DATE: 29TH MARCH 2000

NAME: ZAMAGUTLE GREGORY SITHOLE

APPLICATION NO: AM5991/97

MATTER: ATTACK AT THE POINT, DURBAN BEACHFRONT

DAY : 3

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: It seems as though there are no matters on the roll for today, so shall we adjourn and call it a day and go down to Cape Town?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, if I might just apologise for my absence. We are waiting for the lawyers for the applicants. They are on their way.

CHAIRPERSON: But there was a lawyer for the applicants this morning, early this morning already, in the one matter.

MS MTANGA: She just asked to shortly consult with her client before ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well we've adjourned until 9 o'clock and we're due to start at 9 o'clock and she didn't ask us or approach us to ask for the matter to stand down. Could you kindly find out and ask her to come in and she should come and explain why.

MS MTANGA: She's on her way, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Could the representatives kindly put themselves on record.

MS DE KLERK: Chairperson, I'm Adv de Klerk, I appear for both applicants in this matter.

CHAIRPERSON: How do you spell your surname?

MS DE KLERK: D-e K-l-e-r-k.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I'm Lula Mtanga, the Evidence Leader for the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you perhaps give us a background? I see there are three persons sort of figuring as applicants, but there's an application for one of them, Mr Howmore Ngcobo(?). What is his position?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I'm not understanding your question, Mr who?

CHAIRPERSON: Howmore - if you ...

MS MTANGA: Oh yes. Mr Howmore Ngcobo has not been notified at all because he never stood for trial, he was found to be incompetent to understand the proceedings.

CHAIRPERSON: And as far as we know that is still the position?

MS MTANGA: That's still the position, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Right.

MS MTANGA: So he's not part of these proceedings today.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and as far as notices are concerned, what's the position?

MS MTANGA: As far as notification is concerned in respect of the victims, we managed to locate about four to five people and then an advertisement was put in the paper. I don't have the exact date, but it was either the 1st of March or at the end of February, but the office will come back and confirm with me because the copy I have does not have the date. But I'm certain it was done early. I instructed so, and I was involved in the notifications as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And was it published in a local newspaper here in Durban surrounds?

MS MTANGA: That is so, Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: In which newspaper, Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I'm not exactly sure because what I have here is display ...(indistinct), but I will find out from the office. It must have been either the Natal Witness or another English paper, because all the victims were white people who are English-speaking.

ADV BOSMAN: Not in a national newspaper? Because some of these victims I gathered were holiday-makers. As a matter of fact I personally know of a victim who was a holiday-maker. Would this have come to their notice?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, according to the addresses that we had of them, they're all in Durban, so the assumption that was made by the office was that they're local people and therefore the advertisement was placed locally.

CHAIRPERSON: Are we still waiting for the applicants?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, the applicants are here and I think they can take the stand, with the permission of the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Are they sitting here?

MS DE KLERK: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well could you kindly invite them to come and sit next to you. Mr Sithole and Mr Tembe, kindly take a seat there.

Ms de Klerk, who would you like to call first?

MS DE KLERK: Mr Sithole.

CHAIRPERSON: And would he be giving evidence in English or Zulu, or what language would he prefer to give evidence in?

MS DE KLERK: Zulu.

ADV SIGODI: Could you give us your full names?

ZAMAGUTLE GREGORY SITHOLE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

EXAMINATION BY MS DE KLERK: Mr Sithole, how old are you?

MR SITHOLE: I'm 33 years old.

MS DE KLERK: Where are you currently residing?

MR SITHOLE: I'm incarcerated in Westville Prison.

MS DE KLERK: Why are you in prison?

MR SITHOLE: It's because of an offence I committed in 1990, where I was part of a group that stabbed and killed some white people.

MS DE KLERK: Do you have any children?

MR SITHOLE: I have one child.

MS DE KLERK: Are you married?

MR SITHOLE: No.

MS DE KLERK: Were you employed prior to you going to prison?

MR SITHOLE: I was a casual employee.

MS DE KLERK: Where were you a casual employee?

MR SITHOLE: At Mike Bailey Carpets and Curtains.

MS DE KLERK: Did you support your child prior to you going to prison?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I did.

MS DE KLERK: And what education did you have prior to going to prison?

MR SITHOLE: I had completed matric.

MS DE KLERK: Where did you complete your matric?

MR SITHOLE: At Emzuwele High School in KwaMashu.

MS DE KLERK: What education do you have now?

MR SITHOLE: At present I'm doing my final year in a BA in Communication Science.

MS DE KLERK: Are your parents still alive?

MR SITHOLE: I was born to a single parent, so my mother is still alive.

MS DE KLERK: What work does your mother do?

MR SITHOLE: She's a domestic worker.

MS DE KLERK: Why do you think that your mother is a domestic worker?

MR SITHOLE: As far as I know it is the result of the political situation that existed in our country, that is the apartheid policies.

MS DE KLERK: Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence other than the one that you've been convicted for now?

MR SITHOLE: No, I've never been arrested nor convicted.

MS DE KLERK: Let's talk a bit about your political affiliation. Where were you living before going to prison?

MR SITHOLE: I resided in Mduzuma.

MS DE KLERK: How long did you live there?

MR SITHOLE: I think about six or seven years.

MS DE KLERK: In the time that you were living there, did you belong to any political party?

MR SITHOLE: Initially I was just a supporter of the PAC, but I eventually joined as a full member.

MS DE KLERK: When did you join as a full member?

MR SITHOLE: I think it was around the end of 1988, or the beginning of 1999.

MS DE KLERK: How old were you when you joined the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: I could have been 21 or 22 when I joined as a member.

MS DE KLERK: Why did you join the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: There are many factors that prompted me to join the PAC, one of which was the fact that around 1987 I read in a newspaper and in that newspaper there was an article on Mr Motsopeng(?), who was the leader of the PAC. Mr Motsopeng was a very militant person and he explained what the PAC was about and I believed that they were the best organisation to join towards the road to liberation.

MS DE KLERK: So did you agree with the PAC's political philosophies?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I did.

MS DE KLERK: Did you have any reservations about the PAC's political philosophy?

MR SITHOLE: I did not have any reservations.

MS DE KLERK: As a youth when you were in school, did you play an active role in the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: When I was still at school I was not yet a member of the PAC, but I would take part in demonstrations. For instance, when Griffiths Mxenge died in 1985, I was part of the people who protested and demonstrated against the death of Mr Mxenge, as well as taking part in other demonstrations that were held.

MS DE KLERK: What was your role in the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: I was an ordinary member of the PAC, but since I was interested in recruiting persons to join the PAC, that's what I did in my area.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there a PAC branch for instance in your area, or wasn't it a structured organisation in the sense of having branches and chairpersons and that kind of thing?

MR SITHOLE: There was no formal structure in my area, that is why I had initiated attempts to recruit people so that we could formalise a structure and have a branch, a formal branch in our area.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS DE KLERK: How were decisions made within this informal structure?

MR SITHOLE: We would meet and discuss as PAC members and we would analyse the situation in the country and decide, discuss around which roles, what we could do to assist in the struggle towards liberation and the destabilisation of the apartheid government.

MS DE KLERK: How did you - who introduced you to the PAC? How did you become a member?

MR SITHOLE: Initially I was just a supporter of the PAC, until such time that I met Howmore who gave me details of contact persons in the PAC. He is the person also who got me PAC literature such as Manifestos and Constitutions. He advised me to join if I was interested, and join formally.

MS DE KLERK: So did you honestly believe that Howmore was a representative of the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: I believed him to a member of the PAC because he confirmed everything that I had heard about the PAC.

MS DE KLERK: Tell us a bit about the political instability in the area in which you lived, okay. Were people killed on a regular basis?

MR SITHOLE: The situation was very serious in the area, people were killed and there was ongoing conflict between ANC and IFP supporters. They would launch counter-attacks against one another. As such quite often people could not even sleep at night.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, I didn't hear you. Was there ongoing conflict between what? Which parties?

MR SITHOLE: It was between the ANC and IFP.

MS DE KLERK: How did your branch, if I may call it a branch, react to these killings?

MR SITHOLE: We viewed this conflict between the ANC and the IFP as a result of a campaign by the apartheid government who we believed were responsible for destabilising the black community, therefore we did not necessarily criticise the two organisations involved in the conflict, but we were critical government.

MS DE KLERK: Now tell us about the incident on the 9th of October 1990, where one person was murdered and six other people were injured, okay. Did you know these people?

MR SITHOLE: You are referring to the people who died?

MS DE KLERK: The one person died and six others were injured, did you know these people?

MR SITHOLE: No, I did not know them.

MS DE KLERK: And yet you attacked these people.

MR SITHOLE: Yes, we did.

MS DE KLERK: Why did you attack these people?

MR SITHOLE: We were of the belief that all whites in this country played a role in the exploitation of black people in this country because in all areas at their places of employment, people were complaining about the exploitation that they suffered at the hands of white people, so that from the top to the bottom everyone implemented the policy of apartheid because they created problems for black people in every sphere of their lives. That is why I believed that they were all responsible for the exploitation and the suffering that was experienced by black people.

MS DE KLERK: So I take it then that this attack was inflicted on any white persons.

MR SITHOLE: That is correct.

MS DE KLERK: So you weren't specific in your attack at all?

MR SITHOLE: We were not specific on who we attacked, we were just after the oppressors.

MS DE KLERK: And the oppressors were?

MR SITHOLE: The white people I've just referred to who were responsible for ensuring that the black person is oppressed and exploited.

MS DE KLERK: Who decided that this approach should be adopted? That is the killing of white people. Who decided?

MR SITHOLE: It was Howmore's idea that we should take a stand and do something because there was a population group that was content with the situation because they were the exploiters, therefore we also had to take a stand and react to the situation so that they realise that we are feeling the pain.

MS DE KLERK: Was it Howmore's personal decision or was this decision made by higher authority within the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: I communicated with Howmore, he's the person who discussed the matter with me, but there are other PAC members who took part in this discussion.

MS DE KLERK: Where did this discussion take place?

MR SITHOLE: The campaign to destabilise the apartheid government was a matter that was discussed daily, but there were instances where we met specifically for that reason. But this matter was an issue that was discussed very often, that we were being victimised. We would sometimes meet at my home, sometimes when we went to football camps we would also discuss these matters and we decided that we had to fight.

CHAIRPERSON: As I see it, that was the general discussion, but when was this particular operation planned and decided on?

MR SITHOLE: We were at my home. Prior to this discussion we had held various discussions with PAC members as well as with Howmore. On the 8th of October, Howmore arrived at my home in the company of other PAC members and that was where the plan was finalised that we were going to attack.

MS DE KLERK: Did you say that the meeting was held at your home?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, the meeting that finalised everything, and we also left from that meeting to go and launch the attack, but the decision had already been taken prior to the date, that is between myself, Howmore and other PAC members. My home was the place from which we left to go and launch the attack.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you kindly tell us about the meeting where the decision was taken. You say the decision was taken, you were there and Howmore was there and other PAC members, could you perhaps inform us more in detail about that meeting and who were present and who proposed what and were they leaders of the PAC or were they supporters or members? Who attended this meeting and who decided on the operation?

MR SITHOLE: As I mentioned before, the meeting was held at my home, I called other supporters of the PAC to my home and we waited for Howmore and other PAC members who were interested in taking part in the attack. When they arrived it had already agreed upon that we were going to launch the attack.

So they arrived and we discussed the matter. We were of the opinion that we could not take weapons with to go and launch this attack from that spot because we might be disturbed by forces within the government. It was therefore decided that we would acquire whatever weapons on our way. We then held a prayer and then thereafter left on that mission.

MS DE KLERK: Who was in control of the meeting?

MR SITHOLE: It was Howmore.

MS DE KLERK: And you've told us now what ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, we'll have to have more detail, a full disclosure about the people who accompanied him, who had the meeting, who decided.

MS DE KLERK: Who else was at the meeting besides Howmore and yourself? Do you know any of the other members' names?

MR SITHOLE: I do know some but I did not know the names of the people who were approached by Howmore. One of the people who were present was Ntlantla Mdema and Thembiso Zulu, as well as Sgorra Zulu, as well as Du Zulu who is now late, as well as another Ntlantla whose surname I've forgotten.

MS DE KLERK: Are you familiar with these people who attended this meeting?

MR SITHOLE: The people I've just mentioned were all very familiar to me, but Ntlantla Mdema was not very close to me, but the rest were the people I normally discussed issues with.

MS DE KLERK: Exactly what was discussed at this meeting?

MR SITHOLE: I should just clarify that before this meeting I had discussed with other PAC members and we had agreed on launching the attack and I had also explained to them that Howmore had come up with this idea and it was generally accepted. So that when we went to my home it was just to meet and finalise everything and leave for the attack, but agreement had already been reached on the attack prior to this meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, in order to avoid coming back matters, whenever he refers to "we decided, we did this", he should give us the names of people who decided because otherwise we'll have to come back later and ask the same questions over and over, so kindly clear this up before he goes about he's trying to tell us.

MR SITHOLE: The people I'm referring to, those whose names I've just mentioned, that is Thembiso, and Sgorra and Du Zulu as well as Ntlantla Mdema ...(intervention)

ADV SIGODI: Can I just interpose here and get clarity on this. Your applicant, Mr Rodney Tembe, has his name been mentioned here? Is he known as Thembi Zulu too? Was he present at the meeting?

MR SITHOLE: I do not recall seeing him at home because I first started to know Mr Tembe after our arrest. Possibly he could have been one of the people who accompanied Howmore, or who was known to Howmore, but I did not know him at the time.

ADV SIGODI: And can you just give us an indication of how many people attending the meeting at your home?

MR SITHOLE: All in all, including those who came with Howmore, I would estimate them to be around 12 or 15 but I do not have the exact figure.

ADV SIGODI: Thank you, Ms de Klerk, you may continue.

MS DE KLERK: When you keep on speaking about an attack, what attack are you speaking about?

MR SITHOLE: The attack that was going to be directed against the oppressors who were white people.

MS DE KLERK: What type of attack?

MR SITHOLE: We were going to use knives to launch the attack.

MS DE KLERK: Was it only knives that was agreed on, or was it any weapon that could be used?

MR SITHOLE: It was only knives that we had agreed upon.

MS DE KLERK: For that specific attack on the 9th of October or for any other attack that came thereafter?

MR SITHOLE: It was with regards to the attack on the 9th, that is where we had agreed on using knives because those were the only weapons accessible to us, we did not have firearms.

MS DE KLERK: So at the meeting held at your home, was it agreed that - sorry, did you make a decision in the relation to the attack on the 9th of October, or a blanket decision that you would attack white people?

MR SITHOLE: We made a decision about the 9th, that was the date on which we had agreed to launch the attack.

CHAIRPERSON: Right thank you, could we now proceed. People left your house, did you leave together and where did you go?

MR SITHOLE: Please repeat that question.

CHAIRPERSON: You've decided now on the attack and you were meeting at your home, did you leave all together, going down to the city or where did you and what happened as a result of the decision you've taken?

MR SITHOLE: After we had finalised everything, Howmore gave me the responsibility of security a vehicle that would transport us to the beachfront. I went out to the streets and a white vehicle approached and I stopped it. I then requested from the driver to take us to the Point area. He enquired how many we were and I gave him the number of 13 and he said he wanted money. I agreed to pay him R50. Thereafter he transported us to the Point.

MS DE KLERK: When you got to the Point, what happened then?

MR SITHOLE: We alighted from the vehicle and just walked about and proceeded towards the beachfront. There was an area where there were benches on which we just sat and just played soccer and in the meantime we would just discuss and also pray to give us strength.

MS DE KLERK: What time did you get to the beachfront?

MR SITHOLE: I think it was about eleven, quarter past eleven.

MS DE KLERK: The night before the incident on the 9th?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, it was.

MS DE KLERK: So what did you all do that evening?

MR SITHOLE: We were just relaxing and we had a soccer ball which we played and we would use this as a decoy so that the police would not take much interest in us. We were also firm believers in prayer, so we would pray and try to encourage one another so that we are strong and brave to carry out the mission. We were even prepared to die, so we were motivating one another.

MS DE KLERK: Tell us about the incident on the 9th of October now. What was your role?

MR SITHOLE: The following morning we then went to a shop - I omitted something earlier. When we arrived there the night before we then stayed around the area, but Howmore, myself and two other comrades went around the area to investigate the shops from which we could good knives, so that on the following day we already knew which shop we would target.

So we went to a shop, bought something to eat and thereafter we went to this shop we had targeted where we would get a knife. Howmore went inside and pulled out a shelf where the knives were kept. That was when we went in. I personally took two knives, one which I put around my waist and the other I carried in my hand. When I went out, Howmore had already left the shop and I saw him in front of me. At that time I saw him stabbing the first white person and a young woman approached and I stabbed her.

From there I proceed and towards the corner there was a boy who was selling newspapers, who stepped aside. As I turned the corner another white woman approached and as I carried the knife in my hand in that fashion, she bowed her head and I stabbed her on the neck.

INTERPRETER: As the applicant indicated.

MR SITHOLE: I could feel that the knife did not really go in that deep.

Thereafter I heard gunshots and I went behind Checkers where there was a truck parked. I took the knife and threw it under that vehicle and ran towards the lift in the Checkers store.

Thereafter I went out of the lift and proceeded towards the Post Office. On my way I met Mr Tembe and we just walked slowly, so that we do not attract any attention. That is why we decided to walk very slowly. We stopped next to the Post Office, we went inside and came out again.

At that time I had the knife that was around my waist. We went towards a park. As we were in that park policemen approached and they stopped us. They ordered us to raise our hands and they found the knife that was on my waist and that was when I was arrested.

MS DE KLERK: Why did you keep the one knife on you?

MR SITHOLE: I knew that the white people could have noticed us and they could have followed us, so it was important to keep the knife so that if they do approach I am able to use it to make my way through.

MS DE KLERK: When you say make your way through, do you mean defend yourself?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, to be able to defend myself and find my way out.

MS DE KLERK: How did you feel about the incident that had just occurred? - what you had done. How did you feel about it?

MR SITHOLE: Are you asking me how I feel about it now?

MS DE KLERK: No, after you had stabbed these white ladies, how did you feel about it?

MR SITHOLE: I was satisfied that I had played some role in expressing my anger towards the exploiters. I was satisfied because even my forefathers had died for this cause for this country, so I did not care what happened to me.

MS DE KLERK: Did you know that what you had done was wrong?

