DAY: 5


CHAIRPERSON: Before we start our proceedings, I would just like to introduce the Committee to you. We are all members of the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. On my left is Mr Jonas Sibanyoni. He is an attorney from Pretoria.

On my right is Mr Ilan Lax, he is an attorney from Pietermaritzburg, and I am Selwyn Miller, I am a Judge from the Eastern Cape, attached to the Transkei Division of the Court, the Hight Court there.

I would at this stage ask the legal representatives to please place themselves on record.

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson and members of the Committee. My name is John Wills, an attorney from Pietermaritzburg. I am representing Min Radebe, Dr Phillips and Mr Sithole in the proceedings today.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills.

MS THABETE: I am Ms Thabele Thabete for the TRC, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. The proceedings will be simultaneously interpreted and in order to benefit from the interpretation, you must be in possession of one of these devices.

The proceedings will be translated into English and Zulu. English is on channel 2 and Zulu is on channel 3. These devices are available from the front here, from the Sound Technician in the front.

We will then be commencing with the application of Mr Radebe. Thank you Mr Radebe.

MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, just for the convenience of the Committee, all three applicants seated here this morning, will be testifying in English.

CHAIRPERSON: We will actually be dealing with the applications simultaneously then, as one hearing really?

MR WILLS: I would suggest that that would be the correct procedure in the circumstances, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Then we will be dealing with the applications of Messrs Radebe, Phillips and Sithole. Mr Wills?

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, could Mr Radebe be sworn in?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I just see that we have some legal representatives who have arrived. Perhaps we could just delay that for a while.

We have Mr Wills and Ms Thabete on record. Mr Hewitt would you kindly place yourself on record.

MR HEWITT: Mr Chairman, I appear for the record, the name is Hewitt, initials J.E. I am senior counsel from the Durban Bar and I am instructed by Mr Falconer of the firm Larson, (indistinct) and Falconer. We have been instructed to represent the Inkatha Freedom Party as an interested party and also a Mrs Abbie Mchunu and our instructions are to oppose the applications for amnesty of two of the applicants, that is Mr Radebe and Mr Sithole.


MR HEWITT: If I may further assist the Committee, with regard to the application of Mr Sithole, it is envisaged that apart from cross-examining Mr Sithole, it is envisaged that we will also be leading evidence of the person who we have mentioned that we represent and we may too, this is unfortunate, we may too be asking, depending on what fruit our cross-examination reveals, we may well after calling Mrs Mchunu, be asking for an adjournment to lead further evidence.

The reason we find ourselves in this situation is because Mrs Mchunu for the first time heard yesterday that this amnesty application was taking place, and as it will be apparent to the members of the Committee, a perusal of the amnesty application by Mr Sithole will indicate that there are no names of any victims mentioned whatsoever, so it is clearly not a fault of the Amnesty Committee or those investigating on their behalf or any employees of the Committee, not notifying any victims, because no victims' names were furnished to them.

On the instructions we have, Mrs Mchunu and possibly others were also victims and for that reason, they were not notified because there was nothing in the papers to indicate any victims should have been notified, but we simply place this on record to explain the situation that we find ourselves in is that at the eleventh hour, Mrs Mchunu finds out that the hearing is taking place today, matters are set in motion where we are then instructed and obviously we have consulted extensively with Mrs Mchunu, but during those consultations it emerged that there may well be other witnesses available who can shed some light on the evidence or the application by Mr Sithole and in order that the full picture be presented to this Committee, it may well be in the interest of the application to be dealt with properly, that an opportunity be afforded to us or we may ask the Committee itself to assist us in this regard, by ensuring that other persons whose names will emerge, be subpoenaed to give evidence at this hearing.

Unfortunately because of the time available to us, this couldn't be arranged today. All we were able to arrange is Mrs Mchunu's presence.

It may well be that the evidence that is available will occupy the time of the Committee for the entire day in any way, so no prejudice as such will be suffered if there is a continuation of the hearing after today.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Hewitt. Mr Wills?

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I call Mr Radebe.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wills?

EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson and members of the Committee. Mr Radebe, you attested to an affidavit in application for amnesty on the 10-05-1997 and attached to that was an appendix, do you confirm the contents of those documents?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I do confirm the contents.

MR WILLS: Can you briefly explain to the Committee why you are applying for amnesty?

MR RADEBE: Well, I think as we are building a new democracy in South Africa, our people and our country need to know the truth. Not to open the old wounds during those difficult, terrible and turbulent times of the early 1990's, so therefore I believe that my testimony here will help our people, especially in kwaZulu Natal in this enormous task of building a new society within the context of a united democratic South Africa.

MR WILLS: Thank you. You were born in Cato Manor in 1953 and you joined the ANC and the associated organisations of the Communist Party and MK during 1976?


MR WILLS: Can you tell us briefly what your involvement in those organisations were after 1976, before your arrest in I believe, 1986?

MR RADEBE: Well, I started working for particularly the underground organisation of the ANC here in Durban and around 1977, I left the country to Tanzania via Swaziland and Mozambique and during that period, before my arrest, I was serving the ANC, the SACP in many capacities.

Amongst others, I was the Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC in Dar-Es-Salaam and I also worked in the International Relations Department of the ANC and later, I worked as one of the operatives based in Lesotho, heading the underground structures of the ANC, but more particularly of the SACP.

During that period, I also underwent military training under the auspices of Umkhonto weSizwe .

MR WILLS: Whereabout did you undergo military training?

MR RADEBE: I underwent military training in Angola.

CHAIRPERSON: When was that Mr Radebe?

MR RADEBE: It was in 1985.

MR WILLS: You also hold some legal qualifications. I believe you have a B.(indistinct) and a Masters in Law from a German university, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: That is correct. I did my B.(indistinct) at the University of Zululand and my Masters degree at Leipzich University in Germany.

MR WILLS: You returned to South Africa from, you returned in 1986, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: Indeed, yes.

MR WILLS: What was the purpose of your return?

MR RADEBE: Well, at the time when I was arrested, I was charged in Johannesburg for being a member or a banned organisation, the ANC, and for undergoing military training under Umkhonto weSizwe .

I was charged under the Internal Security Act.

MR WILLS: And you in fact received a prison sentence of 10 years, which was later reduced on appeal, to six years?


MR WILLS: And you served that six year?

MR RADEBE: On Robben Island.

MR WILLS: On Robben Island, yes.

MR LAX: Sorry Mr Wills, your question to the witness was what was the purpose of his coming back to South Africa. I am afraid, he didn't quite answer that, maybe he just didn't hear the question properly.

MR RADEBE: Well, at that time, as I have indicated in my earlier input, when I was based in Lesotho, I was heading the ANC underground and SACP, so it was one of my functions to link up with underground structures of the SACP in particular.

MR WILLS: Now, in your amnesty application, the actual printed form, which I believe you have a copy of, in front of you - under Section 9(a)(i) when it indicates, you indicate that you are applying for amnesty firstly in respect of all actions I undertook as a member of MK and the ANC and that is under the section where you say 1976 - 1990.


MR WILLS: My understanding is that the only thing that you are applying for amnesty for in regard to this period, is the conviction under the Internal Security Act for being a member of a banned organisation and for military training, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: Precisely.

MR WILLS: So prior to 1990, there are no other events that you are making application for amnesty for?

MR RADEBE: None at all.

MR WILLS: Can you, you went into prison in 1986 and served the time in Robben Island, when were you released?

MR RADEBE: I was released in June 1990 after President Mandela was released in February of 1990 as a process of the release of many political prisoners who were till languishing in South African jails.

MR WILLS: And then, what did you do immediately after your release?

MR RADEBE: After my release I worked as a Projects' Coordinator for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers. In that capacity I was monitoring violence in kwaZulu Natal and also acting to promote peace in all those areas that were ravaged by violence in kwaZulu Natal.

At the same time, I was elected as the Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in Southern Natal. Those were the things that I was doing immediately after me release in 1990.

MR WILLS: It is through your capacity as the Deputy Chairperson of the Southern Natal region of the ANC that you eventually became involved in the establishment of the Self Defence Units, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: That is correct. At the time, as the Deputy Chairperson of the ANC, I was responsible for security matters in Southern Natal. Because particularly of my involvement as Projects' Coordinator for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and witnessing first hand the violence that was (indistinct) here in Southern Natal, that is why I was made responsible for this task of seeing the political establishment of Self Defence Units in Southern Natal.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, could you just briefly describe the area of Southern Natal in which you were involved, what was your jurisdiction there? Was it down at Port Shepstone, where did it start and where did it go to?

MR RADEBE: The Southern Natal region, in fact if I can describe as it was then called Natal, in terms of the ANC demarcations, we had three regions, Southern Natal, Natal Midlands and Northern Natal.

Southern Natal under whose jurisdiction I was in, stretches from the Tugela down into Port Shepstone and until around Hammarsdale, Inchanga area. That is the area of Southern Natal.


MR WILLS: Can you tell the Committee, Mr Radebe, why it was necessary that SDU's be established?

MR RADEBE: The main reason why Self Defence Units were established, was to counter the violence that was being perpetrated by the Security organs of the State at that time, more particularly the South African Police, the South African Defence Force and all its surrogates who were operating in Southern Natal.

The authority to establish these Self Defence Units, emanated from the policy positions of the ANC and its allies, and if one can just mention a few, that even before 1990, the unbanning of the ANC, there was violence in many parts of Natal as it was then called. So the ANC Headquarters in Lusaka had always took resolutions for the defence of our people, but during this period, we had a National Consultative Conference that took place in 1990 in Johannesburg and a National Conference that took place in Durban.

All these resolutions, empowered the structures of the ANC to establish the people's Self Defence Units.

MR WILLS: And it is your contention that your role was strictly in accordance with these structures and organisational prerogatives?

MR RADEBE: Yes, at all material times, I was acting under the specific instructions and directives of the policy decisions of the ANC as a whole.

MR WILLS: We will get onto the specifics of those at a later stage, but very briefly, what - can you explain to the Committee the role of the communities in the establishment of the SDU's?

MR RADEBE: In fact the communities played a central role in the Self Defence Units, in fact the Self Defence Units were a creation of all those communities who were undergoing severe attacks from the forces and powers that be. So in essence the Self Defence Units were as a result of the communities themselves, deciding that they needed the Self Defence Units.

As an ANC, we were playing a supportive, secondary role in ensuring that those community structures of Self Defence Units are indeed properly empowered, to pursue these defensive capacity.

MR WILLS: Can you explain to the Committee what was the role of Umkhonto weSizwe in regard to the SDU's?

MR RADEBE: In terms of the ANC policy resolutions, the role of Umkhonto weSizwe cadres was to ensure that they support these community structures. In more particularly, in training them and also in providing weapons that were going to be used in defence of communities who were under attack.

MR WILLS: Just to get clarity on the point, from the evidence you have given, it seems clear that the SDU's were not established by Umkhonto weSizwe , is that correct?

They were not creations of Umkhonto weSizwe ?

MR RADEBE: That is correct yes. The role that Umkhonto weSizwe played was a supportive role in those areas where communities felt that they needed to defend themselves, in view of the fact that the police and the Defence Force were turning a blind eye whenever communities were attacked and in fact, in many instances it was the Security Forces themselves that were guilty of these attacks against communities.

MR WILLS: Now, I know Mr Sithole is going to give further evidence on this point, but how - can you, are you aware of how in practical terms, an MK cadre on the ground, would get involved with a particular SDU?

MR RADEBE: Precisely, because as I have indicated, even though the Self Defence Units were not the creation of Umkhonto weSizwe per se, but Umkhonto weSizwe played a vital role in supporting these community structures.

As I have indicated here, even from the top leadership of Umkhonto weSizwe , this support was evident.

MR WILLS: You wore a number of caps in the anti-apartheid organisations. You also were directly connected to Umkhonto weSizwe , is that correct?

What was your role in Umkhonto weSizwe in the post-1990 period?

MR RADEBE: My role was that of being a Chairman of the ANC in Southern Natal, and working directly with military headquarters in furtherance of ANC policy positions, particularly in the implementation of supporting capacity to the Self Defence Unit.

MR WILLS: Can you explain in as much detail as you can, what your supportive role was personally?

MR RADEBE: Well, the role that I played personally, started as I have indicated with the positions of the ANC to support the Self Defence Unit.

I was then instructed by the then Chief of Staff of Umkhonto weSizwe, Deputy Commander Chris Hani, to be involved in supporting the establishment of the Self Defence Units in Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: What did you do?

MR RADEBE: Exactly what I did, after meeting with Chris Hani, he provided us mainly with weapons that were to be distributed to all those communities where the communities have decided to set up Self Defence Units.

MR WILLS: Right, and you refer to weapons, what type of weapons are you referring to?

MR RADEBE: I am referring to weapons such as AK47's, hand grenades, pistols like Macarov, Tokarev, Stechin.

MR WILLS: Can you explain what your personal involvement was in regard to those weapons?

MR RADEBE: My personal involvement was in the initial setting up of these Self Defence Units, particularly in the arming of the Self Defence Unit. I was involved in the initial stages of procuring these weapons which were delivered to Southern Natal.

Just to describe what exactly happened, these weapons used to come to Southern Natal with cars, we had three vehicles that were used for the distribution of these weapons.

It was a bakkie, it was a Rover and a VW kombi. These cars had secret compartments where these weapons were hidden. What happened is that I got duplicate keys of these cars and plans were made that when a car for example is going to be delivered maybe five o'clock in the afternoon, and then later on, that car would be taken, off load those weapons and then returned later, so there was no direct contact between the person who brought those cars and those weapons and the person who would fetch the vehicle.

That was my initial particular role of getting the keys, duplicate keys and giving them to the person who are instructed to be involved in the operational aspects of the Self Defence Units in Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: Where would these weapons come from?

MR RADEBE: Well, I wouldn't know precisely where they came from, but came, they did come.

MR WILLS: From an organisational point of view, where did they come from?

MR RADEBE: Well, it is obvious that originally the ought to have come from somewhere outside the country, but on those specific trips I wouldn't know precisely, but I would assume that they would have been taken from some DLB for us to have access here in Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: A DLB referred to as being a Dead Letter Box?

MR RADEBE: Dead Letter Box, yes.

MR WILLS: But what I am trying to extract from you Mr Radebe is that you said that a truck would arrive with weapons and be parked in a particular place. Where would that truck travel from in order to come to I believe you were in Durban at the time?

MR RADEBE: I was in Durban.

MR WILLS: Where would that truck come from, which part of South Africa, or part of the subcontinent?

MR RADEBE: Well, as I have said, I would assume that it would be somewhere in Johannesburg, because the people I was dealing with, were at that time based in Johannesburg.

MR WILLS: At the time you were dealing with this issue, did you make direct contact, or how did you make contact with the people in order that the weapons would be delivered?

MR RADEBE: As I have stated that my first meeting was with Chris Hani, who set this machinery up and later on, I met with Ronnie Kasrils who was also part of the military Headquarters, responsible for this task.

The actual operation, I would assume that that is how it happened.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Wills is asking Mr Radebe is, this truck comes with a load of firearms and you make the arrangements with the keys, to get it transferred. Once you received the firearms in Durban, how did you dispose of them, or were you involved personally in the disposal of those firearms, to various SDU's in your region?

MR RADEBE: Yes, what happened, as I have said, I had duplicate keys of these cars and those duplicate keys, I handed over to the person who was in charge, which was Mr Sithole here.

CHAIRPERSON: That would go to the local, the person who is going to ultimately use it in his particular SDU?


MR LAX: If I could just follow up there. How did you know when the vehicles would be coming, or did you just give the keys to Mr Sithole and then the rest of the detail, he had to deal with? That is what I am trying to understand.

MR RADEBE: Initially there had to be physical contact to establish this properly. This is why I had this meeting with Chris Hani and later with Ronnie Kasrils, where I was given these keys which I handed over.

The initial delivery, I knew when it was going to come and then I informed Sithole accordingly. From that time onwards, when the machinery became smoother, I never was involved in subsequent deliveries.

MR LAX: Okay, thank you.

MR WILLS: And subsequently, I believe it was Dr Phillips who became involved in the day to day organisation of the procurement of those arms, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: Now I do know.

MR WILLS: Yes, getting on to that point. There is a policy which I believe exists within Umkhonto weSizwe , and that is the policy of need to know. Can you just explain that policy in relation to your operations with the procurement of those arms?

MR RADEBE: There was a special training that many people who were in Umkhonto weSizwe used to undergo, which we used to call MCW, Military Combat Work.

It was basically training in secrecy, how to set up underground structures, how to communicate such that you make sure that the people that are involved in that operation, one section of the operation, does not know what the other is doing, so that we protect the identity of people who are involved in that operation.

There has to be cut off in terms of contact with other people. If one has to take this type of operation, even though I was the political leader responsible and accountable for these Self Defence Units, but I would not know precisely what the person in charge, will be doing in terms of the fulfilment of those tasks.

It was what one may call, you were to know on a need to know basis and there was a principle that we used to say that ask no questions, and you will be told no lies, which is a reflection of this elaborate system of cut off.

MR WILLS: So, do I gather from your evidence that apart from the persons that you dealt with directly, either further up the line or further down the line, you would have no knowledge of those individuals?

MR RADEBE: Indeed.

MR WILLS: So you have indicated that you would contact Mr Sithole in regard to an arrival of a truck containing weapons and how would you communicate with him?

MR RADEBE: I need to explain that Mr Sithole at that time, was the Political Commissar of an MK structure in Southern Natal, so he was identified as a person who need to be the one who is responsible for the operational aspect of the creation of Self Defence Units.

I instructed him to set up the structure, that is how his involvement comes in.

MR WILLS: Just on a practical level, I am just trying to convey through your evidence, Mr Radebe, to the Committee on how this procurement of arms and how the arms got to Southern Natal.

This truck would arrive, you would have duplicate keys. How would you get those keys?

MR RADEBE: How would I get the keys?

MR WILLS: Yes, how did you get the keys?

MR RADEBE: I said that I got the keys earlier on, so I had them in my possession and I handed them over, so he permanently had those keys.

MR WILLS: How would the person who was going to collect the vehicle, how would he know where the vehicle was?

MR RADEBE: Well, I said that initially there had to be that physical contact, so for example, I still remember very well that I was told that that first vehicle was going to be parked at what do you call this next to the old Durban station?

MR WILLS: The Workshop?

MR RADEBE: The Workshop yes.

MR WILLS: Was it the case that a similar parking place would be used on most occasions? Can you tell us what the arrangement was in that regard?

MR RADEBE: Well, I assume that they will not use the same location, I am sure it used to rotate, maybe Workshop, the Wheel, whatever, that the police would not in fact have been suspicious of.

MR WILLS: Do you know how Mr Sithole would know where the weapons or the truck was, the vehicle?

MR RADEBE: Yes, because initially I did tell him, but subsequently he made his own communication with those people, so I am sure when his time comes, he will be able to explain how it happened.

MR WILLS: And then, I take it he would return the duplicate keys to you at a later stage?

MR RADEBE: In fact, I am sure one of those cars, they were impounded by the Security Forces, one of the cars. I have never seen those keys again.

MR WILLS: As regards the training of SDU's, it has become apparent through evidence that has been given to the Committee that certain people were trained in the Transkei, other people got training in the areas where they operated. Do you know anything about that?

MR RADEBE: Well, as a person who was living here in Southern Natal and as Chairman of the ANC, I need to correct maybe the perception that only the Self Defence Unit that the ANC was involved in, were involved in the protection of communities.

In many instances Self Defence Units were a spontaneous creation of the masses of people where violence was. So, I was aware for an example that people on their own accord used to find their own weapons, used to find where to train.

I am generally aware that some of the people used to go to the Transkei. As far as you are concerned, our main priority was to make sure that where our cadres of MK were involved, limited training within the constraints of security had to be undertaken because we were always emphasising the question of discipline on the question of the Self Defence Units where our members were involved.

Yes, indeed I am aware that in some areas MK used to provide some form of training to the people, otherwise it would have been irresponsible for us to allow the distribution of weapons to people who would not know how to operate an AK47 or hand grenade, etc.

MR WILLS: Were you personally involved in that training at all?

MR RADEBE: I was not personally involved in that, but periodically I would get reports that things were happening.

MR WILLS: Just a bit more detail on possibly volumes of firearms, are you aware of the approximate number of firearms that were conveyed into the Southern Natal region during your involvement in this operation.

MR RADEBE: I won't know precisely how many weapons were delivered in Southern Natal, but my guess would be probably plus minus 120 AK's or something like that.

MR WILLS: My understanding from your evidence is that you never physically saw these firearms?

MR RADEBE: No, I never physically saw them.

CHAIRPERSON: Just while we are on the question of the firearms Mr Radebe, we have heard various applications concerning Self Defence Units and from time to time we hear that communities actually coughed in money to assist in the acquiring of arms.

The arms that you are talking about now, that came in the truck and that were distributed in the manner that you have described, were they sold at all or were they just distributed to SDU's?

MR RADEBE: No, not at all. We never sold those weapons. The point, the Honourable Judge is mentioning is very valid that communities on their own, would find weapons outside what I am describing here.

In fact in some instances they even manufactured their own weapons which they used to call "uxashuno, which were very effective as I was made to believe. But not at all, we never sold any arms, but we are able to account for most of the arms that we distributed.

MR LAX: Just before you go on Mr Wills, Mr Radebe you spoke about approximately 120 AK's. How many hand guns may have come in in the same process, do you have any idea? If you don't that is fine, but if you know?

MR RADEBE: I wouldn't know precisely how many. Why I do know the approximate number, is because there was a time, a time came when we had to retrieve some of those weapons.

I was later informed that quite a number of the weapons that we had received, that were not used, were actually returned back.

