DATE: 23 MAY 2000




DAY: 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everybody. Today we are going to hear about three applications but we will start with the amnesty application of Choane. My name is Motata, Chairperson of these Hearings. I'll ask my colleagues to introduce themselves, I'll start on my right.

ADV BOSMAN: Adv Francis Bosman.

AVD SIGODI: Adv Sibongile Sigodi.

CHAIRPERSON: I will press the legal representatives who would be participating in this hearing, to place themselves on record.

MR NYAWUZA: My name is Oupa Nyawuza. I am for the applicant.

MS VILAKAZI: I'm Adv Linda Vilakazi from the Pretoria Bar, I'm representing the family of the deceased, Thabo Mkudubethe.

MS COLERIDGE: I'm Lyn Coleridge appearing on behalf of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We have some devices, if you want to benefit from the translations on the various channels, please make use of them.

Mr Nyawuza, in what language is the applicant going to testify?

MR NYAWUZA: In English Chairperson.

ABEL RAMAKOSI CHOANE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed Mr Nyawuza.

MR NYAWUZA: Thank you Mr Chair and Honourable Committee Members. The ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: May I interrupt you there? There's a funny noise coming through here. Oh, it's outside. Thank you, you may proceed, I'm sorry about that.

MR NYAWUZA: The applicant making an application for amnesty on two incidents. The first incident, the one in Batho, for resisting arrest and the second one is an incident at an ANC camp in Angola, Vienna, so I would wish, if allowed by the Committee Members, that we start with the resisting arrest matter in that apparently we have affidavits from people who were involved in that incident, where there's apparently no position to this amnesty and then, at a later stage after we've

dealt with the facts relating to this one, we can address now the Vienna issue.

CHAIRPERSON: You are in the driving seat and we are in your hands.

MR NYAWUZA: Thank you Mr Chair.

EXAMINATION BY MR NYAWUZA: Mr Abel Choane, is it correct that you are making an application for amnesty regarding an incident in Bloemfontein in 1990 where you were resisting arrest by the SAP members?

MR CHOANE: Yes, it is true.

MR NYAWUZA: Briefly tell us about yourself, your political self, before we can address the issues that relate thereto. Who are you and how did you get involved in politics?


"Abel Ramakosi Choane, I was born and brought up in Bloemfontein in ...(indistinct) location. At an early stage of my schooling when I was doing our Standard Four, I got involved in student politics, as a member of a class that was very active at our school. So in 1980, early 1980 I was involved in organising the boycotts which led to the violent riots in Bloemfontein. As a result of my political involvement and my commitment to student political activities and to the struggle as such, I finally made a decision to leave South Africa and join the African National Congress."

CHAIRPERSON: If I may interrupt you there, Mr Choane, what boycott were you organising?

MR CHOANE: One of my class teachers, the Afrikaans teacher, was a member of ANC underground structures and he was arrested in 1980 by the South African Special Branch and then in demand for his release, we then organised class boycotts as a way of demanding his release and that led to violence at the end in Bloemfontein.

CHAIRPERSON: So this involvement in politics, which side were you choosing because we know that the arrested teacher was an underground ANC member, where were you guys falling in, students' organisation and if so, what students' organisation?

MR CHOANE: I align myself with COSAS and I was inclined to the ANC politics.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may proceed.


"It was in 1980, around September, when I decided to leave South Africa for joining of the African National Congress and by then I was about 14 years of age. I went to - I escaped South Africa while going to Lesotho. I stayed in Lesotho for some time and I was frequenting the Free State area, bringing in pamphlets and so on of the ANC and of MK and then in 1981, I went to Mozambique and then Angola for military training. I then received my basic course in 1981 in Ojaenda and then in Kokulama."

CHAIRPERSON: Did you go to both in the same year, that is to Mozambique and thereafter in the same year?


"Yes, in 1981 I went to Mozambique. I was in transit in Madola for about a few weeks and then from there I proceeded to Angola.

So in Angola I started in Vienna and then from Vienna I went to a training centre in Ojaenda and from Ojaenda went to open a new camp elsewhere ...(indistinct - no microphone) We opened a new camp in Kokulama, which was previously used by Zimbabwean Liberation Movement, ZAPO. Then I completed my training there in Kokulama. From there I was recruited into the Security Department of the African National Congress, known as Umbagotho Onet. I underwent VIP protection training and then I started my duties as a body guard, guarding the leadership of the African National Congress, including the present Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani and other leaders of the ANC and of MK.

I participated in the Eastern Front, in the campaign against UNITA from 1983 to 1984 when the meeting began in Angola which brought the campaign to an end.

In 1984 I proceeded to Cuba for advanced training as a Special Force and also as a Counter-Intelligence and an Intelligence officer. 1986 I came back. I went back to Angola. From Angola, I stayed for about a month and I went to Zambia. In Zambia I stayed a few months and then in 1987 I proceeded to Zimbabwe for infiltration in the Far Northern Transvaal, where we were operating as rural guerillas ...(indistinct) but then I stayed for a long time there, due to the operational problems that we encountered. I was then sent back to Zambia. From Zambia I went back to Angola where I served as an Instructor, instructing two ...(indistinct) of Commanders on survival techniques and then after the completion of my assignment as an instructor, I came back to Zambia. From Zambia, I then went to Botswana for infiltration to South Africa."

MR NYAWUZA: When was that when you went to Botswana for infiltration?

MR CHOANE: I went to Botswana early in 1988, around April, after the raid on the house of the frontal Commander of MK in Botswana, ...(indistinct) into Botswana via Zimbabwe.

MR NYAWUZA: Yes, proceed.


"I made few infiltrations into South Africa on various non-violent military missions in the Republic of South Africa, more especially in the East Rand and then in 1988 late, me with my unit, as I was a Commander, we encountered operational problems and then we again went back to Botswana and then in Botswana I parted with my unit.

They proceeded back to Zambia via Zimbabwe and then I was brought in here and then they apparently died at Zambezi, it is said that they were attacked by Hippopotami on the river, so seven of them died and then I didn't know about it by then and then on the 27th of September, I went down to Itlarapeng in a house next to the border of South Africa where I waited for another infiltration with the objective of going to organise safe houses for my unit and then ultimately on the 26th of September I infiltrated South Africa."

MR NYAWUZA: What year was that?

MR CHOANE: 1988.


MR CHOANE: I mean 1988, 26th of September.

"I infiltrated and then I was with my cousin ...(indistinct), who did not belong to my unit, but I was told that I'd be leaving with them because our weapon concern is at the same place, with the same person, so myself and Computer and Vogile, we then proceeded to the Free State via Vryburg, Taung, Kimberley and then Bloemfontein.

Vogile, before we could go to Bloemfontein, he went back to Jo'burg, he said he was not trusting the people we were given, he will like to approach Free State from the other direction and that will be Jo'burg, so we then proceeded with Computer and then when we arrived in Bloemfontein, I went to check ...(indistinct) that were organised for me in Thaba Nchu and in Thaba Nchu I got a house, so I phoned back. I phoned to Botswana. It's only then that I learned about the death of the members of my unit.

I was devastated. I went back to Bloemfontein, though it wasn't my intention by then to go back on the same day. I went back and then I notified Computer about what has happened at Zambezi and the fact that I wasn't told, by so doing I was trying to say to Computer: "Let's review the road that we have been given and the instructions", but he could not listen to me, so as a self-sacrifice, I then went with him to the contact person because I didn't want to come and account at the end as to what has happened to him.

We went there and then on our arrival we tried to make contact. We finally made contact by means of telephone and then we proceeded to the taxi with the contact person. In the taxi I realised that there were some Askaris whom I knew, but didn't know me, because last time when we met I was very young. I informed Computer again that we are likely to be arrested here but he didn't know the Askaris and there was no way we could get out of the taxi, so before the taxi could travel for five minutes, we then were surrounded by the police and then we got arrested."

MR NYAWUZA: Where were you at the time?

MR CHOANE: It was in Welkom, in the Free State where we made a contact with the contact person, that's where we were supposed to get the weapons. So we got arrested and then I was very much upset, very much annoyed and I was not really shocked, but I was very emotional at the time, because things were happening so rapidly and were inexplicable, but I then tried to maintain myself so I then decided on giving priorities to what I'm going to say to the police because I knew a lot of things and a lot of people, so I wouldn't want to end up saying things involuntarily, so I then decided what is it that I'm going to withhold and what is it that I'm going to tell the police.

MR NYAWUZA: So were you charged or released after some time?

MR CHOANE: I was kept under Section 29 for a period of six months. The police wanted to make me a ten code. I said I will think about it, they said they give me two days, I must go home and come back to them.

MR NYAWUZA: What's a ten code?

MR CHOANE: The ten code is an askari, he's a person who betrayed the movement, it's a person who betrays his own comrades, so I never wanted to indulge myself in such activities.

MR NYAWUZA: So you were detained for six months and what happened after six months? Were you released?

MR CHOANE: I was released with the sole aim of either making a ten code or re-arresting me and charging me for skipping the country and being a member of a banned organisation.

MR NYAWUZA: And what year and month was that when you were released?

MR CHOANE: I was released on the - around the 20 something of March and then I immediately organised with my brother, we got a safe ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Which year?

MR CHOANE: The very same 1989, we got a safe house in Bloemfontein where I hid myself until we organised enough resources and then I was driven back to Botswana.

MR NYAWUZA: Can you proceed as to, you went to Botswana and then let's now come to the incident in 1990, how did you get back into the country from Botswana?


"I proceeded to Zambia anyway via Zimbabwe and then by 1990, in July, I was called to the military Head Quarters by Comrade Chris Hani and Comrade Lombard Moloi. They said I'll be leaving for another infiltration into the Free State, so I must prepare myself and imparted me with Lombard, Lombard Sefako as member of my unit. On the 3rd of August 1990, we left Zambia with false Swaziland passports to Botswana. From Botswana we proceeded to Lesotho and then in Lesotho we illegally crossed into South Africa. Our mission at this point in time was to form self-defence units in the Vaal, but we would be based in the Free State so ...(indistinct, at our own discretion we'd go to the East Rand, continue organising self-defence units because at the time the ANC was preparing for the negotiations and it was appreciated that it's most likely that the South African Government will embark on violent actions against members of MK and against the general membership of the African National Congress, so it is for that reason that self-defence units were very essential at that period. So we went into the Free State and then we secured a safe house, myself and Lombard, with the help of my brother who was a teacher and a political activist, the very same person who took me back to Botswana.

We then went to Transkei to go and organise weapons because there was no way we were going to train people without weapons, so we went to Transkei. Weapons were finished in Transkei, the weapons that were there were being used for the protection of the ANC personnel.

I then went to Botswana and in Botswana I knew I had a trunk of weapons full. I went to Botswana but unfortunately when I come there, someone who knew that I had a trunk, had already taken it and that very same person, together with his other comrade, were killed around the borders in Mafikeng with the same weapons.

I proceeded to Zambia. I reported the situation that the people were being massacred but many members of the military head quarters were not accessible at the time, so I reported at the Regional Officer of the military head quarters and then I told him that I'll be flying back to Botswana and then we'll go to South Africa.

So I then went to Botswana and then in Botswana on the borders, I went for my weapon, for my AK47 and then we proceeded into South Africa. I entered the Republic by jumping the fence. I didn't use my passport which I've been using all the way and I proceeded to Bloemfontein to go and report back to Lombard that I tried, but I did not succeed. People who have got authority of issuing weapons are not accessible.

So on my way to Bloemfontein I used lifts and then from Kimberley I got a truck that was going to Bloemfontein. I got into the truck. I paid the ...(indistinct) and then after disembarking from the truck, I met the police minibus that I knew to be a police minibus, but I could not distinguish whether it was Special Branch or it was Criminal Detectives. So they stopped and I recognised the driver who was Booysen."

MR NYAWUZA: How did you recognise him? How did you know him?


"I grew up next to Booysen. Booysen had a girlfriend in my street, he was a motor cyclist. The way he road his motor bike was very inspiring to me, as a person without danger, so I did not forget his face, so I knew that he was Booysen and he was a policeman.

So they then called me. I said: "No ways." They said: "Come here". I said: "Voetsak". Then one of them cocked a weapon. I had a hand grenade in my pocket, F1, defensive hand grenade that can fragment up to seventy-two splinters when it explodes. I then took it out of my pocket with a safety pin still in it. I threw it on the floor, on the ground and when they realised it was grenade, one of them screamed. He said: "Booysen, hand grenade". And then they ran away. I took my hand grenade and then gave them a chance. They were actually running to the direction where I was going, so I went the same direction. One of them deviated, used a very small path into the railway station and then Booysen went down. I followed him, he used another part. He turned right and then I proceeded, but apparently the man I left behind went back to the minibus and radioed for reinforcement and then before I could go to the subway that joins the township and the industrial area, they were already on my back, so I just, I stopped and I took out the hand grenade, I took out the pin, I advanced a few metres to them and then I threw it under the car. My aim was not really to killed them, but to immobilise them by means of destruction of that vehicle. Unfortunately the grenade did not go into the middle underneath the vehicle, but it went to the side underneath the vehicle still, so it exploded and damaged the vehicle and I understood later that Booysen was also injured in that process. So I had an AK47 in my bag."

MR NYAWUZA: Is this the same AK47 that you went out to collect at Zambia or Botswana?

MR CHOANE: There by the Botswana borders, yes.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay. Proceed.


"So there was a very violent shoot-out. The police was shooting at me. By then I was not firing because my AK was not ready for combat, so I kept on diving and ducking and rolling until such time that I realised that I'm now being encircled because on my back there were other policemen running on top of the railway, coming to my back and there were from a distance, helicopters coming to my direction."

MR NYAWUZA: As you're saying that there were guys running up at the railway, are you in essence saying the place where you were at, is there a path that goes underneath the railway?

MR CHOANE: It's a subway, so at the top is the railway, underneath is where pedestrians cross, so I was at a very low position, they were at a higher position. They were trying to encircle me with the help of helicopters that were approaching. I then felt that there's no way for me to be in this place for any longer, so I quickly withdrew and then got under the subway or under the bridge and then before I could go through the other end of the subway, there were other two policemen who were coming behind me. I ducked and then I took a stone. I threw them with a stone. They thought it was a hand grenade. They ran away and then I proceeded next to the stadium and took cover there, so they were very much scared of getting nearer and then I crawled into the furrow and then I went past the police station, got into the stadium and then I took off my jersey. By then my bag had remained behind because I was separated from my bag by the fire, so there was no way I could sacrifice myself for that small piece of weapons, after all there are a lot of weapons, so I got into the stadium, took off my jersey and then I proceeded to the township, but when the helicopters came, I decided to go back to the scene because I was the only person moving to the direction of the township, so I felt that they will discover me, so I went back to the scene and then I turned around again after the helicopters had passed.