MR SITHOLE: What I did I did because the government was illegitimate, therefore I did not regard myself as falling under any, or being governed by any laws that were passed by that illegitimate government. Therefore, I did not look at it as being wrong. But when you look at it in human terms, yes, it could be regarded as wrong, but at the time I was fighting against the oppressor and that is how I viewed it.

MS DE KLERK: You say that you were fighting against the oppressor, but you stabbed innocent white people, how do you reconcile the two?

MR SITHOLE: As I explained before, apartheid was not only being implemented by the government at the top or the police and the military only, for it to succeed it was necessary for white people to implement apartheid at workplaces, that is why people were always suffering at the hands of white people at their workplaces, and they were being exploited by the very same people who were alleged to be innocent. All white people were responsible for ensuring that the white government succeeds in exploiting and oppressing people.

When I grew up I would do odd jobs in white people's homes. When you get there you would be made to feel that you are nothing, even the child in that house would know that you are basically nothing and you would be treated as such. Therefore, there was that education that went around in the white community to enforce apartheid, so that we as black people feel it in every sphere of our lives and therefore I viewed them as having been, all of them being responsible for the suffering that we felt.

MS DE KLERK: Did you receive any compensation for your part in the stabbing?

MR SITHOLE: The only compensation that I received is the liberation that we enjoy today.

MS DE KLERK: Did you participate in the stabbings out of any malice, ill-will or spite? Personal malice, personal ill-will, personal spite.

MR SITHOLE: A person who has a history of exploiting you, oppressing you, is generally viewed as not being good, but the overall intention was to build up this country.

MS DE KLERK: What happened after the incident? You were arrested were you not, as you've told us?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I was arrested.

MS DE KLERK: Were the stabbings reported to the National Branch of the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: After this incident we were taken to CR Swart and I am made to understand that PAC leaders would come and request to see us, but they were not permitted to do so, but after while some did arrive and they were permitted to see us and they would bring us things like toiletries and such.

MS DE KLERK: What was their reaction to this course of action that you and Howmore and the other members had embarked on?

MR SITHOLE: When they arrived they were very happy and they chanted slogans and they informed us they were in the process of securing attorneys for our case and they're going to take up our case.

ADV SIGODI: Can you give us any names of key people who came to see you and undertook to assist you?

MR SITHOLE: At the time it was Eunice who came, as well as another gentleman whose name I do not recall, as well as another young lady, but I knew Eunice.

ADV SIGODI: Did she occupy any particular position at the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: She was employed by the unions at the time, I'm not sure whether it was NACTO(?) or not, but she was also a member of the PAC. I am not certain of her position within the organisation, but I would normally find her at PAC offices.

ADV SIGODI: Thank you. Ms de Klerk, you may continue.

MS DE KLERK: What was the reaction of the community to this incident on the 9th of October?

MR SITHOLE: I would not be able to comment on that because I was already incarcerated, but what happened is that after we did this, some AWB members from Empangeni came looking for us and when they did not find us they shot at a bus where many people were killed. That was the only reaction that I got to know of.

MS DE KLERK: How do you know that these AWB members were looking for you specifically?

MR SITHOLE: It was mentioned in the media and I also heard about it when they appeared before the Truth Commission, that they were indeed looking for us.

MS DE KLERK: So do you feel that these stabbings on the 9th of October, that it achieved its objective?

MR SITHOLE: For the reason is liberated today, I believe that yes, it did achieve the objectives that were intended, that is to destabilise the apartheid government and show everyone that that government could not even protect their own and in that manner they could be able - that would make way for a democratic government.

MS DE KLERK: You were criminally charged for your role that you played in this incident, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: That's correct.

MS DE KLERK: Who represented you at the trial?

MR SITHOLE: At first it was an attorney by the name of Mavundla, when we were still at the Regional Court. When the case went to the Supreme Court we were represented by Adv Phoswa.

MS DE KLERK: Who paid for your legal representation?

MR SITHOLE: It was the organisation, the PAC.

MS DE KLERK: How many others stood trial with you?

MR SITHOLE: It was myself, Stembiso next to me, Ntlantla Mdema as well as Duduzi Buthelezi, as well Sgorra Zulu and Du Zulu, who has since passed away in prison, as well as Ndodo.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you perhaps refer to page 64 of the bundle, 12 names are appearing there and they were your co-accused I presume.

MR SITHOLE: About 12, ja.

CHAIRPERSON: No, not about 12, exactly 12.

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I do see it.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they all convicted or were some of them acquitted?

MR SITHOLE: The only people who were convicted was myself and the co-applicant.

MS DE KLERK: What was your defence at the trial?

MR SITHOLE: I personally did not testify in Court, it was the advocate who put forward a defence.

CHAIRPERSON: I see according to the indictment that Howmore was about 40 years of age, so he was far older than all of you? Or at least there's one other one, number one, Stembiso Johannes Zulu, he was also about 36 years of age, the rest of you were in your 20s and teens, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, although I do not know his age, Howmore was older than us.

CHAIRPERSON: And Howmore couldn't stand trial because he was mentally ill, is that correct?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, that is what was said in Court.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know when he became mentally ill, or did he behave in the same manner as he behaved right through from the first time you've met him?

MR SITHOLE: I only heard about his mental illness over the radio, but I was not aware that he was ill. And also for the fact that we used to have discussions with him and we would communicate effectively. He would also tell us that the enemy was white persons, not fellow Africans, so I did not regard him as a mentally unstable person. He had never mentioned anything to me that indicated that he was ill.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you seen him since?

MR SITHOLE: No, I've not seen him because he is in Medium A and I'm in Medium B.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS DE KLERK: How long were you incarcerated as an awaiting trial prisoner?

MR SITHOLE: I was arrested on the 9th of October 1990 and I was only convicted on the 15th of May 1992, and I spent all that time incarcerated.

MS DE KLERK: Was Howmore also incarcerated at the same time as you? Was he arrested on the same day, on the 9th of October?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I received reports that he had sustained injuries after being shot but he was under police guard in hospital.

MS DE KLERK: So as far as you know - sorry, was Howmore, after he recovered from his injury, was he then placed in awaiting trial prison, the same as you?

MR SITHOLE: No, he spent some time in hospital and after he recovered we were able to meet, see each other. Sometimes he would be taken back to the hospital and sometimes he would be with us.

MS DE KLERK: So was he also an awaiting prisoner? Was he not granted bail?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, he was not granted bail, just like the rest of us.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that your evidence-in-chief?

MS DE KLERK: No, there's just one other little aspect.

How do you feel now about the incident on the 9th of October?

MR SITHOLE: My feelings and thoughts are gravely influenced by the political situation, so that today I would not be in a position to do something of that nature because the political situation has changed, but it is not something that I would have done had it not been for the fact that white people were behind black people slaughtering one another.

MS DE KLERK: What do you think were the consequences of the killing and the stabbings of the deceased's family and the victims' families?

MR SITHOLE: A person who has lost a loved one or who sustained injuries feels pain, that is a natural process, so I do know that those who lost their loved ones felt pain and were emotionally affected.

MS DE KLERK: Do you have anything to say to these people or to their families?

MR SITHOLE: Yes. What I can state is we should all be grateful that the government of the day is doing its best to reconcile everyone in this country. So what I would say to them is, let us strengthen the democratic order that is prevalent so that we can all reconcile and be able to live with one another. And I will also apologise to them and say it was the result of the government's actions that the incident took place.

MS DE KLERK: In terms of this offence you were sentenced to imprisonment, how long, how many years were you sentenced to?

MR SITHOLE: I was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

MS DE KLERK: How many years have you served of your sentence?

MR SITHOLE: I have served my sentence from 1992, May, up to today, that's about seven years and eight months, I'm not certain.

MS DE KLERK: What were the consequences of your imprisonment for your family and your dependant?

MR SITHOLE: That is an unfortunate bit because we are not rich people, so that the situation became worse and life became very difficult for my family because when you are incarcerated your family also incurs a lot of expenses. So they have suffered quite gravely because of that.

MS DE KLERK: Why are you now seeking amnesty?

MR SITHOLE: It is because I believe that my actions were motivated by the political situation and I am prepared today to be able to live in harmony with the people who were my political rivals at the time.

MS DE KLERK: If you were granted amnesty, what would you do?

CHAIRPERSON: Really that is not a requirement of the Act, if you could tell us which requirement of the Act you're referring to in leading the evidence, then it would be relevant for us on the issues we've got to decide. I know for reconciliation purposes it is perhaps necessary to lead evidence about the sufferings he had and the apologies to victims, but it's not requirements of the Act for amnesty.

MS DE KLERK: Mr Chairperson, Mr Sithole has specifically asked if he could say something to the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: Well he's said it now.

MS DE KLERK: That is the evidence.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS DE KLERK

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Questions? Is there anybody representing any victims, or are you representing the victims?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, as far as I know I will be assisting them and I was about to ask the Committee for a five minute adjournment so that I can consult with them because they were not yet present when we started the hearing, so I have not had the opportunity to speak to them.

CHAIRPERSON: Would five minutes suit you?

MS MTANGA: I would think so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, let us know as soon as you are ready and try to be punctual.

MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn for five minutes.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

ZAMAGUTLE GREGORY SITHOLE: (s.u.o.)

MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson. If I may just indicate for the record, the only victim in this matter who has attended the hearing is Ms Aden Pearce. I have passed around the statement that she made to the Human Rights Violations Committee. I'm not sure if the Committee has got that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Sithole, I have very few questions to put to you, the first one is a personal question from Ms Pearce, who is the victim of this incident, she's sitting right next to me here. She would like to know what were you wearing on the day of this incident. On the 9th of October, what were you wearing?

MR SITHOLE: I was wearing something red, it was a T-shirt or a sweater with long sleeves, red in colour, and then underneath that red T-shirt I also had another PAC T-shirt.

MS MTANGA: Do you know if any person was wearing a peach T-shirt? Or when you say red, do you mean led like the lights on this or something that's closer to being peach?

MR SITHOLE: It was almost red, but it was blood red, almost like what I'm pointing here. A long-sleeved T-shirt.

MS MTANGA: The reason that I'm asking you is Ms Pearce is of the view that the person who attacked her on that day was wearing a peach T-shirt and in your evidence when you mentioned that you attacked a young lady, she seems to believe that you are the person who attacked her, and it's been important for her to know who was her attacker on that day. Do you remember her face by looking at her?

MR SITHOLE: I'd be lying if I can say I can recognise her. I cannot recognise her.

CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't it be perhaps of assistance if Ms Pearce could tell us where she was wounded, where she actually was stabbed?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, must I allow her to speak?

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, or you could ask her and tell us, or she could tell us if she wants to.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, Ms Pearce is indicating that she had a superficial wound on her head and then a second serious stab wound was on her left leg and then it came out to the upper part of her thigh and that this stabbing took place just outside Lonsdale Hotel.

CHAIRPERSON: But the applicant testified that he stabbed at somebody, as I understood it, behind the neck.

MS MTANGA: That was - I think he was referring to the old lady, that's the second victim, the first victim was a young person. I don't specifically recall his evidence about how that person was stabbed.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I don't think he told us about that.

MS MTANGA: Mr Sithole, can you please - are you able to recall the first victim, whereabout did you attack here? That is, the place.

MR SITHOLE: Below, I will say below her body.

CHAIRPERSON: And do you know whether that occurred near to the Lonsdale Hotel?

MR SITHOLE: I didn't take notice of the hotel, therefore I wouldn't know near which hotel it occurred. I only know about this now that it happened near the hotel, but I didn't take notice of any hotel.

CHAIRPERSON: Where exactly, vicinity-wise, did you stab the first woman? Near to the shop? Which shop, could you still remember?

MR SITHOLE: I am not familiar with Point area, therefore I wouldn't be able to say near which area.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but it was near the shop where you got the knives, wasn't it? I understood you to say you came out of the shop, saw Howmore already stabbing a person, proceeded ...(indistinct) and the first person you saw you stabbed.

MR SITHOLE: It wasn't nearby, but it was in the vicinity of that shop.

ADV SIGODI: Could you not perhaps assist by telling us whether you recollect what the victim was wearing?

MR SITHOLE: No, I cannot, I cannot remember what they were wearing.

MS MTANGA: Okay, just my last assistance to you, Mr Sithole, Ms Pearce is indicating that the Lonsdale Hotel is next to the shop where you got the knife and secondly, she was carrying a surfing board, a silver surfing board. That is the board used by people who are swimming. Do you recall that?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, I do remember a surfing board, I think it was white, but I do remember seeing a surfing board. I do remember that.

MS MTANGA: I won't pursue this question any further. Chairperson, it does appear that in all probabilities the applicant may have been the person who stabbed Ms Pearce.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we're not called upon to make a finding on who stabbed who because we're not in a criminal trial now, we're dealing with the opposite actually.

MS MTANGA: Yes, Chairperson, I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: But I think at least it may bring some certainty to the victim.

MS MTANGA: Yes, Chairperson, thank you.

Mr Sithole, your co-applicant, Mr Tembe, do you - I'll put my question this way. At the time you arrived at Point, did you have further discussions about the attack that you went to carry out the next day, that was on the 9th of October?

MR SITHOLE: As I've already mentioned, when we left home we had already discussed about the attack and when we arrived there all we did was to encourage each other and to be brave, and we also decided that only the few of us will go. It was myself and two other comrades. We went to this shop to buy knives. That's what happened. And we found a certain shop which had knives, so we decided to go buy those knives there.

MS MTANGA: If I understand your evidence well, are you saying that the purpose for your going to Point on that day was to carry out this offence on the following day?

MR SITHOLE: As we arrived on the 8th, we were going to launch the attack on the 9th. The 9th was the date which we planned to launch the attack, but we arrived at the beach on the 8th. We looked for a shop which was selling knives. We were preparing for the following day.

MS MTANGA: You also indicated in your evidence that there were other comrades from other places whom met you at the Point area, how many people were these people, how many were they?

MR SITHOLE: I wouldn't be able to say with certainty the number, but what I can say is that when I was home, Howmore came together with other comrades. I think they were ...(intervention)

MS MTANGA: Mr Sithole, if I may come in there. Your evidence on that, you said the total number that was at your house, including the number that Howmore brought totalled to about 12 to 15 people, am I correct? That left your home to Point.

MR SITHOLE: Right, right.

MS MTANGA: And now what I'm asking you is, when you got to Point, were there other comrades waiting for you there besides these 12 to 15 people that you came with?

MR SITHOLE: Yes, there were, they arrived there.

MS MTANGA: And then my question was, how many people were there that you found at Point when you arrived with your group of about 12 to 15 people?

MR SITHOLE: No, I didn't count them. We arrived there at night, we met at the beach, but I didn't count them. But it was a group.

MS MTANGA: This group or the other group that you found there, where were they coming from, do you know?

MR SITHOLE: Howmore told me some of them were staying in town in the flats.

MS MTANGA: Were they aware of the purpose for meeting at Point on that day?

MR SITHOLE: Since Howmore had already mentioned that there were the other group which was going to meet with us, I think, in fact I'm certain that he had already communicated with this other group. They knew because they met with Howmore and Howmore also came to me and told me that they were prepared to go ahead with the plan. So I think to my knowledge, we were all there for one purpose.

MS MTANGA: Okay. On the 9th of October, do you recall an incident where some white people were attacking black street hawkers?

MR SITHOLE: I didn't see that. As I've already mentioned, I left home knowing very well why I was going there, but I didn't see any whites attacking anyone.

MS MTANGA: The reason that I'm asking you this, Mr Sithole, is that on page 45 we have an affidavit of your co-applicant, Mr Rodney Stembiso Tembe, that's the typed version. The first paragraph is paragraph 4, the third-last line. It reads as follows -

"This meeting had nothing to do with what happened the next day, that is the committal of the offence, but we were discussing some other issues of the organisation."

That's what Mr Tembe says, that at the meeting on the 8th that took place for the whole night, had nothing to do with the incident that took place the following morning. I want you to take note of that.

Secondly, he goes on and he says in paragraph 5 -

"On the day of the offence, the 9th October 1990 at about 9, we were coming from the said meeting, walking in a group with my comrades, when we were at the corners of West Street and Point Road, we noticed certain white people in civilian clothes assaulting some black white(sic) street hawkers with sjambocks. This annoyed us and we intervened. We went inside a certain neighbour shop and armed ourselves with knives. We attacked every white we met in the vicinity and in this struggle one was killed and several other injured. I do not know their identity."

There is no-one who - on paragraph 6, page 46 he goes on and he says -

"There is no-one who specifically gave us orders but we all acted on our own initiative."

What do you say to this, Mr Sithole?

MR SITHOLE: As he is saying that no-one gave orders he's referring to the black street hawkers who were assaulting blacks. He's talking about something else and I have no idea about that. I am referring about the incident in which I took part.

I left home knowing very well why I was going to the beachfront and I prepared for that and I also looked for a shop where I can buy knives. I did this on the 8th, knowing very well that I was going to do that on the 9th, not that I was going to assault whites who were assaulting hawkers. No whites did this to me. I prepared this prior to the 9th, to show that I knew very well why I was in Durban and why I was at the beachfront.

MS MTANGA: Was the purpose of your presence at Point on the 9th, communicated to other comrades that you found at Point, Mr Sithole?

MR SITHOLE: As I've already mentioned, on the 8th in the meeting we planned about this and we were saying that the day which we were going to do this was the following day. We were encouraging each other and I think everyone knew about this. In fact, according to my knowledge everyone knew because we also left there to look for knives. It was because the aim was going to assault whites. They knew that.

MS MTANGA: When you went looking for a shop where you could get knives, that is the night before, was Mr Tembe amongst that group that went looking for knives?

MR SITHOLE: The only group which left was the one which went to look for a shop in order to take knives, and I don't remember seeing him. We were four.

CHAIRPERSON: At the prayers - you prayed that night for courage, did everybody attend the prayers there? All the members of the group.

MR SITHOLE: Everyone who was there and who came to that place for that, therefore we prayed all together because we were talking to each other. I didn't see any other person and we were doing one thing, all of us. Even when I went to look for a shop which had knives, I was doing that because we didn't want to jeopardise our chance. Maybe somebody left and couldn't hear the whole plan.

MS MTANGA: Mr Sithole, I find it very strange and difficult to understand why, if there was such a meeting at all where prayers were involved, trying to strengthen people for an operation to be carried out the next day, why would someone like Mr Tembe know nothing about that kind of preparation if there was such a preparation? Can you help me understand why?