MR LAX: Are you able to say how many were returned back?

MR RADEBE: Well, I would just be guessing, I don't want to do that.

MR LAX: No idea of the percentage or whatever?

MR RADEBE: I am sure we must have recovered about 85% or 90% of all the weapons that we initially distributed.

MR LAX: Thank you. The rest having been actually taken by the Security Forces, because we also had some problems.

MR WILLS: Just getting to that aspect there, there came a time when it became, it got closer to the election in 1994 where in the transitional process, MK was being integrated into the South African National Defence Force, together with other armies.

At that stage, I believe that the weapons were recovered in order to go into the arsenal of the South African National Defence Force, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: Correct.

MR WILLS: And can you explain how that process occurred in your region?

MR RADEBE: Well, what happened around 1993, especially after, in the process of negotiations within CODESA it became clear that South Africa was moving towards an election in 1994, so there was a process that started which indicated that Umkhonto weSizwe was going to be integrated with the South African Defence Force, to form the South African National Defence Force, so an instruction was received from military Headquarters that we need now to recover the weapons that were under our control, so that they must be taken back in this process of integration.

I duly conveyed that instruction to Sithole and those weapons were recovered and they were sent back.

MR WILLS: It is also I think quite common public knowledge that there were occasions when SDU members acted in circumstances which could not be described as politically motivated or where they committed what may be described as just common crimes, without a political motivation?

Were you ever aware of circumstances such as those, and if so, what did you do about those instances?

MR RADEBE: Well, I was aware that in some instances, some people involved in Self Defence Units, they overstepped their mark.

Where this was brought to our attention, we issued a directive that those people, whoever they may be, must be disarmed. I am aware of instances for example in Port Shepstone, in Umkababa and Chesterville, where some of those comrades who were involved in this, were actually disarmed. They never participated in those.

MR WILLS: Were you personally involved in the what I may loosely describe as the disciplinary processes?

MR RADEBE: No, I was not personally involved, but I was involved at a political level, being the Chairperson of the ANC, if you go to areas and people talk and they tell. So in a political sense, one motivates that people should do something about people who show no discipline in involving in matters like these, but it was an operational matter as I did receive reports, that those people who were directly involved, they were disarmed.

MR WILLS: Now, you have indicated just for detail, you have indicated in Section 10(a) of your statement of your amnesty application, what your political objective was. Can you just elaborate on that?

MR RADEBE: Well, the point I was making there was that at all material times where I was involved, one was acting with a political motive, detected by the circumstances of the time.

Rising to the occasion of our people who were constantly harassed by the police and many of whom were in fact killed during that time. There are many instances where one would go to areas like Umlazi, you will find people being killed, Umkababa, Port Shepstone. In fact around 1992 there was a time where we were burying comrades on a weekly basis.

It was the life that we were leading in the province. But despite all those difficulties, we always acted within the authority and the discipline of the ANC.

MR WILLS: You also say on page 5 of the statement that you attach, Appendix 1 to your affidavit, that you accepted the role of self defence without (indistinct), knowing it was a necessity of the times.

Would you like to elaborate further on that?

MR RADEBE: Well, the point we are making there is that this Self Defence Units in fact was imposed on us, by the inability of the Security Forces that were supposed to protect our people.

Instead of protecting our people, they were the ones that were guilty of atrocities against our people. As a result we had no choice, but to make sure that we assist our people in defending themselves.

I believe that it is a right of anybody in South Africa to defend himself or herself when attacked. That is the background against which we operated as the ANC.

MR WILLS: You also indicate in your supporting documentation, that the - and I am referring to paragraph 21 on page 7 - on page 15 of the bundle for the benefit of the Chairperson, that after the elections, MK was officially disbanded and what happened in relation to the SDU's?

MR RADEBE: Well, also they were disbanded in as much as I have indicated, most of those weapons were recovered, so there was no longer any necessity for the continued existence of Self Defence Units, because now we had a united South African National Defence Force that was more sympathetic to the new cause of our government of 1994.

MR WILLS: Essentially the period that you are referring to the Amnesty Committee, is the period from 1992 up until the point of the election in 1994?


MR WILLS: Just before we finalise, what was your dealings with Dr Phillips in regard to the SDU's?

MR RADEBE: Well, as he will be able to testify before this Commission, he also played a communication role, as I now understand but he was working closely with the person in charge here, and the people at Headquarters.

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills. Ms Hewitt, do you have any questions to ask Mr Radebe?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HEWITT: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Radebe, I want to go to page 4 of your application and paragraph 10(a), which my learned friend, Mr Wills, referred you to not so long ago where you state all the operations detailed above, were carried out in accordance with the aims and objectives of the African National Congress.

As a member of Umkhonto weSizwe , my objective was the furtherance of the armed struggle against the apartheid State with the intention of overthrowing the State and replacing it with a democratic one.

Was that the objective in arming the SDU's, the Self Defence Units?

MR RADEBE: Not at all. What I am referring to here is the pre-1990 period in particular, with my case under the Internal Security Act. This refers specifically to the pre-1990 period.

MR HEWITT: Was there any furtherance of an armed struggle during the period that you are referring to?

MR RADEBE: After, post-1990?


MR RADEBE: No, you will remember that as the ANC, we took a political decision to suspend armed actions. In so far as your question is concerned, that does not apply.

MR HEWITT: That objective of furthering an armed struggle, played no role whatsoever with the SDU's?


MR HEWITT: And the weaponry was supplied to them for what purpose?

MR RADEBE: For self defence purposes.

MR HEWITT: At no stage was such weaponry intended for any offensive purpose, attack on existing structures or the regime that you were still obviously antagonistic towards?

MR RADEBE: Yes, we always emphasised that the Self Defence Units, have always to pursue or adopt a defensive posture.

MR HEWITT: Now, what was the date when that change in approach came about?

MR RADEBE: As long as Self Defence Units were decided upon by the ANC.

MR HEWITT: All right, when did the furtherance of the armed struggle against the apartheid State, with a view of overthrowing it, when was that policy no longer the policy?

MR RADEBE: It was no longer a policy when the ANC adopted a position of suspending armed actions.

MR HEWITT: Yes, but it is the date I am specifically interested in?

MR RADEBE: I wouldn't recall the date.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you know the year more or less Mr Radebe?

MR RADEBE: It should have been, I think it was a Pretoria Minute, 1990, somewhere there.

MR HEWITT: Was that no longer the intention in 1992?


MR HEWITT: Sorry, I don't know whether we are on the same wavelength here.

By 1992, had that policy of furthering the armed struggle against the apartheid State with a view to overthrowing it, had that stopped by 1992 and was it simply a Self Defence Protection policy?

MR RADEBE: I think I have answered your question, I did say that our policy on armed struggle was pursued by the ANC and MK until the ANC around 1990, suspended armed action in accordance, I believe, with the Pretoria Minute.

After that, we never pursued an armed struggle in South Africa.

MR HEWITT: All right, if we then revert to periods like 1992, 1993 and 1994, we are not dealing with armed struggle any more as ANC policy.


MR HEWITT: All right, I just want to try and understand where Mr Sithole fits into this whole picture.

You yourself, I gather from the tenner of your evidence Mr Radebe, that you yourself, did not arrange the importation into the country of weaponry?

MR RADEBE: No. I did not.

MR HEWITT: You were stationed in relation to this collection of weaponry for distribution to the SDU's, you would have been stationed in the Southern Natal, Durban area the whole time?


MR HEWITT: You yourself, wouldn't go say to the Swaziland border or the Mozambique border, on the assumption that this is where these firearms came from? You yourself wouldn't actually be involved?

MR RADEBE: I told you that the instance where I was involved, was the delivery of weapons that were in a car, that was dropped at the Workshop and as far as I know, Workshop has not moved away from Durban.

MR HEWITT: I am just trying to see how well travelled you were during that period, that is all.

So you basically stayed in the Durban area?


MR HEWITT: All right, and as I understand your role, others obviously brought in the vehicles that had these caches of arms, and you simply knew where the vehicles were going to be parked or arrived at the end stage in Durban, is that right?


MR HEWITT: Explain to me these keys that you said you had, I think you mentioned duplicate keys?

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean explain, do you want a physical description?

MR HEWITT: Were you given keys by somebody?

MR RADEBE: Yes, three duplicate keys, for a bakkie, a van and a kombi.

MR HEWITT: All right, just for those three vehicles?

MR RADEBE: So that whenever they come, somebody must have duplicate keys to open, off load and bring the car back.

MR HEWITT: All right, did you acquire those vehicles yourself initially?


MR HEWITT: Who would have given you the duplicate keys?

MR RADEBE: As I said, I was given those duplicate keys by Ronnie Kasrils in Johannesburg.

MR HEWITT: Okay, for all three vehicles?


MR HEWITT: All right. Who would notify you where a particular vehicle was?

MR RADEBE: As I said, that my involvement was in initially setting it up, so I only dealt with that, only one delivery.

MR HEWITT: You only ever dealt with one delivery of weapons for intended use by an SDU, once in this entire period?


MR HEWITT: Pardon?


MR HEWITT: I am sorry, I don't quite understand your answer.

MR RADEBE: I am saying no, except that delivery I have mentioned, the first, initial delivery that was done at Workshop.

MR HEWITT: You had nothing to do with that?

MR RADEBE: I had something to do, because I knew that it was coming.

MR LAX: Sorry, it is a bit of a misunderstanding here. What I understand the witness to be saying is that apart from that first delivery, he wasn't involved in any other deliveries.

MR HEWITT: That is what I understood.

MR LAX: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: That is so, isn't it Mr Radebe?

MR RADEBE: Indeed.

MR HEWITT: So it is just the one Workshop delivery if we can call it that, that you were involved in?


MR HEWITT: No others?

MR RADEBE: No other.

MR HEWITT: So the only time you ever used these duplicate keys to the vehicles, was on that one occasion?

MR RADEBE: Yes, to hand them over, the keys.

MR HEWITT: All right. Let's just deal with that one occasion. What would you do then in that first occasion, you have the duplicate keys which you got from Kasrils.

MR RADEBE: Yes and I gave it over to Sithole.

MR HEWITT: Who tells you the vehicle is at the Workshop?

MR RADEBE: Ronnie told me when the vehicle ...

MR HEWITT: Ronnie Kasrils tells you that? All right, then who do you go to after that?

MR RADEBE: So you will ask this gentleman, my comrade here.

MR HEWITT: Sitting on your right, Mr Sithole?

MR RADEBE: Not that he is on my right politically.

MR HEWITT: No obviously, we are talking about his physical position today in relation to you?

Mr Sithole sitting on your right hand side today?


MR HEWITT: So you would then do what? You would give the keys to him?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I gave him the keys, yes.

MR HEWITT: This is just in this one incident?


MR HEWITT: And then he presumably would go to the Workshop and do what was necessary at that end?


MR HEWITT: All right, did you ever have any other dealings with Mr Sithole apart from this particular incident, in relation to weaponry?

MR RADEBE: As I said, we instructed Mr Sithole to be the one responsible for the operational aspects of the Self Defence Unit in Southern Natal.

That was a decision that we took as the political leadership of Southern Natal.

MR HEWITT: What does that actually mean Mr Radebe, that he would distribute the weapons to the SDU's and train them or what, I don't understand what his job is or was?

MR RADEBE: His job simply put was to make sure that in accordance with the policies of the ANC, we as the ANC and MK, we need to play this supportive role in all those communities that were under fire.

MR HEWITT: Mr Sithole, as far as you know, he was not ever a person who would go and collect the firearms from one of our borders or did you understand that he did that?

MR RADEBE: I am unaware that Mr Sithole ever went to the borders to collect firearms. If you have information, you can tell us.

MR HEWITT: No, I am just asking you if it came to your attention that that was so?

MR RADEBE: It never came to my attention that Mr Sithole went to the borders.

MR HEWITT: After the Workshop incident, if we can refer to it as that, did you have any further dealings with Mr Sithole after that?

MR RADEBE: Well, as I said your question is repeated here, I instructed Sithole to form these structures, so at all material times, I was politically responsible for the actions that they were taking. He would report to me from time to time about the developments of the implementation of policy positions of the ANC.

MR HEWITT: Yes, but did that mean that he was now the person who had the duplicate keys all the time?


MR HEWITT: That is what I am trying to find out.

MR RADEBE: Because I handed them over to him.

MR HEWITT: You dropped out of the picture as being the holder of the duplicate keys?


MR HEWITT: And Mr Sithole became the person who had the duplicate keys?


MR HEWITT: So, did you then on your version totally drop out of the picture as being part of the chain whereby weapons coming from let's assume outside the country, were distributed to these SDU's?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I was not involved.

MR HEWITT: You dropped totally out of the chain?

MR RADEBE: Indeed.

MR HEWITT: But as far as you understood it, Mr Sithole remained an essential link in that chain for distribution of weapons?

MR RADEBE: Yes, because we appointed him to be in charge of the Self Defence Units in Southern Natal, obviously he continued that role because he never resigned.

MR HEWITT: Okay, no I just want to know to what extent you continued to be involved or dropped out and what role Mr Sithole played thereafter.

Now, did you at no stage ever see the weapons that were arriving for use by the SDU's?

MR RADEBE: I never saw the weapons physically.

MR HEWITT: Were you told what weapons would be arriving?

MR RADEBE: I have already answered that question that in my knowledge the weapons were AK47, hand grenades, etc.

MR HEWITT: What about rocket launchers?

MR RADEBE: Well, I am unaware of the rocket launchers except when I heard that some comrades were arrested in Golela and there were some rocket launchers in that impounding of weapons.

Previous to that, I am unaware.

MR HEWITT: You, yourself, would you regard rocket launchers as the kind of weapon necessary for self defence or self protection by SDU's?

MR RADEBE: Well, it is debatable, it is possible, it could be defensive if one takes into account the might of the then South African Defence Force, they were having armoured vehicles that were roaming our townships and so on, so it could be defensive if looked against the superiority of the then Defence Force in South Africa.

MR HEWITT: All right, what I am trying to simply establish is that having regard to your fairly high position in the organisation at the time, rocket launchers according to you, would have been the kind of weapon that would have been given to the SDU's for self protection purposes? You didn't see anything inconsistent or incongruous or contradictory about a rocket launcher being for self defence purposes, that is what I am trying to establish?

MR RADEBE: I was never informed at any stage that there were any rocket launchers to be given to Self Defence Units.

MR HEWITT: No, but I am asking you what your view at the time would have been. Would you then have regarded a rocket launcher as being the kind of thing not necessary for self defence or the kind of weapon that would be necessary for self defence?

MR RADEBE: I said normally that would not be the case, but when you look at the type of weapons that the then Defence Force was having, like armoured vehicles, in those circumstances where the Defence Force was coming to terrorise the township with the type of weapon, then probably the rocket launcher could be a defensive weapon.

MR HEWITT: So, I know this is somewhat hypothetical but had you peeked into the boot of the Workshop delivery and seen rocket launchers there as well, would you have been surprised by that for Self Defence Unit purposes, or would you have thought no, this is a legitimate kind of thing for self defence purposes?

MR RADEBE: Well as you have correctly pointed out, it is a hypothetical question indeed, because at no stage did we ever distribute any rocket launchers for Self Defence Units.

MR HEWITT: You know that as a fact?

MR RADEBE: I know that as a fact, yes.

MR HEWITT: Can I take it from that answer that because rocket launchers and rockets obviously to go with the rocket launchers, were never distributed by the ANC to Self Defence Units, presumably that reflected an attitude by the ANC that these weren't the kind of weapons needed for self defence?

MR RADEBE: I am unaware of any Self Defence Units that were given rocket launchers.

MR HEWITT: No, that is not quite an answer to my question. Were the Self Defence Units as far as you are concerned, never given such weaponry because such weaponry was not regarded as the kind of weaponry necessary for self defence?

MR RADEBE: I think I have already answered your question that I am unaware of any Self Defence Units that were given rocket launchers.

MR HEWITT: All right, you mentioned Golela as it is pronounced by some people. What do you know about the arms cache at Golela?

MR RADEBE: What I know about that is what I read in the papers and that there was comrades who were arrested there at Golela.

MR HEWITT: Well, Mr Sithole sitting on your right hand side, was he arrested there?

MR RADEBE: Not at all.

MR HEWITT: Was he not arrested at Golela?

MR RADEBE: No, he was never arrested at Golela.

CHAIRPERSON: If you take a look at page 33 of the papers Mr Hewitt, it says - Mr Sithole says in January I was arrested in Durban, the second paragraph from the top.

MR HEWITT: Yes, that is correct. I know that, but I am asking this witness about it.

He says he refers to the comrades being arrested at Golela and then he refers to his arrest in Durban further on. I am aware of that, but I am simply asking this particular applicant about that.

CHAIRPERSON: He said he wasn't. Then you asked him again.

MR HEWITT: You are saying yourself, that he was not arrested in Golela?

MR RADEBE: No, he was not.

MR HEWITT: All right. Do you know whether Mr Sithole was ever incarcerated in Middelburg?

MR RADEBE: I know.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, in Middelburg?


MR RADEBE: Yes, that I know because I actually went there to see them.

MR HEWITT: Is it correct that at Middelburg, Sithole whom we referred to, the other applicant in the case, one Nkubezi and one Makoba were detained at Middelburg?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I saw all of them there, I went there with Krappies Engelbrecht.


MR RADEBE: With the then General of the Defence, Krappies Engelbrecht.

MR HEWITT: Right, is it correct that in fact an ANC delegation went to visit the gentlemen that I have now referred to?

MR RADEBE: I was in that delegation.

MR HEWITT: It was?


MR HEWITT: In that delegation was Matthew Phosa, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: It was Matthew Phosa, General Siphiwe Nyanda, Mo Shake, Bekha Shezi and myself.

MR HEWITT: That is Siphiwe Nyanda is it?


MR HEWITT: Siphiwe, forgive my pronunciation, Ngculu?

MR RADEBE: Come again?

MR HEWITT: Ngculu, being described as Deputy Chief of Staff, based Transkei Eastern Cape, does that name ring a bell?

MR RADEBE: Oh yes, yes.

MR HEWITT: Was he also - do you confirm he also was part of the delegation?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I think so.

MR HEWITT: Yourself and Mo Shake?

MR RADEBE: Mo Shake, yes.

MR HEWITT: All right. Was Mr Sithole in fact and those other people that we have mentioned, that is Makoba and Nkubezi, were they under arrest in connection with this arms cache at Golela?


MR HEWITT: Were they ever charged?

MR RADEBE: Yes, they were charged.

MR HEWITT: Were the charges pursued or were they dropped?

MR RADEBE: It was pursued, because I think they appeared in court, but the case I think, even though my facts are no longer as accurate, but my understanding is that the charges were dropped or whatever, but he is here, he will explain.

MR HEWITT: Yes, but the point is that your meeting with him, or the delegation that you were part of at Middelburg, was that a view to possibly getting the charges withdrawn?

MR RADEBE: No, our purpose was to find out what happened.

MR HEWITT: Okay. Did you establish that the arms cache in fact that was found at Golela consisted of the kind of weapons that I am talking about, rocket launchers, rockets, and fairly heavy armourment like the ones that we have been talking about?

MR RADEBE: That is common knowledge.

MR HEWITT: Do you confirm that?

MR RADEBE: I won't know the details, but I know that there were weapons that were found there, that is why they were arrested in the first place.

MR HEWITT: Yes, but the weapons that were found, were things like rocket launchers and rockets, that is what I am asking you to confirm?

MR RADEBE: Yes, I think I remember there were some rocket launchers, yes.

MR HEWITT: They were? Okay. Did you ever receive instructions from Siphiwe Nyanda yourself?

MR RADEBE: Come again.

MR HEWITT: Did you ever receive instruction about ANC operations from Siphiwe Nyanda, the present Chief of the Army?

MR RADEBE: No, I said my instructions came from Chris Hani.

MR HEWITT: I want to show you for your comment and unfortunately I don't have any copies at this stage, but during the adjournment we can have copies made so that this can be a document on record, if I could just show you this document at this stage, we will have copies made later on.

If I could just read the contents of this document into the record, it is on a African National Congress letterhead. It is addressed to S/Natal REC, what would that mean? Southern Natal presumably, REC, what would that be?

MR RADEBE: Regional Executive Committee, I suspect.

MR HEWITT: Attention Chairperson/Regional Secretary. Would that be you?


MR HEWITT: Let me give you the date, it might help. Date 4th of September 1992. Would that be your position on the 4th of September 1992?

MR RADEBE: I was Chairman of the ANC, Southern Natal.

MR HEWITT: Right. If it is sent by Siphiwe Nyanda, Chief of Staff and the message is MHQ would like to inform you that it has been approved that the following comrades in your area will be functioning on a full time basis for MK regional structure and salaried.

And then the names given are, I think it is an abbreviation for comrades, the comrades are Gaya Numalo, Sipho Sithole, Cheeky Truto and Mavivi Ngubezi.

Would you have a look at this document please?

MR RADEBE: It is not necessary, you have read it.

MR HEWITT: But would that have come to your, do you recall it?

MR RADEBE: I will hand it over to the MK, if he is referring to MK, it could have been handed over to the MK structure.

MR HEWITT: Attention Chairperson/Regional Secretary, would that not have come to you?

MR RADEBE: It would have come to me, but I would have referred it to the people you are saying it was directed to in the first instance.

MR HEWITT: What I am interested in, as I have indicated to you, it was sent by Siphiwe Nyanda. Did you receive documents addressed to you which you handed over?

MR RADEBE: Well, if it was addressed to me, I might have seen it. I don't know why you are making a mountain out of this moth (indistinct)

CHAIRPERSON: What are we getting at here Mr Hewitt?

MR HEWITT: Are you saying this wouldn't have been addressed to you?