MR NYAWUZA: What time of the day was it during this incident?

MR CHOANE: It was during the day, it was around past eleven to twelve.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay. Proceed.


"So I went to the township and then I secured a place there from someone I knew many years back an old lady, she knew that I had a problem with the police. She asked me ...(indistinct) of my problem with the police, I said yes, I'm currently from school in Jo'burg, I'm doing some computer courses. But now the sudden presence of police in the township was unusual to the people in the township and then to the old lady herself, she asked whether are they not looking for me and I said no, they are not looking for me, but now the pressure was mounting because there were helicopters hovering just above the electrical poles. I could see the police with binoculars and so on, so I decided to get into the house and then I confessed to the old lady that yes, they are looking for me. I did have an encounter with them. I threw them with the hand grenades, so she asked the grandson to go and listen to what the police are saying, because the police by then were moving around with the van and loudspeakers with my photos, warning the people of the terrorist in the area and that they should report that terrorist. So apparently the grandson of the old lady went to the police and reported that I was hiding at his home."

MR NYAWUZA: And then you got arrested?


"I got arrested a little later, around half-past seven in the evening. The police raided our house, they stormed the house and then they could not find me because they started by throwing the stun grenades, four of them. With my knowledge of Special Operations, I knew that they will follow with a short burst and then they will enter to clear the house, so by the time when they were throwing - shooting the stun grenades into the house, which produces very small fragments.

I took the bed, because it's one room, I took the bed and made a parapet with it and then I lied low, with my body above the floor, not on the floor, so as to avoid the shocks from having effects on my heartbeat. I then waited until they fired shots from their submachine guns. They fired about four shots and then I replaced the bed and hid under the bed. So they knew that I was lying on the bed, according to the information that they had from that guy apparently, and then they sprang onto the bed, two of them and they went out, they said: "No he's not here", so they went to consult outside and then they came back again. They turned the inside of the house upside down and then they got me under the bed. I was subjected to severe beatings with the butts of pistols and the butts of submachine guns. I was kicked in the face and trampled in the face, but to me that was just one of those preliminary things before the interrogation."

MR NYAWUZA: So is it correct that you were arrested and charged with attempted murder?

MR CHOANE: Yes, I was arrested and then later charged with attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms, explosives and causing of explosion.

MR NYAWUZA: What subsequently happened with the matter? Were you convicted and if convicted, what term of imprisonment were you serving?

MR CHOANE: In totality I was convicted and sentenced to fifteen years, but some of the charges run concurrently, so as a result of that I ended up having eleven years to stay in prison.

MR NYAWUZA: And for how long did you stay in prison?

MR CHOANE: I stayed for about five years in prison. I got some minor amnesty sentence reductions and then at the end I got a parole of three years, which I served when I was outside.

MR NYAWUZA: So all in total you were in prison for five years and on parole for three years?

MR CHOANE: Yes, I was in for five years and then on parole for about three years.

MR NYAWUZA: Do you regard the incident that happened on this particular day in 1990, as having any political attachment?

MR CHOANE: From the mere fact that I was instructed to come and form the self-defence units in South Africa, given a passport, given money and given the mandate to use my discretion as a Commander, I strongly believe that my activities fell within the ambit of the political aims of the African National Congress.

MR NYAWUZA: Would I be correct if I say you're asking amnesty regarding that incident today before this Committee?

MR CHOANE: Yes, I'm asking amnesty for that.

MR NYAWUZA: Thank you Mr Chairman, that's as far as the incident in Bloemfontein goes. If my Learned Colleague would want to ask questions relating there to this incident, she can do so.

CHAIRPERSON: It would be difficult to conduct this in piecemeal. You rather give evidence about the second incident as well, so that the cross-examination, if any, should be complete, because it's going to make our records messy, the transcript.

MR NYAWUZA: As it pleases the Committee. We then proceed to the incident in Angola, January 1984. Mr Choane, you're also applying for amnesty relating to an incident that happened in an ANC camp in Angola. Briefly tell the Committee what happened on that particular day.


"It was on the 11th of January 1984, I was few days from the Eastern Front where we had a campaign against UNITA rebels and then I escorted Comrade Chris Hani from Malange Province in Kakhuso, or Kakhuso in Malange Province. We went up to Vienna. Comrade Chris Hani was on his way to Zambia to report about the occurrence of mutiny in the ranks of MK in the Front, so while I was in Vienna, January 8th is a day that gets celebrated in all ANC centres and in all MK centres, so January 8th was during the week and then it was decided that the celebration would be done at the weekend.

So from Friday, Saturday, Sunday of that week, the entire camp of Vienna was celebrating the birthday of the African National Congress. Everyone was drinking wine and beer, not everyone but most people were drinking there, so I was not drinking, by then I was still young. On the Sunday I think, after we celebrated, we were then instructed that the members of the Defence Unit, or the staff members of the camp, of which I was part of, should not carry weapons because everyone is drinking, except the chosen few who will sleep with their weapons. So I did not sleep with my weapon. At around past eleven to twelve I went to sleep on that day and then on my way to my tent, my tent was situated about hundred and fifty metres outside the walls of the camp.

At the back we only had three tents, which were Rufus's tent and then it was my tent immediately after his tent and then some distance away it was Simon's tent. So on my way to my tent I realised that there were people in Rufus's tent, then I got into that tent and then, well people were having conversation there, so when I got in there was a sudden silence by the people who were in the tent. I don't know what is it that they were having conversation about. Inside there was Mompati, there was Papa, there was Christina, there was Bruce and then the people who were staying in that tent, it was Rufus and then later he was joined there by Papa and Mompati, who were members of the staff. Rufus was not a member of the staff."

MR NYAWUZA: What was he?

MR CHOANE: He was working in the kitchen, he was responsible for the food of the administration of the camp. He was dishing and he was cleaning the dining hall.

MR NYAWUZA: Why had he been given this job?

MR CHOANE: Rufus was attending a medical treatment in Vienna. His training session was terminated due to his illness of which he was attending a treatment.

MR NYAWUZA: What illness was that?

MR CHOANE: As far as I can remember he had T.B. but he was curing, it was very light around that time of 1984. MR NYAWUZA: So Rufus, was he in any way allowed to carry a weapon, since he was working in the kitchen?

MR CHOANE: The only people allowed to carry weapons were members of the staff who formed part of the Defence Unit of the camp, so Rufus was never a member of the staff, nor a member of the Defence Unit of the Camp.

MR NYAWUZA: Now when you say members of the staff and members of the Defence Unit, what in essence, are you saying? Members of the staff, what are they?

MR CHOANE: Members of the staff are the middle management of the camp, those include Commanders and Commissars of platoons and companies and people who belonged to my unit of the Security, the VIP protectors, members who served in the signal unit, they were all members of the staff. They performed their duties as officers on duty, whereas the companies were performing other duties, as going to the stores, off-loading the sheep and so on.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, you can proceed.

MR CHOANE: I then went into the tent and then there was this sudden silence with all the people in there. The people were sitting with - they were sitting around a pot, they were sitting on stretchers and beds around a pot of wine, the pot that belonged to the Administration Block, it's a small aluminium pot, it belonged to the Admin. So they were sitting there having drinks and having conversations. I understood from the general perception of the members in the camp why the members kept quiet when I came in, it was particularly because I belonged to the Security Department and then by then there was tension as the mutiny was in progress in the Eastern part of Angola.

MR NYAWUZA: What was the mutiny all about?

MR CHOANE: The mutiny was about the members of MK who were in the campaign, no longer willing, not all of them of course some of them, no longer willing to proceed with the campaign against UNITA. ...(indistinct) says that the war must be brought to South Africa and not in Angola so they don't see their role there, so they ended up shooting up in the air, shooting one another, shooting rocket launchers into the air scaring people and so on. A very terrible situation.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, you can proceed.

MR CHOANE: I then left the tent immediately and went into my tent. I slept. I was not armed. I slept and then just a few hours later around past two to three, I heard a horn, a horn, it was a combat alarm for staff members only, whereas the bell was for the entire camp to respond to the combat situation, either by means of going to the armoury or by means of going for shelter in the dugouts. So the horn was blown by Moffat, who was the officer on duty on that day and then I responded to the horn. I went to the assembly area where we normally fall in when there's a call and then Moffat was trying to explain but I could hear and everyone could hear the shots from automatic rifle not a very long distance away from the camp.

MR NYAWUZA: From what you could hear, were these shots being fired by a number of people, or were they fired by few people or a single person?

MR CHOANE: The shots were from one weapon, the way they were - the way I heard them, they came from an automatic rifle and only one rifle. I can distinguish between the fire of several people and the fire of one person.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, you can proceed.

MR CHOANE: He then - we were only seven, I found six people there, so we were seven all in all, people who had responded to this combat alarm and then he instructed us, coincidentally he was also responsible for armoury, it's where he slept, so he instructed us to take our weapons. We went to take our weapons. I took my AK ...(indistinct) and then we reassembled and then we divided ourselves into two groups. One group moved behind the camp and then the other group moved in front of the camp. My group consisted of myself, Santana, Moffat and Gibson. The other group consisted of Potsotso, Julinda and I don't remember the other person.

MR NYAWUZA: I see on page eleven of the bundle, there you said your group consisted of Moffat and then there a comma, there's Taylorman and I heard now you did not say anything about Taylorman. Who was Taylorman?

MR CHOANE: Taylorman is the man who was responsible for sewing our trousers and jackets and everything. He was also part of the staff in the camp.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, you can proceed.


"And then we proceeded towards the Eastern Direction from the back of the camp. We could still hear shots being fired and they were not far away. They were being fired from a plot. It's about third plot from our camp. We went there. Moffat decided to go into the plot while we were moving in the terrain, so he moved by bounds to the plot and then he went to a small house because the plot has got a big house and a small house, shanty-like.

He went there and then he went around that small shack and then he fired shots into the air. Upon firing the shots into the air, I could see his bullets, because he had some tracer bullets. He fired the shots into the air. So as I was advancing in the skirmish, which consisted of myself, Santana and Gibson and Taylor, I could see a figure in the dark. By then it was already in the morning, it was still dark, but one could see a figure that, on his back had a knapsack. So what came to my mind was that this should be a UNITA bandit, so I used three languages. I used Russian, I said: "...(Russian)" and then I said: "Halt", I said: "Alto" meaning that this person must stop. I fired shots into the air, but he didn't, instead he went down and fired at me. By then my magazine was nearly finished. I shifted the position of my weapon from elevated position to the hip level. I fired a few shots and then my rounds were finished. I changed my magazine and then fired on this person whom, by then, I didn't recognise as to who he was or who she was."

MR NYAWUZA: Tell us is the area well lit? Are there lights at the camp or at the area where shots were fired?

MR CHOANE: The lights, electricity is only provided for in the camp and at the camp of SWAPO which was about six hundred metres away from our camp, so at the back there was no electricity, it's a bush.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, so it was dark?

MR CHOANE: It was dark, you only see the figure because we were facing towards the eastern direction and the sun somewhere was trying to come up, so you could only see the figure and not ...(intervention)

MR NYAWUZA: Could you tell what type of clothing he was dressed in, or you couldn't?

MR CHOANE: Not at the time when I was firing, I could not determine whether he is wearing uniform or he's wearing civilian clothing, I only saw that later.

MR NYAWUZA: Okay, you can proceed then.


"So I then fired at this person. I - after several shots I heard the person screaming at agony, I heard him screaming and then I withdrew. We retreated back to the skirmish. By the time when I went to the skirmish, because by then I was the only one standing and firing, the other people remained behind, I don't know for what reason, so I went back to the skirmish and then I lay down, I consulted with Moffat who was already back into the skirmish and then I told him that apparently I have shot that person. So Moffat went there. I covered him. I pointed the weapon at the vicinity where this person was lying. He was no longer firing at that time, so I thought to myself that he's immobilised, but nevertheless I covered Moffat and then Moffat went close to him. Moffat recovered two weapons. So Moffat had a knowledge of the weapons that are in our camp."

MR NYAWUZA: Why him?

MR CHOANE: Because he was an armoury man, he sleep with those weapons, he know those weapons, he's the one who cleans them, so he immediately remarked that these are our weapons.

"So he removed the weapons from the scene and then I kept on pointing the gun at the person who was lying there and then Moffat came and then we tried to inspect the un, but it was still dark. So all of a sudden we heard another volley of shots from the direction of the SWAPO camp. We went back and then I took cover.

I ran back to that camp with the aim of going to report that there's this problem, we've discovered these weapons, because by then, including the camp Commanders did not respond to the situation in time, so only seven of us responded. So on my way there, there was still volley fire from the direction of SWAPO, so as I was approaching our camp, I met with a second skirmish which was from our camp. The Camp Commander was there. I remember amongst other people it was Jerry and other members of the staff. So we could see the tracers at a very low level and then tracer bullets and then Jerry fired into the air and then after firing into the air with these tracer bullets, there was a cease of fire from the other direction, for the direction of SWAPO.

I then reported to the Camp Commander that this has happened. I don't know who that person is. We then went back to the scene. On the scene we met with the SWAPO Commanders and some members of their reaction force. There the matter was discussed. The reason why they responded with fire is because their camp is little bit extended at the back, so it's more bigger than our camp, so as I was firing, some of the bullets were going to their tents, so it's for that reason that they responded with fire, but then that was tackled by the Commander and the SWAPO Commanders. I went to the person who was lying there. By then it was now becoming clearer. I discovered that it was Rufus, Rufus who was my neighbour and my friend. The person, we used to cook a black pot together, tea and tomatoes we used to cook together and I realised that it was him.

The Commander immediately instructed one of the staff members to go and fetch the ambulance. The ambulance came to the scene. I and Gift, we lifted Rufus and put him into the back of the ambulance, a Land Rover and then I was holding his hand because I realised in the ambulance that I have shot him on one of the arms. The arm was totally broken and I shot him through the thorax up to the testicles. The bullet went straight from the solar plexus up to the testicles.