MR SITHOLE: It doesn't confuse you alone, I'm also confused about that. Maybe he left for a while but I'm not sure. It is difficult for me to explain, maybe he will explain.

MS MTANGA: Okay, I'll move on Mr Sithole. In your application you mention that the incident by Barend Strydom where he attacked black people, influenced you to carry out this offence, can you explain how did this influence you?

MR SITHOLE: The incident about Barend Strydom is one of the things which boers and whites used to do to the Africans in their own land. Yes, it was another incident which we used to elaborate to other comrades, to illustrate to them as to how cruel whites can be and we used to say whites hate us to the extent that these white men took a gun to the streets and just shot at blacks. And we told each other that we were in the war, not that we were just fighting them, but they were also fighting us. These were the things we used to talk about. We used to use what Barend Strydom had done as an example to other comrades.

MS MTANGA: One of the important requirements for the Act is that an act that a person applies for must be an act where a person is furthering the political objective of his organisation, or the struggle of his organisation, how would you say this attack on white people by stabbing them, furthered the political struggle of your organisation, the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: My organisation had an aim to liberate Africans from the oppressors and for one to be able to liberate his people, you're supposed to attack the oppressors because they are the ones who are oppressing you. Whites are part of the oppression or they were part of the oppression, therefore if you wanted to remove this oppression you were supposed to attack the oppressors.

In fact, you were supposed to attack them so that they know, it becomes clear to them that the government cannot protect there, therefore they will doubt that government. In that way you would be able to recruit most people to look for another government, so that they can trust that government. Once they lose trust in that present government then they will look for another government, or once they realise that their trust is not on the right place, then they will turn against that government.

MS MTANGA: In your evidence you've made it clear that you took orders or you were instructed by Howmore Ngcobo to carry out this operation and it was planned by him, what made you accept orders from Howmore Ngcobo?

MR SITHOLE: Howmore is a member of the PAC, everything he said it was according to the PAC policies and another thing, he came and he helped us, he showed us that he can help us all the way because sometimes he will contact PAC offices, he will bring documents from PAC offices for us to read, and T-shirts. We had so much trust in him. We trusted him a lot and we realised that he taught us one good thing that we should never, not even by mistake, kill someone who is also an oppressed like you are.

MS MTANGA: Do you know at which branch did Mr Howmore Ngcobo join the PAC?

MR SITHOLE: No, I don't know in which branch he joined, but he will go to different offices and different regions, sometimes in Johannesburg and he will bring T-shirts and documents. It is difficult for me to know which branch he joined as a member.

MS MTANGA: Did he ever show you his membership card?

MR SITHOLE: Yes.

MS MTANGA: Do you know any PAC person who is well known, that he was communicating with? Or liaising with at that time.

MR SITHOLE: Bennie. I don't know if you know Bennie, Bennie Alexander. Sometimes he will go and see him in Johannesburg, Motsamai as well, and sometimes he will sleep over at Motsamai's home because they were students in UDW, both of them, University of Durban, Westville.

CHAIRPERSON: Was one of the members who gathered with you, wasn't he the bodyguard of Mr Makwetu?

MR SITHOLE: Some of the comrades who were there with us I didn't know their jobs.

CHAIRPERSON: So you don't know whether the bodyguard of Mr Makwetu was included in the group?

MR SITHOLE: No.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS MTANGA

CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS DE KLERK: There's just one.

On the day of the incident when you stabbed these two white females, how did it happen, how did everything happen? Was it quick, was it slow, did it happen over a long period or a short period of time? How did it happen?

MR SITHOLE: It was quick. It was too quick.

MS DE KLERK: So you didn't really have a chance to take special notice of any particular things?

MR SITHOLE: No, I couldn't because it was too quick. In fact, it was so quick that one wanted to continue going to the next victim, two, three victims, and then run away.

MS DE KLERK: That's all, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS DE KLERK

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Any questions?

Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Could you then call the next applicant?

MS DE KLERK: I call Mr Tembe.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, it seems as though we're in time for the short adjournment. Could we start at - I think we're a bit over time, shall we make it twenty past. Thank you. We're adjourning till twenty past eleven.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

NAME: STEMBISO RODNEY TEMBE

APPLICATION NO: AM5991/97

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ON RESUMPTION

MS DE KLERK: Mr Tembe, can we just go through a few personal details ...(intervention)

ADV SIGODI: We must first swear him in. Please give us your full names.

STEMBISO RODNEY TEMBE: (sworn states)

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, can I be allowed just a minute to obtain another bundle for myself? The person who was sitting next to me took my bundle with her. Thanks.

EXAMINATION BY MS DE KLERK: Mr Tembe, how old are you?

MR TEMBE: I'm 36 years old.

MS DE KLERK: ...(indistinct)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on.

MR TEMBE: Please repeat the question.

MS DE KLERK: Where are you currently residing?

MR TEMBE: At Umlazi, 315.

MS DE KLERK: Do you have any children?

MR TEMBE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: How many?

MR TEMBE: Two children. No sorry, one child.

MS DE KLERK: Are you married?

MR TEMBE: No.

MS DE KLERK: Where were you living before you went to prison?

MR TEMBE: At AmaWoti.

MS DE KLERK: How long did you live there?

MR TEMBE: I had residing there for a long time. At the time I was residing in town, but my home is at AmaWoti.

MS DE KLERK: Why were you residing at the flat in town?

MR TEMBE: It was because of the political situation at AmaWoti.

MS DE KLERK: At the time when you were living in AmaWoti, did you belong to a political party?

MR TEMBE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: What was the name of particular political party?

MR TEMBE: At that time it was the UDF Alliance. The UDF was closely aligned to the ANC and I fell out of favour with the ANC because of the fighting that was going on, so I left that organisation and joined the PAC when I started living in town.

MS DE KLERK: Why did you join the PAC?

MR TEMBE: It was because of their policies regarding the struggle.

MS DE KLERK: What were their policies regarding the struggle?

MR TEMBE: It was the restoration of Africa to Africans, because it belonged to them.

MS DE KLERK: And did you agree with the political philosophy of the PAC?

MR TEMBE: Yes, I did.

MS DE KLERK: Did you have any reservations about any of the PAC's philosophies, or did you agree with everything?

MR TEMBE: I agreed with everything.

MS DE KLERK: How did you become a member of the PAC?

MR TEMBE: After political organisations were unbanned, I decided to leave the ANC because I was no longer in agreement with their policies, as well as for the fact that there was ongoing fighting with the IFP, therefore I decided to join the PAC.

MS DE KLERK: What was your role in the PAC?

MR TEMBE: I was a supporter.

MS DE KLERK: So were you not a member of the PAC?

MR TEMBE: Yes, I was a member.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you receive a card, a membership card?

MR TEMBE: Yes, I did.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you receive the card, which year round about?

MR TEMBE: I think it was in 1990, when organisations were unbanned.

MS DE KLERK: You've mentioned that there was political instability in the area in which you lived prior to your moving to Durban, were many people killed there?

MR TEMBE: Yes, it was a war between the two political organisations and it was not clear why they had to fight amongst themselves when the oppressor was content and had nothing to do with their fight.

MS DE KLERK: Okay. You've heard Mr Sithole's evidence about the incident on the 9th of October 1990, is that correct?

MR TEMBE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: Can you tell us, on the evening of the 8th of October, where were you on that evening?

MR TEMBE: I was at my flat, from there I went to the beach where everyone had assembled.

MS DE KLERK: How did you know ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, the interpretation is coming through and I've put my apparatus on maximum, but it's very soft. I don't know whether you experience the same. Thank you, you can continue in the meantime.

INTERPRETER: Please repeat that question.

MS DE KLERK: I asked you where were you on the night of the 8th of October, the evening preceding the incident on the 9th of October.

MR TEMBE: I was at my flat and from there I went to the beachfront and that was not very far because I lived on West Street.

MS DE KLERK: How did you know that you had to go to the beachfront?

MR TEMBE: The incident had previously been discussed amongst comrades, so that I knew that it would take place on the 9th.

MS DE KLERK: No, my question is, how did you know that you were supposed to meet other people at the beachfront.

MR TEMBE: We already knew that the incident was going to take place on the 9th, that is the stabbing of white people, so Howmore and other comrades had already explained that we would all meet in the beachfront where other comrades from Mduzuma would be assembled.

MS DE KLERK: What happened when you met at the beachfront?

MR TEMBE: What I can say is that some comrades were playing soccer and some were sitting around because there was nothing new to discuss.

MS DE KLERK: What were you doing?

MR TEMBE: I was just sitting around and talking to other comrades, motivating each other and also talking generally, because as I mentioned before we already knew what was going to take place the next day.

MS DE KLERK: Okay. Can you tell us briefly what happened the next day, what role did you play the next day?

MR TEMBE: On the evening of the 8th I went to my flat to get something to eat and returned. The following morning we all left and proceeded to the shop where we obtained knives and thereafter we went out and attacked white people. When they went into the shop I was standing outside, Howmore came out of the shop and handed a knife to me. I had the knife, after which I heard some gunshots and thereafter I fled.

CHAIRPERSON: Howmore handed you the knife, and what did you do then?

MR TEMBE: When Howmore started stabbing the first person a gunshot rang off and at that sound I fled, so I did not do anything, I did not stab anybody.

MS DE KLERK: I want to refer you to page 45 of the bundle, that is a statement which you submitted in support of your application for amnesty. Please refer to paragraph 4, in the middle of paragraph 4. You said there -

"I can only remember Ntlantla, who was the bodyguard of the PAC President, Mr Makwetu, and who chaired the meeting. He is also dead."

Is this part of the statement correct?

MR TEMBE: Ntlantla did not chair the meeting, a mistake was committed there. He is a member of APLA and he was Mr Makwetu's bodyguard. He did arrive whilst we were at the beach, but I do not know what time he left. And he did not chair any meeting either.

MS DE KLERK: So why have you put in your statement that he chaired the meeting?

MR TEMBE: It could be that the person who took the statement did not understand me correctly.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you tell him about Mr Ntlantla?

MR TEMBE: The person enquired as to who in the higher echelons of the PAC was present that night, and I responded "I saw Ntlantla, who was Mr Makwetu's bodyguard", not that he chaired the meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. So he was present on the beach?

MR TEMBE: Yes, he did arrive, but I do not know when he left because I do not remember seeing him the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he aware of what was going to happen the following day?

MR TEMBE: All the comrades knew about it, and he had also come there to check on us, so I assumed that he was aware. Because this was a topic that was generally discussed amongst us, that we should launch an attack against white people.

CHAIRPERSON: Now why do you say he came to check on you?

MR TEMBE: He was there to check if we are there present at the beach, but I think he left at some point because I did not see him the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Proceed please.

MS DE KLERK: You also go on further by stating that this meeting had nothing to do with what happened the next day and in brackets it's got -

(Committal of the offence, but we were discussing some other issues of the organisation)

Why did you state that?

MR TEMBE: As I said before, everyone was aware that we were going to take the violence to white people on the 9th, so that on the 8th we were not discussing what we were going to do the following day, we were just discussing general issues affecting the PAC. There was no need to discuss the matter further because we already knew that we are going to take the violence to the white people and let them feel what we feel on the knife.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. But was there a meeting on the 8th, a separate meeting, not discussing the attack, the planned attack for the 9th? Was there another PAC meeting on the preceding day, the 8th?

MR TEMBE: It was not a formal meeting, it was just that we were together in preparation for the attack that we were going to launch the following day, we were not discussing details about the attack because at the time everyone knew what was going to happen the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he present at that meeting the previous day, Mr Ntlantla?

MR TEMBE: You mean on the 8th?

CHAIRPERSON: On the 8th.

MR TEMBE: Yes he did arrive on the 8th, I saw him, but I did not see him the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, but was he present at the meeting on the 8th or did you only see him at the beachfront? - while they were playing soccer there and he came to check on you.

MR TEMBE: We may be misunderstanding each other, there was no meeting held at the beachfront, we had just met there, gathered there for the action that we were going to take the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Now where did you gather on the 8th? Was there any gathering on the 8th which Mr Ntlantla attended?

MR TEMBE: We met at the beachfront, which was not to say we held a meeting, it was just being there together so that we all leave for the mission the following day.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you've stated here that this meeting on the 8th had nothing to do with the planning of the attack the following day, it was a gathering which was chaired by Mr Ntlantla. Was there such a meeting or wasn't there such a meeting?

MR TEMBE: It was not a formal meeting, we had just gathered for the following day. That is where I saw Ntlantla. But as Mr Sithole had mentioned earlier, they might have held a meeting at his home but at the beachfront we already were aware of what was going to happen the following day. People were just sitting around, playing soccer.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may proceed.

MS DE KLERK: In paragraph 5 of your statement you say that -

"When we were at the corners of West Street and Point Road we noticed certain white people in civilian clothes, assaulting some black street hawkers with sjambocks."

When you speak about this incident, when was this incident and who are you referring to when you say "we"?

MR TEMBE: This does not refer to the 9th, this is something that took place generally along the beachfront and it still happens up to this day that street hawkers would be assaulted by white people and they would be assaulted because white people claimed the beachfront belonged to them.

CHAIRPERSON: On that day - did you see white people on that particular day, the 9th of October before the attack? Did you see white people sjambocking hawkers on that particular day?

MR TEMBE: No, not on that day.

MS DE KLERK: So why then did you mention it in your statement?

MR TEMBE: Perhaps the person who took the statement did not understand me, he asked me what led to this incident and I explained about my background, where I came from. For instance ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: As far as this misunderstanding is concerned, the person who took the statement, who was it?

MR TEMBE: A certain gentleman ...(intervention)

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, if I may assist, it's our Investigator Joshua Skumbuzo Cele, TRC Investigator.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was it?

MS MTANGA: An Investigator, Joshua Skumbuzo Cele.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he Zulu-speaking?

MS MTANGA: He's Zulu-speaking, based here in Durban.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you later go to a police station or a police officer who attested to this statement, Inspector Cele?

MR TEMBE: No, he came to my home and took a statement and asked me to sign the statement, which I did, and I related the incident to him and he would write down.

CHAIRPERSON: And this statement was sworn to on the 11th of January, this is about two months ago.

MR TEMBE: Yes, it may be around that time because he found me at home at about nine in the morning.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Another thing, can you read English?

MR TEMBE: Yes, but my understanding is not that good.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you read this statement before you signed it?

MR TEMBE: No, he just informed me that he had noted down what I had related to him and he requested me to sign the statement.

CHAIRPERSON: And was that before the Commissioner of Oaths, Inspector Cele?

MR TEMBE: It's one and the same person.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS DE KLERK: So when you say that this incident, seeing white people sjambocking black street hawkers, then you say that:

"This annoyed us and we intervened."

What do you mean there when you say that?

MR TEMBE: I was referring to the fact that this was one of the incidents and factors that annoyed and aggrieved us. When this gentleman came to my home, he enquired as to what led to the incident and I related the story that black women were assaulted, black hawkers were assaulted by white people along the beach and this was a usual occurrence and it did affect us. That is what I was explaining.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you ever intervene in such an assault? Come between the two people, the aggressor and the victim being assaulted? Did you intervene and try to prevent the assault?

MR TEMBE: No, I did not intervene, but that was one of the reasons why I joined the PAC, because they stood up for the rights of black people and I believed that they were the organisation that was going to liberate us.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you present seeing these people assaulting the hawkers? Standing by there?

MR TEMBE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did that happen?

MR TEMBE: Along the beachfront.

CHAIRPERSON: When did it happen?

MR TEMBE: As a person who resided nearby, I used to see this happening. It was a usual occurrence and it hurt me when I witnessed such things.

CHAIRPERSON: Well could you tell us, did you witness such an incident the day before, 10 days before the attack on the 9th?

MR TEMBE: I am not in a position to specify that, but if you were to go to the beachfront and enquire from the hawkers there as to the assaults that they suffer at the hands of white people, they would also be able to tell you. Because there is that belief amongst white people that the hawkers do not belong there, they are there to bring disorder to the beachfront.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV BOSMAN: May I just ask, are you referring to white civilians or are you referring to white municipal policemen when you talk about these assaults on hawkers?

MR TEMBE: I am referring to white people in general.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Ms de Klerk.

MS DE KLERK: Mr Tembe, please take a look at page 29 of the bundle, paragraph 7(a). Can you please read the question there and your answer to that question.

MR TEMBE:

"If you are an officer or were an officer or held a position or was a member or a supporter of a political organisation, institution or a liberation movement, please supply the name."

The response was a mistake because my first application was misplaced, so this I did in a hurry and I responded by "no", because I am a member of the PAC.

MS DE KLERK: And the second paragraph, paragraph (b), what was that question asked and what was your response thereto?

MR TEMBE:

"State the role you played in that political organisation, institution or liberation movement of which you were a member and give the membership number if applicable."

And the response was -

"I was a member of the PAC."

At the time I had forgotten my membership number, so I did not write that down, but it should be recorded with the PAC offices, my number should be there.

MS DE KLERK: So is it correct that these two paragraphs that you've just read to me, you've made a mistake there, you've misread the question and you've incorrectly answered it?

MR TEMBE: Yes, there was a mistake because I am a member of the PAC.

MS DE KLERK: Can we proceed now. How did you feel about the incident of the stabbing on the 9th of October?

MR TEMBE: I was happy about it because I always believed that the violence should be taken to white people and it clearly demonstrated that we were sending a message to white people because assaulting one was representative of assaulting the rest.

MS DE KLERK: So by assaulting these white people, what did you hope to achieve? You as a member of the PAC.

MR TEMBE: As I've already mentioned, the government of this country was only interested in white people and by assaulting them we were going to expose the government to them to illustrate to them that they are not protected under that government. And in that fashion it would pave the way for the building and the forming of the new democratic government that would take the needs and interests of everyone to heart.

MS DE KLERK: Do you believe that this objective was achieved?

MR TEMBE: Yes, I believe so because right now we are under a democratic government that protects the rights of everyone.

MS DE KLERK: And at your trial, is it correct that Adv Phoswa also represented you?

MR TEMBE: Yes, he did.

MS DE KLERK: And is it correct that the PAC also paid for your legal representation?

MR TEMBE: That's correct.

MS DE KLERK: How do you feel now about the incident on the 9th of October?

MR TEMBE: I would say if the political situation at the time was similar to what we experience today, the incident would not have taken place. And I would also like to extend my regret to those who were injured and lost their loved ones, but the incident was a result of the political situation at the time.

