DATE: 31 JULY 2000





DAY: 1

_____________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. We are going to start the proceedings. For the record it is Monday 31st July 2000. We are continuing with the session of the Amnesty Committee at the JISS Centre in Johannesburg. The Panel is constituted as will be apparent from the record. We would be commencing the proceedings this morning with the amnesty application of Sydney Patrick Kunene. The amnesty reference number is AM6224/97. I'm first just going to ask the legal representatives to put themselves on record on behalf of the applicant.

MR MAKONDO: I'm Zandida Makondo.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Makondo. And then on behalf of the victims?

MS VILAKAZI: Lindy Vilakazi on behalf of the next-of-kin of the deceased, Donald Mesi. Present here is Mrs Mpomda.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. And then the Leader of Evidence?

MS MTANGA: Lulama Mtanga. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Mtanga. Mr Makondo, is there anything else that you want to raise or do you want your client to be sworn in to present his evidence?

MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson. Before that perhaps after swearing him in I'd like to make an amendment. During consultation it became clear that the application form was not properly filled in. So for the clearer picture I would request that after taking an oath we will make those amendments.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, Mr Makondo. Mr Kunene, please switch on your microphone and just indicate are you hearing the interpretation?

MR KUNENE: Yes I can hear.

CHAIRPERSON: You can hear, okay, so you're fine then.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Makondo, you say that there is an amendment that you want to move for?

MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, for the application form, annexure on page 3, 7(a), on the application form it's written I think "not applicable", Chairperson. Or it's not fully written, it's only written "African National Congress" but I want it to read that:

"I was a member of the African National Congress".

And 7(b) thereof must read:

"I was an MK underground operative and a unit member of Koreas doing military combat work".

CHAIRPERSON: Okay go ahead?

MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson. And 9a(i), it should read:

"damage to property" only.

And (b) thereof, the names are Mr Tshabalala, Mr Mesi and another Mr Tshabalala. The first Mr Tshabalala, alongside,

"his lounge was partly burnt"

it was a description of the damage. Mr Mesi:

"part of the complex was burnt"

that's a shopping complex.

And the last Tshabalala:

"his car was burnt"

And under (c) are those names in that order, Mr Tshabalala, Mr Mesi and Mr Tshabalala again. We have two Tshabalala's

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) the last Tshabalala, what happened to him?

MR MAKONDO: His car was burnt.


MR MAKONDO: And 10(b):

"The aim was to threaten Black people who were seen as part of the apartheid regime, to scare them from carrying out the government actions."

The last one, 11(a), under offences which were committed. The damage of property as already stated in 9(a). And (b) thereof is orders wherefrom the Commander of the unit, Mr Mthembu, Norman Tedi. Tedi, T-E-D-Y.

ADV SANDI: The names of different persons or just one person with the three names?

MR MAKONDO: It's one person, Mthembu is the surname and the names are Norman Tedi. That will be all Chairperson, in terms of amendment, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, do you want to proceed with the evidence and get the applicant to confirm all of these amendments as well.

MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson, if we could get the confirmation perhaps from the applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: Very good, you may proceed with the evidence then.

EXAMINATION BY MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Kunene, firstly I would like you to briefly lay out your membership that you allege in the application forms. Which organisation did you belong to?

MR KUNENE: I was a member of the ANC, MK underground structure.

MR MAKONDO: And when did you join the structure?

MR KUNENE: I was a member from 1978, somewhere around there.

MR MAKONDO: And how did it come that you joined the structure, perhaps if you could explain?

MR KUNENE: I was recruited by Tedi, Comrade Tedi who is stated in what you call Mthembu.

MR MAKONDO: And the recruitment and the membership, how did it go about, can you explain in details as to how did it become about and how were you selected into the unit and what the unit was doing?

MR KUNENE: At first I was recruited to the Korea, that is to move or transport materials, be it books, be it weapons or anything from point A to point B. How Tedi came to notice that I was a qualified candidate, if I could put it that way, I don't know but at some point in time, I cannot remember how, what led us into that, we started talking about MK work and only that something had to be done to advance our struggle because that was immediately just after the June 16 uprising and all that and to say people could not come, that is the guerrillas could not come from outside and do everything. So one think led to the other until we have recruited formally to say that now this would be our work and all that and as to how, I think when as we were talking, I think he saw the commitment and said that we started making appointments to talk outside the many people who would be present in wherever and we started having these meetings in different places ultimately to what I thought was this place in Dube and where he pointed out clearly that he wanted us to start working for MK, he had been actually giving those instructions to start recruiting people and all that.