I held his hand and then tried to ask him what is it, what is it that he was doing, but he could not talk. Apparently he was still drunk by then. I held his hand, which was falling, I think it was the left hand, because the head was facing to the driver's seat and the hand that was falling was on next to the stretcher. So I held his hand. We drove to the hospital.

At the hospital - we arrived at the hospital at around ten past eight in the morning at Angola Military Hospital. At the hospital we took Rufus to intensive care unit, but there were no doctors at the time to attend to him, they were still busy with other people. It wasn't long when Rufus was coughing the - there was a white stuff coming out of his mouth, the foam and then he was moved to the theatre. Then we waited, there with the Commander and Comrade Bangwe and Gift to get the results, but Rufus did not survive long, particularly maybe because there were too many casualties in the hospital with bullet wounds as Angola is at war and was at war by then.

So we then went back to the camp, but on our way to the camp, before we could leave the hospital, there was another car from the camp bringing the old man, so I understood from the comrades that Rufus had shot the old man in the hand and had shot his wife on the neck and has killed his son, he shot him through the head. I cannot explain the motives why Rufus did that to those poor peasants. So we then moved back to the camp."

MR NYAWUZA: Are you saying now, since in your testimony-in-chief, you said you could hear that the shots that were fired, were fired from a single automatic rifle. My question is now, are you saying the shots that you heard might have been from the firearm that shot the old man?

MR CHOANE: Yes, there was only, out of the two weapons that Rufus had, there was only one weapon with a safety open which I believe is the one that had probably shot the old man.

CHAIRPERSON: Could I make a request? I received an urgent message to attend to something. Could we in the meantime take the tea adjournment as well?





CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed.


Mr Choane, we finished off where you said this guy passed away and then did you subsequently bury him?


"Yes, I myself together with Gift and one of the drivers of the truck, I just don't remember the name and Bangwe, we buried Rufus in Luanda, in the outskirts of Luanda at the cemetery, together with some other five soldiers of the Angolan Government and one of our comrades who was shot by mutineers, so on that we buried about seven people."

MR NYAWUZA: So is that as far as your evidence-in-chief goes?

MR CHOANE: Yes, I think I've done my best to recall everything regarding the incident.

MR NYAWUZA: Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Vilakazi, any cross-examination?

MS VILAKAZI: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson. May I indicate that the family of Mkudubethe, which I'm representing, is not opposed to the application, but they are here because they've always wanted to know what happened to their son and the questions that I will be asking will be directed at giving clarity to the circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: Who in particular from the family gave you instructions? Why I'm asking this is that should we, at the end of the day, come up with our decision, we want to know the victims.

MS VILAKAZI: The instructions are from the brother Tsidiso.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he the only survivor of the deceased?

MS VILAKAZI: No he's here together with his father and the other brother.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you for just clarity of the record, furnish us with the names? The father, who's he?

MS VILAKAZI: The father is Solomon Mkudubethe.

CHAIRPERSON: And the other brother?

MS VILAKAZI: I beg your pardon. It's Azariel Makudubethe.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may proceed.

MS VILAKAZI: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, whilst we're still on that aspect, is the mother still alive?

MS VILAKAZI: The mother is deceased.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VILAKAZI: Mr Choane in your evidence-in-chief, you have testified about the circumstances around which the person that you knew as Rufus was killed, who turned out to be Thabo Mkudubethe. now for the sake of clarity, you spoke about being woken up by a horn and that seven people responded. How many people were in the camp at that particular time?

MR CHOANE: We had up to one company of trained personnel and about a platoon or so of untrained personnel and then in the Defence Unit or the Staff, we were thirty-two in total and that thirty-two is the one that's supposed to have responded to the horn.

MS VILAKAZI: So only seven responded out of the thirty-two?

MR CHOANE: Exactly.

MS VILAKAZI: Right and then you also spoke about - can you just give us clarity as to, you spoke about hearing gunfire when you went out. From which direction was the gunfire in relation to the camp where you were?

MR CHOANE: Our camp was faced south to the capital Luanda and the back part, which is facing north, is where myself and Rufus's tents were situated and then in the eastern direction, it's where you find the SWAPO camp, about six to seven hundred metres away and it is from that direction a very short distance from our camp, about three plots away and one plot, it's about one hundred and twenty metres, so third plot from our plot is where the gunfire was heard, so you can hear gunfire from a distance and a short distance you can distinguish if you are a trained person.

MS VILAKAZI: So are you saying the sound was from the eastern side, from the side of the SWAPO camp?

MR CHOANE: From the eastern direction yes, but not as far as at the SWAPO base. There I could distinguish that the fire is just nearer our camp.

MS VILAKAZI: And then you spoke about seven of you responding and did all of the seven who responded, fire shots?

MR CHOANE: It's only Moffat and myself. Moffat fired shots when he was trying to stop the person from firing. That was now at the plot where the incident of killing of people happened and then Rufus shot shots. I also fired some shots, so we were the only three people who fired shots, the rest of the people never fired even a single weapon until when the second skirmish advanced to the vicinity where the incident took place, then people from our second skirmish were also firing as well as the SWAPO people were firing, but that was long after the encounter with Rufus was taking place.

MS VILAKAZI: Ja, let us just concentrate on the encounter involving Rufus. So you're saying in that encounter, three people were firing?

MR CHOANE: Yes, I do.

MS VILAKAZI: How does it come about that only two, yourself and Moffat, out of the seven were the ones who were firing? Can you clarify that?

MR CHOANE: The rules of weapon applications are that you do not fire from the back of your own comrade, so what happened here, Moffat went to the house and tried to scare the person who was firing at that house and then that person came out. I stopped that person. I fired in the air. The rest of the people were not firing. I fired in the air. I said the person must stop. I said that in Russian, I said that in Portuguese and I said that in English, so the person did not stop, he decided to fire at me, so that's why I fired at him. My first shots were aimed at stopping the person and then my second shots were aimed at the person who was shooting at me.

MS VILAKAZI: So how far was this person from you?

MR CHOANE: He was about fifty metres away from me, if not seventy metres away from me.

MS VILAKAZI: Now is this person that was shooting at you and you were shooting back at, the same person that had a back pack?

MR CHOANE: Yes. The bag was found later and it belonged to Cynthia, after the investigation was done it was found that it belonged to Cynthia, it contained her panties, her pads and tracksuits and the perfumes.

MS VILAKAZI: And you were able to see that back pack? You said so.

MR CHOANE: I saw the back pack, but I could not identify it in terms of colour and as to what type of bag it is. That is now before I fired shots and in as far as the identity of that bag is concerned, I only saw that the bag was brown and it contained what it contained a little later.

MS VILAKAZI: But at the time when this person had the bag, you could see that it's a back pack?

MR CHOANE: It appeared like a knapsack, or rucksack, soldiers' bag which is carried at the back.

MS VILAKAZI: At some stage you were asked if there was light around the area where you were and you said that there was no light because there's no electricity in the camp, but then you also mentioned that you could see a figure because the sun was coming up.

MS VILAKAZI: I said in the vicinity where we were fighting, there's no electricity. Electricity is only provided for inside the camp and the figure that I saw, I could see it from the natural light in the dark. I could not see whether that person is a male or female, but I could see the figure moving.

MS VILAKAZI: But you could see that the figure is carrying a back pack?

MR CHOANE: Yes, from the horizon there was a bit of natural light because it's during dawn.

MS VILAKAZI: Around what time was that?

MR CHOANE: The time by then was around past four if not four.

MS VILAKAZI: Now it's a bit strange that you were able to see that figure and you could see that the figure was carrying that back pack, but you could not see - identify the figure as a familiar figure because you said that you were very close to ...

MR CHOANE: Ma'am it was in the dark. I'm trained to see stationary figures and mobile figures. I could distinguish between animal and a human being, so I cannot identify the person by face in the darkness, but I can identify that the figure, it's a human being.

MS VILAKAZI: Okay. Going back to the shooting itself, what makes you so sure that this Rufus died from the shots that you were firing and not those that were fired by Moffat?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am when the figure ran towards my direction and to the northern direction at the end, it was - it seemed normal and fit as it was running. It's only after he fired shots and me responding with my fire, that he cried in agony and then he stopped firing and from the position or from the analysis of the bullet wounds that went through solar plexus up to the testicles and on the left arm, it's definitely a sure case that I'm the one who shot him.

MS VILAKAZI: I have no further questions thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ma'am. Ms Coleridge, any questions?

MS COLERIDGE: No Chairperson.


MS COLERIDGE: I just want to - can we just call this Exhibits A and B Chairperson, that is the statement by American Petrus Booysen, can we call that Exhibit A and then Letshaba Sekilele as Exhibit B? Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: These would be in respect of the Bloemfontein incident?

MS COLERIDGE: That is correct, Chairperson, the two victims involved there.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Coleridge. Any re-examination Mr Nyawuza?

MR NYAWUZA: No re-examination, Chair, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Adv Sigodi, any questions?

ADV SIGODI: Yes Chairperson. Was there any inquiry made by the ANC after this death of Rufus?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am in as far as I can remember, there was an investigation by the Security Department of the ANC into the matter itself, because the belief was that Rufus might have been influenced by other people who were participants in the mutiny, because Rufus, as far as everyone knew him including myself, was a very good person, a sweet person, had no troubles, but the fact that he carried with him, at the time of his death, the weapon of one of the leaders of mutiny, the man who had grudges against the ANC for having been locked up due to the history of his father and himself, it was a belief of the ANC Security Department that he might have been influenced, so there was an investigation but then in my absence I had a book that contained a report of the Mutsweyane Commission and I see there in that book it said that Rufus was put on the firing squad. That is not true and it's particularly for this reason that I, I think it's page 28 number 20, it is for this reason that I personally felt that I should come and put the record straight that Rufus was never killed by means of firing squad, he died in an accident as I've explained.

ADV SIGODI: And who were the people who were chairing that investigation?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am I was already in prison - oh, the Security investigation?


MR CHOANE: I don't remember exactly who chaired the investigation but I only knew that there was an investigation being carried out by the Security Department in Angola.

ADV SIGODI: So were you not informed of the investigation or were you not asked by the Investigative Unit of the ANC?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am throughout 1984 it was a very terrible era for the African National Congress and MK as there were a lot of eruptions of violent activities by members of the MK in the form of mutinies, so the investigations that were done, were part of the entire investigation into the causes of mutiny, so Rufus's case, according to my opinion, apparently it was not treated as a separate case, but it was treated as part of the whole investigation of the mutiny, which saw many people dying in our camps.

ADV SIGODI: Thank you Chairperson.


ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Chairperson. Mr Choane in regard to the first incident, I think you gave the evidence but it is stated here that you were convicted of attempted murder, possession of an AK47 machine gun, possession of AK47 ammunition and possession of a hand grenade. Now your application for amnesty is for resisting arrest. I don't get that clearly. The reference to the convictions are on page 33. Are you applying for amnesty in regard to attempted murder, or is it your case that you did not attempt to murder, that you were incorrectly convicted?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am I don't know who phrased the application itself because when I wrote the application, I stated exactly what happened and I'm applying that amnesty so that my name can be cleared in as far as criminal records in South Africa are concerned. I applied amnesty for the whole activities of that day, which included the resisting of arrest that led to the shoot-out between myself and the police, so I was rightly convicted, I was convicted for attempted murder and for the illegal possession of AK47, hand grenades and AK47 ammunition is what I was convicted for.

ADV BOSMAN: So in addition to those convictions you are also applying for resisting arrest?

MR CHOANE: Ma'am, if that's an offence, yes I do apply for it.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nyawuza anything arising from what the Panel asked?

MR NYAWUZA: No, nothing, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Vilakazi, anything arising from what the Panel asked?

MS VILAKAZI: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Coleridge?

MS COLERIDGE: No questions, thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Choane, you are excused. Are you calling any further witnesses Mr Nyawuza?


MR NYAWUZA: No, Chairperson, that's the case for the applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: Any submissions?

MR NYAWUZA IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson, we're dealing with two applications in this matter, the first application being that of the arrest, the conviction that followed and the charges relating thereto, it's a Bloemfontein matter. The matter is not opposed. It's quite clear to everybody who has been sitting here that it was a politically motivated issue.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know if you say it's clear to everybody, are you also referring to my Panel that it is clear?

MR NYAWUZA: Chairperson let me withdraw that. I withdraw it and I take it the other way. The application is for amnesty relating to this incident. My client, the applicant has stated that he was an MK member, he had instructions from a certain Lombard to infiltrate the country, to come and train self-defence units, both in the Vaal Triangle and they were given discretion as relates to the East Rand and unfortunately he met with the police officers on this first day of his coming into the country and was subsequently arrested after the skirmish that preceded his arrest. So we submit that the incident relates to a political objective and as relates to the gravity that followed, his testimony is that he threw this thing, he threw the hand grenade only to scare the people who wanted to arrest him and not to kill them and for the first incident, he threw the hand grenade on the ground, picked it up and they started running around and upon them following him, it's only then that he threw it and at the motor vehicle and not at the persons that were there. So the applicant didn't have any reason in killing the said guys who wanted to arrest him as he testified that he knew Mr Booysen and at some stage Mr Booysen used to aspire him as a cyclist.

CHAIRPERSON: But he says he threw the grenade at the car to immobilise them. Is this not a lethal weapon that you can say you are immobilising somebody when you threw a hand grenade?

MR CHOANE: He wanted to immobilise them regarding the motor vehicle and not them, I think that's how far his testimony goes, that is why in his testimony he said he wanted the hand grenade to go in the middle of the car, but unfortunately it went towards the back, so he did not want to immobilise them as persons as getting - but the motor vehicle so that they can start chasing him on foot.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Nyawuza, how then can you argue that your client, on your argument, would be entitled to amnesty for attempted murder? Is that not a denial of guilt on the attempted murder, your argument?

MR CHOANE: Madam, It's not necessarily a denial on the attempted murder matter. We're just saying - we're going to cover, we'll say it in totality, he's definitely going to concede to the guys having been injured and subsequently being charged with ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He can't do that, he has finished testifying. He can't concede at this stage. The question is directed at your argument.

MR NYAWUZA: Yes, I'm going to come to that in my argument, I'm still at the beginning stages of my argument. Thank you Chairperson.

So as regards the incident, he threw this thing, he threw the hand grenade at these people, at the motor vehicle and subsequently they got injured. As regards the political objective thereof, I think it's clear that he wanted to resist arrest, he didn't want to be arrested and the unfortunate part is that people got injured and he was subsequently convicted for that.

He doesn't deny that he did it and in actual fact he came forward to state everything that happened on that particular day and would wish to be granted amnesty in relation to the injury that subsequently followed, the people involved being a certain Booysen and a certain Sekilele and further believes that both parties had their own political objectives. The arresting officers, the people who purported to arrest him wanted to further the aim of the people they were employed by and he wanted to further the aim of the organisation that he belonged to and unfortunately there was this altercation between him and them, so in totality we're saying the application should include even the charges that he was convicted for and then as regards the incident that happened at Vienna in Angola, the applicant came forward to testify that he is the one that shot and killed the deceased Rufus, who we are told today is Thabo Mkudubethe. It was upon him to come forward and state that - it's actually dawned to him that I have to set the record straight. The ANC on page 28 of the bundle states that he was executed by order of the military tribunal and he wanted to set the record straight and dispute that and put the family in the know-how as to how did Rufus die.

In his testimony he has testified that Rufus's tent was next to his. There was absolutely no animosity between the two of them. This matter, this incident took place, the killing in actual fact took place as a result of a prior shooting upon which where they were called to go and see as to what happened and he accidentally, as he has stated, shot at a figure that he could not see, a figure, according to his testimony, that was about between fifty and seventy metres from where he was and there was no proper lighting, he could only see a figure with a bag at the back and when he asked that figure to stop in three languages, the figure didn't stop but instead fired back at him and he subsequently returned fire, fatally wounding the deceased in this matter and then he also took part in taking the deceased to hospital, showing further that there was absolutely no animosity between them, if he was doing it out of hate, he couldn't have taken the deceased to hospital.

So we submit Chairperson that there was full disclosure on the part of the applicant as regards that incident in Vienna in Angola and further that at least now the record has been set straight, the family knows what happened and who did it and how it happened. That's as far as our submission goes. Thank you.


ADV BOSMAN: ... problem with your argument, you argued that your client did not intend killing and for attempted murder, surely intent is a requirement. Could you advance any other submissions why his actions should be seen as attempted murder? If you ...(indistinct - no microphone?

MR NYAWUZA: Can I take instructions from my client?

ADV BOSMAN: It's really a legal argument. There are three forms of intent, there's dolus directus, there's dolus indirectus, there's dolus eventualis. Could you perhaps make another submission as to the requirement of dolus for the offence of a murder or an attempted murder, because on the argument which you presented to us, you have not made out a case for attempted murder.

MR NYAWUZA: As regards the - I don't know as to which incident we're referring to here, maybe we're referring to the Bloemfontein incident?

ADV BOSMAN: The Bloemfontein incident, yes.

MR NYAWUZA: Thank you. As regards the legal argument and the dolus involved in this matter, I would kindly submit to the Committee that it's dolus eventualis. In actual fact he didn't in any way attempt to, but eventually by him throwing the bomb, the hand grenade at the guys that he had a skirmish with, they subsequently got injured, but as he has stated, he did not in any way intend to injure them, but subsequent to that, subsequent to him having thrown the hand grenade at him, they were injured.

ADV BOSMAN: Are you arguing that he should have foreseen that he could possibly have killed him, is that your argument?

MR NYAWUZA: That is my argument.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.


MS VILAKAZI IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. My submission in as far as the incident of the killing of Thabo Makudubethe is concerned, firstly the concern

is a legal one relating to the question of jurisdiction. The incident occurred in Angola. Now the question here is, does the Amnesty Committee in South Africa have jurisdiction to grant amnesty for incidents which occurred outside the territorial area of the Republic of South Africa?

CHAIRPERSON: Have you read the Act in that respect, because we want to hear your submissions.

MS VILAKAZI: I might have missed that particular part in the Act. I looked for it.

ADV BOSMAN: Isn't there a case law on this very issue, Ms Vilakazi, that you're aware of?

MS VILAKAZI: Not that I'm aware of. It was - there was just a question, I would not really take the argument further.

CHAIRPERSON: As you know, we don't answer questions, we give Judgments, but we want to hear you, whether you say we should or should not in respect of the incident in Vienna, in Angola, grant amnesty or not, but whilst you do your submissions, you must remember what you said to the Committee at the outset that the family does not oppose.

MS VILAKAZI: Indeed Honourable Chairperson, the family is not opposed to the granting of amnesty, but I should submit that the question of whether or not the victims are opposed to the granting of amnesty, is not part of the requirements for the granting of amnesty. So therefore, it's a neutral fact as to whether the family is opposed to it.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you heard of hearings that are conducted that some are cross-border attacks and normally those are applications by the Security Forces?

MS VILAKAZI: I have heard of those, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: In that respect, also referred to offences outside the country.

MS VILAKAZI: On that note, they do refer to offences outside the country, on that note I would withdraw the submission, Honourable Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: Ms Vilakazi shouldn't those matters be distinguished in that those offences were planned in South Africa and carried out across the border whilst in this other matter, the whole planning or rather not planning everything took place outside the borders of South Africa. On what basis would you argue? I think it's an important point which you've raised perhaps which the Committee will have to consider. On what basis would you argue that the South African Courts or the Amnesty Committee in this case would have jurisdiction in regard to such an offence?

MS VILAKAZI: The question that I raised concerning jurisdiction was based on the fact that the whole incident in respect of which this application is made took place outside the borders of the Republic. Now as I have alluded to the fact that I have not really scrutinised the Act in that particular - with regard to the question of cross-border activities, I am not in a position to take the argument any further, save to have ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let me assist you. Could Mr Choane be sued for the death of ... Could he be civilly liable inside the country?

MS VILAKAZI: Inside the country, he would not be civilly liable because the incident in respect of which the matter occurred, was - in regard to a civil matter, a case could be made against him because the incident does not have to have happened within the country, in a civil matter, so in that regard a civil suite could be made against him, could be brought.

CHAIRPERSON: So the Act doesn't not specifically refer to criminal matters, also civil matters would arise from offences, so upon that, are you saying to us we should take that into consideration in adjudicating on this matter of Mr Choane in respect of the Angola incident?

MS VILAKAZI: The - my submission in that regard would be that the application is made in relation, it is not clear whether it is for purposes of a criminal record that this application is brought.

CHAIRPERSON: The Act actually says we, the Committee or the Panel hearing the matter, would decide after hearing evidence, which offences one would be pardoned with by giving amnesty. Shouldn't we in so doing also look at that because if you look at the application form, it's an indication of the offences which he had when he says killing of Rufus in 1984. Is it not an indication to us which matter we should look at, or how we should look at that matter when adjudicating?

MS VILAKAZI: Honourable Chairperson, indeed, those are the issues which the Committee has to look at in taking it's decision.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Coleridge, anything that would assist us in coming to a fair and just decision in respect of Choane?

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson.

MS COLERIDGE IN ARGUMENT: I just want to refer to the High Court decision, that's in the Stopforth and Trenedal case, Chairperson, in relation to the applicant. It is clear, Chairperson, that the Amnesty Committee does not have jurisdiction in terms of criminal suites in relation to other countries and beyond our borders, but in that Judgment there's obviously the loophole and the flaw in that the applicant can be sued civilly in South Africa due to the fact that he resides here and obviously the application will therefore have to be lodged in

South Africa so in relation to the applicant, whether the Committee decides to grant him amnesty, it would be obviously in relation to any civil suites and that is basically my submission in relation to the jurisdiction factor, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: If we couched it in this fashion that any action flowing from the killing of Thabo, supposing we say that, would it cover the civil suite as well?

MS COLERIDGE: Definitely it would cover because any action, whether in relation to the murder and possession - well then it would extend to the possession of firearms and all of that as well, which he possessed at that time, but that would also relate to the criminal aspect of the case, so probably to limit it to the murder, well that depends on the Committee obviously. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Ms Coleridge. Any reply?

MR NYAWUZA: No reply, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: This concludes the application of Mr Choane. We will - we reserve our decision as it's customary that the same should be in writing and we hope to do that shortly and the parties involved will be advised of our decision. We wish to thank the legal representatives in their assistance in this matter and we lay the matter of Choane to rest until the decision given. Where do we move from here?

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson. The next amnesty applicant would be Mr Bongani Dlamini, Chairperson and Mr Nyawuza is representing him.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you grant us a short adjournment to rearrange our papers. I see that we only have Choane's in front of us.

MS COLERIDGE: That's in order, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take a five minute break.







MR NYAWUZA: ... are going to proceed with the application. In actual fact we are withdrawing our application.

CHAIRPERSON: Just for completeness, Mr Dlamini, you have heard your legal representative. Do you confirm the instructions you gave to your legal representative?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, my Honourable Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. The application of Bongani Ezekiel Dlamini has been formally withdrawn. We thank Counsel for having looked at it closely and advised us accordingly. We thank you. You are excused Mr Dlamini.


MR NYAWUZA: Can I also be excused?

CHAIRPERSON: Have you come to the end of the road?

MR NYAWUZA: Yes, I have come to the end of my roll.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Who else? What else?

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson we just want to clarify with you whether we could move on to the next matter, just hear the evidence-in-chief of Ngobeni and three others or should we break for lunch? I'm in the hands of the Committee at this stage.

CHAIRPERSON: My capacity is not to hear matters in piecemeal. We would adjourn for lunch. We will take thirty minutes lunch break and reconvene or thirty-five minutes, we'll reconvene at 1.30.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson. All rise.







CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon again. We'll hear the applications of Kombumini Ngobeni, Muhlavha Muhlavha and Stranger Jabulani Mbhalati. The Panel, it's myself would be chairing, Motata, I'll request my colleagues to place themselves on record.

ADV BOSMAN: Francis Bosman Amnesty Committee Member.

ADV SIGODI: Adv Sigodi.

CHAIRPERSON: I would request the legal representatives.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. My name is Brian Koopedi. I appear on behalf of the three named applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi.

MS VILAKAZI: I'm Adv Linda Vilakazi. I appear on behalf of Richard Bustin, who's involved in the Rita Township attack and on behalf of the next of kin of the deceased, Const Shingange. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: How do you spell the surname of Richard?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi.

MS COLERIDGE: Lyn Coleridge appearing on behalf of the TRC. Chairperson, I just want to place on record the factors in connection with the other victims. In the attack on the SANDF members travelling in a patrol vehicle on the 16th of June in the Rita township, the following persons were also identified as victims. Mr Samuel Sepatake, Mr Mothoka Sebela.

CHAIRPERSON: I think as you proceed just to have the correct spelling, you should spell the surnames for us, start with Samuel.

MS COLERIDGE: Samuel Sepatake, S-E-P-A-T-A-K-E and then the next victim, Mothoka, M-O-T-H-O-K-A Sebela, S-E-B-E-L-A, then the next victim Manyana Moagi, M-O-A-G-I and then Mr M A Rasebotse, R-A-S-E-B-O-T-S-E. We advertised in the newspapers regarding this incident, Chairperson, on the 19th of April 2000 and then we also advertised, we were trying to locate the implicated person in this matter, Mr Sililo Makwala. I'll spell Makwala, M-A-K-W-A-L-A.

Then the next incident Chairperson, this is the attack on SANDF members on the 12th of April 1990 at Ritavi District at the stadium, the following were also victims in this incident. Mr Daniel Ludeke, L-U-D-E-K-E, Deon van der Merwe, Nicholas Swartz, S-W-A-R-T-Z, Mr W N P Snyman, Mr P Malherbe and Mr Ndlovu. And then just in relation to the other victims in the Shingange matter, well Lily Mthembo is here today Chairperson and Jack Mthembo as well. Mr Isaac Ngobeni, he has been informed of this incident Chairperson, he is aware of the hearing as well and that concludes the list of the victims, Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Ms Coleridge. Mr Koopedi, are you in a position to proceed and if you are, in what language or languages would the applicants testify?

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson we are in a position to proceed. The applicants will use the English language. You might note that we tried to supply you with statements which are in English, but we have arranged with the interpreter that should there be a problem, the interpreter will assist us with the Tsisonga language, but for now we would want to say we think we could proceed in English.

Perhaps before anyone is sworn in, I would like to firstly apply for condonation of the fact that all the application forms have not been attested, that is for the three applicants. And then perhaps also to find out from my learned friend if this application is opposed, because at the moment I do not know if we have opposition and if the application is opposed, it would assist if one knows the basis of the opposition so that we can cover the areas. Thank you Chairperson. I'll start with you Ms Coleridge, in respect of the non attestation. Do you have any objection?

MS COLERIDGE: No Chairperson, I have no objection.

CHAIRPERSON: Miss Vilakazi are you objecting?

MS VILAKAZI: No objection Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Your application is successful.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll start with you. Mr Koopedi wants to know whether you are opposing and if so, just briefly what would be your opposition to the applications.

MS VILAKAZI: My instructions from Richard Bustin is not to oppose the application in respect of the Rita Township incident and in respect of the Shingange murder, my instructions from the widow Florence Shingange are not to oppose the application as well, but to present her evidence with regard to the effects of the killing of her husband on herself and on her family, as well as to present the evidence of Lily Mthembo Shingange who is the sister to the deceased and who was present at the time when Mr Shingange was attacked and killed. Thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Coleridge. ...(inaudible - no microphone) ... you have mentioned to us opposing?

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson no, we have informed the SANDF of these applications, that's General Slabbert. We've had no indication from any of the other victims that I've mentioned, Chairperson, neither from the SANDF to oppose the applications, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: I won't repeat that, Mr Koopedi. You are right here, you heard what they said.

MR KOOPEDI: Yes, Chairperson, I did, thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: With whom are you going to start first?

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson the appearance or the tendering of evidence will be in the order as prepared in the bundle of documents and the first applicant will be Mr Ngobeni and may I indicate Chairperson, that Mr Ngobeni will prefer to make an affirmation as opposed to the oath. Thank you Chairperson. Mr Ngobeni, would I be pronouncing your second name Kombumini correct?


CHAIRPERSON: Firstly give us your full names for the record.

JOHN KOMBUMELE NGOBENI: (affirmed states)

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson, Honourable Committee Members.

EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Mr Ngobeni is it correct that you are an applicant in this matter?


MR KOOPEDI: Now I am showing to you page 1 of the bundle of documents, Chairperson. I am showing you a document. Is this your application form?


MR KOOPEDI: And on page 6 of the same bundle of documents, there's a signature appearing at the bottom. Is that your signature?


MR KOOPEDI: Now Mr Ngobeni, would you briefly tell this Honourable Committee what happened and why you're making this application?


"I joined the ANC in 1977 in Mozambique. I then went to complete O levels for two years at Sierra Leone. I then went to ...(indistinct) Tanzania, where I stayed until March 1980. I then went to Cuba to study Chemical Engineering. I returned in 1986 and went to Dakawa, Tanzania. In 1987 I was sent to Angola to do military training. Thereafter I went to Zambia to await infiltration into the country.

In 1989 I was infiltrated into the country and I came through via Swaziland. I was sent to Tzaneen area to operate there. My mission was to reconnoitre and establish an MK presence in the area. I had orders to establish underground units which I commanded. I also trained and recruited MK cadres in the area. One of my units consisted of myself as Commander, James, I do not know his real name, but he was from ...(indistinct) in the Northern Province and he passed away in 1997/98, Sililo, I do not know his real name but I think he might still be alive, Mathousan, I do not know his real name, but I believe he was from Johannesburg and Muhlava Muhlava. These youth was responsible for the attack on the SADF members at Nkuakua stadium on the 12th April 1990. During this period there was a lot of political activity in the area and the SADF were deployed in the area to suppress political activity. The SADF were, in the first place, a legitimate target and secondly, by attacking them, we were ...(indistinct) the matters showing them that the soldiers were also vulnerable. The soldiers were based at Nkuakua stadium.

On the 12th April 1990, at about 18h00 we all went to the stadium. Muhlava was driving us. We parked two streets away from the stadium. Muhlava remained in the car. The four of us went to the stadium. We were armed with two AK47 rifles, two pistols and about twelve hand grenades, F1's and RGD 5's. James Sililo and Mathousan took positions and threw the hand grenades. About five or six exploded and thereafter the three retreated and I covered their retreat by firing to the soldiers using the AK47. We then all got to the car and Muhlava drove us away.

The second incident which occurred on the 15th June 1990 was carried out by myself, Sililo and co-applicant Stranger Mbhalati. Shingange was a well-known Security Policeman who was very notorious for harassing political activists. My unit had decided that Singange should be eliminated to show the other black policeman that it is not safe to follow the footsteps of Shingange.

On the day in question we went to Nkuakua stadium, to Nkuakua township next to a police, the place where there was to be a funeral of a relative of Shingange. We expected Shingange to be in the area. We took up different positions, planning to ambush him when he appeared.

Shingange apparently appeared on Sililo's side, who shot at him. Apparently Shingange had passengers in the car. We were armed with hand grenades and two AK47s. After the shooting we retreated. Sililo told me that he only shot at the driver. He told me further that soldiers appeared almost as from nowhere and he threw a hand grenade which did not explode.

The third incident involves me, Sililo and Stranger. Our target was Rasebotse, the then Station Commander, ...(indistinct) police station. Our unit had decided that by hitting a person as senior as him, we would be bolstering the courage of the political activists in the area. The idea was to ambush him. We went to Rita, the village where he stays. It was at about 22h00 when his vehicle approached. There was an SADF armoured van in front of it. The occupants of the van must have spotted us as they turned and shone the lights on us. We then shot at them. We were having two AK47s and hand grenades. The Aks were held by Sililo and myself. We then retreated in different directions to rendezvous. On the route to the rendezvous, I had to jump the fence of Maake Technical School and in the process I dropped a hand grenade. I tried to look for it but could not find it. I then left. Two days thereafter I went to look for the hand grenade. I did not find it because of the tall grass. I then went away. After a week or two when I went to the area, the place was filled with soldiers and people were saying someone had picked up a bomb and it had killed him. I suspect this is the hand grenade that I lost."

MR KOOPEDI: Now Mr Ngobeni, would you say that the incidents, the three incidents you have referred this Honourable Committee to, had a political motive?

MR NGOBENI: Definitely yes. All these instances had a political motive.

MR KOOPEDI: Would you tell the Honourable Committee, what would the motive be, the political motive?

MR NGOBENI: The political motive is that as we all know, maybe as we could say is that the Security Forces in the past were there to defend the apartheid government, which was not a good government for everybody but just for the minority people in the country, namely the whites, so the idea behind it, eliminating members of the Security Forces was to make it a point that looking at the government so as to come nearer to achieving liberation. That was the real motive behind the whole process.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Now, did you get any personal gain for having involved yourself in these incidents? Was there any personal gain that you got, monetary value or anything of the sort?

MR NGOBENI: To be honest, when we joined the struggle, there was no promise for money for material benefits or anything like that. The whole idea was just to make it a point that you make you minor contribution to push this country to a situation whereby you can help a democratic establishment.

MR KOOPEDI: So the answer is no, you got now personal ...? ...(speaking simultaneously)

MR NGOBENI: No, no personal ...(indistinct - speaking simultaneously)

MR KOOPEDI: Now, in as far as your memory can assist you, have you given full disclosure of all the relevant facts in these three incidents?

MR NGOBENI: As far as I remember this is exactly what happened.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. That will be the evidence-in-chief for this witness thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Vilakazi.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VILAKAZI: With regard to the shooting of Shingange, you have said on page two of your statement, you say that, in the last paragraph, the fifth line from the bottom, you said: "Shingange apparently appeared on Sililo's side, who shot at him." Now from the statement that you have made, you are not the one who killed Shingange, is that correct?


MS VILAKAZI: Now on what basis are you applying for amnesty for his death?

MR NGOBENI: In the army we have got people who take decisions and in that case I was commanding the unit. I'm the one who issued the order that Shingange must be eliminated, so I must apply for it.

MS VILAKAZI: And after Shingange was killed, my instructions are that the family was harassed and even the funeral arrangements were - even the funeral had people coming in and people who came in as "monas" were harassed, do you know anything about that? What information can you share about that?

MR NGOBENI: I am a soldier, as far as I know that had to do with the family arrangements and unless if they come and say that I was involved, I was never involved in the funeral, the only thing that I know of is that I was involved in the operation, but as far as the funeral was concerned, I don't know anything about it.

MS VILAKAZI: I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Coleridge, anything?

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS COLERIDGE: I just want to refer to page one of your statement that you handed in. You stated at paragraph 2, the third line:

"I had orders to establish underground units, which I commanded."

Who gave you those orders?

MR NGOBENI: I was a member of MK by then. Our Senior Commander was Jo Modise, but then I had other people were commanding me. In between Jo Modise and myself, there were other Commanders like the person I only knew as Thabo or Timen.

MS COLERIDGE: And were you Commanders aware of these operations that you were planning? I'm talking about these three operations we're dealing with?

MR NGOBENI: It will be very much difficult to explain these things, but let me simplify it in this way. When you are trained militarily, you are taught what is called- you are taught to identify the enemy, then on that basis you know who to target and who not to target. Under certain circumstances, you can get orders to say that: "Deal with this person", but under certain circumstances, you as a Commander on the ground, you choose which person to deal with, based on the information that you have.

CHAIRPERSON: But the question is that did you report back?

MR NGOBENI: Each action that I participated in, no matter how minor it could have been, a report was sent back to my Commanders.

MS COLERIDGE: What kind of report was that? A written report or a verbal report, can you elaborate on that?

MR NGOBENI: When you have to use a courier it was not always possible to send a written report, you could only send some sort of a verbal report to say: "This is what happened", but sometimes when you jump the border to go and make a report on what happened, then the Commander had ample time to draft a report on what happened, after you have given him a minor briefing.

MS COLERIDGE: Did you report personally, or did you send someone else to do the reporting on your behalf?

MR NGOBENI: Will you repeat?

MS COLERIDGE: Did you report back personally, or did you send someone else to report back on your behalf?

MR NGOBENI: For some instances I had to go and report personally, but for others, I had to send couriers.

MS COLERIDGE: And in these instances, the three?

MR NGOBENI: The three, I remember in the first one, because at one stage we had to retreat, so I had to give a full personal report when I reached outside.

CHAIRPERSON: By saying when you reached outside, are you implying that you went back?

MR NGOBENI: I had to go back to Swaziland to report the matter.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed Ma'am.

MS COLERIDGE: I see that Sililo was involved in some of these instances with you. You mention him in the second incident, that's the 15th of June incident and in the third incident. Is this Sililo the same person, is it Sililo Makwala?

MR NGOBENI: I do not know Sililo Makwala, I don't know that other person. The one that I'm talking about is only known as Sililo and this is a name that we were using. In our operational activities we never used to get used to people's real names because it was dangerous, so we had a name to use for him.

MS COLERIDGE: Why I'm asking you, just on page 48 of the bundle there's a statement by Christopher Sililo Makwala and he was the person that you asked to identify Mr Rasebotse and I just wondered whether it was the same person.

MR NGOBENI: Alright. I think, I'm not very much sure because I don't know this - ja, I know this person. This person was there when we attacked, when we shot at the SADF at Rita Village, he was there, this one.

MS COLERIDGE: That's it. Is it the same Sililo, or is a different person?

MR NGOBENI: No it's not the same Sililo, there's another Sililo I'm talking about.

MS COLERIDGE: Okay, that clarifies that for me. Just on the second incident on the 15th of June, that's on page 2, it was stated that:

"Sililo told me,"

that's the last paragraph, third line from the bottom,

"he only shot at the driver."

Do you know how many shots were fired?

MR NGOBENI: I did not get the number of shots fired but what I know is that it's very much difficult to cope with the number of shots when you are under an operational situation.

MS COLERIDGE: Was Sililo the only one firing shots?

MR NGOBENI: He's the only who fired.

MS COLERIDGE: Just for your information that Lily was also injured in this incident, Lily Mthembo Shingange.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Coleridge, are you saying that she was one of the occupants of the car?

MS COLERIDGE: That's correct, Chairperson, she was in the vehicle as well. And there's just one last aspect. On page twenty-nine of the bundle, I just want to clarify in the Daniel Leduke incident, he states, that is the 12th of April, the attack on the SADF members at the stadium, he states that, at paragraph four, that he'd seen about five persons that were with you and I just want to clarify. how many people were with you involved in that incident?

MR NGOBENI: Can I be honest with you on one thing? When we attacked the SADF, the people who actually staged the attack, we were four. The other person who was driving, was about two streets from the place we were attacking and the attack took a very, very short space of time. I'm sure it was about less than five minutes, I would say and it was a surprise attack, so it's difficult that any person could have said that he or she managed to spot certain people, because we had very good information about the situation there.

CHAIRPERSON: Just to put it in perspective, Daniel Leduke says that he saw about five people and he could see half of their bodies, but his estimating is not precise, do you follow what I'm saying?

MS COLERIDGE: That's correct, Chairperson, thank you. And then a question regarding your weapons. Who supplied you with your arms and ammunition?

MR NGOBENI: My Commander supplied me.

MS COLERIDGE: Which Commanders?

MR NGOBENI: Tshimele.

MS COLERIDGE: And then just for the first incident, how long did it take for you to plan this operation on the 12th of April 1990 at the stadium?

MR NGOBENI: Could you repeat the question?

MS COLERIDGE: The 12th of April 1990, the attack on the SANDF members at the stadium, how long did it take for you to plan this operation?

MR NGOBENI: I don't know what you'll be referring to specifically because what happens is that for over two weeks or three weeks, we were busy collecting information about the activities of the SADF at the Nkuakua stadium. We were studying their movements and so on and so on and as far as I'm concerned, ...(indistinct), that constituted part of the planning so in such a way that at the end of the day the actual execution was finalising the plans.

MS COLERIDGE: And the other matter, the Shingange matter, how long did it take for you to plan that operation?

MR NGOBENI: As far as Shingange is concerned, we knew long ago about his activities and the other thing is that we had a very good understanding of what the Security Branch was all about and what danger they were presenting to us as MK members and people in the community, so it was an issue of simply monitoring him and checking his movements and doing away with him.

MS COLERIDGE: And the third incident?

MR NGOBENI: The third incident is that at one stage round about June in 1990, there was a march around Lenyenye whereby activists ended up being shambokked and some of them were even beaten up, so that was the culmination, that was something that somehow compelled us to react, because we knew that the person in the name of Rasebotse, or Rakgabe as we used to call him, was very much troublesome and he was the Station Commander there at Lenyenye, so what we did, we knew he was moving between the police station and his home every now and then. We had to go and sit and wait for him in between the two places and unfortunately that day the SADF was escorting him, that's how we managed to clash with them, they were not the intended targets on that day, they simply took over something that did not have anything to do with them.

CHAIRPERSON: If I may interpose, how was it troublesome?

MR NGOBENI: To start with, like the Security Branch Members, Rasebotse was notorius for harassing activists, he issued instructions that they should be detained and assaulted. He was responsible for working very much closely also with the Security Branch officers in Tzaneen whereby, as far as we were concerned, they were busy exchanging information that was working against the committees and the activists of us, as members of MK. So on that basis we felt that was a legitimate target so we had to eliminate him, but then like you know, the end result did not take our own turn, it happened the other way around.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he with the uniformed police, that is him?


CHAIRPERSON: With the uniformed police, because you say he was colluding with the Security Branch?

MR NGOBENI: The situation in the Bantustans was that all people in senior positions were ex-members of the Security Branch and they were working very much closely with the Security Branch and they were taking instructions from them, that is the reason why we had to deal with him at that level.

CHAIRPERSON: These activists you are talking about in the area, were they of any political organisation, or what activities were they involved in?

MR NGOBENI: They were members of what I would call the mass democratic movement. You had members of the local structures or maybe the local - the youth organisation, that used to be called South ...(indistinct), so we had local versions in the area like MYCRO and other structures and in the different villages we had all those people, but on top of that, putting aside all those ones, we had known underground members of the ANC who were active in the area, who were constantly harassed by this type of people, that's why we had to act.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry about that. You may continue Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson. Just one last question. Were any of you granted indemnity for any of these activities?

MR NGOBENI: It's difficult to tell because I was also involved in the application for indemnity, but to date I don't know whether I've been granted that indemnity or not. I do not know.

MS COLERIDGE: I'm just asking that in relation to a statement I have seen of Mrs Shingange, that's the wife of the deceased and her impression was that they were granted indemnity, so I was just wanting to check as well.

CHAIRPERSON: I saw that.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson. I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-exam thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Adv Bosman, any questions?

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Ngobeni, at the time of the incidents, except perhaps for the first one, I'm not sure of my dates, the former President Nelson Mandela had already been released.

MR NGOBENI: I do not want to commit myself, but I know that at some stages, Mr Mandela was released, but I don't want to commit myself, I'm not very much sure here.

ADV BOSMAN: Yes, I'm not quite sure about the first incident, but the release of President Mandela, didn't that have any influence on your decision-making at all?

MR NGOBENI: I am actually a soldier, I must be honest. I was a soldier at that time. I didn't take instructions from newspaper statements, whatever they published there, or what the TV was saying. I had to get instructions from my Commander. If I were to get an instruction saying you stop attacking, I could have stopped, but I never got such and as such I had to continue.

ADV BOSMAN: But according to your statement and your evidence, your orders were to establish underground units. Did that also entail an order for attacks?

MR NGOBENI: The underground units that were established, had two issues to accomplish. There were military and political objectives, so as far as those missions, or those objectives are concerned, I think they accomplished them.

ADV BOSMAN: At what time did the information that President Mandela had been released and that the political process was taking shape, reach you as soldiers in that area?

MR NGOBENI: Like any person who was inside South Africa, even the day on which President Mandela was released, I knew about it. What you must understand, or what we need to understand maybe is like I'm saying, I was a soldier, I had specific objectives to do and I could not simply get it from the radio or the newspaper to say no I must stop things I was supposed to do. That I could not do. Just as much as the other side, or my opponents did not stop harassing us on the basis of Mandela being released, on the basis of the announcement that was made by F W de Klerk, it did not make change on what I was doing because it had got to filter down in a proper way.

ADV BOSMAN: The reason why I'm asking you these questions is that you did mention that it was not your intention to attack the SADF in the one incident and does it not have something to do with the fact that these incidents took place in the erstwhile Bantustan areas, didn't that have something to do with it?

MR NGOBENI: Can I clarify that one?

ADV BOSMAN: Yes, please.

MR NGOBENI: Why I was saying would not ...(indistinct) we mean that according to the information that we had, we were not going to have contact with the SADF there at Rita. The person we targeted was Rakgabe, or Rasebotse, so what happened is that because he knew that maybe we were also only following him, he came in the company of members of the SADF who, on seeing us that we are along the road and we look suspicious, maybe for them, then they turned the car and shone the lights on us and then we had to respond because we could not simply run away, we had to respond, but when we say they were not our intended targets, we mean to say that according to our plans, that day it was not their day, but it belonged to Rasebotse.

ADV BOSMAN: Are you saying then that the SADF could have been a legitimate target had the circumstances been different? During that time, would you have regarded the SADF as a legitimate target, had the circumstances...?

MR NGOBENI: Definitely yes, they were a legitimate target.

ADV BOSMAN: At what time did you stop regarding the SADF as a legitimate target? Did you get any particular instructions or was it only after the armed struggle was formally suspended?

MR NGOBENI: I do not know how to put it because I was arrested in August 1990, so I don't know what happened thereafter. When I came out of jail in May 1991, then there was no longer military activities being carried out, so I don't answer for those who remained outside.

ADV BOSMAN: Because you were in prison, I understand.

MR NGOBENI: Yes. I was arrested.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.


ADV SIGODI: No questions, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngobeni, these weapons you say were supplied to you by your Commander Timen. When did he supply them to you?

MR NGOBENI: Let me say to be on the safe side, they were supplied as from February 1990, but I cannot be in a position to give specific days on which they were supplied.

CHAIRPERSON: When they were now supplied, it's after you had already established these underground units?

MR NGOBENI: Yes, Mr Chairperson. What happened is that I had a mission to establish myself and establish a unit in the area, after which I had to go back and report and say no, the situation is okay, everything is in place, then they would give me the necessary tools to work with, that's when I was supplied with these weapons.

CHAIRPERSON: Had you informed your Commander what operations you had identified by then before these weapons were supplied to you?

MR NGOBENI: I had to give a full briefing to my Commander about the situation in my operational area when I went to report to him before I got these weapons. I told him the situation, the type of oppressive activities which were being carried out by members of the Security Forces, I told him about the measure of harassment that we were objected to, I told him about all those things which were happening and on the basis of that I got the weapons and I even told him that my information allows that I can carry a number of activities, but as he was that side and I was inside, I was the Commander on the ground and I had to identify operations which then I carried out and then I reported to him.

CHAIRPERSON: Now members of the unit, you were the only one trained outside, the rest you trained inside the country, that is the same Mathousan, Sililo, Muhlava, would I be correct that you were the only one trained from outside?

MR NGOBENI: No, the people who were trained outside were four in my unit. Only Muhlava then was not trained outside at that time, Sir and Stranger Mbhalati, the two of them were not people who were trained outside.

CHAIRPERSON: Who trained them, that is Mbhalati and Muhlava.

MR NGOBENI: Muhlava - without pre-empting what maybe could be his presentation, I also had a hand in assisting in his training.

CHAIRPERSON: How long, if you put in a hand, how long did you hand stretch in training them?

MR NGOBENI: To train?

CHAIRPERSON: Ja. Let's take Mbhalati for instance, Mr Mbhalati for instance, how long?

MR NGOBENI: Ja, Mr Chairperson, we didn't keep records of how long a person is trained, but we looked t whether a person was grasping what we were teaching him or her, then on the basis of that it would be a longer process or a shorter process and what basically we were doing was to deal with the issue of political mobilisation and to also show these people how to operate firearms. We are talking about pistols, we are talking about AK47s, we are talking about giving them briefings on how to used hand grenades, we are talking about giving them briefings on how to go about maintaining security, or gathering intelligence which was necessary for us to carry out our activities.

CHAIRPERSON: And what about the hand grenades. Did they get any teaching about the hand grenades, for instance the F1's and the RGD5's?

MR NGOBENI: Basically what we were teaching them about those hand grenades is that to know basic things about what we call operational characteristics or combat characteristics of those hand grenades, to know that an F1 is mainly used for defensive purposes and that is the splinters are dangerous in this way or that way and that the RGD 5 is an offensive hand grenade. Basically it works on shocks and so on and so on. Those were things we were giving them and to know that this things are very much dangerous while they are armed and teach them all the ...(indistinct) measures which were necessary.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you say on page two of the statement you read out that Shingange was notorious for harassing political activists, what was he doing? Was he following in the footsteps of Rasebotse?


CHAIRPERSON: Following in the footsteps of Rasebotse, or what was he doing?

MR NGOBENI: It's difficult maybe to explain but if we were to be in an area like Tzaneen where I was operating, it will be very much difficult to find one political activist who did not hate Shingange at that moment. Not simply because they hated him but because of what he was doing to them. It would be very much difficult.

CHAIRPERSON: I just want an instance to have an idea what this harassment entailed because you know it merely becomes a word like probably using the three saying notorious for harassing political activists, who was that?

MR NGOBENI: Can I try to explain it maybe in this way? what used to happen in the area, I don't know about other places, but people used to be detained and be interrogated or maybe even hit. What would happen is that in all those incidents, Shingange would be involved and he was working very much closely, like you know with these people who were stationed at Tzaneen, whereas he was staying in Nkuakua at that moment.

CHAIRPERSON: Now I just want to understand this in context. You say that would be from line three, paragraph 3 on page two:

"My unit had decided that Shingange should be eliminated to show the other black policemen that it is not safe to follow the footsteps of Shingange."

MR NGOBENI: Can I explain something? Can I explain - give you an answer to what you are saying and then elaborate a little bit?

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, certainly.

MR NGOBENI: What happens is that if you say that they should stop following in his footsteps, we had this thing of saying that it is not right for people who are all oppressed to also side with the side that is carrying on with that operation and so on that basis we thought that he was ...(indistinct), we could eliminate him, but let me go deeper and explain because it might look very much superficial and something like a grudge between me or my unit and the person who is deceased.

CHAIRPERSON: At first blush it creates that impression.

MR NGOBENI: The basic point of departure here is that the whole might of the Security Forces in the past depended mainly on these members of the Security Branch who were black, because they know where we're playing, where we're praying, where we go for drinks, this or that, they were the only people who could identify us as targets for the might of the Security Forces in the past. The white people who were stationed in these urban areas, they never ventured into these black areas so they did not know who is John Ngobeni, they had never met him in their lives, so the only people who were useful to the Security Forces to identify and eliminate or detain people who were called terrorists, were these black people, that's why they were very much dangerous militarily, they were the real targets. It's not an issue of saying that maybe you have some sort of adventures with that person. No, no, no, militarily they were playing a very important role for the armed forces and for the Security Forces in general, so if you were to remove the Security Branch in the past, maybe the black members, it would have been very much difficult for the Security Forces to deal or maybe to identify and eliminate those people that tempt their enemies or the terrorists. It could have been very much difficult, so that's why these people were actually very legitimate as far as activities are concerned. For the record I could say that if it was just an issue of simply killing, we could have killed a lot of these members of the so-called Gazankulu Police, Lebowa Police, they were very innocent, they didn't even know what was happening as far as I'm concerned. We would sit and spend some time with them at different places, share same transport means with them, but they would not even smell that something is wrong, but not these members of the Security Branch, these were the most dangerous ones, so militarily you have to identify the weaknesses and the strengths of the enemy and he was on the stronger part, he was making the enemy to be more strong because of what he was doing and what he knew about us as black people involved in these weapons.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you say that there was a funeral of a relative of him, that is Shingange, did you know when he was going to arrive at the funeral?

MR NGOBENI: As far as I know, when you have a relative who has passed away, it might not be known exactly what time you are going to arrive there, but at the end of the day you arrive there, so we had time on our side, we had to stage what I say a stationary observation there to see what's happening.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know in whose company he would be attending the funeral with?

MR NGOBENI: We did not know the people who would be accompanying him, but we knew that he was moving in a specific van that belonged to the Security Branch.

CHAIRPERSON: In a situation like this that we know somebody would attend a funeral and let me firstly speak to you as a black man, that if you have a vehicle, you would give other people lifts because motor vehicular transport is scarce when it comes to blacks. Did you foresee that Mr Shingange would come with other people in his company in that van?

MR NGOBENI: Mr Chairperson, the situation that I'm trying to indicate here, if you look at the report about what exactly happened on the day in question, if the execution did not take into consideration the fact that black people do share transport means, then we could not be talking about one person who is late now, we could be talking about a number of people who are dead, because what would have happened, you could have put this AK47 at the automatic level and then simply spray everybody who is there, but there was some sort of consideration of the people who were there and on the basis of that instruction that the Commander gave and what the operator did on the ground, so that's why at the end of the day, the only person who was affected as far as passing away is concerned, is the person that we wanted to eliminate.

CHAIRPERSON: Even when you had put these automatic weapons into singular firing line, but we know that for instance an AK47 is a heavy calibre weapon, don't we?


CHAIRPERSON: That in shooting it might even injure people next to such persons, that we should know, don't we?

MR NGOBENI: That one we know.

CHAIRPERSON: So why I'm asking you this, I want to say to you, I'm asking you if you made other contingency plans that if Shingange comes with other people, how would their lives be avoided because we've just heard from Ms Coleridge that Lily Nthembo got injured in the process?

MR NGOBENI: The plan that we had was that it was an open bakkie, the plan that we had was that if it comes loaded with people on the back part of it, it would be very much difficult to single out a driver from the other people, then the mission should be dropped. That was the only contingency plan that we had.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Ngobeni. Mr Koopedi anything arising from what the Panel asked?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing arises Chairperson and that would conclude the application for Mr Ngobeni. I would ask leave to proceed with the next applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone) ...this case?

MR KOOPEDI: That is indeed so. We're closing his application.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Ngobeni, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed with the next applicant.





MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. The next applicant is Muhlava Muhlava. Mr Muhlava has no problem with taking the prescribed oath Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: In what language is he going to testify?

MR KOOPEDI: He will testify in English Chairperson, thank you.

MUHLAVA MUHLAVA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. I've just got an indication Chairperson that Mr Muhlava would read his statement in English and that statement would be evidence and should there be any questions, he would prefer to deal with that in Tsisonga. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: He may proceed to do that.

EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Mr Muhlava, is it correct that you are an applicant in this matter?


MR KOOPEDI: The document I am showing you, Chairperson page eight of the bundle of documents, is this your application form?


MR KOOPEDI: And page thirteen of the bundle of documents, there is a signature, is that your signature?


MR KOOPEDI: Now would you briefly read your statement to the Committee?


"I joined the MK in 1980 inside the country. I was trained by one Jo ...(indistinct). I worked with him. Our main task was to transport people who - at some stage Jo was arrested. I then met up with John Ngobeni, my co-applicant. I confirm that I was present during the planning of the attack on the base at Nkuakua and I was a driver."

MR KOOPEDI: Now if one understands your evidence correctly, you were present in the planning of and the attack on the SADF at Nkuakua stadium, is that correct?


MR KOOPEDI: And you also accompanied the people who went to execute this attack, but you remained in the car because you were the driver?


MR KOOPEDI: You've heard the evidence of your co-applicant Mr Ngobeni and amongst others, he states that he also had a hand in your training, would you confirm that?


MR KOOPEDI: That will be the evidence-in-chief of this applicant.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Vilakazi.

MS VILAKAZI: No questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson..

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS COLERIDGE: What did you training consist of with Jo, that's Collins Thabane?

MR MUHLAVA: It was training me to know how to operate the Makarov pistol and how to use a hand grenade.

MS COLERIDGE: And how long did this training last for?

MR MUHLAVA: It was a person whom we used to stay together, so he used to train me everyday, but I can't remember how long it took.

MS COLERIDGE: You said you stayed with, did you stay with Jo or who were you living with? I don't understand that.

MR MUHLAVA: It was Collins, but we used to call him Jo.

MS COLERIDGE: And how long - you can't say - you joined Mr Ngobeni's group, when did you join that unit?

MR MUHLAVA: I joined it in late 89, 1989.

MS COLERIDGE: And what did Mr Ngobeni's training consist of?

MR MUHLAVA: He taught me how to use an AK 47.

MS COLERIDGE: Didn't you obtain that training under Collins Thabane's leadership?

MR MUHLAVA: Not at all, he was not having an AK 47.

MS COLERIDGE: So you were part of the attack at the stadium. You said that you were present during the planning stages, can you just elaborate on the planning stages? What did that entail?

MR MUHLAVA: I don't understand when you say that I should explain briefly. I don't understand the question, can you please repeat it?

MS COLERIDGE: Just on page four of the documentation that Mr Koopedi furnished us with, the last, the second, the third-last line, you said: "I confirm that I was present during the planning of the attack on the SADF base." Now I want to know what did that planning entail?

MR MUHLAVA: It entailed that we should see that not many innocent people should get injured, only soldiers should be affected. It also entailed to see their movements and what time should we attack them.

MS COLERIDGE: And how many people were part of this plan?

MR MUHLAVA: I think we were four.

MS COLERIDGE: Can you mention the people's names?

MR MUHLAVA: Yes, it was John Boveni, Mathousan, James, Sililo and myself.

MS COLERIDGE: So you were five?


MS COLERIDGE: Did you have any weapons on you for this incident?

MR MUHLAVA: Myself, I was not having any gun, I was having only a hand grenade.

MS COLERIDGE: And did you have any contact with Mr Ngobeni's Commander? That's Timen or Jo Modise.

MR MUHLAVA: No, it was very difficult for us to meet those people.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-exam thank you Chairperson.



ADV SIGODI: No questions.


ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Muhlava, were you also arrested?

MR MUHLAVA: No, I left the country sometime ...(indistinct - mike off)

CHAIRPERSON: I don't follow. When did you leave the country? After these operations were completed and before arrest?


CHAIRPERSON: When did you leave the country?

MR MUHLAVA: It was 1990, somewhere around May.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you go to?

MR MUHLAVA: I went to Swaziland and after Swaziland I went to Mozambique and from Mozambique I went to Tanzania.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Anything arising from the Panel's questions?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing from my side, thanks Chairperson.


MS VILAKAZI: No questions, thanks Mr Chair.

MS COLERIDGE: No questions, thank you Chairperson.

MR KOOPEDI: Chair, that concludes the application. We close the application for Mr Muhlava and we're ready to proceed with Mr Mbhalati. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Mr Muhlava, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: What is the position with Mr Mbhalati?

MR KOOPEDI: Mr Mbhalati has no objection to taking the prescribed oath, Chairperson. He will also go through his statement in English. Should there be a problem, we would request the assistance of an interpreter for the Tsisonga language. Thank you.




_____________________________________________________STRANGER JABULANI MBHALATI: (sworn states)

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson.

EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Mr Mbhalati, is it correct that you are a co-applicant in this matter?

MR MBHALATI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: There are matters, be specific. We heard from Mr Ngobeni three incidents and now you say in this matter, is he applying for one?

MR KOOPEDI: I do not know Chairperson if it is appropriate for me at this stage to argue that the incidents are argued in one matter, but I believe that that is perhaps an academic question and I will rephrase, but I would submit that this is one matter that comprises of a number of incidents.

Mr Mbhalati, is it correct that you are a co-applicant in the incidents that are before this Honourable Committee at this moment?

MR MBHALATI: That's correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now I am showing a document to you, Chairperson page fifteen of the bundle of documents. Is that your application form?

MR MBHALATI: It's my application.

MR KOOPEDI: Now on page twenty of the same bundle of documents, there is a signature at the bottom, is that your signature?

MR MBHALATI: Yes, it's mine.

MR KOOPEDI: Now would you proceed to read your statement to the Committee, which shall be your evidence?


"I joined the ANC in 1990 at Nkuakua and I became a member of an underground MK unit which was commanded by John Ngobeni. I received military training from my Commander inside the country. I confirm that I belonged to one of these units and was involved in the planning and the attack on Shingange which occurred on the 15th during 1990 and the one on the South African Defence Force personnel at Rita which occurred on the 16th June 1990."

MR KOOPEDI: Now you've heard the evidence of Mr Ngobeni and where he mentions you as having been present. Do you confirm that?

MR MBHALATI: Yes, I confirm.

MR KOOPEDI: Now looking at your evidence that you've just given, Mr Ngobeni's evidence, do you say that you have complied with the requirement of full disclosure of the relevant facts and that you would have told everything that you know about these incidents?

MR MBHALATI: I would say yes.

MR KOOPEDI: Did you receive any personal gain for having involved yourself in these incidents?

MR MBHALATI: Not at all.

MR KOOPEDI: Without really explaining, I would need a short answer. Do you say that these actions had a political motive?


MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. Chairperson, that is the evidence from Mr Mbhalati.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Vilakazi.

MS VILAKAZI: I have a few questions Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VILAKAZI: Mr Mbhalati, in your evidence you have said that you were involved in the planning of the attack on Shingange. Can you give full details of your involvement in the whole Shingange affair?

CHAIRPERSON: The question is too wide.

MS VILAKAZI: Perhaps I could divide it into two questions. My first question would be, were you involved in the planning as well as the execution of the plan or were you involved in the planning only?

MR MBHALATI: I would say I was involved in both.

MS VILAKAZI: Were you present when Mr Shingange was killed?

MR MBHALATI: I was present.

MS VILAKAZI: And what was your role in that regard?

MR MBHALATI: I accompanied Sililo. At that time I happened to confirm to Sililo that Shingange was the person whom we were looking after and one other thing is that I also carried the bag which contained an AK47 which Sililo used to fire at Shingange.

MS VILAKAZI: When Sililo shot at - do you confirm that it is Sililo who shot at Shingange?

MR MBHALATI: I confirm.

MS VILAKAZI: And where were you at that particular time?

MR MBHALATI: I was somewhere next to the point whereby the vehicle which was driven by Shingange left.

MS VILAKAZI: Does that mean that you were not on the same spot with Sililo?

MR MBHALATI: I was at the same spot with Sililo.

MS VILAKAZI: Did you see that there were some other persons in the vehicle, besides Shingange?

MR MBHALATI: Yes, I've seen that.

MS VILAKAZI: Did you know Shingange personally?

MR MBHALATI: I knew him.

MS VILAKAZI: And were you able to identify him in the vehicle?

MR MBHALATI: I was able to.

MS VILAKAZI: And regarding the planning, what was the plan? How were you going to execute the - how was Shingange to be killed?

MR MBHALATI: In as far as I remember, it has never been mentioned how and when.

MS VILAKAZI: But then it happened that you went to a place where Shingange was. Was it just a coincidence that you happened to be at that place and Shingange was there, or was it part of your plan?

MR MBHALATI: It was part of the plan.

MS VILAKAZI: So it means you planned to execute him?

MR MBHALATI: Definitely.

MS VILAKAZI: And you knew that he was going to be there?


MS VILAKAZI: And how did you intend killing him, knowing that he was going to be there at the place where there were going to be other people?

MR MBHALATI: I cannot exactly explain or answer that question, but I can only explain how it did actually take place.

MS VILAKAZI: Are you - I just want to understand you clearly, are you saying that you just wanted to kill Shingange and you did not plan as to how he is going to be killed. Is that what you are saying?

MR MBHALATI: Not necessarily that. Finally my understanding was that for in case we happen to be in contact with Shingange an execution should take place of the mission.

MS VILAKAZI: And what about the fact that there was a possibility of other people being there? Was that particular fact addressed in part of your planning?

MR MBHALATI: It was actually addressed that the only target was only Shingange, not any other person by that time.

MS VILAKAZI: So what were you planning to do if Shingange was not alone?

MR MBHALATI: I don't exactly know what would actually happen, because by that time I wasn't the person who was supposed to pull the trigger. Maybe if the person who was supposed to pull the trigger should be in a better position to answer that question.

MS VILAKAZI: Going to the incident at Rita, what was your involvement in that? How were you involved in the Rita incident, the attack of the SADF in Rita?

MR MBHALATI: Basically as my co-applicant had explained that the attack was not necessarily aimed at the SADF, it was aimed at eliminating George Rasebotse, so we happened to use one Chris who was basically in the know of the vehicle and the moment in which Rasebotse is frequenting the place where we were positioned in order to eliminate him.

MS VILAKAZI: How many were you?


MS VILAKAZI: Who else was there? Sililo, Ngobeni and the other Sililo.

MS VILAKAZI: And the other one was obviously the first applicant?

MR MBHALATI: It was myself, Ngobeni, Sililo and the other Sililo.

MS VILAKAZI: Okay. I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, just one question.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS COLERIDGE: You said you joined the ANC in 1990, which month in 1990 did you join the ANC?

MR MBHALATI: I can't recall which month.

MS COLERIDGE: Was it before this incident or after these incidents?


MS COLERIDGE: Then just on that same page Chairperson, I just want to rectify. On the second line from the bottom it states the 16th of June, but the Shingange matter happened on the 15th, just to change that. Thank you Chairperson, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Obviously no re-examination.

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-exam thanks Chairperson.



ADV SIGODI: ...(indistinct)


ADV BOSMAN: Just one question. I don't know whether I've missed something somewhere. Were you ever arrested and convicted of your participation in these two incidents?

MR MBHALATI: I was once arrested, released on bail.

ADV BOSMAN: And was this in connection with these incidents?


ADV BOSMAN: And now you're also applying for amnesty in regard to the - no, did you comply with your bail conditions, or did you skip the bail?

MR MBHALATI: I complied.

ADV BOSMAN: Oh you complied. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Adv Bosman. Now in respect of this, your arrest, were you advised about the charges prepared against you?

MR MBHALATI: Mr Chairman, I don't get your question correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they tell you what you are going to be charged with?

MR MBHALATI: Yes, they explained.

CHAIRPERSON: What were you going to be charged with?

MR MBHALATI: Yes, they explained.

CHAIRPERSON: What were you going to be charged with?

MR MBHALATI: If I remember well, one was the charge of murder, possession of firearm and ammunition.

CHAIRPERSON: Now what happened to the trial because you just said to my colleague here you were released on bail. What happened to the trial? Was it not proceeded with?

MR MBHALATI: The trial didn't take off since the condition of us being given bail, it was during the process of the negotiations between the ANC and the Government by then and there were arrangements whereby the trial couldn't be carried out.


MR MBHALATI: Ja. I mean since I was out on bail, it was later - they later informed us that the trial can no longer be carried out.

CHAIRPERSON: Were reasons furnished why it couldn't be carried out?

MR MBHALATI: At one stage, if I remember well, there was a letter which I received from the Department of Justice, which was something to do with indemnifying myself in all the charges.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbhalati. Again Mr Koopedi, nothing arises?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing arises Chairperson and that will be the application. We close this application.



CHAIRPERSON: Ms Vilakazi, are you calling any witnesses?

MS VILAKAZI: I'll be calling two witnesses, the widow of the late Shingange and Lily Nthembo Shingange.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed to do so.

MS VILAKAZI: My first witness will be Nyembezi Florence Shingange.

MR KOOPEDI: May I ask a question and I believe this is purely for my own clarification and perhaps one should start by saying this is not asked because of insensitivity. I gathered at the beginning of this hearing that the application is not opposed and I am trying to understand and like I said in my mind, why is there any other evidence led, which is not led by the applicant? I do not know if I am at liberty to ask this question, Chairperson and I will put myself in your hands because the statement I have seen, looks and sounds to me like it belongs to the HRV Committee. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: At the beginning she said she was going to call witnesses to express their feelings, hence they are not sworn in, they are merely expressing their feelings.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson, I now understand.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed.

MS VILAKAZI: Honourable Chairperson I'm in possession of an affidavit that was filed by, that was prepared by the witness Nyembezi Florence Shingange. I just wanted to establish if the copies have been served on the ...

CHAIRPERSON: I've just become aware of a document given to me headed Affidavit.

MS VILAKAZI: May I indicate that the evidence which is to be given by the two witnesses is put in to be part of the record for the witnesses to be considered for purposes of reparation.

CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't the affidavit in that instance suffice for those purposes?

MS VILAKAZI: Yes, I was about to say to the Panel that the affidavit will be submitted as evidence and if a need arises for, if the Panel is of the opinion that there are aspects that need to be clarified, then the witness will be available for clarification purposes.

CHAIRPERSON: I think this affidavit is drafted in such a manner that no questions arise out of it. Marked as Exhibit what?

MS COLERIDGE: D, Chairperson, D.

CHAIRPERSON: To me, speaking for myself, a quick reading gives me all what happened to her husband and what subsequently obtained in the community in respect of her, by being ostracised, that she wants to further her studies, that the reparations should consider such an instance and as well as the children who are now looked after by her and the pension that emanates from the State, barely meets her needs. I think that comes out very clear. I don't know if there is any other thing you want to clarify.

MS VILAKAZI: Beyond the affidavit there would be no further clarification, so the affidavit will then constitute the submission on the part of the witness. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: It would form part of our evidence in the documents as it has already been marked D.

MS VILAKAZI: The other witness is Lily Mthembo Shingange. For the record, let me indicate that the witness is a sister to the deceased and she was with the deceased in the vehicle that was ambushed. There is a sworn statement which the witness has made to the press on page forty of the bundle, page forty to forty-one of the bundle. Now the affidavit as it stands, relates the incident itself, as to how the attack occurred. The nature of the injuries that were sustained by the witness are not elaborated on in the affidavit and the effects, the emotional effects and other effects that the incident had on the witness, were also - are not also covered in the affidavit. I would submit that the affidavit which is contained on pages 40 to 41, be taken as part of the evidence and that the witness be led only with regard to the effect of the incident on herself and on her family.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, everything in this bundle forms part of evidence, that's why we went through that statement when we were furnished with the bundle, but you may however just clarify certain aspects like for instance the injuries you have just spoken about.

MS VILAKAZI: Honourable Chairperson seeing that the evidence relating to the injuries is not part of the affidavit, just a procedural questions, should that not be under oath?

CHAIRPERSON: It's just amplification of this affidavit, Madam.

MS VILAKAZI: Thank you Chairperson.


EXAMINATION BY MS VILAKAZI: Can you just confirm Ma'am that you are Lily NthembO Shingange?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, that's true.

MS VILAKAZI: And that the papers that I am showing to you are the statements that you made.

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, that's correct.

MS VILAKAZI: Now can you just tell to me, the Panel is already aware of what happened on that particular day. Can you just explain to the Panel what injuries did you sustain in that attack?

MS SHINGANGE: It was on the 16th of June in 1990. My brother came to my place and requested me to accompany him to the Memorial Service. We went there. When we arrived at my sister's place where our cousin passed away...(intervention)

MS VILAKAZI: Can I just lead the witness? The hearing has already been informed of what actually happened. Can you just take us from when after the car was attacked? What happened to you and the effect on your life afterwards.

CHAIRPERSON: We want to know what happened to your body.

INTERPRETER: The mike is not on.

MS SHINGANGE: When we went to the car after walking some few metres and then we heard some shots. I was in the middle. Between myself and my brother there were two bullets which passed. He was struck by the third bullet. I was shot in the thigh. After that shot the car went off the road and inside another yard. Two your boys came to that car. They dragged me out of the car. They took me to the funeral. I was crying by then, I was calling my mother to come and see us before I die. After that I don't know what happened, I can't remember. When I woke up I was in hospital. What happened after the shooting I can't remember, but what was difficult for me is that when I went to the toilet it was difficult for me, when I wanted to pass out it was difficult. They discharged me on the 29th. They gave me crutches. I used them for six months.

MS VILAKAZI: So can you just explain the nature of the injuries you sustained?

MS SHINGANGE: I was shot on the hip.

MS VILAKAZI: Was that the only injury?

MS SHINGANGE: And even my leg. Even now I can feel the pain.

MS VILAKAZI: Was your leg affected by the incident, by the injuries?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, that's correct.

MS VILAKAZI: Can you still walk on that knee?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, sometimes it is difficult for me to walk.

MS VILAKAZI: So you have not recovered fully from those injuries?

MS SHINGANGE: Even now, I can't sit for a very long time, I have to shift position so that it doesn't affect my leg because it was an open wound.

MS VILAKAZI: At the time of the incident, were you employed?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, I was working for myself. I was working, I was selling something so that I can maintain myself.

MS VILAKAZI: Are you still able to go on selling?

MS SHINGANGE: No, I'm no longer selling.

MS VILAKAZI: Do you have children?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, I've got two children.

MS VILAKAZI: Are those children at school?

MS SHINGANGE: No, they are not at school because I can't work for myself.

MS VILAKAZI: Can you say that if it was not for the injuries that you have sustained, you would be able to feed yourself and your children?

MS SHINGANGE: Yes, myself, if I'm well I can work for myself. Even those people who accompanied me, they knew that I work for myself if I was able to.

MS VILAKAZI: That will be all.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Obviously Mr Koopedi, you don't have questions to ask.

MR KOOPEDI: You're correct, Chairperson, no questions.


CHAIRPERSON: And would I assume the same with my Panel? Ms Coleridge?

MS COLERIDGE: No questions thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Ms Lily Nthembo Shingange for the input you have given this Committee. In arriving at a decision we shall take what you said into account. Thank you, you are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: May I throw the ball in your court for submissions?

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. I have a very brief submission.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you do so, do you know the indemnity which Mr Mbhalati spoke of, what it covered?

MR KOOPEDI: No Chairperson and in fact our attempt to see on what basis was he given amnesty, we were unsuccessful. We also tried to establish whether Mr Ngobeni was granted amnesty, but we could not get that.

CHAIRPERSON: We grant amnesty.

MR KOOPEDI: Indemnity. I'm referring to indemnity, sorry, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed.

MR KOOPEDI IN ARGUMENT: Thank you. Perhaps Honourable Committee Members I will start at submitting that this application revolves around incidents that occurred very late in the struggle of apartheid, if you look at the dates. My submission is that even though these operations were carried out after the release of President Mandela and other prominent political leaders, their release had nothing to do with the conduct of the armed combatants that were in the country.

It is my submission that attacks similar to these facilitated what used to be known as the Codesa negotiations. It is such

actions that enabled political opponents to come together and to agree on a cessation of hostilities and I therefore submit that when these occurred, this was during the time of the struggle against apartheid and again, Mr Chairman, Honourable Committee Members, it is my submission that the three applicants before you have complied with the requirements for the granting of amnesty.

My submission is that on the evidence that has been tendered, the applicants have fully disclosed all the relevant facts in this matter. They all did not receive any personal gain and on that aspect finally, it's my submission that all the people who were attacked and all the property which perhaps was damaged, this stemmed from a politically motivated action with resultant political objective.

It is on that basis that I will ask that the three applicants be granted amnesty. Perhaps one should also try and state on what incidents or actions that we request amnesty. The first one will be the attack on the SADF Personnel at Nkuakua stadium on the 12th of April 1990 and this will also go hand in hand with possession or the illegal possession of arms, the arms being two AK 47 rifles and twelve hand grenades, which grenades were described as F1's and RGD5's and the people asking for amnesty on this instance, will be the first and the second applicant being Mr Ngobeni and Mr Muhlava.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Koopedi, with the attack on the SADF personnel be attempted murders of these personnel, or would it be assault, or how would you suggest that we formulate it?

MR KOOPEDI: I would leave it as an attack, but also add that any incidents that might flow from that because we do not know if people died, we do not know if property was damaged and if so, to what extent, so I would wish to leave it as an attack on them, but add a sentence that would say any delictual crime that stems from that.

ADV BOSMAN: ...(inaudible - no microphone)

MR KOOPEDI: That's right. That's right. And the second incident for which amnesty is being asked for, and this involves the first applicant Mr Ngobeni and the last applicant Mr Mbhalati, which is the attack and killing of Constable Shingange. This happened on the 15th of June 1990 and added to that, there was an illegal possession of two AK47 rifles and an unknown number of hand grenades. The applicants could not recall how many hand grenades they had here.

This attack and killing on Const Shingange also goes to cover the injuries that were occasioned on his sister, who has also just given testimony before you.

ADV BOSMAN: ...(indistinct - no microphone)

INTERPRETER: Mike on please.

ADV BOSMAN: Sorry. The intention was to kill Const Shingange, so that was a murder and then it would either be an attempted murder or an assault on ...

MR KOOPEDI: I would not - I find great difficulty firstly in defining it as an attempted murder, simply because of the intention of the applicant as and when they did this. They had no intention to injure or to want to kill any other person who was with. My other grey area is also that one does not know if anyone else was injured, whether by a bullet or shrapnel and I would, in this instance, try and perhaps persuade you to accept that we're asking for amnesty for the attack and killing of Const Shingange, including the illegal possession of the weapons, but also to say any other crime or delict that would have flown from that attack.

ADV BOSMAN: The difficulty I have, Mr Koopedi, is that we have evidence now under oath from Lily Shingange that she was seriously injured in this attack and the Reparations Committee will have to deal with that and for us just to put that under one umbrella may create some difficulty, but perhaps that is a matter which the Committee can it's mind to.

CHAIRPERSON: No, in that respect, you heard me ask one of the applicants and specifically about Lily Nthembo, that was this not foreseeable, he said yes, but we were targeting Shingange. When I said using a heavy calibre like an AK47, that the bullet could injure somebody else and whilst, when somebody has been fired at, it cannot be termed GBH, it must be attempted murder.

MR KOOPEDI: That may indeed be so, Chairperson and perhaps I would rephrase and ask that the word attempted murder on Mr Shingange's sister, those words should be added to what I'm presently submitting. I however wish to add that there may have been people who were injured, whom we don't know of at this stage.

CHAIRPERSON: And that would cover anything flowing from that, but the two we should mention. For instance Murder, killing of Shingange, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of an unknown quantity of hand grenades.

MR KOOPEDI: Some property was damaged, also I would imagine the vehicle was damaged. I do not know if there would have been any other damage.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may proceed to the third incident.

MR KOOPEDI: The third incident Mr Chairman, is an incident that occurred on the 16th of June 1990 and this is the attack on the SADF personnel at Rita.

Chairperson we do not know exactly how many members of the SADF were there at that time. The attack on them should amount, as we have agreed, to an attempted murder. I am unable to say how many of these people were shot at and how many actually got injured. I would wish to add to this third leg that there was an illegal possession of two AK47's and an unknown number of hand grenades and there is another incident Chairperson, which no light really has ever come to let us see that incident, but the first applicant spoke about the incident. That is, after the attack on the SADF personnel at Rita, the first applicant Mr Ngobeni scaled a fence of a school he mentioned, Maake Technical School and he dropped a hand grenade which he could not find. Two days after losing this grenade, he looked for it, he still could not find it, but he knows that some time after and perhaps one should warn that in the bundle of documents you will not find anything relating to this, but sometime after this incident when he went to the area, the area was cordoned off, because there was a civilian who had found a bomb, this is what people said and this bomb had exploded in this person's hand. We believe that this is the hand grenade, Chairperson and we are therefore asking for amnesty for having negligently, if one can put it so, lost the hand grenade and that a person was injured or even killed.

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson, if I can just be of assistance here, the applicant does mention this incident on page three, that's on his original amnesty application form, page three of the bundle, he actually does mention it.

ADV BOSMAN: Was it ever investigated, Ms Coleridge? That is the difficulty which I think we may have, whether it was investigated whether the victim's name was traced and whether the relatives of the victim were given notice.

MS COLERIDGE: Well according to our records and the docket that was obtained, the police couldn't establish whether a person was injured at the time and there was no other information that could lead us to assist us in relation to that incident.

ADV BOSMAN: Do we have anything on record in regard to the investigation that was done?

MS COLERIDGE: Not specifically in the bundle, regarding investigations, no.

MR KOOPEDI: On page three, 9(c)(ii), just below Constable Shingange, unknown victim, employee of Hillary Road Construction Company. Wouldn't that have assisted the Investigative Unit?

MS COLERIDGE: Possibly Chairperson, but as I said, we haven't received any information regarding that in terms of the investigation.

ADV BOSMAN: The question that remains is, was a proper investigation done and if you have nothing on record, it might present us with some difficulties.

CHAIRPERSON: Because when you go further down, 9(c)(iv), unknown victim - Hillary and residents of Rita and Thikiline villages. Is that not sufficient for our Investigative Unit?

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson I will have to - I will take this further and I will definitely get back to you regarding this matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Because we have herd evidence of how it occurred, but we are really concerned about the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone)

MS COLERIDGE: No definitely Chairperson, obviously the Commission takes that very seriously, in a serious light, the victims rights and I will definitely pursue this investigation.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your assistance Ms Coleridge. You may proceed Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, Honourable Committee Members, that was the end of my submission. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Vilakazi.

MS VILAKAZI IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. With regard to the second incident, being the killing of Const Shingange on the 15th of June 1990, as indicated earlier, the application is not opposed and whether or not the applicants have complied with the requirements, the submissions of the Counsel for the applicants is not contested. With regard to the widow of Const Shingange, the affidavit that

she has submitted to this hearing, outlines the difficulties that she went through after the death of her husband. Her life has been made very difficult. She has not been able to further her studies, she wanted to become a teacher, but because of the pressure that was put on the institution where she applied, she could not be admitted to the college and this was due to the fact that she was labelled the widow of an informer. So her life has been difficult. She has not been able to find employment and having lost a father who was the breadwinner in the family, it has been difficult to raise the children and on that basis it is my submission that the death of Const Shingange is the direct cause of the hardships that the family has been going through ever since his death and I submit that in terms of Section 22 of the Act, that Florence Shingange be declared a victim for purposes of receiving reparation.

ADV BOSMAN: Are you in a position to furnish us with the names and ages of the children of the deceased? The ages Ms Vilakazi.

MS VILAKAZI: The eldest Sibongile Lordmade Shingange, she's eighteen years old and she's a student at Pretoria Technicon doing a diploma in accounting, she's in her first year. The others are a set of twins, they are boys, John and Simon, they are both aged fifteen. John is in Standard Eight and Simon is in Standard Seven.

With regard to Lily Nthembo Shingange, she was in the vehicle which was attacked when Const Shingange was killed. She sustained injuries in that particular attack. Although she was not employed at the time, she was self-employed, she was selling. Due to the injuries that she sustained during that attack, it has not been possible for her to continue selling, so she has been deprived of the ability to provide for herself and for her children. She's got two children, a nineteen year old girl, her name is Glory, she's in Standard Ten and seventeen year old, Hopie, in Standard Seven, she has put evidence to this hearing that she has not been able to work because of the injuries that she has sustained. She has not fully recovered from the injuries. She still has problems with her leg. It is my submission that her disability as it is, is a direct consequence of the attack, of the injuries that she suffered when the attack in which she and Const Shingange were took place. I submit that also in terms of Section 22, that she should be considered a victim, that she should be considered for reparation. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, I have no further submissions to add.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. This has brought us to the conclusion of the hearings we were charged with at this centre. Firstly at this late hour to pass our condolences to Mrs Shingange and the sister. We know it has been a painful experience and as Lily Nthembo Shingange had also sustained injuries, but today at least you have come to know the reasons why your beloved one was attacked and in the process Ms Shingange received the injuries. From today, I know it's difficult, but I hope you can close this chapter in your lives that even though it would not bring back your beloved ones, but you know the precise details of what happened and this is the function of this process, that those who remained ignorant of why some of their beloved ones were taken during the conflict of the past, why it happened, this process has been and I would refer to you specifically, brought back to you. I know it's easy for me to speak from an armchair position, but that is precisely what happened, because today you can close that chapter and lead your lives.

I want to thank also people who do a very difficult job and we normally thank them last, but I want to bring them to the fore, to thank the interpreters who are holed in boxes and are doing a very difficult job. Your job is much appreciated. We thank you for assisting us in this process.

We want to thank the legal representatives for your assistance, Mr Koopedi, Ms Vilakazi and Ms Coleridge, you have been of great assistance to us. The Committee appreciates the input you have made and it is going to assist us in coming to a decision in respect of the three applicants.

Those who have come to attend these hearings, your efforts are much appreciated by this Committee and more specifically by my Panel here. We say thank you very much to have made these efforts to have come here.

To the caterers, the man who is doing a very difficult job, I wanted to come to him last, Mr Jo Japhta. People never see him in the forefront, but without him we wouldn't have had this hearing. He does the most difficult job, that's why I wanted to mention him last, that his name rings a bell throughout. Thank you Jo, but I think you are going to have problems, because I'm gaining weight with the food that you are arranging at these venues. If I can, for a while, be away from you, I think I will regain my weight.

Thank you Chairman. You know there's one thing that happens, that throughout I never lifted a plate to pour food for myself, or to dish up for myself. Thank you. You are very much appreciated. I would love to have you in my hearings.

As it is customary, we are charged by the Act to give written decisions and we shall reserve our decision and hope to give it in the near future, or the short near future, if we do have something like that. You shall be advised personally through Mr Koopedi about our decision.

Thank you very much. This brings us to the end of the hearings here for this week. We were charged to take the whole week but because of your assistance, we could only be here for two days. Thank you very much. The Committee adjourns.