MS DE KLERK: Is it correct that you received a 12 year imprisonment sentence with regard to the role that you played in this offence?

MR TEMBE: That is correct.

MS DE KLERK: And is it correct that you were released in November 1999?

MR TEMBE: That is correct.

MS DE KLERK: Mr Chairperson, that is the evidence.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS DE KLERK

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Tembe, your representative asked you how did you know about the meeting that was to take place on the 8th of October, who told you about that meeting? About the gathering.

MR TEMBE: I would say the incident had been discussed previously, that on this particular day we would embark on this mission, so on the 8th it was Howmore who informed me that we should meet at the beachfront, but that time I was aware that we were going to meet because I used to interact with other comrades.

MS MTANGA: As a member of the PAC at that time, were you aware of any structure that - or was there a structure that you belonged to, or a branch of the PAC that you were in contact with?

MR TEMBE: I was a member of the Durban branch.

MS MTANGA: Was there a person who sort of assumed the position of leadership in your group or in that branch, whom you would regard as a leader at that time?

MR TEMBE: As I've already mentioned, there was a PAC branch, there were leaders but that was just a regional office.

MS MTANGA: Whereabout was this office in town?

MR TEMBE: I do not recall the street name, but it was in the same block as the AZAPO and NACTO officers.

MS MTANGA: In which area in town?

MR TEMBE: It was in the centre of town.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was the Chairperson of that branch?

MR TEMBE: In the PAC we normally call ourselves Africans, that is why I do not know their names. There were different who chaired meetings.

CHAIRPERSON: Well give us the names of the different people you're talking about.

MR TEMBE: For instance Ntlantla, sometimes Eunice. There was no person who had the responsibility of chairing the meetings, but it was different people and most of them I did not know their names because we normally call one another Africans.

MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Tembe, my understanding of the evidence of Mr Sithole is that the planning and the discussions about the operation that was to be taken on the 9th of October, was discussed in their informal group which was led Howmore Ngcobo. Now what I'm trying to understand from you is, you've indicated that you were based in town and you were not part of the discussions that took place at Sithole's house at Nduzuma. Now I need to know, in your meetings when did this discussion take place and who came up with the idea that this operation should take place on the 9th of October? Prior to you meeting on the 8th of October that is.

MR TEMBE: Howmore usually visited me and he would also sometimes spend nights at my home, so we usually held discussions and we would also distribute pamphlets with Howmore. As Mr Sithole has already mentioned, I was not at Nduzuma on that evening but at the time I already knew about the date because I had been told.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct) asking you whether you were at the meeting, we're accepting that you weren't at the meeting where Mr Sithole was, at Mr Sithole's house, she's asking you who planned or who informed you of the plan to act on - to carry out this operation on the 9th? Was there a meeting at your house, where was the gathering, who told you about the operation on the 9th?

MR TEMBE: It was Howmore who first approached me with that idea that we should take the violence to white people, to illustrate our anger.

MS MTANGA: Mr Sithole indicated that apart from their group that came from Nduzuma, there were people who came from town, and it appears you were amongst them, are you able to tell us how many people came from town who were there on the 8th, who gathered with the group from the township on the 8th of October?

MR TEMBE: I would say that I left my flat, went to look for them at the beachfront and I did not find them at first. I thereafter went to check my friends at some point and I also returned to the beachfront later and I found them there. The Africans that resided in town that I saw, was Welcome.

MS MTANGA: Are you able to estimate how many people were there in total at the meeting, and who were present the following morning?

MR TEMBE: I think there were less than 20 people.

CHAIRPERSON: Now we know about 12 to 15 came from Mr Sithole's area, how many of your friends staying in town, attended the gathering on the beachfront on the morning before the attack?

MR TEMBE: As I've mentioned, I found them already at the beach. That is on the second occasion when I went to look for them.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes no, I understand that, but can't you tell us how many of those people you found there came from your area, or don't you know?

MR TEMBE: I do not know ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If you don't know, just tell us you don't know.

MR TEMBE: I do not know.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja.

MS MTANGA: Mr Tembe, the reason that I'm asking you this question is I'm trying to understand. The evidence we have before us here is that this incident was planned way ahead of the date of the 9th of October, it was planned and it was well-known that on the 9th the attack will go on, and now I'm trying to understand how many people were told of this insensitive matter that was going to happen and how were they told. And in your case I'm finding it difficult because in Mr Sithole's case there was a meeting, a formal meeting where this was planned, and yet you are unable to say exactly how these instructions came to you that there was to be an operation on the 9th of October.

MR TEMBE: As I mentioned before, I was close to Howmore, we would meet and discuss and distribute pamphlets together. Many people were aware of the planned operation because we informed other Africans about the impeding attack. That was the retaliation on white people. But I'm not in a position to say how many people knew about the operation, but we did inform other comrades about it.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS MTANGA

CHAIRPERSON: I'm a bit concerned about the dispute arising as to a possible misunderstanding of the person who took down the affidavit. Affidavits are very important documents and I'll be very worried if somebody in the employ of the TRC, wouldn't take great care in preparing an affidavit, because that could lead to injustices being done. So if this Investigator is present I'd like him to explain to us whether there was a misunderstanding and how this misunderstanding came abut. I don't know if you could find out whether he could assist us please.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I think Mr Cele is available in the office, I have seen him this morning. Maybe if the Committee could allow a short adjournment for me to ask him to come here.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Tembe, it's still not quite clear to me, how many of the people that were gathered at this open space at the beachfront, how many of them did you actually know, apart from Howmore?

MR TEMBE: It was two comrades who were staying in another flat behind the Wheel building.

ADV BOSMAN: Do you remember their names?

MR TEMBE: No, because we usually referred to each other as amaAfrika. I know one, Welcome. He was staying in a flat as well.

ADV BOSMAN: Do you know how they knew about going to the beach on that morning?

MR TEMBE: I think I knew because these were the things we usually discussed about. I think they knew about the date on the 9th, that we were supposed to go and assault whites.

ADV BOSMAN: But do you have any idea of how it came about that they knew?

MR TEMBE: I think Howmore told them.

ADV BOSMAN: And then when you went to the shop to obtain the knives, why did you remain outside, why did you not go in with the rest of the group?

MR TEMBE: They entered the shop in a big number, my intention was to go inside the shop, but then I met Howmore coming out from the shop and then I stopped there. He gave me a knife. Immediately after he gave me the knife, he started assaulting. At the same time a gunfire was shot and at that moment I was prepared to fight as well, I don't want to lie.

ADV BOSMAN: At what stage were you told that you were going to get the knives at the shop, and by whom?

MR TEMBE: It was not easy for us to be armed by firearms because we wanted to attack whites and firearms were going to make a noise and we were going to injure other people unintentionally, therefore we decided on knives.

ADV BOSMAN: No, that I understand. What I want to know is, how long before you went to the shop did you know that you were going to the shop to get the knives, and who told you that you were going to the shop to get knives?

MR TEMBE: I didn't take that decision, at that moment I thought we were just looking, not that we were going to take the knives at that moment. I thought that maybe we were going around looking for the knives, so that we could do this incident later in the day, but then it didn't happen that way. As they were entering the shop I thought maybe they were just looking for the knives, not that they were going to obtain them, 'cause I was thinking of another shop which is at the corner of Point Road, not that particular one. Therefore I would say I personally didn't know that at that moment they were going to fetch knives or who were going to fetch the knives.

CHAIRPERSON: Why didn't you bring a knife from your home, it's nearby?

MR TEMBE: I would say at that moment I wasn't cooking in my flat, I didn't even have a knife at that time because I was buying take-aways and also it wasn't going to be easy for me to bring a knife for myself only. I thought maybe we were going to take the decision there as Africans. I personally thought of another shop which was at the corner of Point Road.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

ADV SIGODI: One thing that I'd like you to explain to me is, what was so significant about the 9th, why did you choose - do you know why you chose the 9th of October specifically for this attack?

MR TEMBE: I think there was a significant reason for us to choose the 9th, but I don't quite remember why, but I think it had to do with the oppression we were suffering. I think something happened on the 9th, of which I don't remember, therefore we decided that maybe we should also attack on the 9th.

ADV SIGODI: Because in the statement made by the victim, Ms Pearce, to the HRV, that is at page 40, that statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, referring to that statement, could we mark it Exhibit A.

ADV SIGODI: Thank you, Chairperson.

In the middle paragraph, I think it's in the middle paragraph-

"Apparently what happened is that he gathered a lot of youths the night before the incident and he promised them food and a place to stay for the evening, but what was said during the trial was that there was a shop owner who was in the area, that had been told of the incident months before and he had circled it on his calendar and he knew that it was going to happen because this man had told him that they were going to do this. And he mentions that it was this Mr Ngcobo and I assume, Howmore Ngcobo, who was responsible for this. The youths at that time that carried out the attack with Mr Ngcobo, apparently had no knowledge of what they were going to do."

Do you know how long before this 9th this incident had been planned? For how long had this incident been planned?

MR TEMBE: As I've already mentioned, it had occurred for quite a long time before the incident itself.

ADV SIGODI: Hop long?

MR TEMBE: Maybe four months or five months, I'm not certain. Because this was something we used to discuss about, it's not something that we just decided on it and did it then. Like I've mentioned that Howmore was my friend and comrade, he used to come and stay over at my place.

ADV SIGODI: Do you know about the incident where Barend Strydom killed black people?

MR TEMBE: Yes, I do know.

ADV SIGODI: Do you know when that incident occurred?

MR TEMBE: I'm not certain but I think it was in 1988/'89, in Pretoria.

ADV SIGODI: And how soon after this incident did this planning of taking the violence to the white people take place? What was the time lapse between that incident and this one?

MR TEMBE: Our planning was not only about what Barend Strydom has done, but it went back a long way from the beginning when white settlers came to our country and took over our land and oppressed us. They destroyed everything ...(intervention)

ADV SIGODI: Ja, we know that, but it was mentioned by applicant number 1, that the incident by Barend Strydom also had an impact on this. I want to know from you what was the time difference between the Barend Strydom incident and this incident. What was the time lapse. Can you remember? Can you say or can you not say?

MR TEMBE: I wouldn't be able to give an estimation on the time lapse there because at that time my mind was not just on Barend Strydom, it was on our plan. I wouldn't be able to say when Barend Strydom killed people and when we took the decision to take the violence to whites. It's not like it was a retaliation, no.

ADV SIGODI: Alright, we'll leave that. Now you said whilst you were at the beach you did not discuss what you were going to do the following day because you already knew what was going to take place. Now the first applicant mentioned that there were prayers which were being held and the prayers were to strengthen you and to give you courage to be able to do what you were going to do the following day. Do you know anything about these prayers taking place?

MR TEMBE: Yes, he is telling the truth, we were praying, but not that in our prayer we mentioned that tomorrow we're going to wake up and we're going to do step one and two, we were there because we knew that the following day we were going to attack whites.

ADV SIGODI: Then what were you praying for?

MR TEMBE: We were praying for protection, that we as soldiers we should be protected and be protected by God. It was not a meeting.

ADV SIGODI: For God to protect you against what? What were you praying for, protection against what?

MR TEMBE: We prayed for God's protection because we wanted to win the war between whites and Africans.

ADV SIGODI: Okay, I won't take that matter any further. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Subject to what the evidence may be about the translation and if you want to return on that, you'll be able to recall him on that, if we're calling the Investigator, but apart from that I think he could be excused as a witness now.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Any other witnesses you wish to call?

MS DE KLERK: No Mr Chairperson, not at this time.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you calling any evidence?

MS MTANGA: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is Mr Cele here perhaps?

MS MTANGA: I will have to go and find out, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes perhaps then we'll have to adjourn for five minutes so that you could find out, so that we can finish this one and start with the next one.

MS MTANGA: Yes, I will do so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We're adjourning for five minutes.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: The application of Mr Sithole and Mr Tembe will now stand down. We'll decide whether the other witness will be available.

MATTER STANDS DOWN

NAME: THAMSANA GIELA NJIYELA

APPLICATION NO: AM7386/97

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: We'll now proceed with the application of Mr Njiyela, application number 7386/97. For the sake of the record, the Panel remains to be myself, Chris de Jager, Adv Sigodi and Adv Bosman SC. Could the representatives please put themselves on record.

MR WEBSTER: Mr Chairman and Members of the Commission, I represent the applicant. The name is George Webster.

MS MTANGA: I am Lula Mtanga, the Evidence Leader for the Truth Commission. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Will the applicant be giving evidence in Afrikaans or English? In which language, Afrikaans, English, Zulu, whatever?

MR WEBSTER: He will be speaking in Zulu.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you kindly rise.

ADV SIGODI: Give us your full names.

THAMSANA GIELA TEMBE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Webster.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, before my learned friend commences, can I just make an announcement regarding the victims. We have here Mr Nyathikazi, in whose house the attack took place. He has attended. The two people, Mr Ndwandwe who was killed in this incident and the next-of-kin of Mr Sithole who was - sorry, Mr Sithole and the next-of-kin of Mr Ndwandwe, could not be located. We were told they live in some remote area in KwaZulu Natal and two advertisements came out. The first one was on the 1st of March, the second one on the 10th of March in ...(indistinct) in Natal. We called upon them to contact us and we never received any contact from them. And further we made two announcements on O Kozi FM(?), to announce it to them. Till this day no-one has contacted us. But Mr Nyathikazi is here.

CHAIRPERSON: And he couldn't assist us in tracing them either?

MS MTANGA: No, he could not, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Webster.

EXAMINATION BY MR WEBSTER: Mr Njiyela, is it correct that you are the applicant in this matter?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, that's correct.

MR WEBSTER: Where are you presently residing?

MR NJIYELA: In Zimkhulu.

MR WEBSTER: Are you a member of any political party?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I am.

MR WEBSTER: Of which party?

MR NJIYELA: ANC.

MR WEBSTER: Since when?

MR NJIYELA: From 1990.

MR WEBSTER: How did you become a member?

MR NJIYELA: Because of the situation I had a desire to become a member of the ANC.

MR WEBSTER: And you say you then joined the organisation?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: How did you join the organisation?

MR NJIYELA: I became a card-carrying member.

MR WEBSTER: Where was this where you applied for membership and got a card?

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think it's disputed so far, if it's disputed you can give us more details later on, but if it's not disputed we'll accept it.

MR WEBSTER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Can you briefly tell us what the situation was in about 1990, when you joined the ANC? I'm talking politically.

MR NJIYELA: It was the time when violence was rife in various locations or townships.

MR WEBSTER: And do you know whether the fighting was between organisations or just mere individuals?

MR NJIYELA: I do know that it was because of political reasons.

MR WEBSTER: And which organisations were involved in these fights?

MR NJIYELA: It was IFP and ANC.

MR WEBSTER: I want to take you to 1991. Where were you during 1991?

MR NJIYELA: I was staying in a place called Ogies, in a township called Paula.

MR WEBSTER: Whereabout in the country is this township called Paula?

MR NJIYELA: Mpumalanga province.

MR WEBSTER: What were you doing there?

MR NJIYELA: I was working there in a power station.

MR WEBSTER: And what were your duties?

MR NJIYELA: I was a driver, I was taking passengers to work and from work back home.

MR WEBSTER: Can you tell the Commission what hours you worked.

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I can.

MR WEBSTER: Please do.

MR NJIYELA: ...(no English interpretation)

MR WEBSTER: With regard to the incident that you have applied for amnesty, can you tell the Commission what led to this incident. Just give us the background.

MR NJIYELA: This incident occurred in 1991, I think it was between June and July. There is a place where people are staying ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Is it common cause that it happened on the 13th of October 1991?

MR WEBSTER: It is common cause, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And before we proceed, could you kindly tell us exactly for what he is applying.

MR WEBSTER: It's an application for amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, for amnesty, I agree with that, but in regard to what - what's the offence he's applying for?

MR WEBSTER: Well it would be murder and assault GBH.

CHAIRPERSON: Murder and assault GBH, or attempted murder.

MR WEBSTER: Attempted murder, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and what else?

MR WEBSTER: And I also would - well, to the extent that possession of firearms could be imputed because of the knowledge which he had of the people who executed the attack, to that extent of his conduct being ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Explosives, that sort of thing?

MR WEBSTER: Explosives and firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: And damage to property?

MR WEBSTER: And damage to the property of the owner of the house that was attacked.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR WEBSTER: Thank you.

Now can you give us the background which led to the incident.

MR NJIYELA: Okay. As I've already mentioned, there is a compound in that mine where people are staying and there's a kitchen there where we usually go for meals. One day one man went there and then he was going to have a meal and then they started - others in that kitchen started assaulting him and as they were assaulting him they were singing IFP songs or slogans.

MR WEBSTER: Yes, please continue.

MR NJIYELA: Okay. They gathered in a block called Block G, and the comrades gathered in a hall. I do not remember how many days, but I think three days.

MR WEBSTER: And over these three days, what was happening?

MR NJIYELA: The comrades were staying in a hall and then the IFP members were in Block G. The situation was very tense but it was before people started fighting.

MR WEBSTER: Now you say on the third day an incident took place.

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: Before you deal with the incident itself, can you tell the Commission whether the tension was merely at the compound or whether it existed beyond the confines of the compound.

MR NJIYELA: Even outside because the townships were engulfed by violence, IFP and ANC were fighting.

MR WEBSTER: And had there been fighting in the township where you were residing?

MR NJIYELA: It only started after the compound where we were residing started fighting.

MR WEBSTER: Can you tell us then what happened on that evening in particular.

MR NJIYELA: On that day I was going to work in the evening and my responsibilities were to take the people who just knocked off from work and take them back to the township and then come back to report on duty.

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me a minute, Mr Webster. Could the interleading door perhaps be opened because I think the airconditioning system is working and perhaps we could have the benefit of some of the fresh air coming in.

Thank you, you can proceed.

MR WEBSTER: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

So you say you were doing the evening shift, which started at what time?

MR NJIYELA: At eleven.

MR WEBSTER: And you say you went on duty, and then what happened?

MR NJIYELA: As I was approaching the firm, I could see lights like ambulance lights and somebody told me that people are fighting at the compound and people had been injured and he also said some of them they are here and I saw them and they explained to me that as they were sitting in that hall, they heard gunfire.

MR WEBSTER: And then what happened when they heard the gunfire?

MR NJIYELA: They started running. Some of them ran towards the firm and some of them ran towards the bush nearby.

MR WEBSTER: Do you know the names of the people who were injured?

