DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. We're about to start the proceedings. Just for the purposes of the record, today is Monday the 23rd of November 1998. It is a session of the Amnesty Committee, presided over by myself, Denzil Potgieter. I'm assisted by Advocate Gcabashe on my right and Advocate Sandi on my left.

We will be hearing a number of applications over the next three weeks or so, relating to certain activities of what is referred to as Self Defence Units in the area of Thokoza.

Advocate Steenkamp, is there anything that you want to place on record?

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, as far as the requirements of Section 19.4 is concerned, I would like to ask your permission just to place a few comments on record.

The first being Mr Chairman, that as far as the requirements of Section 19.4 goes, this is now the notices to victims basically, there were certain problems and difficulties which we had to overcome to meet the requirements. As far as I am concerned, Mr Chairman, we have met them. We have taken reasonable steps to inform the victims.

The first problem being that none of the applicants as far as I am concerned, have referred to any victims. What was done is that the investigation Unit of the Amnesty Committee was asked to search and find out or get more details about victims. This was done. No victims could be traced as far as certain of the applicants go but what I endeavour to is, as each and every applicant is testifying I will indicate whether or not the victim is available and whether or not a person will then oppose the application, if this is in order with you, Mr Chairman, Honourable Members of the Committee.

There were also two meetings, the first being on the initiative of the Amnesty Committee's Investigation Unit where victims were invited to a hearing or to a meeting last Friday. No victims could attend this meeting at all. There was also an ad placed in the mainstream newspapers to invite victims and inform them about the hearing. No victims came forward either.

I must also add, Mr Chairman, that a Mr Msisi, a member of parliament of the Inkatha Freedom Party asked or initiated a meeting the last Friday, past Friday. I was in attendance there and he informed me that as far as he is concerned he is appearing for certain members or victims of the Thokoza township, as it was known at that stage and that they will probably make a submission during the course of these hearings, from that specific section of the community.

The last thing I want to place on record, Mr Chairman, is that the HRV Committee did manage to take certain statements from certain victims. The difficulty being that it was not possible because of the lack of detail, to tell whether or not those victims are actually related to the applications of these applicants before you today. I will endeavour to make sure that all the information relating to each and every applicant will be placed before you. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Steenkamp.

Mr Sibeko, you represent the first group of applicants that we will be hearing, is that correct?

MR SIBEKO: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Just for the purposes of the record, in our bundle of papers relating to the applications of SDU's from Lusaka-A as we have identified it here, the first six names which appear on our list, except for we are informed, Johan Thubaka Dlamini. In others words five except Mr Dlamini would be members of what is referred to as the Committee of Seven and if I understand the position correctly those are the applicants that you are representing?

MR SIBEKO: It is correct so, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there anything else that you wish to place on record?

MR SIBEKO: Not at this stage, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Now I have been informed that you intend to lead the testimony of Miss Sealey as the first witness who will give us some relevant background information relating to the period in question in these applications and to give an overall sketch of what the situation was like and so forth, in that area at that stage?

MR SIBEKO: I confirm that to be true, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you like us to swear her in and proceed with the testimony?

MR SIBEKO: As it pleases the Committee.


Ms Sealy, good morning and welcome. Perhaps we can speak together. Perhaps you can just put your full names on record for us.

MS SEALEY: My name is Sally Sealey.



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

SALLY SEALEY: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, will you lead Ms Sealey?

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: As it pleases the Committee.

Ms Sealey you are aware that we are here to hear the applications of various members who belonged to the then Self Defence Unit at Thokoza, can you confirm that?

MS SEALEY: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: At the time of the existence of such units, were you employed?


"I was employed at the Independent Board of Inquiry between the period 1991 to 1996, as a senior researcher.

The Independent Board of Inquiry was established in 1989 by the South African Council of Churches, the South African Catholic Bishops Conference and other human rights organisations. It was formed at a time when a number of anti-apartheid activists and organisations were being attacked and there was a belief at the time that these attacks were being carried out by the State and that one couldn't rely on the police to investigate these matters properly."

MR SIBEKO: Now do I understand you correctly that you say you were actually involved in the research of such activities?


"The Independent Board of Inquiry was an organisation that was set up to basically investigate - with the advent of the violence in 1990 in the East Rand and other Reef townships, the Independent Board of Inquiry was called in to take statements from various victims of the violence and to try and establish the causes of the violence at that time."

MR SIBEKO: Now were you part of the people who went to investigate in the area of Thokoza at the time?

MS SEALEY: That is correct.

"The way the Independent Board of Inquiry worked is that we would be called in by communities, for example the community of Thokoza or Polla Park, the informal settlement in Thokoza. We would be called in when there had been an attack on the settlement. We would go in and take statements from the various victims because they were too afraid in many cases, to approach the police.

Those statements in the early days, particularly in 1990, the pattern of violence in the early 1990's in the Katorus area which is the Thokoza, Vosloorus and Khatlehong area, was actually, one could characterise it as attacks by large groups of men wearing, carrying traditional weapons and wearing red headbands. These men were identified as members of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Those attacks took place between July/August 1990 until December 1990. The Thokoza township, in particular the informal settlement of Polla Park, suffered very dearly from those attacks. Hundreds of people were actually killed in Polla Park, shacks were burnt.

One of the main problems in Polla Park was that the Polla Park settlement was right next to the Kalenjoni Hostel and many of the attacks emanated from that hostel.

Towards the end of 1991 ...(interpreter interrupts proceedings in Zulu - no English translation)

... the order to Michael Palmer was in fact a police informer. This obviously raised the possibility that certain police members may have had knowledge of the attack and had failed to intervene.

The attack on the IFP marchers at the time led directly to the assassination of Sam Ntuli, a local civic leader in Thokoza. This attack happened in the October of 1991. Following Sam Ntuli's funeral a number of attacks occurred and several people were killed.

Following these three events violence in the area spiralled. Victims' statements which were taken by the Independent Board of Inquiry at the time, revealed the role of the SAP during the violence. Sometimes there was evidence of direct collusion between members of the IFP and the SAP. For example, we would receive statements were IFP members were to be seen getting in and out of police vehicles. More often or not though the complaint from the community was the police failed to intervene when they were under attack.

A further complaint was that when people were trying to defend themselves against the IFP, the police had a tendency to fire teargas in their direction.

Apart from the various statements the IBI took from victims, the IBI also played an important facilitation role. Often the police in the area were unable to take to witnesses due to the lack of trust. The IBI however managed to build bridges between some of the members of the SAP and the community.

I can recall at least nine meetings with the local station commander and the head of the Political and Violent Crime Unit at the time, who was a man by the name of Colonel Benn.

During this period the IBI compiled monthly reports on the violence which were available to the public. We also published a number of specialised reports on the violence. These included the role of hostels in the violence, the role of the South African Police service, as well as an indepth look at train violence. We also published a document which related to police torture of victims on the East Rand and other areas.

In 1994 the Independent Board of Inquiry along with another NGO by the name of Peace Action produced a booklet entitled "Before We Were Good Friends", which highlighted the plight of hundreds of residents on both sides of the political divide which had been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict.

One of the first successes of the IBI was to assist the Goldstone Commission Inquiry into the violence which engulfed the East Rand following the assassination of the Thokoza civic leader, Sam Ntuli. IBI assisted with the gathering of statements from various witnesses which gave the Commission new insights into the causes of violence.

The Independent Board of Inquiry also played an important monitoring role and was often able to warn the police of possible violence in the area and to identify flashpoints.

Despite our efforts to build relations with the South African Police in order to promote peace in the area, our efforts were often undermined. For example, we would often facilitate the bringing of witnesses to the police station and then once statements had been taken we would be assured by members of the police that should they wish to contact the witness again they would contact the witness via us. Very often they broke this agreement and went directly to the witnesses. This often led to witnesses refusing to testify in open Court.

The role of the Internal Stability Unit in the area undermined many a peace effort. In 1993, after several Self Defence Unit members were detained under the unrest regulations, it came to light that many had been tortured. This resulted in an urgent interdict being granted in the High Court, preventing the police from further torture and assaults.

As a result of this the then police reporting officer of the Witwatersrand, Advocate Jan Munnik, investigated these allegations. Many of the allegations were backed up by medical evidence which was consistent with what the detainees had alleged. During the course of Advocate Munnik's investigations he found two shock machines in vehicles belonging to the Internal Stability Unit.

The IBI also investigated a number of high profile assassinations in the Thokoza area. In the case of ANC Treasurer, Dan Makanja, who was forced into the hostel while travelling in a taxi, the IBI was contacted within minutes of this incident. The police were called but they failed to intervene. Makanja's body was found the following day at the Germiston mortuary.

As a result of this the IBI facilitated a meeting between the community and the police where it was suggested that the police should post policemen at the hostel gates and prevent taxis carrying passengers going into the hostel.

Unfortunately this suggestion was never acted upon and a few days later the IBI was informed of the death of Lucky Mkwanasi, who had been forcibly taken into the hostel.

In this case the IBI personally contacted the Internal Stability Unit and were told that they had no vehicles to spare. The local police refused to assist and as the last resort we approached the South African Defence Force who were only prepared to enter the hostel if we escorted them to the hostel gate.

After having entered the hostel the SADF came out and gave me the windscreen of Maki Benasi's car. His body was found at the Germiston mortuary the next day. I can detail several other similar cases should the Committee wish to hear them.

Cases like the above were reported to Amnesty International and the detainees' cases were taken up at an international level.

The IBI was involved in briefing various international human rights organisations as well as diplomats and other interested groups in regard to the violence on the East Rand. We were also involved in a number of legal aspects. For example many of the people arrested during this period were victims of torture and vicious assaults. The IBI assisted a number of these people to get legal representation. In cases where people had been injured as a result of the violence, the IBI tried to facilitate medical treatment.

We were involved in the training of the local community members in basic investigation techniques. This was done primarily to safeguard forensic evidence for the South African Police service. What used to happen is that after an attack residents would pick up empty cartridges and place them in the drawers at their homes and they would never be seen again.

The IBI held workshops which emphasised that when the police were not available and where it proved impossible to guard the crime scene, sketches should be made and notes made of exactly where a particular cartridge was picked up.

There were local photographers that were roped into this scheme and they took pictures of the evidence. Workshops tried to show residents that when they picked up for example bullets and other evidence that they should use plastic bags to try and prevent contamination. This actually assisted the police in many areas because very often they couldn't be at the scene at the time of the incident.

Shortly after the first democratic election, the IBI was instrumental in encouraging local Self Defence Units to support a call to hand in weapons. On October the 22nd 1994, a number of AK47s and other weapons were handed into the Thokoza Police Station.

Following this the IBI was asked by the Gauteng Ministry of Safety and Security to draw up a plan with SDUs regarding their future.

At all times my main concern has been to bring an end to the violence which costs thousands of lives in the area. Hence my role in encouraging Self Defence Unit members to apply for amnesty.

Although it took some time persuading them, at the end of the day the vast majority of Self Defence Units in Thokoza have supported the amnesty process. It is a unique situation. The vast majority who have applied for amnesty are not in prison. It has become clear to me that they have applied so that a clear picture of their role in the violence during this period can emerge.

In the six to seven years that I have worked in the Thokoza/Khatlehong area, I've come to know many of these young men who will be applying for amnesty over the next couple of weeks. Most of them have lost family and friends in this conflict, others have lost limbs and the full use of their bodies and yet they have embraced the concept of reconciliation.

I'm well aware that some individual SDU members have been involved in atrocities. We only have to look at the recent Moleleki hearings where SDU members were involved in the killing of ANC Youth League members to see that.

It is clear that not all Self Defence Unit members were disciplined and abided by the code of conduct. It is my belief that those individuals should be dealt with accordingly.

During the course of my work I have been shot at, had a gun pointed at my head, stoned and threatened with burning. I have been threatened and intimidated by the South African Police service and the IFP. Threats by the IFP followed the funeral of the IFP member, Sebeth Khumalo.

While monitoring this funeral I witnessed members of the IFP shoot a young man in the Extension 1 area of Thokoza. I noted the registration of the vehicle the attackers were travelling in and gave this information to the SADF who were patrolling the area at the time.

The vehicle was apprehended and several men were arrested and a number of unlicensed firearms were found. I testified in the court case and as a result of this one IFP member was sentenced to 20 years. During the course of the funeral I was threatened by an IFP leader, and at the subsequent court case.

I would just like to bring it to the Committee's attention that according to the IFP every time there was an outbreak of violence in Thokoza a white woman, namely myself, was seen driving a white Toyota Corolla in the area a few hours before the violence began.

I understand that the IFP are claiming that I was personally involved in violent acts and I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that at no time have I become personally involved in the conflict that engulfed the East Rand. My role has been one of investigation and research. And I find it interesting that this allegation arose after I testified against one of their members in open Court.

I would also like at this point if I may, to clarify my role in assisting the Self Defence Units in filling in their amnesty forms. A series of meetings were held in the various sections of Thokoza and I was invited to attend these meetings due to the fact that I had worked in the area for many years.

At first very few SDU members applied for amnesty but as the deadline for applications drew closer more expressed an interest in applying. On May the 10th 1997 we were faced with at least 150 people wanting to apply for amnesty. I then assisted a number of the SDUs in filling in their forms.

As most of them at the time could not remember specific acts for which they needed amnesty for, it was agreed to fill in the forms and write that they were applying for acts that they had committed whilst defending the community.

A further problem at the time was that many of them, due to the nature of the conflict, were unable to give evidence, were unable to identify whether they had actually injured or killed anybody during the firing of AK47s or any other weapon.

We agreed that this was a problem and that is how the forms were filled in, in the hope that at a later stage the applicants would be able to supplement their amnesty forms.

The fact that some of the amnesty forms were phrased in that way was due to the nature of the conflict in the area. Often areas would be attacked, SDU's would respond by firing several rounds and then run off or be chased by the Internal Stability Unit, therefore having no idea whether the shots that they fired actually injured or killed another person. In these encounters they were never on the scene long enough to determine this.

It is my understanding that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has requested further particulars in regard to what acts were committed defence of the community, and these have been forthcoming.

I'd also like to point out that when they filled in these amnesty forms they did not have legal representation at the time. Most of the forms were filled in by myself and I do not have legal training. So I hope that kind of explains some of the problems that have been experienced with the amnesty applications.

Finally, I would just like to thank the Commission for giving me this opportunity to give this evidence."

MR SIBEKO: Ma'am I've got a few questions out of what you have just testified. Now in the questions or the statements that you took from the members of the public, are you in a position to say whether the attacks were between which part of the community and the attack was from which part of the community to who? To whom was it necessarily directed at?

MS SEALEY: In the beginning, in 1990 when the violence first began in the Reef townships, the Witwatersrand, most of the violence began after a call by the Inkatha Freedom Party which at that particular time was not a political party but a cultural movement.

Most of the violence began when Inkatha decided to form a political party and they began a very aggressive recruitment campaign, particularly in the East Rand hostels.

Many residents of these East Rand hostels were not prepared to join the Inkatha Freedom Party and they in fact fled those hostels. Many of them fled into the areas, for example like Polla Park which was right next to the Kalenjoni hostel at the time.

Once these people had fled into Polla Park, many of them had fled without their belongings which had remained in the hostel, what happened then is they tried to retrieve those belongings and that is basically where the violence began. When people tried to retrieve their belongings they were attacked.

Originally there was an excellent relationship between the people of Polla Park and the hostel dwellers who stayed at the Kalenjoni hostel. For example, the Polla Park informal settlement at the time had no access to water and the people of Polla Park used to go into the hostel and use the water which was available in the hostel.

After the Inkatha Freedom Party declared itself a political party that is when the violence began. After people tried to retrieve their belongings they were then attacked, the informal settlement was attacked, the residents of the informal settlement at Polla Park then attacked the hostel and it began a whole vicious circle of attack and counter-attack.

From the statements we could identify that the violence was between residents which supported the African National Congress and those residents which supported the Inkatha Freedom Party.

MR SIBEKO: Now you stated that some of those statements that you took from the members of the public were submitted to the police, are you in a position to say what happened to such statements, were there follow-ups, were there investigations, what happened?

MS SEALEY: In the beginning due to the fact that there was no investigation on many of these cases, hence we had the meeting with Political and Violent Crime Unit. For example we gave them plus minus 200 statements related to the forced removal of residents in the Penduka/Thokoza area, Khatlehong area. Most of those cases were actually closed undetected.

Despite the fact that we offered, we informed the detectives that we would be prepared to bring the witnesses to them, witnesses could actually identify perpetrators by name and address, nothing was ever done about those cases.

There are one or two cases where we were able to, for example the murder of Prince Mhlambe who was an ANC leader in Polla Park, we were able to give the police, assist the police with witnesses on that particular case and for example, a prosecution followed.

The problem in the township at the time, there was so much violence and a lot of the violence although people could identify the perpetrators from a particular group they couldn't actually identify the perpetrators by name. And I think that was one of the problems that the police experienced at the time.

So despite many of our efforts very often we were unable to identify the specific people that were involved and - ja, basically that ...

MR SIBEKO: Finally Ma'am, are you in a position to say or are you in a position to know as to how did these Self Defence Units come into existence?

MS SEALEY: Basically there were two phases to the defence of Thokoza. Originally in 1990 when the violence began there were no Self Defence Units in the East Rand.

Primarily what happened in the beginning is that returning members of Umkhonto weSizwe tried to organise cells of people to try and defend the community and initially that is how the units began to evolve.

However later when people began to become more organised, residents started collecting money and this money was then used to purchase weapons. These weapons were purchased from areas like Polla Park, areas like the Vosloorus hostel. These weapons were then purchased by the community to be used in defence.

Shortly after that, towards about the end of 1992, the beginning of 1993, a document was developed by the African National Congress entitled "For the Sake of our Lives". That is when the Self Defence Units started to become a bit more organised. In Thokoza for example a Central Command was set up.

Now the Central Command consisted of 14 sections. The Thokoza township was divided up into 14 sections, Lusaka-A being one of those sections. Each section had a commander and a deputy commander which sat at the Central Command level. Also at the Central Command level the political leadership of the ANC, the South African Communist Party as well as the civics had a representation at the Central Command. How the central - the Central Command used to meet every Tuesday at a local school.

Now the way the Central Command worked - sorry, the Central Command also had an overall commander by the name of Bonga Nkosi. It also had a secretary by the name Seko Thulo. It also had a head of logistics, Sydney Nemorani and a deputy commander, Michael Lucky Siepe. Then each section had a commander which represented the SDUs from that area.

Each of those commanders that represented the 14 sections had a certain amount of autonomy. Obviously when they were faced with attack they couldn't run to the central command to get orders, so basically they relied on their own commander to issue orders down to the SDU members. So when they used to meet on a Tuesday they then would report back to the Central Command the activities of the week and what had been happening.

Also the Self Defence Unit commanders were issued with walkie-talkie radios and hence there was communication between the various sections. So if for example Penduka, which is the area closest to the hostel and which has been named Thambo and Slovo Sections, is the area that most affected by the violence. Often they would radio for reinforcements to the other sections and then the commanders would send his Self Defence Units to those areas.

So the Central Command didn't necessarily act as a war cabinet issuing out orders and commands to the various Self Defence Units, it was more of a co-ordinating body which co-ordinated the activities of the Self Defence Units.

It also acted in many senses as a, people were allowed - for example, if there were any complaints about Self Defence units, for example if a Self Defence Unit member had fired a firearm unnecessarily or had pointed it at, had pointed it at someone or had used the weapon for criminal activities then that issue would be raised at the Central Command level and they would try to resolve that issue there.

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Advocate Steenkamp, do you have any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if you would allow me just two questions.

Miss Sealey, according to the Commission, the Truth Commission's final report, the Commission has found that between the years 1990 to 1994 the ANC was responsible for contributing to a spiral of violence in the country throughout by specifically the creation of, and of the arming of the SDUs. Do you have any comment on that?

MS SEALEY: I think it's very important that we don't lump all Self Defence Unit members in the same category.

There may be areas where there was more discipline and areas where there was less discipline. I think when looking at the Thokoza area, it's very different from how the other Self Defence Units worked. For example in the Thokoza area the vast majority of weapons did not necessarily come from the ANC. These weapons were actually purchased by the community, by the Self Defence Units raised in the community. So those weapons did not directly come from ANC stores or whatever the case may be.

And also if I can just comment, there was a structure in Thokoza which may not have existed in other areas, which had some kind of, and this structure tried to keep control. There was a code of conduct which each Self Defence Unit member had to sign and breach of that code of conduct was actually dealt with by the central command.

ADV STEENKAMP: And then my last question to you. If I remember correctly at the Goldstone Commission the police made a submission that there was a set plan by the SDUs to get hold of weapons by attacking police officers, do you have comment, do you have any knowledge of this?

MS SEALEY: I think that is quite true. I think that there were many methods used by the Self Defence Units to get weapons. For example, there is an amnesty application which will be coming before the Truth Commission in regards to raid on the Kliprivier Police Station, where Self Defence Units robbed the police station of their arms.

There are also cases for example, Polla Park, where it's quite true, policemen were robbed of their firearms. So I think it was actually a policy that policemen, and for that matter security personnel of any sort, were actually attacked for their firearms.

I think there were a number of methods that were actually used. For example, in the very beginning when Self Defence Units were set up obviously people in the community didn't have access to firearms and the Independent Board of Inquiry during its research and its investigation has come across a lot of evidence where originally a lot of criminals were encouraged in the beginning to join Self Defence Units because they were the people that had the firearms.

And I think we are now - the legacy of the crime and violence that we have now is the fact that many of those people that became involved, once the structure fell away they were left to their own devices. So I think that is a problem. I think it is quite true that as you say the police were actually attacked for their firearms.

ADV SANDI: But is it not also true from what you've said, that perhaps one of the reasons why the police were attacked is because they were perceived to be taking sides with one of the parties in this conflict?

MS SEALEY: Yes, definitely, there were many reasons for attacking policemen, not just for their firearms. I think that a lot of evidence has emerged which has shown that the police definitely played a role in the violence, particularly in the East Rand.

The Internal Stability Unit for example, was notorious in this area. One always knew, if the Internal Stability Unit was in the area people were going to die on that day. So I do think that many of the - particularly Pollo Park, Polla Park had a particular experience of police brutality. For example, I think in 1992 the entire Polla Park was cordoned off with razor wire.

Pollo Park has had the experience of 32 Battalion. There was the incident in 1992 where a member of 32 Battalion was shot at. The Goldstone Commission found that 32 Battalion then went back to barracks and decided amongst themselves to go back and teach the community of Polla Park a lesson, and they returned and they beat up and severely injured a whole number of residents of Polla Park.

Again there was a Commission of Inquiry into that incident and the Goldstone Commission found that 32 Battalion should never be used in a peacekeeping way in future.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


ADV SANDI: Just one question from me. Who did you say was selling arms?

MS SEALEY: There were a number of people that have been identified as selling firearms. For example in Polla Park many of the applicants have mentioned that they bought firearms from the Polla Park informal settlement. In Polla Park there are a number of people that are from, illegal immigrants Mozambique and many of people were involved in selling AK47s and the like to people.

Unfortunately one has only been given a first name, John,

which obviously doesn't help the Commission very much and I would assume that when one buys weapons one doesn't actually get the details of who the person is.

Other weapons were purchased from the Vosloorus hostels. I think those are the two main sources in this area for the purchase of firearms.

ADV SANDI: Were there any people selling arms from the hostels?

MS SEALEY: There are amnesty applications for example in the Khatlehong area, where SDUs, where one SDU member says that he was able to inform the, he was able to convince the hostel residents that he was actually an IFP member and then he was sold weapons but in actual fact he was a member of the Self Defence Units. There is that example.

The interesting point about the Vosloorus hostel is that there was very little violence at the Vosloorus hostel and it was the belief at the time that the Vosloorus hostel was used as a store for weapons, and hence they tried to keep violence away from the hostel so that it wouldn't sort of effect the selling of weapons that was going on there at the time.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Miss Sealey, just so you can help me understand this clearly. I understand that the Committee of Seven, the control committee didn't necessarily issue orders but if I as a member of the SDUs did anything, would I have to have had an order from my local commander or could I act on my initiative, as people sometimes call it?

MS SEALEY: There were some instances where people acted on their initiative but by and large most of the SDUs, when they were defending the community, had to act on an order by their commander. So for example, in Lusaka-A they would have to have acted on an order by their commander, Mosa Msimango or the previous commander, Steven Ngubane.

ADV GCABASHE: Then one other question. There is one application here that relates to housebreaking, was there any either general or specific policy about repossessing goods where an SDU had gone out to attack? I just want to understand the environment of the time.

MS SEALEY: I think what used to happen at the time was that very often when - for example there was a situation where a number of houses were taken over, there was a policy where houses, for example if it was an IFP area and you were ANC supporting, you were basically forced to leave your home.

I think there were situations where for example, elements within the SDUs for example, who were involved in removing goods from residences and I think the situation which relates to Committee of Seven is that if anybody, Self Defence Unit members included, were involved in any kind of removing property from people's

houses, stealing in other words, they would be punished for that because that wasn't actually the policy. I mean there was not a policy that you would go in and remove people's possessions and hence those people would called to this Committee of Seven and told: "Take those goods back." But those offences weren't necessarily committed by Self Defence Unit members, it may have been committed by other members of the community.

ADV GCABASHE: But you are saying with regard to stealing either stealing police or security personnel's firearms, that was part of the policy but would you have to take that firearm back to your local command, there some kind of structure, a report back structure, this is what I've been involved in?

MS SEALEY: No that's correct. I mean if a weapon had been taken it should then go back to the commander because the commander had overall control of the weapons in his section, those weapons actually belonged to the section. Hence the Committee of Seven us to - you know for example, if you were caught abusing a sectional weapon, for example if you used a sectional weapon to engage in a criminal act obviously then you would be brought up before the Committee of Seven and dealt with in whatever way.

ADV GCABASHE: Then a final question. Do you know of any either Internal Stability Unit policemen or other security personnel who have applied for amnesty for the violence that they perpetrated in these particular areas? I was curious to know, having read these applications.

MS SEALEY: As I understand it there is no member of the Internal Stability Unit which was basically Unit 19 that operated in the Thokoza area, have applied for amnesty. Interestingly enough once Unit 19 left the Katorus area it was then sent down to Natal and very similar reports emerged from their involvement in Natal of torture and police abusive power.

The other interesting thing as well is that obviously the violence was not one-sided. Here you have applications from Self Defence Unit members but as regards applications from Self Protection Units on the IFP side, the only people from the IFP side i.e. Self Protection Units that have applied, are those members that are in prison. There is no member of the Self Protection Units from this Thokoza area that actually applied who haven't been in prison.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. ...(end of tape)

... and then there was a lull and then there was the attack on a group of IFP people that you have referred and then the violence seemed to have spiralled. But just roughly, when was this, what were the periods involved?

MS SEALEY: The mass attacks was the period July/August 1990 to December 1990.

CHAIRPERSON: Did this coincide with the change in the

status of the IFP from a cultural organisation to a political organisation that you've referred to?

MS SEALEY: That's correct, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And then what is the second period of violence?

MS SEALEY: The second period of violence was from September 1991, which was the attack on the IFP marchers along Khumalo Street.

CHAIRPERSON: And how long did that carry on for?

MS SEALEY: That violence was right up until just prior to the first democratic elections. In fact if I'm not mistaken three or four days before the elections the East Rand was aboil again, so that lasted right up until I would say April, perhaps the first two weeks of April 1994.

CHAIRPERSON: So we're looking at a period of about three, roughly three years of violence in this particular area?

MS SEALEY: That is correct, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And it involved these conflicting parties that you've referred to, roughly residents supporting the African National Congress and residents supporting the Inkatha Freedom Party?

MS SEALEY: That would be correct. If I could just add as well, initially there were perceptions that the conflict was between Xhosa speaking people and Zulu speaking people but if you actually look at the violence in Thokoza for example, the section which is known as Penduka, which is Thambo Slovo's section, that is a predominantly Zulu speaking section and that is where most of the, that is one of the serious areas which was effected during the violence.

I do recall at the time that the press was quite insistent on this black-on-black violence and this tribal conflict which they used to constantly mention, but in fact if one looks at the violence in the Penduka section, it was not Xhosa versus Zulu or anything like that, it was purely political conflict between the two conflicting parties.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there any rough statistic as to the number of people that got killed in this conflict over this period?

MS SEALEY: If my memory serves me right we are talking in the region of plus minus three to four thousand people, that would be for the Katorus area.

CHAIRPERSON: And I think you've referred to it as a vicious cycle, so you have attacks and counter attacks and you would have all of the conflicting sides in this conflict causing death and destruction and so forth?

MS SEALEY: I would say that it's correct. I mean my experience, during the violence I myself was inside the township and generally what you would find is, for example if an attack was launched by the IFP on the Penduka section, this would then result in the Self Defence Units gathering themselves together and firing back and obviously this would then result in the IFP, and it ended up being you know on both sides just basically firing and then returning fire and so on. So it definitely - ja, both sides were responsible.

CHAIRPERSON: Now it appears as if the, what is referred to as the hostels, had been quite central to an extent in this conflict, is that perception correct or not?

MS SEALEY: That perception is correct. If you look at Thokoza, Thokoza has basically four hostels, Kalenjoni hostel which is situated right next to Polla Park ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat that.

MS SEALEY: Kalenjoni hostel which is situated right next to Polla Park. That hostel is no longer there. After the initial attacks by the hostel residents on Polla Park, that hostel was in actual fact, I believe handgrenades and limpet mines were placed at that hostel and the residents fled. The residents who were supporters of the IFP fled further to the other hostels which were further into the township and that hostel was destroyed by the people of Polla Park.

It was a situation where after the explosion women and children themselves came out and pushed down the walls, so that particular hostel is no longer there. Then there are three hostels along Khumalo Street, and that is Katuza hostel, Mshayazafe and Mandela hostel. Those three hostels are still existing today.

And then there is a further hostel which is actually in Khatlehong which is the Booiefuti hostel but it faces onto Extension 2 in, Extension 2 Unit F of Thokoza.

CHAIRPERSON: So the last one, is it between Khatlehong and Thokoza?

MS SEALEY: That is correct, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: In terms of this conflict, what were the sort of allegiances of these hostels, was there any indication?

MS SEALEY: Well originally, in the Kalenjoni hostel for example there were residents from all political persuasion. However, when the IFP became a political party, residents who apparently failed to join the IFP were told that they should leave and those were the residents who then sought refuge in Polla Park.

As regards the hostels further up the street, all those residents were thought to be IFP, had IFP allegiances. I think it's important to point out that even if you weren't a member of the IFP and you stayed in the hostel, I don't think you really had much choice in the matter because if you failed to agree with what was happening in the hostel you yourself became a victim. So I think it needs to be seen in that particular context as well.

CHAIRPERSON: So was the ostensible base of the IFP presence in Thokoza in these hostels?

MS SEALEY: That is correct. There was also, for example in Penduka section, that's the area nearest the hostel, there were some residents within those, in that particular section that also supported the IFP and it's those residents with the help of the hostel residents, which began what's been termed the colonisation of Penduka, and it's those people for example that sent letters.

In fact what used to happen is you used to get a little letter under your door: "We would like your house" and residents living in the area knew exactly what that meant and they would immediately move out. It's only towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year that the original residents of those homes have been allowed to go back home. All these years they have been kicked out of their homes. And this happened on both sides of the political divide.

In regards to the forced colonisation there was a problem with the police at that time as well because instead of protecting the people in their homes they in actual fact escorted the residents out of the area, so they didn't provide adequate protection.

CHAIRPERSON: Was the result of this so-called colonisation that the bulk of Penduka then became ostensible IFP supporters?

MS SEALEY: Ja, up to a certain street it was definitely. I can't quite recall the streets now but there was a particular area that then - in fact a number of those house were also destroyed so that nobody could actually live there at all, and also furniture and all sorts of things were looted.

I do recall in 1993, that the Independent Board of Inquiry called a meeting of all victims and there was over 500 people at the meeting. The sad thing was that the vast majority of those people were old folks that had been living in those houses for 30/40 years in some cases and they had been forced to flee.

Basically, after they had been forced to flee they left the youth of the township, and particularly in that Penduka area the SDUs are particularly young you know, ranging in age from 14, 15, 16, 17, very young SDU members who were actually left behind to defend whatever was left of the area.

CHAIRPERSON: Just to get an idea, was the most part or the biggest part of Penduka, the residential area, still being occupied by people?

MS SEALEY: Ja, basically what's happened now, it's now occupied yes, people have gone back to their homes.

CHAIRPERSON: But at that stage, at the time of this colonisation?

MS SEALEY: No, most of the houses were empty, people just left and the houses were destroyed. Those areas that were closer to the hostel, the IFP then took over those houses and lived in those houses but those that were sort of closer - the houses that were closer to Buthelezi Street, which is coming into the township into the ANC supporting area, those remained, people remained in those houses but there was an intervening stretch where most of those houses were actually empty.

CHAIRPERSON: If you can perhaps just give an idea, what sort of portion of the residential area after this colonisation was occupied by IFP supporting people?

MS SEALEY: I'd say about 50%.

CHAIRPERSON: And apart from this particular area here, Penduka, was the rest of the residential area perceived to be ANC supporting?

MS SEALEY: Yes, except there were also problems down at Extension 2 Unit F, that's the area that faced onto the Booiefuti hostel. There again there were attempts to, in fact their houses were actually destroyed, nobody actually, they weren't colonised or anything like that, they were actually destroyed by various attacks. So those were the two areas that were very close to the hostels. The rest of the township was perceived as being ANC supporting.

CHAIRPERSON: From the investigation and the research that you done, were there any attacks that were launched on these hostels, the IFP hostels as such?

MS SEALEY: Ja, there were attacks on the IFP hostels. For example, there was an incident where a rocket of some sort was fired into the hostel. As I understand it nobody was injured in that incident but the property, the hostel walls were actually destroyed.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if it's possible but where was most of the fighting going on, was it in the residential area or was it around the hostels, in attacks upon the hostels or what? Is there any idea ...(indistinct)?

MS SEALEY: I would say most of the fighting was taking place - originally in 1990 when you had these mass attacks by men wearing these red headbands and identified as IFP impies, for want of a better word, that's what they were called at the time, the attacks took place around the Polla Park/Beirut area but subsequent to that, from 1991 onwards, the areas like Penduka and Mandela Section which was also very near the hostel were subject to attack.

Most of the attacks occurred within the township itself, within the residential area, not at the hostel as such.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Sibeko, have you got any re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None Mr Chairman, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Would you like Miss Sealey to be excused?

MR SIBEKO: That's correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Miss Sealey, thank you very much for coming, you've excused from further attendance. Of course it's a public hearing so if you want to listen you are free to listen.

One other thing, I see that you've read from notes that you have prepared. It would assist us if it's possible to for us to get a copy of that for our purposes but our staff can make the necessary arrangements with you. Thank you very much.







DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, who is the next witness?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, at this stage I would like to call the first applicant, Mr Glen Vilakazi.

CHAIRPERSON: Will Mr Vilakazi come up to the witness stand please.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, his application appears on page 51 of the bundle.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want us to administer the oath?

MR SIBEKO: Please Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Are your full names Glen Vilakazi?

GLEN VILAKAZI: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Vilakazi, you are an applicant in this matter, is that correct?


MR SIBEKO: Do you know the reason of your application?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, I do know them.

MR SIBEKO: Now in front of me here I've got your application with your particulars. Such form has the questions which were sent over to you for your completion and response.


MR SIBEKO: Now why have you applied for amnesty?

MR VILAKAZI: I am applying for amnesty because I was a person who took part in all the incidents that happened in the community.

MR SIBEKO: Your involvement in the activities or in the events that occurred at the time in the community, are you in a position to say exactly what did you do which necessitates your request for amnesty?

MR VILAKAZI: I would begin by explaining. First of all we were oppressed by this violence that took place in our community. From there the community at large called upon a meeting.

At that meeting that's where we discussed things like what is it that we could put in place this violence or avoid this violence. The community responded by saying maybe it would be best for us to donate some money so that we could be able buy some weapons in defence, and we mobilised that.

After we donated some money it was moved that we elect seven people and call them a Committee of Seven and those are the people who will administer these funds to ensure that they serve the purpose. I was one of the Committee of Seven, one member of the Committee of Seven.

After the money was donated we were given the money and we were mandated to go and buy the weapons to defend ourselves. The seven of us indeed did that. I myself ...(intervention)

MR SIBEKO: Before you proceed Sir, there are facts that you have got to clarify.


MR SIBEKO: You said you had a problem, that is in your community, which community are you talking about?

MR VILAKAZI: It's the community where I resided.

MR SIBEKO: And what would be that section?

MR VILAKAZI: It's called Lusaka-A.

MR SIBEKO: I would presume that is the new name for the section but at the time of the violence what was it called?

MR VILAKAZI: At the time it was known as Thabanzimbi Area.

MR SIBEKO: Now you further testified that when you encountered such problems, that is you experienced this violence, the community decided, in fact you convened a meeting, that is the community met. Now what period are we talking about, when was this because we heard the first witness saying the violence started at about 1990, now what we'd like to know is exactly when did you in your community, that is Thabanzimbi, encounter such a problem?

MR VILAKAZI: I don't have a clear recollection of all the events, especially the times but I know for a fact that there was a time of violence where violence was rife in this area and I would not like to say this was the particular time and yet it was not but it was around that time of violence when this happened.

MR SIBEKO: Then proceed Sir.

MR VILAKAZI: After this money was donated and we were elected, the seven of us, we went out in search of the weapons to defend ourselves.

Myself I secured a place first before the rest, in other words before the other six where I in fact identified a place where we could buy or purchase these weapons to defend ourselves.

When I got there we discovered that we did not have sufficient funds to buy even one weapon because we only had R800,00. I went back to give the report to the committee and told them that I've already identified a place and they must not bother identifying another place, but we are sitting here with a problem of insufficient funds because we only have R800,00 and they promised that if we could R1 200,00 they would be able to give us weapons.

Fortunately we were meeting every Sunday at a certain school for meetings. The following meeting we reported to the community that we have identified a place of buying weapons but then we have a problem of funds. The only problem we have is money, the money we have is not enough.

They had to donate again on that meeting and we were able to purchase only two firearms. Indeed I was given that money to go purchase such weapons. I did that and I brought them back. I reported the matter to the committee and we also gave the report to the community as well, that we've already got two firearms. The community itself could see that we did not have enough weapons especially that the violence was so rife and the area was so wide. With only two firearms it was not practical for us to defend ourselves and therefore it was seen that more funds were to be contributed, especially that firearms were so expensive. It was only practical for the community to keep donating or contributing funds towards the purchase of more firearms. To be able to buy more firearms and more ammunition we had to keep contributing.

MR SIBEKO: After the money was collected or was contributed by the public, did you as the committee, in fact all seven of you who were elected for such a structure, go out an look for the weapons, all of you? Is that what you are saying?

MR VILAKAZI: Firstly we agreed that it was said that we should all go, the seven of us but because I was the one who first identified the place I told the committee members to rest because I've already identified a place.

MR SIBEKO: Proceed.

MR VILAKAZI: After we gave the report back to the community that we've already identified a place and this is how much we need and the, it was now into the community's hands to decide as to how much will be contributed. But indeed they contributed and we kept buying, adding to what we had until we had enough firearms or weapons to defend our section where we resided.

After we secured that much they boys emerged who told us that they will be the ones using these firearms. They came with a certain person who was, whom they referred to as their leader by the name Mfinos. I know him as Mfinos. He was identified as their leader or rather they identified him as their leader.

ADV SANDI: Sorry Mr Vilakazi, can you spell that name, Mfinos?

MR VILAKAZI: I think it's M-F-I-N-O-S.

MR SIBEKO: Go ahead.

MR VILAKAZI: Okay. This Mfinos was the leader now of this group of young men using these firearms and us as a community, we were people who would sort of administer the whole thing and take the messages from the community and convey it to the young men and we called them our soldiers.

We would always convey messages from one side to the other. So in other words we were the mediators. Each time there was some misunderstanding, we would make it a point that we convey it to the other side and the soldiers will explain and we convey the message to the other side, the community that is.

That went on in that fashion and we kept defending, or the community was alert. We realised that if we had a problem that was beyond our power we would invite other sections to help and the same was happening with other sections, we will also be invited to help in case they had problems that were beyond their handling.

One particular year it so happened, it was a New Year's Eve, the Committee of Seven and others of, other members of the communities, we agreed that the crickets(?) should not be purchased because they project the same sound as the firearms so we realised that we should stop that. The parents must not buy an crickets, the firecrackers should not be purchased because they project the same sound as the firearms. So we encouraged parents not to buy such.

We told our soldiers, our young men to keep alert in every corner that was possible that the enemies would gain entrance from or entry from.

And Mfinos killed a particular person around that particular time. When we received the message that Mfinos has already killed somebody he told us now, Mfinos that is, that those people were robbing and they had now to act and Mfinos found himself killing the person and that was the particular he furnished to us. We asked as to which firearm he used and he was not in a position to draw the gun and show us. This was according to our policy.

If people used the firearms that were not licensed, those firearms should then be confiscated by the community and we therefore decided that Mfinos was not the right person with moral standards to lead these young men and we decided to confiscate his firearm and release him. In fact to fire him and not any longer be a leader.

We then called all the young men, the soldiers and we informed them about the decision we made or rather took with regards to Mfinos. Now they were in a position now to elect another commander or a leader who will lead them accordingly and with moral standards, and Mosa Msimango was elected as one to replace Mfinos.

We told or rather instructed the young men to administer the guns and ensure that they were used in a rightful way. We told Mosa that we don't want to see the soldier shooting indiscriminately and shooting for no apparent reason and we don't want to see the firearms mingling around in the community, and we would like them to be administered in a proper way, the firearms that is.

Each time we convened for meetings as a community and things that did not go well with the community were brought to our attention, we would make sure that we attend to the problem and address the problem.

And we told them as well, the soldiers, that some parents are complaining that the funds were not used in a proper way or the firearms were not used in the proper way and we would also convey to the parents what the soldiers' responses were with regards to the particular issue. So this is how we used to work and we always commanded or sort of led the young men to work in a certain manner that was acceptable.

We realised that we should also invite the thugs as well to come and join us in this fight and we could realise that Inkatha will not have much power to attack us if we were that much in number but sometimes it would happen, until a certain period when we took the matter to the community to decide about this and the community decided that maybe this should address in a way that whoever has killed should be killed as well. We took that report back to the soldiers, that this is what the community has suggested so you are the best people to do this. So it became our slogan that whoever has killed will be killed as well.

MR SIBEKO: Now Sir, when all this happened were you in a position to sit down, strategise and organise yourselves as the community? That is when the attacks were launched, directed to your section, did you have any time to sit down and strategise properly?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, I would say but we did not have enough time to come together and discuss what we were going to do next. We would bring the soldiers along - let me just say also that most of the things happened during our absence whilst we were at work and we would indicate to the soldiers that they are the ones who would have to take care of the situation should anything happen.

I'm simply saying that we did not have time to sit down, we were not trained. We were forced by circumstances to do what we did.

MR SIBEKO: Now at the time when you were elected to be part of the Committee that you have referred to, were you already part of any political organisation?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, I was a member of the ANC, the African National Congress.

MR SIBEKO: Furthermore, at the time when such meetings were convened, the two meetings that you referred to, who actually convened those meetings?

MR VILAKAZI: People used to convene meetings, people such as SANCO, the chairperson who was Dan. Vusi was part of that structure and Dingaan Tshabala, but the Chairperson was Dan.

MR SIBEKO: Sir, there is something that I want clarified here. You say you used to take the problems encountered by the community and discuss those problems what you call your soldiers. Now where exactly did you take your instructions or your orders? That is you as the Committee of Seven.

MR VILAKAZI: Everything that was happening in our section would be presented to the community and it would be the committee or the community in return that would tell us what to do and take this to the soldiers.

MR SIBEKO: Now other than what you have already told us about, are there any other specific incidences that you would want to be indemnified on or where you apply for amnesty, other than what you have told us about?

MR VILAKAZI: All in all there are certain incidents that happened without our orders or instructions but we get instructions, or should I say report back after those incidents had happened and we would relate this to the community after we were reported to by the people concerned.

MR SIBEKO: Were you at any stage part of those who were patrolling or guarding the section, as you say the soldiers, were you at any stage part of the soldiers?

MR VILAKAZI: No, I was not part of the soldiers.

MR SIBEKO: Now the other thing is, at the time you accepted the responsibility of taking the money and buying arms and ammunition, you were aware that those are deadly instruments and they would be used in such a way that people might be injured or might die, you nevertheless accepted the responsibility. Why Sir?

MR VILAKAZI: I did not have any choice because had I not accepted I would not be here today maybe.

MR SIBEKO: So will I be correct to assume that you never at any stage fired any shot directed towards anybody at any stage?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Advocate Steenkamp, any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I've just got one or two questions.

Sir, we've heard from the previous witness that there was a set plan to take firearms from police, to attack police and get firearms from them, rob them of their firearms basically. Do you know anything of this? That's my first question, and secondly were you involved in any of these actions? ...(end of tape)

MR VILAKAZI: ... we never had such a thing, we never had such a plan in our section. I don't know about other sections. We never had such a plan in our section and I was not involved in that.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


ADV SANDI: Mr Vilakazi, are you able to recall the number of firearms you were able to collect?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, I would be in the position to recall. We had 21 firearms but we did not buy them all at once, we bought them as and when we had money.

ADV SANDI: Just to go back to this question Advocate Steenkamp has just asked you, did you say you were not aware of any plan to the effect that firearms could be confiscated from police? You were not aware of such a plan, did I understand you correctly?

MR VILAKAZI: I am saying in my section we did not have such a plan, we heard about that in other sections but we were not part of that.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr Vilakazi. Thank you, Chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Vilakazi, the youth, the soldiers, did they attend any of these community meetings?

MR VILAKAZI: No, they did not attend the meetings. It would sometimes happen that you may have one soldier at the meeting, they were not stopped from attending, they were not barred from attending the meetings.

ADV GCABASHE: Then did you have regular meetings with the soldiers, weekly meetings, daily meetings, can you just clarify that?

MR VILAKAZI: We used to have a meeting on Sundays, a community meeting and we would later on have another meeting with the soldiers wherein we reported back to the soldiers about what transpired at the community meeting.

ADV GCABASHE: So essentially you met the soldiers every Sunday, one a week, every Sunday after the community meeting?


INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on.

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, we used to meet with the soldiers and they would also report back on what transpired on their part and we would take this back to the community.

ADV GCABASHE: Are you able to recall any other incident apart from the one involving Mfinos, where you know specifically of somebody who got killed?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, there are incidents, I think two of them that I still remember, things or incidents that happened.

An information that came to us through our soldiers, Lucky Mkwanazi was killed. The person who killed Lucky, we later learnt that he too was killed.

The second one was when Baab was killed, a man by the name of Baab was killed. We later on learnt that the person who killed Baab was also killed. These are the incidents that I still remember very well.

We ...

ADV GCABASHE: The interpreter didn't quite finish the sentence. I was listening to your - essentially you are saying that the reason that you didn't investigate the Lucky and the Baab killings was because your own soldiers had also been killed by the other side, did I hear you correctly?

MR VILAKAZI: No, I am not saying that, what I am saying is that after a person has been killed it would be upon us to investigate as to how the person died but it was now difficult for us to pursue that investigation because the person who has killed has himself been killed and therefore it became difficult for us to pursue such an investigation because the soldiers, our soldiers did not come up with the truth as to who was involved. We only learnt about this now that we are applying for amnesty. This is when we got to know this information.

ADV GCABASHE: Now in relation to Lucky and Baab's killing, you are saying that these were killed with firearms that were purchased by you as commanders, this is the link between yourself and this incident am I right?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, but I would say Baab is the one person who was killed by a firearm that we bought. I am not sure about Lucky's death. I don't know what was used to kill him.

ADV GCABASHE: But the person who killed Lucky was one of your soldiers, one of the members of your local soldiers?

MR VILAKAZI: No, he was not our soldier, the person who killed Lucky. The one person who killed Baab was the one who was our soldier.

ADV GCABASHE: Now correct me if I'm wrong. You are essentially saying that you are applying for amnesty for two broad things, just correct me if I'm not correct, one for obtaining the firearms that were used in your community, is that right?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And then secondly for facilitating the use of those firearms in the protection of the community?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.


Now Mr Vilakazi, the violence that you have referred to, was that between yourselves - you said you are an ANC members, was it the violence between the people that supported the ANC and people that supported the IFP?

MR VILAKAZI: Ourselves as residents in that community, we would wake up to the gunshots and learn that people have died and on trying to follow this we would see police dropping of Inkatha followers wearing red headbands. And these IFP people were shooting such that everyone of us would try to run for cover.

CHAIRPERSON: Now the 21 firearms that you had obtained, what sort of firearms was that, was it AK47s, big guns?

MR VILAKAZI: All of them were AK47s.

CHAIRPERSON: Now in your application on page 53, in answer to question 9(b) you say that the SDUs who were supplied with the above weapons were involved in killing and injuring people and then you say that, of course as you said earlier to us, that you were not yourself directly involved in the killing, you confirm that, is that right?

MR VILAKAZI: Would you please repeat the question.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm referring to page 53 in our papers actually, it's part of your application form and I'm specifically referring to the answer to question number 9(b) where it says that the SDUs who were supplied with the weapons, the AK47s that you referred to in the application as well, were involved in killing and injuring people. Do you see that you confirm that that is correct?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, I would say I cannot deny the fact that some people died and some got injured. There was a lot of fighting at the time and therefore it was likely that people could die and people could be injured following our purchase of these firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: And the point is that given your position on the Committee of Seven, given the role that you played, you accept full responsibility for what had happened, is that correct?

MR VILAKAZI: I do not quite follow the question, I don't know. Would you please repeat your question.

CHAIRPERSON: I say that given the position that you held as a member of the Committee of Seven and the role that you played in that connection, you accept full responsibility for what took place?

MR VILAKAZI: I am here asking for amnesty because my reasoning is that had it not been for my part in trying to procure firearms, some people may not have died.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, then I understand you correctly. I was just confirming that I understand you correctly.

Mr Sibeko, have you got any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Only one aspect, Mr Chairman.

Sir, we spoke about you going out and buying arms, are you in a position to tell this Committee as to where and from whom did you buy such arms?

MR VILAKAZI: We bought these firearms at Polla Park and John whom I used to call Sbali is the person from whom we bought these firearms.

MR SIBEKO: Do you know where this John got these arms?

MR VILAKAZI: I would not bear any knowledge of that because there were so many people from Mozambique residing at Polla Park and we therefore had this belief that these guns must have smuggled from Mozambique.

MR SIBEKO: Would you be in a position to say whether this John also came from Maputo or ...?

MR VILAKAZI: I cannot vouch to that because we had this belief that anybody who spoke Shangaan (Tshisonga) comes from Mozambique, but we also have local Shangaan speaking ...

MR SIBEKO: Thanks Mr Chairman, no further questions.


ADV GCABASHE: But just to follow up on that, you paid them in full for the firearms, they didn't give them to you for nothing, you paid them for these firearms?

MR VILAKAZI: Yes, that is correct, we gave them all the money because they would not take credit.

ADV GCABASHE: And then with ANC stocks, did you get any stocks from the ANC, from MK cadres who were coming back?

MR VILAKAZI: I don't about other sections but in our section no, we did not get anything.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

ADV SANDI: Sorry Mr Chairman.

Mr Vilakazi, this John who was selling arms, were you able to find out as to whether he was selling arms to the opposite side as well, the IFP? Were they also buying arms from him?

MR VILAKAZI: I would not bear knowledge to that effect but all I know is that he would be so thrilled if you came with some money to purchase some firearms. It didn't matter to him what happened to you on your way back. I don't think it mattered to him who purchased the firearms, he was just concerned about getting the money.

ADV SANDI: Would you be able to say whether the police knew that people like John were selling arms in the course of this conflict?

MR VILAKAZI: Insofar as the police were concerned, I would not say they knew because there was no relationship, they were not helping us in any way at that time. Maybe they knew, maybe not. I have no knowledge.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, are you done?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Do you want Mr Vilakazi to be excused?

MR SIBEKO: It is so, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. Then he is excused and you can call the next applicant.



























DAY : 1


MR SIBEKO: At this stage I will call Isaac Buti Radebe.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that number 7172/97, Isaac Buti Radebe?

MR SIBEKO: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you just or perhaps I should just ask you, are your full names Isaac Buti Radebe?

MR RADEBE: Yes, that is so.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any objection to taking the oath?

ISAAC BUTI RADEBE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may be seated. Mr Sibeko?

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Radebe, you also applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: Yes, it is so.

MR SIBEKO: Have you applied in your capacity as an ordinary SDU member of as a member of the Committee of Seven?

MR RADEBE: In my capacity as a member of the Committee of Seven.

MR SIBEKO: In that even do you confirm or did you listen or did you hear everything that was said by Mr Glen Vilakazi, the applicant who has just left the stage?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I did.

MR SIBEKO: Did you understand him and you confirm what he said to be true?

MR RADEBE: Yes, indeed, I do agree with him.

MR SIBEKO: Is there perhaps anything which you would want to add which you think he left out in his testimony?

MR RADEBE: Truly speaking, Mr Vilakazi has already divulged every truth and I do agree and concur to everything he has said.

MR SIBEKO: So I assume that you don't have anything to add at this stage?

MR RADEBE: Yes, there is nothing else that I would add.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just get a bit of clarity?

Mr Radebe, are you saying that you two lived at Thabanzimbi and the committee that Mr Vilakazi spoke about operated in Thabanzimbi and you were a member of that committee, all of those things?

MR RADEBE: This Committee of Seven is a committee to which I belonged and I was a member and often at times I used to work hand-in-hand with Mr Vilakazi and with the others.

ADV GCABASHE: So you are saying you are from a different area, you lived in a different area, not in Thabanzimbi? Just to explain that to me please. If you could actually just explain whether all the members were from one area or all of you were from different areas, just to help me with that.

MR RADEBE: All the members of the Committee of Seven were people who resided in one section at Thabanzimbi.

ADV GCABASHE: And Thabanzimbi which was part of the greater Thokoza area, was one of the sections?

MR RADEBE: This Thabanzimbi is part of Thokoza, it's a section within Thokoza.

ADV GCABASHE: Then when Mr Vilakazi talks of assisting other sectors or other sectors assisting you, please explain where those sectors fitted in, were they members of the committee or did they have their own committees of seven or five or whatever? If you could help me with that.

MR RADEBE: These other sections, I will not have proper knowledge as to whether they had a committee which operated as ours but one thing I know is that those sections had commanders which would command their soldiers. So when we talk about helping these other sections we will be going there in a call by that particular section because now they were being attacked.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, Mr Sibeko.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you.

Sir, so you are applying for amnesty because you were part of the Committee which facilitated the acquisition of arms, is that so?

MR RADEBE: Yes, it is so.

MR SIBEKO: You confirm that you just like Mr Vilakazi were not at any stage involved in the direct conflict situation, that is where shootings occurred you were not at any stage part of the patrolling squad or the guards?

MR RADEBE: I do confirm that I together with the other committee members never took part or were involved in shooting people. We were a committee which sort of facilitated and administered the community matters but to engage in an act of shooting, we did not.

MR SIBEKO: No further questions for the witness, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Advocate Steenkamp?


Sir, am I understanding you correctly, you are also applying for the possession and the buying of firearms? Can you maybe give us more detail, was this also 21 firearms, AK47s or exactly what was it?

MR RADEBE: Would you please repeat your last part of your question?

ADV STEENKAMP: Sorry, Sir, are you also applying then for possession, illegal possession of firearms and the buying of them, like the previous witness, of those 21 AK47s?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I am applying for amnesty because we purchased such firearms which were not licensed, this is why I am here applying for amnesty.

ADV STEENKAMP: In 1993, according to your application, your committee had adopted a policy called "A killer must be killed" and as a result of that a number of people were killed, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: That policy yes was adopted but as to whether there were many people who were killed, that is not true or it's not so. What I know is one incident of Twala who was shot subsequently and that was it.

ADV STEENKAMP: Was that as a direct result of your policy that that person was killed? We also heard of a Lucky who was also killed as a result of this policy, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: I will agree to what you have said, it was as a result of this policy that was adopted that led to Lucky's death.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now my question to you is Sir, do you take any responsibility for the killing of this person or not?

MR RADEBE: I see myself bearing no responsibility with regard to the killing of this particular person, so that I will not sit here and say I was involved directly in this incident that led to his killing, I have no responsibility whatsoever.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.


ADV SANDI: Is there any other killing, Mr Radebe, for which you would not take responsibility?

MR RADEBE: There is no other killing except for the one I've already addressed shortly.

ADV SANDI: When you joined the Committee of Seven, were you a member of the ANC?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I was elected into this committee as a member of ANC.

ADV SANDI: Were you always present when your group, the Committee of Seven, negotiated with John with the view to securing arms from him? Were you always present when this happened?

INTERPRETER: Please repeat the last part of your questions, we had somebody disturbing us.

ADV SANDI: When your group contacted John with the view to get these firearms from him, were you also present, were you

physically present?

MR RADEBE: No, I was not there. I was not present, in other words.

ADV SANDI: Did you ever have the opportunity to see any of these firearms?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I saw the weapons or the firearms.

ADV SANDI: Did you have to keep any of those firearms at your place, your house or any place you may have chosen?

MR RADEBE: About the keeping of the guns or firearms, Mr Vilakazi was accountable. I never kept any firearms in my house or suggested a place of safety for firearms. I never did that.

ADV SANDI: Where were these firearms when you saw them for the first time?

MR RADEBE: The first time I saw these firearms was when Mr Vilakazi arrived with them shortly after he had purchased them, at his house.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr Radebe. Thank you, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Mr Radebe, I'm just a little confused. You mentioned the killing of Twala, we then also reminded you about the killing Lucky, you then disassociated yourself with the killing of one or the other, I'm not sure as to which one it was.

MR RADEBE: I will explain this in this way. To tell the truth I have no responsibility in both occasions or incidents. What I was trying to clarify was that I did hear that Obob was killed. As for Lucky I heard recently about him.

ADV GCABASHE: So Obob is the same Baab whom Mr Vilakazi mentioned, am I right?

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.

MR RADEBE: Yes, it is true.

ADV GCABASHE: One final question, the slogan "A killer must be killed", please explain this slogan to me. A killer being somebody who killed one of the members of the community or one of your own soldiers? A killer would be somebody who was killing in defence of the community that he represented, am I right?

MR RADEBE: The slogan that the killer must be killed was in line with the fact that when the killer has killed other soldiers or the community of Lusaka, should in turn be killed because we had a problem that every morning when we wake up we will see people lying down dead.

Now what motivated the community to adopt the slogan of "A killer must be killed was to minimise the incidents that were happening in the area because every morning we would wake up to dead bodies lying around.

ADV GCABASHE: In your application you referred to the general defence of the community against the IFP, yes? Do you agree with that?


ADV GCABASHE: Are there any particular incidents of such defensive action that you recall being reported to you? You know as from the commanders who were the activists or the soldiers.

MR RADEBE: No, there are no others.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just understand the answer. You don't recall the particular incidents or you don't recall receiving any reports? Just to clarify that for me.

MR RADEBE: I'm getting a bit confused about this question, I don't understand your line of questioning. Would you please kindly repeat slowly your question.

ADV GCABASHE: You're quite right, I put two things together, I'll separate them.

The soldiers went out to defend the community each time the community was attacked, that's right?

MR RADEBE: Yes, that's true.

ADV GCABASHE: You would have your Sunday meetings and at those meetings I presume they would come back and report to you and say to you on such and such a day we had to go and defend - you would probably know about it anyway because it was your community that was being attacked, but you got reports from them of this nature, is that right?

MR RADEBE: The community would get a report from us as a Committee of Seven and we would have got that report from our soldiers because they would have done A, B and C. Then we will convey or relay the message to the community on Sunday and tell them that the soldiers have been engaged in such acts during the week to the community. We will be relaying the message to the community as a Committee of Seven.

ADV GCABASHE: Now my question is, can you recall any one of those reports you gave to the community that at a certain place this is what happened?

MR RADEBE: The particular report that we conveyed to the community is when our soldiers were keeping guard at the border when one of our soldiers were shot towards Penduka. So that that was the report that we reported to the community, informing them that one of our soldiers had already been shot at the border. There was the place we called a border.

ADV GCABASHE: Now that is one example, how many other such examples can you think of, even if it's just the numbers, so you can say there were 100 such incidents or there were three such incidents. Just to give me an idea of how often they would come back to report to you, you would then pass the message on to the community, just to give me an idea.

MR RADEBE: The soldiers were reporting to us daily after they come back from the border. And every Sunday we will do the same, we will report to the community what we got from the soldiers during the week.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, Mr Radebe. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, do you also accept that in this conflict, in the fighting that was going on that we heard about, that your soldiers, if I might put them that way, must have killed and injured and killed some people as well in this fight that was going on?

MR RADEBE: I will not dispute that, that they did not murder or injure anyone because in a fight or in a conflict with a gun in your possession, definitely one would have to be murdered or be killed. It does happen, it's common cause. So I do agree or accept that it could have been that people were murdered and were injured as a result of this conflict.

CHAIRPERSON: In fact we will more than likely hear the evidence of a large number of the soldiers in this sitting here, who might be referring to a lot of other incidents apart from the ones that you and Mr Vilakazi have referred to up to now.

The question that I wanted to put to you which Mr Vilakazi has also responded to is, do you accept that, just speaking about yourself as the Committee of Seven, do you accept that you must take responsibility for whatever then has happened in this fight on the part of your, the soldiers?

MR RADEBE: I'm not following your question, I'm not in a position to answer therefore please repeat your question slowly.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll do that. Well let me first say that it appears that you agree that apart from the two incidents that have been referred to up to now, there was more than likely a large number of killings, injuring of people by your soldiers, do you agree with that?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I do agree with that.

CHAIRPERSON: Then the question that follows on that one, which Mr Vilakazi has also already responded to is, do you accept that as a member of the Committee of Seven you must take responsibility for all that happened?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I will say that, that I will take the responsibility because it was us who went to purchase these firearms and we distributed them to the soldiers. In that light I would say that we as the Committee of Seven should take responsibility to this effect.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Sibeko, any re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None, Mr Chairman, I request Mr Vilakazi to be excused.



MR SIBEKO: Mr Radebe, sorry.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: It's almost lunch time, I don't think there's any sense in starting a witness at this stage. We are going to adjourn for lunch until 2 o'clock. We'll reconvene at 2 o'clock. We're adjourned.

















DAY : 1



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, who is the next applicant?

MR SIBEKO: The next applicant is Mr Dumisani Mbatha. I request the Chairman to swear him in please.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you full names Dumisani Mbatha?

DUMISANI MBATHA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, please sit down. Mr Sibeko?

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mbatha, you've also applied for amnesty, is that correct?


MR SIBEKO: Do you know exactly for what you are applying for amnestY


MR SIBEKO: Are you applying for amnesty because you were a member of the Self Defence Unit or a member of the Committee of Seven before?

MR MBATHA: Because I was a member of the Committee of Seven.

MR SIBEKO: The Committee of Seven that you are referring to, is it the one that the two previous applicants were also members of?

MR MBATHA: Will you please repeat the question.

MR SIBEKO: I want to know whether the Committee of Seven that you are referring to is the same Committee of Seven wherein the two previous applicants were also members? ...(end of tape)

MR MBATHA: ...(no English translation)

INTERPRETER: May we please have the assistance of the technician?


MR SIBEKO: Now my question is, the Committee of Seven that you are referring to, is it the same committee that the two previous applicants were also part of?

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you confirm everything that they have said inasfar as it relates to you?

MR MBATHA: ...(no English translation)

MR SIBEKO: Do you confirm what they have said inasfar as it relates to you?


MR SIBEKO: Is there anything which you think they've left out, which you would want to bring to the attention of this forum?


MR SIBEKO: What is it, Mr Mbatha?

MR MBATHA: In the township where we reside, that is Thokoza, it so happened that there was conflict in 1990, conflict between the Polla Park people and the residents. We were not part of that conflict.

What was happening is that on coming back from attacking one another or each other, this would result in the loss of life. In 1993 when the community took it upon themselves seeing that they were affected as well, there is a street called Xlaba Street and Ntuli Street where people were shot, people who were sitting and enjoying themselves as they usually do in the township.

There were people who were found shot in the township, I think there were about five of them, people who we never got to know exactly who shot them. And when the community took it upon themselves seeing that they were no longer able to sleep peacefully at their houses, people were fleeing.

I think it was on Monday if I still remember very well, there was a taxi that was ferrying people from Sikonyela going to our road where the chairperson, Dan Makanja was shot, our chairperson. So that the community decided to come together and come up with means of protecting or defending themselves.

That happened as my colleagues as my colleagues have already indicated. So that money was donated after a committee was appointed. But his committee experienced a lot of problems, the ISU and the SANDF and gangsterism. There was a group of gangsters called "Bad Boys" and the "Khumalo" gang who operated in the area.

Drugs were so plentiful, we don't know how these drugs got into the township and we were told that this committee should work hand-in-hand with the Self Defence Units so that the community can reduce the level of gangsterism in the township. And the ISU which was also operating in the area was also taking part here.

We realised that the police are no longer serving the community, instead they are taking part in the killings because many of our people were killed by the ISU. People such as Ndangi Mthembu was killed by the ISU and therefore there were many others like Lucky Mampoer who was killed by the police.

To be honest, the community had no alternative except defending themselves. The committee tried all means possible with the SDUs involved, to try and rid the community of drugs and gangsterism because people would go out and steal cars and there were gunshots all over the place.

MR SIBEKO: Now before you proceed, Sir, there are a few aspects that we've got to clarify. You referred to Xlaba Street and Ntuli Street where people were found, in fact dead people were found. Where actually are these two streets, Xlaba and Ntuli Street, are these streets in your section?

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: And furthermore, you said when violence started you were not affected and when these people were from wherever they were, be it for purposes of attacks or whatever, you started getting affected, which people are you talking about here, is it part of the community that you referred to or from where were these people coming?

MR MBATHA: These people were coming from the hostel, the Thokoza hostel, these were people with red headbands.

MR SIBEKO: Are you by any chance saying the way you were so affected or the way this violence affected you there was no other way in which your community and yourselves could have defended your property without resorting to arms?

MR MBATHA: No, there was no alternative because the violence affected everybody, young and old. It is like something that creeps so that when it crawls into a group of people it just destroys everybody.

MR SIBEKO: Now you further made mention of two gangster groups, that is the Bad Boys and the Khumalo Boys, are you in a position to say or to tell us about the origins of the two gangsters that you referred to?

MR MBATHA: The Bad Boys were people who were thugs in the township. They would be arrested but they would be seen walking around the township the following day and therefore they were going around harassing people, and the Khumalo gang was inclined towards the IFP.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other thing that you want to bring to our attention?


MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Advocate Steenkamp, questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, just one question.

Sir, in your amnesty application on page 5, if you can just look at that - Mr Chairman, I will just refer generally to the information given there. I'm actually referring to say line or the second paragraph starting:

"It would then decide ..."

The question you're raising there is, and I'm quoting here quickly:

"We had a serious crime problem in our area and we experienced some serious infighting amongst ...

I think it's:

"... the SDUs between ..."

I'm not sure. The idea I got from your application is that you are saying as ...(indistinct) the other applicants, that there was a crime problem with the SDUs as well, am I right in saying that?

MR MBATHA: Yes, what I can say here, referring to what my predecessors have testified to, is that there were people that were involved in the defence of the community, people who joined this group with ulterior motives.

These are the people who at a later stage ended up not in good terms with the SDUs because when the SDUs were going on patrol they would remain behind to steal. These are the people that are quoted here as saying they ended up in loggerheads with the people.

ADV STEENKAMP: Then my question is actually this, as a Committee of Seven, can you either indicate to the Chairperson how much control did you have over the SDUs or the soldiers under you or to which you gave some authority or command, as a Committee of Seven?

MR MBATHA: I do not quite follow the question. I don't know whether you're referring to the SDUs or gangsterism.

ADV STEENKAMP: My question is actually this, in your official capacity as a member of the Committee of Seven, did you have any control over normal SDU members?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is correct.

ADV STEENKAMP: Can you maybe elaborate a little bit, can you explain to us why you're saying that? I'll tell you why I'm saying this because in the official ANC submission to the Commission, on a question to Mr Aboobaker Ismail it was stated that they had difficulties in controlling the SDUs. Now my question is, what type of control did you have over these SDUs? Do you understand the question?

MR MBATHA: First of all the SDUs as explained earlier on, we are saying yes, some people joined the SDUs with an ulterior motive but the community later on gave us authority to the effect that we should try and maintain discipline. This was equally expected of any SDU member.

When this authority became even more and more felt, everybody who was deviant left the SDU one after another and ultimately it became clear who the gangster was and who the SDU was. What gave us even more authority as the ANC, for example when we were given the code of conduct ...(no English translation).


ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, have you got any re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None Mr Chairman, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Is that all that you wanted to present in respect of Mr Mbatha?

MR SIBEKO: That is correct so, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbatha, thank you, you are excused.







DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, who is the next applicant?

MR SIBEKO: The next applicant is Mr Bafana Esau Radebe. Mr Chairman, it seems as if Mr Radebe has just gone out.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

MR SIBEKO: Ja, in time I would call the next applicant. He can follow later. I'd like to call Tumelo Isaac Sinakgomo.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sinakgomo, do you hear the translation? Could you give us your full names?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, please sit down. Mr Sibeko?

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Sinakgomo, you also apply for amnesty for the role that you played as part of the Committee of Seven, is that correct?

MR SINAKGOMO: Yes, that is true.

MR SIBEKO: Did you hear the testimony of all your colleagues who have already testified before this forum?

MR SINAKGOMO: Yes, I heard them.

MR SIBEKO: Do you agree with what they said to be true inasfar as it relates to you?

MR SINAKGOMO: Yes, it is true.

MR SIBEKO: Do you have anything to add to what they have already said, which you think they might have left out?

MR SINAKGOMO: All that has been said is as they said it.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sinakgomo, just one aspect. In addition to the incidents that your colleagues on the Committee of Seven have already referred us to, is there any other incident in which the SDU that was under your control or the SDUs that were under your control were involved in?

MR SINAKGOMO: No, all what they said I concur to and it is just as they said it.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Sibeko?

MR SIBEKO: No questions in re-examination, thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sinakgomo, you can take your seat again.

MR SINAKGOMO: I thank you too.








DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Do you now want Mr Bafana Esau Radebe?

MR SIBEKO: Correct so, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Are your full names Bafana Esau Radebe?

BAFANA ESAU RADEBE: (sworn states)


EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Now that you are the second Mr Radebe who appears here today, I will refer to you as Mr Bafana Radebe. Sir, you also apply for amnesty for the role that you played as part of the Committee of Seven which we are talking about here today, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Did you hear the testimony of all your colleagues who have already testified?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I did.

MR SIBEKO: Do you agree with everything that they have said inasfar as it relates to you?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I concur with everything they have said.

MR SIBEKO: Do you have anything to add which you think they might have left out?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I would like to add that this conflict started in 1990. Inkatha was attacking us and we decided to come up with our own illegal means of defending ourselves. This followed the circumstances and we therefore had to have our own soldiers to protect and defend the community. That is the truth.

MR SIBEKO: Other than that, do you have any other thing to say?

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not activated.


MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no questions.


CHAIRPERSON: I assume you don't have any re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Bafana Radebe, thank you very much.







DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Now Mr Sibeko, I think that would take care of the Committee of Seven. We were told that the application in respect of Mr Jan Thubaka Dlamini would be withdrawn, is that correct?

MR SIBEKO: In actual fact, Mr Chairman, that is true. Ja, we withdraw certain applications on the basis that he never took part. Although he was elected, he never took part in the activities of the Committee of Seven so there was no need for him to bring such an application.

ADV SANDI: Yes, but did he not agree with everything that the Committee was doing?

MR SIBEKO: My instructions are that he never took part because of his personal commitments, work situation and things like that, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) that would take care of the Committee of Seven members in Lusaka-A?

MR SIBEKO: That's correct, Mr Chairman.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if I may be so rude to interrupt here. Mr Chairman, I think I will not be doing my duty properly if I do not inform you that I was requested this morning by my learned colleague that Mr Bonga Nkosi, he's not on the list there, but certain of the applicants see him as a commander.

Now because of the running of the concurrent amnesty hearings of the SDUs, as I may refer to them, in Vosloorus as well, Mr Nkosi was supposed to appear in Vosloorus this morning. I have made arrangements through the Investigation Unit that he be available tomorrow morning for my learned colleague at 9 o'clock to consult and give submit his testimony.

I'm not quite sure whether or not that would be appropriate that will be, maybe to start with other applicants while Mr Nkosi has not testified yet. You will find in the bundles, Mr Chairman, the reason why I'm saying this, because you'll find in the additional bundles on the document called "Background Information -Thokoza Conflict - Amnesty Hearings SDUs". It's a thin document. There is actually a submission by Mr Nkosi contained in that bundle. I'm just bringing your attention to that as well, Mr Chairman. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but perhaps I should just check with Mr Sibeko first.

Apart from the Committee of Seven members, are there any other of the applicants in this session that you would be representing?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, as far as I know, besides the Committee of Seven for today we still have Mr Mosa Danton Msimango who happened to be a commander of this unit that we are talking about here. Inasfar as the one that my learned colleague has referred to, I don't have any information. I only know of Mr Danton Msimango.

CHAIRPERSON: So Mr Sibeko, is that the only other applicant that you would be appearing for, Mr Mosa Danton Msimango?

MR SIBEKO: According to the list and dates for today, this was the number of people but there are some other applicants here for other dates.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, no, no, I understand you. So the point is that we're going to have your company here for a while, it's not ...

MR SIBEKO: It's correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, no, I realise what has happened, because there's such a large number of applicants it doesn't make sense to notify all of the applicants to be present at the hearing on the same day, and for that reason there is actually a roll which contains a number of people to appear on specific dates. So it appears as if, apart from the testimony of Mr Nkosi of course, which causes a bit of a problem because he's also involved in the hearing that our colleagues are attending to elsewhere, also in regard to Self Defence Units. Of course he's not freely available for this session. In fact I believe that he is an applicant in the other proceedings, so he will really be appearing as a witness in these proceedings, for the applicants in this case.

So it appears as if the people that we were going to take for the day, the roll for the day, has been covered, isn't it Advocate Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, that's correct. I can confirm, apparently Mr Nkosi is on his way here on an urgent basis but there's still the question of, I'm sure my learned colleague must still speak to him. Unfortunately I was not prepared for it that we're going to go through the role so quickly.

Be that as it may, Mr Chairman, it also will give us some leeway to prepare the roll for the next few days and sort out all other legal difficulties such as legal aid and so forth but that's entirely in your hands, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, yes, I assume that Mr Sibeko will want to consult before he reads the testimony of Mr Nkosi. There's probably little sense in continuing this afternoon. It seems as if we have completed all of the cases that were scheduled to be heard today.

ADV STEENKAMP: Absolutely correct, Mr Chairman, we are actually right on schedule as it stands.

CHAIRPERSON: I might have misunderstood, Mr Sibeko, was the idea that Mr Msimango would be testifying today?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, the reason I say so is that I am aware that his name appears somewhere on the 27th of this month but at the same time it does appear immediately underneath, although it's handwritten, it appears immediately underneath the names of the Committee of Seven. So if he has been scheduled for the 27th, it's still fine we can proceed as it is, it's not a problem with me.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm not sure what the arrangement was. It appears as if at least those people that were supposed to have been heard today, it looks like we've completed their testimony. It doesn't look as if, according to the roll that we have, Mr Msimango was scheduled for today but rather for the 27th as you seem to have it over there.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if I may be so rude again. Mr Chairman, I'm informed that Mosa Danton Msimango, number 7370 is actually the, was the commanding officer of Lusaka-A. So it would actually make more sense to call him before the rest of the applicants are actually called, and I believe Mr Msimango is present. The other Msimango I was told unfortunately has passed away, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. Mr Sibeko, what is your own position, are you - you do represent Mr Mosa Msimango, now are you in a position to proceed with his application or what is your position?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, I was in a position to proceed with his application today, in fact I am in a position to proceed with his application today.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. Now if he's also in a position of authority and is not just an ordinary member of the SDUs, perhaps it does make sense to take his testimony with the rest of the people who seem to have been in a position of authority. So perhaps we should then take his application as well. Can we get Mr Mosa Danton Msimango?






DAY : 1


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Msimango, can you just give us your full names?

CHAIRPERSON: And just for the record, how does one spell your second name, Mosa, how does one spell that?


CHAIRPERSON: And your surname, can you just give the spelling of your surname as well?



MR MSIMANGO: Yes, Msimango.

MOSA DANTON MSIMANGO: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may sit down. Mr Sibeko?

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Msimango, you've also applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, that's correct.

MR SIBEKO: We are now aware that the previous applicants were applying because they had a hand in the activities of the Committee of Seven, now your application, in what activity did you participate which necessitates your application for amnesty?

MR MSIMANGO: I'm applying for amnesty because I was a leader of the soldiers as a commander and I was the link between the Committee of Seven and the soldiers.

MR SIBEKO: Now you were a commander of ama ...(indistinct) or the soldier and you were the link between those soldiers and the committee, which Committee of Seven? For which area is the Committee of Seven that you are referring to?

MR MSIMANGO: The Committee of Seven was from Lusaka-Section-A.

MR SIBEKO: Now Mr Msimango, what we are talking about here is a section known Thabanzimbi and - Thabanzimbi, thank you, and you were a commander of the Self Defence Unit for which section?

MR MSIMANGO: It was called Thabanzimbi and I was commander of Thabanzimbi as well.

MR SIBEKO: As a matter of interest, how did you come about to become a commander of such a unit?

MR MSIMANGO: At the time when I was a member, before I became a commander, it has been explained that Mfinos was a commander and did not abide by the laws and a meeting was convened at a certain school, that is when I was elected to be a leader of the soldiers.

MR SIBEKO: Now are you in a position to state your role as a commander over the soldiers or ama ...(indistinct)?

MR MSIMANGO: Please repeat your question, I did not understand it quite well.

MR SIBEKO: What was your role as a commander?

MR MSIMANGO: First of all my duty was to ensure that the soldiers are safe. Secondly, was to ensure that their behaviour was appropriate. The third one, I was a link between the Committee of Seven and the soldiers. The fourth point, I was a person who would give instructions to defend the community and I had my right-hand or my assistant by the name of Sipho Mgubane(?) with whom I will discuss these matters at the time. Lastly, I was a person who was vigilant, or I was a person who was always looking after the weapons that we were using.

MR SIBEKO: Now my understanding is that you issued out instructions to the soldiers, is that right?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: In return, where did you receive your instructions?

MR MSIMANGO: I received my instructions from the Committee of Seven.

MR SIBEKO: Now evidence has already been led to the effect that there was a contribution made by the members of the community and arms were purchased, it's further evidenced that the commander before you took over was removed and you were given control of those arms which were removed from him, what happened to those arms?

MR MSIMANGO: When we reached a stable situation the guns were taken to the stadium. Some of them got lost during the fight or the conflict. And there was a raid by SADF in various houses and they confiscated such weapons.

MR SIBEKO: Now my understanding is that you were a commander and that is why you are applying for amnesty. Do you have any specific ...(intervention)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

MR SIBEKO: Do you have any specific instances that you would want us to look into in your application, that is where you were actually directly involved in the defence of the community as you say?

MR MSIMANGO: First of all I'd like to explain that as a commander I was part of the unit. I was not only a leader, I was always hands-on with the other soldiers. Now the application - the amnesty I'm applying for is with regard to the activities that we carried out in such areas as no-go areas and Mandela and Mazibuko Street.

MR SIBEKO: Do you want to tell us what happened in those areas which you have just referred to?

MR MSIMANGO: I'll first talk about Penduka. We were defending the community, our community at Penduka. We would launch the counter-attacks. Each time the IFP has attacked us it would push our community to a certain distance and when we get there we'll launch a counter-attack and push them backwards and stop at a particular area.

The reason behind this was that they were always pushing us first and the community would lose their property and their assets and some of the houses would be destroyed. Now that is with regards to Penduka.

Now coming to Mandela Section, as commanders there would be a time when we will convene and discuss about how we can help one another, and it came to surface one time that Bonga Nkosi, one commander, asked for assistance and we rendered assistance to him in a fight.

MR SIBEKO: Now let's go back to Penduka. You are using this word "counter-attack" and I want to understand what you actually mean because you initially state that the attackers or as you say, the IFP, used to come in your area or your section and chase you or push you further and the area where you ran away from they occupy it and then you regroup thereafter and try to push then out of your area. Is that what you mean by counter-attack?

MR MSIMANGO: I'm trying to explain that each time the IFP attacked us, they would attack us in such a way that we will vacate our area and get right deep in the residential area and that is where we will get ourselves grouped according to sections, because they will occupy the area after we have left it and then we will regroup ourselves and come back and push them as well towards their places or their residential places.

MR SIBEKO: Now a lot has been said about the Central Command Structure, what do you know about it and what was its role?

MR MSIMANGO: This central command structure, I was a member. This was a structure that would arrange commanders and other organisations as well. In actual fact what I would say is this structure, the important factor about this structure was the behaviour, it will insist on behaviour and the code of conduct as well as to how we approach our fight.

MR SIBEKO: Were there specific instructions or orders which were issued out by the Central Command Structure to anybody?

MR MSIMANGO: No, there were no such orders or instructions, I would gather my instructions from the committee.

MR SIBEKO: Now you've just stated that there were times where you exchanged fire with the IFP, are you in a position to state whether from your side or from your soldiers you killed or injured anybody? Are you in a position to pinpoint as to the identity of the people whom you were fighting with?

MR MSIMANGO: It's quite difficult for me to identify that because in a fight situation it's not easy to identify people, things would happen abruptly and it's not easy for me to state exactly as to who they are and their identity.

MR SIBEKO: Now there's also evidence to the effect that there was a serious mistrust between the community members and the ISU, if I may say, what is your perception about it?

MR MSIMANGO: I do agree with what has been said already because one time it so happened that although I don't have a clear recollection inasfar as dates are concerned, but it was New Year's Eve and I saw them personally, the members of ISU coming to off load the members of IFP in our area and each time they would get into our area there would be fights that would erupt.

MR SIBEKO: Will I be correct to assume that you agree that through the actions of your soldiers there were people that might have died and there people who might have got injured in the process?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I do agree.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Advocate Steenkamp?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, if you could allow me a few questions.

Mr Msimango, you referred to the Committee to the Penduka incident or the Penduka shooting incident, is that correct?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, that's correct.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now if I have it correct, Penduka is the area starting from Buthelezi Street upwards, is that correct?

MR MSIMANGO: The way I know Penduka, it begins from Mguni Street(?) and way up.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now this was an incident if I understand it correctly, and this is also my information, my question is this, certain SDU members were armed with AK47s and on your instructions they also fired with those firearms, those AKs, do you know if anybody was injured or even killed?

MR MSIMANGO: Please repeat your question.

ADV STEENKAMP: My question is purely this, at the Penduka area there was a shooting incident, do you agree with me?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I do agree with you.

ADV STEENKAMP: Among other people there were also SDU members who were under your command with AK47s, do you agree with me?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I do agree.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now my question is this, my information is that those members, those armed SDU members were also involved in the actual shooting incident itself, do you know anything about that?

MR MSIMANGO: I don't quite understand your question. As you are interpreting I don't hear purely.

INTERPRETER: May we have the intervention of the technician please?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, I'm sorry, I will try and put the question again if you will allow me.

Mr Msimango, my third question I will repeat for you again, it's this, those SDU members at the Penduka Section that were involved in the shooting incident, do you know at that stage or did they report back to you whether or not anybody was killed or not at that incident?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I know that perfectly well because before we went there we used to use hand radios and we could communicate with other sections. And another thing was, when there is an attack we will see a group of people shouting and screaming and we will hear gunshots left right and centre and we will know very well that the attack has started.

ADV STEENKAMP: Can you indicate to us who those SDU members were who were involved in this Penduka incident, do you know who they were?

MR MSIMANGO: I won't be able to mention their names but I know their codenames and I know their commanders as well because we were working together.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now do you know if they actually killed anybody or injured anybody at that incident?

MR MSIMANGO: I won't agree to that because in a fight I will not be in a position to look around and gather as to what other people are doing.

ADV STEENKAMP: You see Sir, according to my information there is at least four other applicants who will refer to you as being the commander for this specific Penduka incident. Now my question to you is this, why are you not mentioning this specific incident in your amnesty application?

MR MSIMANGO: Please repeat your question.

ADV STEENKAMP: Sir, my question is easy, why did you not refer to this incident in your amnesty application, I mean your written amnesty application?

MR MSIMANGO: You are telling the truth. I decided to approach this incident generally or this whole thing generally because some other things I don't remember. I am not in a position to recall.

ADV STEENKAMP: Is this the only incident - let's go to another incident. Do you have any knowledge of the so-called Mazibuko incident?

ADV SANDI: I'm sorry, Mr Steenkamp, maybe before we go on to the next incident, when was this incident, this Penduka incident?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, I'm sorry I left that out. It apparently occurred before the 1994 elections, just shortly before the elections, in the Penduka Section. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

ADV SANDI: Are you able to remember that? When was this incident?

MR MSIMANGO: I remember the year but I don't remember the dates and the month. I know for a fact it was in 1994 because I took over the position in 1994.

ADV SANDI: Was it the only incident which took place at Penduka?

MR MSIMANGO: The fight was continuous because it started in 1993 at the border.

ADV SANDI: No, I'm talking about clashes between your group and the IFP people at Penduka. Was that the only incident where the two groups had clashed?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, because that is where we would defend the community at Penduka and in Mazibuko as well, but more often than not we would be at Penduka.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman, if I can proceed.

Sir, do you have any knowledge of the so-called Mazibuko incident which occurred in 1993? Do you have any knowledge of that?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I have knowledge with regard to that. This is why I did touch on Mazibuko earlier on.

ADV STEENKAMP: Am I right in saying you also gave the orders there for the SDUs, where a shooting incident also occurred there?


ADV STEENKAMP: Was anybody injured or killed during that incident?

MR MSIMANGO: To be honest I won't be able to say because in a war situation you are not able to tell what the next person is doing or who has been killed or injured.

ADV STEENKAMP: Sir, you previously stated that you had even radio communication, didn't the SDUs report back to you that there was somebody killed or injured? Didn't you receive any feedback after the incident?

MR MSIMANGO: No, I was not contacted.

ADV STEENKAMP: And my question is, why was this incident also not mentioned in your written amnesty application?

MR MSIMANGO: I have already explained that there are things that I don't remember quite well, this is why my approach of amnesty is general.

ADV STEENKAMP: Do you have any knowledge of an incident which occurred at Mshayazafe? It happened on or exactly on the 19th of April 1994.

Mr Chairman, I will spell that name for you. I'm sure I did not pronounce it correctly but I will spell it for you: M-S-H-A-Y-A-Z-A-F-E, and it occurred on the 19th of April 1994.

Do you have any knowledge of this incident, Mr Msimango?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I have knowledge, I bear knowledge to this effect.

ADV STEENKAMP: Can you give us the detail, what exactly your knowledge is on this incident?

MR MSIMANGO: This is how it happened. It was on a Tuesday, Inkatha Freedom Party arrived and harassed us at our residential area. They shot indiscriminately and left immediately. I was early hours of the morning. We came back and got ourselves prepared to revenge. We went as far as the hostel and suddenly the ISU approached and started shooting at us and we had to run away and we fled the scene.

ADV STEENKAMP: Who gave the orders for this incident, of this shooting incident?

MR MSIMANGO: Please explain to me with regard to this incident, what do you mean who gave orders with regard to this incident?

ADV STEENKAMP: Well was there any planning done for this incident, who managed the SDUs? Who told them to go to this specific place or were they not under any instructions?

MR MSIMANGO: As I've already explained in the past we did not plan as such. We would react to what will be happening at the time. We will not sit down and plan the attack but we will just revenge as it happens.

ADV STEENKAMP: Was anybody killed to your knowledge or was any report given back to you about any injuries?

MR MSIMANGO: What I will say and that I know is that on that particular day one boy who was coming from the same section as me was injured on that particular day. As to others I'm not in a position to exactly say what happened to them because in a war situation as you may know, it's not easy to identify what's happening.

ADV STEENKAMP: What exactly was your role in this incident, Mr Msimango?

MR MSIMANGO: I was defending the community in this incident because the IFP had already attacked and we were trying to push them back until we got to their residential place and then we were pushed back by the ISU.

ADV STEENKAMP: Were you also involved in the actual shooting, were you armed with an AK47 or what exactly did you do?

MR MSIMANGO: I have already explained earlier on that I was a commander. I was a commander who was sort of backing the jockey and I would be right there with them and act.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Msimango, maybe I didn't understand your previous answers but I'm going to ask you again. Why is your written application so general, why is it not specific as has been asked in the application itself? It seems to me that you can clearly remember these incidents.

MR MSIMANGO: When I was filling in the application we did not think that we will be posed with questions such as what happened and recall that you did this on this particular day. We did not have diaries in our possession to record these incidents. I was not even at home, I would always be at the border to keep guard, to an extent that I cannot recall incidents as they happened and on particular days.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Msimango, - Mr Chairman, if you can bear with me for a second, I just want to ask for some information on certain other applications where people are also referring to Mr Msimango. If you would allow me that, Mr Chairman.

Mr Msimango, one of the other applicants, Mr Simphiwe Godfrey Ndlovu is applying for amnesty for cleaning firearms apparently under your instruction.

Mr Chairman, that is application number 7075/97.

Do you have any knowledge of this person being under your direct command?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I know him.

ADV STEENKAMP: Can you explain to us what exactly was his role, for what was he used?

MR MSIMANGO: I didn't hear the question, would you please repeat.

ADV STEENKAMP: Sir, my question is purely this, what exactly was the role of Mr Simphiwe Godfrey Ndlovu of whom you were the commander at that stage? What was his function as an SDU?

MR MSIMANGO: I was using him for two purposes. First of all, he was a young man who I would use to inform us in the event of police coming also. And on our way back from attacks, I would always send him around to run errands like cleaning the firearm. He was not always alone, there were others as well.

ADV STEENKAMP: Was he involved in any shooting incident or asked to retaliate or anything like that, or was he never involved in any incident, as far as you know?

MR MSIMANGO: As far as I know he was not involved in shooting.

ADV STEENKAMP: Now Mr Msimango, I have to ask you a similar question relating to Mr Tulani Richard Mbatha.

Mr Chairman, this is an applicant whose application is number 7027/97.

Now Mr Mbatha, do you know Mr Mbatha? He's also an applicant.

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I know him.

ADV STEENKAMP: He was also an SDU member, can you just indicate to the Committee what his role was as an SDU member?

MR MSIMANGO: His role was the same as that of Simphiwe.

ADV STEENKAMP: And that of Mr Aubrey Matlema Maile?

Mr Chairman, application number 7694/97.

What was his role, was it similar to the other two as well?

ADV SANDI: What page is that, Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, the application of Mr Aubrey Matlema Maile, it's application number 7694/97. I don't have the application directly in front of me but I could look it up quickly if you could bear with me for one second, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, that will appear on page 281 of the bundle.

Do you have the question, Mr Msimango? Can you answer the question please.

MR MSIMANGO: I did not hear the question quite well because the interpreter did not relay the question to me.

ADV STEENKAMP: My question is purely this, Mr Aubrey Matlema Maile, at that stage he was 12 years old, what was his function as an SDU member?

MR MSIMANGO: He too was playing the same role as the other two.

ADV STEENKAMP: Sir, is there anything else that you would like to add to your amnesty application, any specific details which you can remember today, apart from the three incidents which I related to you, which is the Penduka and the other two incidents?

MR MSIMANGO: I think that's all.

ADV STEENKAMP: Were you yourself ever physically involved in any shooting incident yourself, by handling a firearm and by shooting at people, whoever they may be?

MR MSIMANGO: I have explained earlier on that in a fighting situation one does not really concentrate on who is being shot now because we also shared these firearms.

ADV STEENKAMP: I think you misunderstood me. My question is, were you ever personally, yourself, involved in an incident where you were carrying a firearm? Do you understand my question? In other words, were you involved in a reprisal attack or whatever it may be? Yourself personally, did you handle an AK47 in an incident where the SDUs were involved in?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I did carry an AK47.

ADV STEENKAMP: And were you involved in a shooting incident, Mr Msimango?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I used to fire shots as well because I was leading these soldiers to war. I also used the AK47.

ADV STEENKAMP: And can you give us the details of these incidents which you can remember please?

MR MSIMANGO: As I have said earlier on, this is the Penduka incident, the Mshayazafe incident and the Mazibuko incident. Those are the incidents where I used my AK47.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, I understand the process here but I have to ask this question.

Why, when you had the opportunity, why didn't you tell the Chairperson or even in your amnesty application, that you were actually yourself involved in the incident, when you were asked?

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just understand the question? Sorry, M Msimango.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, my question is purely this, why didn't the applicant when he had the opportunity to relate the detail, not tell the yourself that he was actually himself involved in the shooting incident. He never said that. Maybe I'm mistaken but that's how I understood it.

ADV SANDI: Does he not say, Mr Steenkamp, at paragraph 7(b) where it says: "State the capacity in which you served, institution, body..." and so on and so on, does he not say there he was the commander of SDUs in Lusaka? If you are a commander does it not go without saying that you would have to be there physically to oversee the process of attacks?

ADV STEENKAMP: Maybe Mr Chairman, I misunderstood his answer then because my understanding of it was that he gave the instructions. My understanding was never that he was actually physically on the scene with an AK47 during the shooting incidents because that's definitely not what the applicant has testified.

ADV GCABASHE: And yet, Mr Steenkamp, that's the sense I had from his testimony, that he went out with the guys because he was in command. ...(Zulu)

ADV STEENKAMP: I would just put the question in another way.

While you were handling the firearm, Mr Msimango, you were never aware of or you can't remember any persons being injured or killed as far as your knowledge goes?

MR MSIMANGO: I would not be in the position to remember because I did indicate that in a fighting situation one is torn between the IFP and the Stability Unit and therefore it's very difficult to tell.

ADV GCABASHE: But on the same point, would you hear reports the next day about, either in the newspaper or just by word of mouth, about the number of people, IFP people who may have been killed in the incident the night before? You know when you knew you had been retaliating. That's I think the type of thing that Mr Steenkamp would like to know.

MR MSIMANGO: I don't know how I would have got information from the IFP because we were not in good terms.

ADV GCABASHE: No, even using the example of reading in the newspapers, just that type of thing.

MR MSIMANGO: I did not have time to read the newspaper because I had left home. I was not staying at home.

ADV GCABASHE: So you are essentially saying that whatever casualties you inflicted on the other side, you haven't got a clue as to how many or what the nature of those casualties might have been, is that really what you are saying?


ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, my last question if you will allow me.

Sir, if I read the background of the SDUs, the code of conduct and all that, it seems to me that there was a fair amount of training being done on SDUs as well, they had a specific code of conduct, would you agree with that?

MR MSIMANGO: I don't know about that.

ADV STEENKAMP: Are you saying now that there was no code of conduct for the SDUs, as far as your knowledge goes?

MR MSIMANGO: I know the code of conduct. When you are talking about training, there are so many ways of training. I didn't know you were referring to the code of conduct, I thought you were referring to the training.

ADV STEENKAMP: So before I go to my question, were SDU members actually undergo any training with firearms or whatever, were they ever trained?

MR MSIMANGO: No, we used to learn along the way as we were shooting, as we were fighting.

ADV STEENKAMP: My real question is - my last question to you is, you see those applicants I was referring you to, Mr Simphiwe Godfrey Ndlovu, Mr Mbatha and Mr Maile, they were respectively 10 years old and 12 years and 12 years. My question is this, why did you use such young children to be involved in your warfare as you would like to put it?

MR MSIMANGO: To answer this question I would say that there was no young, there was no old, we all had to go and fight.

ADV STEENKAMP: And even the children, you made them involved in your war?

MR MSIMANGO: As I have said - you indicated that these were young boys, I would delegate them to do certain things but they would not go to war.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you Mr Chairman for your indulgence.


ADV SANDI: Mr Msimango, should I understand you to say today that there were so many confrontations between your group, that is the SDUs and the group from the other side of the IFP, so many of these conflicts that you are not able to say how many there were, you are not able to give such details, is that correct?

MR MSIMANGO: Would you please repeat the question.

ADV SANDI: All in all, how many confrontations, physical confrontations did you have between the SDUs and the IFP group during the time in question?

MR MSIMANGO: It's difficult to say because this would happen every day.

ADV SANDI: You would not be able to say how many people perhaps died from your side? Would you be able to say how many were killed from the side of the SDUs, if any?

MR MSIMANGO: I don't know which group you are referring to, my group or the entire Thokoza group? I do not quite follow.

ADV SANDI: Your group, I'm talking about your group, the group you were commanding.

MR MSIMANGO: Nobody got injured in my group and nobody died.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Msimango, I would just like to understand the structure of the command system. You have referred to the Central Command Structure, yes?

MR MSIMANGO: ...(no English translation)

ADV GCABASHE: I simply want to understand the command structure. You have referred to the Central Command Structure, yes?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, I did refer to that structure.

ADV GCABASHE: Now this was a separate structure to the Committee of Seven, was it not?

MR MSIMANGO: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Now who were the people who made up this Central Command Structure? I know you were a member, who were the other people?

MR MSIMANGO: In our section, the section that is now called Lusaka, I would refer to Dumisani Mbatha, Glen Vilakazi and we also had Bonga Nkosi, the chief commander and Lucky. I don't know whether I should refer to them all.

ADV GCABASHE: Were they members of the Committee of Seven?

MR MSIMANGO: Let me explain it as follows. I'm including Dumisani and Glen Vilakazi because they were part of the two structures, the Committee of Seven and the other structure. This group was divided into half and they would serve in both committees.

ADV GCABASHE: You have also talked about your commanders, so the idea I have is you were in a sense the commander-in-chief, then you had commanders below you, is that right?

MR MSIMANGO: That is not correct. I was a commander commanding the soldiers on the ground and above me we had the Committee of Seven.

ADV GCABASHE: So when you were in command of a particular operation you never split up into sub-groups, it's this one group that would follow the IFP chaps who had been attacking you, one group?

MR MSIMANGO: It sometimes happened because we would have different sections coming together and sometimes we would split.

ADV GCABASHE: Now this is part of my problem, Mr Msimango. ...(Zulu). I was not there therefore I do not quite understand how these other sections came to be part of your section, would you please explain this.

MR MSIMANGO: Okay, let me explain it as follows. In any area where there was an attack, like Thambo Slovo and Lusaka, we are separated by streets and that is why we are different sections and if there is any attack going on we too would be victims. That is why we had to come together to be one big thing.

ADV GCABASHE: Now having explain the street sections in a sense, were all of these people then accountable to the Committee of Seven? Just to help me understand this morning's evidence and what you are saying to me now.

MR MSIMANGO: No, the Committee of Seven concentrated on our section.

ADV GCABASHE: If I can switch back to Zulu. Now what about these other sections, who was in charge in these other sections?

MR MSIMANGO: The other sections had their own commanders.

ADV GCABASHE: Then just a final aspect. Really your activities were very limited, it was 1993 to 1994, a fairly short period of time considering that the violence had really started in 1990, am I right?

MR MSIMANGO: Yes, we started operating in 1993 even though the violence started in 1990. When this started we thought it was something between the people from the hostel and Polla Park but as time went on the situation got tense in that each time the IFP attacked, on their way back they would just attack indiscriminately. That is when the committee rose to say something had to be done.

Each time we had to go to town we had to give them something along the way, that is the IFP people, to buy our passage of way.

ADV GCABASHE: Now your unit, did you at any stage assist the Polla Park people in their fight against the perpetrators?

MR MSIMANGO: No, we did not. Our unit was not yet in place at the time.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, any re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None Mr Chairman, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Msimango, thank you very much, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: Now that seems to conclude the testimony that we will be hearing today. I will under those circumstances adjourn the hearing until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning. We're adjourned.