DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: I apologise for the late start in this matter but it was due to circumstances beyond our control. I am informed we are now in a position to proceed.


CHAIRPERSON: Before we start I would just like to introduce the panel to you. On my right is Doctor Tsotsi. Doctor Tsotsi is an attorney, he comes from Port Elizabeth. On my left is Mr Sibanyoni. Mr Sibanyoni is also an attorney who comes from Pretoria and I am Selwyn Miller, I am a Judge from the High Court of the Eastern Cape, attached to the Transkei Division of the High Court there.

The applications that we'll be dealing with today are those of Messrs Fokazi , Ndabene, Makhura, Mofokeng and Mokoena. I would just like at this stage to ask the legal representatives please to place themselves on record.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair, my name Booker Mhlaba. I am acting on behalf of the five applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mhlaba. Mr Mapoma?

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson. My name is Zuko Mapoma, I'm the Evidence Leader for the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mapoma. Mr Mhlaba?

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair. I realising that the applicants have not been brought here I wanted to start by calling the third applicant being Steven Donald Makhura.

CHAIRPERSON: Are the applicants not here?

MR MHLABA: They are here. I think Correctional Services are supposed to bring them down.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that they must be present, it is afterall their applications that we are hearing.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair, I beg leave to call the third applicant being, Steven Donald Makhura.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mhlaba, we can see that there are four applicants here whereas according to the documentation there ought to be five, is it Mr Mokoena who is not present?

MR MHLABA: Indeed Chair, the other applicant has not been brought here from some reasons unknown to us. In any event I wanted to indicate to the Chair that the application of Simon Mofokeng and the application of Tshokolo Joseph Mokoena, being the fourth and fifth applicants, I was considering withdrawing them for the reasons that they were not involved in this unlawful act which forms the subject matter of this application today.

My instructions are that they were not in the company of the first, second and third applicant when this crime was committed and they were falsely implicated and subsequently convicted. They are also serving prison terms in respect of the very offences but the gist of the matter is that they did not commit the offence.

CHAIRPERSON: You're appearing for all five, Mr Mhlaba, is that correct?

MR MHLABA: That's correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So do you propose that we proceed with the applications, well subject to what you've said about Mr Mofokeng, that we proceed with the hearing of the applications of, we'll call them just for convenience, the first, second and third applicants, Messrs Fokazi, Ndabene and Makhura?

MR MHLABA: That is correct, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: What language will you be testifying in?

MR MAKHURA: English.

CHAIRPERSON: English? Thank you.


EXAMINATION BY MR MHLABA: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Makhura, you are the applicant in this matter, you're applying for amnesty for a crime committed on the 2nd of April 1992 and this crime was committed while you were in the company of Mandla Wellington Fokazi, Thozamile Clement Ndabene, is that correct?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct, Sir.

MR MHLABA: Mr Makhura, are you able to briefly give this Committee your personal circumstances, where were you born?

MR MAKHURA: I was in Pietersburg in 1964, on the 5th month, the 24th.

MR MHLABA: And the application you're bringing, Mr Makhura, it's an amnesty for those offences already mentioned, and you are applying for amnesty on the basis that these offences were committed with a political motive. I want you to explain to the Committee whether you belonged to a political organisation and how you joined the organisation and when.

MR MAKHURA: Thank you, Sir.

"I will briefly outline my political background. I left this country sometime after 1986 to Botswana. I stayed at a refugee camp called, Dukwe which was under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That is where I joined the African National Congress.

After staying there for some few weeks I left for Zimbabwe where I stayed in a suburb near Harare, called Hatfield. During that time I became interested in politics. Together with other comrades we proceeded to Zambia in Chelston. In Chelston its where we made a choice to undergo military training in Angola.

We left for Angola together with more than nine comrades. In Angola I trained Enikakulama(?) at a base called "Richard's Bhani Molokwani". I stayed there until 1989. As a result of Resolution 435 of the United Nations which compelled all the foreign forces to leave Angola, we left for Tanzania.

Some of our cadres went to Uganda and some went to Tanzania. From Tanzania at Eringa Place I again left to Tanga near the Indian Ocean where I further my military training.

I came back to Eringa where there was this influx of young comrades running away from political violence, that is black on black violence inside the country. I was appointed a commander and a commissar at the same time to train those young comrades to come back inside the country to defend themselves and the people.

I came to South Africa in 1992 on the 27th of February. It must also be noted that during our stay in exile we used to discuss a lot about political violence taking place in the country, especially between the IFP and the ANC, and the young comrades whom we were training in Tanzania related to us the horrors of political violence inside the country.

We sometimes listened to the radio stations like BBC, Duchavel, VOA and other stations relating the fierce violence taking place inside the country. Then on the 27th of February I returned to the country as a former exile.

I stayed in Thokoza, that is where the violence was taking its toll. I found the situation unbearable. People were dying there. As a cadre of Umkhonto weSizwe I had to act my role ..."


CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you say that that violence at that stage that was taking place in Thokoza was so-called black on black violence?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, Sir. It was called black on black violence, normally by the media and other people who were not involved there in that violence but we knew that violence was not black on black violence, Sir.

"As a cadre of Umkhonto weSizwe I got in contact with some of the operatives inside the country and they advised me to go and help there at Polla Park, to go and train the SDUs there. Polla Park was a very strong hold of the ANC. Even militarily the place was feared by the previous rulers of this country. We had all assortment of weapons including Vinanti airguns there. The record states clearly that even the police, the Security Forces couldn't penetrate that place. It was a base, a guerilla base.

During that time violence continued because there are still hostels near Polla Park. It was again exacerbated by the media that the ANC was fighting, I mean Xhosa speaking people were fighting Zulu speaking people. We know by the time that it was not true.

After getting in contact with some of the Self Defence Units there - by that time I was still staying in the township but sometimes I went to Polla Park because Polla Park is not more than five kilometres from where my brother resided in Thokoza.

I missed being killed many a times. Almost all my friends have been killed in Thokoza.

I was advised by the Self Defence Units of Polla Park to go and stay there in Polla Park. I was given a shack to stay in. We sometimes undertook missions to go and defend other places, for example Ermelo, Ratanda, Thembisa, Meadowlands and other places. Some of my comrades, the SDU were arrested during those missions and some killed.

On the 1st of April 1992 I was approached by Sebenzile Ndabene(?) ..."

Pardon Sir?

CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat that name please.


"I was approached by Sebenzile Ndabene. Sebenzile Ndabene was one of the high-ranking ANC members in Polla Park. He was also Self Defence Unit member but there is a difference according to us between the SDU and operator in Polla Park. When we talk of operators we refer to those who carry weapons of war and those who are highly trained. Then when we talk of Self Defence Units we refer to each and every person who is capable of carrying any rudimentary weapon to defend the people ..."


MR SIBANYONI: Excuse me, is Sebenzile Ndabene the same person as Nozulu?



MR MAKHURA: No, Sir, they are different.

"On the night of the 1st of April 1992 - before I proceed Sir, it must be noted again that I arrived on the 27th of February 1992 inside the country from exile and the incident I'm applying for amnesty for happened on the 2nd of April 1992, it means I stayed less than four weeks inside the country after so long in exile.

It happened that on the night of the 1st of April 1992, Sebenzile approached me to clean five AK47 rifles and to load 10 magazines of bullets. I did so. He said to me: "We will be going to Natal to go and defend people there". It was a normal thing for people to come and ask assistance from Polla Park since a very strong hold of the ANC politically and militarily.

Another point to be noted Sir, is that in Polla Park there were political leadership and military leadership. It's possible that those who are engaged in military actions may not know what's going on from the side of the political office of ANC at Polla Park.

Then I cleaned the rifles. The following day was the 2nd of April 1992, we embarked on our trip to Natal. It was Sebenzile Ndabene, Nozulu, Mac Gregor, Wellington, Joe, the driver of that car ..."


CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I think if you could just take these names slowly because we've got to record them down, Mr Makhura. So it was Sebenzile ...


CHAIRPERSON: The next one?

MR MAKHURA: The second one was Nozulu. I'm afraid Sir, I do not know their surnames. The third was Mac Gregor, the fourth was Wellington, the fifth one was Joe, the sixth was the driver, the seventh was Nxala and lastly myself.

"I need to state it clearly that two of the people I talked about here are now deceased, that's Sebenzile Ndabene and Mac Gregor. They were gunned down on that day in Bethlehem in the Free State.

Nozulu went for training in the former SADF. He was one of the highly trained SDU member in Polla Park. Joe trained with Frelimo forces in Mozambique.

I do not know the type of training or any knowledge whether they know these following people of the trip to Natal, that's the driver and Nxala. I only knew of Sebenzile, Nozulu, Mac Gregor, Wellington, Joe and myself as trained members of the ANC and those who were going to Natal, Sir."


CHAIRPERSON: Now of those names you mentioned, Mr Makhura, Wellington, is that Mandla Wellington Fokazi, one of your co-applicants here?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And Thozamile Clement Ndabeni, who is he?

MR MAKHURA: He's the driver.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he the driver?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, Sir. I did not know his name prior to that incident, Sir. That is why I only wrote "the driver", but now I know him.

"We proceeded to Natal but I heard from Sebenzile that he had to pass at a place called Bethlehem in Free State - that's the place I did not know at all, so as to collect his money from Nxala. Nxala is my co-accused, he is Johannes Scalo Nxala. That's the reason why we had to pass at Bohlokong black township in Bethlehem.

The entire morning on the very same day I stayed in the house together with some of the people I mentioned here but it was Nxala and Sebenzile who went out with the car. I do not know where they went to.

On the very same in the afternoon we proceeded to our destination, that's Natal. We passed at a garage somewhere in the town in Bethlehem but I heard later that the reason why we had to pass at that town was for Nxala to collect money for Sebenzile. Then we left for Natal.

Just outside Bethlehem town the car stopped. There seemed to have been an argument between Nxala and Sebenzile. According to my knowledge, Nxala was not going to Natal. The reason why he was in the car from the garage to the spot where the car stopped was to show Sebenzile the road to Natal, but I believe he will come and confirm that on his own, Sir.

There seemed to have been an argument between Sebenzile and Nxala and since Sebenzile was a trigger happy person I thought something was going to take place. He was angry, this Sebenzile. Then Wellington Fokazi said I must disembark at the back of the car. It was a van, Sir. I disembarked and together with Johannes Nxala, it was Johannes Nxala, Wellington Fokazi and myself then proceeded on foot to the direction of the township.

I later learnt from Wellington that the reason why we disembarked from that car was that Sebenzile wanted to do something very horrible to Mr Nxala."


CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, who went back on foot, Wellington, that's the first applicant, yourself and who was the third person?

MR MAKHURA: Johannes Nxala, Sir.


MR MAKHURA: No, that's not Joe.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, Johannes who?

MR MAKHURA: Johannes Nxala.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay, so ...(intervention)

MR MAKHURA: You've Joe and Johannes Nxala on that case.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh yes, alright.


"I later learnt from Wellington Fokazi that he wanted to take along this Johannes Nxala, away from Sebenzile. So for us to go back, the two or us to the car again to proceed to Natal.

But before that can happen it seemed as if the car came to look for us. I heard AK47 gunshots. I was a little bit far away from the incident of the shooting of the police. Then since I heard the shots of the AK47, I said to the others: "Look let us proceed to the township, there seemed to be trouble there." I know when I hear AK47 gunshots trouble was there and I knew it was the people I was travelling with who were shooting.

I want to make it clear to the Committee that one of an outstanding order from Polla Park was that at no stage was anybody from the Security Forces or whoever to disarm us or to take weapons from us, we were to shoot out our way.

Then we proceeded towards the black township of Bohlokong.


CHAIRPERSON: How far away were you from the township when you started walking?

MR MAKHURA: I will probably say less than five kilometres, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Makhura, and the road that you had stopped on, was it the main road or was it a farm road or a side road or a back road?

MR MAKHURA: It was a main road, Sir. A main road, a road to a place called Harrismith. That's where we left the car, Sir.



"Then we proceeded towards the black township called Bohlokong. There seemed - there was a car which approached us at a fast speed, driven by white men and there were four blacks at the back of it. They were carrying ...(indistinct). That car came to an abrupt standstill in front of us. The man spoke, the white man, the driver, spoke to us in Sotho, yes in Sotho. He used even vulgar language which I'm not prepared to mention here. It's a very horrible and ugly word, Sir.

The man pointed a firearm at us. By that time, Sir, I was armed with a pistol. My co-accused, Wellington Fokazi had a pistol too. The man pointed us with his firearm and ordered us to climb at the back of the car. It was an Isuzu car with an aerial and no canopy.

The car then made a u-turn towards the direction of the tarred road to town. Well in my mind there was one thing, the man did not tell us where he was taking us to. The man pointed a firearm at us and the manner in which he was talking to us was not good, he was talking to us in a threatening way.

Then we took a gravel road towards the tar road which leads to town, that's the Bethlehem town. I said to my co-accused: "Look here, before we come to that tarred road pull out your gun and shoot to scar this man." My co-accused, that's Wellington Fakazi did the same. He shot and scarred the man. He did not aim at his body. The car came to a standstill and the man got out of his car.

I jumped out of that car and the man was already out pointing a firearm at me. I raised my hand in this gesture, in a surrendering way ..."


CHAIRPERSON: Just for purposes of the record, the witness puts up both hands above his head in the usual hands-up stance.


"Immediately after that first shot four blacks began to struggle with my co-accused, to wrestle the gun from him. They were not aware that I had a gun too.

The driver of that car, that white man got out of the car and pointed a firearm at me. After realising that I was not carrying anything at all, he did not see that I was carrying a gun too, he went around the car, probably to go and shoot my co-accused. That's where I shot the man. I pulled out my pistol at the man with two bullets."

DR TSOTSI: Now these co-accused you're referring to, are these the other two men? Which co-accused are these?

MR MAKHURA: I'm referring to Wellington Fokazi because the other Johannes Nxala escaped, he ran away from the incident immediately after the car came to a standstill.

CHAIRPERSON: This man that you shot, was he a policeman or didn't you know?

MR MAKHURA: No, it later emerged in the Court that he was a farmer and I'm still going to talk a lot about this incident, Sir, after completing this.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.


"Then I ran towards the township. My co-accused, that's Wellington Fokazi ran towards the township too. It must be noted by this Committee that immediately after I shot at the man, those four blacks who were struggling with my co-accused to wrestle the gun from him also ran away because they already discovered that I had a gun too. Then together with my co-accused we ran towards the black township, Bohlokong.

We hid in a certain house there. I do not know that place, Sir, but one of the guys we found there subsequently sold us to the police. I was subsequently arrested, Sir."

I believe I have got to go back to that incident I said I will talk about it, that's this second shooting of that farmer.

"Sir, it emerged in the Court from the victim that he was not carrying a gun. I say the man was carrying a gun, Sir, right at the spot where he came driving that car fast to us. If he had no gun at all I was just going to run away from him because he was fat, he couldn't run after me but that threatening way of pointing a firearm at me caught me unaware and unbalanced, that is why I climbed at the back of the car.

Now it emerged again - it is obvious that the man was taking me to the police station, it also emerged in the Court that the very same victim had already collected money from the bank to come and pay his workers.

Sir, in 1992 it was during the height of the killing of farmers, I say now that man couldn't have gone to the bank to collect money without carrying a firearm. And it emerged again in the Court that that suitcase, that briefcase he was carrying disappeared at the scene of the shooting.

So the only reason why I shot at that man was that he was taking me to the police station, to my enemy by that time ..."


CHAIRPERSON: Do you know anything about the missing money bag, the bag with money?

MR MAKHURA: No, Sir, it only emerged that there was money in that bag and that money was taken by his wife when they came to collect the injured from the shooting spot. Sir one of the things which I say ...(intervention)

DR TSOTSI: How many times did you shoot at this white man?

MR MAKHURA: I shot him with two bullets, Sir.

DR TSOTSI: On what occasion, the same occasion or different occasions?

MR MAKHURA: No, on the same occasion.

DR TSOTSI: The same occasion.


DR TSOTSI: That is when he was taking you to, as you say to the police station.

MR MAKHURA: To the police station, yes, Sir.

DR TSOTSI: Now when you ran away from the car when he was - when you ran away from the car you didn't shoot at him?

MR MAKHURA: No, I did not shoot at him.

DR TSOTSI: Oh I see, alright.

MR MAKHURA: If I had other minds, Sir, I could have taken that car away from him because I know how to drive and the gun also but I wanted nothing from that man. The only thing I wanted was to neutralise him from taking me to the police station because those shots of AK47 I heard later, I mean I heard before, I was convinced that trouble was brewing. The man was taking me to the police station, Sir. I had to do everything with all my power to stop him from taking me to the police station, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know who the man was that you shot?

MR MAKHURA: Pardon, Sir?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know the man's name?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, Sir, he is Mr Collie. Well I need to go a little bit, Sir.

"The operation to go and defend the people in Natal was not an MK operation, it was an operation of the Self Defence Units. Even though I am a member of Umkhonto weSizwe it was not an MK operation because MK suspended armed operations long ago, on the 6th of August 1990."

CHAIRPERSON: Whereabout were you headed to in Natal?

MR MAKHURA: I cannot tell you, Sir, I really don't know. In fact there was this so-called chain of command, there was some of the things which I was not supposed to know.

CHAIRPERSON: So was Ndabeni, the deceased Ndabeni, was he the leader of that operation?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, I will say two of them, Nozulu and Sebenzile were the commanders and they knew each and everything about the trip.

DR TSOTSI: Where is Nozulu?

MR MAKHURA: I don't know, Sir, we tried to establish his whereabouts for a long time, probably for about two years, we couldn't get hold of him.

DR TSOTSI: When ...(indistinct)


DR TSOTSI: When last did you see him?

MR MAKHURA: That was when he escaped on the very same day, the 2nd of April 1992. As for Joe, he was shot dead in Germiston and his body was flown to, was taken to Mozambique to go and be buried there.


MR MHLABA: Mr Makhura, do you know anything concerning the shooting of Cornelius Oosthuizen and Hermanus Johannes Joubert?

MR MAKHURA: Well Sir, that incident happened when I was a little bit far away from the actual spot. I don't know what transpired there, I only heard the shots of, the sound of AK47s Sir. I was not near that spot.

MR MHLABA: Is this all you can tell the Committee about your involvement in this incident?

MR MAKHURA: Well there are other points which I believe are going to be very important to the Committee.

"Sir, I want to go back to Polla Park. The people of Polla Park lived under painful situations, Sir. Sometimes it happened - I'm even going to involve the involvement of the police in that violence, Sir. Sometimes the Security Forces would come during the night to attack people, to kill people and leaving behind red bands, now red bands were normally worn by Inkatha people from the hostels, to create a picture that it was the IFP which came to attack people at Polla Park.

Now in turn we will collect our arms and go and attack them ..."



"It later emerged, after some of the policemen were gunned down there in Polla Park, that they were doing and they were engaged in this type of action."

MR MHLABA: Do you know anything, Mr Makhura, about the incident involving the attempted murder of Bruce Rutherford Collie and the attempted murder Christoffel Coetzee and Henry Sidney Chris Nortje?

MR MAKHURA: No, Sir, I was not near that shooting, I was not near it, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened to Mr Collie who you shot?

MR MAKHURA: He was injured, he's testified against me in the Court, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Whereabout did you strike him?

MR MAKHURA: From the medical files I seem to have shot him on his stomach.

MR MHLABA: Is it your case, Mr Makhura, that in shooting the victim you were furthering the aims of the political organisation? That is you were trying to secure a safe passage to, or rather safe transit to your destination where you were supposed to execute your mandate?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct, Sir.

MR MHLABA: Do you have any other thing to add in support of your application, other than what you have already told the Committee?

MR MAKHURA: I don't understand Sir, do you mean anything I want to tell the Committee, apart from what I've been saying?

MR MHLABA: If you have told the Committee everything insofar as it relates to the incident which you are applying for amnesty for, I would want to find out from you if there is anything which you feel may have been left out which may be persuasive towards the Committee deciding in your favour?

MR MAKHURA: Thank you, Sir. I want to bring to the attention of this Committee the following points:

"Two of my comrades were shot and killed on that day. One of them, Mac Gregor, was buried by the police without the consent of his family. We don't know where my comrade has been buried. The family of Mac Gregor came to claim the body at Bethlehem. His brother was detained and subsequently referred to come to Welkom to come and look for the body in Welkom."

CHAIRPERSON: In Welkom where we are?


CHAIRPERSON: But Welkom is very far from Bethlehem.

MR MAKHURA: That is why we are so surprised, because the body was probably in Bethlehem.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know, well you wouldn't know of firsthand knowledge from what you've told us but do you know whether MacGregor died on the scene of the shooting or whether he died later in a hospital or whatever?

MR MAKHURA: He died on the scene, Sir, but immediately after the shooting of the police where I was not involved, the people I was travelling with then ran with that car, they drove that car towards Ficksburg, then they were pursued by the police. That is where a shootout ensued, Sir, between the police and the people I was travelling with. Mac Gregor and Sebenzile were shot and killed somewhere there.

I managed to go to the mortuary to go and identify the bodies Sir. All of them were riddled with bullet holes. In the Court during my trial there was an album, a photo album of the deceased, they were lying in the fields near their rifles.

So at the end of the day I will personally request the Committee to please help in finding the deceased who was buried at a place we don't know.

Secondly, Sir, one of my co-accused, Thozamile Clement Ndabeni had to undergo a surgical operation of nine stitches immediately after being arrested on that day. Now the police said in the Court that the man drank poison where he was hiding. It was not true, Sir. It later emerged that he was assaulted with a rifle, with a barrel of a rifle and he had to undergo nine surgical operations.

DR TSOTSI: Mr Makhura, can I take you back to - I just want to clarify something, can I take you back to the moment where you disembarked from this van. Did I hear you correctly that after you and Fokazi disembarked from this van you never met your colleagues thereafter until you were arrested?

MR MAKHURA: That's correct, Sir.

DR TSOTSI: And do you know whether this van left the place where it stopped after you disembarked or whether it remained there? Did you leave it there when you walked back to the township?

MR MAKHURA: Are you referring to the police van or the van which was driven by the farmer, Sir?

DR TSOTSI: I'm referring to the van in which you were being conveyed with your colleagues, with the other applicant and the people you've mentioned, Nozulu, Wellington and Sebenzile.

MR MAKHURA: Immediately after we disembarked from that car, that's the car we travelled by from Polla Park to Natal, immediately after we left that car ...(end of tape) ... in fact it seemed as if Sebenzile was worried that we were not coming back, we were taking our time. He seemed to have come to look for us. That's where the shooting took place, Sir.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair, I don't have any other questions.


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

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Mr Makhura, in your amnesty application you apply for amnesty for murder amongst other things, for whose murder to you apply for amnesty?

MR MAKHURA: Sir, from Polla Park the mission was to go and defend people in Natal. There was an outstanding order that at any stage, at no stage must anyone, the Security Forces or whoever, must take weapons from us. For the reason of common purpose I knew that those weapons were going to be involved in war.

Secondly, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry to interrupt, Mr Makhura, but before it slips my mind, you say the standing order was that you mustn't be dispossessed of weapons, whose standing order, the SDUs?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, that's SDU standing order, Sir.


MR MAKHURA: Now a political mission was put on our shoulder. I am aware that I did not participate in actually pulling the trigger when the police died but since I loaded those arms, since I loaded the magazines, since I was with my comrades, all of them and since I knew where we were going and I was lastly charged with the very same murder, because of common purpose I'm applying amnesty even for those murders, Sir, for that murder I mean.

MR MAPOMA: For whose murder? For whose murder, Sir?

MR MAKHURA: I'm referring to the murder of a policeman, Sir.

MR MAPOMA: Do I understand you to mean the murder of Cornelius Oosthuizen who died at the shootout?

MR MAKHURA: I beg your pardon, Sir?

MR MAPOMA: Do I understand you to mean the murder of Cornelius Oosthuizen?


MR MAPOMA: Is that the murder for which you ask for amnesty?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, in my case there is only one murder, Sir, from the other side of the police, then two murders from our side.

MR MAPOMA: So do I understand you to mean that you associate yourself with the act of killing of Mr Oosthuizen?


MR MAPOMA: Now in Court it was pointed out that at the place you were caught you were intending to commit robbery in a farm belonging to Mr Osmond, what do you say to that?

MR MAKHURA: Well Sir, I believe I'm going to be long there. Highly trained members of ANC like us on that day couldn't have just gone to one man to go and rob him even, because it later emerged in the Court that we were intending to rob a certain house. We cannot carry five AK47s plus 10 magazines to go and rob one man, Sir. And even the very same victim, not victim but the man whom it is alleged that we were intending to rob did not know anything about this. It is not correct, Sir, that we were intending to rob anyone.

MR MAPOMA: Where exactly was this vehicle which stopped and which you left, where exactly was it, was it on the public road?

MR MAKHURA: Where I left the van, Sir?


MR MAKHURA: Are you referring to the van I travelled by from Polla Park?


MR MAKHURA: I left it at the side of the road. I don't know whether it's a freeway or, but it's a national road to Harrismith, that's where we left that van saying that we are coming. We want - its was Wellington Fokazi who said we will be coming back again. Then from my knowledge they seemed to have waited for us at the spot but after realising that we were not coming in time, the van seemed to have made a u-turn to go and look for us. That is where the shooting took place, Sir.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi, do you have any questions - sorry, sorry, before I do that, Mr Mhlaba, do you have any re-examination?


You have told the Committee of having heard a sound of AK47s thundering, are you able to give us an indication where that sound was coming from, was it from the position where you have left the van or can you not tell?

MR MAKHURA: Since we were facing north, the sound of that rifle was coming at our back, from the south.

CHAIRPERSON: I know it's difficult but through your training and your experience, could you determine more or less how far away the shooting was from you?

MR MAKHURA: Well I will say probably less than two kilometres, Sir.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi, do you have any questions which you'd like to put to the witness?


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the witness?

MR SIBANYONI: Just the same question, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Makhura, there was a person in Court, Thabo Motaung who apparently told the Court that he's aware of the plan, of the conspiracy to go and rob this Osmond family, do you know the reason why he told the Court all those things?

MR MAKHURA: Sir, I'm going to mention something pertaining to what you are asking me, Sir. This very same man you are talking about was even younger than my younger brother in age. Now this man came to Kroonstad when I was on trial. He came to the identification parade to come and identify some of the people I was with.

Now he said when he came to the identification parade, that he knew nothing about the case but when I appeared in Court there was the man, a witness against me. I do not know that man. It later emerged that the man has since passed away, even though his death is still a question mark.

To further answer you, Sir, my co-accused who are based in Leeuwkop Prison, used to get visits from high ranking members of the ANC. For example, comrade Ronnie Kasrils, Paul Machatile, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Robert McBride, ...(indistinct).

Now it seems as if something was discussed because this Thabo Motaung visited one of my co-accused in Kroonstad. The reason why he visited my co-accused in Kroonstad was that he wanted to come and tell him that he lied in the Court. There is even a letter which is in the possession of my co-accused Fusi Simon Mofokeng, where this man it's alleged that he was promised, I don't know 75.000,00. The letter is in our possession, Sir. It's with my co-accused, Fusi Mofokeng.

Now it is very clear that that man lied, he did not know me, Sir. I had only less than four weeks in South Africa, it was for the first time I went to that place, Sir. Even at the parade that man did not point at me, he did not identify me, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: When was the very first time that you saw him?

MR MAKHURA: That was in Kroonstad identify parade, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: So he wasn't - when you said you stopped off in Bethlehem and while you waited for Nxala and Ndabeni to go and sort out their money problems you didn't see him at that stage?

MR MAKHURA: No, no, no, negative, Sir, I did not see him, Sir.

MR SIBANYONI: Lastly, you say he was younger than your youngest brother, how old is your youngest brother?

MR MAKHURA: My youngest brother is about 27 years, somewhere there, I'm not sure, it's about 27 years.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: When you stopped the vehicle that you were in, when you and your co-applicant got out together with Nxala and starting walking away, was the bonnet of that vehicle opened at all?

MR MAKHURA: Sir, I did not notice, I did not notice that, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you have any difficulty with the vehicle, mechanical difficulty, problems?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, I will probably say that because when we left that garage there seemed to have been a problem but I think the driver can explain it, but something was wrong with that car even though I'm not sure what was that, Sir, but something was wrong.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know Tshokolo Joseph Mokoena?

MR MAKHURA: Well he is one of my co-accused, Sir. It was for the first time I see him in Court.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you meet the fourth applicant, that is Fusi Simon Mofokeng?

MR MAKHURA: Fusi Simon Mofokeng is related to Johannes Nxala. Now when we went to Bohlokong township, that's where Fusi Mofokeng stayed. We found him in that house. When we waited for this man to collect his money, something like that, Sir. That was the first time I see, I mean I saw the man.

CHAIRPERSON: When was the first time that you heard of the Osman's farm?

MR MAKHURA: I heard about it in Court, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you then convicted of the murder of Mr Oosthuizen and the attempted murder of Mr Collie and the other attempted murder as well as possession of firearms?


CHAIRPERSON: What were you sentenced to?

MR MAKHURA: Presently I am serving life sentence plus 31, Sir, but there are different charges and their sentences. I don't remember the first charge, it seemed to be six years. Then as for murder it's life sentence. Attempted murder of Mr Collie is 12 years. Possession of firearm and ammunition seemed to be 3 years. I am not sure Sir, about this but it's roughly that.

CHAIRPERSON: You said that it was common practice for one SDU to assist another SDU in the Thokoza area, you said you used to go to Meadowlands and Polla Park and Thokoza and other places, was it common to assist other SDUs far away like in Natal?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, it was common, Sir. Even in Transkei, Sir. Some of our cadres used to go there because I was not the only member of MK at that place, there were other members of MK involved with the SDU there, Sir. So there were so many missions which were issued to different operators.

CHAIRPERSON: After the shooting of Mr Collie by yourself, what did you do with your firearm, your pistol?

MR MAKHURA: Before I was arrested I heard guns cocking, rifles, then I threw my firearm not far away from me but in the grass, then it was subsequently found by the police.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you distinguish the difference between the sound of an AK47 shot and let's say an R1 or an R4 shot?


CHAIRPERSON: Do you say that the AK47 has a distinct sound?

MR MAKHURA: Yes, it has got a unique sound, Sir. Probably anyone who does not know the sound of an AK47 will start asking what type of sound is this. It's got a unique sound.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mhlaba, do you have any questions arising out of questions that have been put by members of the panel?

MR MHLABA: No, thanks, I don't have any questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions arising?

MR MAPOMA: No, Sir, I have no questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Makhura, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down now.

MR MAKHURA: Thank you.








DAY : 1


MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair. May I now call Mandla Wellington Fokazi?

CHAIRPERSON: I'm informed that the Xhosa interpreter is now available and we'll be able to proceed with the evidence of Mr Fokazi.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mhlaba?


Mr Fokazi, for record purposes, can you confirm having been born in 1945, the 2nd of November, is that correct?

MR FOKAZI: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: Do you have a family?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, I do have a family, a wife and children.

MR MHLABA: And you are applying for an amnesty in respect of a crime which was committed on the 2nd of April 1992 around Bethlehem, is that correct?

MR FOKAZI: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: And the basis of your application is that you have committed this crime with a political objective, is that correct?

MR FOKAZI: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: Did you during that period belong to a political organisation and if that being the case you are requested to tell us the name of the organisation and when you joined it.

MR FOKAZI: Yes, I was a member of a political organisation, the ANC.

MR MHLABA: At the time of this incident, that is the incident which you are applying amnesty for, were you employed?

MR FOKAZI: No, I was unemployed.

MR MHLABA: Are you able to explain the circumstances why you were not working?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, I can explain this way, in 1990 I was working at Glodan Engineering in Edenvale. We were assembling taps. I was receiving a salary. Then there were riots between Inkatha and the ANC. As I was working, but I couldn't go to work because of a problem with transport and I was also scared that I would be affected because of the violence at the time.

One day I went to the firm and when I arrived there the owner of the firm told me to choose between two things because people around the firm were looking for me, people that I was playing cards with during lunch, so he told me to choose between my job and my life. I then stopped working because of that, I resigned.

Then violence continued in Thokoza. In 1990, before the end of 1990 the ANC took a decision that the community have to protect themselves, it then formed the Self Defence Units. I was then one of the members of the Self Defence Units. I was trained in Polla Park. We were trained by the people who were able to use guns.

The police then came. We thought that they were trying to bring peace. After a while we realised that the police were also involved in this. We reported this to our organisation the ANC, that there are people that are involved in this violence or maybe they are the perpetrators of this violence.

Then the ANC didn't trust that because we were the ones who were telling the ANC. We wanted them to prove this so that when the police came we would then kill them and then show the ANC that here are these people that were involved.

And the Minister of Law and Order at that time said that that was not true because he was also the Minister of the Police. He didn't want to admit that the police were involved but we tried to show them that the police were involved in the violence.

One day when this violence was still continuing the hippos came. We thought that they were there to bring peace but we were doubting the white policemen. And in that hippo with other, the police from elsewhere came to bring about peace in the area. We realised that those police in the hippo, the people who got out of that hippo were Inkatha members and they attacked us. A lot of people were injured in that incident.

Again on one day, to show you that the police were involved, a Blue Ribbon bakery car came and people went there to get bread for their Spaza shops and it happened during that time in that Blue Ribbon car, the Inkatha members were the people who got out of that car. There were also Boers inside. There were white people inside that car. We then saw that this violence is continuing. It was also reported in the televisions and we were then involved in this. That is how I lost my job or I resigned.

MR MHLABA: Tell the Committee, Mr Fokazi, about your involvement in the shooting incident at or near Bethlehem where you were subsequently arrested with Mr Makhura and others and convicted and sent to jail.

MR FOKAZI: On that particular day it was on the 2nd of April in 1992, we were from Polla Park. Our aim from Polla Park - we received a telephone call from Sebenzile, the deceased. The call was from Natal and Sebenzile received this telephone call. They wanted some help. He was our section commander but there was a central commander, Nozulu.

They then told us that we were going to a certain place in Inanda in KwaZulu Natal. We were eight and then we went there but one of us, Johannes Nxala was not a member of the Self Defence Units as we were members of the Self Defence Units.

We went through Bethlehem and he had a problem with Sebenzile, he owed him money of the Golden Product. His brother-in-law promised him money. We then went to Bethlehem to his brother-in-law. Unfortunately we couldn't find him in his house, we found Simon Mofokeng in the house.

He then met with his brother-in-law, Johannes Nxala and he went to the garage. He then got what he wanted from him. After a while we continued with our journey. They had a problem with each other, Sebenzile didn't want to listen to him but as I was close to him I tried to speak to him as he respected me.

If I'm not mistaken from Bethlehem to that particular area. I think it is two or three kilometres away from Bethlehem to this area and then there was a T-junction to the left and there's a tar road in that area. I was at the back, Nxala was in front and the driver. Nxala and the driver were in the front and Sebenzile, the five of us were at the back.

When we saw that there was conflict in the car I told Makhura about this conflict in the front seat, then the driver stopped the car, got out of the car, we accompanied Morena and we were going to go back to the car but because we couldn't walk for a long distance they followed us with the car.

When we were about three or four kilometres we heard a sound at the back, the AK47 sounds. We then realised that something was happening behind us. We then continued, we went forward. I don't know whether you understand me.

MR MHLABA: Can you proceed and explain what happened?

MR FOKAZI: When we were moving forward because we couldn't go back, we did not know what was happening there, we met a white person with his people in a farm. I was behind and I was passing urine and he pointed these people with a gun and he told them to get into a van, a white van. I don't remember whether it was a Mazda or Izuzu.

They then got in the car, Nxala and Stephen Makhura. He also told me to get into the car. He was speaking Sotho and I didn't understand Sotho but it happened that I got in the car because I could see that he was pointing to this car. We didn't know where he was taking us.

He drove in a high speed and we were scared because we didn't know where he was taking us. Makhura said to me, he told me to take out my firearm so that I could scare him. I then did so. To scare him I shot on top, one shot, the first shot. He didn't want to drive forward and there were people in that car. There were also rods there, I didn't know what he was going to do with them.

Those people then grabbed me. They tried to take my firearm. Tony then stood up. They didn't know that Tony, (Stephen) had a firearm. He then pointed them with the firearm and this white man stopped the car, they jumped out of the car and they ran.

This white man continued driving. I then shot for the second time. He then stopped the car. When he stopped the car he got out of the car and when he got out of the car he tried to come to our direction. I thought that he was coming to me. He then - when he stopped the car, Johannes jumped out of the car, he then met Tony and Tony realised that he was coming towards me. I prepared myself for him because I could see that there was a fight. Tony then shot him. I didn't shoot at that time. Tony shot twice. We then ran away to the township. That is all.

MR MHLABA: So you were subsequently arrested by the police at the township, is that correct?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, we were arrested by the police in the township.

MR MHLABA: In your application from, Mr Fokazi, you mentioned under paragraph 9(a) - I'm referring the Committee to page 3 of the paginated document, you have indicated under acts or omission or offences that you are applying for amnesty in respect of an offence of murder, attempted murder, robbery and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. Are you able to explain to the Committee why you have applied for all those offences?

MR FOKAZI: Yes. First of all, when we were arrested it was found that I was involved in killing the police, one police and the other one was not dead at the time. I also had an illegal firearm and they say that it was attempted murder, murder and possession of firearm. That is why I've written these down, because I was there.

If I was not there I wouldn't be involved even though I didn't take part in killing but I was there. Because it was said that maybe we have planned this before. So they said it's a common purpose. That is why I made this application concerning these incidents because if I was not there, if I was at home I wouldn't have been arrested for that but because I was there with my co-accused who did this, I then applied and I was sentenced for life and 21 years.

MR MHLABA: So is it your case, Mr Fokazi, that in getting involved with the shooting of this white driver of the bakkie you were furthering the aims of your organisation?

MR FOKAZI: Can you please repeat your question, Sir?

MR MHLABA: Is it your case that in getting involved in this very offence where you, which involves the incident where the driver of a white bakkie was shot, you were furthering the aims of your political organisation? In other words you wanted to ensure that you arrive at your destination and execute the mandate of the organisation?

MR FOKAZI: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: Do you have any other thing to add in support of your application for amnesty, Mr Fokazi?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, there is something that I would like to add concerning asking for forgiveness to the people, to the families of the victims because the victims were still young. The deceased and the one who survived, I would like to apologise to their families because this is painful, nobody would enjoy this. I would like to ask for forgiveness for my involvement in this case and to the people of South Africa at large.

And to my, the family of my co-accused I would like to ask for forgiveness because now in this country there is democracy and I would like to build the nation, to build South Africa in a democratic country. So I would like to ask for forgiveness with my whole heart, thank you.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson, no questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

DR TSOTSI: Yes, I have a couple of questions.

What happened with the rest of your group at Bethlehem? You have told us what happened to you, Fokazi and Nxala and somebody else but what about the other persons that were in your group when you set out?

MR FOKAZI: As we were eight when we got to Bethlehem or in which group the people went who took the other line went to Ficksburg, which group are you referring to?

CHAIRPERSON: The whole group. We know that Mr Makhura was arrested with you and we know that Mr Nxala was with you, what happened to Mr Ngala? Then also, what happened to the other people in the other group that you know of?

MR FOKAZI: Some of us when they ran to the other side, to Ficksburg, others were left in the fields. According to the photos we saw in Court they died and their weapons were next to them, according to the photographs we saw in Court. But fortunately to us and unfortunately to others two of them succeeded in running away. They went to our homes to tell our families that some of us were arrested.

Sebenzile Ndabeni was one of the people who were left there and Mac Gregor. The two who ran away was Nozulu and Joe Makubela. Joe is from Mozambique. They told our families that we were arrested. About Nxala, we were arrested with Nxala. Nxala got me in prison, while I was in prison. We were arrested with him. Mac Gregor and Sebenzile died and others ran away but Joe died.

DR TSOTSI: What about Nozulu, what happened to him?

MR FOKAZI: I'm not sure now about Nozulu because of the situations in our areas. As we were arrested in 1992, in 1992 amongst us there were informers and they would tell the police about our operations and some would die in that manner.

So I don't know Nozulu. There are a lot of people who died in that area and there's still conflict even now in that area so I don't want to lie because even Nozulu is not his name, it is his clan name. We didn't know our real names at the time, we knew each other when we were arrested. They used to call me Gadebe, they didn't know my name as Mandla Fokazi, so that is the way it is.

DR TSOTSI: Well where does Nozulu come from, where was his home, do you remember, do you know?

MR FOKAZI: He was from the Transkei as I am also from the Transkei.

DR TSOTSI: What part of the Transkei?

MR FOKAZI: ...(no English translation)

DR TSOTSI: ...(no English translation)

MR FOKAZI: I don't know where in the Transkei. I don't know whether it's in Elliot or in Tsolo. I'm not sure because he used to go in those places but I'm not sure where exactly he was from.

DR TSOTSI: Where was your home in the Transkei?

MR FOKAZI: In Katjane in Transkei.

DR TSOTSI: Were you trained there as a freedom fighter?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, I was trained.

DR TSOTSI: And was Nozulu trained also?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, he was trained, he was more trained than myself. He was trained by the whites in South Africa.

DR TSOTSI: Where was he trained?

MR FOKAZI: I'm not sure whether in the South African Defence Force or in the South African Police, I'm not sure. Nozulu didn't want to work with them. They wanted to train him because they could see that he was intelligent, they wanted to use him. He then realised that they were using him so he didn't want to work or co-operate with them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions you'd like to ask the witness?

MR SIBANYONI: Yes, thank you, Mr Chairperson.

You spoke about Tony and you were referring to Mr Makhura, am I correct?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, I was referring to Mr Makhura, Steven.

MR SIBANYONI: And you also spoke about Johannes who jumped off the car, who is Johannes?

MR FOKAZI: It was Nxala, Johannes Nxala, Johannes ...(indistinct) Nxala.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know Tshokolo Joseph Mokoena?

MR FOKAZI: I knew him when we were arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you only meet him after your arrest?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, we met when we were arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: And the fourth applicant, Fusi Simon Mofokeng?

MR FOKAZI: I know him because we went to his place. I saw him there to his home.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that the first time you saw him?


CHAIRPERSON: That was on the same day, the 2nd of April?

MR FOKAZI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know Thabo Motaung?

MR FOKAZI: I don't know Thabo, I saw him in the identification parade in Kroonstad. That was the first time I saw him. I then saw him again in Court.

CHAIRPERSON: He in the Court's case, what I can gather from having read some of the record and the Judgment in particular, I mean from reading the Judgment, is that he testified in the trial that you and the other people that you were with had gone specifically to the Bethlehem area to commit a robbery on a farm owned by a person by the name of Osman because it was known by Mokoena that there was cash in a safe on the farm and that the whole thing was a robbing expedition. What do you say to that evidence of Thabo Motaung? ...(end of tape)

MR FOKAZI: ...(inaudible) deny that, Chairperson. I don't know Thabo. The first time I saw him was in the identification parade in Kroonstad and the second time was in Court. He was used. I would like to explain that. I don't know whether I should continue explaining that.


MR FOKAZI: Thabo was used. After a while they found that he was used because he did not know what he was saying. All he was saying was a lie. And I was old to go for - I was not there - we were not there to rob, we had weapons so that we can fight. So that is a lie what he said.

He went to Fusi Mofokeng in Kroonstad. We received a letter stating that he visited Fuzi Mofokeng in Kroonstad in jail when we were arrested. If I'm not mistaken I think it was in 1995 or 1996, if I'm not mistaken. When Thabo went to Fuzi he said that he was asking for forgiveness because he was promised something.

He told Fusi that he lied in Court and he was asking for forgiveness and he was going to try to help us to get out of jail and then Fusi asked him how he would do that. He then said he made certain affidavits but I don't know to which office. He went to the Magistrate in Kroonstad. He made a confession statement about our case. The Magistrate said that he should go to the members of the ANC, those that were said to have planned this affidavit. The lawyer of the ANC had to make an affidavit and send that affidavit to him as a Magistrate and the Magistrate would sign and stamp it and send it to the Justice Department.

So Chairperson, what I'm trying to say is that I'm aware of this but it is not true, it is a lie and there is evidence about that. And on the 25th of August George Ndlosi was working for the TRC in Johannesburg. I told him about this. I was together with Clement Ndabeni. We told him about what happened before and we didn't know exactly what was the end of this. George Ndlosi said they would follow this case because I said to my co-accused it is better to hide this boy because if the police were aware that he was giving out such an information they would take him out of the way.

Then Fusi Mofokeng told me that he was out of the way. So I didn't know about this robbery. Thabo just told a lie about this but he didn't straight to me. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Now that vehicle in which you and your companions were driving in when it stopped at the place where you later heard the shooting taking place, was the bonnet of that vehicle ever opened in your presence?

MR FOKAZI: Yes, the bonnet of the car would be opened by the owner of the car but it had a problem with the brakes. I could say that the brake fluid had a problem. There was a pipe there that had a problem. I used to use that car. So what I'm trying to say is that I know that the bonnet would be opened.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see it being opened at the place that you stopped when you and Mr Makhura and Nxala left to walk back to Bethlehem, was it opened there or not, that you saw with your own eyes.

MR FOKAZI: I didn't see it then but I knew that the car had a problem. I didn't notice whether it was opened or not.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mhlaba, do you have any questions arising out of questions that have been put by members of the panel?

MR MHLABA: None, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions arising?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Yes, Mr Chairman, just one.

Mr Fokazi, when you left that motor vehicle, whom in your group did you leave behind?

MR FOKAZI: That motor vehicle, the people who were left there, there were five people, it was Sebenzile, Nozulu was the second one, Mac Gregor the third one, Thozamile Ndabeni, the driver and Joe. It was Joe Nozulu, Sebenzile, Mac Gregor and Thozamile Ndabeni, the driver.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Fokazi, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down.








DAY : 1



MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chairperson. Can I call Thozamile Clement Ndabeni?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ndabeni, which language are you going to testify in?


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




Mr Ndabeni, you made an application for an amnesty and you are approaching the Committee today to consider your application. For record purposes, can you confirm whether you were born in Transkei during 1963, on the 7th of April?

MR NDABENI: Yes, that is correct.

MR MHLABA: You are applying for this amnesty on the basis that the offence which you have committed was committed with a political motive. Can you explain to the Committee whether at that period you belonged to a political organisation and the nature of your involvement in the organisation in question?

MR NDABENI: Yes, I was a member of the ANC.

MR MHLABA: You indicated in your application form - in this regard I refer the Committee to page 13 of the paginated documents, that is in paragraph 9(a)(ii), that this offence was committed on the 4th of the April month, is that correct?

MR NDABENI: Yes, it was on the 4th of April.

MR MHLABA: Can you explain to the Committee the type of offence you have committed and the circumstance in which it was committed, including when and how it was planned.

MR NDABENI: Yes, I can explain to the Committee. There was violence in Thokoza. I was staying in the hostel. I arrived there in 1986. I was working in the mines. I stayed in the hostels and in 1990 violence started. I was running a business and one morning in 1990 in the hostel some of the people were killed there because of the violence.

We then moved to Polla Park and violence continued during that time. And while violence was continuing we received help from other people in that fight. We were then supposed to take part in that fight. Ndabeni had a business next to Inanda and he was a commander there in Polla Park. He had businesses all over, even in Secunda. He asked us to go to Inanda. He told Sebenzile and then he came to me concerning the vehicle. I told him that I had a problem with the car but we can use it to that area because his car was also involved in this violence.

There were eight of us. He told us that we would pass through Bethlehem to get money there. We arrived in Bethlehem in the morning at about 10 in the morning. And the person we were looking for we didn't find at that time, he was at his work. We then slept there because the previous night we didn't sleep, we were patrolling the whole night.

When this man came back it was about two, we decided to leave. Whilst we were on our way Johannes Nxala was showing us the way and there was a problem because the money was not, he did not get all the money, Sebenzile did not get all the money he was looking for. Then we would drop Nxala because we saw the road to Natal. He was supposed to get out of the car, go back to the township.

Then there was this conflict between the two of them. They told me to stop the car and they got out of the car, the two of them and the people at the back of the car, Fokazi and them they saw that there was a conflict between these two. I then saw Mandla Fokazi and Makhura and Nxala leaving and they were trying to talk to Sebenzile.

When they were leaving we found out, Sebenzile then said that these people are wasting time. He told us to follow them because where we stopped it was a T-junction and there was a gravel road. I used the road they were using and there was a straight and the other road was facing the other way.

There was a problem with the brakes. I opened the bonnet and the others were looking for these who left because we couldn't see them. We took the other road and there were two roads there and we couldn't see them. I continued driving and there were bushes and we couldn't see where the road went. I then made a u-turn back. We then decided to return back because we didn't see where they were.

We saw a police van. I then slowed down the car because I wanted to see which road this police van was going to take. We then realised that it was coming towards us. In the front seat I was together with Joe. Joe then said that these people are coming to us so I must take off the number plates and put the other ones because we had spare number plates. I did that. While I was still doing that - while I was in the car trying to leave they then came and blocked the car.

I went out of the car, they were speaking Afrikaans. I couldn't understand them. I lifted my hands and then they shot at that time, they shot twice. And then I was facing towards them, I saw them going back and the people at the back of the bakkie were shooting to the police. I saw the police running and some of them fell.

Nozulu then took out a gun, then came back to me. He told me we should leave and then we left. I then saw that I could not go back to Bethlehem and then I could not go to Natal, I decided to take the way to Lesotho. We then took the road towards Lesotho. While we were still on that road when we were about to get to Ficksburg, when we were about 20 kilometres to Ficksburg I then decided to stop the car. There was nobody commanding me at that time. Joe was shot at that time and there was a bullet in his leg.

I then made a u-turn and they told me to go forward. I didn't listen to them. There was a golf on our back. When I was making this u-turn this golf followed me, they tried to shoot and this golf was following us at that time. The people who were with me tried to shoot back at this golf. I then realised that the brakes were not working at the time and then I told them that. I told that the car did not have petrol anymore.

We then got out of the car, we went to the hill and there was a hole. We went inside that hole. At about five - it was about five at that time. We stayed there until about nine at night. I told them that we should go because they would throw handgrenades on us. When we were leaving the police were all over. It was about 11 or 12 at night at that time.

We ran out of that hole and then realised that there were police all over. Mac Gregor was shot when I was trying to help him, to run with him. Those who were in front of me, Nozulu and Joe, I didn't see them in front of me at that time. There were police lights. I then decided to leave Mac Gregor. I told him that he should do, he must see what he should do.

I went to the dam and then I stayed there for two days. I got out of that dam in the third day. That is all.

MR MHLABA: When you got out of the dam is the moment when you got arrested?

MR NDABENI: Yes, it was when I was arrested because I went out of the dam. I wanted to run away then the people from the farm told the police about me.

MR MHLABA: You have talked about a golf which was following you, can you clarify whether there was any shootout between yourself and the golf, did you fire at that golf and do you know if anybody was hit?

MR NDABENI: We tried to shoot at this golf but the people in the front were not able to shoot at this golf, so we couldn't.

MR MHLABA: Are you telling the Committee that you are only aware of an incident where somebody was injured at the first shootout, that's when the police approached you and you shot and killed one police officer and the gun was taken from you? Is that the only incident you can tell us of?

MR NDABENI: Yes, one person was shot in our group at the time of the shooting with the police in Bethlehem.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened to your namesake, Ndabeni?

MR NDABENI: I saw Sebenzile Ndabeni in the mortuary. I saw him there, he was shot.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, are you related to Sebenzile Ndabeni?

MR NDABENI: Yes, we are related. He grew up in my own at the other house but at that time he was staying at his home.

DR TSOTSI: Where is your home, or where was your home?

MR NDABENI: In Port St Johns in the Transkei.

DR TSOTSI: And Nozulu, where was his home?

MR NDABENI: I'm not sure, others said he was from Nxeleni. I tried to investigate but I couldn't find out. Others said he was from Xholo, so I'm not sure exactly where he was from.

DR TSOTSI: What happened to him, where is he now?

MR NDABENI: I don't know where he is now. Joe is the one who came to us. I last heard that he was in the Transkei.


MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair.

In the Court record there is a mention of your conspiracy to rob a certain farmer, do you know anything about this incident?

MR NDABENI: No, I heard this in Court, I didn't know about this because we were on our way to Natal. I didn't know about this, and the person who was testifying said he didn't know.

MR MHLABA: Do you have anything to add in support of your application?

MR NDABENI: I would like to say to the South Africans, I ask for forgiveness and I ask for forgiveness to the families of the police who died and to the people who were with us, I would like to ask for forgiveness to their families and to the families of the police and the families of the deceased that were with us and South Africa at large..

MR MHLABA: That concludes the evidence-in-chief, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mhlaba. Do you have any questions to ask the witness, Mr Mapoma?


Mr Ndabeni, you were the driver of the motor vehicle?

MR NDABENI: That is correct.

MR MAPOMA: Whose motor vehicle was it?

MR NDABENI: It was my car.

MR MAPOMA: Now before the shooting took place, were you ever stopped by the police on the way?

MR NDABENI: No, we were never stopped.

MR MAPOMA: Did the police ever ask to search you?

MR NDABENI: No, the police only stopped us during that shooting, on our way they didn't stop us.

MR MAPOMA: Now is it not correct that the police, when they arrived the car was already stationery?

MR NDABENI: When the police arrived I was just finished putting the new number plates. We were then going to be on our way.

CHAIRPERSON: The question is, when the police arrived was your vehicle still stationery, you weren't driving?

MR NDABENI: I was driving.

MR MAPOMA: No what I'm saying is, at the time when the police arrived you say you had just finished replacing the numberplates, was the car not stationery at the time when the police arrived?

MR NDABENI: When the police arrived I saw them coming towards us and when they were near us I was leaving. They then stopped the car when I was leaving.

MR MAPOMA: Did they ever ask to search your car?

MR NDABENI: We didn't understand each other because when I was trying to reply they pointed us with the firearms. I lifted my arms at that time, both of my arms. I didn't understand what they were saying. They then started shooting.

MR MAPOMA: And then your colleagues shot back?

MR NDABENI: Yes, they shot back.

MR MAPOMA: Did you yourself shoot?

MR NDABENI: No, I didn't, I was the driver. I didn't have a firearm at that time.

MR MAPOMA: And they shot back because they didn't want the police to get hold of the weapons, is that not the case?

MR NDABENI: Yes, that is correct, they didn't want the police to get hold of the firearms and get information.

MR MAPOMA: And Mr Fokazi was not there at the time, was he?

MR NDABENI: Yes, he was not there.

MR MAPOMA: I'm asking these questions because - Chairperson, I'm sorry, perhaps this question may not be proper but unfortunately I missed this to canvass with Mr Fokazi. In page 8 and page number 11 of the paginated bundle there is correspondence where Mr Fokazi says, on page 8, paragraph 2:

"On our way to Bethlehem we were confronted by police who stopped us to search us. We then opened fire on them as a result of this."

Then on page 11, on the 1st paragraph there on that page he goes on to say:

"On our way we were stopped by the police who demanded to search our car and we refused to be searched since this was clearly an obstruction of our objective."

These two, Chairperson, to a certain extent may, I would like to get ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think you can put it to you him and ask him what his comments are on that.

MR MAPOMA: ...(inaudible)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on.

MR MAPOMA: Mr Ndabeni, you have just heard what I've read in this bundle, these are the statements which were made by Mr Fokazi. Would you make a comment on these statements?

MR NDABENI: Fokazi was explaining about the shooting of the police. He was not there, I was there. He was not there at that time. When we were confronted by the police he was not there.

MR MAPOMA: So what do you say about the correctness of this statement which was made by Mr Fokazi?

MR NDABENI: What I'm saying is that this is not correct because I didn't understand what the police said to us ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: So what you're saying is because you didn't understand, I think isn't it as far as you can go is to say they may not be correct because the policemen might have spoken in Afrikaans saying: "Stop I want to search your vehicle", but you didn't understand that?

MR NDABENI: Yes, I didn't understand, I just assumed that maybe they wanted to search us.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson, that was all.


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

MR MHLABA: None, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

DR TSOTSI: No, thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, just one question.

You said you stayed in the dam for two days, where exactly in the dam?

MR NDABENI: I went next to the dam and I took grass too and I placed in on my face so that they could not see me.

MR SIBANYONI: That's the only question, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You said, Mr Ndabeni, that when the police arrived your vehicle stopped, you stopped and they got out, you spoke to each other but couldn't understand each other, the police then pointed firearms at you and you raised your hands, is that correct?

MR NDABENI: That is correct, I was the person who got out of the car, they others I left them behind.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you said that the police, after you raised your hand the police started to shoot, did they shoot at you or towards you?

MR NDABENI: Yes, they were shooting towards me but they didn't shoot me, I don't know how that happened. They shot a person who was in the bakkie.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you think of any reason why the police should shoot at you if you were standing there with your hands in the air?

MR NDABENI: There's no reason. I think that they saw what was happening at the back.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the reason for changing number plates?

MR NDABENI: The reason was that when we had weapons in our possession we would use the wrong numberplates in our cars.

CHAIRPERSON: So did you have the correct number plates on until that time that Joe said you should change them?

MR NDABENI: Yes, we took out the right numberplates and we replaced them with the wrong ones.

CHAIRPERSON: But why did you only do that at that stage of your journey, because you've told us that you left from the Rand area, Thokoza, Polla Park area, drove all the way to Bethlehem, in Bethlehem you had time to kill while Ndabeni and Nxala were going about trying to find money, you had nothing to do, why only change the numberplates when you see a vehicle driving towards you and you don't even know what that vehicle is or whose vehicle it is that's coming towards you?

MR NDABENI: We were supposed to have changed them. They told me before to change them but I didn't take notice of that and when we saw the police I then decided to change the number plates but they had told me before to change them.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you - prior to the shooting, when did you last have the bonnet of that vehicle open for purposes of checking the brake fluid or trying to fix the brakes?

MR NDABENI: We checked it when we got to the Y-junction(?). When I realised that there was a problem with the brakes I opened the bonnet, I checked it and then I closed it.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you when you started driving or at any stage then drive on gravel roads, on farm roads?

MR NDABENI: Please repeat your question Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: At that time, from the first time that you saw the police and your drive through towards Ficksburg, did you drive on farm roads at all or did you drive on the main tar road the whole time?

MR NDABENI: We drove on a tar road to Ficksburg.

CHAIRPERSON: But did you drive on any gravel roads in the Bethlehem district there?


CHAIRPERSON: Now is it correct that you were not charged in respect of the attempted murder on Mr Collie, that's the shooting that you've heard your co-applicants describe, Mr Makhura and Mr Fokazi, the shooting of the farmer, Mr Collie? You were never charged with that, is that correct?

MR NDABENI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you applying for amnesty in respect of that specific attempted murder count?

MR NDABENI: Yes, I made an application because I was combining all this.

CHAIRPERSON: Why are you applying for amnesty in respect of that matter when you weren't charged for it?

MR NDABENI: I made an application because if we were not there that wouldn't have happened. The shooting of the farmer wouldn't have happened if we were not there.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mhlaba, do you have any questions arising out of questions that have been put by members of the panel?

MR MHLABA: No questions, Mr Chairman.



MR MAPOMA: No questions, Chair, thanks.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Ndabeni, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down.



MR MHLABA: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I would like to ask the Committee to allow me to call Simon Mofokeng. Simon Mofokeng appears as an applicant in this matter, however we are formally withdrawing the application. I would want to ask him to come and clarify to the Committee regarding the aspect of the robbery.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mofokeng, are your names Fusi Simon Mofokeng?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct.

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

FUSI SIMON MOFOKENG: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mhlaba?

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mofokeng, you were a co-accused in the trial in which Wellington Fokazi, Clement Ndabeni and Steven Makhura and others were tried?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: There was a witness called Thabo Bennet Motaung who came to testify in your trial, is that correct?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct.

MR MHLABA: You have noted his testimony in Court, do you agree with what he has said in Court?

MR MOFOKENG: Yes, I understood his evidence, that is correct.

MR MHLABA: What he has - okay, let me rather put it this way, after you were found guilty and sent to prison, did you ever have an opportunity of meeting with Bennet Motaung?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct, he came to me in prison, that was in 1995 in May. That is where I am now in Kroonstad. He told me that, I knew about my father's death by him when I was in Kroonstad prison.

Secondly he told me that he was not prepared to testify in Court and about the lies he told the Court. It was because of the pressure from the police. He was harassed and he ran to Qwa Qwa. Then the police went to his sisters and forced him to fill out the forms so that he should get 75.000, so he must come and contact the police. So they wanted the sister to identify where he was. That is why he was pressured to come and testify in Court against me.

MR MHLABA: Are you saying in other words that the testimony which was tendered in Court was a fabrication?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct, I would say that because I knew nothing about what he said in Court and I was surprised. When he was at Kroonstad at the identified parade he did not say that. It was for the first time that I learnt about what he said in Court. Even during that time I tried to talk to him. I'm related to him though not deeply. I wanted to talk with him in Court but I was begged by the police not to do so, but you could see that he was confused. After he said those lies then I wanted to find out where he got that information from.

MR MHLABA: This subsequent confession by him that he fabricated this story and the pressure which was exerted on him by the police, was it ever reduced to writing, did he give you anything in writing to that effect or did he volunteer to put it in writing?

MR MOFOKENG: He didn't bring anything in writing. I wrote to Cape Town to Advocate Moosa about what Motaung has said. I asked that advocate as to how he can help me to make an appeal against the conviction because I was a co-accused of the people I did not know. He showed me a paper which should be formulated in an affidavit so that Motaung should come and sign it.

I had a relative in Bethlehem so I informed that person that that affidavit was in regard to the person who testified in Court against me. He promised that he would come back after the funeral. I showed him that document so that I advised him that he should make an affidavit, I've brought an example. Then he said he'll take that paper to Bethlehem.

After some time, after two to three weeks I was informed that Thabo was sick in Belenomi Hospital. I sent my granny's child to the place so that he should fill in that form. Maybe Motaung has completed that affidavit.

So he took his car and went to Bloemfontein. On that day when he arrived in Bloemfontein, that was the day when Thabo died.

MR MHLABA: Did you know Mandla Wellington Fokazi and Clement ...(end of tape) ... April 1992?

MR MOFOKENG: Not at all, I haven't met them before that day. I saw them for the first time in Court.

MR MHLABA: Were you ever involved in the planning out of a robbery which Wellington Fokazi, were you ever found together sitting and planning about a robbery with Wellington Fokazi and them?

MR MOFOKENG: There is nowhere in my life where I planned something which was against the law, even Fokazi and others I saw them for the first time in Bethlehem, they were together with my brother-in-law. I haven't planned anything which was against the law.

MR MHLABA: So in short you are telling this Committee that you were falsely implicated and convicted and subsequently serving a prison term for something which you did not do?

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct. Even after I was imprisoned I made means so that I should be released from prison because I was arrested and convicted with people I did not know. I don't even know the victims they've killed.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Chair, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, not relating to this aspect but there is just one piece ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, you're at large, you're not re-examining now, you can ask any question you like as long as it's relevant to the hearing.


Mr Mofokeng, when were you convicted actually?

MR MOFOKENG: I was convicted in 1993 on the 5th of March.

MR MAPOMA: And since then did you get out of prison?

MR MOFOKENG: No, I've not been out of prison. I've been in prison from that date until today.

MR MAPOMA: Do you know Simon Kotlane Mofokeng of Welkom?

MR MOFOKENG: I don't know him at all.

MR MAPOMA: You have not been to Court some time in November this year, is that so, for another trial?

CHAIRPERSON: In November, this month?

MR MAPOMA: ...(inaudible)

MR MOFOKENG: I've never been in Court about any kind of a case. I went to Kroonstad Magistrate's office to fill in the Legal Aid forms because I did not understand why I am in prison so I went to the Legal Aid offices to fill the forms.

MR MAPOMA: Ja. Now I just want you to clarify this. There is an article here which deals with a certain Simon Kotlane Mofokeng who was sentenced for murder this month, is that not yourself?

MR MOFOKENG: You even scare me further, that's for the first time I hear that, from you today, about that case.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, no further questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi, do you have any questions to ask the witness?

DR TSOTSI: No questions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: No questions, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mofokeng, when did Thabo Motaung die?

MR MOFOKENG: I was told that he died in 1995. If I'm not mistaken it was somewhere in 1995.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you fill out your application form for this application, was that in 1996? Why I ask is because the one that I have on my documents is not dated but it's got a '96 number.

MR MOFOKENG: It was in the middle of last month. I didn't go there because I wanted to come to appear before the Amnesty Committee but I wanted to continue with my appeal.

CHAIRPERSON: You see why I'm asking is, you filled out this application form which is number 24 of 1996 so it might have been filled out in 1995, and in that you first of all say that Thabo told you that he was promised R36 000,00 not R75 000,00. I'm referring to page 33 of the documents.

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct, I filled that form in in 1996. I wrote there that Thabo said he was promised

R36 000,00 at that time. It didn't come straight from his mouth. He is the one who came to emphasis where we met.

It is not the only form which I filled which belonged to the TRC, I filled other forms. I did not know where to write. I tried all corners about my appeal and then I was rejected at all costs.

CHAIRPERSON: And obviously when you wrote this document that appears on page 33, perhaps if Mr Mhlaba could just show it to you, it's a photocopy, when you wrote that document it would seem that Thabo Bennet Motaung was obviously still alive because you say the very same person is willing to testify before the Commission. His address is as follows, and then you give: 413 Sekonjela Street, Bohlokong.

MR MOFOKENG: That is correct. It is true because of what happened so I missed the dates but what I've said already is what has happened.

CHAIRPERSON: So what, was he offered R36 000,00 or R75 000,00, what is the correct figure?

MR MOFOKENG: He pleaded off that is was R75 000,00. He told me that he signed forms together with his two sisters. He's not the only one who signed on that form, even his two sisters signed. That is why they were eager to go and take him from Qwa Qwa and correct what he has said in Court.

CHAIRPERSON: So was this offer of payment of R75 000,00, was that made by the police?

MR MOFOKENG: Yes, he was promised by the police. As he said that if I fill the forms to be the State witness and co-operate with them and I am imprisoned with them, so they've explained to me what happened. So I told them it is correct that my co-accused explained to me what happened but I would not testify before the Magistrate because I did not know what happened.

CHAIRPERSON: And do you know whether Motaung actually got payment, did he actually receive it or did it go no further than just being a promise?

MR MOFOKENG: When we parted he said at that time he has not yet been paid.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he die a natural death?

MR MOFOKENG: I was scared the way he died because some of my co-accused when I informed him that Thabo came to me and told me how he was promised money by the police, my co-accused therefore informed that if the police would know that he contacted me they would try by all means to murder him or kill him. So I was surprised by his death. Though he died through sickness but I believe that it was an unnatural death because he died at the time when he was wanted mostly.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know whether he ever signed that affidavit in which he sets out his version of events?

MR MOFOKENG: Even today, the affidavit I gave it to Thabo, I don't know what happened to it. I tried to contact his family members to bring that affidavit back. Maybe he has signed it. I'm not able to find it back.

MR MAPOMA: Mr Mhlaba, your legal representative indicated just prior to your giving evidence that you would be or have withdrawn your application for amnesty, is that correct, have you withdrawn it?

MR MOFOKENG: Yes, he's telling the truth. After he explained to me how the Commission works. It seems the Commission wants people who are responsible for the criminal act because I am not responsible, I did not take part in that incident. I don't where they were killed, I don't those people, I don't know even my co-accused and how they did that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, your legal representative advised you correctly, the applications for amnesty are only received and considered in respect of perpetrators, people who have been involved in the commission of some offence or act or crime and it's not granted to people who deny that they have done anything, so that is correct. Yes, thank you.

Mr Mhlaba, do you have any questions arising out of questions put by the panel?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MHLABA: Just one aspect, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mofokeng, you have indicated to the Committee that Thabo Bennet Motaung was in the company of his sister or sisters, do you know their names?

MR MOFOKENG: We stay in the same area, that is in the same street but unfortunately I don't know his sisters' names. The other one was a cleaner at a local hall, so we are not very close with them. Even Thabo himself didn't have those relationship with me, only our parents knew each other.

MR MHLABA: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I don't have any further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions arising?

MR MAPOMA: No questions, Chairperson, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mofokeng, that concludes your testimony.



MR MHLABA: Thank you, Mr Chairman, that concludes the evidence for the applicants, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, are there any further witnesses to be called?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, the victims are available but initially they indicated that they would not want to testify. I would like to have an adjournment, a short adjournment just to clarify.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly we can take a short adjournment. If you can just let us know as soon as you are available to start again. We'll take a short adjournment.



MR MAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, on behalf of the Ootshuizen family, I'm calling Mr Ockert Andries Cornelius Oosthuizen.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it correct that your full names are Ockert Andries Cornelius Oosthuizen?


EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Oosthuizen, is it correct that you are the father to the deceased, Cornelius Oosthuizen?

MR OOSTHUIZEN: That is correct, yes.

MR MAPOMA: Is it also correct that you have heard the evidence of the applicants for amnesty?

MR OOSTHUIZEN: That is correct.

MR MAPOMA: And would you like to say something to the Committee regarding the application?

MR OOSTHUIZEN: I would very much like to put my view across to the Committee. Me as the father of the deceased and also his mother, we do not really believe the evidence which was given and we cannot forgive them for what they've done.

Firstly, Mr Makhura alleged that he was in control of the firearms and also that they never left the main road, that they were dropped at the main road, and where the murder took place it's about five kilometres from the main tar road.

The accused number 2, Fokazi accuses the South African Police of corruption and bribing. He alleges that the evidence which was used against them, that person was offered money.

Now according to the statements further on, I also made the inference that the accused is deceased. Now I would like to know from them when did he die, in which year.

Accused number 3, Thozamile says that the vehicle was not at a standstill, he was busy driving after he changed his number plates. As far as the information is concerned which was given to us the parents, was that this vehicle stood at one place the whole time and the people phoned the police and said that there were suspicious looking people standing there the whole day. He also alleges that the police shot at them but I was informed that my son did not even have a weapon on him and I was also informed and I understand and I made the inference during the statements the police person who was injured, they took his weapon after he fell down, they took it out of his holster and they ran away with it.

He also said that they never drove on a gravel road. As I've mentioned, where my son was shot was about five kilometres away from the tar road, so they had to drive on a gravel road.

Furthermore, I've received information to the extent that it seemed like a war which took place there, where all the shells were found.

Then the witness who alleged was offered bribe money by the South African Police, I would like to know when this witness died and if it's in our new constitution why was a post-mortem not done and why are the findings not made known.

I would also like to know why small Herman not come to give his testimony, did he withdraw himself thereof of is he not capable of doing. I also want to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: What was that last name?

MR OOSTHUIZEN: Simon who gave evidence.

As parents, I would also ask our government and ask them in the circumstances in which we live now and considering the fact that we are a community which must build up our country not break it down, I want to ask them is it not possible for them to bring back the death penalty. It doesn't matter is found guilty, it doesn't matter which race or colour but that they should bring back the death sentence so that we have something to deter people from committing crime.

From these accused I would like to know, and I want to look them in the eye and ask them: "Do you know what you have done to us. A child, he was not even 21 years old and a person who did everything for the interests of this country, who went out without a firearm to you, he did not have a chance to say one word to you but you immediately started shooting at these two children and now you come and you make this kind of talk and you're not telling the truth. Do you know how that feels, do you know what you are doing to us? Me and my wife were at the point of a divorce. It's nothing to lose a parent but to lose a child is very hard. And if it was in the interest of this country I still could have accepted it but it was not in the interest of our country, it was robbery. It doesn't matter what you say today but what I've inferred it's about robbery and I accept it as robbery.

And I want to ask you this, did you find peace with God, with our God who gave us this country and who gave us this life. We are not justified to take life. What are you going to do when you leave here, are you going to continue breaking down this country or are you going to stand together with us so that we can build up this country? That is my question to you. I can forgive you with my mouth but in my heart I cannot do that.

As far as my information is concerned you were not telling the truth, you only spoke in such a way in order to free yourselves. That is all, Chairperson, that I would like to say.

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

MR MHLABA: I've got no questions, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Doctor Tsotsi?

DR TSOTSI: No questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: No questions, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr Oosthuizen.

MR OOSTHUIZEN: Thank you, Sir. Can I just ask, I would like to know the date when that witness died because otherwise it would bother me. If you can just pass that information through to me.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you heard that we asked one of the applicants, Mr Mofokeng, if he didn't know the date but I'll ask Mr Mapoma if he can perhaps find out from the others who weren't specifically asked that question and then we will let you know. And I'm sure it's determinable, even if they don't know the information we will be able to determine that. I'll ask him to make enquiries and if he's successful to inform you of that.

MR OOSTHUIZEN: Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Mapoma for the question of the victims, you've got the details of the Oosthuizen family etc., for referral in terms of Section 23?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Oosthuizen.

MR OOSTHUIZEN: Thank you, Sir.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, is that the conclusion of the oral testimony?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson, that's the conclusion then.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mhlaba, are you in the position to make submissions?

MR MHLABA IN ARGUMENT: Certainly, Mr Chairman.

The three applicants here, Wellington Fokazi, Thozamile Clement Ndabeni and Steven Donald Makhura have filed application forms and I submit that the application forms are in accordance with the enabling legislation. And save to mention that the type of offences in respect of which they are applying for amnesty in certain instances are, there are more offences than the actual transaction as it's explained but that explanation has been given by the applicant who said that they associated themselves with the entire transaction here.

With regard to a issue of political objective or political motive, there is undisputed evidence here and I will regard those issues to be of common cause, that all the applicants were active members of the ANC and they were involved in Self Defence Units of the ANC and also members of the MK respectively.

It is further common cause that on the day in question they were in possession of several arms and ammunition and their mission was to proceed to KwaZulu Natal where they were to assist other SDUs in that area. The applicants were involved in this act when they were in Bethlehem on their way to KwaZulu Natal and the circumstances under which they found themselves in this situation has been well explained to the Committee. There is evidence in the trial Court which was handed down by - thank you, Mr Chair, the evidence which was tendered by Mofokeng, and it was found that the applicants here were involved in the robbery or they conspired to rob a certain farmer.

Mr Chairman, I want to deal with that aspect specifically. It was denied by all the applicants that they were ever involved in this robbery. They are nonetheless convicted of a conspiracy to go and rob the farmer. I would want to pause and draw the Committee's attention to the fact that it has not been heard of before that people committed robbery with a political objective, and if these applicants here have in fact conspired to go and rob the farmer, it would have been easier for them to come and justify that and say for instance that: "Yes, it was the mission of our, it was our mission to go and rob this farmer so that we can acquire money to further the interest of the organisation." They don't come to this Committee and say that and that would be a very piece of lie which would go undetected, but they insist, Mr Chairman, that they were not involved there.

Further, this is confirmed that they have people who were their co-accused, who they did not even know. And in order to protect the interest of their co-accused it could have been easy for them and the very co-accused to come and say that: "We all had a political objective, we planned this together and wanted to go and rob this farmer so that we can further the interest of the organisation". That they did not say. So I submit, Mr Chairman, that there is sufficient disclosure. The issue of this robbery and the conspiracy to rob is just hot air, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, I would further want to indicate to the Committee that the very incident occurred during the conflict of the past. And given the background of the participation of the applicants into the SDUs and the structures of the African National Congress, I will submit that they have complied with the requirements of the Act and I submit that amnesty should be granted. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: What is the position with the last applicant, Mokoena, do we regard his application as being withdrawn or do we just postpone it at this stage?

MR MHLABA: Mr Chairman, I would request the Committee to postpone it as I do not have formal instructions to the withdrawal of the application. I will if given instructions, obviously advise him to withdraw the application as this is not an appropriate forum to ...

CHAIRPERSON: So you don't want to do that without having first obtained full instructions of the point?

MR MHLABA: That's correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that all, Mr Mhlaba?

MR MHLABA: That's all.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mapoma, do you have any submissions?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, I have no submissions, I leave it in the Committee's hands.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well thank you. We will reserve the decision in this matter. We'll have to deliberate and consider all that has been put before us and we'll hand down a written decision as soon as possible, in the near future very hopefully.

Thank you very much for your attendance. That brings an end then to this hearing. As I say, a decision will be handed down in the near future.

Mr Mapoma, tomorrow's matter, what time will we start that?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, I propose that we start at half past nine.

CHAIRPERSON: Half past nine, would that be convenient?

MR MHLABA: That's in order with me, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much, that then brings us to the conclusion of today's proceedings, we will be proceeding with further applications tomorrow and we will be starting at this venue at half past nine in the morning, thank you very much.