MR NJIYELA: There was one Dlamini, and Gabriel Gametse was killed.

MR WEBSTER: Do you know whether they were aligned with any political party?

MR NJIYELA: ANC members.

MR WEBSTER: And then what happened after this incident of the shooting?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, was Dlamini injured and Gabriel was killed or were both of them killed?

MR NJIYELA: Farrington and Gabriel were killed, Dlamini was injured.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR WEBSTER: And after this incident were there any meetings held?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: Can you tell the Commission where these meetings were held.

MR NJIYELA: From that day, members of the ANC left the compound, some went to the farms and some went to the township. We held our meetings in a forest or bush and sometimes in areas where we thought it was safe.

And later a certain man was shot at. He was also a comrade. After he was shot and injured we held another meeting in a highveld hostel in Witbank. In that meeting we took a decision that we were supposed to arm ourselves. We agreed that each and every one was going to contribute R50 in order for us to obtain arms. We contributed that money. We tried to get firearms. We got those firearms.

MR WEBSTER: Where were they procured from?

MR NJIYELA: Vereeniging in Sebokeng.

MR WEBSTER: And once the firearms had been procured, what happened?

MR NJIYELA: Before anything happened - at this time we were not residing in our places because we were scared. Now this was the time where we were residing in the forest and police used to come to the area.

MR WEBSTER: Please proceed.

MR NJIYELA: I decided in the next meeting to tell the comrades that I was going to give them the house which I was residing in and they were going to use that house as a safehouse.

MR WEBSTER: And at what time was a meeting to be held, do you know?

MR NJIYELA: At 8 o'clock in the evening.

MR WEBSTER: And where were you during that time?

MR NJIYELA: I was at work at that time.

MR WEBSTER: Yes, and then what happened? So you were at work, what happened?

MR NJIYELA: When I went to fetch the nighshit people I decided to go to my home first to fetch a jacket because it was cold and when I arrived there they were still in a meeting. They told me that they took the decision that we were supposed to launch an attack.

MR WEBSTER: And who or what would be attacked?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: Who was going to be attacked?

MR NJIYELA: Chairman's house, IFP member.

MR WEBSTER: Do you know his surname?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I do.

MR WEBSTER: Which is?

MR NJIYELA: Nyathikazi.

MR WEBSTER: How did you know he was a Chairman of the IFP?

MR NJIYELA: I knew that because usually meetings were held at his place and other IFP members who were not residents in the area, used to come to his house.

MR WEBSTER: Yes, what else?

MR NJIYELA: And also when they were patrolling at night they were using the school vehicle which belonged to the school, and he was the principal in that school and also, we worked together, I knew this.

MR WEBSTER: And you say that before the friction and before these unpleasant incidents the respective, or people from the respective parties used to talk about such things.

MR NJIYELA: Yes, because we were working together with the people we were fighting with in one firm.

MR WEBSTER: Now you were then told that a decision had been taken that the residents of Mr Nyathikazi would be attacked.

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: Were you told how this attack was going to be launched?

MR NJIYELA: That we were going to use firearms and handgrenades. They also requested me to take them with the kombi which I was driving and drive them, because it was about 300 to 400 metres from my place to Nyathikazi's place.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Webster, to interrupt. Your client made an affidavit and a typed version appears from pages 19 to 24.

MR WEBSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he in agreement with this statement? Could it be confirmed and could we use it as evidence? Then we could perhaps shorten the proceedings.

MR WEBSTER: I'm grateful for that, Mr Chairperson. He has confirmed the contents, I will probably just fill in here and there.

CHAIRPERSON: Here and there. Thanks.

MR WEBSTER: I feel a little bit of detail might be necessary.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because we're now at the real scene of the attack.

MR WEBSTER: That is quite correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you.

MR WEBSTER: Mr Njiyela, is correct that you deposed to an affidavit which was taken by hand? Do you recall that? At Kokstad on the 22nd of January 2000. I'll just show you that document.

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I do remember.

MR WEBSTER: And do you recall that this morning I showed you a typed document which is also in the bundle, which we went through and which you confirmed as actually being the verbatim typed transcript of the affidavit which you signed?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: And you confirm the contents and you wish to adopt the allegations made therein, as part of your evidence before the Commission?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I think we're now round about paragraph 27.

MR WEBSTER: That is so, thank you Chairperson.

And you then say you conveyed various people whom you have mentioned in paragraph 30, to the point where you say they alighted from the kombi and then whilst you were proceeding on your duties you heard explosions and loud bangs, is that correct?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, that's correct.

MR WEBSTER: Now you also state that you were arrested at some stage.

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

MR WEBSTER: Can you just tell the Commission how it came about that you were arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, could we have it - only clarity on this.

Your only participation in this operation was that you transported people for about 400 metres to the scene where the explosions took place and where they damaged the property of Mr Nyathikazi?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't yourself play any role in the explosions? In setting the explosives for instance.

MR NJIYELA: No, I didn't.

CHAIRPERSON: But you were aware that you were conveying weapons and that the purpose was to damage the property of Mr Nyathikazi?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I knew that.

CHAIRPERSON: And you associated yourself with that?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I do.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you foresee that people could be killed or injured?

MR NJIYELA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And what did you think would you achieve by this attack?

MR NJIYELA: At that time we were fighting. The ANC was not supporting the government and the IFP seemed to support that government, therefore we had hoped that if we defeated the IFP, we will defeat that government. And the person who was ruling didn't care about us.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Webster, is there anything more that you would like to add?

MR WEBSTER: Nothing which would be relevant in the application itself, save, Mr Chairperson and Members of the Commission, the applicant had intimated a desire to express his remorse to the members of the families and to Mr Nyathikazi, whose property was damaged.

CHAIRPERSON: Well let him proceed doing so.

MR WEBSTER: You also had intimated during out consultation, Mr Njiyela, that you had wished to express certain sentiments to Mr Nyathikazi and to the members of the families of the victims of that attack.

MR NJIYELA: It is so.

MR WEBSTER: Will you proceed to do so.

MR NJIYELA: I would like to explain that at that time we were fighting and if one was not fighting the possibility was that you were going to be killed or you were going to be attacked. I feel a great remorse because later I learnt that an old woman got injured. In fact this hurt me immediately when learnt about it. And also, I would say I feel very sorry for the people who were killed in that incident, but because of the situation at the time there was no other way out, the only way to protect yourself was to attack.

MR WEBSTER: Thank you, Chairperson and Members of the Commission, that will be the evidence.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR WEBSTER

CHAIRPERSON: Any questions?

MS MTANGA: I have no questions, Chairperson, but I would like to be given an opportunity to consult with Mr Nyathikazi.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nyathikazi, could you come forward please. On behalf of the Panel, we're always glad to welcome victims at hearings and as it's part of the process that we would like to enhance reconciliation, we would like even victims and perpetrators in circumstances to meet each other and see whether they could come to an agreement. I know you haven't had the time now to consult and we're now going to adjourn until ten minutes to two, in order to give you an opportunity to consult with the Evidence Leader, and we'll resume at ten minutes to two and hopefully at that stage you would have had the opportunity to fully tell the Evidence Leader what your attitude in this matter is. Thank you.

We're adjourning until ten to two.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

GIELA THAMSANA NJIYELA: (s.u.o.)

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson. Arising out of my consultation with Mr Nyathikazi, I have a few questions to put to Mr Njiyela.

Mr Njiyela, I would like to know from you who told you that Mr Nyathikazi was the Chairperson of the IFP? How did you find out he was an IFP Chairperson?

MR NJIYELA: As a person who resided in the township I knew many IFP members in the township, so that's how I knew.

MS MTANGA: Did you personally know Mr Nyathikazi, or he is someone you've heard about?

MR NJIYELA: Yes, I knew him very well.

MS MTANGA: Would you be able to give us instances where perhaps you had seen him acting, probably in a meeting or IFP meeting, where you assumed that he was a person holding a leadership position as you allege? Or is it just what you heard from people?

MR NJIYELA: We were never at one meeting together, but people like Bongani Sithole and Victor Sibiya who were my friends and they were members of the IFP, they did tell me about his position.

MS MTANGA: I would like you to again give us the reasons as to why his house was attacked by your group on that day. What were the reasons?

MR NJIYELA: It was discovered that the people who attacked the hostel would stop by his house and moreover there were people who kept guard at his home.

MS MTANGA: Do you know a person, Alfeus Sandile Zulu?

MR NJIYELA: No.

MS MTANGA: In your evidence you testified that the tension that occurred in the hostel, spilt onto the nearby township, that is Ogies or Paula township, and as a result there was further conflict in the township between the IFP and the ANC. Am I correct to state this?

MR NJIYELA: That's correct.

MS MTANGA: I want to put it to you firstly that Mr Nyathikazi is saying that he was never a Chairperson of the IFP at the time of this incident, the Chairperson was Mr Alfeus Sandile Zulu. What do you say to this?

MR NJIYELA: I do not know Mr Zulu, I only know Mr Nyathikazi.

MS MTANGA: The meetings that you mentioned that took place at Mr Nyathikazi's house, is it meetings or you just saw people who go or were frequenting his house, what is the position? Did you see meetings taking place or did you see IFP people frequenting his house?

MR NJIYELA: I would put it this way, some of my neighbours who would attend such meetings would tell us, inform us of the discussions that they'd held at Mr Nyathikazi's home. At other instances they would even come and warn us not to sleep at our homes because of the discussions that had been held at Mr Nyathikazi's home. That is why I am certain of the fact that he was the Chairperson.

MS MTANGA: I wish to put it to you, Mr Njiyela, that Mr Nyathikazi is saying that no meetings ever took place at his house, the people who went to his house, most of them were IFP members, he agrees, but they were never there for meetings, they were just people visiting his house because he was also an IFP member. What do you say to this?

MR NJIYELA: As I've already mentioned, they would come visit their relatives who were my neighbours and this information about the meetings that were held at Mr Nyathikazi, would be revealed by those very same people who had been at those meetings, and that is how we also got to learn about what was going to take place and sometimes they even warned us.

MS MTANGA: Mr Nyathikazi also wishes to put to you that during the conflict in the hostel, he admits that some of the IFP people from the hostel were visiting his house but they were just visitors, not people who were there as IFP members, and that as far as he knows there was never a conflict between the IFP and the ANC in the township. In Paula township.

MR NJIYELA: I dispute that.

MS MTANGA: As a result of this absence of conflict he does not understand the basis for your group attacking his house because he was not involved in any conflict with anyone at that time. What do you say to that?

MR NJIYELA: As a person who resided about, but the incidents where this conflict took place in the township is totally unknown to Mr Nyathikazi. That's his position.

MR NJIYELA: I would not pursue the matter if he says he doesn't know about it.

MS MTANGA: Just to emphasise the point, Mr Njiyela, Mr Nyathikazi would like you to know that he's adamant that there was no such conflict in the township, and even this Mr Magaxa you're referring to, it's not an incident known in the township, that there was a Magaxa who was killed by the IFP. No-one knows of that and it was never recorded even in the police dockets or in the police books. It was never reported. What do you say to this?

MR NJIYELA: The police who arrested me were aware of that incident.

MS MTANGA: I have no further questions, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS MTANGA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any re-examination?

MR WEBSTER: I have no re-examination.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR WEBSTER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any further evidence? Sorry, Members of the Panel, any questions?

ADV BOSMAN: I have not questions, Chairperson.

ADV SIGODI: I have no questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Would that be the evidence in this matter?

MS MTANGA: No further evidence, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So he wouldn't give evidence himself?

MS MTANGA: No, Chairperson, he's satisfied with the questions that we've put to the applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Argument?

MR WEBSTER IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson, Members of the Commission, it is my submission that the applicant in this matter has established - or before he's established, my submission is that he has made a full disclosure, the manner in which he testified, his whole demeanour and the consistency between the evidence that has been adduced today, read against the, or viewed against the affidavit that he made. I submit that in these circumstances you find that there has been full disclosure.

It's also our submission that his actions had a political objective, that as a member of the ANC I think it is common cause that there was wide conflict in our country particularly between the two organisations. That conflict we know engulfed virtually the entire KwaZulu Natal and the then Transvaal, particularly as at the time of the occurrence, which was before 1994. And I think we can also take cognisance of the fact that this was an ...(indistinct) violence which persisted even after the elections in 1994, and has only come to an end recently.

CHAIRPERSON: But was it in fact a conflict between political parties or was it more a ethnic conflict between the Xhosa-speaking people and the Zulu-speaking people?

MR WEBSTER: Chairperson, I would argue that it was actually more of a political conflict.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, even if it was sort-of at that stage based on the languages, but it was political fact that those groups supported predominantly the one party and the other predominantly the other party, isn't that so?

MR WEBSTER: I agree with that, and I would also add the that in Natal itself, where we had virtually 99% of the African people being Zulu-speaking, there was still this very long period over which there was this violence, which then as an indication, as you've indicated Chairperson, that it might have been along tribal lines but definitely political.

And lastly, the applicant gained nothing out of this entire incident. We do concede, as we always do with hindsight and in the comforts of an environment in which we find ourselves, that people could have behaved and reacted differently then. But I submit that the fact that the applicant has come forward when there is no intimation or indication that there's any criminal matter being pursued against him, should be viewed as an indication of a person who is motivated genuinely and for honest reasons to approach this Commission for amnesty.

And lastly, I know that it might be difficult for Mr Nyathikazi to accept the apology, but it is tendered with sincerity. Thank you, Chairperson and Members of the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Anything?

MS MTANGA IN ARGUMENT: Thank you, Chairperson. I have been instructed by Mr Nyathikazi to oppose this application on the grounds that the applicant has not given a full disclosure.

This is more-so in regard to the background that there was a conflict between the ANC ... in the township that resulted in Mr Nyathikazi's house being attacked. The fact that the applicant gave false evidence that there were meetings being held at Mr Nyathikazi's house, this is adamantly denied by the victim. I've been instructed to persuade the Committee to not grant amnesty to Mr Njiyela on this basis.

ADV BOSMAN: Ms Mtanga, if we assumed for argument's sake, that Mr Nyathikazi was not the Chairman of the IFP and the applicant and his comrades believed that he was because they saw IFP people frequenting his house, in law would that make any difference?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I would concede that it would - it wouldn't make a difference in the case of the applicant if that's what they perceived to be the situation, but in respect of my client, Mr Nyathikazi, it's a situation - because of the seriousness of the offence which we're talking about here, an attack on the whole house where there would have been people, his family, maybe there would have been a need for the applicant's group to do a thorough investigation before they carried out such offences. But then that is difficult to put as a fact because the applicant has testified that they didn't attack the house because he was a Chairperson, they attacked the house because it was frequented by people they thought to be IFP.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry Ms Mtanga, in this bundle we've got an affidavit from the victim and he has, on page 30, paragraph 12, estimated the damage caused by the explosion and gunshots to be about R20 000. Does he perhaps have any quotes or receipts to prove that this is the amount of damage that he sustained as a result of this?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I raised that with him, he just confirmed the value of the damages, but if I may be allowed to confer with him as to whether he's got any vouchers or quotations for that?

Chairperson, Mr Nyathikazi says he can forward us proof, quotations that he obtained after the damages.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Would you then arrange with him to send something through to you? It need not be the originals, he could send through photostats too.

MS MTANGA: I will do so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

You're excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

NAME: STEMBISO RODNEY TEMBE - MATTER (CONT)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Is Mr Cele here perhaps?

MS MTANGA: Sorry, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: Our Investigator.

MS MTANGA: Yes, he is, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you have the opportunity to explain to him what the dispute actually is?

MS MTANGA: Yes, Chairperson, I have done so.

CHAIRPERSON: Would he be prepared to take the oath?

MR CELE: Yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Which language would you prefer to speak?

MR CELE: I will use English, Mr Chair.

JOSHUA SKUMBUZO CELE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: One of the applicants said that there must be a misunderstanding, and I wish to refer to page, for convenience it could be page 45 of the affidavit given by Mr Tembe. Have you got it?

MR CELE: Yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: He testified that Mr Ntlantla who was the bodyguard of the PAC, chaired a meeting.

MR CELE: Mr Chair, I understood him very well when I took down this statement and as soon as he told me that they had a meeting, I asked him "who chaired the meeting" and this is how it came about, the name of Mr Ntlantla.

CHAIRPERSON: And he said there wasn't a meeting -

"This meeting had nothing to do with what happened the next, but we were discussing some other issues of the organisation."

If I understood him correctly, and I would like my colleagues and everybody else to - I haven't got the note before me now, that my first impression was that there was no such meeting at all and then later on it seems as if he said well there was a meeting, but Mr Ntlantla wasn't chairing the meeting and they discussed general affairs sort of.

MR CELE: Well Mr Chair, what I put down in writing is what I was told by him in the presence of his mother, who was sitting in the lounge at their house where I took the statement, and this is exactly what he told me on that day.

ADV BOSMAN: Were you conversing in Zulu, Mr Cele? And is that your mother tongue as well?

MR CELE: Yes, Madam.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, perhaps you could put the differences to him and ask him about it.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS DE KLERK: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Cele, I put it to you that Mr Tembe did answer questions to you - did answer to your questions that you had put to him, however when you wrote these answers down you didn't write the answers as he had told them to you. Can you comment on that?

MR CELE: Well I disagree with you, Ma'am, in that after I interviewed Mr Tembe, I went to the prison to interview the other applicant and the statement that I recorded from the other applicant, if it was my intention to change anything that he told me, I would have done the same on the second applicant, and I don't think I was in a position to do that, to change anything that he was telling me.

MS DE KLERK: Is there a possibility that you could have misunderstood him, perhaps - let me make it clearer, perhaps he was referring to some other incident, for example in paragraph 5 on page 45 of the bundle, where he said -

"We noticed certain white people in civilian clothes assaulting some black street hawkers with sjambocks."

... is there a possibility that he could have been referring to some other day, not specifically the day of the incident on the 9th of October, and that you could have possibly got confused and recorded the incorrect information?

MR CELE: There's no such possibility, Madam, I would have recorded it exactly as he was saying that he was referring to other incidents if it was so. And I also noticed this contradiction when I was interviewing the second applicant and after I finished taking the statement of the other applicant, I did bring this to his notice, I asked him on several times whether he saw any white people assaulting the black street hawkers and he said no. And then he told me if person is outside of a prison he doesn't think that is how he responded to me, the other applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: You never went back to this applicant and said to him "are you sure this is correct?"

MR CELE: Well Mr Chair, I looked at it as in my opinion it will be prejudice, or I took it as if I was going to make him to change the statement that he made and tell me what the other applicant is saying at that time.

CHAIRPERSON: And at that time, were you very sure that you're correct in your interpretation of what he told you?

MR CELE: Yes, Mr Chair.

MS DE KLERK: Just one more question, Mr Cele. After you wrote down this statement, did you read it back to Mr Tembe?

MR CELE: That's correct, Madam, I actually gave him the statement to read, but he preferred that I read it to him, so as I was reading it in English I was again translating each sentence in Zulu again.

MS DE KLERK: Mr Cele, I wish to put it to you that you didn't read back the statement to Mr Tembe, in fact what you did was you told him "this statement reflects an interpretation or a translation of what you've just told me and I require you to sign this". Can you comment on this?

MR CELE: Madam, that is incorrect, I'm taking statements for a number of years and I actually know the requirement of, and as to how we take statements. And it is his own, the deponent's statement, I have no reason to change what he wants to be reduced in writing. And I actually did, I read it to him and I re-interpreted it again sentence by sentence and he informed me that he understood, and then I also read out the declaration that he's under oath and he signed his statement.

MS DE KLERK: If I understand you correctly you said that you're fully au fait with taking statement because you do it quite often, okay. Do you normally commission something which you have translation, is this the normal procedure, or was a different procedure supposed to have been adopted in that an independent third party should actually commission that particular affidavit? Can you comment?

MR CELE: As far as I'm aware as the Commissioner of Oaths, I do commission my own statements, the deponent's statement that has been given to me.

MS DE KLERK: Would you agree with me that having an independent person would have alleviated the problem that we are now faced with?

MR CELE: There was no other independent person. I don't know if I didn't understand your question well.

MS DE KLERK: Would you not agree with me that had the affidavit been commission in the proper manner, that we wouldn't be faced with these two contradictory sets of evidence today?

MR CELE: ...(inaudible)

MS DE KLERK: I withdraw the question. I have no further questions for this witness.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS DE KLERK

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I think on behalf of the Panel I would make a request to you to avoid future disputes, after you've written out the statement, if at all possible and even take trouble to take the statement-maker to a police station or somewhere else where he could take the oath before another Commissioner of Oaths, so that you wouldn't stand being accused of trying to alter or not interpreting correctly what has been said.

MR CELE: Yes, Mr Chair, I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: And thank you for your trouble of coming and explaining to us what happened.

MR CELE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Are you in a position to address us? Argument?

MS DE KLERK: Yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Please proceed.

MS DE KLERK IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson and Members of the Panel, it is my submission that both applicants have substantially corroborated each other's version, save for the parts which I've pointed out to the Panel. It is my submission that the second applicant has satisfied this Committee that he was incorrectly - his statement was incorrectly taken insofar as those paragraphs 4, 5 and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, wouldn't it be better to say he casted doubt on whether he was ...(intervention)

MS DE KLERK: He did, he did.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm not so sure that satisfied is the correct word.

MS DE KLERK: In relation to the first applicant, it is my submission that he was a good witness, he was open and honest, he revealed exactly the way he perceived the whole incident to have occurred, and I believe in my submission, that he has satisfied the necessary elements to qualify for amnesty being granted to him.

CHAIRPERSON: And in this respect, would I be correct in saying that this was not a racial attack, in the sense of a racist attack but he attacked the whites because he saw all whites as symbols of the then governing regime?

MS DE KLERK: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And in that sense it wasn't purely a racist attack, but an attack associated with a political objective and political background.

MS DE KLERK: That is correct. He even went as far as saying that he didn't distinguish between apartheid and white people and the National Government of the time, he saw them all as one. So as part of the objective to disrupt the government of the day, the retaliation on white people. And it was random, it's common cause that is was random, they didn't know the political affiliations of these white people, they didn't care about the political affiliations of these people ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Would you say he would have killed Mr Slovo if Mr Slovo was on the beach that day?

MS DE KLERK: I submit they would have, they didn't distinguish between any white people, it was just purely white people.

I'd also like to submit that it would appear that the first applicant played more of an active role in the actual planning and decision-making, than the second applicant. It would appear that the second applicant sort of followed as a member of the PAC, but didn't adopt as stringent an attitude as the first applicant did. And I submit that in light of this, the first applicant shouldn't be prejudiced by the lack of attention which the second applicant paid to detail, to the exact planning and decision-making and the whole incident on the 9th of October.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I don't think we could use the second applicant's evidence to prejudice the first applicant, the only thing is whether we would be satisfied that the second applicant, on his own version, would qualify for amnesty.

MS DE KLERK: In relation to the second applicant, he has corroborated to a substantial extend the first applicant's version and I submit that this Committee cannot make a credibility finding between him and Mr Cele, as it's Mr Cele's word against Mr Tembe's word, and we don't have any evidence to corroborate either of their versions. Mr Cele admitted that he - well he didn't admit, he refused to admit, but it's my submission that, Mr Chairperson, after you rephrased the question to him, he went as far, if I may say admitted that in order to avoid a similar situation, a third person, an independent person should have commissioned that affidavit, which would have then alleviated the problem that we're now faced with, in that if it was read back to Mr Tembe and he then understood that - in Zulu, in his mother tongue, and he then understood that he had made an error or an error had been made in the translation of his version, that could have been rectified then.

However he has, I submit that there is a probability that the second applicant's version is true and that he didn't realise that his version had been put forward on a different note.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS DE KLERK: Therefore it's my submission that both the first and second applicants should be granted amnesty in this matter. Thank you.

MS MTANGA ADDRESSES: Chairperson, I have been instructed by Ms Aden Pearce who was here this morning, that she does not intend to oppose this application and she's like to leave this matter in your hands.

In regard to the advertisement that I indicated was put in the paper for the rest of the victims who are not here today, I received a copy, it was advertised on the 9th of March, it was on a Thursday, 9th of March, in the Daily News. I've got a copy of the - a tear-sheet of that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, we accept that.

MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Could we start with the next one?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I would like to get a five minutes adjournment just to consult with the victims who are here.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

NAME: MBEKISENI MDUDUZI DLAMINI

APPLICATION NO: AM4246/96

MATTER: MURDER OF MR NICOLSON AND ROBBERY

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps for the sake of the record, we're now proceeding with the amnesty application of Mr Mbekiseni Dlamini, application number 4246/96. The Panel remains the same, consisting of myself, Chris de Jager, Adv Sigodi and Adv Bosman SC. Could the representatives kindly put themselves on record.

MR PANDAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I confirm my appearance on behalf of the applicant, Mr Dlamini. My name is Mr S Panday from the firm ...(indistinct) Panday and Associates.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, could we proceed? Have you something to put on record?

MS MTANGA: No, Chairperson, we can go ahead. The victims, the next-of-kin of Mr Nicolson is here, his name is Derek Bertram Nicolson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Panday, could you continue.

MR PANDAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Your client, would he give evidence in Zulu or?

MR PANDAY: In Zulu.

MBEKISENI MDUDUZI DLAMINI: (sworn states)

MR PANDAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman. May I proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes please.

EXAMINATION BY MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, is it correct that you apply for amnesty for the murder of Mr Nicolson, as well as the robbery committed on the 27th of August 1991?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that's correct.

MR PANDAY: Is it also further correct that you are currently serving a life term of imprisonment for murder as well as 6 years for robbery, in the Nkome(?) Prison?

MR DLAMINI: That's correct.

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, did you at the time belong to any political organisation?

MR DLAMINI: I was the supporter of AZAPO.

MR PANDAY: And when did you join AZAPO?

CHAIRPERSON: No, he said he was a supporter, he didn't say he joined them. I don't know whether there's a difference.

MR PANDAY: If I may rephrase the question.

Mr Dlamini, can you recall from which year you began supporting AZAPO?

MR DLAMINI: I've been a supporter since 1985.

MR PANDAY: Can you recall how old you were approximately then?

MR DLAMINI: I was 15 years old.

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, do you recall when you were born?

MR DLAMINI: Ja, in 1968.

CHAIRPERSON: The 2nd of September?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, the 2nd of September.

MR PANDAY: Now would you agree that from '68 to 1985 you're approximately 23 years old?

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think so, I'm not sure. Either you or he or me should go back to school.

MR PANDAY: Sorry, Mr Chairman.

Mr Dlamini, if you're born in 1986, would you agree that your approximate age should be about, I think it's 17 years old, in 1985?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I will agree with you.

MR PANDAY: Okay, and there's obviously an error in the disclosing of your age in your application form.

CHAIRPERSON: No well in his application form he stated that he was born on the 2nd of September 1986, so we've got that.

MR PANDAY: As the Committee pleases.

Now Mr Dlamini, what standard of education do you have?

MR DLAMINI: Standard two.

MR PANDAY: Now I'm going to take you to the date that you had committed the crime of murder and robbery. Can you please explain to the Committee as to why you had committed this offence.

MR DLAMINI: It was because of political reasons.

MR PANDAY: Now what were the political reasons for committing the murder and robbery?

MR DLAMINI: The organisation of which I was a supporter, didn't have enough money. We needed money in order to proceed with our activities, political activities.

MR PANDAY: And the killing of Mr Nicolson, what was the reason for killing him?

MR DLAMINI: Also it was because of political reasons.

MR PANDAY: Now what was the political reason, can you explain to the Committee. What did Nicolson do or not do that caused you to kill him?

MR DLAMINI: He didn't give a black person any rights.

MR PANDAY: What sort of rights do you refer to when you say he did not give a black person any rights?

MR DLAMINI: For instance, he didn't give blacks a place or a decent place to stay and also he didn't give them enough salary.

MR PANDAY: What else did he do to the blacks?

MR DLAMINI: He used to harass and torture blacks. Sometime he will beat them.

MR PANDAY: Did you know if he had any reason for torturing and beating blacks?

MR DLAMINI: His reasons I would basically say it was because of oppression, he was oppressing them because he never wished anything good for blacks.

MR PANDAY: Did you know if he belonged to any political party?

MR DLAMINI: No, even though I have no proof as him being a member of any political organisation but I perceived him as an AWB member because of the way he treated blacks.

MR PANDAY: Is that the only reason that made you believe him to be an AWB member?

MR DLAMINI: He was also involved in the activities of the AWB, like beating blacks, harassing them and just meeting a black person in a street and just beat and leave that person lying on the road.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you give us an example where Mr Nicolson beat a black person and left him lying in the street? Where did this happened? Where was this street and which town?

MR DLAMINI: Even though I didn't see him beating a person on the street, but he was always together with AWB members who were doing those things, therefore I perceived him as one of them. And sometimes AWB members will meet a person in the street hitchhiking and they will swear at that person and sometimes beat that person.

CHAIRPERSON: But you've just told us that he was involved in beating people and left them lying in the street, now even if he didn't do it himself, I had the impression you're indicating that, but can you tell us where he was present when another person beat somebody and left him lying in the street?

MR DLAMINI: There was an incident where two AWB members, one was Ronnie and the other one was Michael, they met two females, I was also on the road, and they were beaten and they didn't have their clothes on and when I asked them what happened to them, they told me that they met AWB members and they had beaten them and took their clothes.

CHAIRPERSON: Where was this, which town?

MR DLAMINI: Underberg.

ADV BOSMAN: How did you know that these two people, Ronnie and Michael were AWB members?

MR DLAMINI: These were white people whom I knew very well because they were also from the farm, they usually come to the farm. And also, police will come and visit them and we will enquire how come police usually visit these white farmers and the domestic workers will tell us sometimes that these were AWB members and these were their activities, like meeting people on the street and beat them, sometimes take their clothes as well.

ADV BOSMAN: You may proceed, Mr Panday.

MR PANDAY: Now Mr Dlamini, you said that the police would meet them, do you know if all these people met as a group?

MR DLAMINI: They usually held their meetings in a farm and sometimes they would meet in a certain hotel in Underberg.

MR PANDAY: And how did you all get to know of these meetings?

MR DLAMINI: We were residents there and sometimes we will meet them and sometimes they will have braais in the farms, so we will see them.

MR PANDAY: Now I want to know specifically how did you know that these people were AWB members, what did they do or what did they say or what indication did they give to show that they were AWB members?

MR DLAMINI: Sometimes when they had their gatherings and having braais, if we were walking nearby there will be another group waiting in the gates and as we were approaching they will sjambock us like chasing us away.

CHAIRPERSON: Now lets concentrate on the deceased, did they have a meeting at his place?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, meetings were held at his farm.

CHAIRPERSON: In his house?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, in his house, because he didn't have a hall, they were meeting in his house.

CHAIRPERSON: And on those occasions, were there guards at the gates and were people harassed and assaulted there?

MR DLAMINI: No, not in his house, in his house usually there were no boers who will stand there and guard the house, in fact blacks never used to like passing through nearby his house because they were scared of him.

CHAIRPERSON: So this didn't happen at his house, those meetings you were talking about previously, when there were guards at the gates and people being chased away?

MR DLAMINI: No, not in his house, it would happen sometimes in town.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, by killing Mr Nicolson, what did you hope to achieve politically?

MR DLAMINI: By killing Mr Nicolson it was a way of enlightening Africans, showing them that we can stand up to these people who were oppressing us.

MR PANDAY: Now you mentioned that you were a supporter of AZAPO, were there any other people in the area that supported AZAPO?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, but I didn't want to meet with them and to reveal to them that I had an intention of killing farmers or boers, therefore I never revealed myself to them.

MR PANDAY: And was there any other political party in the area besides AZAPO?

MR DLAMINI: Yes.

MR PANDAY: What was the party?

MR DLAMINI: Umkhonto weSizwe.

MR PANDAY: Now this problem that was being experienced in the area with the whites assaulting the blacks and harassing them, did you discuss this problem with anyone else?

MR DLAMINI: Blacks used to talk about Nicolson and his brother because they were very much aware that these two were the people who were bringing this other terrible boers to harass.

CHAIRPERSON: What was his brother's name?

MR DLAMINI: I know his Zulu name. We referred to him as Disman(?), it's probably from the word Desmond. That was his Zulu name. I'm not sure about his English name, but we referred to him as Disman.

MR PANDAY: Now do you recall making an affidavit?

MR DLAMINI: Where?

MR PANDAY: I'm going to show you, on pages 6 to 9 is an affidavit, is that in your writing firstly?

MR DLAMINI: ...(no English interpretation)

MR PANDAY: Sorry I didn't get the translation.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I do remember the statement and it is my handwriting.

MR PANDAY: Yes, now there's a translation of the statement that says ...(intervention)

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, may I just correct something in the interpretation? He said it's his handwriting at the bottom of the affidavit.

MR PANDAY: If I may just rephrase the question to him.

Mr Dlamini, the handwriting itself, not the signature, did you write the statement out?

MR DLAMINI: Somebody else was writing the statement for me.

MR PANDAY: Now the signature that appears on the bottom on the pages, is that your signature?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, it is me.

MR PANDAY: And the person that wrote out this affidavit for you, did you trust what they were writing out?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I trusted that person because he was far much more educated than myself and we were writing this statement in a hurry because we were late, we were scared that the due date was nearby. I don't know, maybe he left or omitted other important facts because he was in a hurry.

CHAIRPERSON: When were you in such a hurry, how long ago was this?

MR DLAMINI: I think it was on the 20th of May, and I thought that if my letter didn't reach the destination, I wouldn't be able to receive forms.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, let's get this clear first, the affidavit that you've now been referred to, appears on page 6 to 9 and that was written on the 16th of February this year, a month ago. Can you recollect making that statement a month ago?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I do remember even though I've forgotten the month.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, and on that date, in what hurry were you, where were you going to go, what was the hurry about?

MR DLAMINI: I was referring to another statement, the first one which I wrote as I was applying.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, the first statement, I presume that's the one appearing from pages 10 to 13 - no that one was also on the 2nd of February 2000.

Could you kindly help me to find the statement of the 20th of May, which he referred to? That might have been his application form. And according to his application from that was signed on the 17th of September 1996, so I can't find anything of the 20th of May, except that the 20th of May was I think, the - no, it wasn't the original cut-off date, was it?

MS MTANGA: It was the 10th of May.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it the original ...

MS MTANGA: It was actually the cut-off date for offences, not for applications to filed.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, it was the cut-off date and not the deadline for filing applications.

MS MTANGA: I would think so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well on giving these affidavits, what was the hurry, what were you afraid of, why were you hurried at that stage?

MR DLAMINI: When I wrote the first statement it was actually the last day when I could submit an application. I received the application form quite late and I could not - and for me to be able to submit it to the prison authorities, I had to write it very quickly in the morning.

CHAIRPERSON: Right. Now since then you've made three other - ja, I think three other statements, were you in a hurry when you made them?

MR DLAMINI: No, I was not in any hurry when I wrote the others.

CHAIRPERSON: Right now, to which statement are you referring Mr Panday?

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, on page 4 we have a typed version of the affidavit that appears from page 6 to 9, on pages 4 and 5, now Mr Dlamini what I want to refer you to is, on paragraph 4 or paragraph 5 on page 4, you mention that you committed this crime alone, it was your decision to act -

"Although there were other people when we had discussions about our black people being assaulted. They did not come up with solutions."

Now with which black people did you discuss this matter?

MR DLAMINI: I am not in a position to recall the others, but I do recall Lapiya Mbanjwa and Ntolo, whose first name I've forgotten.

MR PANDAY: And did these people give you any direction as to what has to be done?

MR DLAMINI: No, they did not come up with any ideas but they were complaining about the situation between us and the boers, that we were being exploited and harassed by them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nicolson lived on the farm near Underberg, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: That's correct. It's a little distance away from that Underberg.

CHAIRPERSON: How far is Mslabatini from Underberg, or from the farm of the deceased?

MR DLAMINI: Are you referring to Mashlatini or Mslabatini?

CHAIRPERSON: I'm referring to Mslabatini, where Ntolo lived and where Lapiya Mbanjwa lived.

MR DLAMINI: They lived in Mashlatini, not Mslabatini. That must be a mistake.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh sorry, Mashlatini.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And where is that?

MR DLAMINI: It is still under Underberg, but it's a rural area a distance away from the main centre. It is closer to Bolo.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you.

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, did you at any stage report to AZAPO about the problems you were experiencing in the area?

