DATE: 9TH MAY 2000



DAY: 2


CHAIRPERSON: We are sitting today, the 9th of May, to hear the application of Zamikaia Mgandela. The Committee remains the same, Judges Wilson, Miller and Motata. Would the representatives please put themselves on record.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee. My name is Lungelo Mbandazayo, I'm representing the applicant in this matter. Thank you.

MS MAY: Mr Chairman and Honourable Members of the Committee, my name is Candice May and I'm representing the five victims in this matter.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair and Honourable Members of the Committee. My name is Thabile Thabethe, I'm the Evidence Leader for the TRC. Thank you.

MR MBANDAZAYO: May the applicant be sworn in, Chairperson?

JUDGE MOTATA: What language would he speak? In which language will he be testifying?


JUDGE MOTATA: Please give us your full names, Sir.


JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you. Sworn in, Chairperson.


Mr Mgandela, is it correct that you were born on the 10th of June 1959, in Port Elizabeth?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee how far you went at school.

MR MGANDELA: Up until standard seven.

MR MBANDAZAYO: In which year did you drop out in standard seven?


MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Mgandela, can you tell the Committee, when did you join PAC?


MR MBANDAZAYO: Do you still remember the month in which you joined the PAC?

MR MGANDELA: It was the beginning of the year, maybe in January, but I can't remember clearly.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Do you know that in 1978 the PAC was banned?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I know that.

MR MBANDAZAYO: How did you join it?

MR MGANDELA: I joined it as it was working underground.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Mr Mgandela, is it correct that in the same year, 1978, in which you joined PAC, you were also convicted of several offences?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee about those offences which you were convicted of.

MR MGANDELA: At that time, from 1976 up to 1978, we were struggling and we were burning all the structures of the government. So my first record, I was arrested with the petrol.


MR MGANDELA: I was then fined and then I was convicted again in connection with the petrol.

MR MBANDAZAYO: With the exception of the petrol offences ...

MR MGANDELA: Others were in connection with motor vehicles.

MR MBANDAZAYO: What were you doing with the motor vehicles?

MR MGANDELA: We were transporting the comrades, the PAC comrades who were supposed to be taken in a certain place, or who were supposed to be taken out of Port Elizabeth to other areas.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now is there no offence in which you were convicted which involved dagga?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, there is.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Just tell the Committee about it.

MR MGANDELA: In that case there were people that I was transporting and then on the way when the car was searched, dagga was found in the car. So it was just a small amount of dagga.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee, are you a member of APLA?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: When did you join APLA?


MR MBANDAZAYO: When in 1992?

MR MGANDELA: May 1992.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Who recruited you to APLA?

MR MGANDELA: It was Mbuyiseli Mahlathi.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Did you undergo any military training?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Where did you undergo military training?

MR MGANDELA: In the Transkei, Centane, in a place called Tafelafe(?).

MR MBANDAZAYO: Who trained you in Centane?

MR MGANDELA: It was Ntugululu.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Mr Mgandela, can you tell the Committee about the offence in which you were convicted and for which you are applying amnesty. Before you committed the offence, who came up with the idea and who planned the actual offence, the commission of the offence?

MR MGANDELA: As a soldier I was obeying orders from my Unit Commander. Two weeks before this incident my Unit Commander came to me and he took me to Kwafilita, in the scrap yard, where I was told together with other comrades that were working with me in that unit. After he briefed us he told us that he would organise a day whereby we would reconnoitre the place that we were going to do the job. So indeed, we went to this place and we saw this place. After that he selected our positions on the day of the incident. So on that day he arrived in the morning, he took me at home in the morning, we then went to this place, but before going to this place he gave me a .38 special, a revolver, and three of our comrades that were working with me in this unit, were given three 9mm ...(intervention)

MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee the names of the other people who were involved in the commission of this offence.

JUDGE MOTATA: May I just interpose, Mr Mbandazayo. Could he go slower, we are taking down what he is saying as well.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson.

Can you tell the Committee the names of the people who were involved in the commission of this offence? Firstly, tell them who was the Commander of the unit.

MR MGANDELA: It was Wellington Sam, the Commander. He was the Unit Commander.

MR MBANDAZAYO: How was he armed?

MR MGANDELA: With a 9mm, a revolver.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, who else?

MR MGANDELA: It Mbongeni Mbekhiswa.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, how was he armed?

MR MGANDELA: He had a 9mm.

MR MBANDAZAYO: The other one?

MR MGANDELA: It was Bomba, Bomba was the third one.


MR MGANDELA: I cannot recall his surname, but I only knew him as Bomba. He introduced himself to me as Bomba.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes. How was he armed?

MR MGANDELA: He also had a 9mm.


MR MGANDELA: I was the fourth one.

MR MBANDAZAYO: You were only four in this unit?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: And also, when you went to commit this offence, it was four of you.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee, what were you going to do. Each of you was going to do what when you arrived at the place where the offence was to be committed?

MR MGANDELA: My Unit Commander told me to observe at the door, to stand at the door. A person who was inside was not supposed to go out and there were no people that were allowed to go in. Mbekhiswa was the driver. After we finished repossessing he would be the one driving us back to the township. Bomba and the Unit Commander were going to take the money inside, to rob the money inside.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Whose car were you using when you went there?

MR MGANDELA: I don't know who the owner of the van was, but we were using a van, an Isuzu van.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee what type of place was it that you went there to commit this offence in? Is it a factory, a shop or what? What type of place?

MR MGANDELA: I can say it was a wholesale, a shop.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you then proceed and tell what happened on your arrival at this wholesale.

MR MGANDELA: When we arrived, as we knew our positions, we knew our different jobs, when we arrived I stood at the door as I was selected to be the door observer, so others went in. I then heard my Unit Commander saying that everybody that was inside had to surrender. So indeed they did like that and then they took our their firearms. They were busy inside and I was standing at the door. When I was still standing there at the door, a van, a Ford Bantam, parked in front of the door.


MR MGANDELA: A white man came out of the van. He had a plastic with money inside. He locked the van. I could see what he was doing because the van was in front of me. Because we had reconnoitred the place, I realised that this was the person who was working there and he had money with him, because we had gone to that place two weeks before.

So when he arrived at the door I opened the door for him and then he went in. When he went in, I took out my firearm, I pointed him with the firearm and I told him to lie down on the floor. I took the plastic from him and one of my comrades, Bomba took him and he took him to the place where we thought that we would lock them there, so that we cannot be arrested when we were trying to escape.

MR MBANDAZAYO: What type of place were you going to lock them in?

MR MGANDELA: I'm not sure how it looked like inside, but when we were reconnoitring the place it was like a room, but when they were being locked inside I was not there, so I cannot explain exactly how it looked.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Then what happened after you had snatched this money from this person?

MR MGANDELA: It was then taken from me - he was taken by Bomba inside. After that the Unit Commander came out with Bomba and he told me to wait there until he gave me a signal. He had a cardboard with him and they were trying to open the van, taking it out of the parking area. They went inside the van and another third person came out. When this person was approaching them in the van, the police then came and at that time they decided to leave, to drive off. Then the police came to me, they wanted my firearm and the money that was with me. I was then arrested.

MR MBANDAZAYO: So all that you are saying is that you never met them again, your comrades.

MR MGANDELA: No, I never met with them, my unit members.

MR MBANDAZAYO: No-one visited you in prison, amongst them?

MR MGANDELA: No, no-one visited me, but others came from the organisation, but not my unit members.

MR MBANDAZAYO: What eventually happened to them? Were they ever arrested?

MR MGANDELA: No, they were never arrested because I didn't mention their names to the police.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Where are they now?

MR MGANDELA: According to what I hear now, I hear that some of them passed away.

MR MBANDAZAYO: But you are not sure about that, it's possible that they are still alive?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I'm not sure about that, because that's what I heard.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now I take it that you know - during the trial you heard what actually happened and the victims also narrated what actually took place and what they went through during that time when you were committing the offence. Now what do you say to the victims?

MR MGANDELA: What I can say to the victims is that I sympathise with them and I would like to apologise to them, because we were just furthering the struggle at the time and during the struggle a lot of people died and some of the people get injured.

MR MBANDAZAYO: So the money which you snatched from the employee of that company, was recovered by the police from you.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, together with the firearm.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Is there anything that you want to add to your testimony?

MR MGANDELA: No, there is nothing I'd like to add.

MR MBANDAZAYO: That is all, Chairperson.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mgandela, what was the aim of your organisation?

MR MGANDELA: In 1993, that year was declared as the year of the Great Storm in our struggle.

MS MAY: And what does it mean "Great Storm"?

MR MGANDELA: It was an operation whereby we had to raise funds for the organisation.

MS MAY: And what was the purpose of raising these funds?

MR MGANDELA: At that time the organisation wanted money because we did not have enough money for the organisation.

MS MAY: What was that money going to be used for?

MR MGANDELA: In 1993 we already knew that we were going to the elections, democratic elections, so that money was going to help the organisation to campaign for the elections.

MS MAY: How were you recruited into the PAC?

MR MGANDELA: In 1992 I told myself that I was going to be trained that year and I then met with my fellow comrades from the PAC, and I told them that I wanted to be trained. It was then that I was taken to Centane in the Transkei, where I was trained.

MS MAY: Right, Mr Mgandela, my question was, how were you recruited into the PAC? I think your answer reflects how you were recruited into APLA.

MR MGANDELA: During 1978, during the times of the struggle, I was very active. I was still young at the time and because I was being harassed and I was not sleeping at home at the time, I was then advised to join and to involve myself with the activities of the PAC, and the reasons were explained to me. It was then that I was recruited to join the PAC.

MS MAY: And who was it that recruited you at that stage, in 1978?

MR MGANDELA: It was Mbuyiseli Mahlathi.

MS MAY: Were there specific people that you approached in 1992? You said that you met with some of your comrades.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, there are people that I met with.

MS MAY: And who were those people that recruited you at that stage?


MS MAY: Yes.

MR MGANDELA: It was Mike Xhashimba.

MS MAY: Just him?

MR MGANDELA: Viwe Miza. I can mention those two.

MS MAY: Can you explain to me what the structure of your political party was in 1993?

MR MGANDELA: It was the PAC, the APLA, the PAWU, PASO.

MS MAY: And were you at all involved in PAWU and PASO?

MR MGANDELA: In 1980, I was involved in the youth organisation of the PAC, Azanyo.

MS MAY: How were you chosen to be involved in this mission that you are applying for amnesty for today?

MR MGANDELA: After I came back from training I was then introduced to the unit that I was with during this mission. It was where I got instructions about the mission that we're talking about.

MS MAY: How soon after you came back from your training was this mission planned?

MR MGANDELA: I came back from training in 1992, and I heard about this mission two weeks before it was executed.

JUDGE MILLER: How long was your training in Centane?

MR MGANDELA: Two months.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, the weapons that you had on that day, where did they come from?

MR MGANDELA: Our Unit Commander gave us the weapons.

MS MAY: And do you know where he obtained them?

MR MGANDELA: No, I don't know.

MS MAY: Why did you choose Pick, Fit and Take? Or do you know why it was chosen?

MR MGANDELA: As a soldier I could not - I did not have a right to ask questions, I was just supposed to obey orders.

MS MAY: And the aim of this robbery, was it just to gain money, or what were your intentions?

MR MGANDELA: Our aim was to repossess money and arms.

MS MAY: Did you know whether there were any arms at Pick, Fit and Take?

MR MGANDELA: I did not know, but we expected them to be there because it was a public place, everybody was going in and out of that place.

MS MAY: So you weren't intending just to rob the employees of Pick, Fit and Take, but the customers there as well?

CHAIRPERSON: Well weren't they going to rob the establishment, not just the employees?

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman.

JUDGE MILLER: Sorry, before you proceed, Ms May.

When you got there, were there customers in the shop??

MR MGANDELA: Yes, there were customers, but they were only a few.


MS MAY: Thank you.

JUDGE MILLER: Sorry, just to follow up on what you asked him.

Were the customers robbed, do you know? Did you see any of the customers being robbed by Bomba and Sam?

MR MGANDELA: I cannot say whether there were customers that were robbed or not, because they were taken to this room and I was not be able to see what was happening on that side. But even in court, during the trial, there were no customers that were there saying that they were robbed.

JUDGE MILLER: Thank you. Ms May.

MS MAY: Thank you.

Now were you going to take just money, or watches and wallets, were all those kinds of things going to be taken as well? Was that part of your plan?

MR MGANDELA: I only knew about money, I only knew that we were there to take money.

MS MAY: Now you told us that you were standing outside, it was your order to stand outside and keep guard as such, and then a man came out of a van and you then opened the door for him and let him go in and you then held a gun to his head. Is that right?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Did you point the gun at him, or did you hold it right up against his head when you forced him to lie down?

MR MGANDELA: I pointed him with the gun.

MS MAY: Because I consulted with the victims, Mr Burbidge, who I understand was the person who was in possession of that money and who is in fact the person that you let in, and he states that - although I won't be calling him, he has informed me that he suffered a large amount of trauma and that he was very afraid at that stage, because he wasn't just pointed with a gun or threatened or told to do things, he feared for his life because the gun was held up directly against his head. In fact if I can continue, he said that while he was lying on the ground on his stomach, the gun was held at the back of his skull.

MR MGANDELA: I did not do that, I just pointed him with the firearm and told him to lie down. After he lay down I went back to my position and then my fellow comrade took him from that place, and I didn't even see him pointing with a gun on his head.

MS MAY: Did you see how your comrade, Bomba, took this man away?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I saw him, but I was also looking at the people that wanted to go inside, but I saw him when he was grabbing him, taking him to the other room.

MS MAY: You've now said that you were looking at the people who wanted to come inside, were there people that wanted to come inside, or were you looking in case there were people that wanted to come inside?

MR MGANDELA: My duty was to watch people that wanted to go in, so that I could open the door for them and then let them in so that they cannot go out, so I had to stand in that position even if there was no-one who wanted to go inside. But that was my duty, to stand there an look out for those people.

JUDGE MILLER: But what Ms May is asking you was, besides this man who came in with the plastic bag, Mr Burbidge, did any other people come in, while you were at your position at the door? That's what she wants to know.

MR MGANDELA: There were people that went in before the person who was driving the van, but he was the last one to go in.

JUDGE MILLER: Those people that went in before him, did you open the door for them?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I opened the door for them.

JUDGE MILLER: Can you give us an indication of approximately how many people? One, two, twenty, thirty?

MR MGANDELA: I think it was three or four people.


MS MAY: Thank you, I'm indebted to the Committee.

Mr Mgandela, what was going to be done with the proceeds that were going to be taken there that day? How were they going to be divided?

MR MGANDELA: The proceeds, we were not going to divide the money because we were not doing that for our personal gain, it was going to go through the channels of the organisation and reach the higher people in the organisation.

MS MAY: Now if I can get back to what was happening inside Pick, Fit and Take, on that day. When you had planned beforehand and gone on your reconnaissance, you stated earlier on that you had seen this room, had it then previously been planned that that was where you were going to lock the people inside this wholesaler, up?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that was mentioned, that the staff was going to be locked in that room.

MS MAY: Do you know what - the two that went inside, that was Bomba and Wellington Sam, did they tell you beforehand what the plan was going to be as they went in? What were they going to say to the staff or the people inside?

MR MGANDELA: I was not the one who was told, but the Unit Commander briefed all of us of what was going to happen.

MS MAY: And what was going the plan, what were they going to say to the people inside the shop?

MR MGANDELA: When they were inside in this building, I was going to retain my position and different people would go to their position and then the Unit Commander would tell them to surrender and then we were supposed to take out our firearms at that time, so that the people that were inside were not able to go outside as I was standing in the door.

MS MAY: So you were waiting to hear the Unit Commander say that they must surrender, that was the signal that you were waiting for before you took out your gun.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Can you remember what the words were that he used on that day?

MR MGANDELA: No, I cannot remember the words he used.

MS MAY: Well according to the court record, what was said is:

"This is a robbery"

no mention was made of the fact that this was an attempt to gain funds for the PAC. Can you comment on that?

MR MGANDELA: I cannot dispute that.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, if this really was a mission for the PAC and for APLA, surely you would mention that this was the case and not just say "This is a robbery" ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Was it the policy of the PAC, to say "We are stealing your money so we can do well in the forthcoming election?

MS MAY: Mr Chairman, I will accept that that is not necessarily the case, however, in the applicant's application he makes a large mention of the fact that this specific Pick, Fit and Take, was targeted because it was white-owned and dominated and ... And I think that perhaps one cannot rule out the possibility that something may well have been said as to the reason why they had been targeted and that there was a mission as such, involved, not just a pure robbery.

JUDGE MOTATA: Are you expecting, as the Chairman says, that there should have been a long discussion why they were there and taking the money?

MS MAY: Indeed, no. I will take that point no further.

Mr Mgandela, you said to us earlier on that you left school in 1976, what work did you do after you left school?

MR MGANDELA: During those years, in 1976, I was still very young at the time and at that time the youth was disorganising all the structures of the government, so at that time in 1976, when I left school, I involved myself in the struggle and I was active in the struggle.

JUDGE MILLER: Did you ever have any employment, or did you ever work legally for money?

MR MGANDELA: I was a mechanic. I was not employed, but I was self-employed. I was doing that for myself, I was self-employed.

JUDGE MILLER: When you say "a mechanic", a motor mechanic?


JUDGE MILLER: Yes, thank you. Ms May?

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, at the time that you were arrested, the PAC was no longer banned. The offence was only committed on the 27th of November 1993. Now you've previously explained that that was in order to raise funds to assist the political party in the election, but judgment in this case was given on 25/11/1996, why did you not disclose to the Court during your trial, after these elections, why you had committed this offence?

MR MGANDELA: This incident happened on the 27th of November 1993 and at that time we had not already voted, so as a soldier at that time I was not allowed to surrender to the enemy or to give out information and arms, so I could not be able to mention the names of my comrades because of that.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if you heard the question as I understood it, it was not why you didn't say anything when you were arrested, it was why you didn't say anything in the court on the 25th of November 1996, after there had been a change of government in this country.

MR MGANDELA: To answer that, at the time of the trial after the elections, I had already made a statement defending my comrades, so I did not want to change my statement then because they were not going to listen to my story.

MS MAY: And after judgment was given on the 25/11/1996, there was quite a long period that passed, sentence was only given on the 11/4/1997, why did you not then mention the motive for this robbery? Which could have mitigated your sentence.

MR MGANDELA: As I've already mentioned, in Court as I had made a statement before protecting my fellow comrades, so if I changed my story they were not going to listen to me, that is why I decided not to mention them at all.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean you made a story defending your fellow comrades? As I read the judgment, your story was that you were an innocent shopper there and you knew nothing about - these other people held you up, put a gun to you - put something to your neck and told you to lie down and stole your wallet and money. Isn't that what you told the Court?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct, that is what I told the Court, because I did not want to mention the people that were with me, because the system would get a chance to get to these people, so I did not want to mention their names at all.

CHAIRPERSON: That I will accept, but I don't think you can say you were defending them, you just didn't want to mention their names, you didn't want to say that you had committed the crime with people you knew. Isn't that the position?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mgandela, if that is then the case, why couldn't you tell the Court what in fact did happen, tell them the truth without mentioning anybody's names?

MR MGANDELA: Even that thing it would make the police to investigate and to find out who these people were, so I did not want them to find out who these people were.

MS MAY: I will accept that the police were in any event investigating to find out who the people were. I can only accept that you perhaps thought that if you mentioned it was politically motivated, it might then lead them to the co-perpetrators of this offence.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: So your instructions, as I understand it, were to stand outside the door to allow people in and to prevent people from coming out, were you told to grab any money, should it come near you? Was that part of your instructions, or were you to let the people go in if they had money on them?

MR MGANDELA: As I had already mentioned before that in 1993 it was a year of Operation Great Storm, so I was aware that I did not have to wait for instructions in order to take money, I would take money and then give a report to the Commander of how I did that.

MS MAY: So on the day in question, Mr Burbidge walked past you, he was the last person to walk into Pick, Fit Take while you were guarding the doorway, he went in, did you take the money from him before he went in, or were you inside when you took the money from him?

MR MGANDELA: The person that I took money from was this white man who got out of the van, he is the person that I took money from, and I took the money when he was inside, after I opened the door for him. So I don't know whether it is the one you're referring to.

JUDGE MILLER: Yes, that's the one she's referring to.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Now why did you not let Bomba or Sam take that money, why did you take that money?

MR MGANDELA: It is because I saw him, and when I was pointing a gun at him, he was scared and then I decided to take the money from him and hand it over to the Unit Commander. That is the reason.

MS MAY: But your Unit Commander was Sam, isn't that right?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: And he was inside the shop at that stage.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Why did you not then give the money to him at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: I couldn't leave my position, I had to be in my position, that is why.

MS MAY: Now in Pick, Fit and Take that day - if we can look at your amnesty application, there you state that -I can refer to page 4, the fifth last line:

"Our struggle was based to attack side-by-side, so that we can afford by all means to promote the intentions and the struggle of the black people. "

Now how many black people were inside that shop on that day?

MR MGANDELA: I am not sure, but there were not many, but I'm not sure.

MS MAY: One of the victims that I'm representing is Ms Primrose Makoba, and she was inside the shop that day. She was an employee of Pick, Fit and Take, and she was also locked up in the vault in the back, and she is also opposing this application on the basis that it is not politically motivated. Your application says that: "we should fight side-by-side to promote the struggle of the black people". Would this not apply to Ms Makoba?

JUDGE MOTATA: Wouldn't you, Ms May, take that in a broader context, because the question that is asked before you read the fifth line from the bottom, is that:

"Your justification for regarding such acts, omissions, offences, as associated with a political objective."

so that is an explanation of the political objective why that was done.

MS MAY: Indeed, Honourable Member, thank you.

Now Mr Mgandela, on that day watches were taken, wallets were taken - if we can look at page 5 of your amnesty application, in question C, right on top of the page:

"Did you benefit in any way, financially or otherwise?"

and your answer there is:


And to question D:

"If so, explain the nature and extent of such benefits."

there is just an "R" which stands there, which I would assume stands for rand, as in money. Can you explain why this document was filled in in such a manner, if you weren't going to share in the proceeds?

JUDGE MILLER: Do you see that, Mr Mgandela? Mr Mbandazayo has it there. Do you see right at the top of the page:

"Did you benefit in any way, financially or otherwise?"

you say:


and then the next question:

"If so, explain the nature and extent of such benefits."

and you just put "R". Now what Ms May wants to know is, please can you explain why you completed your form in such a manner.

MR MGANDELA: In this question where I answered "Yes", I can say that through the struggle I have benefitted something, because today I know how to use a firearm because of the struggle, but before that I didn't know. That I can mention.

JUDGE MILLER: And the "R"?

JUDGE MOTATA: Did you understand the question? C says:

"Did you benefit in any way, financially or otherwise?"

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I understood the question, but financially I did not benefit anything, but I benefitted in other ways because I gained training because of the struggle.

JUDGE MILLER: And what's that "R" there?

MR MGANDELA: I cannot be able to explain before this Committee today, because I filled out this application a long time ago, so I'm unable to explain it today.


MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Mr Mgandela, isn't the reason why you filled out that application form in that manner, in fact because you were intending to benefit from the money gained that day, personally?

MR MGANDELA: No, that is not so.

MS MAY: Now as the evidence in court has shown and as you've testified thusfar, the other members of your unit drove away without you, is that correct?


MS MAY: And what was the reason for that?

MR MGANDELA: They wanted to escape because they did not want to be arrested by the police.

CHAIRPERSON: But what about you?

MR MGANDELA: I can say that I was unfortunate to be arrested, because the police came straight towards my direction.

JUDGE MILLER: Why didn't you, when the others came out of the shop, give the bag containing the money to Sam?

MR MGANDELA: It is because I did not expect to be arrested at that time. I knew that we were going to collect everything at the same time, the money and the firearms were all going to be handed at the same time to our Unit Commander.

CHAIRPERSON: So why didn't you get into the car and go with them?

MR MGANDELA: The police came towards my direction and my comrades were on the other side, they were already in the car.

CHAIRPERSON: Your comrades walked out of the door at which you had been ordered to stand. They must have walked right past you, is that not so?

MR MGANDELA: That is so.

CHAIRPERSON: And they were walking to the vehicle that they had parked outside.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Why did you not go with them?

MR MGANDELA: It's because my Commander at the time told me to wait for a signal from him, he told me to wait at the door when they were coming out, because there were two of them when they went out and then the third one followed. He told me I would be the last one to go, so when the third one was going out, I was standing at the door waiting for him to go inside the van. It was then that the police came. I was then arrested that way.

CHAIRPERSON: But why didn't you go with the third one? Who was he?

MR MGANDELA: It was Bomba.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought only two of them went in, that the driver remained with the vehicle, you remained at the door and two of them went into the store.

MR MGANDELA: No, all of us went inside.

CHAIRPERSON: All four of you went inside?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: That's not what you've said. I thought you were standing at the door the whole time. You didn't go into the premises, you stood at the door.

MR MGANDELA: I stood at the door inside, not outside.

JUDGE MILLER: You see my notes say - I'm just reading from my notes, which is not an exact transcript of the evidence: "The Unit Commander told me to stand at the door and not let people in or out. Mbekhiswa was the driver. Bomba and Sam were going to rob the money inside." So the impression that I had was that Wellington Sam and Bomba, they were going to go inside, you were going to stand at the door and the driver was going to be at the getaway car, and now you're saying you all four went in. What is the position?

MR MGANDELA: All four of us went in, but according to our instructions Bomba was going to drive the getaway car. We were going to get the getaway car there, then Bomba was going to be the driver. That is why I am saying Bomba was the driver.

JUDGE MILLER: But you said Mbekhiswa was the driver and you had an Isuzu van.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, Mbongeni Mbekhiswa was the driver. I made a mistake when I said Bomba was going to be the driver, it was Mbongeni Mbekhiswa who was the driver.

JUDGE MILLER: And did he go into the shop as well during the robbery? He didn't stay at the car, at the van?

MR MGANDELA: He went inside because we were going to take a car there, a getaway car there.

JUDGE MILLER: Why were you going to take a getaway car when you had an Isuzu van?

MR MGANDELA: I don't have any knowledge concerning that van, but there was nothing wrong with that van. We borrowed that van in order to go to that place for the operation.

JUDGE MILLER: So what - I just can't understand, so you borrow a van to go to the operation, you drive it, this is this Isuzu van, right, and yet you still find you've got to steal some vehicle to get away, why not use the van to get away?

MR MGANDELA: This van did not belong to any of us, so in my mind when I'm assessing this, we borrowed - this van was borrowed or it was found in a certain way. So that is why we did not want the van to be involved during the execution of this place.

JUDGE MILLER: So you rather just steal another vehicle? I can't understand why you're now getting selective between one stolen vehicle and another stolen vehicle, why you don't want one vehicle to be involved and you're prepared to steal another vehicle. Hadn't you involved the van in the robbery when you drove to the place in it?

MR MGANDELA: This van was not supposed to be used there because it did not belong to any of us, it was supposed to go back to where it came from, so that van was not supposed to be near that place, it was not supposed to be spotted in that area.

CHAIRPERSON: So why leave it parked right outside, if it's not supposed to be spotted in that area? What you've just been telling us now is, you were going to leave the van there and go and steal another vehicle.

MR MGANDELA: We left the van, the Isuzu, in Rink Street, and this area that we were going to do this mission in is in Kerwood Street. So the van was not in that area, it was in Rink Street, so it could not be spotted in that area. So we were going to use a car that we would get there for getting away.


MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Mr Mgandela, when you had previously gone past Pick, Fit and Take, were there cars standing outside there? Did you know that there would be a getaway car?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, we knew that we were going to get a getaway car there.

JUDGE MILLER: I'm just going to the planning now, it just seems to me, with respect, to be silly planning or sort of unprofessional, if I can put it that way, sort of non-military-like planning. You go to do a job, you go and reconnoitre the place and everything else and you go there with your guns and you walk into the shop and you steal money, and then you come out and then you've still got to look for a vehicle to steal. I mean, what were you going to do, break open the window, hot-wire it? How can you plan a quick getaway if you've still got to steal the car that you're going to get away in? The usual what we hear in this sort of operation is that the unit go in a vehicle that they've taken, in a vehicle, do the job, hop in it, get away as quickly as possible, abandon the vehicle. Now you say you're going to do the job, come out of the shop with your guns and the money you've stolen and then look around to steal a car. What sort of planning is that? Can you explain why the planning was so shoddy?

MR MGANDELA: In that building there were people that were working there, so if the Unit Commander tells Mbongeni Mbekhiswa about his role that he was going to play, he was going to be given a key by Wellington Sam and he was going to be told which car to use, to take, and then Mbekhiswa would take the key and then open that car and then we'd go in that car. So the car was not going to be stolen, we were going to take keys from the people that were inside. We were going to take a car key from the people that were going inside and then use that key to open the car and then we'd use that car as a getaway car.

JUDGE MILLER: Thank you.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Mr Mgandela, as I've understood your evidence, the getaway car which you eventually chose was that van which the white man that you accompanied inside, had come in, had arrived in.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Did you attempt to take the keys away from him at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: I only took the bag with money from him.

MS MAY: Did you see that any of your accomplices took the keys away from him?

MR MGANDELA: No, I did not see any of them taking the keys from him, but I saw Mbekhiswa opening the door of that Bantam, that van.

MS MAY: Now earlier on you said to us that after the three of them came out there they walked towards that van, and you mentioned something about a piece of cardboard that they were using, can you just give us some clarity on that please.

MR MGANDELA: When they were passing me they had a cardboard with them, they were carrying a cardboard.

JUDGE MILLER: When you say a "cardboard", do you mean a box? A cardboard box.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, a container.

JUDGE MILLER: A container. Do you know what was inside it? Did you see what was inside it?

MR MGANDELA: No, I don't know what was inside, but I thought that it was money.

MS MAY: Who was carrying that box, that container?

MR MGANDELA: It was Sam.

MS MAY: Now if you saw this container and you thought that he had the money, why did you not then give him the money that you were holding?

MR MGANDELA: Because I could see that he has something on his head and we were going the same direction, so I was going to hand it over when we arrived where we were going. That is why I did not give him the money when he was passing me.

MS MAY: But you saw that you were going in the same direction, were you also walking at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: What I mean is, we were supposed to get inside the car, the four of us and then we were going in the same place, the four of us.

MS MAY: Mr Chairman, may I at this stage just ask for a brief adjournment?





Mr Chairman, Honourable Members of the Committee, thank you.

Mr Mgandela, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Are you ready?

MS MAY: Yes, thank you.

Mr Mgandela, are you aware that the TRC has been in operation since April of 1996? You were only convicted after that date, had you heard of the TRC at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I heard of the TRC.

MS MAY: And did you think that they could perhaps help you if you were convicted and since your crime was politically motivated?

MR MGANDELA: I became sure after I was sentenced, when the members of the organisation visited me in prison. But I've heard about the TRC before.

MS MAY: Now before you were convicted the TRC was already in operation, why did you not approach them at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: It is because I was not sure about what was happening with the TRC, I became aware or had more knowledge after the members of the organisation visited me after I was convicted.

MS MAY: Did you not try to find out in some or other manner, how the TRC worked, or in what manner they could assist you before you were convicted? Why not try and stop it before the problems start?

MR MGANDELA: As I have already mentioned, I heard about the TRC, but I was not sure of how it was working and then after I was convicted my organisation, or the members of the organisation explained to me about the TRC.

MS MAY: But Mr Mgandela, what I'm asking you is, why did you not make enquiries at that stage? You knew there was such a thing as the TRC, you knew what they were about, why didn't you make enquiries?

MR MGANDELA: As a member of the organisation everything involving me and my case I used to meet with the members of the organisation, so at that time I hadn't met the members of the organisation, I just heard about the TRC.

MS MAY: Why did you not arrange a meeting at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: Members of the organisation are very busy, they have different jobs to do, and the fact that they visited us in prison, they would come on arranged days, they would not just come on my request.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, they came to see you on an arranged day after you were sentenced, you tell us, why could they not come and see you on an arranged day before that time?

MR MGANDELA: As I have already mentioned that everything in the organisation works in arranged times, so I could not take decisions for the organisation, but it was the organisation that was taking decisions for me. So I could not do what you are suggesting now, arrange a day to meet with them.

MS MAY: Did you at all approach the organisation?

MR MGANDELA: I am in prison and the organisation is outside, so in prison I'm not allowed to do that. Members of the organisation are the ones who are supposed to go to the prison.

MS MAY: So when they eventually came to visit you after your sentencing, that was a surprise visit.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: At which prison were you kept at that stage?


MS MAY: And do they prevent you from writing letters or making phone calls at St Albans?

MR MGANDELA: No, we do have that right to write letters and to make phone calls.

MS MAY: Did you at any time write a letter or make a phone call to approach your organisation?

MR MGANDELA: No, I did not write a letter because after I was convicted members of the organisations would come to St Albans and explain to us about the amnesty process.

MS MAY: Was that after your conviction or after your sentencing?

MR MGANDELA: After I was sentenced.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, I still don't understand why you didn't approach them beforehand, you knew that there was such a thing as the TRC. Did somebody inform you that perhaps eventually one day they'll come and pay a surprise visit and help you out, maybe?

MR MGANDELA: Members of the organisations are the ones who visit us, because when we are in prison we cannot go to the organisations, so before I was sentenced I had no contact with the organisation.

MS MAY: Now is it a policy of the PAC to only visit prisoners who've already been convicted and sentenced, or do they visit awaiting trial prisoners as well?

MR MGANDELA: After I was sentenced it was the very first visit from the organisation.

MS MAY: Were there other members of your organisation in prison with you?

MR MGANDELA: Some of them are there.

MS MAY: Did they receive visits while they were in prison, while you were awaiting trial?

MR MGANDELA: Not during the time waiting for the trial, but after the sentencing.

MS MAY: So nobody was visited that you know of, during that entire period that you were awaiting trial?

MR MGANDELA: I want to talk about myself because I was arrested alone, no-one ever visited me during the trial.

MS MAY: But Mr Mgandela, the point I'm trying to get across is, if there somebody else from your organisation in prison with you who got visits, surely you can tell them that you wanted to speak to the leaders as well. They could pass on the message for you, they could tell them that you were interested in finding out more about the TRC and possible amnesty, isn't that an option?

MR MGANDELA: That could have been possible only if the organisation was in a position to visit prisoners awaiting trial, but I only an explanation about this TRC after I was sentenced.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, that's not an answer to my question. I'm asking - you keep saying to me that you, and as far as you know everybody else was only visited after your sentence, or after you were convicted and sentenced in this matter, I cannot understand how, when you'd already heard of the work that the TRC was doing, that you would not approach your organisation to try and make enquiries in some or other way. The work of the TRC greatly affects your position.

MR MGANDELA: I'm trying to explain this. I was never visited when I was awaiting trial, I was never visited by the organisation in order to get more explanations or ask questions as far as the TRC is concerned.

MS MAY: I will leave that point there. Mr Mgandela, your unit leader was Wellington Sam, is that correct?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: Do you know who his immediate superior was?

MR MGANDELA: I only got to know that after I was sentenced.

JUDGE MILLER: The question was, do you know who he was? If so, just let us know.

MR MGANDELA: I do not know him.

MR MGANDELA: Did you know his name? Who was Wellington Sam's Commander? If he had one.

MR MGANDELA: When I heard that, when I was making this application I was told that it was Jabu Mdunge.

JUDGE MOTATA: Where did you learn about Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: In maximum prison in St Albans.

JUDGE MOTATA: Was it before you filled in your amnesty application or after?

MR MGANDELA: It was before I submitted my application.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, you may proceed, Ms May.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Now who gave you the order for this operation on that day? You said it was your Unit Commander that told you about the plan, do you know who gave him that order?

MR MGANDELA: He never revealed that information to me.

MS MAY: Who was the Structural Commander in Port Elizabeth at that stage, in 1993?

MR MGANDELA: When it was explained to me during that visit, I was told that the Structural Commander was Jabu Mdunge.

MS MAY: In the statement that you've written, that you sent together with your application, on page 12 of the bundle of documents, in paragraph 7 it says:

"Jabu Mdunge was our Structural Commander of the PAC in P.E. I only know about him through conversations I had with other Pan Africanists. I never actually met him. We would only receive verbal orders communicated to us."

Were you ever informed that these verbal orders came from Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: The Unit Commander wouldn't say they were coming from Jabu Mdunge, but he would just say they were coming from his superior. He wouldn't specify the name of the person issuing the orders.

MS MAY: While we're on the subject of names, you mentioned that a person called Bomba was involved in this operation, you've also told us that you don't know what his surname is. At the time of the incident, did you know that his name was Bomba?

MR MGANDELA: I knew that he was Bomba.

JUDGE MOTATA: Just to interject here, Ms May. Whilst we were still on - go back to the subject of Jabu Mdunge, when you filled in your application form and if you have regard to page 5, question 11(b), you gave the name of the person who gave such order or approval, as Jabu Mdunge. Now what I want to know from you, because you received your instructions from your Commander, Wellington Sam, when you filled in this, were you advised to fill in Jabu Mdunge, as the person who gave such order that you go and execute the mission?

MR MGANDELA: Wellington Sam, my Unit Commander, when we were visited by the organisation in St Albans, I told them about Wellington Sam and they said to me Wellington Sam, our Unit Commander, was using Jabu Mdunge's name at the time. That used to be his combat name.

JUDGE MILLER: Sorry, are you saying that Wellington Sam and Jabu Mdunge are the same person?

MR MGANDELA: No, Wellington Sam is a different person, but he was using Jabu Mdunge's name when talking to us. That's the explanation that I got from the members after forwarding this application. I told the organisation about my Unit Commander, but they told us that my Unit Commander was Wellington Sam, but he was getting orders from the Structural Commander, Jabu Mdunge.

JUDGE MOTATA: I do not follow, just help me out, Mr Mgandela. When you were receiving orders from Wellington Sam, by what name did you know him, Wellington Sam, at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: I knew him as Jabu.

JUDGE MOTATA: Did you know his surname, or you just knew the name Jabu?

MR MGANDELA: I didn't know his surname, but I only knew him as Jabu Mdunge.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, Ms May, you may proceed.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Mr Mgandela, when did you find out what Wellington Sam's - that the Jabu that you knew, that his name was Wellington Sam?

MR MGANDELA: I heard that in St Albans after making the amnesty application.

MS MAY: If I can get back to Bomba, if you can just remind me, did you know his name at the time of this mission?

MR MGANDELA: I knew him as Bomba.

MS MAY: Now if you can turn to page 11 of the bundle of documents, paragraph 3 there, there it is stated:

"It was myself, Bongani Mbekhiswa, Skolomo Street, New Brighton, Wellington Sam ...(indistinct), Makanda Street shacks, and a third person whose name I can no longer recall."

Now I'm assuming that the shacks there mean the shacks in Makanda Street, it's not shacks as in a name. But if we can go past that to where it says: "... a third person whose name I can no longer recall." Would that be Bomba?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: Now how does it come about that at the time you wrote this statement you could not recall his name but today in court you can remember that his name was Bomba?

MR MGANDELA: This mission was executed in 1993. After 1993 to '97 I never had any contact with them and the name just slipped my mind. I got that - I remembered that name again after I was sentenced and after I had made this amnesty application. I remembered that. I got to know that his name was Bomba.

MS MAY: How did you get to know that his name was Bomba, was it a flash of inspiration, did somebody remind you?

MR MGANDELA: It became clear on the day when I was telling the organisation members about Jabu Mdunge, as they were telling me about the people who were working with me in my unit. That actually refreshed my mind and I remembered that the guy was Bomba.

MS MAY: Now if we can go back to the day of the incident, how was it that you were actually caught by the police? You were standing to one side, as I understand it, in front of the door of the shop and the police were coming towards you, what happened then?

MR MGANDELA: The police were coming inside and I stood at the doorway, when I realised that those were policemen I left, I went out, we met at the doorway. That was when I was arrested.

MS MAY: So you were still standing inside the shop when you first spotted the policemen and you met them at the doorway, so as you were exiting the shop premises.

MR MGANDELA: I was standing inside when I spotted them.

MS MAY: So you never left with the other three, they walked past you out and you stayed inside the shop, is that correct?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: But surely that must hinder a quick getaway as well? What was the reason that you had to stand inside the shop?

MR MGANDELA: I was doing per instruction, I was told to stand at the doorway until all of them have left the shop, all three of them.

MS MAY: But surely not just until all three of them had left, until they had all left and you received a signal.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: Did Sam explain to you why you had to wait for a signal, do you know what the reason was? Why did you have to stand and wait there, what was your job?

MR MGANDELA: My job was to observe the door.

MS MAY: Observe what?

MR MGANDELA: People coming in, getting out of the shop. I had to make sure that the people do not go out of the shop. I would only allow the people coming inside.

MS MAY: Now the people that were in the shop, where were they at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: They were locked up inside.

MS MAY: So they actually could not come out of the shop, they were locked up in a vault, as I understand it.

MR MGANDELA: I cannot be that certain about that, because as far as I'm concerned, I did not go to the place where they were locked up.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I interrupt at the moment. Which victims are you appearing for?

MS MAY: I'm appearing on behalf of five victims. The first being Mr Barry Strydom, who was the Manager at that stage. He was not actually present. Mrs Anna Booysen has passed away. Her husband who was appearing on her behalf has also since passed away, and of course on their behalf this application will not be opposed. The first victim, Mr Strydom, is opposing this application. Mr Richard Burbidge, I appear on behalf of him as well, he's also opposing this application, as are Ms Sheila Bouwer and Ms Primrose Makoba.

CHAIRPERSON: Is your cross-examination going to change shortly?

MS MAY: I have very few questions still to ask.

CHAIRPERSON: Well can I put some - my total confusion to you at the moment, and that is that the applicant has asked for amnesty, as I understand it, for the offence of which he was convicted.

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And that bears no relation to the evidence that he's given before us and that he is being cross-examined on today. If you look at the judgment, you will see on page 26 that count 1 was that he robbed Anna Booysen of R6 858 and also of R120. He robbed Richard Burbidge of credit cards, R300 in cash, watch and wallet and motor car keys. And Sheila Bouwer. On page 28, Mrs Booysen explains that he took her to the cash register, emptied the registers, the person demanding money, and then took R6 000 or R7 000 which was underneath the till. That makes up the R6 858 stolen. Lower down the page it says that the amount of R6 858 was recovered. On page 29, Sgt Hugo says he searched the accused and between his pants and his body, found plus-minus R6 800.

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: That is the money stolen from Mrs Booysen, from underneath the till etcetera. Lower down at line 30, it says:

"The amount of R6 858 was recovered."

And at page 30, he says that he ascertained that that was the amount stolen of the shop. Other sums of money of staff and customers were stolen. If we go on to page 32, line 26, during cross-examination by Mr Montgomery, the accused conceded that the money belonged to the Complainant, Pick, Fit and Take. And finally - I'm afraid I have temporarily lost it. If you look at Mr Burbidge's statement at page 16, he says in the third paragraph:

"On this particular morning I had the cash from the other two shops with me in the car and I drove as usual to Pick, Fit and Take. The door was opened by a black man pointing a hand gun at me. He forced me into the shop, where the other people were held hostage. I was told to lie on the floor on my stomach and a hand gun was put to my head while they took my wallet containing credit cards and R250 out of my back pocket, plus my wrist watch and car keys.

The van that was parked outside the shop was used by the robbers to escape. The vehicle was later found at the Green Acres parking during the same morning, with the cash untouched. I had placed it under the mat on the floor of the car and it was still there."

So the money that the applicant was convicted of stealing, R6 858, was money stolen from the till in the shop, under the care of Mrs Booyens. He did not steal -on this, he did not steal Mr Burbidge's money, and I have no doubt you've taken instructions from Mr Burbidge on this, but it appears we're dealing with two separate offences, because on the applicant's case he had nothing to do with stealing any money from inside the shop and the money he was found in possession of, was a bag he took from the man who arrived. I'm afraid I am totally confused.

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman, the applicant has asked for amnesty for the crimes of which he was convicted, and he was, as I understand it on the basis of inference really, convicted of the robbery, abduction and possession of ammunition ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He was found in possession of the money.

MS MAY: In possession of the money. In fact, in possession of the gun as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. But that was not the money that arrived in the car, that he has told us about, that he stole.

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And you've him not a single question about it, nobody has. I just don't know what the point of this hearing is, what we are supposed to be adjudicating on.

MS MAY: Well Mr Chairman, I will then proceed to ask more pointed questions in that regard.

CHAIRPERSON: Because if Mr Burbidge is available, he can surely tell you what was stolen from him and whether he had the R6 000. But it seems from his statement that his pocket money was stolen, that's all, and at the same time they took his other things. Which on the applicant's version did not happen.

MS MAY: Indeed, Mr Chairman. If I may then continue.

Mr Mgandela, you testified earlier on that you took a plastic away from the white man who walked into Pick, Fit and Take, who was the last person to enter.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: What type of plastic was that, can you describe it to us?

MR MGANDELA: It was a brown plastic with bank bags inside.

JUDGE MILLER: When you talk about a brown plastic, you're talking about a brown plastic bag.

MR MGANDELA: Plastic bag.

JUDGE MILLER: And inside were bank plastic bags with money.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: Did you open that brown plastic bag to see what was inside?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I did open it.

MS MAY: And what did you see?

MR MGANDELA: I saw money in those bank plastics.

MS MAY: What kind of money was that? Was that notes or coins?

MR MGANDELA: It was bank notes.

MS MAY: And was there a separate not contained in that bag that said how much money there was in that bag? As business often do, they have a slip which says how much is contained in the bag that they're carrying. Did you notice anything like that?

MR MGANDELA: I did not take note of that.

MS MAY: Did you notice more-or-less how much money was inside that bag or not?


JUDGE MILLER: Would you agree with the figure R6 858,81? That's the amount that was mentioned at the trial, that was recovered.

MR MGANDELA: That is what I was told in court, but I never counted the money, but I cannot dispute that though.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, when you took this bag, where did you hold it?

MR MGANDELA: I was holding it with my left hand like this as I'm indicating.

MS MAY: And when you were caught by the police, where was the bag?

MR MGANDELA: It was tied around my waist on my belt.

MS MAY: Did you just push it in there or did you specifically tie it in, in your belt?

MR MGANDELA: I just pushed it in to stick there, so that I'd be able to use the other hand holding the door, opening the door and with the other hand hold a firearm.

MS MAY: And when the police arrested you they found you with the gun in your hand and when they searched your body they found the bag in your waist, is that correct?

MR MGANDELA: The firearm was also on my waist, on the right-hand side.

MS MAY: On your waist?


MS MAY: And isn't it true that the police actually noticed when you were fiddling with your trousers and the .38 fell out of the leg of your trousers, that's actually how they found it?

MR MGANDELA: The police spotted me when I was opening the door and they were coming in, that's when they saw me.

MS MAY: I'm sorry, can you repeat that? The police saw you when you were coming out of the door?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAY: And the gun was then in your waist.


MS MAY: And as you walked, it obviously fell out of your pants.

MR MGANDELA: The firearm fell as I was wrestling with the police because they wanted to search me, that's when the firearm fell.

MS MAY: As they were searching you, not as you were walking?

MR MGANDELA: It fell down while we were wrestling with the police because they wanted to search me and I was actually refusing, that's when the firearm fell down.

MS MAY: Why didn't you run at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: I couldn't run away.

MS MAY: Well you had your co-perpetrators waiting for you, they were inside the car, the car was ready to ride, why couldn't you just run and jump into that van and go with them?

MR MGANDELA: I was not in a position to run away as we were wrestling with the police.

MS MAY: How far away were the police from you when you spotted them?

MR MGANDELA: I can say I saw the police at a distance from this table to that table where the Panel is sitting.

JUDGE MILLER: It's about what, eight paces, seven/eight paces, would you agree?

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Now wouldn't you say that that's enough of a distance to be able to make a getaway, if you want to run and if there's a car waiting for you?

MR MGANDELA: The manner - the road that they used coming in was the same route that I was supposed to use when getting out of the place, therefore I couldn't run away and run past them.

MS MAY: Now an amount of R6 858,81 was recovered, and this is the money that they found on you, as far as I understand it, no other money was recovered from anybody else. That is the money that you had on yourself. Is that correct?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I agree with you.

MS MAY: Now as the Honourable Chairman stated earlier on, that amount of money is similar to the amount of money that was taken from Mrs Booysen, and you've informed us earlier that you were not inside the shop that day, far enough to take money from anybody else, the only money that you took was this amount that you got from the white man who walked into the shop last.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS MAY: If I can take that question just a bit further, that white man is Mr Burbidge, and in the statement that he's given that's before this Committee, he says that he was forced to lie down on the floor while the hand gun was put to his head and his wallet containing credit cards and R250, was taken out of his back pocket, as well as his wrist watch and car keys, and you've also earlier said to us you did not see his car keys being taken away, but he makes no mention in this statement, and as my instructions are concerned as well, there's no mention of a plastic bag containing money that was in his possession at that stage.

MR MGANDELA: Is that a question?

MS MAY: That is a statement, can you comment on it?

JUDGE MILLER: Mr Mgandela, what's being put to you is, it's apparent from the judgment given at your trial that the amount of R6 858,81, was robbed from a person called Mrs Booysen, who was in the shop and that the money it would appear from the contents of the judgment, was taken from the till, or from the vicinity of the till in the shop, that R6 858, the same amount that was later recovered from your possession being in that plastic bag. Mr Burbidge, according to the judgment, all that was stolen from him was - it's got it here on page 26, was credit cards, R300 cash, a wallet and his car keys and a writs watch. The evidence at the trial was that that R5 800-odd came from inside the premises, not from Mr Burbidge. You now say that you took it from Burbidge, when he got out of the Ford Bantam he was carrying a bag and you took it. That is not what the evidence at the trial was. What Ms May is asking you is, can you comment, what are your comments on that? Do you say that the evidence led at the trial was all lies, or are you making a mistake, or what is the position? Do you understand the difference?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I do understand that. To try and explain this to the Committee, as far as this money issue is concerned, I am not mistaken about the money, I got the money from the driver of the bakkie, the Bantam. As I'm listening here from the Committee right now, that gentleman's whose money was taken by me, his wrist watch, it is alleged that it was taken and the wallet with money. During the process of my arrest, if those were taken by myself, the money and the watch, those would be recovered from me. I think there is a mistake somewhere there, because if I did take those articles, they would have been recovered.

JUDGE MOTATA: Was anything else taken, do you know? Because the owner of the shop, Mr Strydom, who wasn't present, he said the total loss was R9 000.

"Total financial loss I incurred was R9 000."

MR MGANDELA: I bear no knowledge about that, about the money that was taken there, all of it.

JUDGE MOTATA: Sorry about that, Ms May, you may continue.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Mr Mgandela, if I can ask you an unrelated question at this stage, if we can move to a new topic. At the time when this offence was committed - I asked you a question earlier on, whether you could explain to me what the structures of the PAC were at that stage and you mentioned various parts of the organisation to me, you said there was PAC and APLA and PAWU and PASO, could you perhaps give me a little bit more detail about what the structures were at that stage, of the PAC?

MR MGANDELA: I did not mention Azanyo at that time.

MS MAY: I'm sorry, yes, you mentioned that you were involved in the youth organisation of Azania, but that is not my question. I said you've already mentioned that to us ...(intervention)

JUDGE MILLER: Perhaps if you could just be a bit more explicit. What do you mean by the question, Ms May, when you say "be a bit more explicit", what do you want to know? He's mentioned various components of the organisation, PASO, PAWU, APLA, Azanyo, PAC itself, now what sort of detail, what more do you want him to say?

MS MAY: Indeed, Honourable Member, if I can then formulate specific questions.

Mr Mgandela, at the time of the commission of this offence in 1993, there were two Deputy-Presidents, the one had just resigned in 1992, could you tell me if you know who that person was that resigned at that stage?

JUDGE MILLER: The Deputy-President of?



MR MGANDELA: Are you talking about Makwetu?

MS MAY: The question I asked was, who was the second Deputy-President who resigned in 1992?

MR MGANDELA: I cannot remember.

MS MAY: Do you know who the other Deputy-President was at that stage?

MR MGANDELA: It was Doctor Matsuku Peku.

MS MAY: And who was the President of the PAC in 1993?

MR MGANDELA: It was Doctor Stanley Magoba.

JUDGE MILLER: Are you going to tell us what he scored?

MS MAY: Well Honourable Member, I am verily informed that - and I stand under correction, but as I have been informed, the President of the PAC at that stage was Clarence Makwetu, the Deputy-President, the first Deputy-President who had not resigned, was Johnson Maglambo(?), and the second Deputy-President who had in fact resigned in 1992, at the time when the applicant says he underwent his training, was Ernest Moseneke. So in fact the applicant scored nil out of three.

JUDGE MILLER: Thank you.

MS MAY: Now Mr Mgandela, I'm going to put it to you at this stage that the reason why you did not run away or follow the other members of your group is because you were wanting to hang on to that amount of money. You went in there purely for personal gain. I think by the very answers you've now given us, this indicates very clearly that you did not understand who your leaders in fact were, and that the very attempt that you're making at this stage to say that you were acting for the PAC, is a blatant untruth.

MR MGANDELA: If I explain to you as a PAC soldier, at all times anything that I would acquire or get or repossess from the enemy, I had to hand it over to my officer. I was not in a position to do anything purely for a personal gain.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, I want to put this statement to you as well, that you have not been entirely truthful with this Committee, that you have not told us the true details of what happened that day, that you in fact are not telling us the truth about where you obtained the money that day, in the same manner as you initially did not tell us the true names of the people who were involved, and even the correct details about who went in when.

MR MGANDELA: Again I am going to say that myself as a soldier, in all my reports that I am compiling, they are not supposed to contain anything that is not true and therefore I know very well that here I'm not supposed to tell a lie.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, further, I'm going to put it to you that you have not supplied a good enough reason for why you have not approached the TRC at an earlier stage. You've told us that you didn't even make enquiries to find out about it, despite the fact that this kraal was allegedly politically motivated.

MR MGANDELA: I only got the explanation about this TRC from the organisation after my sentence, that's when it all became clear to me.

MS MAY: Mr Mgandela, I'm further going to put it to you that the reason why you filled in your application from and said that yes, you did benefit financially and when asked "What did you benefit?", there was an "R" placed on your application form. I will accept that in that instance you were in fact being honest with this Committee, that in fact the reason why you robbed Pick, Fit and Take on that day was because you wanted to get money, but for your personal financial gain.

MR MGANDELA: That is not true. I think I had explained to you through the answer that I gave when you were asking me about the benefit.

MS MAY: I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to re-examine now or after the adjournment? Well I think we'll take the adjournment at this stage. Is Mr Burbidge available as a witness, or as a person who can provide an affidavit?

MS MAY: I have already approached Mr Burbidge, obviously, and consulted with him, he's informed me that he would not like to come forward and give evidence at this stage. That has largely been my problem with the victims in this matter. The

one has passed away, two are afraid at this stage, to come and give evidence. Mr Burbidge has - I can contact him if ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If you contact him, the point I think should be clarified is that no large sum was stolen from him. What he said in his statement, that they stole his wallet and R300 or something, his money was not stolen, and if he can confirm that the amount stolen from the shop was R6 800.

MS MAY: Indeed, Chairman, I will ...

CHAIRPERSON: But I don't think we need anything further from, it's just to - make it quite clear that the amount found did not emanate from Mr Burbidge.

MS MAY: I'll attempt to approach him during this adjournment.





CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Mr Mgandela, I just want to go back to your instructors, Sam Wellington and Jabu Mdunge. Can you just explain - earlier on in your evidence you spoke about Sam Wellington calling himself Jabu Mdunge, are you sure of this?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I am certain. Wellington Sam had told me that his name was Jabu Mdunge, and later on I heard that he was not Jabu Mdunge, but Wellington Sam. He was working under Jabu Mdunge's command.

MS THABETHE: I just want to get this straight, I still don't understand quite properly. Are you saying you heard earlier on that Sam Wellington is not Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct, it was in 1997, when I was about to prepare my applications.

JUDGE MILLER: Sorry, Ms Thabethe, if I can just as a question while you're dealing with this.

Can you think of any reason why Sam Wellington should call himself Jabu Mdunge? We know it was common for people to have combat names or code names, but to actually use the name used by another person who was his Commander, seems somewhat unusual. Can you think of a reason why he should have called himself his Commander's name, Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: In my opinion, I think Wellington Sam, it could have been possible that he was instructed or trained by this Jabu Mdunge and now he didn't want this Jabu Mdunge's name to be forgotten and that's why he decided to call himself Jabu Mdunge. And even our members and myself included, he didn't want them to implicate him by releasing his name. Perhaps he wanted them to use somebody else's name. That is what I think.

JUDGE MILLER: Because that's the difficulty I have, because if he didn't want to implicate Sam Wellington or Wellington Sam, his name, then there would even be less reason for him to want to implicate his Commander, Jabu Mdunge. He should have made up a fictitious name, a name that no-one has, don't you agree?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I do think it that way, but as I've said before, perhaps previously Jabu Mdunge and Wellington Sam had been together in some training and he like the idea of being called Jabu Mdunge, therefore he wanted to promote Jabu Mdunge's name.

JUDGE MILLER: Yes, thank you. Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: Thank you.

Now what you've told us, is it what you're thinking is the fact or is it a fact, about Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: This is what I think. As the Judge asked me that what is happening on my mind, why do I think that Wellington Sam would use Jabu Mdunge's name.

MS THABETHE: I'm talking about Jabu Mdunge's role.

JUDGE MILLER: His role as what?

MS THABETHE: Yes. His role in the whole operation, because from what you've said, you said you think that he was a Commander to Sam Wellington, that's why Sam Wellington used his name. So what I'm asking is, is this a fact or you think it's the fact, that Jabu Mdunge was a Commander of Wellington Sam?

MR MGANDELA: He was a Commander, he was Wellington Sam's Commander.

MS THABETHE: You know why I'm asking you this, it's because I'm trying to understand your statement. On page 11 of your statement you say in paragraph 4:

"Wellington Sam was our Unit Commander."

and then on page 12 you say:

"Jabu Mdunge was our Structural Commander of the PAC."

so is that a fact, or is that what you think? That is what I'm trying to ascertain from you.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is a fact.

MS THABETHE: Did you know Jabu Mdunge?

MR MGANDELA: No, I don't know his face.

MS THABETHE: Let me move on. You have also indicated that you were trained as a cadre, is that correct? An APLA cadre.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct, it was in 1992.

MS THABETHE: And you said you were trained for two months, is that correct?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS THABETHE: Exactly when in 1992, which month?


JUDGE MILLER: Is that May and June?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, May and June.

MS THABETHE: And can you tell us what your training involved?

MR MGANDELA: Physical fitness, weapon theory.


MR MGANDELA: Crawling and shooting tactics.

MS THABETHE: Isn't it correct, Mr Mgandela, that when training is done you are also taught about the organisation itself, its intentions, its objectives?

JUDGE MILLER: I think they normally refer to it as political training.


MR MGANDELA: Yes that is correct, but that didn't happen after the training, but it takes place during the time of the training itself.

MS THABETHE: Were you told of the structure of the organisation, the leadership? We've had other leaders coming to the TRC and testifying that that's part of the training, isn't it?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS THABETHE: Now during your training in 1992, can you briefly tell us what the leadership was like, the structure of the leadership of the APLA then, or the PAC.

MR MGANDELA: In 1992 ...(intervention)

MS THABETHE: Maybe let me lead you. Who was the Secretary of Defence then, in 1992?

MR MGANDELA: I cannot remember because we were still new at the time and secondly, during our training we went there to acquire training in order to be able to launch attacks. We did not pay much attention to those things. That is why I cannot remember today.

MS THABETHE: So are you saying you didn't know anybody who was in the leadership structure then? You can't remember their names, or you just don't remember the Secretary of Defence?

MR MGANDELA: There are people that I can still recall their names, like Sibusiso, Thembisile, whom I was with.

MS THABETHE: You don't remember Barney Hlatshwayo?


MS THABETHE: He was the Chief of Staff then. You don't remember him? You were never taught about him?

JUDGE MILLER: Sorry, what was that name, I didn't hear?

MS THABETHE: Chief of Staff, Barney Hlatshwayo.

MR MGANDELA: I cannot remember him because we were also not allowed to know beyond our Unit Commanders.

MS THABETHE: But Mr Mgandela, I thought that was part of training, for you to be told what the leadership is, who was in the leadership. You don't remember Sabelo Pama?

MR MGANDELA: I do remember him.

MS THABETHE: He was the Secretary of the Defence. Do you know Daniel Mofokeng?

MR MGANDELA: No, I don't know him.

MS THABETHE: He was also a member of the Eastern Cape Defence Force, in the leadership. You don't know him?


MS THABETHE: Do you know Letlapa Mpahlele?

JUDGE MOTATA: Which Defence Force?

MS THABETHE: Eastern Cape.

JUDGE MOTATA: Eastern Cape ...(intervention)

MS THABETHE: Sorry, sorry, he's presently the member of the Defence Force in the Eastern Cape, he was in the leadership as well of the PAC.


MS THABETHE: He was the Political Commissar.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, you may proceed.

MR MBANDAZAYO: In fact just to add, Chairperson, it's that he is presently the Commander of the Eastern Cape structure of the National Defence Force. Daniel Mofokeng. He was known then as Rumero Daniels, in APLA. He was Chief Political Commissar of APLA.

JUDGE MILLER: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo. Ms Thabethe, can you just repeat your last question, I don't think he remembered.

MS THABETHE: Okay. Do you know Letlapa Mpahlele?

MR MGANDELA: I used to hear about him, but I don't know his face.

MS THABETHE: Do you know what his role is or was in the APLA?

MR MGANDELA: No, I cannot remember.

MS THABETHE: I want to put it to you, Mr Mgandela, that from the information you've furnished us today, it raises doubts about your training, whether you did undergo training of the APLA. What would be your response to that?

MR MGANDELA: ...(no English interpretation)

JUDGE MOTATA: May we just interrupt at this stage, we're just getting Xhosa and not English translation. I'm sorry about that, Mr Mgandela, but we want to follow what you are saying.

MS THABETHE: Can you repeat what your response is.

MR MGANDELA: The time of training was very short, it was only two months, and after that training, from 1992 up until now I'm in St Albans, therefore I have forgotten some other people's names, and what was more important to me was to get the training.

MS THABETHE: Surely though, and that's the evidence that we've heard before, that when you are trained as an APLA cadre it's very important to know your leadership, the structure command, where the command comes from, isn't that so?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS THABETHE: And yet you don't recall any of the names of those people, correct?

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I cannot remember now, but in the past I used to know them, but right now I cannot remember because so much time has elapsed.

MS THABETHE: You said earlier in your evidence, the intention of your mission on the 27th of November 1993, when you robbed the Pick, Fit and Take shop, was to repossess arms.

JUDGE MILLER: He said money and arms.

MS THABETHE: Sorry, repossess money.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: And you would agree that this was the policy of the PAC then?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: Would you then say as an APLA cadre you belonged to the Repossession Unit?

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: Do you know who was heading this unit then in 1993?

JUDGE MILLER: Whereabout, in Port Elizabeth?

MS THABETHE: In Port Elizabeth, yes.

MR MGANDELA: Yes, I know him.

MS THABETHE: Can you tell us?

MR MGANDELA: Patrick Tapelo Maseko.

MS THABETHE: Where is he now?

MR MGANDELA: I am not sure.

MS THABETHE: Can you tell us how your Repossession Unit here in P.E. was structured? Besides Maseko.

MR MGANDELA: ...(no English interpretation)

MS THABETHE: Besides the fact that Maseko was the High Command in the structure, how was your unit structured? How many members were you, what was their line of command?

JUDGE MILLER: I don't know Ms Thabethe, my experience, and I might be wrong, is that a unit was a small unit of people who carried out a specific operation, whereas you might get a number of units operating in the same area. Now are you asking what his particular ...?

MS THABETHE: Yes, unit.

JUDGE MILLER: Unit. The six of them or four of them, or whatever it was, who went?



MR MGANDELA: We were four in our unit and everything that was taking place would come from the one above the Unit Commander, and then the Unit Commander would communicate with us and we were not allowed to know people who were above our Unit Commanders. We were not allowed to get that information.

MS THABETHE: When you say there were four of you, are you talking about the people who went to the shop to commit the robbery with?

MR MGANDELA: ...(no English interpretation)

MS THABETHE: The four people you are talking about, who are they?

MR MGANDELA: The four people that I went with to the mission, that was the whole unit.

MS THABETHE: Do you remember their names, all of them?

JUDGE MILLER: We've had this, it's Wellington Sam, Mbekhiswa, Bomba and himself. He's been talking about them all afternoon.

MS THABETHE: In his statement he speaks about other third person whose name he can no longer recall.

JUDGE MOTATA: That's Bomba.

JUDGE MILLER: That came out, that's Bomba.

MS THABETHE: I'm indebted to you, Mr Chair. Thank you.

Can you briefly tell us how you were arrested?

MR MGANDELA: I got arrested on my way out after the execution of the mission.

MS THABETHE: Okay, I'm just a bit confused. You see, at first you said you never went inside and now you are talking about coming out ...(intervention)

JUDGE MOTATA: No, I think the evidence is that he was standing guard inside the door.

MS THABETHE: Inside the door?


MS THABETHE: Oh, okay.

Yes, can you carry on please.

MR MGANDELA: As I was still standing inside there waiting for the signal, it's when I spotted two policemen coming in at the door of the building and then there was - as I was waiting there at the glass door, that is when I saw the two policemen coming in, in a hurry, coming in towards the shop and I approached them. That's when they wanted to search me and we were wrestling because I knew that I had a firearm on my waist and then I also had money and I could see that we wrestled until the firearm fell down. That's when I got arrested.

MS THABETHE: How many policemen were there?

MR MGANDELA: Two of them at the time when they were arresting me. They came afterwards. Some of them came afterwards.

MS THABETHE: Now you're talking about the money that was found in your belt or inside your belt, that's what you're saying. Or rather, let's say the money that was found on your body, how did that money get there? Where did you take that money from?

MR MGANDELA: I got the money from the white man who was driving in a Ford Bantam, who alighted from the vehicle, who was going to the shop. The first person that he met with was myself. I got that money from him.

MS THABETHE: You did not take it from a lady?

MR MGANDELA: No, I never dealt with the lady, I was standing at the door as they came in and even when they went out of the shop I was still at the door.

MS THABETHE: Because the evidence in court seems to suggest that the money, the amount of money that was found from you is, the amount of money that was taken from Anna Booysen.

MR MGANDELA: I heard that in court, but I am certain that I did not take the money from the lady, I took the money from a white man.

MS THABETHE: In your statement on page 13 of the bundle, you talk about Wellington and others who were already in the car when the police came, and they were ready to drive off with the other batch of stolen cash, which other batch of stolen cash would you be referring to?

MR MGANDELA: When I was at the door they were collecting money even from the till, that is the money that I am referring to. When I say that I thought there was money in that bag though I never saw the money, because we went there intending to repossess the money.

MS THABETHE: I thought the R6 858 was part of the money that was taken from Pick, Take and Fit.

*JUDGE MILLER: That's what the dispute is, he says he got it from Mr Burbidge, you've already covered it, whereas it's apparent from the trial record that it came from Ms Booysen inside the shop. That's the dispute.

MS THABETHE: Including the money that was in the till.

JUDGE MILLER: Well that's R6 858, yes, and then there was other monies. Mr Strydom said there was approximately R9 000 that went missing, in total.

MS THABETHE: So if I understand you correctly, Mr Mgandela, you are saying the money that was taken from the tills was taken by Wellington, and he drove off with it. According to your statement.

JUDGE MOTATA: By the others, not necessarily Wellington, by the others who went in, the four of them. He stood at the door, the three went for the others, but the one who carried the cardboard box was Wellington.

JUDGE MILLER: I think it's quite obvious that that's what he's saying, because he says so there. He says that they got into the car with the other money.

MS THABETHE: Wellington and others.

MR MGANDELA: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Well before we get to re-examination, can I butt in again. Do you know Mr Viwe Miza?

MS MGANDELA: Yes, I know Viwe Miza.

CHAIRPERSON: What is he? Or what function does he have?

MS MGANDELA: I cannot remember well as to what role was he playing.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm asking this question because in the bundle of documents put before us, there is a document headed: "Pan Africanist Congress - Eastern Cape Region", and it allegedly comes from the PAC Regional Executive Committee. The writer of the document signs himself as Viwe Miza. It sets out his academic qualifications and says he is the Regional Chairperson. Is that the person you know?

MS MGANDELA: ...(no English interpretation)

CHAIRPERSON: Why I'm asking this is that the purpose of the letter is apparently to certify that Mzawuwu Dlamini and Zamikaia Mgandela are bona fide members of the PAC, that they both served with distinction in the PAC military wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army, until their arrests in 1992 and 1997, respectively. It then goes on to say:

"For further details of their services, you are kindly invited to consult with me, the author."

and I wish to know whether anybody has taken the trouble to consult with the author, to confirm what he has written and to confirm whether he holds the office that he says he does. Have you consulted with him?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I've taken the trouble of consulting, but I did not manage to speak to him, I spoke to Mr Xhlashimba about the matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this the usual difficulty of contact?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Have any of the others of you contacted or attempted to contact or write to him for further information?

MS THABETHE: I spoke to Keizer, our Investigator, he even phoned him this morning. It's very difficult to get hold of Viwe Miza, because in one of the documents we even have his cell number. He has left several messages.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this his signature, is this a genuine document?

MS THABETHE: I would suspect so, Mr Chairperson, because we got this from our Investigators.

CHAIRPERSON: So you think we can accept it as genuine?

MS THABETHE: Yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson. There's only one point I would like to - which was also raised by the Chairperson, regarding the offence which he applied for amnesty.

Mr Mgandela, you testified before the Committee that the only amount which you took from that premises were from Mr Burbidge, which I understand he is the white person who was coming inside from a van. Is that your evidence?

MS MGANDELA: Yes, that is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now you have asked at length also as to what transpired from the record from the court, from the court record it's clear that there is no amount - there is no money in the bag which was taken from Mr Burbidge, except an amount of R250, his credit card, also his watch, which taken from him according to his statement. No other amount was taken from him. What do you say to that?

MS MGANDELA: I am saying there is a mistake somewhere because if I had taken his watch, wrist watch, the wallet and the car keys, that could have been recovered by the police when they were apprehending me. I think there is a mistake, because I'm the one who got the money from the white man who was in the bakkie.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Mgandela, it's also yourself who indicated that there were many of you, all of you were inside, so it may happen that another one took a watch or a wallet or whatever, or credit cards, it does not necessarily mean it was yourself who took those things, but what I'm getting at is that he's adamant that no amount - the money which he has was in the car which was used as a getaway car and also the money was recovered because no-body took it. Now what I'm saying is that how is it possible that it is alleged that a certain amount was taken from the tills and from Mrs Booysens. When you calculate that amount, it tallies with the amount which was recovered from yourself, yet you were never inside the premises, you were just inside the door.

MS MGANDELA: That's what surprised me during the trial, but I knew very well that they were making a mistake, because I got the money from a white man who was coming into the shop.

MR MBANDAZAYO: I take it that you are aware that you were convicted in court for taking that money from Mrs Booysens.

MS MGANDELA: I know that in court I was convicted for robbery, but it was not specified.

JUDGE MILLER: I think the conviction, Mr Mbandazayo, would to a large extent have been based on common purpose as well you know, it wasn't restricted to what each individual took. You know, the gang came in, they took this and he was the only member arrested, he'd take the fall. Except he did get off on the car theft charge.


JUDGE MOTATA: And we would lastly get an indication from page 35 of the court record of the bundle of papers before us.

CHAIRPERSON: Could I interrupt at this stage? It's also quite clear is it not, that your colleagues used the car keys to drive away in Mr Burbidge's car.

MS MGANDELA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, that's all I wanted to canvass, thank you.




CHAIRPERSON: Any further evidence?

MR MBANDAZAYO: No further evidence, Chairperson, that's the evidence of the applicant.

MS MAY: Thank you, Mr Chairman. At this stage I'm not going to be calling any of the victims in this matter. As I've previously informed yourselves, Mrs Anna Booysen and her husband have passed away, Ms Sheila Bouwer, Ms Primose Makoba have indicated that they are fearful to come and give evidence at this stage. They've informed me that they feel that if they come to give evidence against the applicant, that he will at some time when he's released, find them again. As far as Mr Richard Burbidge is concerned, I have contacted him, he reaffirms my instructions in that he maintains what was said at court and in his statement are correct. He was not in possession of any brown bag or any money, the monies that he had with him was in the van, which he left underneath the mat and when he walked into Pick, Fit and Take on that day he was forced to lie down, with a gun to the back of his head, and his personal effects were taken from him. The amount of R9 000 further, to which Mr Strydom refers, apparently relates to money which was removed from - the amount which was recovered from the applicant in this matter is an amount which was found underneath the till, there was money taken out of the till as well ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If you add up the monies that appear at page 26, in the second paragraph, you arrive at R9 100. So I think that that's where the R9 000 comes from.

MS MAY: Thank you, Chairman.

Mr Burbidge and Mr Strydom will not be available to give evidence, they and Ms Sheila Bouwer and Ms Primrose Makoba have asked me to ask yourselves just to take cognisance of the statements which they have previously forwarded to the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you any witnesses?

MS THABETHE: No, Mr Chairman, I'm not calling any witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Right. We once again ask you to start.

MR MBANDAZAYO IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee, let me confess that I've got a difficult task. Firstly, let me point out my difficulty, which is when it comes to the question of the organisation, when the applicant is asked about the leadership of the organisation. which everybody takes it that at least the top leadership of an organisation is well known to everybody who is a member, it's not something that is easily forgotten and especially that when you're undergoing military training, that's the political education you first receive. In order to respect that leadership, you must know it. So it's one aspect where I definitely - I don't know how can I argue and convince the Committee about that one ...(intervention)

JUDGE MOTATA: But Mr Mbandazayo, because he was an inmate for a very long time and him having come out and only received training for two months, he spent most of his time before he went for training, in jail.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I agree with you that he only had a very short time outside in the training, but of course if one takes into account that the number, they are various people and they are a group together and they have colleagues and they discuss these matters. That's where maybe I'm having difficulty to comprehend that one would not be able to pinpoint the leadership.

Let me agree on the question of the political leadership, but when it comes to the side of the military, the military side, it's where you can't go around, especially there's one man who at least one - everybody who happened to mention his name, even if they don't know him, Letlapa Mpahlele, the Director of Operations. If one does not know Letlapa Mpahlele, you have serious problems because everything that was done by APLA, he was a link with the leadership of the PAC and APLA High Command. He was the man, because everything flows from him downwards to the cadres and upwards to the top leadership. Everybody, even those who do not even known him, will tell you about Letlapa Mpahlele. So you definitely have problems when it comes to that.

Then secondly, it's the question of the money, that Mr Brembidge is saying that he did not have money on the day in question and the applicant is alleging that he snatched money from him. That's another aspect. If one for one moment takes it that that's the true situation, then we have a serious problem, because it means that we are denying that we ever participated in whatever happens inside. Though of course the doctrine of common purpose, I agree that indirectly we were part, because we agreed with the whole scheme that was going to take place. But now, one would have to admit that he was involved, taking into account the amount of money that was recovered from him at the time of this arrest.

CHAIRPERSON: Mustn't we also take into account the fact that at the trial he admitted that the money came from the firm?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Chairperson, also that he - at the trial he admitted that the money came from the firm. And on other aspect, Chairperson, of course is one of how he was left behind. If he was at the door at the time when he was left behind, definitely he was in a position to see and to calculate how many of them. If one takes how he indicated here in Court, when he was demonstrating that, it was not easy to see somebody, you only see somebody nearer. So it means that he was not going to be in a position to see the signal that he must go.

Now one would not be in a - will deduce and say that the possibility is that he was also inside, that's the reason he was left. He was the actual person who was inside. Though, Chairperson, I'm still trying to indicate the difficulties I have in some of this.

But Chairperson, having said that, the other problem I have is that of the letter of confirmation from Mr Miza, and the problem I have is that I'm always - the Committee's aware of that I always have that problem. You always find a difficulty for these people to come forward, they only thing they do is to write down. You find it difficult when you want to get confirmation, the actual confirmation as to come before the Committee and give evidence about it and support the applicant in this matter. You have all the difficulties.

In any event Chairperson, one knows that APLA had these units, but of course though APLA had these units, it was not always that everybody has to be involved in a Repossession Unit, as all of us know that there was a specialised unit which was headed by Tapelo Maseko. But the problem I have is that, Chairperson, most of them are not what I've been told by the APLA high structure, as the way they were operating, they are operating, is completely different. As Judge Miller indicated in one, that if you can take a car and go there and at the end of the day you expect to get another car for a getaway, what if that car you get the car for it or that you take from there has a problem, it means that the whole mission will fail. And it's normally that when you go to this operation you have your own car and the driver will be there waiting and you pull the mission and you vanish immediately. So you have certain problems. But one would conceded that it's not always up to scratch most of the time, all these operations, some they have some, there are difficulties.

But Chairperson, as I indicated that the only thing that I can argue for the applicant is because he's confirmed to be a member of the PAC, and also that he was a member of the military wing, though I cannot vouch for that. But I must also indicate to the Committee, just divulge to the Committee, that Jabu Mdunge was an APLA operative, but unfortunately as I know him he died in 1991 here in Port Elizabeth, in the scrap yard battle.

JUDGE MILLER: Is that the one at the scrap yard?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Chairperson. He died there. He's one of those two cadres who died there.


MR MBANDAZAYO: So I'm not disputing that maybe some cadres were using his name, but Jabu Mdunge is his real name. He was not using that name at that time, but yes, that is his real name, Jabu Mdunge. So you find that you have some of those problems when you are faced with these cases.

Chairperson, I cannot take it any further, Chairperson. Unless the Committee wants me to address, I cannot take it any further, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: No, we thank you for your assistance.

MS MAY IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairman and Honourable Members of the Committee, the applicant in this case is what the Court, during trial referred to as a "shocking list", as far as his criminal record is concerned. At one stage he was threatened that he would declared a habitual criminal. I think this is indicative of, if not the type of person he is, but his way of life and it is my respectful submission that the offence for which he is applying for amnesty at this stage, was merely a furtherance of that way of life, it was merely another criminal act, another robbery that he was committing, and for no political reason.

The applicant has no knowledge of the higher echelons of the PAC, as indicated when I questioned him. His response to not having the answers to such questions was that he was not allowed to know about people other than the Unit Commanders, which I think we can essentially reject as being a valid reason.

He was caught inside the premises. He initially was not entirely open with this Committee as to where he was standing and as to who did what. And it is my respectful submission that there was no proper planning during the commission of this offence and that this is in fact inconsistent with the methods of APLA, used during the time, in 1993.

Further, as far as the victims are concerned, Mr Burbidge in particular, the applicant's evidence is in direct contradiction to Mr Burbidge's statement and what he said in court, and it's inconceivable that Mr Burbidge wouldn't mention an amount if that had in fact been stolen from him.

Further, the applicant never approached the TRC, and once again it's my respectful submission that he did not provide sufficient reason as to why he did not make enquiries in that regard before he was convicted or sentenced.

As far as the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But do we have a problem that he met with the deadline for an application? Whether he mentioned it during his trial before conviction, does it matter? What we are concerned with, is it not that he applied timeously?

MS MAY: Indeed, Honourable Member, I'll take that no further.

If I may then refer to Mr Miza's statement which he forwarded to the Committee. I can merely respectfully submit that it's dangerous to trust such a document, it's easily capable of forgery, as is the mention of any particular person's names who were involved in the PAC or APLA. Merely to know somebody's name and to be able to forward that should never be a reason to accept that a person was in fact involved with APLA or the PAC.

JUDGE MILLER: Yes, it's not written on a proper piece of paper is it, it's written on an Internal Memo.

MS MAY: Indeed. And Honourable Member, ...(intervention)

JUDGE MILLER: It's addressed to:

"Dear Sons and Daughters of the soil ..."

MS MAY: The "soieel", yes.


"To all branches of Azanyo, PAWU, PASO"

MS MAY: Indeed, Honourable Member. And further there's also mention of a Mzawuwu Dlamini, of whom I have no knowledge at this stage. I don't know how relevant that is to this application at all.

JUDGE MOTATA: A response to another one which we'll be hearing tomorrow or Thursday.

MS MAY: Thank you, Honourable Member.

Then if I may address at this stage, the situation of the victims. They were greatly traumatised. Mrs Anna Booysen's husband has given a statement where it says that she was so traumatised that it actually affected her health and she then suffered from emphysema, from which she eventually died. In consultation with some of the victims as well, I was informed that the majority of them had sleepless nights and nightmares and that the business was also affected in the work performance. That I'll leave to the Committee, I'm afraid that I could not bring any evidence as such before yourselves.

It's my respectful submission that no full disclosure was made by this applicant, if we can even refer to what he has placed before us as disclosure at all, especially in light of the direct contradiction between his and Mr Burbidge's evidence that was in court.

It's my respectful submission that the commission of this offence was not at all associated with political objectives, it was not in the furtherance of a political struggle, it was merely for his own personal gain.

If you would like me to address you on anything else.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE IN ARGUMENT: Thank you, Mr Chair. I won't repeat anything that my learned colleagues have said, except of course as a member of the TRC, to just raise a concern as well in the difficulties that we face when sometimes we deal with PAC applicants. Which are firstly, that a person can be a PAC member, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee that all the acts that he engages in are political, it's possible that a PAC member who is known in the organisation to be a PAC member, can engage in criminal activities ...(intervention)

JUDGE MILLER: I think that applies to every political party, anybody who belongs to a political organisation is capable of committing a crime while being a member.

MS THABETHE: Yes. So a confirmation of membership solely, is not really sufficient when it comes to the incident in question, it's always you know, it could be so much easier if we could get confirmation on the incidents themselves and the people who were involved, whether the leadership has knowledge of them. We've had great difficulties in doing this and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: In that connection, I think you are aware of it, there is a list of incidents that APLA has submitted, and this does not appear on that list.

MR MBANDAZAYO: That's true, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair, you took my words from my mouth because I was going to say the greater difficulty is when such incidents don't appear in the admissions that were given by PAC to the TRC, and that's the great difficulty really we face, and we wish applicants could come up with more proof when it comes to incidents, whether the objectives when they were committing those acts, were really the APLA's objectives. Thank you, Mr Chair, I leave it in the hands of the Committee to make the proper decision.


MR MBANDAZAYO: None, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: What time tomorrow morning?

MS THABETHE: 9 o'clock, Mr Chair?

JUDGE MILLER: Yes, I think it depends a lot on the Department of Correctional Services.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you gentlemen make 9 o'clock? We're getting a nod from the Department. Very well, we'll try for 9 o'clock.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair. May I put it on record that tomorrow we are doing the Baleka/Dingani matter and also the Vanana matter.

JUDGE MILLER: Yes, and we hope to complete them tomorrow because Mr Mbandazayo has a difficulty for Thursday, and then we'll do the East London matter on Thursday.

MS THABETHE: Yes, Mr Chair.