MR RADEBE: No, I am saying if it was addressed to the Chair and Secretary, obviously I might have seen it and passed it over to the people concerned.

MR HEWITT: Thank you, all right. Just have a look at it Mr Radebe.

MR RADEBE: Okay. Well, yes, but what are you ...

MR HEWITT: I just want to know whether in the course of your position, you would have received directions or instructions, written or otherwise from Siphiwe Nyanda?

CHAIRPERSON: That sounds from the, the contents that you have read out, just sounds like a relaying of information, it is not an instruction or a directive.

MR HEWITT: All I am trying to establish is, did you receive information from the present Chief of the Army, Siphiwe or instructions or relaying of information?

MR RADEBE: For the purposes of Self Defence Units?


MR RADEBE: No, I have never, I have said it. I can say it again, I never. I received instructions from Chris Hani as I have indicated.

MR HEWITT: So Nyanda didn't have anything to do with that at all?

MR RADEBE: Nothing, as far as I am aware.

MR HEWITT: All right. This particular direction or memo or whatever one calls it, would that have nothing to do with SDU's?

MR RADEBE: Nothing at all. The names of those comrades who are referred to, were members of MK Southern Natal command, which was a legal entity as Umkhonto weSizwe was unbanned on the 2nd of February 1990.

They had legal authority to operate like any other military structure, like the SADF at that time. There is nothing sinister about that.

MR HEWITT: I am not suggesting that, I am just trying to get clarity on that, so that we have a complete picture.

MR RADEBE: That talks about that it must be paid, that they are full time?


MR RADEBE: That is how I understand that.

MR HEWITT: So Mr Sipho Sithole, the gentleman sitting next to you on your right, he was then functioning on a full time basis for MK and salaried at the time?


MR HEWITT: Just bear with me Mr Chairman. Just one further point Mr Radebe, the person Thami Mhlomi, did you ever come into contact with him during your various functions?

MR RADEBE: I know him very well, he was the Secretary of COSATU in Natal and now he is a member of the Provincial Legislature.

MR HEWITT: Was he involved in any way in picking up weaponry or in distributing it for SDU purposes or any other purposes?

MR RADEBE: I don't know, I think you should ask him.

MR HEWITT: No, I am asking you, in your position, whether in fact you ever had dealings with him, that is all.

MR RADEBE: No, I never. I dealt with my comrade here on my right.

MR HEWITT: Never Mr Thami Mhlomi?


MR HEWITT: At no stage?


MR HEWITT: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETE: Yes Mr Chairman. Mr Radebe, how soon after your return were you arrested, in 1986?

MR RADEBE: I was arrested on the 6th of April 1986.

MS THABETE: When did you return?

MR RADEBE: I was on arrested on the same day.

MS THABETE: On the same day, okay. Immediately after your release in 1990, you have stated in front of us that you monitored violence and you tried to promote peace in KZN. How did you go about doing this?

MR RADEBE: What I did, I was employed by the National Association of Democratic Lawyers. It was the policy of the broad democratic movement at the time that they should pursue peace so that we can be able to have a peaceful political activity in kwaZulu Natal.

What I did was to promote peace wherever there was violence. We also interacted with communities, we even held various workshops, even on people's courts, so that we changed this whole paradigm of kangaroo courts, so that people must be able to gear towards this transition period.

I also during the time participated in many peace initiatives between the ANC and the IFP, starting in 1990 when I was here in Southern Natal, I was one of those people who were at the forefront of the signing of the Royal Peace Accord of January 1991 and also I was a representative of the ANC in the formation of the National Peace Accord that took place in Johannesburg. It was the 15th of September 1991.

All these initiatives were aimed at stabilising the region of Natal and also making sure that our people must, even if they differ politically, they must not resort to violence.

MS THABETE: Okay, you said you even held workshops on people's courts in communities. Can you mention a few communities that you actually went to?

MR RADEBE: Well, we had workshops in many areas. I can recall Umkababa, we had various workshops there in Port Shepstone, kwaMashu, Ndwedwe, we even had a very big workshop at the University of Natal, where we dealt extensively with the issue of people's courts.

MS THABETE: Okay. In the Self Defence Units in the communities, did you have MK cadres that were responsible for seeing that the whole defence unit situation was in place?

MR RADEBE: Yes, we actually made a political call to all those comrades who were members of Umkhonto weSizwe , wherever they are. If communities are under attack and the communities decide to form Self Defence Units, that they must support those initiatives and play a supportive role in training and also in arming those units.

But at all times, these structures as I have repeatedly pointed out, were community structures who were playing a supportive role to those initiatives.

MS THABETE: Okay, in the MK cadres carrying out the supportive role in the communities, did you specify what authority they must have and the boundaries as well of how far they could engage in that authority?

MR RADEBE: Well, MK cadres who found themselves in those communities, always acted within the political structure and guidance of those community structures, so they were not imposing themselves on those communities.

They were part and parcel of the members of those various communities. They did not give themselves authority of being a know all, but they were part of those communities.

MS THABETE: What I am actually asking as well is, maybe let me make an illustration of this point, we have had applicants coming to in front of the Committee saying that, MK cadres saying that well, the communities came to me, they would say they had information about somebody, that somebody was a police informer or they were told by the community that somebody was acting against the ANC in the community.

Would it be in order for such MK cadres to make a decision by themselves to assassinate such people in the community?

MR RADEBE: Well, as I have pointed out, MK had no other specific instructions other than to act within the ambit of those community structures where Self Defence Units took place.

If those were the instructions of the community, that means that MK cadre was acting within the authority of that community.

MS THABETE: Okay, so in a situation where let's say the community didn't say anything to the cadre, but that cadre saw fit that somebody had to be assassinated, wouldn't he have to consult maybe with your region before he made such a decision?

MR RADEBE: No, not at all.

MS THABETE: He had the right to just make such a decision and carry it out?

MR RADEBE: As part of that community, but there won't be any instruction from the leadership of the ANC or MK do this or do that.

MR LAX: I think just to clarify this, the question is really where the person didn't have the authority of the community, they hadn't consulted the community at all and we have heard one or two instances to that effect, across the political spectrum, but let's deal with MK cadres at this instance.

An MK cadre situates himself or get situated in a particular community, he may have been busy setting up an SDU structure in that community, he notices a problem in that area. Without consulting anybody, he simply goes and assassinates somebody. Would that have been appropriate conduct from an MK cadre in the circumstances?

MR RADEBE: Well, I think each case must be looked in accordance with its own merits, so if under these circumstances a reasonable community would have acted in the same way, I think the reasonable man test should apply.

I think if a similar person under these circumstances would have done the same within the circumstances, then it could be justified.

But the point I was trying to make, is that there were no specific instructions that were given exclusively to MK to do this or that. They always have to see themselves as part of that community structures.

MR LAX: The thrust of my question is really that it would have been extraordinary circumstances that would have entailed somebody acting without informing communities or seeking guidance from the community structures that they were part of?

MR RADEBE: In a practical situation I would guess because I don't know where you come from, but living in Natal of the time, this place was in flames.

As I have indicated, almost every Saturday I used to bury comrades, so if people are under severe attack, they will do things that normally would not have been done. I would think that there are many things that happened in Natal which many of us would like to forget, but it was the reality of the time that people were forced with. Extraordinary circumstances were imposed upon them, so they did things that were not that normal.

MR LAX: Thank you.

MS THABETE: When you established the SDU's, did you foresee the intervention of a criminal element in the communities?

MR RADEBE: I never foresaw that, but as it transpired, some people who were claiming to be SDU's, were sheer criminals. Where we were involved as ANC an MK, whenever those excesses took place, we immediately took steps to discipline those comrades and more particularly to disarm them.

It is possible that others, as we can see that in many instances, communities used to buy the arms. Where they bought them from, I wouldn't know. Others were trafficking in arms we were made to believe in this region.

MS THABETE: Actually that was my next question to you. In your evidence earlier on you had said that if you did discover that there were people who were criminals but using the SDU's, you would disarm them. Were there any other disciplinary measures taken against such people besides disarming them?

MR RADEBE: That was the most appropriate disciplinary form. If you disarm a person, I think it was adequate for our purposes, because neither would we report that to the police. The police being the very same people who were the cause of our troubles in kwaZulu Natal.

MS THABETE: So in essence you are saying there were no other disciplinary measures you adopted, besides disarming them?

MR RADEBE: Yes, that was the main form of discipline.

CHAIRPERSON: Any further questions?

MS THABETE: Yes, if you would bear with me.

CHAIRPERSON: Would this be an opportune time to take the tea adjournment?

MS THABETE: I've just got three more questions, then that is it.


MS THABETE: On page 14 of the bundle, of your application ...

MR RADEBE: I don't have page 14.

CHAIRPERSON: It is page 6 of your attachment to the application, the appendix, page 6.


MS THABETE: You talk about a decision that was taken to retrieve as many weapons as possible. Who took that decision?

MR RADEBE: That decision was taken by military Headquarters when the process of reconciliation and the merger with the Defence Force was taken, so that we don't leave a lot of arms in the hands of the people who now had a Defence Force who was now going to look after the interest of our people.

That decision we received from military Headquarters and it was carried out successfully in my opinion.

MS THABETE: And then my last question, on page 7 of your application, paragraph 20, you talk about the introduction of better forms of policing that were introduced in the province to try and curtail violence and deal with violence. Can you give us a few examples?

MR RADEBE: Well, I must say despite the fact that the police and the army were horrible against our people, but there were individuals within those forces who were very sympathetic to our cause.

I can mention for an example Colonel Lawrence who was ever ready to assist us whenever violence broke out, so there was a section within the police and the army that were prepared to assist our people, but the majority unfortunately were on the other side of destruction and harassment of our people.

MS THABETE: Okay, my last question, you say you received reports on events that were happening in the communities. Can you just mention a few maybe where people were injured or people died?

MR RADEBE: Can you repeat the question, I am sorry.

MS THABETE: In your evidence you say that you would get reports from the communities of what was happening with the

SDU's, so my question to you is would you give like specific examples of reports that you would get where people were injured, like specific examples?

MR RADEBE: I wouldn't have specific examples, but I do know for example that in Port Shepstone there was a time when there were problems there and we had to address a meeting there with John Kadimeng and Harry Gwala where some people who were claiming to be Self Defence Units, were not doing proper things.

I can recall that particular incident.

MS THABETE: Actually I was asking about reports of incidents that had occurred, where people maybe were killed or injured?

MR RADEBE: Oh, from the Self Defence Units?


MR RADEBE: Yes, I am sure Sithole will indicate this in his submission. There were instances where Self Defence Units were involved in combat clashes with the Security Police, places like Umlazi, kwaMashu, etc.

MS THABETE: You don't remember any specific incidents?

MR RADEBE: No, I can't remember, because I was not involved in the operational aspects, you see.

MS THABETE: No further questions Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will take a short tea

adjournment now.



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

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Yes, thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Radebe, the evidence you have given so far, in relation to the role that Mr Sithole had, was that Mr Sithole was responsible for the practical implication of things on the ground, as regards the operations of the SDU's, is that correct?

MR RADEBE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: In your position, did you have personal knowledge of what exactly Mr Sithole was doing?

MR RADEBE: I did not have personal information of what he was doing, based on the understanding that he is a highly trained person, that I knew personally and also we trusted that his judgement, whatever he did, would be in accordance with his own training as a person, but above all understanding the policy of the ANC and the implications of the involvement of MK.

MR WILLS: Yes. Now, you briefly indicated in answer to a question by my colleague, Ms Thabete, that things were quite bad in Natal.

I think it is quite important to just emphasise that. Can you give us more detail about what the conditions were like in Southern Natal at the time you were put in this position where there was a necessity of Self Defence Units to be established?

MR RADEBE: I think I lack the words of a poet to describe the difficult circumstances under which our people used to live here.

In short our people were victims of a ruthless war of attrition against them. As I indicated almost on a daily basis, I used to bury comrades, I used to get phones of attacks by the police. Places like Umkababa, Port Shepstone, massacres of people at Umlazi.

At one point I remember very well in 1992, there were about 13 of our people who were killed at Umlazi. They were killed when they wanted, we wanted to bury those people. The local authority of Umlazi refused permission for us to bury our people.

We even went to the Supreme Court for a mandamus application which was rejected by the Supreme Court. We had to make a demonstration with 13 dummy coffins in the street of Durban, in West Street. You will go to areas like Inanda, you will find bodies of comrades laying down, you will communicate with the police, the Defence Force. They totally had no interest, except as I indicated in my evidence, one Colonel Lawrence who was willing to go the extra mile in trying to resolve the situation.

It was really a horrible situation to live in Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, there is no further re-examination.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills. Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions to ask Mr Radebe?

MR SIBANYONI: Yes, just a few questions Mr Chairperson. Mr Radebe, these SDU's were established to protect specific communities aligned to any specific political party or was it just generally communities which were under attack?

MR RADEBE: In general these Self Defence Units were established in all those areas which were under attack.

Unfortunately all those areas that were constantly under attack, were areas which were generally supportive of the ANC and the democratic movement in general. So in a sense, almost all those areas were areas which were sympathetic to the ANC. In fact, it is a result that we even gained an impression that the Security Forces were not keen to assist us when (indistinct), in as much as in many of those instances, the police were in the forefront of atrocities against our people.

MR SIBANYONI: Is it possible to say how many SDU's were established in the region where you were the Chairperson of the ANC?

MR RADEBE: As I indicated, SDU's were a spontaneous

creation of the masses of people whenever there was violence in those areas, so I am unable to say with certainty how many of those SDU's were formed.

But in almost all the areas that were inflicted by violence, you will find SDU's mushrooming there.

CHAIRPERSON: It is also correct, sometimes you've got more than one SDU in a particular area?

MR RADEBE: Yes, it is possible.

MR SIBANYONI: Even those SDU's which were not established by the ANC, let's say it was spontaneous response from the community, your structures were responsible, in other words, they were responsible to either give training to them or any supportive, to give any support?

MR RADEBE: Yes, whenever our especially MK comrades who were in those communities, then they would play that supportive role, but at all times these SDU's were community structures, whether MK was there or not, those communities would find ways of defending themselves.

I indicated for example that they even manufactured their own weapons which they used to call "uxashu", which is a reflection of this community involvement in the establishment of SDU's.

MR SIBANYONI: Last question, the SDU's were sanctioned by the ANC, in other words they were established as a result of resolutions taken by the ANC. Why do you deem it necessary to deem it necessary for establishing SDU's?

MR RADEBE: The first point, it is true, it is the ANC as a political leader of the majority of South Africans took it upon itself, a responsibility that we cannot remain unmoved in the face of a total onslaught against ANC supporting communities, so as a national liberation movement, I believe it was a correct decision by the ANC to support the creation of the Self Defence Unit.

As in all conflicts, people get injured, people get killed, in as much as in retrospect we never intended that by our actions, those consequences will ensue.

That is why it is a matter of record that as an ANC we regret in terms of all the things that has happened, but the point however, also is to also pay special tribute to all those comrades and people who stood up in the face of this total onslaught in defence of our people, in defence of our country.

I believe that they created an embryo of the formation of the new democratic society.

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

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

MR LAX: Thank you Chairperson. Just to pick up on an aspect that Mr Sibanyoni raised with you and that was existing or spontaneous SDU's. It is a pretty well known fact that the political violence in this province, preceded 1990 by many years and that in many, many communities there were existing defence structures already by the time the ANC was unbanned and by the time it then endorsed the need for defence.

What steps did you say as a political leader of that time, a person carrying political accountability if you like, take to ensure that those existing structures came under the ambit of the general policy directions and so on?

MR RADEBE: Firstly it is true that prior to 1990, already there were embryo's of people Self Defence Units in many areas, especially here in kwaZulu Natal, so what the ANC did, it took advantage of the conditions of legality to form this open structure that were openly accountable to the communities to which they belonged.

But as an organisation we took political responsibility of ensuring that whenever our people of the ANC or Umkhonto weSizwe were involved, we need to ensure that we do these things in a politically responsible manner, taking moral responsibility for our own actions.

That is why whenever we participated in the Self Defence Unit, we always emphasise the question of discipline and accountability to the structures to which they belong. In that sense, we did as a political leadership of the ANC, within the constraints of the difficulty of the times, to assist in ensuring that those Defence Units that our people are involved, are as disciplined and as accountable as it is possible.

MR LAX: Just one last question, you had been asked this question before. It relates to, you spoke about disarming people who stepped out of line, and you said that in the main, that was the main form of discipline that you applied. What I am really interested in is what other forms of discipline as far as you are aware, if you are not aware of them, then that is fine, they may have happened beyond your ken, so to speak, but if there are other forms of discipline that you are aware of, we are just interested to know how was that applied, besides disarming people?

MR RADEBE: Well, that was the main form of discipline that I am aware of that they were disarmed and in many instances where they were members of MK, there was a distance that was adopted by MK vis-à-vis those comrades or former comrades were involved in such activities.

MR LAX: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Lax. Mr Radebe, you said that in 1985 you underwent military training in Angola. Was that a comprehensive military training that you underwent, could you give us just some details as to the duration of your training and as well as what you were trained in, I presume it was the use of firearms, guerilla warfare tactics, that sort of thing?

MR RADEBE: I underwent special training for a period of about four months, military tactics, military engineering, military combat work, the use of firearms, political education obviously, physical training sometimes six hours a day, sometimes it sounds ridiculous, but we used to train for almost six hours a day.

Those were the types of focus training that I underwent.

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

FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Just one brief question, thank you Mr Chairman. Committee member, Mr Lax, asked you about discipline.

The people who were responsible of serious breaches of the policies when acting as SDU members, were those people ever expelled from the organisation?

MR RADEBE: Yes, there are many who found themselves outside the organisation because of their conduct.

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


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

MR HEWITT: I have no questions arising, thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Thabete, any questions arising?

MS THABETE: No questions Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Mr Radebe, that concludes your testimony.

MR RADEBE: Thank you.



MR WILLS: Yes, thank you Mr Chairperson, I did indicate to the Committee members in chambers, that I would require a short adjournment before we go onto the next applicant.

I would request that at this stage, I don't think that I would need longer than 15 minutes. Mr Chairperson, in addition I would like to request that because of Mr Radebe's schedule, if he could actually be excused at this stage, I don't think it is necessary for him.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, is there any objection to Mr Radebe being excused?

MR HEWITT: No, my learned friend and I have already discussed it.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Radebe, we understand that you have a tight schedule and you are excused from further attendance, but you are quite free to stay as long as you like and listen to the proceedings. You are an applicant after all and you are entitled to be here, in fact you should be here, but you have given your evidence, so in the circumstances, you may leave whenever you wish.

We will take a short adjournment to enable Mr Wills to have a brief consultation with his next witness.

















DAY: 5

--------------------------------------------------------------------------MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I would just like to record that in view of a development in terms of which we require information from the Department of Justice, we have all agreed to change the order of proceedings and we will be leading Mr Phillips in his application presently, so I call Mr Phillips to the stand. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. What page is the application on?

MR WILLS: Page 17.


MR LAX: 17.


IAN MUNRO PHILLIPS: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wills?

EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Dr Phillips, you have been a member of the ANC since what date?

MR PHILLIPS: I became a signed up member in 1990.

MR WILLS: And from that date, in what capacity have you acted in the ANC?

MR PHILLIPS: I was elected to the Branch, the Executive Branch, the Executive Committee of the Durban Central Branch before being elected to the Regional Executive Committee in Southern Natal at the end of that year, 1990.

I served on the REC for the duration and with a break in 1993 until 1994.

MR WILLS: You are also an academic at the University of Natal in Durban?

MR PHILLIPS: During that stage, yes, until 1994.

MR WILLS: And what was your field of expertise?

MR PHILLIPS: I trained as a historian, but I taught in political studies, concentrating on South, Southern Africa and Soviet studies, from 1987 through to 1994 at the UND.

MR WILLS: When you talk about being a member of the Regional Executive Committee, that is of the Southern Natal region of the ANC?


MR WILLS: And the offices that housed the Southern Natal region at the time, they were in Durban?

MR PHILLIPS: That is correct.

MR WILLS: What is your present occupation?

MR PHILLIPS: I am Special Advisor to the Minister of Public Works, who is sitting on my right.

MR WILLS: I refer you to page, sorry, you applied for amnesty in terms of the prescribed form and you attested to this on the 10th of May 1997 at Durban?

MR PHILLIPS: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Do you confirm the contents of this affidavit?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes, indeed.

MR WILLS: In this affidavit you apply for amnesty in respect of the facilitation of the establishment and supporting of SDU's, in particular through communicating information between military and political leadership from time to time.

MR PHILLIPS: That is right.

MR WILLS: What time span are we talking about here?

MR PHILLIPS: We are talking about the period from 1991 sort of late 1990, 1991 all the way through to 1993.

MR WILLS: The end of 1993?

MR PHILLIPS: Well, the end of 1993, but we must understand that even within that time scale, the facilitation processes were different. I mean for example there was a planning period.

And then in 1993, things were wound down in terms of the ANC involvement in SDU activities. So, that is the time span but there is different forms of participation during that.

MR WILLS: Well, let's start with your participation in the formation of SDU's. Can you explain to the Committee in as much detail as you can remember, what that participation was?

MR PHILLIPS: Well, first of all we, as was noted earlier in earlier evidence, SDU's have been in existence within communities in kwaZulu Natal for some considerable time from the 1980's onwards.

With the unbanning of the ANC and SACP and MK, it was the task of an interim group to re-establish open public branches of the ANC in these various communities. It wasn't simply a case of ANC branches just popping up everywhere, they had to be organised in a particular way.

At that particular time and there was considerable violence in the immediate aftermath in kwaZulu Natal of Nelson Mandela's release, in a number of townships for example, there was some confrontations between people, at that time it was considerably shaky, the atmosphere in the country and of course negotiations hadn't quite started in any real earnest at that stage.

But as a result of these developments, and continuing pressures on the ANC leadership, not only here but nationally as well, the preparatory work that went towards the ANC's Consultative Conference that was held at NASREC in December of 1990, indicated that the issues of self defence and ANC's response to self defence, would have to become clarified.

That Conference, to cut a long story short, took a resolution that it was the ANC's responsibility and through the ANC, MK had a responsibility to participate and to help and assist communities when they were under attack, to develop their self defence capabilities.

The ANC took the responsible position that self defence was of such a sensitive and serious nature, that it had to be coordinated, it had to be organised and it had to be disciplined, precisely to ensure that it didn't, that communities didn't run amok, or that self defence didn't perpetuate if you like, a spiral of violence or anything like that.

With those decisions in the December 1990 conference, Headquarters, National Executive Committee made some preparations in terms of guidelines in how to establish these things, how to establish the contacts and the support of the ANC and MK for SDU activities, self defence activity.

And these were all confirmed in the National Consultative Conference, the 48th I think it was, in July of 1991. So for all intents and purposes, at an organised level, the ANC in Southern Natal as we already heard, became involved with self defence activities, SDU's in many of the communities from 1991 onwards.

MR WILLS: I am particularly interested in your involvement, your personal involvement. If you can just explain that in detail to the Committee?

MR PHILLIPS: During that formative period, as you know members of MK and the ANC from outside, were returning home and during the course of a number of meetings and things, I had had meetings with Chris Hani over a period of time and he had indicated to me that he wished me to take over control if you like, or to facilitate and establish communication links between whatever structures were going to be set up in the Southern Natal region and the designated people in Johannesburg at Shell House, the ANC Headquarters, military Headquarters in particular.

As a result of that, I was put in touch with individuals, Calvin Khan at military Headquarters and in this particular region, with the establishment of the relevant structures of MK in our region in 1991, I was put into contact with Mandla Sithole, comrade Mandla, this Sithole here.

Likewise during that particular period, as has been indicated earlier, being on the REC I was involved in REC work of a normal nature, political education and otherwise and in that particular environment, was able to come into contact with a number of communities and to ascertain even independently and individually the necessity for self defence in this particular province.

MR WILLS: You have heard the evidence of Mr Radebe in relation to the procurement of arms. Can you explain to the Committee what your role was in that regard?

MR PHILLIPS: Mr Radebe has referred to the first consignment of weapons which came into the province through a vehicle.

I was not involved in that particular consignment if you like, because that was taking place right at the very beginning of the particular process, establishing the linkages here within Southern Natal. However, as soon as that had been up and running, I was given the task as I indicated, to establish the communication links. Essentially I think there are two principles that need to be kept in mind, the conditions of the time, although formally legal, the ANC and MK and the prevailing atmosphere in kwaZulu Natal forced us to still adapt to underground forms of work, in other words, you couldn't communicate publicly or by adverts in the press or something like that.

It was done with the principles of military combat work in mind, secrecy. Those were operated on the basis of the need to know principle, ie in terms of information, it doesn't really matter how high up in the organisation you are, you will only be allowed to know information and should know information, that is pertinent to your particular role in a particular position.

The other is that you had to establish structures that preserve that secrecy. Those structures mean that I as a member of an REC, given a particular task or function by Chris, comrade Chris Hani, means that I would know who my immediate superior was in the line of function, and I would also know who my immediate whatever it is, (indistinct) further down the line would be.

However, I would not necessarily know and I ought not to know in fact, the identities of people further down the chain so that if in the circumstances of somebody being caught somewhere, that individual doesn't actually, or is not prejudiced by information that you don't know, because the experience and these methods of work, are not there by choice or desires for conspiracy and this type of nonsense. They are there for the very real reason that, and they arose in the ANC in particular I understand, during the course of the 1960's, when the South African regime at that stage, employed vicious forms of torture against people and got information out of people through those means.

You can only get information out of people, if they had it. So it is much better in actual fact to keep levels of information as limited as possible. In a practical sense, the principles would operate if there was to be a consignment of weapons or we were to be informed that there was going to be weapons available from a DLB for distribution to SDU's in Southern Natal, I would either have a personal communication through phone or whatever, from MHQ which would say something along the line, I cannot remember precisely these things of course, something along the lines of hallo comrade, tell you friend that the presents have arrived, or something like that.

I would then be able to communicate to Mandla that good news, the presents have arrived.

MR WILLS: Just for the record, Mandla being Mr Sithole?

MR PHILLIPS: Mr - sorry Mr Sithole. These formalities are a bit beyond me at times and this isn't a court, so I feel a little bit more ...

CHAIRPERSON: This is not a court and we have tried to be a lot less formal than a court.

MR PHILLIPS: Thank you. Essentially what would happen was it is one thing to be told that the presents have arrived, you've got to find out where they are.

In that situation, because I was at the University, you had free access to telephones, faxes, goodness knows what else, and I would be told, well, expect a fax, and I would toddle along to the fax room, and sure enough there would be a fax and on that fax would most probably be a diagram of some sort.

That diagram prepared in a particular way, would have the form of a map. I wouldn't necessarily know or understand what that map said, but it would be because of the particular way in which it had been drawn.

That map would then be handed on to Mandla, who as a military person, trained in those particular interpretative ways, would understand what that map meant. What he did with it, would actually be his particular business. Most of the time, communication would take place on that basis.

I would understand that this was a consignment of arms or ammunition or whatever it was that was in the particular DLB or Dead Drop, and that is how it would be done.

Comrade Jeff has indicated earlier the circumstances of how vehicles could be used as DLB's. Again information would come through, but I think the other thing to indicate is that (a) no written records of transactions of this nature were made or kept, because it was unnecessary. Most of the communication was verbal between myself and MHQ and occasionally comrade Chris would pass through the region, and we would chat and he would indicate a few things of progress, but similarly the simple fact was that given the structure of the ANC, we would have, well we had a Regional Headquarters based in Durban and in that Headquarters would be offices for the Women's League, the Youth League and obviously for Umkhonto weSizwe because MK as we know, was the League of an up and coming and legitimate force during that period.

CHAIRPERSON: Just one point Dr Phillips, you said that you didn't keep written records of transactions. Mr Radebe when he gave evidence, said that at the end of the day when weapons were retrieved, about 90% of the weapons that were issued, they got back again to hand over to the military, the new Defence Force, National Defence Force.

I don't know whether you would know, but would there be a record kept somewhere, not necessarily in Southern Natal region, but somewhere, as to how many weapons, what there nature, the type of weapons, etc that were delivered to Southern Natal and if three AK47's went to Umkababa and two went to Inanda or whatever, would there be that sort of record somewhere in the MK offices, either at Headquarters or in Natal?

MR PHILLIPS: Okay, first of all my comment about no written records, referred specifically to the nature of the communication, ie I don't have any copies of the maps left, that type of thing.

Secondly, from my recollection of comrade Jeff's testimony, he sort of estimated that 85% or thereabouts as a rough estimate of what may have gone back. Inside that DLB there may have been an indication of what was there, but of course people can count how ever many, whether records were kept of that nature from military Headquarters, I don't know.

I wouldn't know to what extent there was an audit done within military structures here, in terms again of keeping a record of this is going to that place, because again part of the problem I suspect, is that we are dealing with the situation of great mobility.

You've got a random process and the other problem of course is the least or fewer pieces of paper you have floating around with that type of information, the better.

CHAIRPERSON: One would imagine probably the Ordinance Section at Headquarters knew how many left?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes, I would imagine so and I am also aware that for example, when the final audits were done for the retrieval of weaponry and the hand over to the SANDF formally, after the election process, that was all coordinated by military Headquarters.

We didn't have an audit role to play in that as Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: Mr Radebe in his evidence indicated the method of conveyance of these weapons was by vehicles, but you got involved on a more frequent basis after that and it wasn't only the usage of these vehicles.

Can you just explain in as much detail as you can recall, the methods through which the weapons were delivered to various places?

MR PHILLIPS: Okay. Well of course I wouldn't have direct knowledge necessarily of the actual dispersal of the weapons themselves, except the communication of information as to where they were.

I was aware during that particular time that I think quite a sizeable proportion of the weaponry that was used by SDU's or that MK operatives linked to SDU's got access to, came from established DLB's in the province, within the whole province of Natal, which had been established during the course of the armed struggle, during the 1970's and 1980's.

MR WILLS: You must remember that you are dealing with non-military people here. Just to explain in layman's terms, the DLB would be a form of an arms cache and some of these were static places that were established in various parts of the region, is that correct?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Dead Letter Box is a generic term that refers to a secure place where things can be left to be picked up by other people. In other words, it could be a note, it could be a letter, it could be an AK, it could be a grenade, and of course it doesn't necessarily - it is not necessarily a letter box, it could be a whole in a tree, it could be a cupboard, it could be a hidden compartment in a vehicle itself, so that it doesn't necessarily have to be mobile, it could be a drain pipe, it could be any of those things.

During the 1970's and 1980's, again it has become common knowledge, with the steady intensification of the armed struggle against the regime, a number of infiltrations occurred of both people and weaponry from ANC MK.

Very frequently you would actually infiltrate personnel, knowing that there would be a cache of arms somewhere that had been hidden in a DLB, information about that DLB of course would be controlled by central ordinance operating outside of the country at that time.

When MK came back to the country, of course that information came with them so that they would know where established DLB's were, established caches of arms of whatever nature. They would know what was in those things.

I also am aware through conversation and since then, of course that some of these DLB's done exist, or didn't exist later when they went to look for them, because a new housing development had gone up on the empty piece of veld or whatever.

But for the most part, these in the 1980's, would still be retrievable. In the, when information said the presents are there, it doesn't mean that they are on all occasions have been brought into the province, it would just be, that would be the time that we would receive that information, say in January 1992 or whatever, there is something that you can find, and this particular document will lead you to it.

There is no indication that that was a new DLB that had been established, it could very well be a very old one.

MR WILLS: So you would get the notification through various means that the presents had arrived, and you would communicate that with Mr Sithole?


MR WILLS: And that would be your sole function in that regard?

MR PHILLIPS: In that regard of communicating the information, yes.

MR WILLS: You wouldn't know for example what Mr Sithole did with the firearms?

MR PHILLIPS: I was very aware that Mr Sithole would have distributed them further down the line to wherever they were needed. I wouldn't necessarily know to whom they went at a particular time, but again as has become clear, all the way down the line the same principles of need to know and where you go, are operating.

Between Mr Sithole and myself, the communication was extremely simple because we were working at the same office.

MR WILLS: You wouldn't yourself, actually see the firearms, you didn't come into contact with the firearms?

MR PHILLIPS: No, not in that particular method, no.

MR WILLS: As I understand the method, it was also a two way communication. Communities would through the channels request certain armourments, is that correct?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes, the way comrade Chris phrased to me in one of the discussions at the beginning, explaining how the thing was supposed to work, indicated that I was to communicate with military Headquarters, not only to receive information but when requirements were needed here, when a need arose for whatever reason, I would use the same channel of communication to make a request, in other words present a shopping list or whatever to MHQ in that way.

So, it was a toing and froing if you like, of information.

MR WILLS: Can you explain to the Committee what your role was in regard to the training or political education of SDU's?

MR PHILLIPS: When I served on the first REC, we had a whole range of titles and things, but one of my functions was to perform political education role for the ANC generally.

However, it was identified, because at that same time I was a member of a structure called the Military Research Group which was an ANC/MK aligned NGO, if you like, operated in Johannesburg, which was part and parcel of the ANC's negotiations around the military transition and military transformations that would need to be taken.

It was identified that with my knowledge of that particular area and the political education experience, I would be used from time to time, quite frequently as it became clear in the 1990's, to deal directly with communities on the issues of self defence, the policies of the organisation, how the ANC perceived self defence in the overall strategy that we had, multiprong strategy that we had to try and secure democracy in the country.

So mostly and again because teaching at the University, my time was taken up mostly during the day, a great deal of our work, was conducted at night or in the evenings and that type of thing.

Comrade Jeff has already referred to the frequent formal meetings, conferences, workshops that were organised by the Regional ANC on an ongoing basis during this period, but besides those, there was frequent contact, not only of individual REC members with different branches of the ANC, but ourselves, myself and Mandla used to travel around very, very frequently or if we were accompanying comrade Jeff, while comrade Jeff is addressing a particular function or meeting on this particular level, we would be having a discussion with other people in turn, trying to instill the types of discipline and organisational skills that were necessary in those areas.

The major difficulty if I may just add, was - if I can make a comparison with the benign atmosphere of the University lecture hall, it is wonderful to have the time to prepare your lectures and to present them to a class of students, who themselves are allegedly, or have allegedly prepared for that particular class and conduct lessons in that manner. When we were conducting political education in the Region in Southern Natal, we were doing it on the hoof, there was absolutely no time for the types of deep thinking and seminaring and workshopping that can go on because these were communities under fire and so time was of the essence, and frequently, perhaps the message that we needed to put across, wasn't put across as clearly as it could have been in those circumstances.

MR WILLS: Are you in a position to indicate to the Committee how many consignments of arms that you were involved with in the manner, in the sense that you communicated the information through to Mr Sithole?

MR PHILLIPS: It is very difficult to assess, things were done in a very irregular manner in terms of time. There would be lulls and then there would be very busy periods.

I think the, if I think in terms of the number of notices or messages and things like that, anything between 25, 30 indications would have come through, but again, I remember very distinctly the pressures, there were times that it was quite frequent, but we weren't ever able to indicate precisely. The important thing was getting the goodies, not necessarily keeping a record of them.

MR WILLS: You say on page 4 of your amnesty application and I am referring specifically to paragraph 10(b), that all actions were politically motivated aimed to enable communities under attack in kwaZulu Natal to defend themselves.

Self defence against an armed enemy was a justifiable response as a part of continuing struggle at the time of negotiations in order to secure inter alia free political activity.

Would you like to expand on that at all?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes. I think the members of the Committee will know and it is common knowledge that State sponsored counter-revolutionary violence in the South African context in the last couple of years, has undertaken a number of different phases.

They have all, all those different types of violence, however, have had a particular effect, and that effect and particular purpose, was to deny free political activity to all those organisations which I would argue the ANC was primary, all those organisations that opposed fundamentally, the structures of the apartheid State.

Now, our experience here from 1983 onwards in the province, had been and it has become clearer over the last couple of months and years as well, but the violence ranged against us at that time, took on the appearance frequently of inter-political violence between organisations or members of organisations, ANC, IFP, etc.

However, from a very early time in the 1990's, around 1990, 1991, assessment and analysis of the type of violence and the type of activity that was taking place in this province, indicated that there was some other activity going on beneath it, that things were not quite what they appeared to be.

At that time, I remember distinctly, the ANC and comrades here were aware that the major sources of insecurity to communities, the major sources of attack against communities, were actually fermented and organised and perpetrated by elements from within the Security Forces of the State.

We would include within those particular definitions of SAP and SADF, particular activities of organised hitsquads. Nasty individuals and units from within the kwaZulu police who have become implicated in a whole range of activities.

The reality for communities on the ground, was that structures of authority, whether they were of the kwaZulu government or of the South African government, structures of authority were actually perpetrators of atrocities and violence against many communities.

What happened and what became clear as evidence of things like Operation Marion or Operation Katson from the Eastern Cape made evident, was that the Pretoria government and instruments of the securocrats, were using other political forces such as the IFP from time to time, for their own particular purposes, and they were doing that in the traditions of counter-insurgency warfare.

Essentially what that meant in this province, as I think has become evidently clear, is that even in areas which were poverty stricken with scarce resources, it was very easy to foment problems between members of communities, based on political affiliation.

That was an issue that we had to address and as comrade Jeff has indicated, there were numerous attempts to foment peace structures between the various political organisations which ran hot and cold from time to time, during this particular period. In essence we found it extremely difficult to establish ANC structures within kwaZulu Natal.

Southern Natal, we got off comparatively lightly compared to Northern Natal, where it was a clear fact that the ANC had to operate underground. Even after 1990 in Northern Natal, because of the threats and attacks on organisers, individuals who were identified within communities as being either ANC members or organisers or MK, became targets and became victims very frequently.

The number of assaults that took place on meetings, constantly we would find that when the ANC as a legal political organisation, wished to have a meeting in a hall, the local authority in charge of that particular area, would refuse permission to have that meeting.

Funerals were attacked, vigils were attacks, and so on and so forth. It wasn't only free political activity that was denied. What increasingly became obvious, that people were not being allowed to live their lives as normal citizens.

Education was disrupted. We know of the Pietermaritzburg war for example, the seven day war, which was one of the more dramatic examples of the type of mobile warfare that was going on. That created a situation in which the province became awash with large number of refugees, displaced people who had nowhere to go, nowhere to live, and in those circumstances, we faced a completely uphill battle as to what to do with this.

It was clear that the responsible authority, which was the State, was not doing its task, and the ANC at a national level, continually took the issue, even of kwaZulu Natal violence to the then President De Klerk and it is a matter of public record, that the De Klerk government did absolutely nothing to intervene in the particular circumstances of violence here.

In those circumstances, and it builds dramatically during 1992 and then 1993 at the beginning, those circumstances as comrade Jeff has indicated, created a situation in which a political organisation such as the ANC, had to take the responsibility, not only politically but also in a more active manner to assist communities to defend themselves.

It was not a decision that was taken lightly. I was part of the discussions at various conferences about that, and I can testify to the tension and the atmosphere of those meetings, when those resolutions were decided upon. They were not taken with glee, they were not taken with eagerness, it was taken as a result of serious consideration that this has to be done to prevent the further genocide of people in this particular province.

MR WILLS: You have indicated that you dealt with certain people at MHQ, can you just let us know who those people are?

MR PHILLIPS: Besides the leadership of comrade Chris Hani and comrade Ronnie Kasrils, whom we interacted with regularly, the person I dealt with directly was comrade Calvin Khan who I understand as the Committee or Commission would know, his activities through the name of Riaz Saludi, which is his proper name, but of course I would know other people at MK Headquarters, including Siphiwe Nyanda and others, because of the general interaction, because the point is that SDU activities was one element of many aspects of ANC work that we actually had to encounter.

There was this constant interaction, so yes, we knew most of the people, but in terms of SDU activity, it would have been comrade Chris primarily and then comrade Calvin at MHQ.

MR WILLS: Further down the line, would you be aware of any of the persons in respect of whom Mr Sithole was interacting?

MR PHILLIPS: I didn't know at that stage the identities of people, who were fulfilling particular functions, that were actually being organised by comrade Mandla, but obviously when one goes out into the communities and things, and you are dealing with issues of this nature, I would be introduced and I would meet comrade Jabu or whatever.

Now whether Jabu was the person's proper name or not, I would have absolutely no idea, most probably not. It wasn't necessary for me to know the full ID's and CV's of the people that I am giving political education classes to. It would be a case of being able to recognise people visually, rather than in terms of a name or an identity.

MR WILLS: And in respect of your role in the procurement of firearms and ammunition in the province, you have never been arrested or prosecuted?


MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills. Mr Hewitt, do you have any questions to ask Dr Phillips?

MR HEWITT: Mr Chairman, I have no interest in this applicant.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabete, do you have any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETE: A few Mr Chairman. Dr Phillips, I realise in your application, page 2 of your application, page 18 of the bundle, at 9(a), the acts for which you are applying amnesty for, you haven't filled anything, what would you say you applying amnesty for?

MR PHILLIPS: All right, first of all, quite frankly, I found this application form a little bit of a mind boggling experience. It is not clear.

I think more importantly, we need to understand that at the time that the TRC was constituted, and the processes of application and amnesty application were being asked for, there was a great deal of confusion out there as to what constituted an applicable offence and what didn't.


MR PHILLIPS: For our part, for my part as an individual, I did not consider any of my participation with anything to do with the ANC, including SDU, as criminal in the sense of being something that I should be ashamed of in any particular manner.

However, it was important and it became clear during those particular years, that we as a political organisation and in my capacity as an REC member, I fulfilled a political leadership position at a certain level. We did take certain actions, which allowed operators on the ground, to conduct self defence.

In some of those instances, self defence was conducted which led to casualties either through death or whatever. In that sense, we were unable and I was unable to say that I was completely cut off from that particular situation.

It is imperative and the ANC has never been shy, which is one of the reasons quite frankly why the ANC almost solely amongst political parties, has wholeheartedly supported the processes of the TRC and participated in its work in a voluntary manner. We believe that it is important for the organisation and people in leadership positions, to take responsibility for the policies that we adopted and also for the way in which those policies were implemented because the two go hand in hand.

In terms of specific acts that I, criminal acts, I don't know of any, but we thought and I thought at that particular time and on advice of other people and lawyers within the ANC as well, that what better way to actually address these issues, than through the amnesty process itself and to do it in that particular manner.

MS THABETE: I was not suggesting in any way that you should specify what criminal offences you have done, obviously we understand it was all under a political context, but what I wanted to know is, what would you say you are applying amnesty for in this situation, because you have told us the background, you have told us what you have done.

Briefly, what would you say you are applying amnesty for? Is it for the establishment of SDU's, is it for the communication that you were involved in? That is what I am trying to ascertain.

Or, are you applying for, you are taking general responsibility for whatever happened? That is what I am trying to ascertain from you?

MR PHILLIPS: Well, at one level there is general responsibility, but of course you don't get amnesty for general responsibility.

MS THABETE: Exactly.

MR PHILLIPS: But the point is, here we were dealing with what formally during those days, would have been classified as unlicensed firearms, unlawful possession of arms, etc, etc, the trafficking in those things, and for those particular acts, yes, obviously I would suggest that that is what I am applying for amnesty and for the facilitation of other people getting those goodies at the end of the day for whatever purpose they would have used them for.

In the sense that I don't know, I am not a lawyer by any means, but in terms of accessories after facts and all of these funny things, maybe that comes into it as well.

MS THABETE: My last question to you is, did you at any stage have any direct dealings with the SDU's in communities?

MR PHILLIPS: How would you, what do you mean by direct?

MS THABETE: Maybe you gave an instruction, maybe you supervised certain actions that were taking place there, maybe you at some stage got instructions to do something in the communities where SDU's were? Weren't you involved in something like that?

MR PHILLIPS: The only instruction if you can call it an instruction, was the constant plea to SDU's and communities to defend themselves and to do it to the best of their ability.

But that is not a cause as saying to here is a particular SDU, you are in a particular situation, now go and attack that house. There is no instruction of that particular nature because I think as has also been indicated, we've got to understand very clearly the nature of how the SDU's operated.

The SDU's are not military formations in the same way that I would classify MK Units as. MK Units are soldiers, SDU's are not soldiers in that sense. Soldiers can be part of SDU's, but more important the whole rational of the SDU is for that SDU in a community to be able to identify the people that it needs to act against and the actions that they need to take.

That is their job, it doesn't come from me from Durban, going into Port Shepstone or Gamuleke and saying your job is to attack that person. I am not from there. The identification of those comes from the root source, but the justification for that is something that we could actually provide.

MS THABETE: So are you saying to me you wouldn't get instructions of how the communities or the SDU's were supposed to defend themselves against whoever was attacking them.

They were just given an instruction that defend yourself in whichever way you deem fit, is that what you are saying to me?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes, the training of members in the practical elements of self defence, the responsibility of the trained people, the MK people who would necessarily be linked to them, so how they actually go about that and the instruction in which way to point the rifle etc, that responsibility not necessarily mine, however, what our job was to say that when you are undergoing that training, remember that in your mind, this is the purpose for which you are undergoing this training.

This is how you need to conduct yourself as best as possible in that situation.

Defence must be done with the intention of defence only. Don't think that you are going to be part of an SDU and then you are going to use the same skills to go and rob banks. That would be - so it is that general sort of level, but the actual practical thing, that is somebody else's responsibility and would have fallen officially in terms of ANC policy, to the MK contingent, that was linked to and provided for the assistance of training of that nature to the SDU's.

MS THABETE: Can you give us an illustration or an example of your involvement in the communication links from the stage where someone telephones you and say go and collect a letter at a fax, can you just give us one example where this happened? A practical example?

MR PHILLIPS: I remember at a particular time, immediately following the record of understanding that was signed between the ANC and the National Party which was viciously rejected by the IFP at the time, there was a massive surge of violence in a number of communities, including around here, but particularly down in the South Coast area.

And at that stage something happened, resources dried up. There had also been a great deal of police activity, I recall confiscations and that type of thing, and Mandla had come to me and indicated that we need something.

My reference was straight through to MHQ, this is by the end of September 1992 or something like that, to indicate that help, we need some weapons, things are actually in a sensitive and difficult position, can you do something?

I can't remember specifically, but it must have been about two or three days later, the call came through to say we have been able to do something, here is the communication, it is coming through. I passed that straight on to Mandla, and that was it.

But I mean, these again by saying that there was no written record, I don't have a diary that actually notes these things in any particular manner, but the - I suppose the point I am making ultimately is that the acquisition of weapons in my own mind and recollection, were distinctly related to particular periods of very intense conflicts in certain communities.

That was - and ammunition in particular.

MS THABETE: I asked you this question because I needed a practical example of what you were telling us generally. Maybe my last question is you say you were dealing with Mr Sithole. Was he responsible for the whole region of KZN or the southern region or also the northern region because in his application it looks like he was also very much involved in the northern part of KZN?

MR PHILLIPS: Well, Mandla's official position with MK as confirmed by the little message from General Nyanda to the Chairperson of the Region, was as an MK officer within Southern Natal.

That doesn't mean to say that there is a wall around Southern Natal and the other regions, but at an operational level as an MK operative, he is responsibilities were Southern Natal. From his application, the other stuff, there is different time periods and whatever, but I am sure Mandla would be able to talk about that.

MS THABETE: Yes, okay. Thank you, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Thabete. Mr Wills, do you have any re-examination?

MR WILLS: No re-examination Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions to ask Dr Phillips?

MR SIBANYONI: Just one question Mr Chairperson. Dr Phillips, maybe to kick on the questions which were asked by Ms Thabete, suppose this Committee is satisfied with the evidence you have given to it, etc, in your own words, what would you say the Committee should give you amnesty for?

MR PHILLIPS: Amnesty for dealing unlawfully in weapons of a particular nature at that time, that is all I would be able to suggest.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you. That is my only question.

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

MR LAX: Just one quick question Mr Chairperson. Dr Phillips, you spoke of being involved in classes and political education and so on, one understands that your life wasn't made up of this kind of work alone. You have indicated that you were involved in a whole range of activities, of which this work was just a facet.

But you would visit areas and so on, and in the process of that, requests would be made. Did you - what I am trying to understand is, you'd obviously come back to your office with Mandla sometimes, perhaps with Mr Radebe, did you sit down and try and do an assessment of what these needs were and how you might meet those or do an analysis of the information that was coming in?

Clearly there must have been some need to debrief that intelligence, if I could put it in that sense?

MR PHILLIPS: Yes, absolutely. I think you can divide it into two categories as well. One incident I remember particularly, I think it was the 2nd of December 1992, where another comrade who was at the University and myself, called to investigate a massacre that had occurred in Bambai. We went to Bambai, midmorning, the incident had apparently taken place in the very early morning, four or five o'clock, however the bodies were, about eight or nine bodies of people, mainly women and children, were laying where they had been shot.

It hadn't been removed, because the police were waiting for the SABC TV cameras to arrive first, so they told us. In that particular instance in Bambai, was a very specific case, the members of the community who spoke to us, as an official ANC delegation, we were joined by other comrades, indicated quite clearly who the perpetrators were, where they were, and they were still across the little valley which separates Bambai from the IFP settlement at that stage.

The request was very simple, here is the evidence, we have been telling you for months and months that we are under attack, do something.

In that very personal thing, I can come back to the office and the evidence is very clear to me, yes, something needs to be done, and I can make a direct recommendation to comrade Mandla by saying we need to get something for that community so that it can defend itself in future. It is very, very, absolutely necessary.

However, there would be other instances where less directly involved with a particular incident. You would get in the course of meetings wherever, (indistinct), Umkababa, whatever, again people and appeals would be made from the floor, in a public meeting that we need assistance, we are being massacred.

From the position of an REC member, we have got direct links into the ANC structures of those particular areas. When you come back as a political leader, obviously you need to address the intelligence structures and the military structures and say it seems to me that something is required in this particular area, what needs to be done?

The military side of things, the people involved in the SDU's, the people who know what type of things are needed to counteract the type of attack that is being waged against you, they are the ones that can come up with a more proper assessment of what is required in terms of arms and ammunition in an area.

When that decision is taken or assessed, and they of course do their own assessments, I am merely an instrument of communicating that request north, I do not have a veto power on it, and I would never have exercised a veto power on it either simply because I didn't think it was necessary in a particular area.

If a legitimate structure operated by comrade Mandla indicated to me we need weapons for a particular area, I would take that message as soon as I possibly could, to military Headquarters.

MR LAX: Okay. Just the very last aspect of that, when you passed on those messages, were they in code, did they refer to a specific area necessarily? What I am trying to understand is, how would military HQ know that they had to activate a Dead Letter Box near Macubeni for example as opposed to say Sindumbele, or something like that and how were you able to communicate?

MR PHILLIPS: Well, there would be no indication to military Headquarters where the arms were necessary. All that military Headquarters needed from us, was a request that we needed particular arms.

Again the structure is created in such a way that comrades who were functioning within the SDU structures and facilitating the establishment and arming, from military Headquarters all the way down, are comrades who were specifically chosen for those tasks. It is not a random or a democratic vote, who is going to be involved in these things.

There is an enormous amount of trust and faith put in the calibre and the integrity of people involved in those structures. As comrade Jeff has indicated with regard to comrade Mandla, I have faith in this particular comrade to come with the correct ideas, based on the policy, as I know him and that type of thing. That is the one thing.

The second is, I presume if you've got a problem in Port Shepstone, and you are directed to a DLB near Port Shepstone, you can say thank goodness, we can get the things quicker, however, if by some other stroke of fortune, MHQ directs to you a DLB that is north of Phoenix, and you've got to get it all the way down the South Coast, that provides the local MK people or whoever is transporting the stuff, with certain logistical problems which they are trained to overcome.

There is no necessary linkage between where a DLB is physically located and where the arms will ultimately be used. It is a case of which DLB is accessible and of course what determines that accessibility is a military Headquarters prerogative, not mine.

MR LAX: That answers my questions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Do you have any questions arising Mr Wills?

FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Just one quick, brief matter, thank you Mr Chairperson. It would seem as well that the person who would be responsible for determining where the firearms would end up, would be the person on the ground, in this case Mr Sithole, it wouldn't be necessary for the military Headquarters to know?

MR PHILLIPS: Absolutely. And of course Mr Sithole would be making those decisions based on the assessments that he and ANC comrades have made and in terms of the general guidelines of policy. It is not something that he plucks out of the ether.

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hewitt, I take it you don't have any matters arising?

MR HEWITT: No thank you Mr Chairman.



MS THABETE: No Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Dr Phillips, that concludes your testimony. I see it is now passed one o'clock, would this be a convenient time I think to take the lunch adjournment and then if you could just keep us informed as to what the position is relating to Mr Sithole's situation which you have alluded to after the tea adjournment.


MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We will now adjourn for lunch. We will start depending on what happens to Mr Sithole's position, situation, as close to two o'clock as possible.








DAY: 5




MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I call Mr Sithole.

SIPHO JOEL SITHOLE: (sworn states)


EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Sithole, you applied for amnesty on the prescribed form in that you attested to an affidavit on the 10th of may 1997, in Durban? Is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is right.

MR WILLS: Do you confirm the contents of that affidavit?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I do.

MR WILLS: You then supplemented that affidavit in terms of a memorandum in support of the application, which is a two paged document dealing with three aspects, do you confirm the contents of that document?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I do.

MR LAX: Mr Wills, just for the record, that is the document appearing at page 32 and 33, is it?

MR WILLS: Yes, indeed. Mr Sithole, can I just ask you to move the microphone slightly closer, apparently the Sound Technicians are battling a bit, thank you.

Mr Sithole, you have been a member of the ANC from 1982 to present, and you have been a member of MK from 1982 to 1994, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: In your application at page 25 of the record, that is the first page of your application, you indicate that you have been an ANC REC member from 1992 - 1993, was that Southern Natal?

MR SITHOLE: That is Southern Natal, that is correct.

MR WILLS: You indicate that you have been an MK Commander between the years 1984 and 1991?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And you indicate that you were the MK Chief of Staff in the Southern Natal region between the years 1991 and 1994?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: You also indicate in your application that you became a Captain in the SANDF and you served in that role between 1994 and 1996?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: I presume that this position arose as a result of the integration of the various armies into the South African National Defence Force, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Can you indicate to the Committee what sort of training you have had in your capacity as being a member of MK?

MR SITHOLE: I have been trained in various forms of military activity, one of them being an ordinary soldier, who trained to be able to handle arms.

I have been trained to be able to gain intelligence, operative, I have been trained in politics, as a political ANC man.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you receive your training Mr Sithole?

MR SITHOLE: I received my training in East Germany, in 1986.

My other training in 1987, 1988 was in the Soviet Union, the then Soviet Union, now Russia.

MR WILLS: When did you return to the country for the first time after your training?

MR SITHOLE: The first time after my training?


MR SITHOLE: Besides the work that I was doing, I was doing border reconnaissance as from 1986. I was put in command of that Unit that was doing border reconnaissance in Swaziland, so I was coming in and out of the country, bringing all the comrades, most of the comrades that you have learned about that were killed by the State, I probably brought them into the country.

MR WILLS: Yes, sorry, I jumped the gun a bit, I am sorry. Prior to you leaving the country and prior to you embarking upon training in exile, you were a teacher employed by the kwaZulu government, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLS: One of the incidents in respect of which you are applying for amnesty, goes back to this time, it is an incident at Empangeni in September 1984, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And that incident occurred immediately before you left the country for t raining, is that right?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Prior to this incident occurring, you were a member of the ANC, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, underground.

MR WILLS: Can you tell us what happened in regard to that incident at Empangeni?

MR SITHOLE: Politically at the time I was involved in the organisation of UDF in the northern parts of kwaZulu Natal, especially Empangeni and surrounding areas whilst I was a teacher at the same time.

I organised for students to come into the rallies in Durban and unfortunately it hurt some of the people in the process, like members of the Inkatha in that area, for instance.

I was called one day by members of my school committee, especially one of them was related, he used the fact that he was related by closeness of surname with the wife who was also a Sithole, and then he actually (indistinct) into a meeting that was organised by most of the Inkatha, today who are presently MP's and so forth, holding high positions within the IFP.

They called me into the school at Nhlange, I was teaching at Imanga high school at that time. I went there ...

MR LAX: Sorry, if you can just talk a little bit slower, someone is translating the proceedings into Zulu and they struggle a bit.

MR SITHOLE: Okay. After getting to a van from one of the school committee members, in fact it was the Chairman of the school committee at Imanga, I was teaching at Imanga high school. He took me down to Welisani, where the meeting was held.

In fact, I didn't even know that there was such a big meeting that had already been pre-arranged for me to be actually there. I went in there, there were a number of people, about four or five sitting in front, and the rest of the members sitting around the hall in the desk.

I was put among them, sitting on the desks. They started questioning me about my activities, why I was taking students down to Durban, attending rallies, UDF rallies and so forth and so forth and so forth.

Then it became apparent, towards the end, it started around four, five o'clock, four o'clock in the afternoon, just after I had knocked off at school and it continued till round about seven, eight o'clock at night. What I noticed what was happening, was that they started gathering amabuthu around this school where I was, and I could see when I was looking out of the windows, they had sjamboks and spears and pointing it at me.

At that point, I was sure that these people were out to do something, some mischief to me, but unfortunately for them, I had a gun in my jacket. I attended all these sessions with them which was okay, but I had a gun.

When they were just about agitating themselves to actually attack me, I just stood up, I took out my pistol, I said anyone who will ever get near me, was going to be on the receiving end.

I stood up, I pushed all of them into one side. I went out, some of the warlords that were still outside there, with the spears and guns, I pushed them inside the school and I shot twice into the air. I warned them that anyone who will ever interfere with those school kids because they happened to be members of the UDF, will be on the receiving end. That is that, after that moment I left.

MR WILLS: It has come to our attention today that later on that same evening, you were involved in two incidents that related to the attempted murder of a Mr Khumalo and a Mrs Mchunu, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: As I understand it, on your return to the country, you were arrested in respect of these incidents?


MR WILLS: And you were charged at Empangeni court in respect of these incidents?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Now, what happened to the court proceedings?

MR SITHOLE: I was picked up at Durban airport in the company of comrade Jeff and comrade Linda Zama, who was a lawyer, who were (indistinct) after addressing at UDW and then he was off to Johannesburg.

She checked in, as she went in, one policeman just came and said I want this man, pointing at me. I was picked up, comrade Jeff intervened and said why, who is this man you are looking for. He said wait here, and then he went back to the office, bringing his document, he came back and said Sipho Sithole and then he picked me up.

I was taken to Empangeni and then at Empangeni I slept there over night. They applied for my bail the following day and I was released. There have been two court appearances on that matter.

On the basis of which I maintained the fact that I came inside the country because I was given indemnity on the issue. Linda Zama was handling the issue and the charges were withdrawn.

MR WILLS: Is it your evidence that Linda Zama, the attorney Linda Zama was acting for you in that case?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And that the court proceedings were stopped because of what reason?

MR SITHOLE: On the basis that I was given indemnity.

MR WILLS: Why - you haven't spoken about those incidents in this application, why is that?

MR SITHOLE: On the same basis that I was given indemnity, so I felt it was not necessary for it to be included.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Sithole, when you say you were given indemnity, as far as you know, was that indemnity granted in terms of the 1992 Act?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Or was it some sort of political indemnity that was granted?

MR SITHOLE: According to the 1990.

CHAIRPERSON: But it was in terms of the Indemnity Act?

MR SITHOLE: I filled forms in exile for that matter. All those forms were submitted. I filled it with my own hands, so they were submitted. It was on the basis of that.

In fact, I got double indemnity for that matter, it was the first one and then the second one, also which had my name.

CHAIRPERSON: In respect of Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu?



MR WILLS: So it is - just to be clear, you are not applying to this Committee for amnesty in respect of those two incidents?

MR SITHOLE: No, not.

MR WILLS: And the reason being it is your belief that you have already been indemnified?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Sithole, just before we move on, those two shots that you fired when you were escaping from that meeting, as far as you are aware caused no damage or harm to any property or person?

MR SITHOLE: No damage at all.

MR WILLS: You then, as your statement indicates on page 32 of the record, you then made your way out of the country quite soon after escaping from this meeting?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, in fact when I left that area, I came down to Durban because in fact there was an order that I must be shot on sight.

I came down to Durban, I rested for a while underground, and then I left. There were roadblocks, in fact the news were on the screen and there were roadblocks mounted all over the place, so I had to cool down for a while, and then after a couple of days, I think it was after five days, then we left. I used the same road to where the police had mounted roadblocks and then up to Swaziland.

MR WILLS: So the first place you entered was Swaziland?


MR WILLS: And then from Swaziland, where did you go?

MR SITHOLE: Swaziland, I stayed in Swaziland. I then moved from Swaziland to GDR, through Mozambique.

MR WILLS: The GDR being the German Democratic Republic?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLS: What is commonly known as East Germany?

MR SITHOLE: East Germany.

MR WILLS: How long were you in East Germany?

MR SITHOLE: I was there for about five months in East Germany.

MR WILLS: Where did you go from there?

MR SITHOLE: Then from there, I came back to Mozambique. There is one incident that happened there when I was coming back. I was supposed to be deployed inside the country, I was - when we were coming into Swaziland, between Mozambique and Swaziland, we were intercepted by Swazi soldiers, which later handed over us to the South African regime elements, who were working for Military Intelligence to be tortured.

I was tortured more or less to death by those people, but because the incident had happened under the Swazi authorities, UN actually pressed the Swazi's and asked the Swazi government what has happened to this person. This is the reason I was returned, otherwise I would have been killed myself.

MR WILLS: And the UN you refer to is the United Nations?

MR SITHOLE: The United Nations, at the time, yes.

MR WILLS: On your return to South Africa, your return to South Africa, was in what year?

MR SITHOLE: It was in August 1991 if I am precise.

MR WILLS: What were your operations from 1991?

MR SITHOLE: In 1991 I was approached by military HQ, I think the same that that Advocate was talking about which almost mislead him into believing it was some conspiracy that was happening in the ANC, it was an order by the military Headquarters to establish commands of MK, we had just got the whole army into the country, and then what do we do with the army inside the country?

You need certain forms of structures that will be in a position to handle all those elements in the country, otherwise soldiers, they are just thrown around without any command or anything. Then you (indistinct) problems.

MR WILLS: What was your role in respect to those structures?

MR SITHOLE: In that, I was responsible for any political activity by those structures. I was responsible for anything to do with ensuring control of all those structures of MK.

MR WILLS: But in what geographical area did you operate?

MR SITHOLE: In Southern Natal.

MR WILLS: In Southern Natal?


MR WILLS: Is this the position you referred to earlier in your evidence when you were MK Chief of Staff in the Southern Natal Region?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Now, we have heard the evidence of both Mr Radebe and Dr Phillips concerning the establishment of SDU's and particular emphasis has been placed on the procurement of arms for those Units.

You have been present at the proceedings?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Do you confirm what both Mr Radebe and Dr Phillips have said in relation to your activities in the procurement of those arms?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Just to concentrate for a while on, to take the evidence of Dr Phillips in a bit more detail. His evidence was to the effect that you would be the person in the Southern Natal region, that would be responsible for collecting the weapons that arrived and also responsible for distributing those weapons, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Can you tell us how you set about this task?

MR SITHOLE: It was a simple one. When it came into the country, I had had experience even before of handling cadres, the infiltration of personnel, I had done it before, I have done border reconnaissance, I was able to deploy people anywhere in the country, so I had that experience.

Some of the people that were inside the country, were deployed by me from Zambia for instance, using Transkei for instance.

MR WILLS: Slow down a bit please, because of the interpretation.

MR SITHOLE: Sorry. So when I was approached for this task...

MR WILLS: Who approached you for this task?

MR SITHOLE: It was comrade Jeff who actually approached me as a political leader in the region. He said besides the MK tasks which you are supposed to do in organising for your own, the command for MK trained combatants, there is another task that we also ask you to look into.

MR WILLS: Tell us what happened.

MR SITHOLE: Then I set out trying to learn from them what is it that I was supposed to do and then he told me that the arms would be coming into the country, in fact, they will be distributed to the SDU's.

First he gave me the keys for the cars that would be bringing material into Southern Natal and I was to be responsible for setting up structures to ensure that those weapons were infiltrated down into areas, trouble spots where our own people were under attack.

MR WILLS: Who made the decisions as regards where those weapons were distributed on the ground?

MR SITHOLE: I made all the decisions.

MR WILLS: And that was based on what?

MR SITHOLE: Based on the need for areas that are under attack, to be armed and that is it.

MR WILLS: Now, can you just give us a practical example of when you received a consignment of weapons, what you would do with it?

MR SITHOLE: I will take the key to where the vehicle was, like Mr Radebe said, that vehicle was parked in Workshop, is it Workshop?

I went in there, identified the car as it was by explanation that the car would be like this, one, two, three, I went, pick up the car, start it, took out the car, took it down to, I think the first place where I dropped weapons were in Umkababa. In that area, there was a house which was left by one of our comrades, who was involved in the (indistinct) shootout, he was still operating outside.

I knew the place very well, and I knew that it was a secure place for us to be able to take out the stuff. Although we could not bury the stuff during the day, because all was just to take it out, put it in his garage, because the house was abandoned, and then take the car back to the spot where I took it, leave it there and then come back.

MR WILLS: And then what would you do?

MR SITHOLE: At night, then we go back. Now we have to organise burying the stuff. I felt that the best form of securing material in our way, was to bury the stuff.

No one shall get it. The way ANC material was wrapped, even sniffer dogs can't get it. It was done by experts in terms of packaging, I don't know who, but I know, because I have been an operative for a number of years in the ANC, that the stuff was wrapped, the best way was to dig it and put it in.

So we go there, put it up.

MR WILLS: What would you do with the key for the vehicle?

MR SITHOLE: Keep it with me.

MR WILLS: And then, how many cars were used for this purpose?

MR SITHOLE: There were three cars.

MR WILLS: Can you describe them briefly?

MR SITHOLE: One was a van, a Bantam, it was blue in colour with a white canopy which I used a number of times through roadblocks of the police and which they were never able to detect.

The stuff in those cars, it ranges, the big one which carried more stuff, was a kombi. I don't know what you call it, but it is a double cab kombi, VW kombi.

The smallest of those cars, was the Bantam. The medium size one was a white one, which was later found in Golela in the border post.

MR WILLS: And the make of that car?

MR SITHOLE: It was a Rover, a white Rover, yes.

MR WILLS: A Rover. Inside these cars, where were the weapons kept?

MR SITHOLE: They were kept in compartments, specially made compartments.

Let me take for instance the Rover, which is - the police knows about it. At the back of the Rover, the boot is so deep, so what they have done, they have sealed half of the boot, but if you open the boot, it is a normal boot like any other car, but the way it was done, it has a panel. That panel to be able to take it out, you've got to have two pins, which were prepared and made and is also sitting in the car.

You take those two pins, you press it on the side, there were two small holes on the side. If you don't know about it, you won't even open it, even if you know that there are arms inside. You press that and there are buttons that will automatically eject the panel and then you will be able to be exposed to the materia inside the car.

MR WILLS: So you were in a position where you actually handled the firearms and you actually saw what was delivered?


MR WILLS: Can you tell the Committee what type of weapons were delivered?

MR SITHOLE: AK's, grenades.

MR WILLS: When you say grenades, what type of grenades?

MR SITHOLE: Defensive and offensive grenades. Stechin and Macarov pistols.

MR WILLS: You say defensive and offensive grenades? Were they F1 grenades?

MR SITHOLE: F1 is a very effective one, yes which is a defensive grenade. We only use it when people want really to kill you.

The offensive one you can actually just throw it to alarm the police. But if really people are attacking you, you just use the F1 and that is it.

MR WILLS: It wasn't only in the form of vehicles that weapons were delivered. Mr Phillips has given evidence that sometimes weapons were dropped off at particular sites, and he has indicated that he would get details of this through a map which might be faxed through.

Would you receive these maps?


MR WILLS: And how would you know where these weapons were?

MR SITHOLE: Principles in conspiracy or what is called MCW.

MR WILLS: MCW being?

MR SITHOLE: Military Combat Work where you are taught to make sketches to understand what it means. If it is an arrow like this, it means it is a road, if it is a point like this, it means this is where the material is kept.

If it is like that, we normally innovated so in case even if police knows about it, then you can change signals and then you know this signal means this, and that signal means that. Within the ordinary geographical map that actually, so I will know, I will pinpoint it exactly where the material is.

Sometimes you go there and you search, and you don't find it. If you don't find it, you have to go, try communication back and say no, I didn't find that stuff in the DLB, so they will send it again.

Ordinance had its own people, even when we were operating outside. People will go and check, who were responsible for setting up all those DLB's, if there is a problem, it is their responsibility on their own. They are not known by anyone in anyway, to go and check what had happened with those material.

Some of the material (indistinct), some of the buildings were built on top of some of them as I have heard from some of our comrades in Swaziland, saying that some of the material, we were not able to retrieve it because buildings have come up in those areas, and then we have lost it.

MR WILLS: Who did you supply these weapons to?

MR SITHOLE: A number of comrades that I was dealing with.

MR WILLS: Can you tell the Committee?

MR SITHOLE: One, I had to select comrades that I had trust in. Mostly it was people that I have dealt with before in exile.

One of them was comrade Mapumole who was coming from D1212 at Umlazi, a number of people know him. He was suffering from diabetes at the time. I struggled with him in exile, I struggled with him inside the country at that time. He was one of the most disciplined comrades as far as I know.

MR WILLS: You said his name was?

MR SITHOLE: Comrade Mapumole. The second one, there is one comrade who is in jail at the moment, I don't know whether he has applied for amnesty or whatever, but I know for a fact that that comrade actually worked with us in handling material.

Whether he was later on involved in operations down the line, I don't know, but in handling materials, I know for a fact, I have dealt with him.

MR WILLS: And you would give this comrade's name to the Committee.


MR WILLS: You don't have to give the name here, but you would be prepared to give the name to the Committee in private. The reason why you don't want to give the name is because of advise from me that he hasn't, we are not sure if he has been advised.

MR SITHOLE: That is right.

MR WILLS: And then there were other comrades?

MR SITHOLE: Another one was Gumedi from Z in Umlazi. I knew him as Gumedi and I know for a fact that he was involved in carrying out some of the operations.

Another one, comrade Nduli for instance was also responsible for most of the areas in the north, Inanda, going up towards the border lines of Southern Natal, he was also involved with that.

MR WILLS: Would these persons receive weapons from you and would they distribute them further on?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, they would receive them from me, and they are also responsible for all the other activities below them, that is making the point that if most of the people were old people, were not really responsible for operations.

Some were down the line because they were in constant contact with communities that were actually involved in these operations, in acts of defence.

They were the ones who were (indistinct) to the comrades down below. One of the comrades that I have forgotten to mention was like an overall in terms of assisting the other comrades as well, was comrade Chief, we used to call him Chief Sithole, but his real name, I learned afterwards, after he was killed mysteriously in 1993, that he was Nkosinathi Mkwanyani.

The day that I learned about his name, was the day when we went to bury him.

MR WILLS: Both Mr Radebe and Dr Phillips have indicated that your operations were conducted on a need to know basis?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Are we to assume by that that you would know the persons who were immediately above you, like for example in this instance, in the first instance where you distributed weapons, it was Mr Radebe and then later on, Mr Phillips?

MR SITHOLE: Comrade Phillips, yes.

MR WILLS: And then you would know the identities of the persons immediately below you?


MR WILLS: But would you know the identities of those persons further down the chain?

MR SITHOLE: I wouldn't, but as a Commander, I would say sometimes you suspect, but you can't even say or can't actually betray yourself to those comrades, even if you suspect that they might be involved. You don't even have to question them, so in that respect some I suspected in certain instances, so and so we hear that people are talking that he might be involved in a Self Defence Unit somewhere down the line.

But I have no evidence to say yes, he was.

MR WILLS: Yes, just before we get off the procurement of arms, are you in a position to estimate the amounts, the quantities of various types of armourments that came through you directly in the period? The period that we are referring to is obviously the period from 1991 to the elections in 1994?

MR SITHOLE: Possible amount of weaponry, my career has changed.

MR WILLS: You are now in construction, I believe.

MR SITHOLE: Possible the amount is possibly 150, 100 - 150 weapons which was very little by the demand that we were getting from the communities. In fact, we would run dry most of the time, so we were not in a position to actually effectively organise our own communities in terms of self defence.

MR WILLS: And hand grenades?

MR SITHOLE: Grenades, in a consignment sometimes 10, 20, not much. About 10, 20, came in packages of about five in each, so two packages sometimes.

Most of the weaponry that we needed, was AK's with ammunition which was taking a lot of space in the cars, so in addition, just in case, then they will give you grenades and we didn't like the use mostly of grenades, because of the danger that if a person doesn't handle it properly, it can actually explode in our faces.

MR WILLS: What about the pistols, you mentioned Stechin machine pistols, and the macarov?

MR SITHOLE: Pistols, yes we had a couple of Stechin's, I don't think there were more than 20 Stechin's (indistinct).

Pistols, small ones, macarov, not more than ten, which was meant really for people who were in command to be able to have in case they were walking around at night.

MR WILLS: Yes. Now, Dr Phillips has indicated that the way the procurement worked, was both you would get weapons sent in from above if I can use that phrase, from military Headquarters, but you also made requests for weapons to come to certain communities.

Were you involved in that process at all?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, from the reports that I get from my own command, then they will say to me that we've got a problem in such and such an area. I personally wanted to go and verify it on my own so that in case even there are certain things that our own comrades do down there, we must be held accountable for their operations.

Most of the time, when reports come in, I personally used to go into an area and see really, if it was necessary for us to be putting arms into that area.

MR WILLS: And then, if you decided it was necessary, how would you ...

MR SITHOLE: Then I would get the stuff, get it down to the Commander who reported the incident, give him the consignment.

MR WILLS: How would you get the armourments from military Headquarters, who would you speak to?

MR SITHOLE: Of course in military Headquarters, I never go directly to military Headquarters. I am talking about the material that we have already in the DLB's, which we have stored, then it is a matter of taking from the DLB's that we have established now and then distribute it amongst those comrades that were supposed to be handling it.

MR WILLS: But if you wanted to get something from military Headquarters, who would you go through?

MR SITHOLE: I will go through Ian Phillips in terms of communication.

MR WILLS: So you wouldn't communicate with military Headquarters directly, yourself?


MR WILLS: You were also responsible for the training of the SDU members, is that correct?


MR WILLS: And related to that training was the MK persons who were attached to SDU's, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct yes.

MR WILLS: Before we get into the training, how would you select of how would it arise that an MK person would be attached to a particular SDU? Tell me how that process worked?

MR SITHOLE: Right from the beginning, we never saw MK trained MK, what I will call revolutionary advanced units of MK, directly participating in acts of defence ourselves.

We saw revolutionary armed people in their own communities, developing a capacity to defend themselves. Whatever role our own comrades discipline, even among our own, trained must be disciplined comrades who must be dispatched into those areas so that they must be in a position of controlling things.

I know for a fact, if you are giving people arms, they can actually turn those arms against you, what do you do at any stage? So we couldn't take the risk of ensuring that there was ill-discipline in those Units, where our own comrades were participating, in terms of developing those structures in community defence.

MR WILLS: How would you approach that problem?

MR SITHOLE: For our own comrades in command, the people that I was dealing with, give them principles, that you want people who are highly disciplined, highly motivated, people who had political understanding of the situation at the end of the day.

Not just a person who will say that he would like to go for defence in a community and then we take him like that. I explained to them it must be a person who will be liable for whatever operational action that might have taken place.

It was up to them to decide, our own comrades were in the communities. We of course encouraged the taking over of certain comrades in those various communities, because they knew those communities better than any other person.

If you take a person from another area, you go and deploy him in say from the northern part of Natal, you go and deploy him in Port Shepstone for instance, you will have problems.

Those people have been involved in defence of their own communities, for him to adapt, there is a lot of risk involved. So what I have said to my own comrades, it would be better if there are MK comrades in those areas, and if they are disciplined as we are saying, then you can actually incorporate them into the structures and make them to train people in the act of self defence.

MR WILLS: Yes. So what you are saying is it would be an MK person who was coming from a particular area that would be encouraged to participate in the SDU activities of that area?

MR SITHOLE: The bottom line is that you are a member of MK and your conscience, will actually even tell you, some of them will actually directly come to the ANC office, in MK structure now, and say chaps, people are dying there, we want to participate. And we don't talk to them, we say yes, we are aware, because we could not betray the whole system of communication or the whole system of command.

All that we will say is okay, we are aware. But if our Commanders come, then we say so and so has been into the office. Is it possible for him to participate and they must have their own assessment of the community in that area.

It happens sometimes that a member of MK is ill-disciplined. He can come to the office looking for whatever, because has probably heard that arms are coming from the office or what, but we are always guarding against those, because most of the time people can actually take weapons and use them for their own ends at the end of the day, not necessarily for the acts of defence.

MR WILLS: And those trusted comrades from MK that were assigned to the SDU's, they had a role in training the members of the community in the exercise of the firearms, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: With the operation of the firearm?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, not only on firearms but also in information gathering, which was very critical.

Most of the acts that were supposedly to have been launched against our own communities, were not stopped by weapons. It was stopped by getting proper information about an attack and actually exposing that before it actually happened. Then it was not only just weapons that were used in acts of self defence, but a lot of things, like information which was very critical.

If the enemy knows that people knew that they are coming, they will say hold it, and then we prevented a lot of things that would have happened, through just gathering information and training people specifically to be able to gather as much information.

For instance, in some other areas a car, if a car just come with people with arms, with weapons, they are just shooting people indiscriminately, it happened in a number of areas, we say to the people, we don't want you to tell us about the car, that it was a white car that just went passed. We want you to be in a position to try and recognise the faces of the people.

If you can the number plates of the car, the proper description of a vehicle, so that if in case our own comrade needs to act against those people, they must act precisely. They mustn't just shoot any other car that might have been passing Part of the training was to actually in giving skills to people to be able to precisely identify the cause of violence in the area. We will not be part of the genocide where we will tell our own comrades go and kill and kill indiscriminately, we wanted specific, zero in to the specifics, who is responsible for this violence.

MR WILLS: Your operations were partly to assist in the SDU structures in the province, but you also had MK responsibilities at that time, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct, yes.

MR WILLS: Can you describe briefly to the Committee what your MK responsibilities were?

MR SITHOLE: One of the activities that faced me, to come up with a CPR list.

MR WILLS: CPR being?

MR SITHOLE: A certified personal register for MK operatives. We came in during different periods. Some came in August, some were inside the country when there was this unbanning.

Some even came later. There was a need for us to be in a position to have a list. How many cadres are there? Where were people trained? Who, what was the people doing all along and to be able to prepare for purposes of integration.

We had to compile those lists, we had to time and again, call conferences for MK. They were political soldiers, they were not just mere soldiers. They needed to be informed of the political decisions that had been taken by the ANC at various stages of conferences.

Even if there was a preparation for a conference, we had to carry a mandate from them, as to what is it that they want said in the conference of ANC political structure.

And also to prepare for our own conferences, we had a conference inside the country, Mpumalanga is one that I attended myself. We had to organise them, organise them into their structures, so that we are in a position to actually report to military Headquarters that we have MK here, so many soldiers have reported, this is what they are doing, this is their plight at this point in time.

MR WILLS: You have also applied for amnesty in respect of your involvement in an incident which has been referred to by my colleague, Mr Hewitt at Golela.


MR WILLS: As I understand it, some comrades were arrested at the Golela border post, that is on the border with Swaziland and they had certain, they were caught with certain armourments?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Can you, do you know what those armourments were first of all?

MR SITHOLE: Yes. Part of their weaponry, two RPG7's, which the Honourable Advocate has been referring to.

MR WILLS: RPG7's being for the layman, the grenade launcher?

MR SITHOLE: It is recoilless rocket launcher. You can put it on your shoulder, and then you can shoot it, it shoots a shell. A shell is divided into three, it has a shell, it's got a head, a propellant that you put it in it and then you put it in, once you fire with it, the propellant just moves out of the shell and it can actually cruise on its own, to its target.

It was an anti-tank weaponry, or used against armoured vehicles most of the time. It is part of what we call light arms, warfare. It is not something that is heavy, you can think it is something bizarre. It is just an ordinary weapon, classified as light arms.


MR SITHOLE: Then you can go to what you call a machine gun. Even the category, it is below that of a machine gun.

CHAIRPERSON: Would those two RPG's have ended up in some SDU?

MR SITHOLE: Never. I don't see people, for one to be able to use an RPG7, you must have been very trained in using RPG7. It has optical sight. Those optical sight, there was no way just an ordinary member or a person that you might have recruited inside the country, might have been able to use an RPG7.

It needs only trained personnel, and not every trained personnel, only those who have been trained in the usage of RPG7's.

MR WILLS: Do you know why that - sorry before I go on to that, what other weapons were found in that incident?

MR SITHOLE: A couple of AK's and a lot of ammunition for AK's.

MR WILLS: Do you know why specifically those rocket launchers, what the purpose was for the procurement of those weapons?

MR SITHOLE: I was inundated by a lot of calls from our own trained cadres of MK, about the fact that they were being killed on a daily basis.

There was a campaign from various elements. The Bureau of Investigation was in Natal, which was responsible for intelligence gathering against our own people, was responsible for the killing of a lot of our own comrades in formerly kwaZulu Natal townships, that is why.

MR LAX: Sorry, before you go on, can you just repeat the instance that you refer to. The Bureau of what, sorry?

MR SITHOLE: Of Investigation, the BSI in kwaZulu Natal.



MR LAX: That was a kwaZulu institution, it wasn't a ...

MR SITHOLE: kwaZulu, Institution of Intelligence within kwaZulu.

MR LAX: It was part of the kwaZulu police?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, but not just an ordinary ZP that you see on the street, they were involved in intelligence gathering of the kwaZulu government police.

The SADF, not necessarily an ordinary footsoldier of the SADF, but within the military intelligence of SADF then, they were involved in gathering. I even learned about that when I was integrated into the army, sitting in the operation command in Natal Command, that whatever those people were talking about, the only thing that was a threat, it was just MK soldiers, and nothing else.

Every time when they go into meetings, they read notes or information gathering from the ZP and from the SADF, it is just MK soldiers and nothing else. They were part of the collection of information against us.

The organised units that have been trained in Caprivi which is a foregone conclusion now, that they were actually mandated to go and kill some of our comrades.

The special units within the Police, the intelligence unit within the police, I know for a fact one of the policemen in Pinetown had committed a lot of atrocities, they shot him up, they shot him.

This is what all comrades were crying about. We are faced with this situation. We have suspended armed struggle, yes, we have said, you have suspended the armed struggle, but we had a right to self defence as members of MK as such.

This is where we are of the idea that if in case we can get hold of this stuff, then we will not be on an offensive against the apartheid, but for those that will come to us, those that will try and assassinate our own comrades, they will get it at the end of the day, that is it.

MR WILLS: Are you, is it your evidence that you say that the purpose of the procurement of those two, the RPG7's was specifically for the use of trained MK persons, distinct from the SDU's?

MR SITHOLE: In self defence. Yes, in the operations of self defence.

MR WILLS: In operations of self defence?


MR WILLS: Can you just explain to the Committee, what your involvement was in relation to the procurement of that cache that was discovered by the police?

MR SITHOLE: In fact one of the members in the command, Mavivi Ngubezi as he is mentioned, came to us because of the same feeling that most of the comrades were crying, chaps can you do something, we know that probably you might have access to the weapons.

Mavivi Ngubezi was a member of the Ordinance Unit when they were still operating from outside. I was serving in the Service Unit in Swaziland. I knew also he was also involved in ordinance, so he knew most of our staff was outside.

We approached him, he came to us and then we told him, okay, we can assist you with a vehicle to do that, we can give you money for the petrol for the vehicle, to go and get these arms.

He went with a vehicle to Mozambique, the car had a breakdown in Swaziland, he came back, they got the engine, fixed it, they went to Mozambique. They procured the stuff in Mozambique.

On their returning to the country, they were intercepted at the border, at Golela. Subsequently to that, I was picked up at the ANC office, unlike what the media was saying.

MR WILLS: Which ANC office were you picked up at?

MR SITHOLE: The ANC office at the time was at Mgeni Road.

MR WILLS: In Durban?

MR SITHOLE: In Durban, yes.

MR WILLS: So, your evidence is to the effect that at no stage did you leave the country to go and pick those weapons up?

MR SITHOLE: No, never. I don't know where they got it from.

MR WILLS: But your evidence is also that you were involved in the procurement of those weapons?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I agree.

MR WILLS: And that was done under your authority?


MR WILLS: As far as you know, sorry, I will rephrase that, you have indicated in your memorandum, that you yourself, are not applying for amnesty in respect of any gross human violations which you personally committed?


MR WILLS: I have a note here that there was a government gazette for the record, where you were granted amnesty on the 22nd of March 1991, under government notice 13130 at page 32 of that gazette.

I trust that this is what you were informed about when Mrs Zama was handling your case?

MR SITHOLE: That is right.

CHAIRPERSON: That would be indemnity rather than amnesty.

MR SITHOLE: Indemnity.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you just give that reference again?

MR WILLS: It is government gazette dated 22nd of March 1991, the gazette number is 13130, and it is at page 32. I believe the document is being faxed through to the Committee or to the fax machine here.

If the Committee will just bear with me. After 1994, you served in the SANDF for a short while, and you are now employed in a private capacity?


MR WILLS: Is that correct, you are no longer a member of the SANDF?


MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills. Mr Hewitt, do you have any questions to ask Mr Sithole?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HEWITT: Yes, I do Mr Chairman. Have you got your application for amnesty before you?


MR HEWITT: Please have a look at page 26 and in particular ...

CHAIRPERSON: That is page 2 of the application form, if you don't have the bundle number.

MR SITHOLE: Which page 26?

CHAIRPERSON: Page 26, alternatively page 2 of the application form, the part that is filled in in your own handwriting.

MR SITHOLE: The form?

MR LAX: It is page 2 of the application form.

MR SITHOLE: Forgive me, I have never worked in the office. Page?

CHAIRPERSON: Page 2, the second page of the form.


MR HEWITT: You should see a lot of typed questions and handwritten answers, given to those questions. Do you have that document before you?


MR HEWITT: At the top it is part of a sentence which reads or any other former State or department/division, have you got the right page?


MR HEWITT: Have a look at paragraph 9(a)(i) please.


MR HEWITT: There you were asked to furnish particulars, any acts, omissions or offences associated with a political object which you committed, and you have listed three. Under (i) you have listed three separate offences or acts which you claim indemnity for, do you see that?


MR HEWITT: Under (i) on the copy which I have, it has got Empangeni with a line drawn through it and then exchange of fire. Okay, then please turn to a memorandum in support of your application, which appears on the copy which I have been given, at page 32, do you have that?


MR HEWITT: There again you divide that up into also three different sections, and presumably corresponding with the different sections we have referred to on page 26, the first page?


MR HEWITT: What is the exchange of fire that you are asking for amnesty for?

MR SITHOLE: It is a discharge, in actual fact it is supposed to say a discharge of a firearm at Empangeni.

MR HEWITT: You say it should read discharge.

MR SITHOLE: Not exchange.

MR HEWITT: Not exchange? And the Empangeni which is crossed out, presumably that is a mistake, it should refer to Empangeni, shouldn't it?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, why not.

MR HEWITT: It should be there?


MR HEWITT: Because it seems quite clear from page 32, your memorandum that what you are asking for amnesty for ...

CHAIRPERSON: I think the Empangeni is scratched out because he realised he wrote it at the wrong place, it should have been where it is in fact written next to (iii).

MR HEWITT: At the bottom, but it is referring to the same incident that you have given evidence about, namely the discharge of a firearm in September 1984 at this meeting over your activities as a school teacher, is that right?

MR SITHOLE: That is right.

MR HEWITT: What do you believe you did wrong on that occasion?

MR SITHOLE: There is nothing. As I am saying, the mere fact that you had a gun in South Africa at that time, which was carrying an illegal weapon, the mere fact that you discharged it, is still an offence at the end of the day.

MR HEWITT: All right. So your present application involves applying for amnesty for having that gun unlawfully in your possession that night, and discharging it over the heads of these people?


MR HEWITT: Is that right?


MR HEWITT: You don't believe that you've already got amnesty in respect of that incident?

MR SITHOLE: For me, why it is there in actual fact, is that if you are addressing the TRC, they wanted your history, where do you come from, how did you leave the country. This is one of the reasons why I have actually put it up there.

It is the discharge of a firearm at Empangeni, as cited as one of the incidents that led me out of the country.

MR HEWITT: When you were arrested on these two attempted murder charges that we have heard about, namely the attempted murder of Ms Mchunu and also the attempted murder on Mr Khumalo, were you informed that those attempted murders, the allegations related to incidents involving you the same night as this meeting in September, took place in September 1984?

MR SITHOLE: That is the reason why the cases were withdrawn against me.

MR HEWITT: No. Were you advised that those incidents that you were charged for, were alleged to have taken place the same night as the meeting, namely September 1984?

MR SITHOLE: Can you just repeat your question, you have your changed your question altogether, can you repeat it.

MR HEWITT: I am sorry, I can't understand your answers.

CHAIRPERSON: He is asking to repeat the question.

MR SITHOLE: Repeat the question, it is changed, it is not the first question that you have asked me.

MR HEWITT: You told us that you were charged on your return to the country, with two counts of attempted murder?


MR HEWITT: Is that correct?


MR HEWITT: The one count of attempted murder related to a Ms Mchunu, correct?


MR HEWITT: Is the answer yes?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is what I am saying.

MR HEWITT: The second count of attempted murder related to a Mr Khumalo, is that correct?


MR HEWITT: All right, now I want you to listen carefully to this next question. Were you told that the allegations against you was that you attempted to murder these two people on the same night as this meeting that you have given us evidence about, namely September 1984 when you were threatened at a meeting and you fired over their heads, and you ran away?

Were you told that that same night, it was alleged you had attempted to murder Ms Mchunu and Mr Khumalo?

MR SITHOLE: Really I don't understand.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Hewitt is wanting from you Mr Sithole, those two charges of attempted murder, was it alleged that the attempts to murder those two people, namely Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu, took place on the same night that you discharged the firearm at that meeting that you escaped from?

MR SITHOLE: Told by whom?


MR HEWITT: I don't know what this answer is.

MR LAX: Sorry, maybe I can help here. Just listen carefully. Maybe we are confusing with lawyers' talk.


MR LAX: It is really very simple. The night that you are alleged to have attempted to kill Ms Mchunu and Mr Khumalo, was that on the same night as you discharged your firearm?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, on the same night. The incident happened earlier and then the other two later.

MR HEWITT: All right. Now the effect of your evidence today is that you say you believe that you have an indemnity or an amnesty for events that occurred later on that night, but not for events that occurred earlier on that night because you are applying for amnesty now for events that occurred the same night, but just a bit earlier on?

MR SITHOLE: In my application, in exile, I mentioned those two incidents. This is why I believe that my indemnity was on the basis of the two incidents that I mentioned at the time.

CHAIRPERSON: He didn't mention the discharge of the firearm?

MR SITHOLE: No, because I didn't make, no one was injured, I didn't attempt to kill anyone in that, it was just the discharge of a firearm, and that is it.

MR HEWITT: At this point Mr Chairman, and this is where I think the Committee has to make a ruling now, I am going to now apply for reserve my further cross-examination of this applicant, pending our satisfaction and investigation that in fact he does have an amnesty or indemnity rather, for these two attempted murders which has been referred to.

My reason for this is as follows, it is quite clear from the present application that this applicant is applying for indemnity or amnesty in respect of him being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, illegally and discharging shot on a particular night in September 1984.

He clearly doesn't believe that he already has an indemnity on amnesty in respect of the earlier part of the evening. Our submission and obviously this submission is valid only if he has not been given an indemnity for the two counts of attempted murder, because if he has not been given an indemnity for the two counts of attempted murder, our submission will be that there has not been a full disclosure of the shooting events with an unlawfully possessed firearm during a specific night in September in 1984, and that because of that, he is applying for amnesty in respect of the events of that night, and shooting with an unlicensed firearm.

We would be entitled to cross-examine him on that aspect, but obviously if he has been in fact granted amnesty in respect of it, that would be an exercise in futility, so we submit that in fairness to deal with this issue, we should be given the opportunity to investigate this aspect of indemnity, because if he hasn't been given it, it is relevant to our further cross-examination.

CHAIRPERSON: But Mr Hewitt, Mr Sithole has specifically stated that he is not applying to this Committee in respect of the attempted murders of Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu, he specifically said he is not applying.

We are not going to make any decision whatsoever relating to Ms Mchunu or Mr Khumalo, because it is not before us.

He says that on that night, as far as we know, three incidents occurred. One was at the meeting, when he escaped and he shot a couple of shots in the air, and then later, it is alleged that he was involved in an attempted murder. He is only applying for the shooting, so if you wanted to cross-examine him about what happened to Ms Mchunu, why should we as a Committee listen to such cross-examination if Mr Sithole says that he is not applying for amnesty in respect of the act involving Ms Mchunu?

MR HEWITT: It is all too easy for an applicant to say when he is confronted with an act or a crime with which he has, which is put to him and which he has committed and has not mentioned in his application for amnesty, to say oh, but I am not applying for amnesty in respect of that particular crime.

To avoid the consequence, to avoid the simple consequence that it can no longer be argued by the cross-examiner or those opposing the amnesty, that he has not made a full disclosure. That is the potential prejudice.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, it is alleged that I have shot X. I come and apply for amnesty for another shooting that evening, it has nothing to do with the shooting of X. I say I am not applying in respect of the shooting of X, now you are saying that you, who are representing X, are prejudiced because I haven't given a full disclosure relating to the shooting of X, which has got nothing to do with it?

MR HEWITT: No, what we are saying is this, anybody who applies for amnesty, must make a full disclosure.

CHAIRPERSON: Must make a full disclosure of all relevant facts pertaining to the matter in respect of which he applies for amnesty for.

MR HEWITT: Yes, and he is applying for amnesty in respect of his possession of an unlicensed, unlawful firearm on a particular night in September, and his discharge of that firearm on that same night in September, yet he does not, he does not mention all the acts and all the discharging of the firearm which he mentions.

But because when the amnesty application starts, it is stated on record that there are further acts involved, it is too easy with respect for his evidence then to be tailored by saying, well, I am not applying for amnesty for the second part of the evening, I am only applying for amnesty for the first part of the evening.

That is a very simple way of avoiding a situation where it may be that Ms Mchunu represented by me, can argue at a later stage that this man has not made a full disclosure in respect of the very evening, the same date, the same offence, the use of a firearm.

He has not made full disclosure in how much use he has made of that firearm. With respect, we should for those reasons be given the right to investigate whether he has been given this indemnity in respect of those, because if he has not, with respect it is highly relevant to my continued cross-examination of this applicant along the lines which I have submitted, namely there has not been full disclosure.

You cannot at this stage, with respect, Mr Chairman and members of the Committee say, because my learned friend has now said after I have apprised him when this case started this morning, of the existence of a Ms Mchunu, and this applicant in his evidence, has now said no, there was an incident, but I am not applying for amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: No, sorry to interrupt, if you take a look at Mr Sithole's application, page 25 through to 33 or 34, whatever it is, he says look, I am applying for three incidents, three categories if I can put it that way.

One is the SDU's, one is the Empangeni, Golela arms, and the third is the shooting that took place outside such and such a school at Empangeni which is described in his application.

If he were to succeed in his application, and amnesty were to be granted for purposes of argument, amnesty will be granted not in respect of any shooting that he may have done on the night of such and such September, it will be in respect of shots, two shots fired in the air, at such and such a place, such and such a school.

MR HEWITT: I appreciate this Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So in other words, whether he went on a shooting campaign in the afternoon and the evening, and it is not going to be involved in the hearing, or even considered because he hasn't applied for it, what is the relevance?

MR HEWITT: What happened Mr Chairman, and this is where you are with respect, you could fall very easily into the trap of pre-judging this issue because Mr Chairman, you have not heard any cross-examination that I have directed, and obviously I won't do so in the light of what has developed now, but the cross-examination will be directed to the events involving Mr Khumalo and Mrs Mchunu and it will show that these, all these events, one of which he claims amnesty for, the shooting incident at the meeting, is so inextricably tied up with the shooting, attempted murder of Ms Mchunu and the attempted murder of Mr Khumalo, that it would be completely artificial to separate them as totally different events.

They are with respect Mr Chairman, and members of the Committee, this will be our submission, but obviously you haven't heard evidence now and you cannot pre-judge it with respect, or fall into the trap of thinking that they are two separate incidents, when you haven't heard evidence on this.

If he has not been granted indemnity for those two offences, we will continue our cross-examination and we will show that in fact the incidents are inextricably tied up with each other, flowing from the same incident, and all for the same motives.

You can't deal with it with respect, in a piece meal basis, because he hasn't spelt out in this application Ms Mchunu and Mr Khumalo, that this hearing can continue. If you are satisfied, if it is established that he hasn't been given indemnity and you are satisfied that I can then continue cross-examining on it, what happens if the Committee is then satisfied that the shooting, the attempt on Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu is so inextricably tied up with this amnesty application, that Mr Sithole should have disclosed it, must have known he should have disclosed it and because he did not disclose it, he has not made a full disclosure and therefore he is not entitled to an amnesty?

Those are the factors which the Committee has to consider at the end of his application, and it cannot with respect, do so by simply treating these incidents as piece meal without knowing that they are inextricably involved, or they may be piece meal. At least affording us an opportunity if we are so advised to do so, to canvass that issue.

But obviously we don't want to canvass it now. If the man has been granted indemnity for that, we are not going to waste your time, but you have to with respect, consider it if he hasn't been granted an indemnity.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wills?

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, I oppose the reservation, the application made by Mr Hewitt to reserve his cross-examination.

Clearly my understanding of the requirement of full disclosure in the context of amnesty applications, is that you have a obligation in terms of the Act, to fully disclose in respect of the incidents for which you are applying for amnesty and not in respect of anything else.

It is clear from Mr Hewitt's evidence that he is intimating a certain amount of mala fides on behalf of the applicant, in the sense that it is only because Mr Hewitt has raised this matter, that it has become an issue and that he has fabricated his story to the extent that he is saying no the reason why he hasn't mentioned this in his application, is simply because he's got amnesty for it.

In response to that, the evidence is quite simple. We have a copy of a government gazette before us. It is clear that whilst the details of the exact application are not clear, the applicant's name is indicated on this government gazette and this government gazette is dated in march 1991.

Surely that must indicate that the applicant has been given amnesty for something that predated the period of 1990, which in essence supports the fact that he has applied for indemnity for something specific prior to that period.

His evidence has in other words been corroborated to the effect that he didn't disclose this because he's already got indemnity for these facts.

But more so, Mr Chairman, it seems to me that the incidents must be looked at separately, otherwise one can cross-examine on such a broad range in relation to the lack of full disclosure that we could be bogged down for years.

I submit that the approach of the Amnesty Committees have been clear in that regard, that you fully disclose in relation to the specific incidents.

If my learned friend wants to cross-examine on the basis of incidents for which amnesty is not sought, it is my submission that such cross-examination would simply be irrelevant and should not be heard by the Committee, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Any reply Mr Hewitt?

MR HEWITT: Yes, just very briefly. My learned friend talks about a wide range that could make these proceedings interminable. We are not talking about a wide range, we are talking and this is common cause now, we are talking about two shooting incidents that followed the same night, and immediately after a shooting incident with the same firearm presumably, which he is claiming amnesty for here. We are not talking about a wide range, where we are on a fishing expedition.

The issue is very narrow and very circumstride and relates to the same night, by the same person, involving the same firearm and discharging the same firearm.

MR LAX: Mr Hewitt, can you think of any reason and perhaps you could just address us on this, really, this amnesty application is dated May 1997. If the applicant wanted to apply for amnesty in respect of the two attempted murders, he could well have done so at that stage.

He has come about matters that he has never been prosecuted for, the only logical conclusion one can come to is that he assumed that he had indemnity for the previous acts, that your clients have an interest in.

Secondly, if I could just finish, perhaps you can just think about this before you reply, we are not seized of those two incidents at all. They don't appear before us to the extent that your client has an interest in this matter, apart from your generic client as possibly an IFP, the specific client, Ms Mchunu, what is her interest in this application as it is presently before us? Just those two issues please?

MR HEWITT: Firstly Ms Mchunu certainly has an interest in the truth and full disclosure being told or given about a shooting incident on this particular night in September 1984 and the reasons why shooting incidents occurred on that particular night.

She contends that is all inextricably tied up. You have one version only before you as to why the shooting incident occurred, and that stops as far as Ms Mchunu is concerned, conveniently short of the whole truth by not going a little bit further, which will explain the behaviour of the applicant in its entirety.

Clearly she has a direct interest in the full disclosure there.

I think that may well have been your second question to me. If you could possibly repeat the first one.

MR LAX: Just in terms of that, if it is your client's assertion that Mr Sithole hasn't revealed to us his real motive, starting with the shooting incident at the school, which is what is before us, then you are at liberty to cross-examine him in relation to that incident and his failure to disclose his proper motive.

But if we are going to then canvass the second two incidents, which are not before us, on the strength of this application form, how does your client have an interest other than - the question was how does your client have an interest in the matter if we are not looking at the incident where she was shot?

Let's forget about Mr Khumalo for the time being, because he is not before us.

MR HEWITT: I thought I had explained this. Possibly I haven't, I could explain it in another way to make it clear.

Obviously I don't want in front of the applicant, to disclose what my cross-examination would be, but if such cross-examination demonstrated incidents before the matter in which he claims amnesty today, that is the shooting at the meeting, and there was association between the two or existing motives from the applicant towards Ms Mchunu, prior to the first shooting, then the incident involving her immediately thereafter, is readily explained.

What we have said and this was the submission I made, and obviously I don't want to disclose the evidence at this stage and the nature of my cross-examination, I make the submission on the instructions I have received, that the shooting incident involving Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu, are inextricably tied up with the very shooting incident for which he claims amnesty.

This was the point I tried to make to Mr Chairman. You cannot at this stage pre-judge that they are two separate incidents, until you have heard the whole story. If the man has got amnesty, or indemnity for those two shootings, then I am not going to waste this tribunal's time, but if he hasn't, then clearly you have to hear the whole story of why he used his gun that night, why he shot, how many people he shot at and why and the reasons preceding it are relevant. They are all tied up with each other, they are not separate watertight compartments.

Therefore full disclosure is relevant to that consideration.

MR LAX: Except to say this, that even on the present application, which for the sake of discussion excludes the two succeeding incidents, if on what your client's instructions to you are, he is already not making full disclosure, because if they are intricately linked, then he is not making full disclosure.

You are arguing, or your client would be arguing that he's got a different motive, which he hasn't disclosed. Why is your client leaving the matter be, if he's already got indemnity for those two matters?

Let me put it another way, why would your client not persist in an objection if he still is not making a full disclosure? How does the fact that he got amnesty for those two matters, change his lack of full disclosure?

CHAIRPERSON: He has testified, he has given his evidence in chief. He hasn't made mention, well, he has just made mention on being led, the briefest mention of the Khumalo and Mchunu incidents. So whether he has been granted indemnity or not, what Mr Lax asks, what difference does that make regarding whether or not he made full disclosure?

MR HEWITT: Well, are you saying that I can go and cross-examine him?

CHAIRPERSON: Not at all, but you can argue.

MR HEWITT: My learned friend obviously is going to have the right to reply to this, my learned friend's problem is that if he hasn't been given an indemnity in respect of those two attempted murders, my learned friend may well object to any cross-examination, then we will have another argument on the question of whether it is relevant for me at the level of full disclosure, to deal with it or whether he is entitled to advise his client, not to reply to any of these questions on the basis he exposes himself.

There is (indistinct) in effect between my learned friend and I wish may well come about in the future, over which this Committee will have to decide.

CHAIRPERSON: What are you suggesting then Mr Hewitt, what you are wanting is that you reserve your cross-examination and this becomes a part-heard matter and we convene some time next year, set a date to hear whether you are going to proceed with your cross-examination?

MR HEWITT: No, no, I am not suggesting that kind of delay. I am suggesting a fairly short delay, we are talking about something like a week, so that I can make investigations through the Investigating Officer. I have his name, Mune Sammy, but as I explained ...

CHAIRPERSON: But you see in a week, this panel will be split up and Mr Lax will be hearing applications in Maritzburg, I will be down in Cape Town, I don't know where Mr Sibanyoni will be, we can't just come together next week.

MR HEWITT: Well, these are factors over which none of us unfortunately have control. I have a duty to discharge to my client, and I am trying to accommodate that duty, discharge that duty to my client and by the same token, I don't want to drag this out. We will expedite matters as soon as possible to establish if this man has indemnity for those two attempted murders.

We have tried to establish this, unfortunately Ms Mchunu only found out yesterday as I explained earlier on, this matter was coming to court today. In that time, I have consulted with her thoroughly, but I have not been able and I have established from her that the same Detective, Inspector Mune Sammy, strangely enough who is mentioned in this applicant's actual application, there is a letter you will see in which he mentions the same Investigating Officer's name and in fact it appears at page 37.

It is a letter by him in reply to an earlier letter by the Amnesty Committee and if you look at paragraph 1 on page 37, that is the paginated page 37, he says I was charged at Empangeni police station and the Officer who was handling my case was Detective Sergeant Mune Sammy.

We can possibly try and communicate with him immediately after these proceedings to establish what the position is.

I am envisaging no more than a week Mr Chairman.

MS THABETE: Can I come in here please Mr Chairman. I am actually objecting to what Mr Hewitt is suggesting, because first of all the applicant has led evidence to the fact that he applied for indemnity with regard to the incidents, the killing of Mr Khumalo and Ms Mchunu.

We have got in front of us a government gazette saying that he has been granted indemnity. Are we suggesting that he has been granted indemnity for something else?

He has specified that he applied for indemnity with respect to these acts, and here is a government gazette proving that he's got indemnity. Are we suggesting that he got indemnity on something else?

MR HEWITT: Well, first of all, this has just been placed in front of me, I haven't had the chance, I have been busy in fact dealing with the ...

CHAIRPERSON: All that this document, well, you can look at it Mr Hewitt, it basically says the following persons have been granted indemnity in terms of the Indemnity Act, 1990, and then there is a whole list of people.

MS THABETE: Sorry Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: What Ms Thabete is getting at is, we have evidence from Mr Sithole saying that he applied for indemnity in respect of two incidents, namely the Khumalo and Mchunu incidents, and then he was informed that he in fact had been granted indemnity, and there is this to confirm that he was in fact granted indemnity.

She says, are you suggesting that there is anything else that he might have been granted indemnity for other than those acts that he applied for?

MR HEWITT: This is one of the puzzling aspects of this indemnity which we now have. If this gave him indemnity for the, we will refer to it as the Khumalo and Mchunu incident, then ergo it should follow that he was granted indemnity for the September 1984 shooting at the school meeting, which he is applying for amnesty for, it will follow too.

MR LAX: Except that he made it clear that when he was in exile, he didn't apply for the actual school shooting incident. He said because nobody was injured, that was his reason he gave why he didn't apply for that one.

Presumably somebody must have informed him that he was charged with these matters.

MR WILLS: If I can just also add a final bit, I maintain my opposition on the basis that I think that the cross-examination would be irrelevant.

Assuming and I don't assume this, but assuming Mr Hewitt is correct, as I understand Mr Hewitt's position, is that should he not, should the applicant not have been granted amnesty in respect of these two murders, then it is only then that Mr Hewitt would have an interest in cross-examining him.

On the other hand, if it is established that the applicant has got indemnity in respect of these two attempted murders should I say, then Mr Hewitt would have no problem and he would not want to reserve his cross-examination.

On the assumption that the applicant has not got indemnity for these matters, which is an assumption which I don't believe is correct, but on that assumption, I would certainly advise the applicant not to testify and not to subject himself to cross-examination in order that I would reserve his rights against self-incrimination.

If the applicant in those circumstances would take my advise, it would seem to me that there would be no fruitful result in Mr Hewitt's cross-examination, with the result that there would have been no point in the first place, of reserving his cross-examination.

CHAIRPERSON: I think just with regard to this government gazette, it would seem that this government gazette does not relate to the Khumalo or Mchunu incidents, because it says under the powers invested in me, etc, etc, amnesty is granted to any person who prior to twelve o'clock on the 8th of October 1990 underwent training as referred to in Section such and such an Act, and then there is a list of dozens of names, we've just got one page of the s's, so there must have been several pages.

This looks like this is a type of general indemnity that was granted to people who had undergone training, military training in contravention of Act 83 of 1967 prior to October 1990.

MR WILLS: Except Mr Chairman, paragraph (d) refers to who has furnished the full information required and I think that this is what the applicant was referring to when he filled out the papers in exile.

MR LAX: Let us just take some time, but my recollection on the various - as preparation for serving on this Committee, one obviously read all those Act, because the criteria under those Acts are relevant to the criteria for amnesty, and if you look at Section 20 you will see that reference is made to this.

My recollection was that this wasn't just a blanket indemnity. One, people were required to specify the specific acts or offences they may have committed, and there were certain acts or offences which were excluded for the purposes of indemnity, in other words you couldn't get indemnity for everything.

But be that as it may, perhaps we will just take some time.

MR HEWITT: There is just one other point, that my learned Instructing Attorney has drawn to my attention, the two documents I have been furnished, the one is dated the 6th of March 1991 and bears number 13068 whereas the second document is dated the 22nd of March 1991 and ...

CHAIRPERSON: Different gazettes?

MR HEWITT: It appears that we have been given two pages of two different gazettes.

We are plunged even deeper into confusion over the effect of this. I don't know, what I am asking for Mr Chairman, is really an opportunity to be able to check with this Detective Sergeant Mune Sammy, the Investigating Officer who presumably will know what the fate of these attempted murders are.

I am not asking for a long period.

MS THABETE: Mr Chairman, I hadn't finished what I wanted to say. Secondly, I am objecting on the basis that I think first of all we need to ascertain from the applicant whether these incidents are separate or they are linked, because we are going on here, we haven't asked him whether the incident which happened at a school, is actually linked to the one that happened earlier on.

I think we need to ascertain that, because if they are not linked, still it doesn't take us anywhere to discover ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but that might open up the whole cross-examination that we are concerned with because the applicant might say well, they are not linked, but that might be disputed by Mr Hewitt and then we are going to hear all the cross-examination that goes to the whole question, if he asks that.

We will sit here and will have to listen to everything about the Khumalo and Mchunu incident, to determine whether it is not linked, or whether it is linked.

MS THABETE: Mr Chairman, with due respect, but isn't it important for us to ascertain whether these incidents are ...

CHAIRPERSON: You see, what you want to say, what you are saying, we can hear Mr Hewitt on it, to ascertain from the applicant, but what I am saying is if the applicant says it is not linked, that might not be accepted by Mr Hewitt, then we would have to go into the full merits of Khumalo and Mchunu to determine whether or not it is linked, to determine whether or not he should reserve cross-examination.

MS THABETE: Which is not what I am suggesting. I think nevertheless it is very important to ascertain whether these offences are different, or whether they are not different.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think we can do that, it will involve too much. We will take an adjournment for five or ten minutes, and then we will make a ruling.

MR LAX: Mr Chairman, perhaps Mr Wills can just try and find out about the wrong front page here, in the mean time.



CHAIRPERSON: We have considered Mr Hewitt's application to reserve further cross-examination of Mr Sithole, specifically in regard to the incident or incidents relating to his client Ms Mchunu and a Mr Khumalo.

After consideration, we rule that the application be refused for the reason that the witness, Mr Sithole has specifically testified, stated in his testimony that he is not applying for amnesty in respect of the alleged attempted murders of Ms Mchunu and Mr Khumalo.

Those matters are therefore not before us and the applicant has given evidence relating to the firing of two shots outside the premises where a meeting was held, on apparently the same night as the attempted murders referred to and unless the attempted murders arise out of the firing of those specific two shots, we are of the view that whatever may have happened later that night, or earlier that night, whenever it might have been, is not before us and therefore it is not our concern to delve into those two incidents.

We believe that this ruling would apply whether or not the applicant, Mr Sithole has been granted indemnity in terms of either the Indemnity Act of 1990 or the 1992 Act, it doesn't make any difference, and we, on that point of whether or not the applicant, Mr Sithole has been granted indemnity in respect of those two attempted murders, we make no finding in that regard. We don't find that it is necessary to make such a finding.

We also are of the view that this ruling would in no way prejudice either Mr Khumalo or Ms Mchunu, because if the applicant has been granted indemnity previously, referring specifically to those two incidents, such indemnity would obviously effect their right. If they haven't, then our ruling in no way effects any rights that they may have with regard to those incidents.

We do not grant the application to reserve further cross-examination.

MR HEWITT: As the Committee pleases.

MR WILLS: As the Committee pleases.

MS THABETE: As the Committee pleases.

MR HEWITT: On that basis Mr Chairman, then it would follow sure as night follows day, that any cross-examination by me, of the present applicant, relating to those two what we can refer to as the two attempted murder charges, would be irrelevant and therefore I cannot conduct a cross-examination on that basis, and therefore have no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, unless of course as I mentioned, if those particular two shots were the shots involved in the attempted murders, the incident that he refers to that took place outside that meeting?

MR HEWITT: No, I submit that they are closely related, but I am not going to contend that they are the same shots.

MR WILLS: Mr Chairman, if I can possibly place on record which I believe is a fact that is common cause between myself and Mr Hewitt that the attempted murders occurred at different places, to the school where the two other shots were discharged.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any further cross-examination, besides on that point?

MR HEWITT: No further cross-examination. Just following on from what my learned friend, Mr Wills, has stated. It would be common cause that the attempted murder incident took place at the homes of Khumalo and Mchunu respectively, and certainly not at the meeting that is being testified to.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Hewitt.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabete, do you have any questions to ask Mr Sithole?


CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I notice it is after quarter past four, but I think if we can proceed until we have finished this particular hearing, it shouldn't be too long.

MR WILLS: I have no objection Mr Chairperson.

MR HEWITT: I am sorry to interrupt again Mr Chairman, but in the light of my redundancy in these proceedings from this moment on, could I possibly be excused?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.

MR HEWITT: At this stage?

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly Mr Hewitt.

MR HEWITT: Thank you.

MS THABETE: Mr Sithole, in your memorandum in support of your application, the first page, you state that when you left the University and began teaching, you were involved in setting up structures, affiliated with the UDF.

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MS THABETE: Can you briefly explain what those structures were and how were they set up?

MR SITHOLE: Prior to my teaching at Imanga high school, I was a student at the University of Zululand, so at the University of Zululand, I had a brother by consent of surnames, Sithole, who was also very (indistinct), in terms of working for the UDF at the time.

He was responsible also for setting up of structures around Empangeni and he was also working with me. Most of the time we moved from Empangeni, that is at (indistinct) where I was and then come to the University for consultation, and then we carried on the work, in terms of one publicity for United Democratic Front.

All the pamphlets in that area at that time, were actually distributed by us into that area. All announcements of meetings, whether it will be held in Durban or wherever, we were actually responsible for informing structures in those areas. Not necessarily secretive structures, just ordinary structures, where you have access to the people and informing them about the existence of a meeting in UDF and so forth and so forth.

MS THABETE: In the same page, you talk about the fact that you were called to a school and then went to Welisani for a meeting, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct, in fact, in actual fact I was (indistinct) to be more precise.

MS THABETE: Who called you to this meeting?

MR SITHOLE: It was the Chairperson of the school committee, of the school where I was a teacher.

MS THABETE: Can you give us the names of the people who were in that meeting? The people who actually spoke to you?

MR SITHOLE: It will be difficult, but I know it was a lot of them. I think it has been on the newspapers, the incident was also in the newspapers.

What I still remember was the school teacher, the Chairman of the school committee who actually took me down to the meeting.

MS THABETE: You are saying you don't remember the names of the other people who were in the meeting?

MR SITHOLE: It is a number of them, one of them was Kulikani Magubani for instance. One of the known perpetrators of violence around Empangeni area, who I think was also eliminated by people in that area.

MS THABETE: When you were still teaching at Imanga, what activities were you engaged in? I mean politically which led to you being identified or targeted?

MR SITHOLE: Mainly it was UDF activities, more than anything.

MS THABETE: Doing what?

MR SITHOLE: Organising youth to attend UDF meetings. In that area it was not acceptable, that is what I would say.

MS THABETE: You have also testified that you distributed arms to the MK Commanders, so to say, or MK cadres who had identified their needs in the communities for such arms?

MR SITHOLE: Correct.

MS THABETE: What I want to know is how did you identify the places that needed such firearms or did you rely solely on the MK cadres?

MR SITHOLE: I said before that when information comes from the branches or the areas, not the branches of the ANC, from the areas that are under attack, people will come into the ANC offices, our offices as MK were in the office. When there are incidents where people are reporting about attacks, most of that information was referred to us as MK in the MK office, within the ANC offices.

To our own comrades who were involved as Commanders, on all these areas, they would gather information and then take it back to the ANC office, that is how we had access. When it was a natural cause that when there is a plight of people, they will even go to the ANC office and sleep there, ordinary women and children and say we are under attack.

On a number of occasions, there have been a number of people coming into the ANC office, complaining that they are under attack in their respective areas.

MS THABETE: In your evidence you also made it clear that you conducted training of MK cadres. Were any community members that belonged to SDU's, trained as well?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, of course. We never saw MK as (indistinct), operating independently. We felt we were members of the communities where we are coming from.

The resource base for members of the so-called trained MK operatives, were the same families as we were coming from, same communities where they were coming from. I was coming from kwaMashu and then, that is where I belong.

If anything happens in kwaMashu, then I have to be concerned. In terms of training we mandated, I can quote one incident where we went to Umkababa with comrade Ian Phillips one day, at night, and then because we didn't want the people, those young comrades who were in there, to see us, but in terms of addressing them, teaching them of what is expected of them, then we were in a position to communicate with them.

We say chaps, this is what the ANC demands of you, they demand discipline more than anything else.

MS THABETE: Okay, in your evidence as well, you speak about the fact that all the acts that were committed by SDU's were within the mandate of the ANC policies. What I want to know is, you also say that you also received reports on what used to happen in the different communities.

What I want to know from you is, in those reports that you received, were there any reports received by you, where the SDU's had acted beyond the policies of the ANC?

MR SITHOLE: That is correct. I will take one example. In Malukazi for instance, what we found in the process of arming our own people for purposes of self defence, is that where you allow people to buy arms on their own, as cadres of MK we had no access to those weapons, you cannot actually control those weapons.

That was the danger that I have noticed with the Self Defence Units, where people procure arms on their own, there were a number of them. People were actually even buying weapons, from their enemies, from the IFP.

We knew for instance at kwaMashu hostel, a lot of firearms that were actually given to IFP people, but they started selling those firearms. Our own people organised themselves, they go and buy from those people.

But our main concern in that kind of activity, you have no control. You can only control the weapons that you actually put into the hand of a person, that you know, so and so you are responsible for this weapon.

In cases where voluntary people on their own, like in Malukazi for instance, there was a lot of infighting, people used weapons for various reasons, either for robberies or whatever, because there is no actual control.

But what as the ANC did, we went and even I as a political leadership, go into that public platform, to educate people as to what Self Defence Units is all about and also try through our own comrades as (indistinct) level, try and (indistinct) situation if we can actually get hold of those weapons, disarm those elements, because they were not serving, because of the (indistinct) at the end of the day.

MS THABETE: During the hearings, some people who would call themselves SDU members, would give reasons for let's say killing or committing certain acts, they would give reasons for committing such acts and say that I am an ANC member and I shot so and so because he was an IFP member.

In educating your people, what did you educate them about, the contents?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, let me look into the last question. On this question of members of SDU killing IFP elements, whatever, what I would have said, I would have loved to hear from the IFP itself, giving us a profile of those people that had been killed in those areas.

In most of those, you will find that most of the people that were eliminated, were actually involved in violence against the people. When people take up arms and defend themselves, then all of a sudden they say the ANC has been responsible for so many members of the IFP. Let them give us profiles of those people.

MR LAX: You haven't actually answered her question. The second part was, how did you try and train your members and in terms of political education, in terms of accountability to ensure that they just didn't go off half cocked?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, we had conferences, ANC conferences, MK was represented there. That is one.

Two, we had our own conferences as MK in the region, we have had a number of them, where we have called all our own comrades that were involved in anything, so long as they are MK, they are coming.

And also certain elements within the so-called Self Defence Units, to participate so that they hear the perspective that we are putting forward as ANC, as a political organisation. We took ourselves as political soldiers, not just as soldiers, who just go in and do whatever.

We are constantly under the leadership of the ANC. Even in our training, whether it is political training, we insisted there is no self defence that may not be told the policies of the ANC, no member in actual fact, we even insisted people that are involved in such Defence Units, must actually be involved in community meetings, must be involved in conferences of the ANC.

They can actually come up, some of them are coming up probably through branches of the ANC, into policy conferences of the ANC, just to ensure that there is continuity in terms of policy (indistinct) of those structures at the end of the day.

MS THABETE: What I actually wanted to know is, in you educating these communities on how to defend themselves, what did you actually tell them to do in defending themselves? That is what I am interested in because we have had a lot of evidence from other SDU members, coming to us and saying I decided to kill somebody or I decided to injure somebody merely because he belonged to another political organisation, or they would say I decided to retaliate.

Did you allow retaliation? What did you tell them to defend themselves and how to defend themselves?

MR SITHOLE: Our own conception of an attack on our people was that no member of ANC Self Defence Unit will actually provoke a fighting, because of a barrier that Inkatha area that side and our people must cross, but should they be under attack, we have no problem to take responsibility for any person that was killed, in defence of our own people, and that is it.

MS THABETE: My last question, just to clarify something, I heard Dr Phillips referring to you as Mandla.

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is my combat name.

MS THABETE: Are you also Mandla?

MR SITHOLE: That is my nom de plume, that came from exile in actual fact.

MS THABETE: No further questions, Mr Chairman, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Thabete. Do you have any re-examination Mr Wills?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Just one brief question. The notion of a preemptive strike, what would your attitude be in regard to that?

MR SITHOLE: Militarily, when you talk about preemptive strike it is that you then hear of an incident or a possibility of an attack and then you move elements into the area with the aim of surprising and also neutralising that kind of thing.

As I said before when I was answering our lady friend here, our own way of looking at self defence would be literally if our own communities are being attacked, then, but I wouldn't rule out a possibility of really there was a perceived threat, giving that the police were not doing anything in terms of protecting our own people.

If there has been cases where our own people actually came up preemptive strikes against the so-called enemy at that time, then we will accept it and say it depends on the areas.

We didn't like the principle of preemptive strikes, because it would actually lead to excesses which is not necessary, but if you could zero to an element in an area who you know is exactly is the one who is behind violence, who has killed so many people, why not?

MR WILLS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions to ask Mr Sithole?

MR SIBANYONI: None Mr Chairperson.


MR LAX: Thank you Chairperson, just one question and it arises out of some of the previous applications we have heard which involved and entailed SDU members, or people who called themselves SDU's, some may not have been, but various kinds of training were offered. Some of them described the training they received and in particular one person spoke about being trained in the Transkei.

Could you just elaborate a little bit on that for us please?

MR SITHOLE: The Transkei issue, we had comrades in the command in Transkei. The question of training was discussed, a number of resolutions were taken on the question of training.

If people were under attack and if people really needed training, if we really need people to be effective in their acts of defence, then we must give them training, but from Southern Natal's point of view, in fact I was afraid, given the security situation, I couldn't perceive a situation whereby we bus people with a kombi to Transkei and you don't suffer consequences in terms of security consequences into those areas.

Yes, I have been to Transkei, I have seen some comrades in Transkei whom from the reports, sometimes were called into the Transkei. There are people who are coming from Southern Natal, are you aware of them that they are in here and they are receiving training in Transkei.

Because of logistical reasons, we couldn't, didn't have enough money. If you allowed people to go and train in an area, you must be in a position to supplement in terms of the (indistinct) food, I was (indistinct) kinds of situations.

We said that in Southern Natal specifically, we are not going to take people for training down there, but if we have a report that certain people have been trained in Transkei, then we will not stop them from doing so.

MR LAX: Okay. The second question I have was related to the provision of ammunition. We heard talk of people making their own home made firearms and the only ammunition you have primarily spoken about, have been AK47 ammunition. I wondered whether as part of the ordinance, efforts were made to obtain for example most home made firearms would use shotgun cartridges by and large.

I know a fair bit about how home made firearms were made and how they were used, we have heard it in other hearings. Did you provide through ordinance channels, other kinds of ammunition besides AK47's?

MR SITHOLE: We didn't have, like SSG for instance. It is something that we don't use as MK, we have never used it. All that type of ammunition, we don't have it. Even now, so we couldn't.

People were getting it from wherever they were sourcing it in.

MR LAX: In terms of handguns, 9 mm?

MR SITHOLE: Handguns we had, we had Stechin, we had macarov pistols, but which were meant only for people in command, for going about at night and doing whatever. We had to arm them at some stage and make sure that they are safe.

MR LAX: One final question, and that is again on the issue of accountability and discipline. I didn't really ask it in great detail of the others, because they weren't as directly involved as you may have been, as Chief of Staff and so on. What steps did you take to ensure accountability apart from political education and so on?

You must have got reports for example, of indiscretions, of rouge elements within SDU's of the tsotsi's and so on.

MR SITHOLE: Let me take one incident in Port Shepstone. There was a pseudo SDU that was operating, known as Mkozi for instance, where I think that is what comrade Jeff was referring to when they went with comrade Kadimeng down there, but on our own as MK, we made it a point that any comrade who is ours down there, must actually go and disarm those people.

We said to our own Self Defence Units down there, they must go and disarm them, whatever it cost, so long the people are not satisfied with what they are doing. They were actually killing our own people, so we said whatever it takes for you to go and disarm them, you do it.

MR LAX: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Just one question Mr Sithole. The weaponry that you received, that you described that came through military Headquarters, each and every weapon that came in that way, were you aware of or did you delegate the function to somebody else, some other MK cadre for some other region?

MR SITHOLE: Any weaponry that was earmarked for Southern Natal, I knew about it. I was responsible for it, I was responsible for its distribution.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any questions arising Mr Wills, from questions put by members of the panel?

MR WILLS: No questions, thank you Mr Chairperson.



MS THABETE: No questions, thank you Mr Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Sithole, that concludes your evidence. Is there going to be any further evidence Mr Wills?


MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, as I understand the way these hearings have been set up, this has essentially to deal with the matters of SDU's, although my view is that I would be in a position to close the evidence in relation to the three applicants that have testified today and then move on afresh tomorrow.

I don't intend calling any further witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: I might say that we have read for the sake of our lives and we have read the submissions that have been made by the ANC particularly in regard to the SDU's.

MR WILLS: And there is in the submissions that the ANC made, the first submissions, there was just the resolution. I don't know whether the Committee has seen it, but I beg leave to hand it up. It is Section 5.3 of the submission dated August 1996, that deals with the policies behind the formation of the Self Defence Units.

I raise it in this context, it is already indicated in Mr Radebe's application, the Section is actually quoted, if I can just refer you to that.

It is on page 10 of the bundle.

MR LAX: What page is that of the ANC submission, if you could just refer us to that?

MR WILLS: Page 10 of the ANC submission, Section 5(3).

CHAIRPERSON: We have that submission.

MR WILLS: Those documents that you have referred to, I will use in argument. If I may with respect Mr Chairperson, suggest that because of the nature of the offences that the three applicants may have committed, it is quite a difficult legal position in regard to exactly what Sections of the Firearms Act or the Arms and Ammunition Act and Explosives Act have been contravened.

I submit that it would be appropriate for me to submit written argument in regard to these things, where I shall endeavour to cover all the aspects in respect of which they might have committed offences.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wills. Do you agree with that Ms Thabete?

MS THABETE: Certainly Mr Chairman, I don't wish to argue as well and I don't have any objections if amnesty is granted.


Well, then ladies and gentlemen, this brings us to the end of these hearings. There is going to be no further evidence led in respect of the three applications that we have heard today.

You have heard Mr Wills, he has requested to submit written argument to us, written submissions to us which will be submitted by?

MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, I would like to negotiate that, it is quite difficult for me to do it immediately, but I will negotiate that with Ms Thabete and then we will notify you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr Wills will then submit written Heads and we will as soon as possible after that, issue a written decision in respect of each of the applications. Thank you very much.

Mr Wills, now we've got Mr Dlamini's application, and we will start half past nine tomorrow?

MR WILLS: That will be in order, thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We will therefore adjourn until tomorrow at half past nine, with the application of Mr Dlamini and also Mr Zulu.

MS THABETE: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: We've got two further applications, but you are not involved in Mr Zulu's application?

MR WILLS: Not to my knowledge at this stage, Mr Chairman.