MR DLAMINI: Because the organisation was small, I was very far from the main centres, but I would liaise or I would communicate with MK members who informed me that AZAPO were in a better position to assist us in our situation and we worked very closely with those MK people. And for the reason that I had been in contact, in close contact with the white people and the boers in particular, they felt AZAPO would be a better organisation to assist us in our situation.

CHAIRPERSON: So is it correct that the MK wouldn't assist you?

MR DLAMINI: They assisted me in being able to locate the organisation of my choice, which was AZAPO. And because there was conflict between the ANC and the IFP, I could not associate myself with them because I believed that the struggle should be directed against white people and they assisted me in locating AZAPO members.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you tell them that you intend killing boers? The MK people, did you inform them what your problem was and that you intend killing ...(intervention)

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I did explain that I wanted to attack the farmers.

CHAIRPERSON: And did they agree with that or did they say no, they can't help you, they refer you to AZAPO? Or did they assist you?

MR DLAMINI: They encouraged me greatly, they said I should try by all means to attain my goal.

CHAIRPERSON: But you never joined them?

MR DLAMINI: Even though I may have been interested in joining MK because of their ideas, I might have been interested in joining them, but because of this conflict between the two of them and the IFP, I decided against joining them because I strongly believed that black people should not fight amongst themselves.

MR PANDAY: Now Mr Dlamini, what was the purpose in you stealing money from the Nicolson residence?

MR DLAMINI: That money was going to be used to acquire firearms and other materials that we could use to further our objective of taking the struggle to the white people.

MR PANDAY: And you mentioned that you wanted to acquire firearms, was this to place you in a better defensive position or attacking position?

MR DLAMINI: We would have used them for both offensive and defensive purposes.

MR PANDAY: Now Mr Dlamini, by the killing of Mr Nicolson, how did - or did you benefit in any way?

MR DLAMINI: I did not benefit anything, the only benefit perhaps would have been to be regarded highly in my organisation as somebody who has done a great dead.

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't you benefit about R500, which you took from the house?

MR DLAMINI: No, I did not benefit personally.

CHAIRPERSON: Then what happened to that money?

MR DLAMINI: I was on my way to Pietermaritzburg to contact other members of AZAPO and that is where I was arrested and the money was confiscated.

CHAIRPERSON: How long after the incident was the money confiscated?

MR DLAMINI: It was on the following day, the morning of the following day when I was on my way to Pietermaritzburg.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was the person that you intended handing the money to?

MR DLAMINI: Although at the time I did not have a specific person in mind, but I was going to meet Harry Gwala, who I would request to assist me in locating AZAPO leaders in that area. And Mr Gwala would also have assisted me in how to proceed because that was the person nearest to me.

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, did the killing of Mr Nicolson send any message through to the black people?

INTERPRETER: Please repeat the question.

MR PANDAY: Did the killing of Mr Nicolson, send any message across to the black people in the area?

MR DLAMINI: I was the one person sending a message. My aim was to encourage others to follow my example, so that they further the struggle for us to be able to be restored to our land.

MR PANDAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PANDAY

CHAIRPERSON: How old was Mr Nicolson?

MR DLAMINI: I think he was about 75.

CHAIRPERSON: So it was an old man?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, he was old.

CHAIRPERSON: And his wife?

MR DLAMINI: I do not know, I cannot estimate.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you didn't tell us whether you want amnesty for your attack on the wife. Did you attack her? How did you attack Mr Nicolson?

INTERPRETER: Please repeat the question.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't give us any details of how you attacked Mr Nicolson or his wife. Did you attack Mrs Nicolson?

MR DLAMINI: No, we believed in fighting other men, but if a female did get injured, that would be a mistake. It was unintentional.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you injure her?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, she was injured but that was more of scarring her to show me where the money was kept. It was not exactly really my aim to harm her.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it your aim to kill Mr Nicolson, or did you only want to scare him?

MR DLAMINI: It was my aim to kill him because it was part of the struggle, to kill the farmers.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we've heard that you've intended to go and kill him, but tell us how it really happened. Was he killed in his house, was he killed in the veld, what happened? How did you kill him?

MR DLAMINI: He was killed inside his house, in the kitchen.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Panday, could you kindly lead the witness in this respect, how did he enter the house, did he enter the house, did he break into the house, what happened? We've got no idea.

FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR PANDAY: As Mr Chairman pleases.

Mr Dlamini, when you decided to kill Mr Nicolson, you obviously had a plan in your mind, now we want for you to explain to the Committee as to how you went about the killing of Mr Nicolson. From how you entered the house to the type of weapon you used in killing Mr Nicolson. So let's start where you arrived at the house. How did you gain entry into the Nicolson home?

MR DLAMINI: Mr Nicolson was outside his farm, he was near the sheep kraal, thereafter he went inside the house and I followed him from a distance.

MR PANDAY: When he went inside the house, did you follow behind him or did you gain access through some other means?

MR DLAMINI: No, I followed him to a point outside the house and I looked around as to how I could gain entry and found a window through which I entered.

MR PANDAY: Right, you found a window. Now this window, did you break the window or you forced open the window or was the window open?

MR DLAMINI: The window was slightly open and I pulled it further and then gained entry.

MR PANDAY: And do you know into which room this window led?

MR DLAMINI: It was the window into the kitchen.

MR PANDAY: Now after you had entered this kitchen, was there anyone in the kitchen?

MR DLAMINI: No, there was no-one in the kitchen and I just waited there.

MR PANDAY: So you just waited. Do you recall for approximately how long you waited in the kitchen?

MR DLAMINI: I think I was there for about 10 minutes.

MR PANDAY: After waiting 10 minutes in the kitchen, who came first into the kitchen, was it Mr Nicolson or his wife?

MR DLAMINI: They were watching TV and there were pots cooking on the stove, so I assumed that somebody will come to check on those pots and that is why I waited there.

MR PANDAY: Who eventually came?

MR DLAMINI: It was Mr Nicolson.

MR PANDAY: Right now when Mr Nicolson arrived in the kitchen, did he see you or did you surprise him?

MR DLAMINI: He did not see me when he entered the kitchen, he only saw me when I announced myself and he asked me what I wanted and I just stabbed him.

MR PANDAY: Okay, before you stabbed him were you hiding in any particular place in the kitchen?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I was hiding.

MR PANDAY: Whereabout?

MR DLAMINI: I was leaning behind the door and when he entered the room he just entered without noticing me. I surprised him by announcing my presence.

MR PANDAY: Now after announcing your presence, did you immediately stab him or was there any conversation that transpired?

MR DLAMINI: When I announced my presence he started screaming, enquiring what I was doing there and he tried to grab hold of my weapon and at that time I started stabbing him.

MR PANDAY: Now the weapon you had, what sort of weapon was it?

MR DLAMINI: It was a sharp iron. It was a long steel iron rod.

MR PANDAY: And where did you get this long steel iron rod from?

MR DLAMINI: It was something that I had left with a certain gentleman whom I knew on that farm.

MR PANDAY: What was the name of this gentleman?

MR DLAMINI: I cannot recall his first name, but his surname was Mbanjwa. I'm not certain, it could be either Mbanjwa or Mgune.

MR PANDAY: When you surprised Mr ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I don't follow now. You left it with a certain gentleman on the farm, Mr Mbanjwa, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: I'm a little confused with regards to the surname, it could be either Mbanjwa or Mgune.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you leave it with them before you killed Mr Nicolson or after you killed him?

MR DLAMINI: It was before Mr Nicolson was killed. I cannot really specify why I left that iron rod with him, but I had ...(indistinct) it there.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you living on the farm?

MR DLAMINI: No, I was working in a neighbouring farm.

MR PANDAY: Now when you went to kill Mr Nicolson, do you recall when you collected this iron rod?

MR DLAMINI: I collected it at about 5p.m.

MR PANDAY: From the person you'd left it with?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that's correct.

MR PANDAY: Now when Mr Nicolson saw you or when you surprised Mr Nicolson, did any conversation transpire between the two of you?

MR DLAMINI: No, except for the fact that he screamed and he wanted to know what I was doing in his home, and I did not respond to that.

MR PANDAY: And when did you stab him, immediately or did you wait a while first before you stabbed him?

MR DLAMINI: I stabbed him immediately when he was trying to ask me those questions and he was screaming.

MR PANDAY: Which part of his body did you stab him on?

MR DLAMINI: Along the chest.

MR PANDAY: And do you recall approximately how many times you stabbed him?

MR DLAMINI: I think about twice.

MR PANDAY: And did you leave his body in the kitchen after you had stabbed him?

MR DLAMINI: I did not leave him in the kitchen. After I had stabbed him I hurried to his wife so that she would not get a chance perhaps to get a weapon or firearm. Mr Nicolson followed me and I grabbed his wife and started running away with her.

MR PANDAY: When you say running away with his wife, did you leave the property or were you still on the premises? Did you leave the premises or were you still in the premises?

MR DLAMINI: It was inside the house, it was around the different rooms in the house. Mr Nicolson was after me, but he also wanted to go towards the phone but he fell along the way and could not reach either me or the phone.

MR PANDAY: Now after you had grabbed Mr Nicolson's wife, did you have any conversation with her?

MR DLAMINI: The wife enquired what happened, what was the problem and I said she should enquire from her husband.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, just to come in there.

Did the Nicolson's know you personally?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, they did.

ADV SIGODI: How did they know you?

MR DLAMINI: They knew me from around the farms because I was working in the neighbouring area and we would visit on weekends.

ADV SIGODI: Had you worked for them before?

MR DLAMINI: No, not for them, I used to work for his brother.

ADV SIGODI: Where?

MR DLAMINI: It was at a neighbouring farm, at Mr Disman's place, but by that time I had stopped working for that person.

ADV SIGODI: Thanks. Continue, Mr Panday.

MR PANDAY: Now after you grabbed Mrs Nicolson, you said that she wanted to know what is happening and you asked her to question her husband, did you do anything to Mrs Nicolson?

MR DLAMINI: No, I just asked her to open the safe for me.

MR PANDAY: And did you use force on her or did you threaten her in any way?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I did use force to scare her into doing what I was asking.

MR PANDAY: What sort of force did you use on her?

MR DLAMINI: I threatened her with the instrument that I had and stabbed her on the hand.

MR PANDAY: Was that the only sort of force or assault you used on her?

MR DLAMINI: Yes.

MR PANDAY: And did she eventually give you any money?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, she did give me some money, about R5-600.

MR PANDAY: And did you take anything else from the property?

MR DLAMINI: No, I did not.

MR PANDAY: And what did you do with Mrs Nicolson after you had finished robbing the place of the money?

MR DLAMINI: I took her and tried to lock her in a bedroom but I could not find the key, so I just left her there and fled.

MR PANDAY: You didn't assault her after taking the money?

MR DLAMINI: No, I did not.

MR PANDAY: And what was the purpose of taking the money from the property?

MR DLAMINI: It was my aim to secure firearms, I thought that I could use the money to buy a firearm so that I would use it when I go on attacks.

MR PANDAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PANDAY

CHAIRPERSON: You only stabbed at Mrs Nicolson once and you wounded her in the hand, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't you stab twice at her and also inflicted a wound in her shoulder?

MR DLAMINI: When I stabbed her on the hand she tried to grab the iron rod and that was - and then at that time her hand went towards her shoulder. I saw her blouse becoming red and I assumed that she had not been injured but maybe perhaps blood has spilt onto her shirt on her shoulder.

CHAIRPERSON: Anything further?

MR PANDAY: Nothing, Mr Chairman.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Dlamini, how much money did you obtain from the farm of Mr Nicolson?

MR DLAMINI: About R600.

MS MTANGA: In your application on page 3, you were asked did you benefit in any way, financially or otherwise.

MR DLAMINI: I did not get any other benefit.

MS MTANGA: At the time you were arrested, do you remember how much money the police recovered from you?

MR DLAMINI: I do not know because at the time I had not even counted it, I just heard in Court that it was about R600.

MS MTANGA: Where were you arrested, Mr Dlamini?

MR DLAMINI: In town, in Underberg.

MS MTANGA: If you turn to page 17 of your application, on the police document there, SAP62, paragraph (c), it is indicated there that the amount of money that you obtained from the farm was R550 and only R255 was recovered from you the following day. Can you tell this Committee what happened to the rest of the money?

MR DLAMINI: I do not know about that because when they arrested me I had not gone anywhere. I cannot be certain of the amounts because I myself was informed by the police of the amount that they recovered. I had not had an opportunity to sit down and count the money.

MS MTANGA: When I asked you how much money you obtained from the farm, you said you obtained about R600, am I correct?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I did say that. That was the information I received from the police.

MS MTANGA: At the time you were at the farm didn't you count the money that you had obtained?

MR DLAMINI: No, I did not count it, I thought that I would count it when I was far away from the scene of the crime.

MS MTANGA: So would you say Mrs Nicolson lied to the Court when she said she gave you R550 in cash?

MR DLAMINI: I do not know, she must be sure of the amount because she's the person who gave it to me.

MS MTANGA: About your AZAPO membership, how many people in the Underberg area were AZAPO members, that you knew of?

MR DLAMINI: There was no-one who belonged to AZAPO. Even those who were there did not do so in the open because even in our discussions there were people who used to complain about the treatment that we received from the boers, but I did not enquire from them the political membership that they had.

MS MTANGA: If people did not disclose their AZAPO membership in Underberg, how were you in contact with AZAPO member? You yourself outside Underberg.

MR DLAMINI: Had they ...(intervention)

MS MTANGA: Mr Dlamini, you're not answering my question. I'm asking you, how were you as Mr Dlamini, as a mamber of AZAPO, how were you in contact with the AZAPO that you were a member of?

MR DLAMINI: It was the ANC people who I was in contact with. Because of the reason that I did not have money, it was difficult for me to contact AZAPO members, but I would communicate with MK people on my desire to meet AZAPO comrades.

MS MTANGA: Where were these AZAPO comrades that you would want to contact?

MR DLAMINI: It was Patrick Mkhize who was in Durban. That was the person I wished to see, but it's just that we were a distance apart.

MS MTANGA: During the time before this incident and after this incident, is there any AZAPO member that you came into contact with?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, although I do not know his address, it was somebody I had contacted through ANC members and that person was found at an area called Ncgumeni. He came to see me and we discussed very briefly because he seemed to be in a hurry and I did not pursue the matter at the time because I felt I would see him some other time through the ANC.

MS MTANGA: Mr Dlamini, can you tell this Committee what AZAPO means?

MR DLAMINI: Although I did not have full information on that organisation, but I admired their philosophy that they were fighting for the restoration of Africa to Africans, but unfortunately I did not get to meet and sit with them, discuss issues with them at length.

MS MTANGA: Mr Dlamini, where do you get that AZAPO was fighting for restoration of Africa to Africans?

MR DLAMINI: I got that from ANC comrades because I enquired from them what the AZAPO stand was on the liberation of African people, and they explained that AZAPO's stand was that the land should be restored to Africans and not shared with white people, and that was what I also felt was correct.

MS MTANGA: In the Underberg area, was there any person who knew about your AZAPO membership? Was there a person who knew about your membership?

MR DLAMINI: I kept my affiliation very secret because if you were involved in politics, the boers would beat you very badly, even to the point of driving you away from the area because of the influence you would have on the other people. I thought that if my membership was known, I would also be placed in that situation where I would be harassed.

CHAIRPERSON: Now I don't understand it, you tell us the boers would have chased you away, but you went into a house, killed the man, confronted his wife whom you've told us they knew you, you were working on the next-door farm, what did you think, wouldn't they tell the people "listen, there's the murderer"? Wouldn't she tell the people and wouldn't they chase you away then?

MR DLAMINI: At that time I knew and I was prepared for that, that she was going to inform others on what I had done, so that the people would also know the stand that I had taken, and at that time I thought that they would not be able to get hold of me because I was then on my way to the organisation. And for her to disclose that information, it would have encouraged others to follow in my footsteps and join AZAPO.

ADV BOSMAN: I am a little confused. You said that you were a supporter of AZAPO, now when did you become a member? You have now started to speak of your membership.

MR DLAMINI: I was a supporter. Although I wished to join formally, there were no political organisations in my area and even if there were that existed, they operated covertly. If I had not been arrested, I am certain that I would have joined or even established a branch in Underberg.

ADV BOSMAN: So you were not a member then. I think you must speak of you being a supporter and not a member, it's very confusing.

MR DLAMINI: Yes.

MS MTANGA: Mr Dlamini, I have a problem with your evidence in that it appears here that you carried out this offence of killing Mr Nicolson and robbing their money without having even had - you say you did all of this for the AZAPO, your organisation, but it appears to me, according to your evidence now, that you had not had contact with AZAPO on the day of this offence, you were still going to make contact with them and hence you were taking the money to the organisation. Am I correct to say this?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, at the time I was not a member, I was just a follower, a supporter. The interest was there because I wanted to launch attacks on boers and bring about the restoration of our land. I grew up under the hardship of boers and I also didn't have money to go and meet other AZAPO members in their offices, that is why it looked like I wasn't a member or a supporter. But I was on my way, that is why I was going to them, I wanted to inform them what I had just done.

MS MTANGA: If that is the case, then you didn't get an authority from AZAPO to carry out this offence, that is to kill Mr Nicolson and rob their money? What do you say to this?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I didn't get any authority from AZAPO, but I knew that it was their way that we should attack boers and take their firearms and money to use to pursue our liberation.

MS MTANGA: How did you know that it was their way that you should people and get firearms, when you were not in contact with them?

MR DLAMINI: MK members or Umkhonto weSizwe members told me so and as soon as they told me this, I realised that this was the way. And they also encouraged me to pursue my interests, and I was encouraged and I was brave that whatever I was about to do was going to be successful.

MS MTANGA: Mr Dlamini, I put it to you that it is a bunch of lies that you were ever a member of AZAPO and that you committed this offence ...(intervention)

MR PANDAY: Sorry Mr Chairman, before we go any further, if my learned friend could use the word "supporter".

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, he admits that, or he stated that he wasn't a member.

MS MTANGA: I put to you, it is a bunch of lies that you carried out this offence as a supporter of AZAPO and that you therefore carried it out to further the political struggle of AZAPO. What do you say to this?

MR DLAMINI: I had the interest and aim. If I wasn't arrested I was going to pursue my interests. I did this because I was interested in AZAPO and also for the fact that there was an organisation in place which supported that idea.

MS MTANGA: In your affidavit on page 4, paragraph 5, you refer to a person by the name of Lapiya Mbanjwa of Mslabatini, can you tell this Committee how well do you know Lapiya Mbanjwa and where do you know him from.

MR DLAMINI: I used to work with Lapiya Mbanjwa under a certain farmer called Ronnie, and his nickname was Makajoni. That is where I know Lapiya.

MS MTANGA: Did Lapiya know Mr Nicolson?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, he knew him.

MS MTANGA: Would you say he knew about the allegations that you made about Mr Nicolson here today? That he ill-treated black people and he was an AWB member and he influenced other white people in the area to ill-treat black people?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I will say he knows how the boers used to ill-treat blacks in the area, but I don't know if he knows that Mr Nicolson was a member of AWB. We were working together, but we never conversed to that extent.

MS MTANGA: In the same paragraph, that is paragraph 5, you stated that -

"Although there were other people when you had discussions about our black people being assaulted, they did not come up with a solution, to me they appeared to be afraid. These were one, Mtoli of Emakuzeni, in the locality of Mslabatini and Lapiya Mbanjwa of Mslabatini and others."

So if you say there were such discussions or if you agree with what this paragraph is saying, there were discussions about the assaults that were being carried out on black people, am I correct? You did discuss the assaults with Lapiya and Mtoli and other people.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, we used to talk in general about those things, more especially about the treatment we received from the boers. And also we used to discuss about solutions, but then no-one ever suggested any solution. Even though I had an idea which was my solution, but I never voiced that out to them, we used to just talk in general about the treatment we received.

MS MTANGA: My understanding of your evidence today is that the cause of these assaults and ill-treatment was the AWB, or the AWB people were the people who were behind these assaults on you and that Mr Nicolson was the leader of the AWB in the area. If that is the case and taking into account also the evidence that you gave here that it was well known - it was a common experience in Underberg, that blacks would be ill-treated by these AWB people, would I be correct to assume that - to expect Mr Lapiya to know about the AWB assaults on you? And further, that Mr Nicolson was an AWB person and a leader of the AWB in the area.

MR PANDAY: Sorry, Mr Chairman, I stand to be corrected but I don't recall him saying that Mr Nicolson was the leader of the AWB, it was more his association with the AWB.

MS MTANGA: If you read the affidavit, page 4, paragraph 2, it's stated that he was a leader of the AWB.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I took him as a leader of the AWB, because AWB used to frequent him and I will say they were doing these things under his direction. And also, some boers used to say so, that Mr Nicolson was the one who was giving them those instructions to ill-treat blacks.

CHAIRPERSON: Who were the whites that gave you that information, that Nicolson was the one who instructed them to ill-treat the blacks?

MR DLAMINI: They were contractors which used to come in the area. I approached him because I was looking for a job.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was this contractor? Where could we get hold of him?

MR DLAMINI: The first one was under the supervision of Mr Barnett. Mr Barnett together with other whites, they came and they've spoken to him and later we will realise our salary is being decreased and when we enquired about this we were told that Mr Nicolson told them to reduce the salaries. And also that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Now these contractors - let's stand still at the contractor, I only want to have the name of this contractor and you said it was Mr Bennet, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, the first contractor was Mr Barnett.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, was it Barnard?

MR DLAMINI: Barnard, ja.

CHAIRPERSON: Barnard. And what kind of work did he do?

MR DLAMINI: He was building a hospital in Underberg.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was a builder there?

MR DLAMINI: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he told you, am I correct, that Mr Nicolson instructed him that your salary should be reduced?

MR DLAMINI: Even though he didn't say it was Mr Nicolson, but since Mr Nicolson came and spoke to Mr Barnard, we knew when Mr Barnard told us he had been instructed to reduce our salaries, so we knew that it was Mr Nicolson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So did Mr Barnard work for Mr Nicolson? How could he instruct Mr Barnard to reduce the salary of workers working for him, that's for Mr Barnard? What authority did Nicolson have to instruct Barnard?

MR DLAMINI: ...(no English interpretation)

CHAIRPERSON: Could we have the translation please.

MR DLAMINI: I think Mr Barnard was afraid that he could lose his contract if he didn't obey Mr Nicolson's order.

CHAIRPERSON: I see. Would this perhaps be an appropriate time to adjourn, or do you wish to carry on? I don't think we'll be able to finish today, it doesn't look like it.

MR PANDAY: This would be an appropriate time, Mr Chairman. I'm just checking my diary for tomorrow, just to advise what time we can kick off tomorrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we'll advise you what time we're starting.

MR PANDAY: Well, we try and strike the balance, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: We're starting at 9 o'clock, Sir.

MR PANDAY: That just gives me enough time to phone the Courts and just tell them that I'm tied up here, to not wait for me.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We're adjourning until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, can I? Mr Nicolson is the son of the late Mr Nicolson, he would like to raise his concern about him not being able to attend tomorrow.

MR NICOLSON: Is it possible for me to make a short statement to the Commission, Mr Chairman, before we adjourn? I won't be long.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it's sort of unusual because we wouldn't have the full story, but you've heard his story ...

END OF SIDE A OF TAPE

START OF SIDE B OF TAPE

CHAIRPERSON: Could we have a five minute adjournment and then perhaps Ms Mtanga you could consult with him and let's have his evidence and see how far we could get. Could you ask the other staff whether they'll be prepared to sit, say until half past four.

MS MTANGA: That will be fine, Chairperson, but I don't think he'll be long. I have spoken to him earlier on, he won't be long.

CHAIRPERSON: And would he be in a position to give it straight away?

MS MTANGA: Let me just check with him now. He's prepared to go ahead now, Chairperson, without us adjourning.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, we'll take a very short adjournment for five minutes and then we'll proceed with Mr Nicolson. We'll allow the interpreters to have a break and get out of those cubicles and then we can proceed again.

MR NICOLSON: Thank you.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MR DLAMINI BY MS MTANGA STANDS DOWN FOR MR NICOLSON TO GIVE EVIDENCE

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Nicolson, could you kindly rise.

DEREK EDWARD BETRAM NICOLSON: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nicolson, before we start I have something that wasn't clear to me, could you perhaps help us. Who is Ronnie?

MR NICOLSON: Ronnie would most probably be Ronnie Brey of the farm Lamington, because I know that his Zulu name was Makaton.

CHAIRPERSON: Of the farm Lamington?

MR NICOLSON: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And who would be Michael?

MR NICOLSON: I've no idea who Michael is.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you. And just before the adjournment we've heard about a Barnard, do you know anything about him?

MR NICOLSON: It's not Mr Barnard, it's Mr Dave Barnett, who runs a construction firm in the Underberg district and is still resident in the area.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, kindly proceed. Would you lead the witness please.

EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Nicolson, will you please give your full names for the record.

MR NICOLSON: Derek Edward Betram Nicolson.

MS MTANGA: Can you please tell this Committee how you are related to the late Mr Nicolson and Mrs Anna Nicolson.

MR NICOLSON: I am the son of the late Mr Nicolson.

MS MTANGA: Did you live with Mr Nicolson?

MR NICOLSON: I lived in the same homestead as Mr Nicolson.

MS MTANGA: You have heard the evidence of the applicant that your father was an AWB member and a leader, what is your view about this?

MR NICOLSON: This is totally incorrect, I would have been aware if he was an AWB member because I lived in the same home as him and grew up in the same home. I am absolutely sure that he was a member of the United Party and never changed his political affiliation.

MS MTANGA: You heard that there were meetings that were at times held at Mr Nicolson's home by the AWB, do you know of these meetings?

MR NICOLSON: I'm totally unaware of any meetings held by the AWB in that homestead.

MS MTANGA: Are you aware of any AWB meetings being held in the Underberg area?

MR NICOLSON: I'm totally unaware of any AWB meetings or AWB members in the Underberg area.

MS MTANGA: Mr Nicolson, do you know the applicant, Mr Dlamini?

MR NICOLSON: No, I don't know the applicant.

MS MTANGA: Did your family know the applicant?

MR NICOLSON: No, if my family had known the applicant, my mother would have immediately identified him to the police and we would have known who we were looking for.

MS MTANGA: What was the relationship between your father and Ronnie, that the applicant has been referring to?

MR NICOLSON: No relationship at all, he was a distant neighbour, about three farms away.

MS MTANGA: Were they not probably members of the same party, the United Party?

MR NICOLSON: I'm unaware of Ronnie Brey's political affiliations.

MS MTANGA: Is there anything else you'd like to say about this application, about the applicant and this application?

MR NICOLSON: Yes, I would like it to be recorded before the Amnesty Committee, that we have forgiven Mr Dlamini for the crime he has committed against us as a family, because we are Christian folk and we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are called as Christians to forgive others for the offences they commit against us.

I'd also like to state that my father was very well disposed towards the black people in our area, as could be confirmed by two of my farm labourers, Manduna and his relative who are sitting in this hearing today. He helped many black pensioners obtain their pensions and was always willing to assist them.

I'd like also to state that I'm unaware of him attending any meetings in the Underberg Hotel. And also to reiterate that this man was a total stranger to my father. I'm also convinced, having read his submission, that it is a pack of lies and that there was no political motive to this crime at all. I'm convinced that he entered my father's home to rob my mother and father and when confronted by my father he murdered him and he then proceeded to stab and rob my mother.

I therefore must state on behalf of my family that we cannot support this application because it is totally untruthful. Whilst we do forgive the applicant for the crime he committed, we as a family believe that when one murders somebody, one must pay the price. That is all I have to say before the Committee.

MS MTANGA: One last question, Mr Nicolson. Were you aware, that is in 1991, of political activism by AZAPO or MK people in the area of Underberg? Were you aware of such activities?

MR NICOLSON: I was totally unaware of any activities in the area at this time. I was aware of activities in the Transkei area and the Eastern Cape area, but totally unaware of any activities in the Underberg area.

MS MTANGA: Were you aware of incidents where farm labourers were assaulted by the farmers?

MR NICOLSON: I'm sure, as in any area, there were instances that took place, but I'm unaware of them and unable to state where they actually took place. And I must reiterate that they did not take place on our property, we never purposely tortured or beat anybody on our property.

MS MTANGA: I have no further questions, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS MTANGA

CHAIRPERSON: Where were you on the day of the incident?

MR NICOLSON: I was at a meeting, a committee meeting at the Underberg school, which is 18 kilometres away from the farm.

CHAIRPERSON: At what time of the day did this happen, approximately?

MR NICOLSON: It must have been about half past six/seven in the evening.

CHAIRPERSON: And your mother couldn't identify the attacker or the perpetrator at that stage?

MR NICOLSON: I think if she had have known him, she would have immediately have alerted the police as to his identity, but at that time she could only describe his appearance but she did not know his name or where he worked, and I don't think she'd ever seen him before.

CHAIRPERSON: There was evidence that his weapon was left with a worker on the farm, I think it was Mr Mbanjwa, do you know Mr Mbanjwa?

MR NICOLSON: I don't know of any Mr Mbanjwa that the weapon might have been left with, he might have left it with some of our labourers in the compound because he certainly was a stranger on our property.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there any labourers staying on the farm except for those staying in the compound?

MR NICOLSON: Yes, we have other staff members who are resident in their particular homesteads, of which there are about, I think, six homesteads on the farm.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps he could clear up whether he left it at a homestead or where he left it.

Could you perhaps find out where he left this weapon of his?

MR PANDAY: Mr Dlamini, you mentioned in your evidence-in-chief that you had left the weapon with either a Mr Mbanjwa or a Mr Mgwena, I'm not too sure of the names, now these people that you left the weapon with, were they on the Nicolson farm or on the farms around the Nicolson farm? Did they live on the farm at the Nicolsons or around the Nicolson farm?

MR DLAMINI: They were residing in the compound, Nicolson's compound.

MR PANDAY: Would you be able to know which compound or which area this compound was in, which direction?

CHAIRPERSON: Well I think there would only be one compound on a farm, usually that's the situation.

You don't know any, or you can't recollect ...(intervention)

MR NICOLSON: It was the only one compound.

CHAIRPERSON: You can't recollect people with those names working for you at that stage?

MR NICOLSON: I have people belonging to the Mguni clan and the Mbanjwa clan and the Dlamini clan, working for me on my property. They are the dominant clans that have been on the farm for many, many years.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there anything you would like to draw our attention to?

MS MTANGA: Yes, Chairperson. On the judgment, page 29, that's from paragraph 20 - third paragraph, line 21. It says here -

"According to him (that is according to the applicant) he visited one Mazanza on the farm of the deceased on the day in question and he had a conversation with Mazanza, who offered him dagga to smoke."

I would like to ask if my witness knows this Mazanza.

MR NICOLSON: These people who work for us tend to give many different names. That name doesn't ring a bell.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PANDAY: Yes please.

Mr Nicolson, you mentioned that the that people work on your farm tend to give many names, so do you accept the possibility that the person the applicant refers to, he may have known him by another name, save for the name that you know him at?

MR NICOLSON: Absolutely.

MR PANDAY: Mr Nicolson, you mention that your father was not an AWB member, let's accept that for the time being. Now do you accept that your father may very well have associated with people that were AWB members?

MR NICOLSON: No, I wouldn't accept that at all.

MR PANDAY: Why do you say that, Mr Nicolson?

MR NICOLSON: Because of the fact that my father's political beliefs were very much of promoting Africans into Parliament, and these were stated quite openly at public meetings. He believed in taking hands and working together. These are not the beliefs of the AWB.

MR PANDAY: Mr Nicolson, do you accept that not all of the farmers were as open-minded as your father?

MR NICOLSON: I accept that, not everybody is as open-minded as my father was.

MR PANDAY: Do you also accept that a few members of the white community in the area and/or alternatively, farmers, belonged to the AWB?

MR NICOLSON: I'd have to say it is very unbelievable, I couldn't think of anybody in the area who would belong to the AWB.

MR PANDAY: But can you say that for certain?

MR NICOLSON: I think I can say that with great certainty.

MR PANDAY: Mr Nicolson, would you accept that the applicant may have very well perceived people in the area to be AWB members, based on the ill-treatment they may have received, or others may have received from these persons?

MR NICOLSON: That would be the applicant's perception of farmers in the area. No doubt he might have been stirred up politically to believe that, but it would not be my perception.

MR PANDAY: So you do accept that in his political frame of mind this was the impression created and he was obviously acting on this impression?

MR NICOLSON: No, I can't read the applicant's mind or his state of mind, so I cannot make a statement on that matter.

MR PANDAY: Now Mr Nicolson, you continuously go on to say you are not aware of persons being AWB in the area, but that itself does not confirm that there were AWB persons in the area.

MR NICOLSON: I'd like to say to you that the AWB is a very active and open organisation, Mr Eugene Terre'blanche has fallen off his horse on a number of occasions in public. I'm sure if the AWB were operating in our area, they would have been very visible.

MR PANDAY: And you mentioned that your family did not know the applicant, but at the same time you can't be sure that the applicant was not known, at the very least, to your father.

MR NICOLSON: My father being dead, I cannot say that he was not known to my father or my father did not meet him shortly before his death.

MR PANDAY: Mr Nicolson, to put it to you finally, if in the applicant's mind he believed there to be a political problem in the area, in that there were AWB members that actually ill-treat, harass and oppress the blacks and he carried out this act on that belief, would you then accept that in his frame of mind that was a justified political act?

MR NICOLSON: First of all I must state as a Christian, I cannot condone any act of murder or taking of another person's life, whether political or just plain criminal. But answering your question, I do not know what the applicant's state of mind was or what was going on amongst the black people in the area politically, I was unaware of it, so I cannot really answer that question for you.

MR PANDAY: Finally Mr Nicolson, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: On that basis, would there be any possible ground, and I want you to frame it very widely, that anybody could form a reasonable perception that your father, even if he wasn't a leader of the AWB, that he in some way or other associated with them or their policies?

MR NICOLSON: I don't see how anybody could possibly form that perception.

MR PANDAY: Mr Nicolson, if I may just phrase it a bit differently, just taking off of the question Mr Chairman has put to you, do you accept that in the are there were farmers that ill-treated the workers?

MR NICOLSON: I accept that because there are farmers in every area who mistreat their workers.

MR PANDAY: Now do you accept further that farmers per se as their career, would obviously collude at times to either discuss various issues, not necessarily political issues?

MR NICOLSON: There were always meetings of the Underberg Farmers Association, which is a farmers organisation which discussed matters pertaining to farmers.

MR PANDAY: Now would your father attend such meetings?

MR NICOLSON: He hardly ever attended them because he was not in a position of authority there, his brother Desmond was more in a position of authority in the Underberg Farmers Association.

MR PANDAY: I accept that he may not have been in a position of authority, but would he be at time seen at this meeting, not necessarily frequently, but he would have at some time attended these meetings?

MR NICOLSON: He would have at some time attended those meetings, but as the applicant states these meetings took place in our farmhouse, well the Underberg Farmers Association always meets at the farmers' hall, never in our farmhouse or at the Underberg Hotel.

MR PANDAY: And was there any meeting that took place where there was a congregation of known white farmers at your premises, not necessarily for farmers meetings, but for a very ...(indistinct) social gathering or any other particular gathering?

MR NICOLSON: I'm totally unaware of such a meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they sometimes attend for instance, your father's birthday, or people coming visiting you?

MR NICOLSON: Well I should I think that these are common gatherings which take place at every farmstead, but there was never any organised political meetings as such.

MR PANDAY: Right, thank you Mr Nicolson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PANDAY

ADV SIGODI: Mr Nicolson, how old was your father when he was killed?

MR NICOLSON: He was 76 years old.

ADV SIGODI: Is your mother still alive?

MR NICOLSON: Yes, she's still alive and she still resides in the same farmhouse.

ADV SIGODI: Thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: And she was about 71?

MR NICOLSON: I think she would have been round about 73, but I could be incorrect.

CHAIRPERSON: Anybody else wanting to ...?

ADV BOSMAN: May I just ask, Mr Nicolson, was your father a frail person or was he a strong healthy man?

MR NICOLSON: My father was remarkably fit for his age.

ADV SIGODI: Also, was it just the two of them staying on that farm or were there other people staying with them? In the actual house.

MR NICOLSON: It was just the two of them staying in there at the time.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you stay?

MR NICOLSON: I was staying with my wife in a homestead which is about 800 metres away. I was married in 1981.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Anybody else who wants to pose a question?

Thank you, Mr Nicolson, thank you for attending and taking the trouble to be here and thank you for giving evidence in this case and for the attitude of forgiving the applicant although you're not supporting his application.

MR NICOLSON: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We'll now adjourn until tomorrow morning 9 o'clock.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS