DATE: 12 MAY 2000



DAY: 5


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, I take it that we're dealing with number 12 now?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson, that is our last incident that's been set down.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on) of this year.

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and the appearances are as before, with Mr van Rensburg appearing for the victims.



MR NDOU: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I call Marubini George Leshaba.


MR NDOU: Thank you Mr Chairman, Honourable Members.

EXAMINATION BY MR NDOU: Mr George Leshaba, you've made an application for amnesty and you filed an affidavit in which you explain the events as they unfolded. Could you explain to the Committee as to how it came about that the deceased in this matter was killed?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I can explain. Firstly, I would like to change something which is on the affidavit, because by the time when I was reading it, I realised that there was something which was not in order. On page 4, paragraph 27, the statement in that paragraph is not in order. It should indicate that the deceased was part of the meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Paragraph 27, it reads how the crowd proceeded to the deceased's house. You say it should be that the deceased was part of the meeting.

MR LESHABA: Yes, it should read as such.

MR NDOU: Yes, anything else?

MR LESHABA: And then paragraph 28.

MR NDOU: Yes. The present paragraph 28 reads:

"When the deceased saw the big crowd, he panicked and started running away and the crowd gave chase."

MR LESHABA: As far as I'm concerned, I think it should be as follows:

"Deceased had been identified and the tyre has been placed around his neck. He panicked and ran away and then the crowd gave chase."

And then page 5, paragraph 40. This statement was supposed not to be there because there was no property damaged at the home of the deceased. I think there was a mistake there, while printing was being done.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me, with all those corrections, why did you sign the affidavit?

MR LESHABA: I've already indicated - I indicated that to my legal representative that there's something wrong and he promised me that he will ask for corrections.

CHAIRPERSON: I know that, but when you signed it, why did you sign it with all those mistakes?

MR LESHABA: It's because I was promised by my legal adviser and I relied on him and that is why I signed.


MR LESHABA: Again here in page 4, paragraph 30. It reads:

"As the deceased lay down"

I think the rest after the word sword, the other words should be deleted.

CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat what you just said now, clearly to the interpreter. Paragraph 30. Is there anything wrong with it?

MR LESHABA: Yes, paragraph 30 is wrong because the deceased mentioned there, or the accused mentioned there is not the one who did so.

CHAIRPERSON: What should it read?

MR LESHABA: It should be like this:

"As the deceased lay down, one person Raphulu stabbed him with a sword."

I think it should end there and then the rest should be deleted.

CHAIRPERSON: And who doused him with petrol then?

MR LESHABA: It's myself.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you going to testify that?



MR NDOU: Now could you explain to the Committee how it came about that the deceased was killed?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I can.

CHAIRPERSON: Please do so.


On the 19th of March 1990, in the morning, late in the morning maybe at round about 10 o'clock, all my ...(indistinct) had a meeting. At that meeting many things were discussed and the person who was chairing that meeting was our Chairman, that is the Chairman of the ...(indistinct) Youth Congress who is called Solly Tovha. This Solly Tovha was a person who was well respected by the majority of the people, so that whatever he can explain to the people regarding politics, most of the people normally accepted his views because seemingly he was a person who was so progressive in our village because by then he was a teacher and he was from the colleges outside our village or former Venda. In that meeting of the 19th, the main thing which was being discussed was to fight against the Government which was ruling at that time. By the Government I'm referring to the National Party Government which was said to be independent here in Venda which started in 1979.

In 1990 the majority of people including myself were not in favour of that government. In terms of the ways in which our Chairman explained in the meeting, everybody was convinced that it is true that we must fight in order to make this government to collapse. He further indicated that we are all aware that here in Venda, ritual murder is taking place, including witchcraft and this is performed by our leaders with whom we stay together in our village. And then he further said we as youth, we should do something to the effect that this government should collapse and we should fight in all ways possible. So then I was also believing that the people who were leading us by then were being hurt by medicine or muti and they received this muti or medicine from the people we called, who practised witchcraft or bad traditional healers.

On that day we agreed that before the next day, we should have killed all the people, we referred to them as wizards. So each and every youth who was present at the meeting was so happy and slogans were started and freedom songs were being sung. When we dispersed in the afternoon, we agreed that we must go and buy petrol, so it was found that there was no money to buy that petrol, so we agreed that we should collect that money, money to that effect and then we pop out money, I also pop out money and the money was given to my co-accused who is Thabang. He was sent to go and buy petrol at the filling station and he was sent to buy two five litres of petrol and then we dispersed, having agreed that we will meet in the evening. This was because that time in the morning a police van came and then we were unable to continue with our meeting, because we were disturbed in that day. We agreed we will continue with the meet in the evening, while the police will no longer be visible. It's then that we dispersed. In the evening when it was already dark, we gathered again. At the gathering we started to sing freedom songs and all of the songs were against the former government including Mr Ravele, the former President of the former homeland. I still remember the song which was saying: "Talk to Ravele and return back the Government, because the Government, it doesn't belong to his mother."

Many songs were sung and those songs were against the people who were practising witchcraft and insulting them. As we were singing, we agreed that we must go and invite people to come and attend the meeting. In fact we did so. We were chanting, singing slogans, all over the streets of Maila and we were inviting each and every citizen to attend the meeting at the bus stop, because there in the bus stop there was enough space.

Ultimately, we went to the meeting at the bus stop. At the bus stop on my arrival, there were so many people who were approximately more than 500 or to 600. That meeting, which was held during the evening, it was no longer chaired by the Chairman Solly Thovha, it was instead chaired by Harriot Mathebula, my co-accused, or my co-applicant. Harriot Mathebula explained all the problems regarding the fact that we were being bewitched and that our village is full of wizards or people who practised witchcraft and that these wizards or people who practised witchcraft are very close to the Headman or the Chief and whenever we take our grievances to the Chief, the Chief instead called the police and soldiers and then just like the other day in which the soldiers and police assaulted us severely, that resulted into the youth being very cross about that.

People were so happy when they heard what the youth were about to do, because they were all in favour of that. I'm saying that because some of the adult people who attended the meeting asked us to work and they said they will assist us by the way they could and they said: "You mustn't be afraid of wizards, just kill them." I still remember a certain elderly person who stood up ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Now was the deceased part of that meeting?

MR LESHABA: Yes, the deceased was part of that meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell us what happened then.

MR LESHABA: The deceased was part of the meeting. Later as the people were singing and they were happy, on the Eastern side as I was standing in the middle of the group because I was one of the people who were active in that meeting, I heard people shouting saying: "Here are the people who are practising witchcraft", so as such , they were referring to the person who was targeted or very much targeted because the deceased was very close to the Chief, to Chief Nthabalala and this Nthabalala was a member of Parliament. But then, when I looked to the direction in which people were shouting saying: "Here is the wizard", I realised that a tyre was already put around the neck of the deceased and he was trying to pull it out and then he succeeded and then decided to run away. As far as I'm concerned, I think by the time he was trying to pull out the tyre around his neck, of the people who were there, one of them poured petrol onto him and then he decided to run away as he was burning by then.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't follow that. They put a tyre on him. He managed to take it off and then run away. What happened then?

MR LESHABA: In that meeting, I want to relate it in this way, there was a crowd - there were shoutings ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, we're not asking you to right it in any way, I'm asking you what the position was. You told us that he was identified in that meeting, at some time a tyre was put on his shoulders, he managed to take it off and ran away. What happened next?

MR LESHABA: As he was running, I was surprised because he was burning and instead of a person, I realised that it was not only the person, it was a very big flame which was also running there which means that somebody poured petrol and then maybe he was set alight. As he was running ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He must have been set alight if he was burning, common knowledge, the point of the matter is, did he have a tyre on him again, or what?

MR LESHABA: He put off the tyre and he ran away without a tyre, but he was burning.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And then you chased him?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I was one of the people who chased him and I was also throwing stones at him.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And he fell down?

MR LESHABA: Yes, he fell down because he was heavily pelted by stones.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And what did you do then?

MR LESHABA: While he was lying there, before I could do anything, a certain person Raphulu was having a sword and then he stabbed him at the back and therefore he was unable to do anything now, then people started to interrogate him as to how he practised witchcraft.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he still burning then?

MR LESHABA: No, he was no longer burning by then, he was simply lying down and he was powerless because of the stones which pelted him. In answering those questions as to how he practised witchcraft and as to with whom did he practice witchcraft, he said: "I have got a team of people with whom I practised witchcraft". He also named the list of the people he practised witchcraft with them and the names of the people are the following: He mentioned Ramakosi, Mrs Soowa, Mrs Masekona and Mrs Mahleen.

CHAIRPERSON: So it was the same people who were identified in the first meeting?

MR LESHABA: Yes, of course. Having mentioned those people he practised witchcraft with them, I personally asked him the place in which he practised this witchcraft and how he did it. He said - he indicated that whatever they do, they do in the Chief's kraal and he indicated that even the medicine or muti, they mix it there at the Chief's kraal. So in the meantime, people were singing slogans, chanting. A certain Denis Matala said - I realised that there is no tyre and he said he will donate a tyre and he requested us to go and fetch the tyre. Myself and a certain accused who was discharged in Court ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: I can't understand that now because you had a tyre, you put a tyre round him, he took off the tyre and he started running, what happened to that tyre?

MR LESHABA: That tyre was no longer there and I don't know where it was, but then until myself and Kaletsane and Matala, we went to go and fetch tyres in the home of Matala. It was easy to find tyres because Denis was a mechanic.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was that who went to fetch the tyres?

MR LESHABA: Would you please repeat your question?

CHAIRPERSON: Who went to fetch the tyres?

MR LESHABA: It's myself and Kenny and Mr Denis Matala. On our arrival at the place of Denis Matala, he took a five litre bucket and a pipe and then he sucked the petrol from his car. When we went back to the kraal, I was holding the petrol with a tyre in the other hand and the pipe we used to suck petrol was still in the container. On arriving in the crowd, I realised that the deceased was sitting with his legs flat.

CHAIRPERSON: We don't want to know all what position he was sitting. You went there, you had the petrol, did you dose him?

MR LESHABA: On our arrival at the scene where the deceased was sitting, because there was a pipe in that container, I forced the deceased to drink the petrol and the deceased refused to drink that petrol. In realising that, I took that container or the bucket with petrol, I poured petrol from the top and then it ran all over his body. While he was still there, a flame started. I realised that the person who was from behind struck a match and threw a stick to him and nearby, there was a bundle of thatch grass.

CHAIRPERSON: What about the tyres?

MR LESHABA: I will come to that. The youth took the thatch grass on top of the deceased while he was burning. By then the people were singing and they were so happy. It is then that the fire was starting to go out and then somebody came with a big wire, but I don't know who was that person because it was during the night and that wire we hooked it to the deceased because we were afraid of going across to him and putting the tyre onto his body.

JUDGE DE JAGER: It really seems as though you've enjoyed killing this man.

MR LESHABA: At the time it was no very clear as to how one could do it because people were so happy. One didn't even realise that they were killing. One could only ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: Okay. Could you listen now? We've heard about it and we realised you've killed him and you've killed him because hew as a friend of the Chief and because he gave medicine to the chief, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: Yes, it is true. He was accused as wizard and as I remember ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr Ndou, could you kindly lead the witness and tell him we've heard the evidence now and we're satisfied now so far with his evidence. We'll ask him questions if we want to hear him anymore.

MR NDOU: Thank you, Honourable Member. Me Leshaba, the position is very simple. What the Committee wants to hear from you is the reason as to why the deceased was killed and how you connect that to your political motive.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ndou, he's already done that. All we want to know now about the tyres, were the tyres used or not in killing the deceased?

MR LESHABA: The tyres were used. I was still going to come to that when the Honourable interrupted.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that you are able to give very descriptive evidence. Rather when you write your book one day use it then, we need to know the actual facts. You told us that you people went to fetch tyres and petrol, you've told us what you've done with the petrol, all we want to know is if you people used the tyres in killing the deceased or not and if so, how?

MR LESHABA: Well according to me the deceased didn't die because of the tyres, I think it was because of the pelting stones and also the sword.

QUESTION: ...(indistinct - speaking simultaneously and mike not on)

MR LESHABA: Yes the tyre was used. Two tyres were used.

MR SIBANYONI: Who did that?

MR LESHABA: I was also personally responsible in putting one and Kenny Kaletsane was also responsible. Well regarding petrol, as far as I'm concerned it's only petrol dousing and tyres, nothing else.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, is that all?

MR LESHABA: Yes, that's all.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN RENSBURG: Can you start off by explaining to us how did you invite the people to the meeting?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I can. On the first day, or let me say we used to go to the tuck shop and there was a notice for the meeting. The notice was compiled by SoLly Thovha, Chairman of Maila Youth Congress.

MR VAN RENSBURG: According to your testimony you earlier in the day agreed to meet again that night, is that so?

MR LESHABA: Now if that was so agreed, why was it necessary for you and other people to go and invite the people in the middle of the night to come and join this meeting?

MR LESHABA: It is because at the time of the morning meeting, there were no other people, it was just the youth, that is why it was necessary to go and invite people who will have come back from work, so that we could go for the meeting.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I put it to you that it was because the people did not want to attend the meeting, that's why they did not arrive at that evening meeting and that's why you had to force them, not invite them, force them, to come to the meeting, isn't that so?

MR LESHABA: Well truly speaking, Honourable, people were not forced, they responded.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Do you agree that they felt threatened by you that's why they responded?

MR LESHABA: Well according to me, nobody was threatened and as they were getting explanation, they were all happy.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Can you remember that during the criminal trial that there was evidence led that the people were in fact forced to attend that evening meeting?

MR LESHABA: Well I think we were all gearing to escape the Court trial. I don't think many people can agree that they did volunteer to do those things, that is why they will just say: "We were forced."

MR VAN RENSBURG: So you agree with me that there was evidence to that effect, is that it?

MR LESHABA: Well I cannot dispute that, I cannot remember what happened during the Court trial, it is a long time ago.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I'll tell you. You did not give evidence to dispute those facts at all, this and other facts, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: Could you repeat your question?

MR VAN RENSBURG: You yourself did not give evidence at that trial to dispute any of these facts, including the fact that the people were forced to attend that evening meeting?

MR LESHABA: Well at that time, I just did not even know the Court procedure. The representative asked us to close the case. According to me I assumed that he was saying that there were not going to be any further issues, it meant that I was not going to testify, give evidence, it meant that I was not going to go to the witness box and give evidence.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Now can you explain to me how did you try to escape the consequences of your deeds, if you did not give evidence?

MR LESHABA: Could you just repeat the question?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes. I want to know from you, could you explain to us, how could you escape the consequences of your deeds, as your aim was during the trial, if you did not give evidence in your defence?

MR LESHABA: I don't know how to explain it. Could you simplify that?

MR VAN RENSBURG: No, I can't simplify that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr van Rensburg, isn't this usually a decision taken by the legal representatives on advising clients?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, that may be so, Mr Chairperson, but I got the impression from the - in fact I heard from the evidence in his previous answer to the question that at the time of the trial it was their aim to escape the consequences of the trial, or whatever, that is his own evidence and it is to that part of the evidence that I direct my question and not so much as to the reason why he in fact did not give evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: To follow on, Mr van Rensburg, maybe, I think all accused who plead not guilty have that intention, but somewhere through the trial when the evidence becomes too insurmountable, tactical decisions are made and advice is given by their legal representative, maybe even to cut losses, maybe that's what he's talking about, that initially it was his intention, he stuck with his story and then he was advised: "Look here, you're just going to worsen the situation if you testify."

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, I accept that and that is exactly my argument. It will later be my argument Mr Chairperson that it is in view of the fact of that condemning evidence which was accepted as the truth, that they decided not to give evidence.

INTERPRETER: The mike is not on.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I will do that. Okay. At the second meeting, you said that it was no longer the usual Chairperson that spoke, but it was Mathebula. Would that be the second applicant in this hearing?


MR VAN RENSBURG: Are you referring to Mr Harriot mathebula? He took over this second meeting, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: Yes, Honourable.

MR VAN RENSBURG: And he also spoke in favour of killing the witches, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: yes, it is true, Honourable.

MR VAN RENSBURG: So when Mathebula testified at the criminal trial that he in fact was trying to persuade the meeting that the witches should be left alone, that was not the truth, according to yourself?

MR LESHABA: Could you just repeat the question please?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes. You've now testified that Mathebula spoke in favour of the killing of the witches. At the criminal trial Mathebula testified under oath that he in fact tried to persuade the meeting not to kill the witches. Now my only question is, when Mathebula testified that at the criminal trial, according to your view he was not speaking the truth.

MR LESHABA: It may be so, I cannot dispute that.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Now I just want you to explain to me how the attack on the deceased started. We accept that he was part of the meeting, that is in fact also my instructions, can you explain to me what happened, what was your first knowledge about the attack that was ensuing on the deceased?

MR LESHABA: Well, according to me the knowledge or I think basically the aim was that Venda should be ungovernable and something else is that we wanted our Chief to be powerless and also that he should not be in Parliament.

MR VAN RENSBURG: That's not what I'm asking you. I want you to tell us, at the meeting when the deceased was present, how did it happen that he was suddenly attacked and what was your role in that?

MR LESHABA: Well, during the meeting, I did not do anything to the deceased. As to how it came about, well according to my knowledge, the deceased was hated by the whole community, as such it was not difficult to identify him.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes. Please confine yourself to what happened at the meeting, please. Tell us, how did the attack start at the meeting?

MR LESHABA: Regarding the attack of the deceased, it started as follows. Well, as Harriot Mathebula was chanting slogans, having said the brief about the meeting, there was another group on the Eastern side which was saying: "Here is the wizard, this is the wizard that we are looking for." On looking at where the people were, at the time I think I was moving towards that direction, I realised that the deceased was trying to take the tyre off his neck and he ran away.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Are you saying that you were not involved in the actual beginning of the assault on the deceased, is that so?

MR LESHABA: Well, if Honourable, I understand you clearly, if you are referring to the meeting, I did not involve myself.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I'm not necessarily referring to the meeting. I don't know if the meeting had ended by that time or not, I'm talking about the beginning of the assault on the deceased. You were not involved in that, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: Well, I did not involve myself in that.

MR VAN RENSBURG: How far were you from the deceased when you noticed for the first time that he was being attacked by the crowd?

MR LESHABA: I think I was right in the middle, very close to the person who was chairing the meeting, right in the midst of the crowd which indicates that the deceased was a little distance away from me. According to me, he may have been 30 metres away behind the people.

MR VAN RENSBURG: You also agree with me then, or would you agree with me then that soon after the attack on the deceased started, you in fact took over this assault on the deceased, is that not so?

MR LESHABA: Meaning taking over in which way?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Taking over the leading role in organising and assaulting him.

MR LESHABA: No. I did not take that part.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I put it to you that your involvement in this murder was the most involved of all the people at present on the day and that you in fact were responsible for killing that deceased.

MR LESHABA: I cannot dispute that, Honourable, because there is something that I did and I did not hide that, I did indicate that as well as I am here to apply for amnesty as to what I did on the deceased.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes, you played a leading role in killing him. You tried to let him drink petrol and you doused him with petrol and you put on a tyre on him, that kind of thing.

MR LESHABA: Well, it is true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Why have you never mentioned before that you in fact interrogated him and he gave you the names of other witches and the places where they practised this witchcraft? Why was that not mentioned in your statement, for instance, in your affidavit?

MR LESHABA: Could you repeat the question?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Why didn't you mention ever before today that the deceased was interrogated and he gave some names of other witches and the places or the place where he and the others practised his witchcraft?

MR LESHABA: I mentioned that I did say that he was interrogated and he identified the people whom he was - I also read the names of those people he mentioned.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I want you to show me in your affidavit where did you mention this fact that he was given the names and interrogated by yourself?

MR LESHABA: If you check on the affidavit, it is true that it is not there, it has been omitted. There may have been a mistake, especially printing mistake, as they were editing, they may have typed it in a different way.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Are you saying that you did mention that fact, but it was for some printing reason, not included in your affidavit, is that what you're saying?

MR LESHABA: Well, yes.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Do you have any evidence to back up this?

MR LESHABA: Unless if my legal representative can put it differently.

MR VAN RENSBURG: No, I'm asking you.

MR LESHABA: Could you repeat the question that you asked me?

MR VAN RENSBURG: I want you to explain to us why you say it was a printing question, or a printing problem to omit that important information from the affidavit. I put it to you that it is not on the affidavit because you never mentioned it before. You agree?

MR LESHABA: Well, it is not in the affidavit but I did explain to my legal representative.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Can you tell this hearing, what are you making amnesty for today? Application for what are you making amnesty for?

MR LESHABA: Well, I'm applying for my involvement in the killing of Mr Malatje and all that I did so that if it were possible, the family members who are in front of me today, we could reconcile and they could forgive me and we can start a new life, because I don't think what has happened can happen again, because as I look, I realise that it was because of the time, there was a lot of political disturbances in the whole of South Africa and at the time, it was just immediately after the former President Mandela had been released, so much that many people in South Africa were so elated ...(intervention)

MR VAN RENSBURG: Please confine yourself to just answering the question as it relates to yourself. I'm not asking, if I ask you about what other people thought, or what the political situation was, I'll ask you that. Please confine yourself to answering the question relating to yourself. Okay, now if you look at paragraph 9(a)(i) of your amnesty application form, you will see there that the acts, omissions or offences that you are asking application for amnesty, is that:

"I poured deceased with petrol and I collected tyres."

Do you see that there?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I can see that.

MR VAN RENSBURG: So you see that if we look at that specific paragraph that you are not making application for the murder of the deceased?

MR LESHABA: Well, if you look at the application form itself, you realise that it is now printed. As such, maybe the printer he or she may have omitted something because I can see that even the charge that is given here is said to be murder because we were asking amnesty for murder, or forgiveness for murder.

MR VAN RENSBURG: You see I can't accept this story of yours that every time it's a printing mistake. You signed that form, is it not, on page 3?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I did.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. And it says there that you have acknowledged that you knew and understood the contents of that declaration. Can you see that there on the bottom of page 3?


MR VAN RENSBURG: So why didn't you, before putting your signature on that application form, write in or at least raise the question that the contents of paragraph 9(a)(i) are incomplete?

MR LESHABA: Well, the reflection in the form, in my knowledge, I didn't really reread it, or go back to it, because I didn't have it.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay, then you should agree with me that you shouldn't qualify for amnesty for murder because you didn't ask for it, is it not so?

MR LESHABA: I disagree with you, Honourable, because what I did, it is mentioned.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay, let's go on a bit.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg, if you read the question properly, it doesn't ask what you're asking amnesty for, or what offences you're applying for, but it asks in respect of what acts you are applying for and if you, I know what you're talking, legal terms and I would adopt the same attitude that really speaking he should have referred to the offences, but if you interpret these questions literally, then he's answered it perfectly.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, I have to mention that that specific paragraph mentions acts, omissions or offences.

CHAIRPERSON: It refers to acts, what activities he involved himself with. Maybe the form is a bit lopsided.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I will also leave that for argument then, Mr Chairperson. Okay Mr Leshaba, if we continue now and you want this Hearing to believe that you killed the deceased because he was a witch and the killing of the witch in some way forwarded your political objectives, if we take that as a given fact, why did you require this poor person to drink the petrol?

MR LESHABA: Well the act that I tried on the deceased with drinking petrol, I did see it somewhere on TV, it was somewhere in the Rand and it was during the struggle.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. Try to explain to me, what political objective did you try to attain by forcing this deceased to drink petrol?

MR LESHABA: Well on him drinking petrol, it was not related to political gain, it was just a way of killing the deceased.

MR VAN RENSBURG: So you were acting on your own killing spree at that stage, is that correct?

MR LESHABA: I don't think I was acting on my killing spree, it was just a spirit which was everywhere, a way of dealing with those people we accused as witchcraft practising people. Unfortunately I was also involved and I was acting.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. If we go back to paragraph 9(a)(i) of your application, you will see that it does not make mention that you forced the deceased to drink petrol. You see that? Do you see that?


MR VAN RENSBURG: Now, I put it to you that this was most probably, the forcing of the drinking of the petrol was most probably the single most gruesome act that was performed that night, would you agree with me?

MR LESHABA: Yes, I agree with that.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Now, explain then to us why such an important, gruesome act was not mentioned in your amnesty application.

MR LESHABA: In this application, this is true. In looking into that, the person who printed this thing realised that the space was too short or too small, then he started to shorten the things and then omitted something, because to tell the honest truth, when I explained this, I did explain everything because I was aware of the way in which this thing should be going on.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Mr Leshaba, part of this Hearing's work is to let people take responsibility for their own actions. Do you agree with that statement?

MR LESHABA: Yes, it's true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Now it seems to me that you have a total unwillingness to actually take responsibility for your own actions by continuously blaming it on someone else, the printer, the writer, the drafter of the form, or whoever. What do you say ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg, you are criticising him and you are right in what you say, for something that is not subject to investigation here. The shortfalls or the short-comings of the completion of the amnesty form is not exactly something that we've got to investigate. Furthermore, I think in the spirit of the process, the form is designed to get basic facts and that's why where gross human rights violations are involved, a public hearing is demanded and that is where one would get all the details, rather than expect someone to put in all the details in this form. If the basic description of what happened is included in the form, then I think that's acceptable and if we want to find out further details for public purposes, then this is the place to do so. He can hardly be criticised for leaving out details, when he's in fact given the broad version of the offence he's committed or what he did in commission of the offence.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I will not take that line of questioning then any further, thank you Mr Chairperson.

You testified that at one stage you hooked a wire on the deceased. Can you please tell the Hearing what was your involvement in that?

MR LESHABA: The deceased was hooked by a wire and then I attacked the tyre on that part of the wire and then the co-accused attached the other tyre because the tyres left on the deceased were two.

MR VAN RENSBURG: At what stage was that now done? Was that when you returned with the new tyres and you found him sitting on the ground? Is that correct?

MR LESHABA: Yes. That was after taking two new tyres from Mr Denis.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Why was it necessary to attack the tyres to his body with wires if he was sitting down?

MR LESHABA: I think there was nobody who was prepared to go next or across to him.

MR VAN RENSBURG: That does not explain why wires should be needed to attach the tyres to his body.

CHAIRPERSON: What were you going to do with the wire? Why was the wire needed to be attached to his body?

MR LESHABA: The evidence that I have here is that on our arrival with the tyres, we realised that the deceased was hooked by a wire. That wire was long, so it was evident that the wire was waiting for the tyres, so that the tyre would pull up and then the tyres be put in the wire and then the tyres will run to the body of the deceased.

CHAIRPERSON: And routed towards the body?


JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr van Rensburg, it's a brutal murder. It's really one of the worst murders we've heard about, but murder remains murder. Once you've taken the life of a person, you've taken a human life and it's murder and the Act provides us or empowers us, or forces us to give amnesty for murders, so as far as the gruesome details are concerned, we've heard it, but that wouldn't alter in the end, our duty to grant or refuse amnesty, whether it's been gruesome or not.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, I accept that Mr Chairperson. Thank you very much. If you will just give me one second please. Okay, I just want to put it to you regarding this wire incident that, and that is also facts that were confirmed during the criminal trial, that you in fact attached the wire to the tyre and to the deceased whilst he was still running, meaning that the reason why you attached the wire to him is to stop him from throwing off this tyre. What do you say about that?

MR LESHABA: It's not true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I have no further questions for this witness, thank you.



MR MAPOMA: No questions, Chairperson.



MR NDOU: Nothing more, Chairperson.


ADV SIGODI: Tell me, how did the deceased get to the meeting?

MR LESHABA: He arrived personally because everybody was invited.

ADV SIGODI: Because what concerns me is that in the summary of facts, was there no delegation which was sent to go and fetch him?

MR LESHABA: There was no delegation.

ADV SIGODI: And when he was identified as a witch, he was first identified at the first meeting. Was he present at the first meeting?

MR LESHABA: I'm not too sure whether you are referring to the morning meeting.

ADV SIGODI: Yes, the morning meeting.

MR LESHABA: Well, during that meeting he was not there because it was a youth meeting.

ADV SIGODI: It was a youth meeting.


ADV SIGODI: But then didn't word go around that as to who had been identified as witches during the first meeting, during the course of the day? Were the people who were identified as witches not aware that they'd been identified as witches?

MR LESHABA: Could you repeat the question?

ADV SIGODI: I'm saying, was he not aware in the evening that he had been identified as a witch during the morning meeting?

MR LESHABA: No, I don't think he was aware, however when I remember what happened some years back, it seems that the people in the community, although I only got a briefing, they once collected money, then went to the bone thrower and the reason being that they did not get any explanation from the Chief as to who got accused and the reference was the deceased. It was only mentioned by those who went with him, that he was the one who was accused as a witch.

ADV SIGODI: Was he a traditional healer or something like that? Was he dealing - or herbalist, or something? Did he have anything to do with herbs or medicine?


ADV SIGODI: So was he a traditional healer? Did people go to him for medicines, to the deceased?

MR LESHABA: Yes, he was a traditional healer who was accused of being a bad traditional healer practising witchcraft.

ADV SIGODI: And his association with the Chief, Chief Nthabalala, can you give me more information on that? Did the Chief go to him or how close was he to the Chief?

MR LESHABA: The deceased was very close to the Chief and it became quite known because he was the one who used to go to the Chief's kraal and the Chief would be seen quite often with him in the car and they will go to the deceased's kraal. Sometimes the deceased appeared to be a bodyguard when the Chief was drinking beer.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------MR NDOU: I now call Mditsheni Johannes Makananise.


MR NDOU: Thank you Mr Chairman.

EXAMINATION BY MR NDOU: Mr Makananise, you made an application for amnesty. You've heard Mr Leshaba giving evidence. Now what I would like you to explain to the Committee is the role that you played during the killing of this person.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Makananise, you heard of those meetings, were you at the second meeting at the bus stop?

MR MAKANANISE: What happened is that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm asking you if you were at that meeting or not.


CHAIRPERSON: I understand from that meeting, the deceased ran away and he was burning. Correct?


CHAIRPERSON: What did you do in respect of that?

MR MAKANANISE: I hit him with a stick.

CHAIRPERSON: While he was running away?


CHAIRPERSON: And while he was burning?


CHAIRPERSON: And then we were told that at some stage he was pelted with stones as a result of which he fell on the ground. Did you throw stones at him?

MR MAKANANISE: I didn't throw stones.

CHAIRPERSON: And now when he was on the ground, what did you do, if anything?

MR MAKANANISE: I was chanting freedom songs and I was quite far.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Did you see the previous witness trying to force him to drink petrol?

MR MAKANANISE: Yes, I saw him.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And that tyres were put on him and that he'd been hooked by a wire, did you see all those details?

MR MAKANANISE: I saw the tyres only, I didn't see the wire.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Could you hear him being questioned?

MR MAKANANISE: Yes, I could hear that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: What did he say, on being questioned?

MR MAKANANISE: He was asked as to who the co-witchcraft practising people were.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ndou, you are going to have to explain something here to me. The affidavit under the hand of Makananise, seems to me the one that should have been under the hand of the first applicant. If you look at paragraphs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, that's the evidence that the first applicant gave. How - this witness have signed an affidavit like that?

MR NDOU: I think I can explain that. What happened was, you're consulting with people coming from the same incident and explaining these things and they all agree as to that's exactly what happened and each one of them is telling the same story and at the end of the day they tell you what each one of them did.

CHAIRPERSON: On page 40(d), it's exactly what the personal contribution to the death of the deceased was of the first applicant. He's the one that says look, in my affidavit delete the words: "And I doused him with petrol". No, let's just get that right.

"As the deceased lay down, one Tyson Raphulu stabbed him with a sword. Matala said he could donate vehicle tyres. I then took a small pipe and tried to cause the deceased to drink it, but he would not."

Now that is missing in the original affidavit and it's obvious to me, unless there's one very good explanation why it's like that, these affidavits were swopped and the applicants cannot be blamed for that.

MR NDOU: What I see, the problem there, that paragraph because he was also explaining ...(indistinct - mike not on)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on. The mike is not on.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, you don't have to translate this. Carry on. You say you have no more questions.

MR NDOU: You've explained to the Committee that all you did was to hit the deceased with a stick and that you ...(indistinct) is there anything else that you did?

MR MAKANANISE: Nothing else.


CHAIRPERSON: When you hit the deceased with a stick, did you do so according to the decision to kill him?

MR MAKANANISE: Well, that was in agreement with the decision taken. Yes, to kill him.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN RENSBURG: So you did not force the deceased to drink petrol as stated in paragraph 23 of your affidavit, is that correct?

MR MAKANANISE: No, I didn't force the deceased to drink petrol.

MR VAN RENSBURG: You also didn't douse him with petrol as set out in paragraph 24 of your affidavit, is that correct?

MR MAKANANISE: Yes, it is true, I didn't douse him with petrol.

MR VAN RENSBURG: At the criminal trial there was evidence led by a certain Elvis and Angus that you in fact tried to put the tyre back on the deceased when the tyre slipped off, can you remember that?

CHAIRPERSON: Can you remember that was the evidence?

MR MAKANANISE: Could you just repeat the question?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes. At the criminal trial there was evidence led by these two witnesses, Elvis and Angus that you in fact tried to put the tyre back onto the deceased when the tyre slipped off. What I want to know is, can you remember that those witnesses testified to that effect at the criminal trial?

MR MAKANANISE: No, it is not true. I dispute that.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, perhaps you don't understand me. I'm not asking you if that is in fact what happened. I just want to know if you can remember that they testified to that effect at the criminal trial.

MR MAKANANISE: I can remember.

MR VAN RENSBURG: But they did not speak the truth, is what you're saying, is that correct?

MR MAKANANISE: No, they did not speak the truth.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. And they also testified that you were the one, or one of the persons pouring petrol on the deceased. Did they also lie when they testified that?

MR MAKANANISE: Yes, they were lying about that, it's not true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. And can you then just explain to us, in view of this serious evidence about your involvement, why did you decide not to give evidence at the criminal trial, to deny these allegations?

MR MAKANANISE: What happened, when I was arrested my legal representative then told us to close the case and as such, because I didn't have any legal knowledge, I just submitted, it was my first time to be arrested.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Are you now saying that that legal representative did not act in your best interest?

MR MAKANANISE: Well, it means that because he took what came from the State Witnesses and left my own version.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Would you try to venture any explanation why the legal representative did not act in your best interest?

MR NDOU: Chairperson, I've got a problem with this line of questioning. I have not heard of any evidence which suggests quite explicitly that the legal representative who acted for the applicant in the criminal trial, did not act in his best interests at that criminal trial then. It is my submission, Chairperson, that that question is very unfair to the applicant, or the applicant cannot be able ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well, if the applicant is going to testify here that look he followed the advice of his legal representative, then that's the end of the matter.

MR NDOU: Yes, that is my position also.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, what are you saying, so the question can be put and the witness can be in a position to answer and if he says: "Look, I followed the advice of my legal representative in not testifying", then that's the end of the matter.

MR NDOU: Yes, but it is taken further to say that the legal representative did not act in his best interests. In fact that is what is being extracted from the applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja. Maybe you must rephrase your question Mr van Rensburg, because I don't think it's acceptable to question legal representation and advice given to clients.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes of course. That is not what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to find out what the accused or the applicant's specific view on this issue is.

CHAIRPERSON: But does it matter? I mean you know and I know that when you appear, especially in a criminal court, client will come to you and look into your eyes and plead: "What must I do next, because that's why I employed you."

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, exactly, that is why you give him the best evidence in the circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I accept that, but if you, for example, or me, were to tell our client: "Look, I don't think it's in your best interest to testify", that may be correct or wrong advice, but nonetheless advice that's accepted and acted upon and I don't know if one can ask the receiver of such advice, why such advice was given.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, but that is not what I'm asking him.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, let's hear the question again then.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, it was following on the previous question. The previous question was, are you now of the opinion, taking all the facts into consideration, that that legal representative did not act in your best interest when he gave you such information? The answer was: "Yes."

CHAIRPERSON: Well, that is precisely the objection. You elicit a question, an answer from him that he obviously cannot answer. That question should be directed at the legal adviser.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, but also there was no objection at the time to the question.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I accept that, but I mean I'm just trying to be fair here. Maybe the answer slipped in and inadvertently got onto record, but really, both of us would know that you can't expect the client to explain that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And another thing, Mr van Rensburg, unfortunately it wouldn't assist us in interpreting the Act and the requirements of the Act as far as amnesty is concerned.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes. Perhaps I can be a bit clearer about my motive for asking these questions. Obviously my argument will be that the accused in the circumstances, did get the best legal advice and on account of the evidence which was led at the criminal trial which was obviously the truth, they received that evidence and in as far as that evidence that was led is now contrary to the disclosure made by this applicant, that should have a serious influence on his credibility, but as I say, that is possibly a question for argument and I will have no further questions to this specific applicant.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mapoma.

MR MAPOMA: I have no questions, Chairperson, thank you.


MR NDOU: Nothing further Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: No, no questions thank you. You're excused.


CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on)

Mr Ndou, we're about concerned about the next applicant. In his primary document of application he indicates that he's done nothing at paragraph 9(a). He contradicts his affidavit which is, similarly to the others, I must emphasise, as far as I'm concerned a mess-up, but I'd like you to address us as to whether there is in fact an application now because of his statement in his primary document which says he did nothing to the deceased. Let us read exactly what he says there. He says:

"I address the meeting. It was agreed to kill these people. I did not participate for I was against it."

Now is there a proper application then? Can he get amnesty?

MR NDOU: Honourable Chair and Honourable Members, I accept, in fact what has not become very clear is that these forms, they were not filled in by a legally trained person who would have appreciated what was going at the time, they were filled by the Committee that was appointed by the prisoners at the time and these documents were taken to Cape Town and even at the stage when we consulted with them, these documents were not before us because there were no copies of the documents.

CHAIRPERSON: It's all very well giving us that history. The fact of the matter is that we're faced with this application today. The formality was that it's supposed to be completed at a particular time before a particular date indicating broadly, not in detail, what they apply for in terms of act, date, place, wherever. Here he says: "I did not commit any act or omission or offence. While it was agreed" and I assume it means agreed to kill the witches, "I did not participate for I was against it." So all he did was to address that meeting at which this decision was made and he opposed it. That's what is contained here.

JUDGE DE JAGER: So our problem is you could never argue that he had common purpose, but his own motive was: "I'm against it and I didn't participate."

CHAIRPERSON: He's not guilty of an offence and therefore he can't get amnesty. It's an important aspect and it's the future of this person that's at stake and maybe - I don't know how we overcome this.

MR NDOU: Thank you Honourable Chair. By virtue of the fact that this application, at the time when it was filled in, the applicant did not really appreciate, as can be seen even from the others, some of the aspects are being left out, but after a proper consultation and a proper explanation as to the purpose of this application, I think most of the people were now coming out and trying to explain exactly as to what has happened.

CHAIRPERSON: How do you reconcile what he's written there?

JUDGE DE JAGER: The trouble is, he's not a lay person. He was in fact a well-educated person.

CHAIRPERSON: The fact of the matter is, if he was guilty or if he is guilty, he tried to deny complicity here, isn't it?

MR NDOU: As I understand from his explanation now, he says the idea that he wanted to convey was that at the original meeting when this group of people was mentioned and the people were of the opinion that those people should all be killed, he was against that idea, but he agreed that this particular person had to be killed. It's just that he didn't come clearly on the application form.

CHAIRPERSON: But as valiant as your argument may be Mr Ndou, the problem is that in this application it states : "I address the meeting. It was agreed ..." whatever, "I did not participate, for I was", he did not participate in what, the killing? "For I was against it". That is my problem. He denies complicity. No matter what meeting he's talking about, he says: "I did not participate." Obviously "I did not participate in the commission of the crime for I was against it." Now whether he was against it in the first meeting or the second meeting doesn't matter. He says: "I did not participate because I was against it." How do we overcome that?

MR NDOU: May I reply, with the permission of the Honourable Committee, that I apply that that paragraph be amended at this stage if possible?

CHAIRPERSON: ... would suggest this, that we hear the evidence and we'll reserve judgment on it and we'll decide whether there's a proper application or not. If we decide there's not a proper application, then we'll refuse it. If we are able to say that there is a proper application, then we'll deal with it in the normal fashion.

MR NDOU: Thank you, Honourable Chair.




HARRIOT MATHEBULA: (sworn states)

MR NDOU: Thank you Honourable Chairman and Members.

EXAMINATION BY MR NDOU: Mr Mathebula, we've heard from the previous two applicants that there was a meeting in the evening when the deceased was killed. We've also understood that you were chairing the meeting, is that correct?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, it is true.

MR NDOU: And apart from chairing the meeting, what else did you do at the scene?

MR MATHEBULA: Before I explain, I think I noticed something on the affidavit which is not properly put. I just want to look at that as well.


MR MATHEBULA: Paragraph 28 which says:

"The crowd then proceeded to the deceased's house",

which should read differently.

The same goes to 29:

"After the deceased had been identified and the tyre had been placed on his neck, he ran away. The crowd gave chase."

And 31, it should end at the word sword. The rest should be deleted.

And on page 37 where there is - it starts with "we", it should read "they" and there where it reads: ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ndou, why don't you tell us what it should read then?

MR NDOU: Okay. Since he says that whatever was happening, it was a group of other people who were doing it, he says that instead of the word reading "we", it should read "they" because it is the other people and he was not part of the people who were doing those acts.

MR MATHEBULA: And number 42, the whole paragraph should be deleted, because no property was damaged.

CHAIRPERSON: Now have you read this whole affidavit?


CHAIRPERSON: And you're satisfied that you have made all the corrections you want?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, I think that I corrected all that I need to do.

CHAIRPERSON: The only place I can see that you implicate yourself physically is that you chaired a meeting. Nowhere else do you say whatever, you did this, that or the other. In paragraph 37 you specifically now change the word we to they, indicating that other people did it, not you. Is that correct?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, it's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So, do I understand you correctly, you did nothing to the deceased?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, directly in the deceased's body, I've done nothing.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you - in the meeting did you argue against the killing?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, I did, but referring to other people, but with regard to the deceased then I was in favour of him to be killed.

CHAIRPERSON: So is what you wrote in your application in the first place more or less correct, where you say you addressed the meeting, it was agreed, "I did not participate for I was against it". You say that was with reference to the other people, but not to the deceased.

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, I was referring to the killing of other people's who were on the list.

CHAIRPERSON: Except now the deceased you were in favour of?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, it's true.

CHAIRPERSON: Now in paragraph 9(c)(i), there you say then you're making application or your application refers to the death of victim, Johannes Sondana Malatje.

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, it's true.

CHAIRPERSON: So how can't 9(a)(i) refer to others when in fact your application is centred around what happened to the deceased?

MR MATHEBULA: In filling that form, I thought it was inclusive of all the things which were discussed or I've decided in the meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I have difficulty with that. You applied for amnesty in respect of offences which you committed. The naming of the other people on the 19th of March 1990, which is the day the deceased died, why would you then have asked for amnesty in respect of people who were just named in the meeting and nothing happened to them? There wasn't a crime that was - strictly speaking no crime committed, in any case you didn't apply for any crime committed in respect of that listing of people. Can you answer it?

MR MATHEBULA: I'm applying because of the contribution I made regarding the death of Mr Malatje.


MR NDOU: I don't wish to take this any further.


MR VAN RENSBURG: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN RENSBURG: You did give evidence during the criminal trial, is that correct?

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, it's correct.

MR VAN RENSBURG: The evidence you gave at the criminal trial, was that the truth, or did you lie to the Judge, trying to get off as lightly as possible?

MR MATHEBULA: In fact in Court I was having a problem. Most of the things I mentioned in Court was just giving evidence, because I was badly treated before I can give evidence before the Court, then I decided to just speak because I was already informed of the sentence which was going to be imposed and then I decided to just speak whatever I felt like speaking.

MR VAN RENSBURG: You lied, is that what you're trying to say? You lied in the criminal trial?

MR MATHEBULA: It was a mix-up of both.

MR VAN RENSBURG: You can't speak the truth and lie at the same time. Please don't waste our time.

CHAIRPERSON: The whole bit of evidence can be described as that, but put specific things to him and maybe you can ask him whether he lied on it or not.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Okay. You testified that you were against the idea of burning of witches and that you expressed that viewpoint at the meeting, is that correct? That's what you testified.

MR MATHEBULA: I was advised to do so because I was told that if I give evidence in other way, I will be given a heavier sentence.

CHAIRPERSON: But was that the truth?

MR MATHEBULA: You are referring to what?

CHAIRPERSON: That you did not agree with the killing of witches and that you said so in the meeting.

MR MATHEBULA: I refused with the burning of other people and then I agree with them the killing of this Mr Malatje.

CHAIRPERSON: So you lied in Court?


MR VAN RENSBURG: Is it not further so that when you were asked why you were opposing to the witches being burned, you testified that you had never been bewitched and that you never came across a person who was said to be practising witchcraft. Wasn't that you evidence in Court?

MR MATHEBULA: That I can't remember.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. I put it to you that was your evidence. Perhaps you can tell us, when you testified like that, were you lying or were you speaking the truth?

MR MATHEBULA: That I have never been bewitched is true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Ja, that's not the question. The question is that you were in favour of the witches because you've never been bewitched. That is what you testified and that is what I want to know if that was the truth.

MR MATHEBULA: That is not true.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Okay. You've heard your colleague Mr Leshaba giving evidence to the effect that at the meeting you in fact spoke in favour of the burning of the witches. Did Mr Leshaba lie when he testified like that?

MR MATHEBULA: He was telling the truth.

CHAIRPERSON: Will you just put your case to him?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Okay. I put it to you Mr Mathebula, that in your application you did not make mention of the fact that you're actually making amnesty application for murder and that on that basis you should not qualify for amnesty. What do you say about that?

MR MATHEBULA: I think the reason was that the act that I did was just that of addressing the meeting, which led to the death.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I also put it to you that this common cause that you refer to in paragraph 39 of your affidavit is in direct contradiction to your amnesty application and your evidence here today.

MR MATHEBULA: That in paragraph 39 contradicts with which section?

MR VAN RENSBURG: With your application and also your evidence today.

MR MATHEBULA: I don't think it contradicts.

MR VAN RENSBURG: I've no further questions, thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapoma, have you got any questions?

MR MAPOMA: I know of no questions, Chairperson.



MR NDOU: No further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: At the meeting where it was decided that they should kill witches, did you agree with that or didn't you agree with that?

MR MATHEBULA: Which meeting, the one in the morning or in the evening?

JUDGE DE JAGER: Whenever they named these five people and decided to kill them, did you agree with it or didn't you agree?

MR MATHEBULA: Well, we discussed these people individually and gave reasons and when it came to the deceased, I supported that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And the others?

MR MATHEBULA: No, I didn't support. What happened is that we as youth agreed that we did not have a problem with the four people, but we were targeting the particular person, the deceased.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Now why were they all named and all the others that it was agreed that they should all be killed, all the witches?

MR MATHEBULA: Initially, it was just generalised that all the witchcraft practising people in the community should be killed.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ja, but in your affidavit you say that you decided to kill those five people, all of them. if I understand it correctly.

MR MATHEBULA: The decision was taken during the meeting, but I demonstrated that we did not have problems with the other four but we had a problem with the deceased.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Sorry could you, Mr Interpreter, I couldn't hear you.

INTERPRETER: He's saying that they had a problem with the only person, the deceased, the four other people they didn't have problem with according to the decision taken.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Now in your affidavit, paragraph 20:

"It was at this meeting that it was decided to go and kill the following four people who had been identified as witches and wizards, namely"

and then five people are named, but you state that it was decided to kill the following four.

MR MATHEBULA: Well I demonstrated that we investigated and checked individually and it was Mr Malatje, the deceased, who had to be killed, but the initial agreement was to kill all of them, but individually we finalised that the target was the deceased.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ja, but - okay, you've individually, but at the beginning you agreed to kill all of them. Were you in agreement with that decision?

MR MATHEBULA: You mean initially?

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ja, because you state it here in the affidavit, Mr Mathebula.

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, initially we had agreed to kill all the four people. After screening them we realised that it was wrong.

JUDGE DE JAGER: How far have you been educated?

MR MATHEBULA: I passed matric.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And after matric, what did you do then?

MR MATHEBULA: I was in the teachers' college.

JUDGE DE JAGER: For how long?

MR MATHEBULA: I was in my third year when I got arrested.

JUDGE DE JAGER: So you are quite well-educated.

MR MATHEBULA: I can't precisely say that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And you understand what's the meaning of an oath?


JUDGE DE JAGER: And even at that time you understood what's the meaning of the oath, to speak the truth.

MR MATHEBULA: Are you referring to the Court ...?

JUDGE DE JAGER: And when you made these affidavits, the application and this annexure which appears on page 30, etc.

MR MATHEBULA: Yes, I was aware.

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


MR NDOU: No further evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg, have you got any witnesses?

MR VAN RENSBURG: No witnesses on behalf of the victims, Mr Chairperson.


MR MAPOMA: There's no other evidence, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Rensburg have you got the names and addresses of victims?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I have in writing, can I just hand it up? It is unfortunately only hand-written, if that's okay.

CHAIRPERSON: It doesn't matter, as long as I can read it. I always like to say that at least attorneys and lawyer's handwriting can be read as opposed to other people.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Other professionals. Yes, just for the record, perhaps I can just put on record that the victims in this instance and they are present at the hearing are Anna Silema, that's the wife of the deceased and also Joyce Rikotso, that's the daughter-in-law of the deceased. She was in fact present on the day when the deceased was killed.

CHAIRPERSON: What has happened to his son?

MR VAN RENSBURG: I don't know, perhaps I can enquire first.

CHAIRPERSON: You see, if there's a son, then the son would be the victim.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Mr Chairperson, it is my instructions that the son of the deceased, his name is Samuel and he's working in Louis Trichardt and that is the reason why he's not present at the hearing.

CHAIRPERSON: Samuel who?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Pardon. He's got the same name as the daughter-in-law reflected on that list. Unfortunately I don't have it here with me right now.


JUDGE DE JAGER: ...his name be the same as the deceased?

CHAIRPERSON: No, looks different.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ja, perhaps they're following the maternal.

MR VAN RENSBURG: Mr Chairperson if I can just explain. You will see that the deceased's surname was actually Silema-Malatje as indicated on the documents and it is in fact my instructions that the son's name is Silema, that is the real surname of the deceased as well. In fact Malatje would then be one of his first names. On the documents he's indicated as Silema-Malatje.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we use the address as you put for the daughter-in-law and the mother?

MR VAN RENSBURG: Yes, the same address can be used.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Ndou, is there anything you want to submit?

MR NDOU: Nothing Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: I assume there's nothing that anybody else wants to submit in respect of ...?

MR VAN RENSBURG: No, there's nothing further Mr Chairperson.



MR MAPOMA: Nothing Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: That brings us then to the end of a very productive hearing and it is left for me to make a few comments. We wish to thank firstly the logistics officers for making this hearing a success and for everything they've done to put it into operation. We wish to thank the interpreters for being in attendance most of the time, or all the time and assisting in interpreting.

We wish also to thank those people who presented the food and refreshment. And finally we wish to thank the people who participated in these hearings. But before we finish, I just need to make a comment. Maybe I'm going to tramp on some toes.

A belief in witchcraft seems to be at the root of these crimes and as I understand it the practice of witchcraft and particularly ritual offences are still rife in the area. When the decisions of all the hearings related to this area are published, it will signify an important milestone in the lives of the communities in the various districts of this area. Especially to those who would be granted amnesty, a new South Africa would have arrived. Unfortunately this will come with the effects of the activities of what has been referred to as these witches. Of great concern to me is the continuous taking of lives of young children in order to obtain body parts for the use of producing what has been referred to as muti. In a democratic society where we all strive to be civilised, this cannot carry on. Those who seek such assistance and involve themselves in ritual murders, should remember that it could happen to your offspring in future. In my view and I speak for myself, nothing good can come out of such activities because by its very nature it is legally and morally wrong. Even more reprehensible is the advice given to the so-called patients with regard to such ritual murders. Perhaps the prosecuting authorities of the country should consider taking steps against those who advise others to commit these horrendous crimes. It is to be hoped that once these aspects have been properly dealt with, people of this area can really progress and enjoy the hard-fought freedom they've obtained.

It's been good being here. It's been an honour to try to sort out these problems with the help of the Act and now all we can do is wish you well for the future. I thank you. We're adjourned.