the political department of the ANC has selected me to go for radio journalism course in Holland but co-incidentally the military department as well has also selected me to be infiltrated in the country for military operations, sorry, asked me if I wanted to go to Holland or to South Africa, to be infiltrated back into South Africa. Well I obviously chose going back home.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The military activity for which you'd been identified, what did that entail?

MR MASANGO: Well he said at that time that there is a unit that is going to operate in South Africa, would I like to be part of the unit, and I asked him: "What unit is that, what are you going to do"? and he said: "No, it's an elimination unit".

MR VAN DEN BERG: Were the any of the members or the commander of that unit identified at that time?

MR MASANGO: He did say that I would be working with - comrade Jabu was in either Zambia or Botswana at that time and he said that we'd be meeting in due course.

MR VAN DEN BERG: When you refer to comrade Jabu, who are you referring to?

MR MASANGO: To comrade Masina.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You advised the Committee that the election which you exercised was to be infiltrated into the country as part of a military unit, how did the infiltration take place, when did it take place?

MR MASANGO: If my mind still serves me well it could have been about December or towards the end of 1985 when I was flown to Zambia where I met Jabu, that I remember, and thereafter infiltrating through to Botswana and eventually into South Africa.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can you recall when you were infiltrated into South Africa, approximately? Was it 1985, 1986?

MR MASANGO: It could be the first quarter, I think early 1986.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Now you've heard the evidence which was given by Mr Masina earlier this morning, would you like to add anything to the, your understanding of the mandate that was given to the unit by Chris Hani?

MR MASANGO: Ja, Hani said that basically our unit will be an elimination unit. I will explain what that is. But then we were also given a very wide scope of discretion. We a guerrilla unit and we were politically trained, military trained so we had that mandate to even select our own targets within the scope of the mandate that had been given by, within the scope of MK operations.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You said you were going to expand about elimination?

MR MASANGO: An elimination unit is, to use a layman's term, it is assassination unit whereby you select particular individuals for assassination, for killing.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The individuals who were identified, who were they? Was there a list, were you given broad categories? How did it happen?

MR MASANGO: No, no, we were not given a list but the categories were such that it could have been Bantustan leaders, including their own generals and captains, police, spies, informers, the Askaris and even government ministers in the nation, nationally, that would have been our target as well.

MR VAN DEN BERG: In what area of the country were you deployed?

MR MASANGO: We were deployed basically in Pretoria, greater Pretoria, that included Winterveld as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, could you just for the information of the Committee, describe to us where Winterveld is?

MR MASANGO: Winterveld is just nearby here, it's in the north of Pretoria. It's a squatter camp, it used to be largely a squatter camp just in the north of Pretoria here.

CHAIRPERSON: And in those days it was within the Boputhatswana border.

MR MASANGO: Boputhatswana, ja.

CHAIRPERSON: Not far from Ga-Rankuwa?

MR MASANGO: Yes, very very near to Ga-Rankuwa, it's not very far.

ADV MPSHE: Just to assist the Committee, Mr Chairman, Winterveld is the nearest to where we are, not Ga-Rankuwa.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If we can move onto the specific incident for which you seek amnesty toady, that is the death of Brigadier Molope. You've heard an explanation of how he was identified as a target, would you like to add anything to that or do you agree with the evidence that was given by Mr Masina?

MR MASANGO: Well to start with of course, I must clarify that we never got a direct order that we should do Brigadier Molope per se, I never got order per se, but then I should also state that I'm actually the person who ...[indistinct] who attracted the unit's attention for the idea behind the elimination of Molope. This of course everybody, internationally, nationally, everywhere in Africa, they knew that there was a massacre in Boputhatswana and I am, I was a political commissar of the unit, I was staying in Winterveld, I was underground but above ground I was meeting with the people, they were discussing with them and everywhere where I met those people they were saying that Molope was there when those people were massacred, including Mokobojane.

ADV BOSMAN: Do you I understand you correctly, you are saying that Mr Mokobojane was also there when the people were massacred, is that what you're saying?

MR MASANGO: That's what I'm saying.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, I was a bit confused.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What was your involvement in the operation which led to the elimination of Brigadier Molope?

MR MASANGO: Well whilst the unit had an interest on Molope, because we were the members of Umkhonto weSizwe which is the spear, the shield and the spear of the nation, I did not know Molope personally but we knew that from the people, because as a guerrilla we used to rely mainly on the information that we got from the people, we were interacting with the people.

As I was saying that I was underground but above ground I happened to be involved romantically with a resident of Winterveld who co-incidentally one day told me that, when just asking, enquiring about, she told me that she's actually a friend to a woman who Molope has had an extra-marital affair with, somewhere in Beirut, I think in Beirut just nearby Winterveld.

CHAIRPERSON: Beirut, South Africa?

MR MASANGO: Yes, that's correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What did you do in pursuance of that link?

MR MASANGO: Well obviously I informed my commander and the unit that I seemed to have got information where Molope stays.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you investigate that further?

MR MASANGO: Yes, as I was saying I had this affair with that women in Winterveld - well I'm safe to say that my wife is not around here, I had that affair with that woman and seeing that she told me that she's a friend to Molope's mistress I started asking her to actually take me to that house, I know where the house is. She took me and I even saw Molope's girlfriend.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you have access to the house?

MR MASANGO: I did get in one day next to the front door but we had to leave immediately because that woman told us that Molope doesn't want strangers in that house so we had to leave after that, but twice, thrice I was there. I would go there on my own just to pretend to be looking for my girlfriend at that house, just to see about what is happening there. That was part of the reconnaissance I was doing.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What else did the reconnaissance involve?

MR MASANGO: Well basically it involved what I was just saying, the information that I got from my girlfriend and myself going there sometimes personally with her and asking about: "Hey, we don't want to stay long here" or: "Are we going stay long, is he coming, is he not coming"? Then I would get the information if he would be coming tomorrow or not. Eventually she would say: "No, you can stay longer, he'd be coming on Friday or so".

MR VAN DEN BERG: So you were reasonably familiar with the area?

MR MASANGO: Ja, I knew the area very well there.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can you explain to us how the operation was planned and how it was carried out?

MR MASANGO: On this particular Saturday on which Molope was eliminated ...[intervention]

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you recall the date at all?

MR MASANGO: I only remember that it was on a Saturday. I'm not sure about the date but it could be in March really, if I still remember well. It could be in March, I'm not sure about the date.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You don't know.

MR MASANGO: I only remember the day, it was a Saturday.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Please carry on. I'd asked you about how the operation was planned and it was executed.

MR MASANGO: Ja, on that particular day, as part of my reconnaissance, co-incidentally my girlfriend then told me that she's going to see Molope's mistress and I said: "No, it's no problem I can take you there".

There were rumours during the week that he might be coming over the weekend and on going there I saw the car of which I confirmed that, I was told that it was Molope's car and she also confirmed that no, Molope is in.

That day we did not get into the yard because Molope was around, but she did go out of the car. I remained in the car and then she talked to that woman to say that: "No, I'm not staying long, unfortunately today Molope is around".

After that I went to Mamelodi because our commander, Jabu Masina was there, he was based there that time, then I told him that ...[intervention]

MR VAN DEN BERG: When you went to Mamelodi were you alone or were you accompanied by anybody else?

MR MASANGO: I was with Makhura, Joseph Makhura, one of the applicants here. Together with him we went to Mamelodi whereby I told Masina that: "No, Molope will be sleeping over at that place. I've confirmed that he is around. I'm only coming here to you Jabu to get the, to give us the green light, should be go ahead with doing Molope"?

He gave us the order that: "No, if you are sure that the reconnaissance has been done properly, you've positively identified Molope, that he will be there then you are safe, you can go ahead".

We drove back to ...[intervention]

MR VAN DEN BERG: Sorry, can I interrupt. Were you given any specific instructions as to who was to drive, who was to do the shooting, or was that left to your discretion?

MR MASANGO: No, Jabu told me that I'll have to take them there, I was the driver, and then Makhura and Justice Mandla Shezi will do the actual shooting. I'll only show them the place, drive them away from that place after they have carried out the operation.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I interrupted you, you said that you then received the green light from Mr Masina and that you were returning to the Winterveld, what happened then?

MR MASANGO: I dropped Makhura just next to Molope's house or girlfriend's house ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Was this after dark now, approximately what time of the day would it be?

MR MASANGO: It could have been about 5 o'clock or so but when I dropped Makhura it could have been about 5 o'clock or even 6 o'clock. I dropped him there and ordered him to observe the house there to see who is coming in, who is going out.

The car was there if I remember well. We dropped Makhura there and I told him that I'm going to collect the arms now. I went to collect Justice, I told him to get his arms also, I told him that we were going to do Molope this evening, Moreki is - Makhura is observing the house. And then we also brought along Makhura's weapon, an AK47.

I parked the car on the other side of the street, just the second street from Molope's but I drove through just to show them where the house is. I showed Makhura before, just to show Justice and then gave them the layout of the house and also told them that: "There is a child there, Molope's child and there is a woman there: don't hurt those people, you can go ahead with Molope." They did that.

I parked on the other side of the street. It could have been about 7 o'clock or so but it was in the dark. It was dark then, and then after a few minutes I heard some gunshots, then they came to the car and we drove away.

The following day, or later, I'm not exactly sure ...[indistinct] the following day, but I did go to Masina to report to him that the mission has been successful.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What was the response to Molope's death?

MR MASANGO: As I've said that we were underground but physically we were above ground we were interacting with the people. There was an overwhelming jubilation that Molope was done and actually we even heard the people in Winterveld saying that whoever did this, this could have been done as well to Mokobojane.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Can I return you to ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, one of the victims is in distress.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, may I suggest a short adjournment?

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we'll take a short adjournment.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Masango, I just remind you that you are still under your former oath.

F T T MASANGO: (s.u.o.)

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

I think you've completed telling the Committee about the operation. I have just two or three things that I wanted to ask you. Just to return to the question of the target identification and the investigation in respect of Brigadier Molope. What information did you have about him and where did you obtain it from?

MR MASANGO: Well as I've said I was the political commissar of the people and we were freely interacting with the people of Winterveld. Obviously one would have firstly got the information from, because I was personally not there at the massacre, I would have got the information from the media, whatever media. After that you'd talk to the people, not necessarily exposing yourself as to who you are, you would talk to them because we were meeting with them, they were telling us and more so I have said that I had a relationship, an affair with a resident of Winterveld who was telling me all these things without exposing myself to her, my real identification.

During that interaction with the people we discovered that Molope was more involved actually than the massacre itself. We knew that he was responsible for setting up roadblocks. We knew that each and every political activity against Mangope's Bantustan there, he will be the first one, amongst the first ones to stand up and fight against the people.

We knew of students who were arrested. We knew of many people who were tortured in prison, Molope and Mokobojane were there.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And these were people that you spoke with?

MR MASANGO: Yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Who related their personal experiences?

MR MASANGO: Exactly.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you know Brigadier Molope personally?

MR MASANGO: No, no, no.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you receive any financial reward for being involved in his death?

MR MASANGO: Not at all.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Is there anything that you want to say at this point in your application about the incident?

MR MASANGO: Ja, there are quite a number of things I'd like to say, particularly to the family of Molope. That during our investigation the police first, I remember they asked me if we had any contact with the Boputhatswana Police who might have given us information as to where Molope stays or so and so we said no, because they suspected that the police were involved in the assassination of Molope. And then they were sure, they were clear that we were not in contact with the Boputhatswana Police.

Then the second, if not the prime suspect, was the wife of Molope herself. They came to us and said: "Hasn't Mrs Molope paid you or hired you to go and kill her husband because she might have discovered that he was having an illicit affair"? We said: "No, no, we don't even know a Mrs Molope", but she was always the suspect, that I must say.

Besides that I'm appearing here as a dedicated member of the ANC with the understanding of the necessity of the reconciliation in our country and unity as well. It is in that regard that I will say to the, I would extend my warm hand of friendship and reconciliation to Mrs Molope and her children, Brigadier Molope's children and also to the child who was born out of this illicit affair.

I also extend my warm hand of reconciliation and friendship to the child because in our culture, our African culture, there is no such a thing as an illegitimate child, all our children are legitimate. It is in that regard that I extend my hand of friendship and reconciliation to them.

Having said that I would say to the family of Molope that they too have a role to play in this general endeavour of reconciliation in our country. It was the struggle, it was the war, people were dying, people were disappearing, people were burnt and unfortunately one member of their family, Brigadier Molope was on the wrong side of the struggle. It was either him or us. It was the struggle.

So it is also their responsibility to reconcile, not only with my or my comrades behind me but with the families of all of Molope's victims, particularly the families of the massacre victims, those he has detained, those he has ordered to be tortured, those he has harassed and caused to leave the country, they must also reconcile with them. It is necessary for the reconciliation in our country and unity in general. I think that is all I want to say.

Let me quickly add that I have said things that might have hurt some of the family. I'm appearing here required to reveal everything in detail. Everything that I've said was not meant to hurt them, I had to say whatever I recollect, whatever I know of that incident. Nothing was aimed at hurting them, so they should take it in that regard.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Then you will answer any questions which either the Committee or the family has to put to you?

MR MASANGO: Sure, I will definitely do so.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I have no further questions Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van den Berg.

Mr Mpshe, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV MPSHE: I do Mr Chairman, thank you.

Mr Masango, if you have the application before you I want to refer you to page 11.

The paginated pages Mr Chairman, Members of the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have the application? What you have there Mr Masango, is it just your application?

MR MASANGO: These are supplementary statements of myself. Could this be the one?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it's page 11, it's page 2 of that supplementary statement you're being referred to.

MR MASANGO: Page 2. Ja, I've got it.

ADV MPSHE: I want you to have a look at 5.5.

MR MASANGO: 5.5., ja?

ADV MPSHE: Where you state - I will read for convenience:

"I and my comrades took a decision in accordance with the purpose of our deployment to assassinate Mr Molope"

My question is based on the first part of the sentence, who is this: "my comrades"? Does it include the leadership of the ANC or the foot-soldiers only?

MR MASANGO: The foot-soldiers, the comrades behind me here.

ADV MPSHE: The leadership was not involved in the decision-making?

MR MASANGO: No, if I recollect well it wasn't.

ADV MPSHE: It was only informed after this has been carried out?

MR MASANGO: Yes.

ADV MPSHE: I see. You see, why I'm asking you this question, and as a follow-up to your answer, then I'm sure you're fully aware of the requirements of the application form in as far as the order is concerned. Will I be correct to say that this was an operation which was not sanctioned by the leadership?

MR MASANGO: Ja, as I've said we were given a very wide scope of discretion, we were politically trained, we were military trained and we had that discretion to choose our own targets.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you. Now flowing from your evidence that Brigadier Molope as well as Mokobojane were on the scene on the date of the Winterveld massacre, what did you do to establish or to ascertain that indeed it was Molope who gave the order and not Mokobojane?

MR MASANGO: There was a Commission of Inquiry shortly after, before he was eliminated, a Commission of Inquiry instituted by the Mangope Government and he was called, Molope, to testify and he did agree that he did give the order there.

ADV MPSHE: That will be all Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR ADV MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Molope, do you have any questions that you want to put to this witness?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOLOPE: Mr Masango, were you the driver on the day when Brigadier Molope was killed? What day was it?

MR MASANGO: It was in Ma - it was on Saturday. I might confuse the months but it was on Saturday, I'm certain about that.

MR MOLOPE: But today you knew that you will be here.

MR MASANGO: Yes, I've always known.

MR MOLOPE: Why did you not make attempts to find out exactly what date it was?

MR MASANGO: I'm not clear about that question, can you come again please?

CHAIRPERSON: The thrust of the question put by Mr Molope is that you've known for some time that you are going to come and testify at this hearing, that being so why didn't you make an effort before you came to testify to establish the date on which the operation was carried out? That is what he is asking you.

MR MASANGO: I think we do have the records. You can contact my lawyers, they will give you the exact date on which they were assassinated. They have got the court records. We did tell the police, everything was known, there is nothing we are hiding. We don't even need to hide anything.

CHAIRPERSON: I might say that in the application form, just for the record, it's stated, and I'll read here:

"The second action relates to the assassination of Brigadier Molope in August 1996"

MR MASANGO: August 1996.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if that is right or not but that is what's said in the paper here.

MR MOLOPE: That simply means that you have no intention to talk to us and to ask forgiveness. You don't even remember when you took those people who killed him, what date it was.

MR MASANGO: As I've said there are records. For anything that you would like to clarified on you can be clarified but on that I mean it wasn't really my duty as such to really get all the facts and the dates. I only tell the Commission, the Committee here as far as what I remember. Other things can be clarified of course.

MR MOLOPE: You could have made some effort because those people ...[tape blank] from - you could have made some effort to find exactly ...[intervention]

MR MASANGO: We have the records.

MR MOLOPE: ...[inaudible] been able to forgive you. I request that the person who gave you information about where Molope was staying, because you say you wanted to tell the truth, can you expose that person who fed you with information?

MR MASANGO: I can do that but it won't serve the purpose of the sitting here because she didn't even know my real identity, she only knew by Tabu Fish(?), I'm not Tabu. She didn't even know that I was a member of MK, so it wouldn't serve a purpose really.

MR MOLOPE: In other words, you don't know that person?

MR MASANGO: Can I have that clear again?

MR MOLOPE: You don't know the person who gave you that information?

CHAIRPERSON: No, he didn't say that Mr Molope, what the witness said was that she, the person from whom he received the information didn't know that Mr Masango was a member of MK, didn't even know him to be Mr Masango, is that correct?

MR MASANGO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And the witness has said there will be no point in exposing her name now or making her name known now because she wasn't part of the conspiracy as it were, to kill your father. That is what he said. He hasn't said he doesn't know her. I'm just explaining the answer to you.

MR MOLOPE: Mr Masango, we want to know the person who fed you with the information because she's just like you, she's an accomplice because you took those people who killed my father and then again she's the person who fed you with information.

CHAIRPERSON: What the witness had said Mr Molope is, what he was implying is that the person who told him was not an accomplice because she didn't know that they had any intention of killing your father. She didn't know that the witness was an MK cadre who had come out on that operation. She divulged the information to him innocently as it were, she wasn't an accomplice or part of the unit.

MR MOLOPE: We want to know how long you took to trace Mr Molope?

MR MASANGO: It - the actual reconnaissance took about two weeks but for the entire stay there we always wanted him. At any time if we had got him before then, then the same thing could have happened to him but the actual reconnaissance took approximately two weeks.

MR MOLOPE: Brigadier Molope was working in Mafeking and Mokobojane was working in Audi district but you say you killed him on Saturday. What surprises me is that because you were looking for both Mokobojane and Molope, why was it possible that you were able to find Molope and not Mokobojane?

MR MASANGO: Well obviously from the overwhelming jubilation of the people I've talked about, the next on the list was Mokobojane but somebody informed us that: "I think Mokobojane is at a house somewhere in Mabopane" and somebody scribed a graffiti there next to Izolo(?) just next to the entrance there, that: "Molope is dead, who is next". Then he disappeared, we never saw him again. I think he went to Mmbatho, to Mafeking. He was on the list, that I can assure you.

MR MOLOPE: But Mr Masango, after the killing of Mr Molope, he died on the 21st of June '86, and Mokobojane was still around at that time, he then took over from Mr Molope. You're telling a lie that you were looking for Mr Mokobojane. You and Mokobojane knew what happened.

MR MASANGO: He was not our - I mean we had other operations to do, he was just on the list that one day or the other he will come. That he escaped us does not mean that we didn't want him. If we got him by chance or by whatever means he would have too.

MR MOLOPE: What I'm telling you is that Mokobojane knew what happened.

MR MASANGO: I cannot vouch for that really, you've got to take responsibility for that.

MR MOLOPE: The other question is, do you know where Mr Molope was staying?

MR MASANGO: At the house in Beirut.

MR MOLOPE: His own house.

MR MASANGO: He was - as far as we are concerned, he was never there. Nobody actually told us because he was very evasive but we heard rumours that he used to come, used to visit Beirut, that is the house we knew.

MR MOLOPE: But if you want a person you look for his official residence.

MR MASANGO: We've got our - we had our own ways of operating. It was easier to get any other target outside his house than his house. There is more protection in your house than maybe a friend's house or a girlfriend's house, there's lesser protection there.

MR MOLOPE: You could have tried to have traced him from his own official residence.

MR MASANGO: We had our own ways of operating. Maybe we could have opted for that one as well but we felt that attacking at his or her own castle, there's all the protection there, that you know yourself. It's easier to get him at his friend's house or somewhere else or in the street there's no protection there for you. We had our lives also to protect and our safety too.

MR MOLOPE: Do you know Mr Molope?

MR MASANGO: Really, what do you mean by that? Do I know him personally as a friend or as a what, what do you mean by that?

MR MOLOPE: Do you know him facially Sir?

MR MASANGO: Yes, I do know him.

MR MOLOPE: Where did you see him?

MR MASANGO: He was shown to me one day at a roadblock just next to the bridge that divides Seshanguwe and Mabopane. I saw him then.

MR MOLOPE: You're not telling the truth because I heard you saying that the person who gave you the information took you to Molope's house, to his girlfriend and then the girlfriend told you that Molope is not present and he doesn't want people to visit him. You saw his photos there.

MR MASANGO: Well on the said date ...[intervention]

MR MOLOPE: What you are saying about the roadblock is a lie.

MR MASANGO: On the said date I saw him scantily, on that Saturday and that is why we had to leave immediately because his girlfriend told us that he is around so he doesn't want us to stay there. He was in the diningroom or sittingroom, it was very scantily.

MR MOLOPE: Can you explain to me what kind of a person is he?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean physically? What did he look like?

MR MOLOPE: Yes, I mean his stature.

MR MASANGO: It is 12 years ago but he was a heavily built person. He was a heavily built person from what I can remember.

MR MOLOPE: What was his colour?

MR MASANGO: That you can ask Makhura. He faced him at close range and then he could tell that. I can't be sure of that really.

MR MOLOPE: That is why I say you're telling a lie because you said you saw him at the roadblock.

MR MASANGO: It's 12 years ago but I do remember I was shown that that is Molope seated. They were seated under a tree or next to a police, a green police van. It wasn't as close as we are now because we were passing. They were also underground. I couldn't stay there for hours looking and checking his complexion, checking his height and all those things. We were also underground, I had to pass there as soon as I could.

MR MOLOPE: Mr Masango, was Molope your target? And then again you said you saw him at the roadblock, you said you were trained, you were supposed to kill him. That was a serious issue. Now you tell me that I should ask somebody else what was his colour.

MR MASANGO: He is here, he will tell you how Molope is. His girlfriend told us that: "Molope is in the house there, you've got to go", and I sent in Makhura to observe the house and as far as I was concerned, as far as he was concerned Molope was still in that house, his car was there, he was parked there.

MR MOLOPE: What kind of a car was it?

MR MASANGO: Makhura will tell you that, I'm not sure again. If he remembers of course.

MR MOLOPE: No, Mr Masango, you are telling a lie. You expect us to forgive you. We are not here to play. You are asking for forgiveness, you've killed a person because you said people should go and kill him and that is my father.

I was listening to you about reconciliation. For us to forgive you tell us the truth. Let me tell you, look at me, I'm just like my father. You just look at me once, I'm tall, I'm bright in colour. You people you took to kill my father, you are not prepared to tell us. We want the truth, we want to know how he was killed. If you don't tell us the truth, how can we forgive you?

There are so many questions, but now because you are telling a lie I don't have even have the strength to go on even asking questions.

MR MASANGO: What is your version of the truth as far as this incident is concerned?

MR MOLOPE: You're just telling a lie. You said people should go and kill a person not knowing, not knowing as to whether that is Molope or not. You together with Molope(?) and his girlfriend, you are murderers and now you are asking for forgiveness but you are not telling the truth.

Our intention is to know how our father was killed but it seems you are confused about what you are saying, you don't even remember the date of the incident. My sister is now crying and again you're showing pride. People who are hurt, you should be using your own language to show us that you are hurt also.

MR MASANGO: I'm not proud of having killed your father per se, I'm proud of having defended the people of Winterveld and Boputhatswana then against the brutal deeds of your father, I'm proud of that.

MR MOLOPE: You are asking for forgiveness but we are looking for the truth.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairman, I understand that this is extremely difficult for Mr Molope, that he has lost his father and that he seeks to find out how it happened. This applicant has told, to the best of his ability, that which he recalls.

I'm not sure that this line of cross-examination facilitates this process. Some of the questions which he asks may be better put to one of the other applicants who was in fact the person who carried or who shot his father. It just seems that we could spend a long time in a debate about what is the truth. I don't unnecessarily want to curtail his cross-examination, I understand that this is extraordinarily difficult for him, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van den Berg.

Yes, also Mr Molope, we as a panel can understand the difficulties that confront you now but it must also be borne in mind as much we want to achieve reconciliation and promote reconciliation, that the question of an applicant in a hearing of this nature to be given forgiveness or to ask for forgiveness is not one of the criteria for the granting of amnesty. You've indicated very strongly that you do not accept everything that the applicant said. We've noted that. You can continue asking the applicant questions but I think if we could move onto perhaps a different aspect now.

MR MOLOPE: That is all Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOLOPE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

Mr van den Berg, do you have any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: Just one or two questions.

The other policeman who was mentioned was a policeman called Mokobojane, was he also a target?

MR MASANGO: He was also a target.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you ever meet Mokobojane, did you ever have a discussion with him?

MR MASANGO: Well shortly after our arrest, that was as close as I came to Mokobojane. I used to see him on roadblocks as well but the closest I came to him was when we were arrested, when we had to go to Beirut for point-outs you know.

MR VAN DEN BERG: But you'd had no personal interaction with Mokobojane at all, other than what you've now described?

MR MASANGO: No, I've never had any.

MR VAN DEN BERG: That's all, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions?

ADV BOSMAN: Just a few Chairman.

I wonder is you can just clarify for me Mr Masango, did you tell Mr Masina exactly what information you had and on which he then gave the order, because it seems to me as though there is a bit of a contradiction. If I'm correct in my notes, Mr Masina never mentioned that you had told him that you'd seen Mr Molope involved in the roadblocks, that he was seen in Winterveld with the massacre, am I wrong there? I just want to clarify.

MR MASANGO: Well, that was the general discussion we were having about Molope. He might have forgotten to mention that he actually knows that Molope was manning roadblocks together with Mokobojane. If it wasn't Molope it was Mokobojane or both of them, but it was a general discussion.

For instance, we might have discussed about his harassment of the students and the youth. He never liked the youth, that's a fact. We did discuss that together but he obviously didn't mention it here but that does not mean that he doesn't know about it or maybe he was telling lies about it.

ADV BOSMAN: What I'm trying to establish is whether this discrepancy or this, this is actually the evidence as it was given. I thought I may have noted it down incorrectly. But you also noted that there was a, as it were, a vacuum in his evidence which you think he may have forgotten.

MR MASANGO: Ja, I agree with you there.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Motata, do you have any questions?

ADV MOTATA: Just one Mr Chairman.

Mr Masango, how many times did you and your girlfriend visit the house in Beirut where Brigadier Molope was killed?

MR MASANGO: If I remember well we went thrice and I went there once on my own with the pretext that I was going to look for her. That was in a two week period reconnaissance.

ADV MOTATA: And how many times other than the Saturday when he was killed was he present at this house at Beirut, within the two weeks?

MR MASANGO: No, it's only once, the previous weekend because he normally came over the weekends. As I got the information from that woman he was supposed to have come that weekend and then we did go and check out, he didn't come, the Saturday, the Sunday too. Well there I didn't go there with my girlfriend, I just passed that house to can see where the car is parked. It had a shelter there, there was no car there. That was a sign too, that was a sign that he wasn't in.

ADV MOTATA: Was it a normal sedan or was it a police vehicle which Brigadier Molope used? At least if you can't remember say so but ...[intervention]

MR MASANGO: It was a sedan.

ADV MOTATA: And for his elimination you had to Mr Masina to get the go-ahead, as he was your commander?

MR MASANGO: That is correct.

ADV MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sigodi, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

ADV SIGODI: There's just one aspect that I'd like you to clarify. When Mr Masina was giving evidence he said that he went to Botswana to get the mandate to kill Mr Molope and when you were giving evidence, there is a vacuum in your evidence, you don't mention that after your discussions Mr Masina went to Botswana to get the order from the leaders. You actually said that the leaders got the, were informed of the assassination afterwards, can you clarify that aspect for me?

MR MASANGO: Ja. As a guerrilla unit there's our own way we are using. It is possible, it could be possible that Jabu has gone there without our knowledge, that is possible. I've done so many things that I was told in Botswana to do without the unit, even without Jabu knowing, so that is possible.

ADV SIGODI: In other words, as far as you know, to the best of your recollection that is how it happened, the leadership was informed of the assassination afterwards?

MR MASANGO: I got that from Jabu later on, after that, that he has actually gone to Botswana to get ...[indistinct] but he never told us. As I say we were underground. I mean for working together it doesn't necessarily meant that I had to know each and every step he was taking day in and day out. He had to do his own things without me knowing it.

ADV SIGODI: Ja. And as you were working underground, were you all staying in the same area or were you staying in different places?

MR MASANGO: No, we stayed at different places around Pretoria.

ADV SIGODI: At different places. Thank you.

ADV MOTATA: Mr Chairman, flowing from what my colleague asked I would like to ask something.

When you fell in love, with respect your wife not being here, with this woman and you came about to know where Brigadier Molope was also having an extra-marital affair, did you convey that to Masina immediately, that is Jabu? That we know now where the man visits or that kind of information?

MR MASANGO: I did exactly that.

ADV MOTATA: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, do you have any questions arising out the questions that have been put by the panel?

MR VAN DEN BERG: None, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: Nothing Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

ADV MPSHE ADDRESSES: Mr Chairman, I don't know whether to use the word: "discussed" but I have discussed what I'm going to say to the Committee with my colleagues right here and I seek guidance from the Committee. Mr Chairman, the name of Mr Mokobojane has been mentioned. Although I do concede that it is not a direct implication but indirectly he has been implicated and I want to believe that it is a concern of the family as well, to know the truth whether he was involved in this planning or not, flowing from the questions of Mr Molope.

I have within a short space of time ascertained the whereabouts of Mr Mokobojane. My information given to me is that he is around, he is available. I am of the intention to draft out a Section 19(4) as an implicated and to serve it on him and if possible for him to be present tomorrow. I can only do that with the consent of the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: I have a bit of a difficulty with him being described as an implicated person because normally an implicated person is a person who has been implicated in the commission of the act or offence in respect of which the amnesty is applied for.

In this instance, from the testimony that has been placed before us and certainly the only information that we have, is that he was also to be an intended victim. So, it's a bit difficult for us to say that he is an implicated person when from that point of view he is definitely not an implicated person. From what we've heard he was a person perhaps lucky to be alive.

ADV MPSHE: Yes, I hear the Chair very well and I am ad idem with the meaning of an implicated but over and above what I've said I was seeing it from the angle of the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Well perhaps he can be requested to attend, without using the 19(4) route because he's technically not an implicated person, but he can be asked to come. Just bear with me.

Mr Mpshe, a further aspect. If somebody wants to call him as a witness he can be asked to do so but at the moment he is not an implicated person. I can't say that he should therefore be summoned in terms of the Section as an implicated person when he is clearly not. His name has been mentioned but that does not mean he is implicated as envisaged by the Act.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairman, I am clarified and I will then, as a person representing the family, apply that I call him as a witness to the benefit of the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that would probably be the way to go Mr Mpshe. We are certainly not trying to prevent him from being called as a witness but I think it must be done properly and I don't think it would be done properly to notify him in terms of Section 30 or whatever.

ADV MPSHE: I stand corrected, thank you.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 6TH AUGUST 1998

NAME: NEO POTSANE

APPLICATION NO: AM 7159/97

DAY: 1

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman. The following applicant is Mr Potsane, he will be led by my learned friend, Mr Lengane.

MR POTSANE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR LENGANE: Good afternoon Mr Potsane. Before we commence with the questioning can I please confirm with you again, you are testifying in which language, Sotho, English?

MR POTSANE: ...[inaudible]

MR LENGANE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: I think if we could get is name for the record.

MR LENGANE: Please give us your full names Mr Potsane.

MR POTSANE: My name is Neo Potsane.

MR LENGANE: Mr Potsane, you were born in March 1960 in Soweto, is that correct?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: And in 1977 you left the country to join Umkhonto weSizwe abroad, is that correct?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: At the time you were 17, were you at school at the time or were you employed?

MR POTSANE: Yes, I was still a student at the time.

MR LENGANE: So you left school for exile to join Umkhonto abroad?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Mr Potsane, could you kindly tell the Committee what it is that motivated you at that time at that age to take that step?

MR POTSANE: Well my political awareness came about with the events of June 1976, when I actually saw people rising up and going to the streets. Although I didn't understand much at the time, but the events that came on afterwards, people getting detained, people getting shot, you know people, some of them I knew very well. They would come back and tell us what was actually happening behind bars and how they were being tortured. Those things actually told me that we are dealing with people who did not have human value and were intent on destroying us as a people. That is how I actually got motivated you know.

MR LENGANE: When you say we were dealing with people who did not have human value, who are you talking about? Will you please clarify that?

MR POTSANE: I'm talking about the previous regime.

MR LENGANE: When you left in 1977 you went to Lesotho, is that correct?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: And remained there for how long?

MR POTSANE: I remained for about six months, that is from June to May of 1978.

MR LENGANE: What happened then in May of 1978 onwards?

MR POTSANE: In May of 1978 I was able to go to Swaziland and eventually I was taken by members of the African National Congress to Angola where I began my training around June of 1978.

MR LENGANE: Yes, please carry on.

MR POTSANE: Well I trained I think from, it could have been August because when we arrived there was no training schedule so we had to wait a little bit and then I think from August our training went on until May of the following year.

MR LENGANE: Yes. I will skip the other things which happened between then and 1985, when you told me during our consultations that you came into contact with Mr Masina, Mr Masango and Mr Makhura among others, is that correct? Is that when you first came into contact with them, in 1985/1984?

MR POTSANE: Yes, in 1985. I just felt in me that I was actually ready to go and make my contributions here in South Africa ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Sorry to interrupt you there. We will come to that in the fullness of time. I just wanted to know if before 1985 you had already met any of your fellow applicants anywhere in Zambia, Angola or any other place?

MR POTSANE: Before 1985 I had already met two of my applicants who are present now, that is Ting Ting Masango and Joseph Makhura.

MR LENGANE: So you must have come to meet with them because you were members of the same army, liberation army of the African National Congress, is that correct?

MR POTSANE: Yes. At different times we found ourselves in the very same camp and getting to know one another. That is how I got to know them.

MR LENGANE: So in 1985 you said to us that, you told me at least in consultation, that you then approached Chris Hani and asked of him to do certain things for you, could you briefly tell the Committee what it is that you approached Mr Hani about and the outcome of that approach?

MR POTSANE: Well in 1985 I felt that actually I was ready to come and make my contributions here in South Africa and at that time I had already made contact with Jabu Masina whom at that time I'd known that they were going to come here to come and fight here in the country.

I told Jabu that I would like to be part of their unit but then are process that, you don't just jump into a unit and say I'm going because things are done in a certain order, in a certain fashion. So I actually had to go to meet the late comrade Chris Hani and told him of my desire to go home and make my contribution there and he said he would take it up with the PMC, which is the Political Military Council, which he did and my request was approved and I was actually allowed to join the unit.

MR LENGANE: Mr Potsane, when you made this approached and when it was finally approved, did you know exactly what mandate Mr Masina and his unit were given to go and carry out in their imminent deployment then?

MR POTSANE: Not at that time.

MR LENGANE: Mr Masina has given evidence here that he was appointed as chief of the assassination squad, you're saying that you did not know that they were being deployment, they were about to be deployed to come and do operations focused on that.

MR POTSANE: Well let me make it clear that at that time I was talking to Mr Masina, I will understand why he did not tell me exactly the nature of that task he was coming to do here in South Africa because that was part of, it was still under some kind of a secret you know ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Excuse me, sorry to interrupt you. The answer to the question is that you did not know?

MR POTSANE: Yes.

MR LENGANE: The exact nature of the operations they were being deployed for in the country?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: What then was your interest in joining them? Please take it slowly.

MR POTSANE: My interest in joining the unit was to come and fight here in South Africa, to make a contribution too because when I left the country it was with the aim of coming back and fighting at some point in my life.

MR LENGANE: Should we understand you Mr Potsane, to be saying that your desire was to come and advance the armed struggle of the ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe, is that what you mean by fight?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: And you say that that was approved by the highest decision-making body at that level, the PMC?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Well then this was approved, you were infiltrated into the country, when was this and with whom were you infiltrated into the country?

MR POTSANE: I was infiltrated in 1986 together with Joseph Makhura, Mandla Shezi and Rufus. We came in to join the two applicants, Jabu Masina and Ting Ting Masango who were already inside the country.

MR LENGANE: And so you joined this unit inside the country?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Please tell us what happened then, your activities within there and so and so on, up to the point where the incident that we are here about occurred.

MR POTSANE: Well there were many incidents that occurred you know including other operations which are not the scope of this Commission. Basically Ting Ting used to stay in Winterveld and Joseph Makhura used to stay in Mabopane and Mandla Shezi used to stay in Mabopane too. Mr and Jabu Masina were staying in Mamelodi. That is how we were spread out.

MR LENGANE: Yes, please carry on Mr Potsane.

MR POTSANE: Occasionally we would meet, maybe fortnightly to come and update one another as to how things are and what will be our next move and that is the general ...[indistinct] because we had a mission to do in the country so we would always meat and talk about what is supposed to happen. And maybe sometimes we might need the assistance.

We have to reconnaissance something in Mamelodi, things that need to be done and we need their help and they will come this side to Mamelodi to come and help us and they will also make certain things on that side, moves which they might require us to come and help with and we will do so.

MR LENGANE: Okay. Mr Potsane, let's come to this incident. We have heard now from Mr Molope that the incident in fact took place in June, on the 21st of June 1986, what was your specific personal role in that matter on that day?

MR POTSANE: Well on the said day of the 21st of June 1986 I would say I did not take any active role in terms of ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Yes, please carry on.

MR POTSANE: In terms of carrying out the operation. As I've already stated I was staying with the commander, that is Jabu Masina in Mamelodi and during the process of which, I think when the reconnaissance was started two weeks before, as Mr Masango has already said ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Excuse me, just hold it there Mr Potsane. You are saying to us that on that particular day you did not have any direct role in the killing of Brigadier Molope, is that correct?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Prior to that day, did you have anything to do together with members of your unit? Did you have anything to do around discussions, the identification and so on, of Mr Molope as a target?

MR POTSANE: Well Mr Molope as a target, when it was actually discussed I was present. Actually we discussed Mr Molope in the light that is he or not a legitimate target and then we continued to spell out and then all the things that were relevant, that Mr Molope had taken part in the Winterveld Massacre, people who were detained were actually talking about him, that he was brutal to them.

Furthermore there was also the Commission of Inquiry which was going on at the time of which Mr Molope was the, if I may have to say, the prime accused person of, actually responsible of issuing out an order to kill the people who were on the march there. Of which Mr Molope admitted, he had admitted that he was actually responsible for taking out that order.

MR LENGANE: Excuse me about that. Please carry on Mr Potsane.

MR POTSANE: Well in the light of all those factors you know as the unit, and I was present too when in actual fact it was decided that Mr Molope should be eliminated.

MR LENGANE: So in a sense Mr Potsane, you are telling the Committee that you are in some way associated with the incident together with Mr Masina and Masango and Makhura? Is that what you are saying? Despite the fact that you were not there on the 21st of June 1986.

MR POTSANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LENGANE: You have said to the Committee today that there was a Commission of Inquiry at which Mr Molope was the prime accused, please very briefly explain what you mean by that.

MR POTSANE: What I mean about that is this Commission was instituted in order to look into the facts that led to the massacre or the killings of the eleven people who died there and Mr Molope was one of the persons who was supposed to come and give evidence there as to how things turned out and he indeed confirmed that he actually gave out an order to shoot.

MR LENGANE: When did it come to your notice, when did you come to know that Mr Molope had made that admission, was it after he had been killed, before he was identified or during the Commission?

MR POTSANE: I cannot recall exactly when but it could have been around, because if I recall very well the Commission should have started around April and it could have been somewhere between then and August.

MR LENGANE: Just one last two questions Mr Potsane. Is there anything else that you would like to say that you have not said yet?

MR POTSANE: Well I must say that I've come here as a person and also believing that my coming here is a correct one because from the moment that this process was started I never had any doubt that it is going to have some form of benefit to us.

Even though it might not have direct benefit to us I know that we are going to have kids who are going to remain behind after this dust has settled and those kids, I wish they could grow up in the spirit of which there will be no finger pointing. I just wish that the family of Mr Molope, I know they have lost a dear father but the events just turned out that he happened to be on the other side of where I was and I had a responsibility to do. At that time to advance the cause of our people and to protect them. And all that was not done in order to hurt them as individuals.

I am ready to extend my hand of friendship to them if they will allow me and I know the pain they are going through even though this matter has happened 12 years ago. I know it's painful to lose a father.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lengane?

MR LENGANE: That will be all, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR LENGANE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV MPSHE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Potsane, you testified that you were present when the planning or the plotting was being done, am I correct?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

ADV MPSHE: Who took the decision to eliminate Molope?

MR POTSANE: When the planning is done, especially on a sensitive matter like when a person is going to be killed, each and every person in it will become effective and then you know, put them on the table and finally the decision will come you know, with the commander that indeed these factors suffice that you know, that this action can be taken. So it was Mr Jabu Masina who finally took the decision as a commander.

ADV MPSHE: After all of you had put the factors on the table?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

ADV MPSHE: And by these factors put by an individual it would mean that the individual what he was talking about when placing it on the table.

ADV MPSHE: Good. Tell us the factors that you put on the table that influenced the decision.

MR POTSANE: I'm not sure that I may be able to give you directly what I said as this matter happened 12 years ago but I could give you the general factors that were there. As I've already said you know, he was part of the ...[intervention]

ADV MPSHE: Alright, let us avoid generalities, did you put any factors yourself?

MR POTSANE: Ja, I'm sure I did.

ADV MPSHE: Now let's get your factors, not general factors.

MR POTSANE: Yes. Honourable members of the Commission, I'm sure that, this matter happened 12 years ago. In that situation we were a few - our unit consisted of a few members and in that situation you will have a chance to talk one way or the other you know ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Potsane, were you involved in the reconnaissance at all?

MR POTSANE: No, Your Honour.

CHAIRPERSON: Not at all?

MR POTSANE: Not at all.

CHAIRPERSON: So are you saying then that if you made a contribution it was just in the discussion, the general discussion? You didn't bring any information that you had dug up yourself or established yourself in regard to the matter?

MR POTSANE: No, Your Honour.

ADV MPSHE: Alright, let's pass that one. In your application this is what you have all mentioned and I will quote it because I'm talking to you now. Under paragraph 10(a) where it says: State Political Objective you achieved, amongst others you say:

"The furtherance of the armed struggle against the apartheid state with the intention of overthrowing this state and replacing it with a democratic one"

You remember that?

MR POTSANE: Yes.

ADV MPSHE: Good. It is common cause that we all know that we do have that democratic regime at this moment.

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

ADV MPSHE: Good. The killing of Molope - let me put it this way, in your own mind do you thing we would not have achieved what we have today if Molope had not been killed?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe surely, are you implying, are you suggesting that the killing of Brigadier Molope was the key factor in the attainment of liberation?

ADV MPSHE: No, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, you can ask the question but I really don't see the point of it because they've put it there, they've stated that a general association with the unit and the role that they played, and as you've said this is just an extract. We are only dealing with one of various incidents, so to put it to him or ask him to answer to say that if just the killing, the assassination of Brigadier Molope, if it didn't take place we wouldn't have the democracy we have now is a little bit over the top I would say.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairperson, I hear what the Chair says but to respond to what the Chair said, I mentioned to the applicant that under 10(a) and I quoted what he said and he said: "That is what is in his application" ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but 10(a) is an application for a whole lot of other incidents of which we are only hearing one.

ADV MPSHE: Correct Mr Chairman, but I singled it out for the purpose of ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You can ask him.

ADV MOTATA: No, before he does Mr Chairman, if we have regard to 9(a) which refers to acts, there are actually three and we are seized with number two. You can find the Shell House incident, you find others which are supposed to be annexed to Annexure A which is not before us, so I want you, I'm not going to say you shouldn't ask the question, but the tenor of the question shouldn't revolve on the general objective which they wanted to achieve to get a democratic regime.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you, I stand corrected.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the important word in 10(a) is the furtherance of obtaining that.

ADV MPSHE: That is my point Mr Chairman, the furtherance.

CHAIRPERSON: The furtherance?

ADV MPSHE: Yes, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it's unfair to ask him if he thinks that there wouldn't be this democracy if they didn't do that.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, ...[intervention]

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Mpshe ...[intervention]

ADV MPSHE: That word is the crux of my questioning, the furtherance of obtaining the democratic regime. Perhaps to satisfy the Committee's dissatisfaction I will put it the other way around.

What was the purpose of eliminating Mr Mangope, Mr Molope, I'm sorry, he's not dead.

MR POTSANE: As I've already stated, Mr Molope had, was involved in a number of incidents which were not actually satisfactory to the general population, especially around Winterveld and Mabopane. He was known for his acts which were very brutal and as a member of MK you know with my duty, because if Mr Molope had not been eliminated who knows how many people he could have killed, maybe another 100. So our - as I was part of this or I agreed because in defence of the people.

ADV MPSHE: Alright. I will put the same question in another way. Perhaps the way I phrased it did not come to you. What did you seek to achieve by killing Mr Molope?

MR POTSANE: Well we were fighting a war of liberation and in that war of liberation there are two opposing sides, and in that other side, Mr Molope was on the other side and he clearly used his powers or abused his powers to maim, to hurt other people and in so doing, in so killing him I aimed to protect our people in order so that our people cannot suffer anymore.

ADV MPSHE: I see. If I have to hinge on the last portion of your answer, his death was merely to protect the people?

MR POTSANE: That is correct.

ADV MPSHE: Good. Did you intend to bring about any change in the then status quo by his death?

MR POTSANE: Obviously you know ...[intervention]

ADV MPSHE: Did you say: "No"?

MR POTSANE: Obviously - I didn't say "No", I'm still kind of carrying on. Obviously you know, sorry - obviously an act like that one will have certain effects, especially the kind of effects which have the lowering of the moral within the Boputhatswana Police and you'll find that even the government of Boputhatswana at that time will feel like our fight is getting closer to them and as head figures they will never feel safe anymore. Including the apartheid states you know, it affected them in that they've lost one of their foot soldiers you know, who was prepared to do dirty work for them.

MR POTSANE: Mr Potsane, I had asked you about the contents of paragraph 10(a) of your application, that is page 23, the one that I read under: Political Objective, do you have a copy there?

MR POTSANE: No, I don't have a copy.

ADV MPSHE: Do you see paragraph 10(a) right at the bottom?

MR POTSANE: Yes, I've read it.

ADV MPSHE: Just one simple question, was this paragraph put in by yourself for this particular incident?

MR POTSANE: For this particular incident?

ADV MPSHE: The Molope incident only?

MR POTSANE: In this particular - if we may have to discuss this part of the paragraph in relation to all the operations, but for this particular incident I would say all my actions was the undermining and weakening of the state.

ADV MPSHE: Yes, I see that. What I want to establish from you, you say this is relevant to this incident?

MR POTSANE: Yes.

ADV MPSHE: Thank you. That is all Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe. Mr Molope, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOLOPE: Mr Potsane, you did not kill Brigadier Molope did you?

MR POTSANE: I did not.

MR MOLOPE: Were you present when he was killed?

MR POTSANE: I was not present.

MR MOLOPE: Where you present when they discussed his killing?

MR POTSANE: Yes, I was.

MR MOLOPE: But you wanted him to be killed?

MR POTSANE: ...[no English translation]

MR MOLOPE: Did you want him to be killed?

MR POTSANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR MOLOPE: In other words, even if they gave you the responsibility to kill him, were you going to kill him?

MR POTSANE: Yes, that is so.

MR MOLOPE: Mr Potsane tell me, in South Africa as a whole people were dying but you decided to kill my father. Many people were killed in other places where there were more than

those who were killed in the Winterveld Massacre. I want to know as to why you chose to kill my father.

MR POTSANE: Our duties were that we should work around Pretoria, that is from Mamelodi, Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Winterveld. That is our are in which we were deployed in so that we should work in. So Mr Molope was within our operational area. We did not go to fetch him from Mafeking to kill him here, we found him here. This incident happened in our operational zone in Pretoria.

MR MOLOPE: If he did not come to Pretoria or around Pretoria, were you not able to go to Mafeking?

MR POTSANE: Our operational area was Pretoria as I've already said. It would have been difficult for us to go and work outside our operational areas. We did not have bases, we did not have safe houses in Mafeking.

MR MOLOPE: In your discussions you knew that Mr Molope was supposed to be killed.

MR POTSANE: Yes.

MR MOLOPE: If he was not in your operational area in Mafeking you would come to him in Mabopane?

MR POTSANE: As I've already said Chairperson, our operational area was Pretoria. It would have been difficult for us to go and work outside our operational area, like in Soweto. There are other areas which are near but Mafeking is too far from our operational area, it would be difficult for us to go and work there because our bases were in Pretoria.

MR MOLOPE: After you heard that Mr Molope was killed, how did you feel?

MR POTSANE: I was satisfied that the work that we wanted to accomplish has been accomplished well. I felt satisfied.

MR MOLOPE: I have no further questions Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOLOPE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Molope.

Mr Lengane, do you have any re-examination?

MR LENGANE: No re-examination Mr Chairman, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions to put to the witness?

ADV BOSMAN: No, questions Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Motata, do you have any questions?

ADV MOTATA: I've got none, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sigodi?

ADV SIGODI: I've got no questions Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg?

MR LENGANE: Mr Chairman, may I request a short adjournment, no more than five minutes, just to discuss what we want to do next. There is an applicant and there is also a witness whom we wish to call and I just want to decide finally on the order.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly Mr van den Berg. We will take a short adjournment.

WITNESS EXCUSED

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

MR VAN DEN BERG: If I may call Mr Lehobye.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, I'm not interfering with the manner in which my learned friend would like to conduct his case but Mr Chairman, the normal way is that applicants testify and the witness can come after. One can divert and do it the way my learned fried wants to do it, but we must be given reasons why we are to be exposed to this type of a procedure. There are to be reasons for such a move Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Lehobye is here today, he is not available to-morrow. He has said that it would be possible for him to be available to-morrow but that he would have to make some quite extensive arrangements to do so and I thought as we had half an hour left today it would probably be convenient to dispose of his evidence now rather than inconvenience him to-morrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it seem an acceptable reason Mr van den Berg.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, could you please give us your full names?

MR LEHOBYE: Malosi ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: How do you spell your surname please?

MR LEHOBYE: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any objection in taking the oath?

MALOSI LEHOBYE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Lehobye, you are a member of the community here at Winterveld in Mabopane, is that correct?

MR LEHOBYE: That is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You were politically active in this area, firstly as a student and a student leader in the late 1970's and during the course of the 1980's, is that correct?

MR LEHOBYE: That is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Could you give the Committee just a very brief personal background of your involvement politically in this area?

MR LEHOBYE: May political involvement in this area dates back to 1976 when I was a student at Randylane(?) High School and that was during the time when the late Batachana Mokwena, Tayle Mohema, Advocate Huma came to Randylane as teachers from Terflu(?). They influenced us a lot and that was during the time of Steve Biko and Randylane as a high school in Ga-Rankuwa was a hive of political activity. That is when I started my political life.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You were involved in your school SRC and later a student leader in this area?

MR LEHOBYE: That is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Were you ever detained?

MR LEHOBYE: I have been detained many times.

MR VAN DEN BERG: In the process of that detention, did you ever come into contact with Brigadier, or he was then a Colonel Molope?

MR LEHOBYE: He was a Colonel yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Colonel Molope?

MR LEHOBYE: Yes, I did. I must explain that this a very difficult task for me to do Honourable Judge, in that I knew Tata Molope firstly as a parent to children that I grew up with, we were in the church but at the same time I knew Tata Molope as the policeman and being a student activist I was obviously on the other side of the line which made it very difficult and even now it is very difficult to be testifying in front of Tata Molope's family.

I have been involved as a student leader and I remember vividly in 1980 when I led the students at Megakasi High School. Firstly, after I was detained in 1978 I was expelled at Rondylane and I came to Pelotona in Mabopane.

The following year 1980 I went to Megakasi High School where I led a student revolt and Tata Molope being the type of a commander who would be at the forefront of his men, was actually commanding the battalion or the group of policemen who attacked us at Megakasi High School.

As a leader I approached him and tried to plead with him. He had a baton which baton he forced into my mouth and such things happened on a number of occasions when I was detained.

Like I say, he was a type of commander who would be at the forefront of his men. So I knew Tata Molope in that way. Of course I knew him as a father to children I grew up with. One of Tata Molope's kids, Fabre(?) was actually detained with me in '78 before she skipped the country, and we were in the same class.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you discuss your experiences with your fellow students, with your fellow comrades?

MR LEHOBYE: Yes, we discussed it, not only in school but even at home. It must be understood that not only did Tata Molope lead his men, when his men, when it came to student uprisings. When you hard anything that in the eyes of the then, of that government was opposing government then the police would come down heavily on our people.

Like I was saying, Tata Molope was commanding those people. He was doing his work, he was not sending people he was going there himself, making sure that when he issues out a command it is followed to the letter. That is why you heard earlier on that you would see him as a very high-ranking officer but you find him at roadblocks because he would want things to be done.

MR VAN DEN BERG: These experiences that you've related, were they unique to you or were they shared with other people?

MR LEHOBYE: They were not unique to me, it was a general, actually Tata Molope generally was known as a policeman who led the police and he was very, very - with due respect to the family, but notorious in this area.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DEN BERG

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe?

ADV MPSHE: I have no questions Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR MPSHE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Molope?

MR MOLOPE: I'm still thinking.

What is your name?

MR LEHOBYE: Malosi Lehobye.

MR MOLOPE: Mr Lehobye, at the time when those things happened when you were a student leader, you said what Mr Molope did to you.

MR LEHOBYE: In 1980 I was a leader of the students in Megagatsi High School, we had a strike. Mr Molope came with the police. Without talking to us, we assembled at the assembly area and I was addressing those students when Mr Molope and his police arrived, then he gave an instruction that we should be beaten.

When the students were beaten I went to him then I wanted to talk to him because according to me it was not necessary for the police to interfere with the school issues because those issues were not political, because we were saying why in Megagatsi, because it's an old school, we who come from the townships we should pay building funds. We were asking for what building fund? The principal called the police and then the police started beating the students. I was doing what a leader was supposed to do. I approached him so that I should request to him that I don't see a reason why the police should do what they were doing. Then what your parent did, he pushed his baton in my mouth then he said: "Shut up because" and he knew me. It's what he did on that day.

MR MOLOPE: Mr Lehobye, the time you are referring to I was a student then.

MR LEHOBYE: I know very well.

MR MOLOPE: The way I know, when the police arrived at school they would instruct us to disperse. If we are stubborn it's then that they would start. I was one of those students who would flee. I'm surprised at what you're saying, that Mr Molope pushed his baton in your mouth. They did not even have time to talk to students, they just said we should disperse. I dispute what you are saying.

MR LEHOBYE: I agree with you my brother, that they did not have time with the students, they just said we should disperse, that's what your father did. I don't agree with you when you said they gave us time to disperse.

You and I know very well, we were students, the police said we'd give you five minutes to disperse then you know that that five minutes was not even half a minute. They did that fighting us. You're telling the truth that we were fleeing but you see I was extraordinary student, I was a leader and I therefore had a responsibility to protect my fellow students. ...[no English translation] to speak to him and I have done so on many occasions.

When the police attacked the people or when the people did not want us to march, as a leader I would go forward to negotiate with the police. I did that.

MR MOLOPE: I agree with you that that could have happened to you but at the time when the police came, when they arrived, finding that students are destroying property, it is then that they would do something. I would agree with you when you say that the situation was not normal, then it happened that the baton was in our mouth. But when you say Brigadier Molope came to you and talked with you whilst nothing was happening I don't agree.

MR LEHOBYE: We were in an assembly and I was a leader addressing the students when the police came with many vehicles. Your father trampled on the corpse on the stoep and then he gave orders. I never led a group ...[no English translation] I have never done so. We were not destroying property we were on the assembly, then we were attacked by the police.

I went to him and pleaded with him that the police should stop so that we will be able to negotiate. That is what happened on that day. I don't want you to say I don't know your father. I donít know what is happening to you. It was difficult for me to appear before this Commission to testify on behalf of the comrades who appear here.

I'm pleading with you together with Mum and the family that apartheid divided various communities. The Sebe brothers were not able to bury one another, the other one was afraid to go and see his mother on the sick bed because of apartheid.

You, Molope's family, because of the problems of apartheid, for a long time you were isolated. ...[no English translation] that those kids who are behind me have nothing against you as people, together with your family. We were in a fight, we were in a war. It was a bad thing to have lost your father but the truth is we found ourselves in a situation of war. Two attempts were made on my life and that experience traumatised my family. Like one of the comrades would have said, it would be happy that when we go on with our lives, that's what these applicants area saying to you. The Committee will actually appreciate what we are trying to do.

Like I said earlier on it is very difficult for me to come and testify particularly because I know that family. I have been very, very close to the family you know, we worship together. It's very difficult but I really have to do it and somebody of course must do what I am doing. I thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you finished Mr Molope or is there anything else?

MR MOLOPE: Mr Lehobye, Mr Molope is not here today. You are saying what happened at that time. If he was here he would be able to respond but I'm talking about what was happening. I was a student during the apartheid era and I didn't like apartheid.

You should not try to tell this Committee that my father pushed a baton in your mouth because he is not present today. Many things happened I agree but you should not put it that way and expect us to just keep quiet.

I like what is happening today, the way life is today and what you are saying here today, Brigadier Molope is not here today. If he was here he would tell you that you are lying. The way you put it you are asking us to agree with you.

MR LEHOBYE: I'm sorry that Brigadier Molope is not here today. My intention here is to explain to the Committee the perception of the community, how the community looked at your father and perceived your father as a commander of this area. That is my intention. I'm very sorry that your father is not here and I'm aware of that. Even if he was here I wouldn't be arguing with him but I would be stating facts as they were.

MR MOLOPE: Thank you Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOLOPE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lengane, do you have any re-examination?

MR LENGANE: No, I don't.

NO EXAMINATION BY MR LENGANE

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

ADV BOSMAN: I have not questions, thank you Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Motata?

ADV MOTATA: Just one or two Mr Chairman.

Mr Lehobye, did Brigadier Molope know you personally, because you have stated that you knew the family well, you attended school with some of his offspring and worshipped with his family. What I want to know, him personally, did you know each other?

MR LEHOBYE: Tata Molope knew me, yes.

ADV MOTATA: Now other than a baton thrust in your open mouth, did he ever assault you on that occasion?

MR LEHOBYE: Not on that occasion.

ADV MOTATA: Thank you Mr Chairman, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sigodi?

ADV SIGODI: No questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Lehobye, you may stand down.

WITNESS EXCUSED

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 6TH AUGUST 1998

NAME: JOSEPH ELIAS MAKHURA

APPLICATION NO: AM 7695/97

DAY : 1

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CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairman. It is our intention to call the fourth applicant who is Mr Makhura. We had hoped that if we worked hard today we might be able to finish but we're left with, it's five to four now and we certainly won't finish with Mr Makhura this afternoon and I understand that Mr - I've forgotten the pronunciation of his name, Mokobojane will be here tomorrow as well. I don't know whether it serves any purpose to begin with Mr Makhura now.

CHAIRPERSON: My concern Mr van den Berg, is that we would like to finish this matter. We've lost a lot of time today, we started late. I don't want to adjourn until tomorrow and then find we can't finish, because unfortunately tomorrow we will have to adjourn early because certain people have to catch aeroplanes etc. Would it not be possible to get his evidence in chief, and then if we can start earlier tomorrow to ensure that we finish because we'd also, if possible, like to hear argument tomorrow as well before we adjourn.

MR VAN DEN BERG: That would be in order then. We will call Mr Makhura. Until what time would the Committee be comfortable with?

CHAIRPERSON: Let's see is we can reach the stage of at least his evidence in chief, but we'll see how it goes, it might go quicker than you imagine.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Makhura?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Makhura, are your full names Joseph Elias Makhura?

MR MAKHURA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any objection to taking the oath?

JOSEPH ELIAS MAKHURA: (sworn states)

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Makhura will testify in Sesotho and he will be led by my friend Mr Lengane.

EXAMINATION BY MR LENGANE: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Makhura, just so that the Committee knows who is appearing before it, we'll go just quickly, briefly through your personal details. It is true that you were borne in 1959 in Mamelodi just outside Pretoria?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Thank you. Just for the record I will repeat the question.

Mr Makhura, you were born in 1959 in Mamelodi, is that correct?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: And as a student at secondary school you were a member of the Congress of South African Students, is that correct?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: And you left the country to join Umkhonto weSizwe in 1980, correct?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: At that stage you were in standard nine, is that also correct?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct.

MR LENGANE: Could you kindly tell the Committee what motivated you at that time as a student to leave the country?

MR MAKHURA: What influenced me to skip the country in 1980, the youth at that time was involved in criminal activities and they were becoming destructive and I then said you're better off if a person can go into exile so that you could come back and contribute better to the community.

What influenced me or what made me to make a final decision to leave was in 1980 after Silverton Bank Seize after I saw that on that Friday or on a Saturday when I saw photos in the papers how people were killed.

We in the community at that time as the youth, we started to be involved in criminal activities and then I said I would not be party to that criminal activity but I should contribute better in the community.

MR LENGANE: Mr Makhura, please briefly explain what the Silverton Bank Seize was, who it involved.

MR MAKHURA: The Silverton Seize, when we read in the newspaper were members of MK who infiltrated the country and were pursued by the police and were forced to enter into the bank. After that there was a shoot-out.

As a youth being energetic and seeing their photos, as members of MK died as heroes to us. Unlike we would be involved in criminal activities and we don't know what happened to life and nobody is going to know about you.

We know about our fathers or soldiers who died at the Silverton Seize.

MR LENGANE: You were of course a victim of the crime that you described in 1978?

MR MAKHURA: We were at the stadium during athletics and on that day I was stabbed on my neck and as a youth there were chances that I would be involved in criminal activities and I might find myself landed in jail or killed.

MR LENGANE: Thank you Mr Makhura. So you decided to leave the country and you did that in 1980, you went to Swaziland and that is where you joined Umkhonto weSizwe?

MR MAKHURA: That is correct Sir.

MR LENGANE: Later you were taken to undergo military training in Angola, is that correct?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct Sir.

MR LENGANE: In what were you trained?

MR MAKHURA: On our arrival in Angola in 1980, I undertook basic training which is a general course of handling the war material, the machine guns, the bombs, generally all the weapons. Thereafter I proceeded to Tanzania where I specialised with medico and in 1983, if I'm correct, there was a war between the MK and Unita which we used to call the eastern front. I was deployed to take part in that war and as soon as we withdrew in that front in 1985 I was called back ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Sorry, just take it one step at a time Mr Makhura. You were deployed on the eastern front and at a later stage you withdrew, what did you do, where did you go after withdrawing from the eastern front?

MR MAKHURA: The whole MK group that was operating in the MK were withdrawn and I went back to Luanda where I was a deployed as a Medico.

MR LENGANE: Did you receive any further military training after that?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, it was in 1984 or '85, I undertook further military training.

MR LENGANE: Was this in Bango in Angola still?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, it was in Bango in Angola.

MR LENGANE: What did that training entail?

MR MAKHURA: The training that I undertook was termed assassination course or elimination course.

MR LENGANE: At this stage did you meet any of your fellow applicants, in this training or immediately thereafter?

MR MAKHURA: When I arrived in Bango I met Jabu but I did not know that we were going to land in the same unit eventually, but the person that I knew was Rufus Pala very well and his name was Gekana who passed away here in Mabopane.

MR LENGANE: So you infiltrated eventually anyhow into South Africa to come and serve Umkhonto weSizwe and its operations, correct?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct Sir.

MR LENGANE: This was in 1986?

MR MAKHURA: I think I left Angola late 1985 if not '86 and that is when I joined Ting Ting Masango, Jabu Masina, Neo Potsane and Reginald Gekana, the late and thereafter Justin Bizana joined in as well.

MR LENGANE: Mr Makhura I would like you now to please take us through the incident of Mr Molope. We have heard the evidence of the other applicants, that Mr Molope had been identified by you and them as a target to be eliminated, to use the words, could you just very briefly tell the Honourable Committee if you were a part of that and how it happened?

MR MAKHURA: On that particular day, it was on a Saturday morning, Ting Ting Masango came to me and said he saw Mr Molope in Beirut, he was with his lover at that time. We left for Mamelodi on that same day where we met Mr Masina and Neo Potsane. It was myself and Ting Ting and Justin Bizana. We ...[indistinct] this issue of Brigadier Molope and that he's got to be assassinated and of which Jabu gave the final order for us to do that.

MR LENGANE: Did you understand Mr Makhura, why Mr Molope had to be killed? Were you part of the decision and did you identify with the reasons?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, I was there when the decision was taken and I was in full support of it.

MR LENGANE: For you personally Mr Makhura, what was your objective, what was your motive?

MR MAKHURA: On that particular day ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: In the whole incident including the discussion around the identifying of him up to the time when he was killed.

MR MAKHURA: On that particular day I agreed with my comrades that we had to assassinate him, as they have already mentioned what kind of person he was. That is when we went to Beirut to assassinate him.

MR LENGANE: You have heard the evidence of the other three gentlemen describing how Brigadier Molope was perceived by the community, do you have anything to add to that? Do you disagree with anything that was said?

MR MAKHURA: I agree fully with what my comrades have said.

MR LENGANE: Right back to that Saturday, you say Mr Masango asked you to observe the place, is that correct? Whilst he had gone to seek the green light from Mr Masina?

MR MAKHURA: On that particular day we all went to Mr Masina, myself, Mr Masango and Justice Bizana. I kept the place observed on our way back. Mr Masango dropped me there at Beirut to observe all the activities around that area. I might have observed that place an hour or more, it was in the evening.

MR LENGANE: And then Mr Masango returned to you?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, he came back in the company of Mr Bizana. They were having two AK rifles, mine and Mr Bizana.

MR LENGANE: Please tell us what happened then Mr Makhura.

MR MAKHURA: When they arrived I gave them a short briefing about the situation and that nothing has changed since they left and the car was parked on the other side of the house where Mr Molope was, it might be two houses away which might be the back opposite house of where Mr Molope was.

Myself and Justice Bizana whom we used to call Mandla Shezi, we rounded around into Mr Molope's house. We entered via the back door. When we got there I stood in the corner of the house and Justice knocked. I think there were three doors, if not more. He knocked first but there was no response, but there was one door that was open.

At that time I heard movements in an opposite door. I told Justice about these movements and a lady arrived and opened the door. Before Justice could introduce himself ...[intervention]

MR LENGANE: Take your time Mr Makhura.

MR MAKHURA: Okay. When I told Justice about the movement in the other room he decided to knock at that room and when he did that a lady opened the door. Before he could introduce himself this lady could see his AK rifle and therefore she tried to close the door and when she did that Justice pushed that door open and I assisted him.

I don't know what happened to that lady but it seems she let go of the door and at that time Mr Molope appeared. It seemed that he responded to all the sounds he heard. Because Justice was directly opposite the door he started shooting and Mr Molope came towards us running. Justice was already going back at that time but, and then I started shooting as well.

MR LENGANE: Sorry to interrupt you, ...[indistinct] Mr Molope. You say he came into your line of fire and you opened fire at that point, correct?

MR MAKHURA: As soon as he came out of the door Justice had already started firing because he spotted him first and as he was going out of the door I shot from the outside and he fell there.

MR LENGANE: With what were you armed, Justice and you?

MR MAKHURA: We were armed with AK rifles and grenades.

MR LENGANE: And now Mr Molope came out and he got into your line of fire and you started firing with your AK47, please continue.

MR MAKHURA: As he appeared at the door Justice went back and he saw him coming and as he appeared I shot him from the side on his left arm and having fell down I continued shooting him on the ground. Justice called me that we should get away and we did exactly that.

MR LENGANE: Mr Makhura, do you know where Justice is now?

MR MAKHURA: We don't know what happened to Justice.

MR LENGANE: Mr Makhura, was there any personal gain of a financial or any other kind for you for having committed this act?

MR MAKHURA: I never got any financial gain. The police asked me as to whether Mrs Molope hired me to commit this murder but I told them I didn't, I never got any personal or financial gain out of this.

MR LENGANE: Were you charged for the killing of Mr Molope?

MR MAKHURA: Having arrested us we gave a statement and we were brought to Boputhatswana but when we got to court Molope's case did not appear on the charge sheet but when we enquired why they said that Boputhatswana is a different country: "Once we're done with you we will hand you over to Boputhatswana".

MR LENGANE: One moment please.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps if I could just ask one question about form or maybe Mr Lengane is going to be doing it, about the signing of the form.

Mr Makhura, you say then Brigadier Molope fell in front of you and you continued to fire whilst he was on the ground, correct?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct Sir.

MR LENGANE: Do you know how many shots you fired?

MR MAKHURA: I don't recall how many times I shot him, how many bullets I used.

MR LENGANE: More than once?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, it was more than one bullet.

MR LENGANE: Just before I forget this technical question. There is a form, an application form that was submitted to the Committee in terms of which you were applying for amnesty, did you sign that form Mr Makhura?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, I signed it Sir.

MR LENGANE: Mr Makhura, I just want to take you back a little bit to the time when you came to hear about the order, the instructions to kill Brigadier Molope on that particular day, what instructions exactly did you hear Mr Masina to have given, what orders did you hear Mr Masina to have issued in respect of this act?

MR MAKHURA: He gave us the go-ahead to eliminate Mr Molope and when we got there Ting Ting notified that there was a lady and child inside that house and we must ensure that these two people don't sustain any injuries or are hurt.

MR LENGANE: I think that will be all, no further questions Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR LENGANE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mpshe, if we adjourn now, what time can we start tomorrow morning? I would prefer to start earlier than before because I don't want to pick this up as a part-heard matter. And the way things went this morning with the stop and start, I'm hesitant to take any risks in that regard, I'd rather start earlier.

ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, perhaps what I'm going to say, I may sound selfish to my learned friends who come from far but I would suggest 9 o'clock would be appropriate Mr Chairman or even earlier than that. ...[inaudible] all the people involved herein except my two learned friends are local.

CHAIRPERSON: 9 o'clock would be suitable to us.

Mr van den Berg, Mr Lengane, could you make it?

MR VAN DEN BERG: We were here at 9 o'clock this morning so that would be fine.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I think 9 o'clock would be sufficient and then Mr Mpshe and Mr Molope will be given an opportunity to put questions to this witness and then Mr Mpshe will also then decide whether any further witnesses are going to be called.

ADV MPSHE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We've now come to the end of the hearing for today. We will be adjourning until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning at this venue, when the evidence of Mr Makhura will continue. We will see you then tomorrow, if you could be here at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning, thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS