DAY: 8

______________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. We are about to start. For the record, today is Thursday, 3rd December 1998. It is the continuation of the sitting of the Amnesty Committee hearing applications from members of the Self Defence Unit in Thokoza.

The first matter this morning is the application of Jim Jabulane Mpele. It is reference No AM7128/97, and the application appears at page 106 of the Lusaka A bundle.

The appearances are as previously indicated on the record, the panel as well as the leader of evidence and the legal representative for the applicants, who this morning is Mr Sibeko.

Mr Mpele, good morning, do you hear me?

MR MPELE: Yes, I can hear you, sir.


JIM JABULANE MPELE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Mr Mpele, you have applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: I'm looking at page 106 of your application on question 7(a), where it i s stated that you were a member of various organisations, that is the ANC Youth League, COSAS, Self Defence Unit and South African Communist Party. Is this information correct?

MR MPELE: This information is correct, sir.

MR SIBEKO: Just to find out, Mr Mpele, were you also a member of the Self Defence Unit?

MR MPELE: I was not a member of the SDU.

MR SIBEKO: So will I be correct if I say that your application is for your activities or your involvement in the Youth League, COSAS and South African Communist Party?

MR MPELE: You will be correct in that way, sir.

MR SIBEKO: During your membership to these organisations, were you ever involved in acts of violence, if so, do you mind telling us about those incidences?

MR MPELE: Yes. I took part in violent activities. It was in 1991, when COSAS had a campaign against crime. There was a problem at school, one girl was raped and the other killed by the Bad Boys gangster. As a member of COSAS, we took steps, we saw it necessary to trace those gangsters, who lived in Thokoza.

MR SIBEKO: Before you proceed, Mr Mpele, at that time you were a member of COSAS, in which school were you a student, and where is that school?

MR MPELE: I was at Lituthula Secondary School in Katlehong.

MR SIBEKO: And you say two students from Lituthula, one was raped and the other one was murdered by members of the Bad Boys gangsters, is that what you're saying?

MR MPELE: That is what I said.

MR SIBEKO: Would you be in a position to tell us, to give us the names of the two people who were victimised by the gangsters, do you know their names?

MR MPELE: I only remember the one girl, who's Phumseli, who used to live in Mgake Street. I have forgotten the other one. This happened a long time ago.

MR SIBEKO: Is Phumseli the rape victim, or was she murdered?

MR MPELE: Phumseli is the one who died.

MR SIBEKO: Proceed, Mr Mpele.

MR MPELE: It so happened that there were two schools, Phumana and Lituthula. We went out to Thokoza to search for these Bad Bays. I knew where they lived, because I resided in Thokoza, and it was next to the bottle store where we found them, and we took them with. We were taking them to the school and when we were crossing into Katlehong, a police van approached and we ran away, we managed though to run away with one of them until we reached the school. We assaulted him and he was badly injured, and the police came to pick him up after we ran away. His name was Zero, who resided in Thokoza. That is my first application.

MR SIBEKO: Do I understand you correctly that you say students from your school, that is Lituthula, together with students from Phumana High, joined forces and went to Thokoza to look for members of the Bad Boys, and you found them at or nearby Mafetem Bottle Store here in Thokoza, is that what you said?

MR MPELE: That is what I said.

CHAIRPERSON: What is the name of that bottle store, Mr Sibeko?

MR MPELE: Mafetem Bottle Store.

MR SIBEKO: Are you in a position to tell us about the number of the gangsters that you found at Mafetem Bottle Store, how many were there when you found them there?

MR MPELE: We found four of their members.

MR SIBEKO: And then how do you know that Zero, the one that you took along to your school, and the three others, were members of the Bad Boys, how do you know that?

MR MPELE: I know Zero and them, because we were once engaged in a fight.

MR SIBEKO: If I were to put it differently, sir, what was the identifying feature, were they openly harassing the community, were they openly carrying weapons, were they openly doing crime, what is it that one could identify them, even without having to get involved in a fight with either of them, if you are looking at them from the distance, how would you identify them as members of the Bad Boys?

MR MPELE: They were always in possession of firearms during the day, harassing people randomly and robbing people, that is why I realised that it was not safe to let these people go free, because I'd seen them engaged in such activities previously.

MR SIBEKO: Now you also participated in the assault on Zero. What were you using in the said assault?

MR MPELE: I used an iron bar. I was present when he was assaulted, I used an iron bar.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just check, Mr Mpele, the four you found at the bottle store, did you know that these were directly involved in the killing of Phumseli and the raping of your colleague?

MR MPELE: Yes, I was sure that they took part.

MR SIBEKO: Why were you sure, Mr Mpele?

MR MPELE: The girl who died was in our school and her parents told us the description of the boys who came home and took her away.

MR SIBEKO: What description was given to you about the boys who had taken her away?

MR MPELE: They told us the clothes that they were wearing -they used to wear the same clothes, all of them.

MR SIBEKO: After the assault on Zero, do you know whether he died on that spot or he died after he was - or just before he was taken away by the police, as you said you ran away as a result of the appearance of the police?

MR MPELE: When we left, Zero was still alive, that is when the police approached, he was still alive.

MR SIBEKO: So that's the first reason why you are applying for amnesty, is that correct?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: But Zero did die subsequently, he did die, he's dead?

MR MPELE: He did not die.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any further incidents of violence where you also took part?

MR MPELE: Yes. This involves other boys, the one lived in Unit F, he was in the company of other boys from Thembisa. They killed a family of five in Everest. Let me put it this way, there's a boy who lived in the same street as myself, his name is Mampuru, his home is in Everest, but his granny lived in my street. Now he was co-operating with people from Everest. Now they informed him that there was a gangster that killed a family of five, they were actually going to rob the family, because they had a tavern business. Now this boy informed us then as to what happened and he told us that the people who committed this act ran away. Because we were not in loggerheads with them, we were not in good terms with them, we planned to go and catch them.

MR SIBEKO: Before you go any further Mr Mpele, your evidence is that there's a guy or a man who stays at Unit F, Thokoza, who was a friend or a gang member with other guys from Thembisa, is that what you say?


MR SIBEKO: And do you know the name of this guy from Unit F?

MR MPELE: I have forgotten his name.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just a moment, did you say a guy or a gang?

MR MPELE: There's a guy who stays or stayed at Unit F, Thokoza, who was part of a gang with other guys from Thembisa.

CHAIRPERSON: The gang being the Bad Boys?

MR MPELE: No, they were not the Bad Boys.

MR SIBEKO: Now, this guy from Unit F, together with his friends from Thembisa, went to this tavern at Everest, where they robbed the patrons of that tavern and killed the family members, that is five of the family members of the said tavern, is that what you say? 

MR MPELE: That is what I say.

MR SIBEKO: And you, with your comrades, got that information from Lucky Mampuru, who happened to have a co-operation or a working relationship with the members of the community of Everest, is that what you say?

MR MPELE: That's what I said.

MR SIBEKO: Was Lucky Mampuru part of your organisation, that is COSAS?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: And after you got that information from Lucky Mampuru, you say you sat down and planned as to how to get back to these people, is that what you say?

MR MPELE: That is what I said.

MR SIBEKO: Then, sir, start from the point of your planning, what was planned and you carry on and tell us about what subsequently happened thereafter?

MR MPELE: It was the three of us when we sat and planned how to catch up with these boys, it was myself, Lucky and Khotso. After three weeks, we found information that they returned, it was on a Friday, but they shot in the air, on Saturday we went to Everest, we met a civic member and he told us that they were driving a grey Gallant car, called Gallant.

ADV GCABASHE: Who shot in the air, these gangsters?


ADV GCABASHE: And what was Khotso's surname? 

MR MPELE: I do not know his surname.

ADV GCABASHE: Do you know the name of the civic member who you met?

MR MPELE: I know him, but I've just forgotten his name.

ADV SANDI: Where was it, in Everest, that these people shot in the air?

MR MPELE: Yes, they were shooting in the air in Everest. I then said to Lucky, "Since you have an AK47 and I also have one, why can't we get ourselves a car, because they also have a car, and attack them?", then Lucky said, "That's a better idea, let's go and borrow a car", and we did not have an access to a car, we were now puzzled as to where we will get a car, and he said, "I have a friend who can borrow us a car", and I said to him, "Well, let's go", and we met him and he said he would give us the car on Sunday. Khotso did not have a gun and he said he would go and borrow one. It was on Saturday when he came back with a 9mm. It was the three of us now with the three firearms, two AK47's and a 9mm. On Sunday...



ADV GCABASHE: Okay, continue.

MR MPELE: We left early on Sunday morning to go to the shops. Khotso came to us and told us that these people were seen in the Sotho section.

ADV GCABASHE: The Sotho section of Everest or of another area?

MR MPELE: Sotho section in Thokoza. We went back home, the owner of the car had a tuckshop and he told us that he was not going to give us the car at that moment, because he had to go and buy stock, and we said well that was okay with us because we had found someone else in Everest who would borrow us a car. We changed clothes and I borrowed a garden umbrella so that I can hide my AK47 in it. Lucky Mampuru went home, he changed his clothes, he was now in a camouflaged uniform. He had an AK47 but it wasn't as long as mine, his was very short. The three of us left, it was myself, Khotso and Lucky. We split, we split up into two groups and two went the other direction and one took the other direction. Lucky said he would take the other direction into the other street and myself and Khotso took the opposite direction into the same street. We heard shots three times and we got into a yard trying to look as to where the shots were coming from, and there was nobody running away.

ADV SANDI: Is that now you and Lucky, or Khotso, you and Khotso?

MR MPELE: That is correct, it was the two of us because we took different directions.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you think that was Lucky firing those shots, or did you think it was just totally, something totally different?

MR MPELE: That is why we ran into a certain house, because it's because we didn't know who was shooting, we had to look as to what was happening. I took out my gun from within the umbrella, I threw the umbrella outside and I cocked my gun. Khotso did the same. We kept an eye but there was nobody, we jumped fences until we reached a place where the Colt Gallant was parked outside, there was nobody, but there were bottles, beer bottles, all over the place. We then ran to stand at the corner.

MR SIBEKO: Before you proceed, the Colt Gallant that you say was parked next to that house where there were bottles of beer, is it the same Colt Gallant that was described to you by the civic leader or civic member that told you that these people were around?

MR MPELE: That is the same car.

MR SIBEKO: Mr Mpele, you say there were empty bottles of beer all over, how do you mean, were they inside the vehicle or outside, where were these empty bottles?

MR MPELE: They were on the lawn outside.

MR SIBEKO: About what time of the day is this, in the morning, in the afternoon, at night?

MR MPELE: It was ten o'clock in the morning. We looked for Lucky, we found him at a certain house and we asked him as to what happened and he told me that he had shot others and we decided to leave, because people were flocking to the scene and we hid our guns and left.

MR SIBEKO: So, in other words Lucky claimed the shots that you heard earlier on, did he say that he is the one who fired the shots that you heard earlier on?

MR MPELE: He told us that he shot.

ADV GCABASHE: He shot who? Were they gangsters he had shot, or who had he shot?

MR MPELE: He said he fired shots at the gangsters. We left for our section and we changed our clothes, so that people could not identify us. After changing our clothes, we went back. We went to the owner of the spaza shop who borrowed us his car to fetch our guns. Lucky said he knew where one member resided in Unit F and he said we should go straight there. We drove to Unit F, and when we arrived at his home, we asked his whereabouts. We were told that he was not at home and we searched the shack, we did not find him and we left. Now there's a bridge that divides Unit F and Extension 2, and a police Nyala approached in a high speed. Lucky was not a good driver, I said to him, "Please stop", otherwise we would be arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute. Right, proceed.

MR MPELE: He stopped the car, we jumped out of the car and ran away. We had AK47's, Khotso had a small firearm, it was invisible, ours were visible, one could see them clearly. The police chased us and I was arrested in possession of that AK47. Khotso and Lucky managed to run away, they were not arrested. When they came to see me at home on Monday, I was told that Lucky killed a person in the Sotho section and they said that they saw everyone who was in his company.

MR SIBEKO: You were arrested as a result of the AK47 that you were carrying, is that correct?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: And then, when you were in custody, your family came to visit you. That's where they told you that Lucky is said to have killed somebody at Everest and his friends were also identified, is that what you say?

ADV GCABASHE: At Sotho section, not at Everest.

MR MPELE: That's what I said. He was seen in the Sotho section, shooting. The case went on until, in court, and I was sentenced for seven years. When they arrested me, I gave them the wrong age. I heard from people that when you get arrested and you tell the authorities, you take down your age, the authorities would be lenient, but that was unfortunate, I was given seven years still. I told them that I was born in 1976, which meant I was 16 years.

CHAIRPERSON: And did they sentence you as a 16 year old?


CHAIRPERSON: To seven years for what?

MR MPELE: For illegal possession of a firearm.

CHAIRPERSON: Where was this, which court was this? 

MR MPELE: Germiston regional court 3.

MR SIBEKO: What year was this when you were sentenced?

MR MPELE: It was on the 23rd of January 1993.

MR SIBEKO: Did the Court uncover that you were lying about your age?

MR MPELE: No, they did not discover that. After President Mandela's inauguration, I qualified for indemnity.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you make an application for indemnity, did you fill in an application form, or what?

MR MPELE: I did not fill in any form, they just came to me and informed me that I was - I qualified for indemnity.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this at the prison?

MR MPELE: Yes, it was in prison when they came to me.

CHAIRPERSON: Which prison?

MR MPELE: Leeukop, Medium B, Prison.

CHAIRPERSON: And did they just release you after they told you that you qualified for indemnity?

MR MPELE: Social workers were sent home to assess the situation as to whether there was no tavern business operated at home, and my parents were called in, they were informed that I was going to be released and they were given the date on which I will be released.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure you didn't fill in any forms, application forms for indemnity?

MR MPELE: I did not fill any form, but the lawyer informed me, the lawyer who was conducting all this business, informed me that we would be released.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, please proceed.

MR MPELE: I'm also praying for amnesty because I was released, I was given indemnity, juvenile indemnity, while I was not a juvenile.

MR SIBEKO: Now, Mr Mpele, we'll come back to that. At the time you - in fact your evidence is that when you sat down with Khotso and Lucky Mampuru to plan, you had an AK like he had an AK, where did you get that AK?

MR MPELE: This was not my personal AK47, it was a joint weapon that was bought from Shawela in Soweto. I do not know where Lucky got his AK from. Khotso went to borrow his shotgun.

MR SIBEKO: Now when all this happened, were members of COSAS aware that you and Lucky had arms, was it ever discussed with any of the members of your organisation?

MR MPELE: We did not discuss it with COSAS members.

MR SIBEKO: Now ...(intervention).

ADV GCABASHE: Did you discuss it with any other structure, formal structure in the community?

MR MPELE: We discussed this with this civic member after he informed us about this incident, because we did not like violence, we took law into our hands.

ADV GCABASHE: What did you discuss with the civic member, what was that discussion, just take us through it?

MR MPELE: This gentleman informed us as to how members of a family were killed. We did not tell him that we are in possession of arms and we will go and look for these people ourselves.

MR SIBEKO: When you appeared in court, who was your lawyer?

MR MPELE: It was Krish Naidoo.

MR SIBEKO: And when you were convicted and sentenced, that was only in respect of possession of the AK47?

MR MPELE: Yes, that's correct.

MR SIBEKO: You were not convicted and sentenced for any other offence, it was only for possession of the AK47?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Now will I be correct if I say that you having weapons was never discussed with either your leadership in the ANC or the SACP?

MR MPELE: You are correct.

MR SIBEKO: Will I further be correct (tape goes dead). Now, you as COSAS decided to engage in that campaign. What did you intend as an organisation, as COSAS, what did you intend to achieve by getting back to these gangsters or criminal elements in the community?

MR MPELE: These people were disturbing us in many of our campaigns. They harassed the community. When we had our mass meetings, they would go around targeting businesses. The police would think that we were involved in that and they would also harass us, and we saw that it was necessary to take law into our hands because the police could not stop them, could not arrest them.

ADV GCABASHE: But what exactly was the strategy you discussed at COSAS? I understand you to say you decided to get back at these gangsters, what was the decision taken at COSAS, how were you going to get back at these chaps?

MR MPELE: Because they were very dangerous, we were going to fight them back and kill them.

ADV GCABASHE: Was this the decision taken by the group, by COSAS, to kill these chaps? 


ADV GCABASHE: Did you go further and discuss exactly how you were going to go about killing these chaps?

MR MPELE: We did not discuss as to how we would kill them. The decision was they should be caught, assaulted until they die, because the police could not do anything.

MR SIBEKO: Will I be correct if I say that when the three of you, that is Khotso, yourself and Lucky, went out on your own to look for these guys, you were still carrying through the resolution of the meeting that you've got to kill those guys, is that what you intended when you took arms and ran after them?

MR MPELE: Yes, that is correct, because they killed.

MR SIBEKO: You are also applying for amnesty inasfar as that is concerned, is that correct?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

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



ADV SANDI: Mr Mpele, at what level of COSAS as an organisation was this decision taken?

MR MPELE: COSAS had branches at all secondary schools in Katlehong. There was a mass meeting held at Lituthula after the tape of one girl, and it was now the second incident, this was the second incident, and nothing was done to these people. It was decided there that these people must be killed.

ADV SANDI: Did you, the three of you, did you attend that mass meeting of COSAS?

MR MPELE: No, I am the only one who was at Lituthula, they were not in our school.

ADV SANDI: Did any one of you hold any portfolio in COSAS?

MR MPELE: I was a member.

ADV SANDI: Was Lucky and Khotso also members of COSAS?

MR MPELE: Yes, they were members of COSAS at Boshe Buzeli School.

ADV SANDI: Was Lucky and Khotso subsequently arrested for the murder of those boys?

MR MPELE: Lucky - the police were looking for Lucky, but they never managed to catch him, he was never arrested.

ADV SANDI: And Khotso, he was also not arrested?

MR MPELE: Khotso was never arrested as well.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr Mpele, thank you, chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, chair. Phumseli, who you say was killed, lived in Thokoza?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Would she be Phumseli Mbatha, who has been mentioned in evidence before this hearing, who was killed, and if I got it wrong, on the 5th of November 1991, could it be the same one, Mbatha?

MR MPELE: That is not Phumseli Mbatha, Phumseli Mbatha was a Youth League member, this one was a member of COSAS who lived in Mgake Street.

ADV GCABASHE: Now, when Zero was assaulted, that incident, how many of you were there who tried to get hold of Zero and the other guys, the group in totality?

MR MPELE: It was many of us. We did not even have a chance to thoroughly assault, because there would be many people in front of you also trying to take part in the assault.

ADV GCABASHE: Are you talking 50, are you talking 100?

MR MPELE: Maybe 50, because when the police chased us, some were left at Nyala section, but we managed to reach the school with this one that we've accosted.

ADV GCABASHE: Now this group of 50, were all of you COSAS members?

MR MPELE: I do not want to commit myself, it was a mixture, but we were school kids. COSAS called a mass meeting and the position was put before everybody who was there.

ADV GCABASHE: But isn't that the meeting that you say you didn't attend?

MR MPELE: I attended the meeting, the meeting was held at the school. It was a COSAS meeting.

MR SIBEKO: If I were to interrupt, the question was, "Did you attend the meeting?", and then the answer was, "No", because the two were not students at his school, so he should have said, the complete answer would have been, "The two did not attend the meeting, because they were not part of our school, I was there".

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that in fact was his evidence, he said that he attended that meeting.

MR SIBEKO: But, Mr Chairman, it was not a complete answer, ja, so I'm trying to clarify what - if the question could be rephrased or could be asked again, maybe it could be clear.

ADV GCABASHE: In fact where you can help me is to explain how many meetings there were in relation to these incidents you have mentioned here, how many COSAS meetings to discuss the problem with these gangsters?

MR MPELE: There were two meetings on that day, it was the meeting at Phumana and the meeting at Lituthula.

ADV GCABASHE: Both meetings dealt with the issue of these gangsters and in particular the rape and the killing of Phumseli?

MR MPELE: The meeting at Lituthula was about rape, Phumana was discussing the issue of a girl that was killed.

ADV GCABASHE: You attended the meeting at Lituthula?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Khotso and Lucky, at their schools, did they discuss the same issues, do you know?

MR MPELE: This was a campaign of Lituthula and Phumana, only these two schools.

ADV GCABASHE: Talking about your AK47, you said that it was a joint purchase. Who bought it with you?

MR MPELE: It was Bafana Boloi.

ADV GCABASHE: Was this purchase with your own personal funds?

MR MPELE: Yes, we gathered a few cents and we bought this gun.

CHAIRPERSON: Now just make it clear to me, did you and Bafana give all of the money that was used to buy this AK47 rifle, or did you collect money from some other people as well?

MR MPELE: It's the money from - it's my money and Bafana's money only.

CHAIRPERSON: And for what purpose did you obtain this AK47 rifle?

MR MPELE: It was for self-protection. When we were still members of Toiko, we were once involved in a fight with these Bad Boys, they had firearms, we did not have, and they were not arrested. Now this is a serious issue, it ended up in schools.


ADV GCABASHE: When Lucky killed that member of the Bad Boys, you associated yourself fully with that killing?

MR MPELE: That boy was not a member of the Bad Boys, I was present, I did not know, I only came to know the next day that a person had died.

ADV GCABASHE: Let's just go back to that incident, the person Lucky killed, was he one of the people you had targeted, you know one of the Ford Gallant, Cold Gallant people?


ADV GCABASHE: Now my question is, because he was one of the people you had targeted, do you associate yourself fully with that killing, even though you didn't actually do it, your comrade did it?

MR MPELE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, chair.


ADV SANDI: These Colt Gallant people, did they belong to any particular gang, did their gang have a name, or what?

MR MPELE: I really do not know. This boy from Unit F was a silly person. After they killed a family of five, we realised that it was just a group of criminals, because their intention was to go and rob. We did not know the name of their gang, we did not know who they called themselves.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, one of the problems that you described to us which your organisation, COSAS, had with the gangs and the gangsters, was it that they would use activities which you planned in order to commit criminal acts, say for example you would have a march and then they would use the cover of that march to loot businesses, to commit crimes, was that the kind of problem that you tried to explain to us?

MR MPELE: Yes, we could not conduct our campaigns properly, we had cultural activities and they'd come and pick up girls and our campaign would end up to nothing and would not succeed in whatever we wanted to do.

CHAIRPERSON: So you had felt that they were undermining the political objectives that you were trying to achieve by this sort of conduct?

MR MPELE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, just to come back to that AK47 that you and Bafana had bought, was your purpose only to defend yourself personally against the activities of the gang, or was your purpose rather to defend other innocent people against the activities of these gangs?

MR MPELE: It was to protect myself and the innocent people.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this in line with a policy or a view of COSAS that you ought to be defending not only yourself but also other innocent people against these gangs?

MR MPELE: We had not discussed protection methods as COSAS, but when it comes to rape and murder in schools, we joined hands and we went out together.

MR SIBEKO: Yes, now apart from the method, was this in line with COSAS thinking that you, as COSAS members, should be defending yourselves and other innocent people against what these gangs were doing?

MR MPELE: That is correct, but we had never discussed that when there was a problem at school, an example the killing of a school girl, we had to group ourselves, go out and look for that person, because the police could not catch them.

CHAIRPERSON: So, in other words, this was the first time where you actually went over to action and to act on your thinking that you are to be defending people, it was only then that you actually did something positive about that sort of idea that you had, would that be about correct?

MR MPELE: Yes, that was the first time, you are right.

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

MR SIBEKO: None, thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Mpele, thank you, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn for tea.










DAY: 8

______________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: We would like to re-start. The next matter, I'm informed is that of Mr Sipho Steven Ngubane, AM7295/97. It is at page 188 in the Lusaka A bundle. Mr Ngubane do you hear me?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, I can hear you.


SIPHO STEVEN NGUBANE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Mr Ngubane, you have also applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR NGUBANE: That is so.

MR SIBEKO: Were you also a member of the Self Defence Unit, Lusaka A?

MR NGUBANE: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: When did you join the Self Defence Unit?

MR NGUBANE: When it started during the year 1993.

MR SIBEKO: Who was your commander?

MR NGUBANE: It was Moosa Msimango.

MR SIBEKO: Before the year 1993, were you involved in any incidences of violence in Thokoza?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you mind telling us about those incidences?

MR NGUBANE: During the year 1991 and 1992, I was involved in some incidents of violence. We fought as members of the Youth League, together with Numsali Khumalo or against Mr Khumalo, his first name is Mbekesele. I was deeply involved, so much so that we even planned the bombing of his house, I was present during the planning.

MR SIBEKO: The Mr Khumalo that you are talking about, is he the one who has been referred to as part of the Khumalo gang, or the leader of the Khumalo gang?

MR NGUBANE: That is so.

CHAIRPERSON: What was he, did he belong to a church or was he a church minister, or what was he doing?

MR NGUBANE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they refer to him as the archbishop, or what?

MR NGUBANE: That is so. We knew him as Mr Khumalo, he was a minister.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may proceed.

MR NGUBANE: I would like to start from scratch as to where this whole thing began which culminated to the violence. The members of the ANC Youth League, at the end of the day, we discovered that they were now collaborating with Mr Khumalo, that was before the violence started. They were involved with Mr Khumalo with the sole intention of looking for a certain man who went by the name of Mr Mugabe, who was conducting a reign of terror in the residential area.

ADV GCABASHE: Who was looking for Mr Mugabe, Mr Khumalo and the people who collaborated with him?

MR NGUBANE: It was Mr Khumalo, as well as our members, members of the ANC Youth League.

ADV GCABASHE: And were you saying there were two members of the ANC Youth League who were collaborating with Mr Khumalo?

MR NGUBANE: There were quite a few, but there were more than two. As they were working hand in hand with Khumalo, they were also looking for Mugabe, that's why they worked with Mr Khumalo. One of them was Mampuro, Eric Thozamile Mhlauli, Nxdisi, Tshabalala, as well as Desire Xaba, these are the ones that I remember.

ADV GCABASHE: Can you just start again, Mampuro?

MR NGUBANE: It was Lucky, Mampuro, Nxdisi, Tshabalala, Desire Xaba.

ADV GCABASHE: It's a lady, Desire, it's a man?

MR NGUBANE: No, Desire is a male. As well as Thozamile Mhlauli. What led to Mugabe being hunted, we also wanted him as the members of the Youth League, or I could say the whole of Thokoza, because he was conducting a reign of terror, he was terrorising the community, and Lucky Mampuro was mainly concerned because Mugabe killed Lucky Mampuro's uncle, he was together with his other friends, and Mr Khumalo was also hunting Mugabe down. When we got to know him, we knew him as a person who was fighting against the acts of violence, because we did also not go along with acts of violence, that is how Lucky and the other people that I've counted ended up collaborating or working with Mr Khumalo, because Mr Khumalo had a car and they were able to access a number of areas that is tracking down Mugabe. Mr Khumalo was also supplying the three members or the four members, rough counted, with bullets and they got some of the guns from him, and as time went on, Mr Khumalo now started changing, he underwent a drastic change, so much so that he ended up victimising everyone, even according to the attire that you are wearing, if you were wearing tackies, he would regard you as some thug. As a result, some of the innocent members of the community or society were killed by the Khumalo gang on the basis of what they were clad in.

ADV GCABASHE: But tell me, the people who comprised the Khumalo gang at this stage, were they the same people, Lucky, Nxdisi, Desire and Thozamile and Khumalo, or had the membership of this gang changed now?

MR NGUBANE: The ones who were with him before were not members of the Khumalo gang. When he formed this Khumalo gang, he already had recruited, or had been able to acquire some new membership. As people now were no longer able to get thoroughfare in Mr Khumalo's street, there were now rumours, rife rumours, that we had some members of our Youth League who were collaborating with Khumalo and they went around killing people. Lucky, Mampuro and myself were living in the same street, we got together with other comrades who were nearby and called them or summoned them to a meeting.

MR SIBEKO: Who were these people you called to a meeting?

MR NGUBANE: It was Lucky, Mampuro, Desire, Nxdisi, as well as Thozamile, the four that I had already mentioned who were our members. We summoned them to tell them about the rumours that were rife about their involvement with Mr Khumalo and were also terrorising members of the community. We wanted them to tell us their position as to whether they were members of the Khumalo gang or they were still members of the Youth League. The reply they gave us was that they were actually looking for Mugabe and there were places that they could not access without transport, that is the reason why they were working hand in hand and were close to Mr Khumalo, and that Mr Khumalo was providing them with arms and ammunition, so it was easy, far easier to work with him than to work alone or all by themselves as members of the Youth League, but at some stage they did realise that he was now becoming a law unto himself, he was getting involved in terrorising the members of the community, and they actually wanted to sever their ties with him. They decided to distance themselves from him and the guns or the pistols that were in their possession, that is the pistols they got from Mr Khumalo, were never returned to Mr Khumalo, they were kept amongst the members of the Youth League, I think that is where the trouble have now started, because weeks following, as I was just standing close to my house, I saw some cars, that is the Thokoza Taxi Association cars or taxis, driving up and down the street. I was very concerned and I had to call Lucky Mampuro to alert him to what I saw or what I was witnessing as I was standing there.

ADV GCABASHE: Just give us a rough date when this happened now, this incident of the taxis driving up and down?

MR NGUBANE: This incident was a 1991 incident, I'm not sure as to the date or the month, this is the incident preceding the violence itself. The situation was becoming now tense and I decided to take my gun from the house. My gun is a 357. As I was standing outside the house, Lucky went to his house and I went across the street. I was standing with a certain woman, a certain lady, as we were standing there, this brown Cressida approached, I think it was written TOTA, which stands for the Taxi Association, it's actually an abbreviation. I think I was on the driver's side but quite a distance from the car itself. On the passenger's seat was Mr Khumalo. He had a gun, a 303 gun. He pointed the gun out, that is on the driver's window, from across the seat, he pointed towards me and I pushed this woman who was standing next to me, I also took out my gun and I ducked at the same time, I also pointed towards their direction. What I noticed was that they ducked from inside the car and I picked myself up and ran into the nearest house, jumped the fence over to the opposite or following street.

ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, your gun, your 357, and this 303, are they large guns or small guns?

MR NGUBANE: A 357 is a revolver. A 303 is as big as I'm indicating. It has a scope at the top.

ADV GCABASHE: It's a rifle, the 303?

MR NGUBANE: That is correct, I could say that.

ADV GCABASHE: Were any shots fired in this exchange?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, there were shots fired, I was still coming to that.

ADV GCABASHE: It's all right, take it the way you want to do it, ja.

MR NGUBANE: I crossed over to the following street now fleeing Mr Khumalo and this brown Cressida driver. They went around the corner trying to approach me from a different angle. I jumped the same fence going back to the very place I was coming from, now trying to confuse them. That's when I started shooting up, I only shot once, I fired one shot upwards or pointing my gun upwards. Because the car took some time to go around the corner, they took time to approach.

By the time the car approached, Lucky Mampuro had already gone out of the yard and he was having his AK47 in his possession. It was just after we had spoken about the tense situation that prevailed in the area, and as the car approached, it came across Lucky. He did not ask many questions, he just fired. I came and joined him, I also fired some shots. This car drove off, this brown Cressida.

As we were still standing there, shocked about the incident, there were other members of the group, that is other comrades, who were quite close to us, the likes of Comrade Dangi Mtembu and Mdesi, Bafana, Banoi, as well as others who were not known to me, but I believe that they were also comrades, because they had come with Bafana, or they had been brought by Bafana.

As we were still trying to grasp what had just happened, I relayed to them that I personally saw Mr Khumalo and I was able to positively identify him. Then we realised that their behaviour meant that they were waging a war against us. Dangi Mtembu said that he was going to ...(indistinct) Mavumela Section to go and fetch an AK47. Lucky Mampuro said he would go and organise some bullets, so that we could have sufficient bullets.

They came back in taxis and there were two white Datsun Laurels. Myself as well as the other comrades I was standing with at that point, we tried to protect ourselves, because at that stage now they were ...(indistinct) a drive-by shooting and they would shoot at one street, when we ran to the next street, we would find other cars in the following street. At some stage when trying to jump the fence, I lost my balance, I fell and broke an arm, that is the left arm. Because it was a war situation, we tried to tie the hand with a piece of cloth and we continued defending ourselves until such time that the cars sped off.

I went to the hospital late that afternoon, that is at Baragwanath Hospital. I wasn't able to go to the Spruit Hospital, because they used to go there whenever a person was admitted in that hospital. I came back that very same night in a plaster of paris, then the following day we convened, that is myself, Lucky and the others. There was relative quiet and calm that morning.

I was always at home, always around, I don't know where Lucky had gone to that particular morning, but I was with other comrades. We saw Mr Khumalo's kombi being driven by Mzwaki, who is Mr Khumalo's son. The occupant was Peter, who was occupying the passenger's seat. He had a gun, it was protruding through the window, and he was busy firing as the kombi was speeding past.

ADV GCABASHE: Now that was Peter, not Mzwaki, who was shooting?

MR NGUBANE: It was Peter, Mzwaki was driving and Peter was busy firing. When this kombi sped past with him firing about us, we were standing around, we ducked for cover. I had a gun, I took out my gun and ran after their kombi, but when this kombi drove past us, it was quite unexpected, by the time I was alerted to it, it was quite late, so when I tried to run after it, it went around the bend, or the corner, I followed it and it went around the corner. By the time I followed it towards the direction, it went out of the section.

As we were still discussing this issue of this kombi and the seriousness of this drive by shooting, I took a carton, or a box, I think it was a big box, it wasn't very big but it was a brand new box, I think it was smallish, as I'm indicating, I put my gun inside and put it on the lawn, nobody would have been able to notice that there was a gun inside. As we were still standing there, the very same kombi came back, followed by a grey Mercedes Benz, as well as a police van.

We ran off, some others were able to jump the fence over to the next street. Unfortunately I wasn't able to jump because I had already broken my hand earlier on. I tried to take cover and hide myself. We hid ourselves. There were back rooms that were being erected in that particular yard and we hid ourselves behind the back rooms.

I just saw a person approaching from above the rooms pointing a 9mm on my head. He was approaching from above and he said I should not move, because should I move he would kill me. That is how they were able to arrest me. They swore at me, insulted me and told me that I was a dog.

I was taken into the police van, which was driven by one policeman who went by the name of David, but he was known as Desa, commonly called Desa. I was put into the van and there was one man who was inside the van and he was bleeding. He had a gunshot wound on the foot. I asked him as to why he was arrested. He said he had been shot by the Khumalo gang and he had been branded a tsotsi or a member of a gangster. We went to Lucky Mampuro's place. It was Khumalo, I've forgotten the owner of the Mercedes, but it was Khumalo's brother, it was Mpekelele, Mzwaki, Peter and another Khumalo boy, all of them had guns. They stopped at Lucky Mampuro's place.

They rushed into the yard and Peter kept on making some utterances to the effect that if they got Lucky, they ought to kill him, but unfortunately for them, they did not get Lucky, so they took me with and this van was following us. We proceeded to Maboya Section, that is Dangi Mtembu's place. I do not know who directed them or who told them where each and every one of us stayed. They weren't able to get Dangi. We proceeded to Natalspruit, that is Mavumela Section.

ADV GCABASHE: You went to Dangi's place at Natalspruit or at Spruitview?

MR NGUBANE: In Thokoza, Maboya Street.

ADV GCABASHE: Ja, and he wasn't there. Okay, continue.

MR NGUBANE: We did not get him. From Dangi's place we went to Spruit, Katlehong, Mavumela Section. When we got to Mavumela Section, at the tarred road these cars stopped, they congregated, they talked, discussing that the kombi was going to go first, was going to lead the way and the other cars would come behind. The kombi and the Mercedes took the same direction and myself and this other guy inside the van took a different direction, approaching the area from the back or the street from the back.

When we got in, I saw Dangi at the corner, he was wearing a lumber jacket, he had an AK47 in his possession. I don't remember who he was with, but he tried to peep through the van to see as to who was inside there. I told him the situation was bad and that he should run for his life and he should not let them catch him. Because Thokoza and Spread are divided by only one street or road, Dangi went across the road and proceeded to Thokoza, himself and the other man he was with.

Khumalo and his gang waited in front of this yard, they went inside looking for Dangi, but they could not get him. I think they got some information that he had just gone to Thokoza. We went back to Thokoza, we proceeded to Lusaka B. As the cars were approaching, I could see Dangi a bit further down, but he took out a gun and stood right in the middle of the road with his AK47. All the cars stopped. They got out of the cars, but they were scared to go to him. I don't know how he managed to escape and where he went to.

They took me to the Thokoza Police Station. When I got to the Thokoza Police Station, the policemen that we got there were clearly working hand in hand and collaborating with the Khumalo gang. Khumalo was prancing around, walking up and down as if he owned the place and he knew the people. They took me to the back of the police station. You go past the charge office, and I was put into some cells in there. I was never asked any questions.

Whilst I was still in the charge office, I heard Khumalo telling the police that, "These dogs need to be killed" and he would come back at 1:00 a.m. to pick us up to go and kill us. So they took us into these cells. I think we were awaiting our death under the hand of Khumalo.

ADV GCABASHE: Khumalo was going to come back at one o'clock. At what time was this roughly that you were in the charge office?

MR NGUBANE: I'm not sure, but it could have been 2:00 p.m. We were left there and Mr Khumalo left the police station. I was put there and in that place I was able to see the charge office itself.

Khumalo was back within 30 minutes of having left us there. He had a box with him which had Hunters Gold inside, or cans of Hunters Gold. He had brought some alcoholic beverages to the policemen who were at the charge office. That made it clear that this was their mode of operation.

Maybe I was not the first one to be brought there and be kept there, and he would go out, buy some liquor, then he would come back and pick his victims up. Other comrades tried to organise, phone places like the Shell House to report abduction or so-called arrest, so as to alert other members of the organisation. Then this one member of the ANC who came to the police station, together with another one, one was Mbongeni Gadebe, I don't remember who was accompanying him.

They got to the charge office and asked as to my whereabouts and the police said they had never seen me and I was not there. They said that I was not at the police station. I was able to see Mbongeni through the windows and the little spaces.

I tried to call out Mbongeni's name and yelled as much as I could, but to no avail until Mbongeni left the charge office. My uncle came to the charge office. My uncle's name is Hosiah Tshabalala. There is one policeman who was called Tshabalala, then my uncle spoke to this Tshabalala man and explained the situation about me having been arrested or abducted by the Khumalo gang. That is how I was able to be taken out of that cell at about 8:00 p.m., because my uncle, who's a Tshabalala, had spoken to that policeman who is also a Tshabalala.

ADV GCABASHE: Were you with policemen and the Khumalo gang, or just with the Khumalo gang?

MR NGUBANE: It was Desa, the policeman that I had already mentioned, as well as the Khumalo gang.

ADV GCABASHE: What happened to those policemen, did they just leave you there and walk away?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, that is correct. That is how I managed to be released. Thereafter we started considering fighting seriously against Mr Khumalo, so much so that the guns that we had were not guns that we got from the organisation. It's only then that we decided to get guns by fair means or foul, because now Khumalo had waged a war against us and we had decided that we were just going to protect ourselves. We were a few members of the Youth League and Khumalo had the backing of the police, he had the guns and he had his gang.

On a particular day I was in Nxabe Street next to the public phones, and whilst we were standing there at the public phones, we heard some sound of gunfire a distance away, it could have been two streets away. We didn't see anything amiss.

We continued standing there until such time that one comrade came running at such high speed, and his name is Mtobozise, who was staying at Nxabe Section. He was so scared and shocked, he was breathing heavily and he just couldn't talk.

The other members with whom I was standing and waiting there, for instance Thozamile Mhlauli, we tried to calm him down in order for him to be able to tell us what had happened. Then he related that he was going down Nxabe(?) Street, that is Mr Khumalo's street, he was with Comrade Vusi, Tshabalala, who is a member of the ANC and a member of the Civic Association, I could refer to him as a leader in the section, as they were with Comrade Vusi Tshabalala, they got to the corner of the street, they turned towards their right into Laura Street, he noticed that as they were walking somebody that is a member of the Khumalo gang was following them at a distance and quite discreetly.

As they got to Nguni Street, this man who was following them walked quickly towards them and shot Vusi Tshabalala. He explained the assailant's appearance, as well as his dress. We tried to organise ourselves into a group. There was Bafana Baloi, myself and Lucky Mampuro, I think Thozamile was there but I'm not sure, we proceeded to the scene of the occurrence, that is where Comrade Vusi Tshabalala had been shot. When we got there, we discovered that he was dead already. As we had congregated around him, we saw Khumalo's kombi. Inside the kombi there could have been four or more. It went past, driving slowly, and they were laughing loudly, and what we noticed is that the person who had shot Vusi was inside the car, the description fitted him exactly and he was a member of the Khumalo gang. His name was Percy. They went past, laughing loudly. We decided that, should they come back, we had to shoot and kill them or throw a grenade towards them, because on that particular day, Bafana had a grenade in his possession, but we were not able to do that, because there were many people now who had come to the area and had we shown the grenade, the probability would have been that a number of people, even innocent citizens, would have been injured or killed. We decided to refrain from throwing the grenade at the Khumalo gang. We then realised that they were actually waging a war against innocent citizens who could not defend themselves, they were not now fighting against thuggism or gangsterism. We now decided to plan that we should go and bomb Mr Khumalo's house. I was present during the early stages of the planning, but on the day that the operation had to take place, I was not present, because I had gone to Soweto. Lucky Mampuro, Bafana Baloi, Nxdisi Tshabalala, Desire Xaba, all these people were present, because we worked together in such operations. A bomb or grenade was thrown, but it did not explode. That is the information that I got whilst I was in Soweto. I heard it over the radio and I knew that the people who had attempted to bomb Mr Khumalo's place were members of my particular constitution or organisation.

We undertook the second planning, that dark or blue(?), this time Mr Khumalo's house has to be successfully bombed, or we should throw a grenade and make it a point that this time the mission was accomplished. There were some other comrades who were called from surrounding areas, I think it was Vosloorus, they had been brought by Comrade Lucky Mampuro to beef up the manpower. Amongst them was a man who had an F1 grenade. We planned that we were going to go to Mr Khumalo's place at night. I'm not sure as to the time that was set.

I was present during those stages of the planning, but I was in the covering group. We used a specific strategy where there would be the ones who attack and the ones who would remain behind keeping watch or keeping guard, so I was in the covering group. We went towards Mr Khumalo's place. We heard some gunfire. Thereafter I could hear the explosion of the grenade. Then, during 1992, I think it was during the month of January, Lucky Mampuro was shot by the police.

After his death, police started harassing me, coming to my place very frequently and making threats to the effect that should they get me, they would kill me, but the most unfortunate part of it is that they did not know me facially, they could not identify me, and when they came one day they found me, they said they were looking for me and they asked me as to what Sipho looks like, they wanted me to describe myself, not knowing that they had approached me.

I gave them a wrong description and said Sipho is very tall and very dark, because I realised that they did not know me. They said I should tell Sipho, my elder brother, that if they do happen to get him, they would kill him, because there was a death warrant out for Sipho and they would kill him wherever they get him. That is the message that they said I should convey. Now thereafter I wasn't able to spend time at my place, because I was growing scared by the day.

We started barricading the streets and patrolling during the night, trying to protect ourselves as well as members of the community. Mr Khumalo one day came to my place, he was with the Stability Unit. They left a message. I had just gone out of the house when they arrived, and where I was, I was able to see them as they were getting into my yard. They left a message that they knew that I had a 303, which of course I did not have, and they said the following day I should take the gun to Mr Khumalo.

What surprised me was that they did not say I should take the gun to the police station, but they said I should take it to Mr Khumalo's place, and the Stability would go to Mr Khumalo's place, and they used to place sandbags around Mr Khumalo's yard, I think they were protecting Mr Khumalo's house or property from being damaged. That became very clear to me, that the police were collaborating with Khumalo to a very large extent.

ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, you did say that you had gone to Khumalo's house, the intention at the time was to bomb it or throw the hand grenade at it. Are you saying that that was not successful, or are you talking about a different house that Khumalo owned, now in this evidence?

MR NGUBANE: Mr Khumalo had only one house. The first instance we threw the grenade but it did explode. That's when I was in Soweto, and I heard over the radio. The second instance was when I was present, but I was in the covering group. Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: But you see, correct me if I wrote the wrong thing here, because I wrote that you went to Khumalo's house the second time, you heard gunfire and then you heard the explosion of a grenade, and I had assumed that that was a grenade that was thrown at the house, because that was the plan. I'm just asking, what was the result of that, you didn't destroy Khumalo's house at that point?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, there was some damage, extensive damage, but it was not totally destroyed, the house was not totally destroyed, it was just damaged.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, that clarifies it.

MR NGUBANE: During 1992, after Lucky Mampuro had died, I was harassed by the members of the Khumalo gang, together with the police and the Stability Unit. That's when they left a message that I should take the gun to Mr Khumalo's place instead of the police station. During the year 1992, I think a few months after Lucky had passed away, there were kids at Lucky's place, he also had a sister, who were attending school at Buthle Buzele, they told me that they were being harassed at school, there is a certain man whose name I do not remember, who was particularly harassing them, and I think this man's name is Oscar, he was telling them that Lucky had died and he could do anything he wanted to them in the absence of Lucky, and this Oscar was a member of the Khumalo gang.

I ended up having to take further steps with regard to the threats, and the harassment that the children were enduring under Oscar. One morning I took an AK47 and proceeded to the school where the kids were schooling. During lunchtime, Lerato came to me, Lerato Ndwo, as well as Solly. I took them with to the Buthle Buzele School with my AK47. When I got there, it was during lunch break. Buthle Buzele is a double or triple storey building. I did not know this Oscar. I told myself that he was going to be pointed out to me. As I was walking up the stairs, there were two guys coming down the stairs. What I heard when they went past was that here's this other one who was with Lucky, they were calling him Lagoja, or using his nickname, and they said I should be shot because I was one of Lucky's friends, and they were going down the stairs whilst I was ascending the stairs.

I had already cocked my gun, there was only one bullet at the top and the magazine was concealed somewhere in my body, and this guy, who had a gun, he had a 38 auto, which resembles a 9mm. Before he took out his 38 auto, I already had my AK47 pointed at him. I pressed him against the wall, that was in the school yard now, he screamed very loudly and lifted his hands, and as he lifted his hands I could see a gun stuck in his trousers. He screamed so loudly that he actually shocked me.

I left him, I did not shoot him, I did not even run after him when he ran. I was trying to lay the background of the occurrences that took place, which led to me joining the SDU, maybe now I could get straight to the point.

MR SIBEKO: Then I assume that any other incidents that you were involved in would be starting from 1993 when you were a member of the Self Defence Unit, and upwards, is that correct?

MR NGUBANE: That is so.

ADV GCABASHE: Before you go to 1993, you didn't find Oscar, you simply left the school?

MR NGUBANE: I did find him, but I did not shoot him. He is the one who ran away.

ADV GCABASHE: No, the interpreter is saying you did find him but you didn't shoot him, was that Oscar, the one who ran away?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, that was Oscar.

MR SIBEKO: Was there any further trouble with Oscar after this incident when you confronted him?

MR NGUBANE: No, there was no further incident.

MR SIBEKO: He wasn't harassing the children, Lucky's family, anymore?

MR NGUBANE: No, it stopped right there.

MR SIBEKO: Then in 1993, what happened?

MR NGUBANE: During 1993, when the Self Defence Unit was formed, I became one of the founder members, that is after Moosa had taken over from Mafinos, because Mafinos had been demoted and expelled, Moosa was the commander and I was the deputy.

ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, Mafinos, how long was he the commander, it sounds like it was a very short time?

MR NGUBANE: I would be lying if I said I knew as to how long he reigned, but I think it's a relatively short time.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you serve at all under Mafinos?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, that is true.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute. There might be some difficulty with the system, just a minute, we just want to hear if the interpreters are ...(intervention).

INTERPRETER: Yes, we've just asked him to repeat himself.

CHAIRPERSON: All right, you can respond to what the interpreter was asking you.

MR NGUBANE: Could you please repeat the question?

MR SIBEKO: ... your activities in 1993 as a member of the Self Defence Unit?

MR NGUBANE: As I had already explained, we were barricading the area and we were also patrolling the area, we would also fight against our enemies. Most of the time we would go to Slovo Section and assist in fighting or defending ourselves and the community. I don't recall whether it's during 1993 or 1994, I chose seven members of the group and we launched an attack at Dube Street in Thokoza.

We were attacking members of Inkatha and the reason why we attacked them is because they were also attacking us, and we were protecting ourselves, at times launching counter-attacks, and the people I was with were Siphiwe Ndlovu, I don't recall the other ones' names.

MR SIBEKO: Were you carrying arms at Dube Street?

MR NGUBANE: That is correct, we were, we had some AK47's.

MR SIBEKO: What happened when you arrived at Dube Street?

MR NGUBANE: There had been sporadic outbreaks of violence before and as a result we had some areas which we called cover, or some cover areas. You would walk openly in a certain area, then when you get to an IFP stronghold, we would take cover and start firing. As we were launching these attacks, I do believe that some people died, others go injured.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other incident, except the one at Dube Street?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, there is the incident which took place at Nazebogo Street, that took place between the year 1993 or '94, but during the time the commander was Moosa. We were at the office, myself, Moosa, Eddie Kambula, as well as other members of the SDU who were present.

We received a message through the two-way radio. The message was from Mandela sectoin that they needed some assistance, and there was our own secret code of calling upon each other for assistance. We were able to call other members of the SDU. We gathered, there were quite a number of us, we were more than ten, we had AK47's, all of us. We proceeded to Mandela Section. When we got to Mandela section, we arrived at their base, we came across the commander, whose name was Bonga, they showed us the place. When we got to the office, there was already gunfire going on, they just showed us as to where we should go and start firing. We did that.

MR SIBEKO: You personally fired shots and it's possible that you might have killed or injured anybody, is that correct?

MR NGUBANE: That is so.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other incident?

MR NGUBANE: During 1994, the month was April, when the Thokoza hostel was attacked, I've forgotten the name of the hostel, I was present and I was involved.

ADV GCABASHE: Would that have been Mshayazafe?

MR NGUBANE: Yes, it is Mshayazafe. During the morning of that day, there was a fight that broke out at Slovo Section, that is where the members of the IFP regarded as a soft spot to launch their attacks. We heard that there was this fight and we proceeded to Slovo Section. We tried to launch a counter-attack and push them out of the area. We also shot the members of the IFP, there was an exchange of gunfire, until we were able to push them out of the zone, or what I could regard as their comfort zone, towards the hostel. At that point the Stability Unit was around. We went and left the guns at nearby houses in Khumalo Street, and we went and watched and pretended that we were also amongst the spectators. The Stability Unit was moving up and down. We congregated and decided that we should go have an afternoon meal or mid-morning meal, so that we could come back during the day. I think it was at about 10:00 or 11:00, we went back to the sectoin, but we were scattered, we divided ourselves into little groups, we did not walk in a large group. As we were getting into the section, just before we arrived at our places, we could hear a loud explosion at the back and the background we heard some gunfire, we had to turn back and go to Khumalo Street where we had left our guns. We retrieved our guns and went straight to the hostel. We divided ourselves into different directions. This was so that the time when we leave the sectoin, we would be a group of plus-minus 21 and when we launch an attack or counter-attack, we had a specific strategy, divide ourselves into groups, three groups of seven. We duly divided ourselves into those groups and proceeded towards the hostel. Other time people from other sections had already come out of their houses into the streets, others were not able to get to the hostel, but I was part of the group that got to the hostel. Eddie Kambula was also present.

We got into the hostel, their hostel yard, through a certain opening or a big hole. A number of others were there, burning their hostel down. There was exchange of gunfire between us and the members of the IFP, they fled the hostel and ran away. Before the Stability Unit arrived, we wanted to get out of the place, because we would just go there, launch an attack or counter-attack, and leave the area before we could be discovered by the Stability Unit. We left the hostel and went back to the section.

MR SIBEKO: Even in this incident, it's possible that you might have killed or injured anybody, is that correct?

MR NGUBANE: It is highly possible.

MR SIBEKO: Now, finally from you, sir, I notice that you are here in uniform, are you serving time for any activity or act that has to do with the violence in Thokoza, that is between '90 and 1994? 


MR SIBEKO: Is there any other thing that you want to say, that you think that you have left out?

MR NGUBANE: What I would say with regard to all the incidents that took place, I think I've covered all aspects of the violence. With regards to the present situation, I think this is personal, it's got nothing to do with the incidents I have referred to. What happened now or what happens now would affect a person after quite some time, it can even affect you after five to ten years.

In all that has happened, I feel terrible, because there are a lot of people who died, some lost their loved ones, some were left orphans. Even myself, there is a lot that I've lost out on just by being involved in the struggle. I had taken it upon myself to protect myself and my community, wanting to protect the community and wanting to better the lives of members of the community, but at the end of the day I think I'm left holding the shorter end of the stick, because thereafter we did not receive any counselling, so all of these things are still affecting me gravely, I still have a vivid picture of all the things that took place. I believe that after all has been said and done, after all that we have lost, some have lost their opportunities to be educated. The atmosphere was not conducive to studying. You could not hold a gun on one hand and hold a pen in the other, and patrol at the same time. Even though the war or the fight, as well as the violence, came to an end, but still it has left an indelible mark and it has left scars that cannot be easily healed, because thereafter I never got a chance to continue with my education.

We were offered opportunities that some members of the Youth League or people who were involved in the struggle would be given opportunities to further their education or be incorporated into the SANDF. That happened, some did get the opportunity. Maybe I could count myself as one of those people who could join the SAPS, but as the time went on, I had problems in the house, because during the war situation you're not able to scrutinise the situation and look at it.

Now after the fights, we were able to stay in our houses and now you had to have a role that you play in the house or within the household. All this has affected my family. It has affected me as a person as well. I found myself working, but I was working under pressure, or pressurised to work, and now at the end of the day, you hear that all this will come to an end, because you do not quality to occupy the positions that you occupy, there would be some requirements, and I ask myself that if they are coming up with these new requirements, how would a person be able to cope, and the major problem that I have, I thought it was my problem personally, or I was the only one who was having this problem, but I have come across quite a number of people that we fought together with who's got the very same problem that I have.

This led to a realisation that we were being kicked out of the positions that we occupied, and it raises a question as to why and how are you going to cope, because we did not get involved in the situation because we wanted to be non-law abiding citizens, but we were fighting for a nation, we were fighting for the rights of other people, but at the end of the day, we end up having nothing to hold onto. We were told that we would lose our positions because we do not qualify to be in those positions, and as we collectively spoke about the problem, that is myself and the other affected members, we found ourselves being involved in taking the very same guns, that is the legal or licensed guns, and being involved in armed robberies, that is how I find myself in this situation.

I was deeply affected, because had I not been faced with this particular situation, I could have gone on with my education to my satisfaction, my family would not have been affected and I would not have been affected. These are the difficulties that I'm coming across in life.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I've got nothing further.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Sibeko. Questions, Advocate Steenkamp.

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


CHAIRPERSON: Questions by the panel.

ADV SANDI: Mr Ngubane, at the Mshayazafe Hostel, what happened when the members of the Internal Stability Unit came?

MR NGUBANE: We got into the hostel and we left the hostel before members of the Stability Unit came. We knew that members of the Stability Unit would come and attack us and not members of Inkatha. Whenever there was a fight, they would come behind us and in front of us would be members of Inkatha attacking us from the front and the Stability Unit would attack from the back, and we gave ourselves time within which to launch an attack and escape.

ADV SANDI: Did you say as the result of your attack at Mshayazafe Hostel, the occupants of those hostels left, did you say they abandoned those hostels?

MR NGUBANE: I wouldn't say they abandoned the hostel. There were some who remained staying there.

ADV SANDI: Going back to the time when you were arrested, you say you were hiding at some yard when someone came pointing a firearm at you. Now you said these people were swearing at you, calling you with all sorts of names, they said you were a dog, for example, are you able to remember what else they had to say when they were swearing at you, what were they saying when they were swearing at you?

MR NGUBANE: They said that we were dogs which went around killing people.

ADV SANDI: Okay, thank you, thank you, chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, chair. The 1993 activities, when you were barricading, when you were patrolling, were you also confiscating firearms from gang members, if you came across them, what exactly were you doing?

MR NGUBANE: During 1993, the guns that we used were the defence guns.

ADV GCABASHE: I understand that, but the incidents that you note for 1993, the first one was that you used to barricade and you used to patrol. What exactly did you do, because the evidence that we have before this hearing, from other members of the SDU's, was in those patrols, for instance, if you came across gang members, you would take their firearms off them, and I just want to make sure that you were part of that activity, that's all?

MR NGUBANE: I don't know of such a thing of patrolling and searching and whoever came across a gun or an illegal firearm, it would be confiscated.

ADV GCABASHE: Then with the Dube Street incident, which was the next one you told us about, you said that, "I chose certain members of the group and we launched an attack at Dube Street". Was that attack sanctioned by Moosa, as your commander, or by the committee of seven, just help me with that?

MR NGUBANE: As his deputy, when Moosa was not present, I took the sole responsibility.

ADV GCABASHE: In the Mshayazafe incident, was that the incident where that white journalist was killed, I'm just trying to tie up my incidents, if you can help me with that?

MR NGUBANE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you very much, Mr Ngubane. Thank you, chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you, Mr Ngubane, you're excused.


CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn for lunch.



























DAY: 8



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko, which is the next application?

MR SIBEKO: The next application will be the one of Mr Thozamile Eric Mhlauli, it's on page 204, Lusaka A.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mhlauli, can you hear me?



EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Mr Mhlauli, you are also an applicant applying for amnesty, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: (Answer not interpreted).

MR SIBEKO: Do you confirm that you were a member of the Self Defence Unit, Lusaka A, Thokoza, in about 1993?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you further confirm that at the time your commander was Mr Moosa Msimango?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: The last applicant, Mr Ngubane, testified to the effect that you were part of their comrades who were in the company of Mr Khumalo, do you confirm that, sir?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: He further testified that the reason for your collaboration with Mr Khumalo was that you were looking for the common, I would say enemy, by the name of Mugabe, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: (Answer not interpreted).

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other incident that Mr Ngubane might have left out before 1993, that is between 1990 and 1993, that you and Mr Ngubane were together?

MR MHLAULI: It is when Mr Khumalo's taxi was shot at.

MR SIBEKO: Where did that incident happened and why?

MR MHLAULI: We regarded Khumalo as our enemy, that is why we attacked his car.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you were, I think you were saying that, were you giving the place where this happened? Just repeat that?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, I was also there.

INTERPRETER: I think the applicant is listening to channel 2 instead of channel 3, so it's very difficult to communicate with him.


CHAIRPERSON: I believe that that little bit of a difficulty with the channels has been sorted out now. Would you just repeat where did this incident concerning Mr Khumalo's taxi that was shot at, where did that happen?

MR MHLAULI: It was corner of Khumalo Street, Khumalo and Daki Street.

MR SIBEKO: Where is that? What section is that?

MR MHLAULI: It's a section between Slovo and Lusaka A.

MR SIBEKO: All right, so you want to tell us about this incident where the taxi was shot at. Just proceed and tell us about that?

MR MHLAULI: As we regarded Khumalo as our enemy, we decided to harass him, as he was also harassing the community. We met, it was myself and Mr Ngubane, Mr Mampuro and the others, I can't remember their names. We arranged to attack his taxi. We sent a girl to try and stop his car and we instructed the girl to pretend as if she was going to town.

MR SIBEKO: Did you send the girl to stop the taxi?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Did she do that, did she stop the taxi, and what happened then?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, she stopped the taxi. We went closer to him. It looked like the driver noticed something. We started shooting and the driver fled.

MR SIBEKO: What type of arms were you carrying?

MR MHLAULI: It was one AK47 rifle and some pistols.

MR SIBEKO: What arm did you have in your possession?

MR MHLAULI: I was armed with a pistol.

MR SIBEKO: Now I understood you to be saying that the reason was that you have decided to - or you decided to attack Mr Khumalo through whatever means, so that you could, he could suffer the same way as he was doing to the community. What was your specific intention now about his kombi?

INTERPRETER: Will the speaker please repeat the question, the last part of the question?

MR SIBEKO: Your specific intention, did you want to destroy the kombi, burn it, or what did you want to do with the kombi, had you succeeded to shoot it down?

MR MHLAULI: We wanted to attack the driver, his boy, Madiefdief.

MR SIBEKO: His son, Madiefdief, was he the driver of that kombi?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: What was his son's other name, we've got a different name somewhere here?

MR MHLAULI: If I'm not mistaken, I think it was Mzwaki.

MR SIBEKO: So Mzwaki managed to escape with the kombi, is that what you say?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Did any of your bullets shoot the kombi?

MR MHLAULI: I won't be able to say, because it was at a distance at the time, I think we did hit the kombi.

MR SIBEKO: You are applying for amnesty for this incident also, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Any other incident?

MR MHLAULI: Yes. The bombing of Mr Khumalo's house. It was in 1991.

MR SIBEKO: Is it the same attack that Mr Ngubane referred to, and if so, do you have a specific role that you also played personally?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, I did play a role there. This is what - I'm referring to the incident that Mr Ngubane was talking about. I was there in that attack, the first attack and the second one, the second one of the bombing of the house.

MR SIBEKO: Were you carrying an AK on that particular day?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV SANDI: Which particular day, Mr Sibeko?

MR SIBEKO: The first incident and the second incident, the first attack and the second attack, thank you.

MR MHLAULI: Yes, in both attacks I was armed with an AK47 rifle. We planned the attack and Comrade Ngubane was also present during the first attack. After an incident whereby a comrade's house was burnt down, who was staying in the same street with Khumalo, we just decided to attack him to show that we can fight for ourselves. It happened that we went to the place with the other comrades who were coming from the other sections like Mr Mtembu who organised the other comrades from Mavumela Section in Katlehong. We went to the place, the time was round about 10:00 in the evening. We left the other comrades behind in the sections, so that they could patrol the sections, and we left with two cars, a Cressida and a BMW. We left the car next to the church. We went up, walking. We were disturbed by the police when we arrived there. It looked like the police were patrolling in the street, Dagani Street, next to Khumalo's place. We had to delay a little bit and we started our mission round about 12:00 midnight. We delayed because the police were going to disturb us. At some stage the police came, I think they were changing the shifts of Khumalo's bodyguards, and they delivered some of them and they took the other people who were working there. After they had left, we started throwing the hand grenades that never exploded. When the securities were still looking, watching the situation next to the garage outside the house, they went to inspect to what was happening there on the lawn, we started firing.

MR SIBEKO: So you acknowledge that it is possible that you might have shot at some of those security personnel, to an extent that some might have died as a result, or remained injured?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct. We went back to the sectoin after finishing the job and the comrades from Katlehong went back to Katlehong. After some time, after some weeks, after realising that our mission was not accomplished, we initiated a second attack. We organised a van that we could use as transport to go back there to the place. Even there, Comrade Ngubane was present, Mzikayise Tshabalala, I cannot remember the other comrades' names. They were comrades from other sections like Vosloorus and Comrade Mampuro was also present.

MR SIBEKO: Even on that particular day, you were still carrying that AK47 assault rifle, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct. An order was issued that people would fire and thereafter a hand grenade would be thrown in order to distract anything there. We had planned that there would be a group, a covering group, and after withdrawal, the covering group would do their job.

MR SIBEKO: Now, in this second attempt, are you in a position to state whether there were people who were in the house at the time who could have been affected as a result of your firing and further as a result of the grenade that was thrown into the yard?

MR MHLAULI: (Reply not interpreted).

MR SIBEKO: So it's also possible that, as a result of your shooting, you might have killed or injured somebody on that particular evening?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, I agree with that.

MR SIBEKO: Any further incident?

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute, just a minute. What did actually happen on that second occasion? Was there a grenade thrown then, or what happened?

MR MHLAULI: We fired, and after that a grenade was thrown, and we fired again and we withdrew. We withdrew from the target point.

CHAIRPERSON: Did the grenade explode, or what happened?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, it did explode.

CHAIRPERSON: Was anybody injured or killed in this incident, to your knowledge, or from subsequent reports?

MR MHLAULI: I did not hear anything about that, it's only the first incident when I heard that the bomb did not explode, and even in the local newspapers that was reported, where Mr Khumalo was shown sitting on the sandbags carrying the grenade.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there any damage caused to the property, to the house?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Tell us whether there are any other incidents.

MR MHLAULI: Yes, there are other incidents. Comrade Ngubane was not present, I was with Comrade ...(indistinct), Philemon Mtembu, that was at Mgaki Street in 1991, where the car of an IFP member was shot at and burnt down.

MR SIBEKO: Do you by any chance know the name of that IFP member?

MR MHLAULI: He was known as Vilakazi.

MR SIBEKO: How did this incident occur?

MR MHLAULI: As we were barricading the streets, because the situation was tense in the townships, as we were still doing that, Mr Vilakazi came driving along in his car, he insulted us, he told us that his brothers are dying, he yelled at us, he sweared at us, and he was telling us that we are barricading the streets and their brothers are dying, and I told Philemon Mtembu that we've got to deal with this person, but he refused, he said we mustn't be in a hurry, but there were people who were around at the time while we were barricading there in the streets. We left him like that, he went on with his car. As he was trying to take a curve running away from a big stone that was on the street, his right hand, we saw his right hand with a gun. I asked Dangi if he could see that and he went on on his way and he went to Kana Mboya and Mgaki Streets, he stopped his car somewhere there. Dangi said we must go straight to him, but he did not get into his house, he made a U turn and he went back. That was on a Friday. On a Sunday morning, I heard a knock as I was sitting in the house early in the morning, I was having tea with my family, I heard a knock at the door. When I opened, it was Dangi and I asked him what was wrong. He said to me that person is there now and it looks like he is leaving the place, he looked like a person who is relocating to somewhere else. I left the house without telling anyone, I rushed to his place to see what was happening, and when I was standing at the corner, when I looked further down, I saw his car with his property. There was a person who was wearing a coat who looked like a person who was inspecting the place and the others were taking his belongings into the car. Dangi sent another gentleman who was working with us, whose name was Nxolisi Sijwele, he sent him to fetch the AK47. He left, but he took time before he could come back. I panicked, because I was waiting for them, I was worried that these people would leave before we could deal with them. Fortunately, Nxolisi came with an AK47. We were walking on the right-hand side, because his car was standing on the left-hand side. We went close to the car. Nxolisi was still having a gun in his hand, the firearm in his hand. When Nxolisi was drawing his gun, this gentleman who was standing next to the car said, "Here are the people killing us", then he ran straight into the yard. Nxolisi shot only once at this gentleman, but he did not succeed. I took the AK47 from Nxolisi. We went straight into the hut, into the yard, and the others jumped the fence, we went into the shacks as we were looking for the others. One of them was in the toilet. I asked him if he was with these other people, he said no, he doesn't know anything. They asked him to come and assist. As we were surveying the place, we saw a kombi coming from the Katlehong direction, they stopped the kombi as we were still watching there, it looked like they asked this gentleman to assist them in taking out Mr Khumalo's belongings in the house. We saw him getting into the yard. When I saw him in the toilet, he told me that he was only asked to assist there and I left the gentleman alone, but I told him that he must just leave. He left the place in his car. Only the car with Mr Khumalo's - Mr Vilakazi's car - only the car that was left with Mr Vilakazi's belongings. Dangi and Nxolisi set the car alight, they asked for a match from someone who was passing by, and they set the house alight.

MR SIBEKO: What did they set alight, the house or the car?

MR MHLAULI: It was a car, they set the car alight.

MR SIBEKO: Is it Vilakazi's car with his belongings loaded in?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: What had happened to him at that stage?

MR MHLAULI: We did not find him, he ran away, we did not find him in his yard.

MR SIBEKO: Did you fire any shots in this incident?

MR MHLAULI: I did not fire any shot, because the person we were looking for had already left.

MR SIBEKO: Did any of the others with you fire shots?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, Nxolisi was the one to fire the first shots, but it looks like he did not him, he did not hit anyone. The person who was remaining behind was the man who was wearing the black coat and he looked as if he was watching the vehicle.

MR SIBEKO: Who was Nxolisi firing at, was it Vilakazi he was firing at?

MR MHLAULI: He was shooting at the man who was wearing a black coat, because Vilakazi was inside his homestead.

MR SIBEKO: So that man with the black coat, he ran away, Vilakazi also ran away, and you found somebody hiding on the premises who seemed to have been just a helper, who seemed to have been innocent, is that the position?

MR MHLAULI: We found this man in the toilet, it looks like he ran and hid himself in the toilet, we found him in the toilet. Mr Vilakazi was a tenant in that homestead.

MR SIBEKO: The one in the toilet you concluded was innocent, you left him off?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: All right, so Nxolisi is the only one that fired shots there. What else ...(intervention).


MR SIBEKO: What else happened there?

MR MHLAULI: After the car had been set alight, we then withdrew from the scene.

MR SIBEKO: So as far as you're concnered, in that incident nobody was killed or injured?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other incident?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, there is another incident. That refers to an incident where people were shot at at Mgagi Street during a march. Members of the community were injured and if I remember very well, this march was organised by the Civic Association. They were on their way to hand over, or hand a memorandum to the Alberton Town Council, and the route that the march had to take was Khumalo Street, that is the Khumalo near the hostel. At the time the violence had not reached the highest of levels. I think our road was the meeting point of the Town Council members where this memorandum had to be handed in, and during this march, we walked past Mjazafis gate, Mjazafis Hostel gate, and we heard gunshots, gunshots that were coming from the hostel windows, and we heard another gunshot or gunshots from behind us, and because people were frightened, they fled in to the nearby houses, and we ultimately saw the people who were opening fire. I drew my firearm and shot towards the direction from which the guns were fired. I fired and Dangi fired shots towards the windows, and as these are the people who were fleeing towards the neighbouring houses, there seemed to appear people from the houses who joined in the attack, stabbing our people. We tried to flee, myself and Dangi, and when we went to the next street, I think the name of the street is Madondo, we saw the Stability Unit, during which time Dangi left his firearm on the roof of a shack and they shot towards, that is the police, shot towards our direction and we tried to flee. I always kept the possession of my firearm.

MR SIBEKO: Now the people who stabbed the marchers, what were they using to stab them?

MR MHLAULI: They were using spears.

MR SIBEKO: So when you saw these people who were firing at you, and then when you decided to shoot back, you acknowledge that you could have hit some of them, do you understand that they might have died or remained injured, is that so?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you have any other thing to say?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct. The shooting between myself and the hostel dwellers at Katlehong at Mazibugu Hostel. This happened in 1991, I think it was 1992, I'm mistaken. We heard gunshots in the morning shortly after I had taken a bath. We then summoned someone to go and establish as to what was happening. I quickly went for my pistol, went out of the house, I used to live with my brother at Seluma Section. I went out and he asked me where I was going and I told him I was going to inspect what was happening, and I saw some women who were carrying babies behind their backs, fleeing and my brother said I should stay indoors because I would get injured and I disagreed with him, and he then joined me as well as other neighbours. We went to inspect what was happening, and the gunshots were continuing in that instant and it looks like there was an exchange of gunfire and when I looked further down, I could see the people who were shooting. These were people who were coming from the Mazibugu Hostel. That's when my brother realised that I was carrying a gun, I drew my gun and pursued these people, and there were people who were being shot at Lugule Section and they fled to Seluma and I used my pistol that used to load 18 bullets, and I drove these people back from whence they came, and it looks like there was this vehicle that was coming from the direction of the township. The driver did not seem to know what was happening and the street was barricaded, and when the driver of the vehicle tried to make a U turn, his vehicle was shot at and I was trying to assist him so that he could escape. They kidnapped him and drove his vehicle into the hostel.

MR SIBEKO: Now your evidence is that you kept on firing on those people whom you say were from the hostel and you could see some of them falling. Will that be taken to mean that they might have died or they were injured as a result of your shooting?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you know what exactly happened to the man that was taken to the hostel thereafter?

MR MHLAULI: No, I have no knowledge. It was quite a distance from where I was standing. I tried to save him, I tried to shoot as fast as I could, but I failed, until the people from the hostel withdrew.

MR SIBEKO: What happened thereafter?

MR MHLAULI: At that time I had run out of ammunition, I withdrew and I went to try and secure other ammunition at Seluma, thinking that these people might come back, I went to a certain policeman at Seluma. Seluma is a place that's full of police and I was given five bullets, and on taking receipt of these bullets, I went back to try and find out what was going on, and it was now quiet, that's when I again met my brother, who insisted that I go back home. That's when I went back home.

MR SIBEKO: You are seeking amnesty for this incident also, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Now before we go any further, there's evidence that whilst you were still in the company of Mr Khumalo, he used to give you bullets and firearms. Will you confirm that, sir?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: The pistol that you say you kept on using throughout these incidences, is it part of the arms that you received from Mr Khumalo?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you have any other thing, sir?

MR MHLAULI: Yes. This refers to the shooting of a police truck at Seluma Section. It was shot at at Seluma Section, it was at a place, an open ground between Seluma and Mazibugu Hostel. This open ground is a border line between Seluma Section and the hostel area. I was at home and people from Seluma came and they, I would say they saw me for the first time when I exchanged gunshots with the hostel people and they took interest in knowing me and we exchanged introduction, and when they heard these gunshots they came to me to say they had a problem, saying that it looks like the people want to attack again. I did not waste time, I went to the scene and indeed it was as they explained. We already had an AK47 that had just been purchased, and they wanted to know if I can make use of that AK47 and I indicated yes I can, they gave it to me and I started shooting, and I handed this small pistol to another comrade. I was not quite familiar with these people from the other area. We then assisted one another shooting back until it was quiet later, and they wanted to know if there are no other people with whom I am working, and I indicated to them that, yes I do have other comrades with whom I constantly operate.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute. We're trying to keep up with what you are saying. When did this incident happen that you're talking about now?

MR MHLAULI: In 1992.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say that you took an AK47 and you were shooting. Who were you shooting at?

MR MHLAULI: I was shooting towards the hostel direction from where these gunshots were fired.

CHAIRPERSON: Which hostel was this?

MR MHLAULI: That's the Mazibugu Hostel, the one that's near Seluma Section, the one that is demarcated by this open ground.

CHAIRPERSON: So were people firing shots from this hostel, from the Mazibugu Hostel to the Seluma Section? 

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see these people who were shooting like that?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, I did. They were inside the hostel premises. One of them was wearing a red dustcoat.

CHAIRPERSON: So these people didn't come out of the hostel, they were just shooting from within the premises of the hostel, and yourself, where were you stationed, positioned?

MR MHLAULI: We were standing next to the houses facing the hostel.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it yourself and these people that you came to know from the Seluma Section?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were returning the fire with an AK47 that the Seluma people gave you to, and one of them, to whom you had given your pistol, was firing with you back at the hostel, would that be right?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were exchanging fire like that until eventually the exchange of fire was over?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: This exchange of fire, about how long did it take?

MR MHLAULI: I wouldn't say exactly, it may have been more or less than 20 minutes or thereabouts.

MR SIBEKO: I'm trying to have a picture in mind of what was happening there, would I be correct to think that you were between the hostels and the houses, the position where you were at the time you were returning fire to the hostels?

MR MHLAULI: We had taken cover, using the houses as our shield.

MR SIBEKO: Did you hit anybody, did anybody fall down?

MR MHLAULI: No, I didn't see anybody falling down, but we were shooting towards the hostel of course.

MR SIBEKO: Good, now there was this exchange of fire, about 20 minutes, things are now quiet, the shooting has stopped, what happened, how does the police truck come in the picture?

MR MHLAULI: It so happened that after the shooting and after the cessation of fire, I think there is one civic member at Seluma, who came to ask me if there aren't other people with whom I am working, suggesting that we confront them at the hostel, that is the people, and I indicated to him that there are numerous people such as Comrade Danko, Dangi and Comrade Mkalisi who often times operate with me, and they suggested that we go and fetch them, and I indicated to them that that should not be a problem, providing they provide me with a transport, and one of them offered that we can use his bakkie so that we drove to Thokoza to fetch these people. We arrived at Maboya, that's where I resided, and on arrival we did not find Dangi, instead we found Mkalisi, who said Dangi is at Mavumela Section, and he wanted to know if there was a problem and I said no, and I indicated to him that we wanted his assistance because something was happening at Seluma. I then indicated to Nxolisi that he should go and fetch an AK47, and we would later on go to fetch Dangi, whom we found at Schoeman Road, a road that demarcates Thokoza and Katlehong. I called him to the site and explained to him what the situation was like, and he then went back to report to the person he was standing with, briefing him about our discussion, I suppose, and he came and joined us in the bakkie and we drove away, and this civic member later on prepared some braaivleis for us so that we could get some strength, and after a while a police van was identified. There is this footpath which is usually used as shortcut and we saw this truck driving past and we nodded, and when it came back for the second time, Dangi suggested that we attack the truck and I told him to hold his fire because I was still eating. We already had our guns ready for firing and it so happened that when this truck approached, that is when we started shooting and Dangi went behind the truck, but fortunately the police managed to escape, and as we were shooting at this police truck, the police left their vehicle and fled on foot, and there came another one form Mazibugu and we continued firing. I ran shooting at the same time and covering Dangi up so that he shouldn't be shot at, and we managed to withdraw thereafter, and later on boys from Seluma came and took the truck and they took it and burnt it somewhere in another street and we had already left by then.

CHAIRPERSON: Was anybody killed or injured in this attack upon the police trucks?

MR MHLAULI: No. The police were only two in the truck. They managed a lucky escape.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you want to kill those two policemen in the truck?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct, because our motto was that the police are part and parcel of what was happening in the township because they were working for the then regime.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they regarded as part of the enemy?

MR MHLAULI: They were part of the enemy.

CHAIRPERSON: The second truck, police truck, police vehicle, that came, did that one leave, did it manage to drive off?

MR MHLAULI: No, I did not refer to a second police vehicle.

MR SIBEKO: Just give me a minute? Or was it that same van, the same truck that returned a second time, it first went past you and then it came back and then you attacked it?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct, it drove past and it came back, that's when we shot it.

MR SIBEKO: Yes, and then those two policemen who were in that truck, ran away, they abandoned the truck and they ran off, is that right?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now when was it that you were covering for Dangi, or you were shooting so that they couldn't shoot him, what incident was that?

MR MHLAULI: This happened when we withdrew from the scene after shooting the truck, that was after gunshots came from the Mazibugu Hostel, because when we fired at the truck, we also experienced gunshots that were coming from the hostel. I don't know whether they were thinking that they were under attack from us or by us.

CHAIRPERSON: So were you shooting to help Dangi so that he is not shot by those people who were firing from the hostel at you?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you're saying there was only one police truck and that was eventually burnt by people from Seluma?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you can carry on.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other thing to add in this incident?

MR MHLAULI: No, there's nothing I would like to add, apart from another incident.

MR SIBEKO: So you're applying for amnesty in the whole activity, that is the carrying of the AK47, the shooting, the shooting of the police van and everything that you did?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: You say you've got another incident again?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct. That has to do with the burning of the Mazibugu Hostel.

MR SIBEKO: When did that occur, which year?

MR MHLAULI: It happened in 1993.

MR SIBEKO: What happened in that incident?

MR MHLAULI: It so happened that the people from Seluma Section noticed that I was very active and they approached me, telling me about the plan that was under way, and it was planned that they infiltration into the hostel should be at night, and there were already people that had been appointed at the hostel to guard the hostel so that entry is not gained easily. These were the few people that were guarding the hostel and we planned that we were going to gain access into the hostel at night and set everything alight, and yes indeed, one evening we gained entrance or entry into the hostel with comrades from different sections, and we met a few people at the hostel and exchanged gunshots right at the hostel premises, and one young man was injured on our way out, he got shot, he was not carrying a firearm for that matter.

MR SIBEKO: In that particular incident, were you carrying the same AK47?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: You say you exchanged fire with the residents of Mazibugu Hostel?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Are you in a position to tell us whether you killed them or you left them injured?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, there may have been people who got injured and people who died. Yes, I can say there may have been people who got injured or who died.

CHAIRPERSON: Which, which people?

MR MHLAULI: Apology, chairperson, the shooting was not as fierce as before.

MR SIBEKO: Your evidence is that you thereafter, in fact when you started this incident, you said it was about the burning of the hostel. Now there was this shooting, after the shooting I assume you went further to burn the hostel. At the time you burnt down the hostel, where were the few people who were the residents of the hostel at the time?

MR MHLAULI: It was the very same people who were exchanging gunshots with us. I was not using petrol bombs.

MR SIBEKO: The picture that we have here is that you went inside the hostel, you got inside the hostel, you exchanged fire, now we've got a picture that the exchange of fire happened right inside that hostel, is that correct, and then thereafter you burnt the hostel?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Did you burn the hostel whilst you were still inside or were you already on your way out?

MR MHLAULI: I would say we burnt it on our way out.

MR SIBEKO: Are you in a position to tell us about the people with whom you exchanged fire, what happened to them ultimately, did you see them running out of the hostel, did you see them maybe going inside the hostel units, jumping through the fence - or the windows, what happened to them, are you in a position to tell us?

MR MHLAULI: We saw some of them fleeing and some of them got injured, died there, because yes we did see some of them fleeing.

MR SIBEKO: That's, those who might have died then, those who might have been injured were through the result of your actions, is that correct?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, Mr Mhlauli, did you burn down the whole hostel or just the sectoin of the hostel?

MR MHLAULI: We only burnt down a certain sectoin of the hostel.

ADV GCABASHE: What did you use to burn it down?

MR MHLAULI: I wouldn't say, because I was carrying the AK47, I don't know what they used to set it alight.

ADV GCABASHE: Who were the people responsible for setting it alight?

MR MHLAULI: I would say the plan was not well set up, so that I am not in the position who was responsible or to be assigned to looting or burning.

ADV GCABASHE: You mentioned looting. Does that mean that you went in, you fired, you exchanged fire, then some people threw whatever, burnt the hostel, and others looted, is that essentially what happened as you know it?

MR MHLAULI: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Now the things that you looted, what happened to those items?

MR MHLAULI: Some of our people took ownership of these things, they took whatever they could lay their hands on.

ADV GCABASHE: Was there a particular commander in charge of this operation?

MR MHLAULI: No, I won't say so, because this whole mission was not well planned, I didn't even know the commander. Where I was actually operating most of the time was in Thokoza, I was just assisting there.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR SIBEKO: You mentioned something about looting, Mr Mhlauli, what was looted, what was taken?

MR MHLAULI: It was just TV's and other electrical appliances.

MR SIBEKO: How did you gain your entrance at the gate, didn't they have security guards standing there?

MR MHLAULI: No, it was during the night, we went through an opening on the fence.

MR SIBEKO: Is there anything that you'd want to add on this incident? 


ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, the Seluma people, did they have a proper structure, as the Lusaka A people had, where you had a commander, I mean Lusaka A even had the committee of seven, did they have that type of formal structure at Seluma, do you know?

MR MHLAULI: No, the Seluma Section was not well organised.

ADV GCABASHE: Was Seluma Section part of Thokoza, the greater Thokoza area?

MR MHLAULI: No, Seluma Section falls under Katlehong.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR SIBEKO: Now, the last question to Mr Ngubane was that he's serving sentence and I can see that you are also in uniform. Do you confirm that you are serving time for something that nothing to do with the incidences that we are talking about here?


MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I've got nothing further.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Questions, Advocate Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, just one. Sir, you referred to the use of hand grenades. Were you ever attacked by IFP members with hand grenades? In other words, were your grouping ever attacked with hand grenades by IFP members?


ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Panel, any questions?

ADV GCABASHE: Just some of the other evidence we have heard, patrols, barricades, confiscating weapons from thugs, gangsters, were you involved in any of those activities?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Are you seeking amnesty for those activities as well?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: I noticed that you do not mention the Mshayazafe incident, we have heard about that, were you not involved in that one at all?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, I was also present there.

ADV GCABASHE: Do you want amnesty for that incident?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, the Mazibugu Hostel attack and the Mshayazafe Hostel attack.

ADV GCABASHE: Just briefly tell us what your role was in the Mshayazafe attack?

MR MHLAULI: I was at home on that particular day. One comrade came from 21 Battalion, as we were operating in the sections we were working in as under 21 Battalion. This comrade came to tell me that there was a message that things are bad at Slovo Section, Mandela. I went to the office that used to be our meeting point. I was briefed with the other comrades that I used to work with, I was briefed about this situation of Slovo and how did they get this message, they got this message with a two-way radio, and I had already heard that there were gunshots coming from that section. We went to Penduka. We tried to assist the comrades from Slovo Mandela Section. We managed to find the enemy and after that we withdrew. We went to Khumalo Street and we were still expecting anything to happen, but it was still quiet, the Stability Unit was patrolling the area. As we were standing there, waiting, Mr Ngubane suggested that we leave and get something to eat. We were in groups, we were moving in groups and we left our equipment in the houses in Khumalo Section. As we were moving, we heard a sound, an explosion, that was unexpected. There was another one. As we were walking there, our members realised that things are bad and we went back to our ammunition and we went back to the area where there was this chaos, this explosion. I thought that was a bomb, because we would hear a gunshot and a bomb explosion. We went back. We saw a smoke coming from the hostel, Mshayazafe Hostel. It was myself and Mr Ngubane and Mr Tshabalala, who was well known as Zuzu, and Mr Kambule. We managed to reach that opening that was on the wall that was caused by the bomb explosion. We fired there through that opening and we had to withdraw, because one comrade fell, Comrade Stoffel, a comrade from our section, when the Stability Unit came and we had to withdraw.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you manage to get into the hostel premises as Mr Ngubane did, or were you outside the premises as some of the others were not able to get in at all, where were you?

MR MHLAULI: We went through that opening that was caused by the explosion, but we didn't get straight inside, because we couldn't trust anything, we were afraid of getting inside.

ADV GCABASHE: So essentially you just went into the premises without going into the yard or the hostel? This is what you're saying?

MR MHLAULI: The opening was on the wall of the hostel, we went through that opening.

ADV GCABASHE: Oh, I had a picture of the hole in the fence actually. You've helped me. Tell me, once you were through the wall, you were just in the yard, so to speak, or were you in a building, once you were through the wall, just get the picture right for me?

MR MHLAULI: It was the wall of the house, the hostel itself.

ADV GCABASHE: And you are saying there's a possibility that in your activities somebody was killed or injured, and you take accountability for that?

MR MHLAULI: Yes, that is correct, because whenever you attack, you expect some injuries or even death, that was a war situation.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Mhlauli, thank you, you're excused.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Sibeko, we've had a gruelling afternoon. I assume that there is no applicant that is going to tell us about half an incident only?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, I'm afraid that almost the remainder of the applicants for today have almost the same length of testimony.

CHAIRPERSON: No, well in that case we won't be able to do justice to any of them, and will therefore adjourn the proceedings until tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. We're adjourned.