MR MAKONDO: How many were you?

MR KUNENE: We were three, that is two of us, he was the third person. It was myself and another comrade, Abe. So it would be three people, himself plus the two of us.

MR MAKONDO: And in your unit, the unit of three, which he was the Commander, what were your orders?

MR KUNENE: In the beginning, up to the beginning, that is around '78 up to around '83, I mean in that late '83, the orders were really to open what we'd call dead letter box, DLB's, put in material, move some material to another DLB to another. But around '83 when they had the local elections and stuff, he came back to us to say that people need not to participate in those elections and the best way to do that was to make sure that they are scared off and we had to do something about it and he was saying that he would come back to us to give more instructions after, we assumed, after he had actually consulted. And a few weeks after that he actually came with clear instructions as to what is to be done, without diverting from our main mission which was to conceal, move MK material from point A to B but there was this side thing that we had to do.

MR MAKONDO: So then '83 one was directly dominated at the elections that were coming?

MR KUNENE: Yes it was.

ADV SANDI: I suppose those will have been the Black Local Authority elections?

MR KUNENE: The Black Local Authority elections, yes.

ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MR MAKONDO: Now after he had said that to you, did he come with any other information as to give direction?

MR KUNENE: Yes although at first we were more likely confused because we had weapons at our disposal. It was at first said that nobody should die in those actions because the whole idea would be to scare off those people. Now we had to think as to what would have been the best way of actually making sure that nobody participates and scare them off and all sorts of things and I think after consulting with whoever that he was consulting, he came back to say that the best route to follow would be to use petrol bombs.

MR MAKONDO: Now in scaring off, did you have targets that you'd directly attack or you were just doing it across?

MR KUNENE: No, we had specific targets. People who were prominent like the mayors, people who come for those elections, maybe in a small way police as well, although only one came became our target after one person was shot in Ndeni and that was the Tshabalala whose name is listed, the last person whose car we burnt. But yes, prominently people who were in the council, mayors, that is councillors and mayors.

MR MAKONDO: Were you looking at councillors who were councillors at that time or inclusive where people who were candidates then in for elections?

MR KUNENE: Mainly it was people who were to stand in for elections. Yes mainly it was those people but those were already councillors where, shall I say were not to escape because the whole idea was to have no one, everybody should be afraid of being a councillor or of standing in those elections.

MR MAKONDO: And in this instance did you have perhaps an area, a jurisdiction that you were confined to or you were doing it, you were picking people randomly?

MR KUNENE: We never specified but mainly we were operating in Soweto, but we never said they would be area bound. I suppose because we were actually - Soweto was in a league of everything, maybe that is why we confined ourselves to that but at no stage did we sit down and say we won't be to anywhere else but we operated mainly in Soweto. That includes Dobsonville ...(indistinct).

MR MAKONDO: And you said he is the one who came with the idea. Did you perhaps have an idea who gave him orders?

MR KUNENE: We just assumed that he was getting the orders from outside because he's the only person who had contact with comrades from outside. Even whatever was coming in, that is the material that we'd conceive before taking to other areas. If the person would know that there is a material which must be moved from point A to point B and at what time and all that, so we assumed that he had this contact with comrades from outside.

MR MAKONDO: I take it that what you implied that you would take orders without questioning, am I correct?

MR KUNENE: Yes we wouldn't question because the questioning would have meant many other things.

MR MAKONDO: And working in a unit of three, how did you go about executing whatever you had to do?

MR KUNENE: Because Abe and myself were not mobile and most of the time if not all of the time it was - Tedi would know where to go and what to do. If I were to say who would be the target he would actually go and make what we'd call a reconnaissance to say this place, it's at such and such a place, this is how we're going to be approaching it and when we leave this is how we would leave and if we throw in the petrol bombs, this is the place where to make sure it is not like the bedroom where people are sleeping. So we'd actually say when we approach from this angle, this is how the whole thing has to be conducted. So mainly we'd have information beforehand, before we go to the place.

MR MAKONDO: So yours was just to carry out what you've been told, orders to the letter.

MR KUNENE: It was just to carry out orders with no questions.

MR MAKONDO: Let's come to the first Mr Tshabalala, the burning of the house. I assume he was picked out because he was a councillor at that time, am I correct? A major?

MR KUNENE: Yes he was a mayor.

MR MAKONDO: And the feasibility study, who did it?

MR KUNENE: In fact in all the cases it was Tedi who would actually come and say this is the structure, this is the road, this is how we approach and all that. So he did what you call the - he did go and inspect if you want to use the word and do what you'd say the feasibility study to say this is how the house stands and this how we're going to be approaching it.

MR MAKONDO: Do you recall as to what the plan was, to approach from what angle and ...(indistinct) what angle?

MR KUNENE: Yes, if I remember, the house is more or less on the corner, almost from the main road, it's just straight in between so we approached from, if I say from the bottom I don't know if it would make sense but we were approaching it towards the main road, that is after operating with ...(indistinct) and the main road as our route of escape.

MR MAKONDO: And which part of the house was targeted?

MR KUNENE: It was the lounge, I think mainly the lounge.

MR MAKONDO: And where was it situated, relatively? Was it on the side of the street, side of the house?

MR KUNENE: It was on the side of the street, that's why it was actually much more easier for us to throw petrol bombs from the street.

MR MAKONDO: And why to throw a bomb particularly?

MR KUNENE: Because it was easier to burn it with a petrol bomb and then to get into the house because there was a question of dogs and you never know what was actually happening, it would actually take time and you make noise and wake up people and all that.

MR MAKONDO: So with the execution of this mission, the aim was basically to burn it?

MR KUNENE: Yes, although the aim was to scare the people inside the house and Tshabalala and particular and get the family to put in pressure to say he must get out of this. Yes, secondary to that was to burn the house, of course.

MR MAKONDO: How much assurance did you have that the person would be scared off?

MR KUNENE: They would follow the news like reading the newspapers, a few days after that they would hear the comments that they are actually scared and even what was circulating amongst the councillors and all that, the fear, that's how we would actually monitor and that's how we say that we were really achieving what we wanted to, which was to scare them off those elections.

MR MAKONDO: And with the second one, Mr Mesi, the complex.

MR KUNENE: Yes because we're not too sure as to where was the house and when Tedi came to say that he does have a shop in Dobsonville which was a shopping complex and it was clearly stated Bradon's shop, I think it was written Bradon and those, even that one, I think it had a grille or something so we went there and to say that if he does see his shop is being attacked and there were also pamphlets which were left around to say that he must actually leave, that is the council himself, to leave the council and all those who were working with him, they must also leave. So we burnt the shop partially because we saw that, I think it was the following day late in the afternoon, when we went past there to see that it was not like completely burnt and of course the pamphlets were left in the ...(indistinct).

MR MAKONDO: Would I be right if I say that you were basically damaging the property aiming at putting pressure on the people that you were targeting?

MR KUNENE: Yes because that was the aim.

MR MAKONDO: Was there any other method that you used to apply pressure on them?

MR KUNENE: No, our unit? No. Maybe other people as for us, the three, there's no other thing that we did to them.

MR MAKONDO: So as far as you are concerned, it was Tedi who picked the targets, who the people were and it was Tedi who was planning how to go about the carrying that out?

MR KUNENE: Yes it was him.

MR MAKONDO: Now the other Mr Tshabalala, the police officer, would I take it that a similar situation prevailed?


MR MAKONDO: And what led to him being picked as a target?

MR KUNENE: There was young man who was shot by police around that area and he was like the only police, I think, that was still staying around there and people were afraid of him and all that and then when we met Tedi said that we must actually do something to scare him off so that he must actually leave and also to gain the confidence of the people on the ground, to say that there are people who are actually doing something about it.

MR MAKONDO: So with him why the ...(indistinct) on the house?

MR KUNENE: We were never too sure what was the set up. When Tedi came back he said there are so many people who stay in that house so chances were that even in the dining room there are people who could be sleeping there so chances are that if you throw in a petrol bomb there you would be likely to hurt the other people, they might even die. So the best thing was to target his car because he said he was sure, it's his personal car.

MR MAKONDO: So are you saying that you, in carrying out your mission, you were making sure that people's lives are not endangered?

MR KUNENE: Yes, we tried by all we could to avoid any injuries or loss of life.

MR MAKONDO: After executing your missions, what used to follow, what was the routine, what is it that you used to do?

MR KUNENE: We'd mainly monitor the news to check what is the feeling, what are the people discussing, especially those people we had actually targeted, that is the councillors and all that and those who still wanted to stand and all that and of course even in the other, what you call political circles, is to what people were thinking and all that because we felt with the pressure that we're giving, other people who put in the political pressure so that's how we'd monitor everything and get the results and all that.

MR MAKONDO: Were you able to see fruitful results immediately?

MR MAKONDO: In some cases yes because there were people who were beginning to doubt if it was a good idea to stand for elections. I think that year for instance it was a flop, those elections which were held. The turnout was less than 7 percent or somewhere around there if I can remember. I can't recall exactly but it was the lowest that they had so far.

MR MAKONDO: And saying having carried out these missions and with the aims, is there any other thing that you did to further your aims?

MR KUNENE: Yes, except for spreading pamphlets which was - I mean it didn't damage anybody or injured anyone, it was just to spread pamphlets around to say people must leave the council and those who were in the police force must leave the force and all that.

MR MAKONDO: Now looking back, why did you make this application today?

MR KUNENE: After people lost their property and if I follow the spirit of truth and reconciliation, I felt maybe people need to know and also to be forgiving, to say that I did what I did not because I was running amok but it had that purpose but time does not demand it for now, yes.

MR MAKONDO: And what do you say to the victims?

MR KUNENE: I'm sorry and - yes.

MR MAKONDO: And do you perhaps think that the victim could have suffered in any other way either than their property being damaged?

MR KUNENE: Yes, maybe that is the reason why I'm applying because I think emotionally they might have suffered seriously. It's only now that I understand what it means to live under constant threat not knowing that because I mean if you burnt a house yesterday they wouldn't have known if we were still coming to live like that, I think it might have affected them, that is why - one of the reasons why I'm here, to apply and to say I'm sorry and to say - yes.

MR MAKONDO: That will be all Chairperson, unless if there are questions?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Makondo.

Mr Kunene, just give us a little bit more information about these incidents? Can you give us a rough idea of the date when these incidents occurred?

MR KUNENE: Dates I'd be lying, I cannot remember the exact dates, I only remember that it was during that period.

CHAIRPERSON: Which period is that?

MR KUNENE: During the local elections.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it late in the year, middle of the year, end of the year?

MR KUNENE: It was late in the year, I think it was after June somewhere around there.

CHAIRPERSON: And at about what time of day did you execute the attacks?

MR KUNENE: It would be late, late as in not earlier than 8 in the evening.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Thank you. Ms Vilakazi, any questions?

MS VILAKAZI: Yes Chairperson, I'd like to request a short adjournment just to get further instructions from the present victims?

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. We'll stand down briefly just to allow Ms Vilakazi to clear up something. We'll adjourn quickly.




MR KUNENE: ...(inaudible) this thing and I think if you recall, I did say that at the shop we also left the pamphlets that very night, spread the pamphlets around which we actually indicated that he must actually resign from the council or not stand for elections and yes, mainly it was that because we - there was no looting or whatsoever that we did after that because our main aim was just to scare him off, to show that this is a political thing.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VILAKAZI: But from your own account the pamphlets were left after the attack, isn't it?

MR KUNENE: Not really after the attack, I might not have put it clearly. I said in that night, we left the pamphlets and we were to burn the shop.

MS VILAKAZI: Now were there any attempts made to try to talk to Mr Mesi, to dissuade him from participating before the attacks were made?

MR KUNENE: Not by us, no. Not to any of the people or the victims counted.

MS VILAKAZI: So would I then be right to say that you went to attack these people without trying to dissuade them from -so your only way of dissuading them was of attacking their property?

MR KUNENE: Your question is a little bit tricky because we could not actually speak to them as that unit in particular but if you recall I said there were other pressures from political cycles to say these people must leave but we wouldn't go to anyone as that unit in particular and say we are these people and we want you to resign or else. We wouldn't do that because it would be risky for us to do that.

MS VILAKAZI: But do you know if there were any efforts made to talk to these people before the attacks?

MR KUNENE: Like I said ma'am, not by us, that unit that I belonged to in particular.

ADV SANDI: Sorry, let us try to explore this. If it had become known to you that some efforts had been made to try and dissuade these people from participating in the structures in which they did, would that have made a difference to you for purposes of your own activities and goals as a unit?

MR KUNENE: I think it would have made a difference, especially if we'd notice the - I don't know whether to say the change of attitude, but it would actually - it would have made a difference.

ADV SANDI: When you commenced with your testimony, I understood you to say that yours was simply to carry out the orders from Mr Tedi Mthembu?


ADV SANDI: If you couldn't question orders?

MR KUNENE: Yes, we couldn't question orders but knowing him as I did, I think if you notice, if they were persuaded and there was a change of attitude, I think he would have actually taken different stand or approach altogether, to say maybe we stop this or whatever because he is a person that I've worked with for quite some time before that. I think it would have made that difference. Not that I could read his thinking all the time but in some cases I could tell that this is how he is going to approach this matter.

ADV SANDI: It was all up to him, I thought that is what you were saying, it was all up to him to decide whether or not to carry on with a planned attack?

MR KUNENE: Yes it was and that is why I'm saying that I think it could have changed, not that it was definitely going to change the attitude.

ADV SANDI: Thank you ma'am.

MS VILAKAZI: Mr Kunene, from your own account, you were merely following instructions, that's what you said, is that so?


MS VILAKAZI: You never questioned anything?

MR KUNENE: No I wouldn't question.

MS VILAKAZI: So even if there was another motive apart from the question of elections, you wouldn't know that, would you?

MR KUNENE: I'm not so sure on that. I'm not so sure.

MS VILAKAZI: But the fact of the matter is you just took information as it was given to you and you carried out without verifying anything, is that so?

MR KUNENE: Yes, we did.

MS VILAKAZI: Now what is it about the elections that you were opposed to, of what threat were the elections to the organisation?

MR KUNENE: The elections or the local elections as they were then called, in fact it was the whole build up as to how the councillors were making life difficult for people in the townships and if they were to be endorsed with those elections which were coming, life was going to become more and more difficult for people which I think most if not everybody who was staying in a township, actually witnessed that. So if they were scared off by that, it would have been a victory because there was a call from the ANC, I think it was January, a speech, 1981, to say that we must make the country ungovernable and make those structures unworkable. So our part - in doing that we were playing our part in heeding to that call. Of course they would come to us, as an instruction from commanders. That is why some of could not just stand up and take action into that, we'd wait for orders to come. So organisationally, yes. I mean, if the organisations cease, so those structures as structures which were actually making the apartheid system workable, to make life more and more difficult for our people. It would have been a political gain to scare them off.

MS VILAKAZI: But then from what you're saying, is that the presence of these councillors and mayors would make life difficult for people. Is that what you're saying?

MR KUNENE: Yes, that's what I'm saying.

MS VILAKAZI: Are you saying that nothing positive would come out of that, of their involvement in the structures?

MR KUNENE: If I were to talk personally, I wouldn't see anything positive from that.

MS VILAKAZI: I'm putting it to you that Mr Mesi was a community worker who was liked by people of the community. What is your response to that?

MR KUNENE: Ma'am, that is quite relative. A lot of the people who were in the council were actually community workers, they were liked by people but like I'm saying that is quite relative. It depends on what you mean by people because there are other people who were not in the council who were opposing this, those councillors. One can think of Dr Ntata Mohlandla for instance was in the Committee of Ten, so he was liked by people. You could think of many other people who were community leaders who were also liked by people so that is actually relative, it depends what who do you mean by people.

MS VILAKAZI: By people I'm referring to the community that he was serving.

MR KUNENE: But I gather that within the same community that there are other people who didn't want what he was doing and hence they didn't like him.

MS VILAKAZI: Are you aware that Mr Mesi was involved in providing houses for members of the community?

MR KUNENE: No, I'm not aware of that.

MS VILAKAZI: Okay ...(intervention)

ADV SANDI: Sorry Madame, just for my own clarity? In what capacity was he doing this, providing houses to members of the community?

MS VILAKAZI: In his capacity as a mayor.

ADV SANDI: Isn't this relevant of history, that you had these community, you know, so-called Black local authority which were seen by many people as an extension of the then existing system and it would seem to me that everything would simply flow from that? You had a widespread opposition to such structures?

MS VILAKAZI: I think there are two perceptions that could be attributed to the involvement of people in those structures or to the structures themselves. Although on the one hand they were seen as perpetuating the oppression and were an extension of the government, but on the other hand there are also positive things that came out of that. For instance the question of people being provided with houses. Those were also positive, it doesn't mean that because they were seen as an extension and everything that they did was disadvantaging the people.

ADV SANDI: Okay maybe you can put it to him that although there were such hostile attitudes to such structures in general, there were however positive things that were coming out of such structures. I think he does not understand you in that way.

MS VILAKAZI: Perhaps I should just put it to you that the work that - I'm putting it to you that the work that Mr Mesi did as a councillor and as a mayor, also benefited the community. He was not only a part of the oppression but he also did acts which benefited the community. What is your comment to that?

MR KUNENE: I would say the councillors as a whole, 95% of the work that they were doing was actually disadvantaging the community. There might have been that 5% because if you talk of providing houses, if I recall the then government had actually stopped building houses then so if a house was to be provided for family A, that house would have been taken from somebody else. Maybe because that person could not pay rent or for whatever reason, so it would have disadvantaged other people and benefit others who might have been for one reason or the other in the good books of the councillors. So that's how we saw the councillors at that time and because that's how they operated.

Yes, there might have been one or two things which they did which were positive and advantageous to the community. I might not know them now but as for the housing, because I thought you were saying that he was providing houses out of his own but as councillors, there was a lot of dissatisfaction, you only needed to be around the townships to know what was actually happening.

MS VILAKAZI: Okay, are you aware that even after the various attacks on Mr Mesi, to which I come back shortly, but he still continued to serve in the council until the time of his death. In the light of that would you still say that your objective was reached?

MR KUNENE: Yes it was reached because here it was not a question of looking at one person, it was not because maybe we did not like him, Mr Mesi, but it was the structure that they were operating in. If you continued when it was actually maybe out of his choice or for whatever reason, but the objective was reached because a lot of them were scared of and a lot of them were talking of resigning and all that and a lot of them were actually - I mean admitting even in the newspapers to say that their life is not okay because they are working in those structures. They admitted themselves so say that they are being attacked because they are operating within those structures and, like I said earlier, that I think the turnout in those elections that years was less than 7 percent. I have to consult what you call the newspapers and all the people who are keeping this thing but it was very low which was a victory to us.

MS VILAKAZI: Now how many units were operating in your unit. Do you have any information on that?

MR KUNENE: I do not have information, I only knew of my unit.

MS VILAKAZI: So you cannot say with certainty as to whether you were the only unit or there were other units?

MR KUNENE: I can say for certain that we were not the only unit. The reason why I'm saying this is because we saw what I call duplication of what we were doing in other areas and even a time when we did not do anything but would actually see in the papers that something similar to what we were doing has happened somewhere else.

MS VILAKAZI: Where were you staying around the time of the incident?

MR KUNENE: I beg your pardon?

MS VILAKAZI: Where were you staying?

MR KUNENE: Around Soweto.

MS VILAKAZI: Would you say that you were conversant to a large extent with the incidents that took place around, especially relating to councillors?

MR KUNENE: I'd rely on the news and what was being discussed in the organisations and by people and all that.

MS VILAKAZI: Are you aware that there are no less than three attacks that were made on Mr Mesi's property?

MR KUNENE: Well, I don't know of the other two although I remember at some stage that he was attacked not by us. Like I said that there were duplication of these things.

JUDGE MOTATA: Let's get clarify because here we know of the shopping complex. When you say property, are you referring to the shopping complex or are you referring to other property?

MR KUNENE: The shopping complex in particular in this case, by us and that was the first and the last Mr Mesi.

JUDGE MOTATA: No, I'm directing this to the advocate just to have clarity on that. When she refers to property, which property is she talking about here we have heard of the shopping complex?

MS VILAKAZI: For the record my instructions are that there was a petrol bomb attack at the house of Mr Mesi and there was a petrol bomb attack at the shop and there is also another incident in which a bus was driven into the shop and looting followed afterwards and then there is also a shooting incident in which Mr Mesi and his wife died. Those are the incidents which the family can recall now.

JUDGE MOTATA: Yes but when you pose your questions to Mr Kunene, he says why they attacked the shop, they did not know where Mr Mesi lived or where his house was?

MS VILAKAZI: That is correct, Honourable Counsellor.

JUDGE MOTATA: No, I'm not a counsellor.

MS VILAKAZI: I beg your pardon, Honourable Judge. The question that I asked, it was a build up to questions that were going to relate to other incidents, just to find out what information the applicant has. Now the incident I was referring to, that besides the one that he is applying for, that is the one at the shop, there were other attacks.

Now Mr Kunene, I've already put on record the other attacks that were made. Now do you know anything about other attacks except for the one at the shop, the petrol bomb at the shop that you are applying amnesty for?

MR KUNENE: No, I don't know ma'am, especially if they took place after February. I wouldn't have known because February '84 I then went outside Johannesburg, that is East London in particular to be underground until around March or late February, I left for Lesotho. So that incident that I'm talking about, that's the only one that I know, that is to Mr Mesi. So if it took place after there was what you could say black out because I was not even following the news then, that was around February until around late February, early March, when I finally left the country for Lesotho.

MS VILAKAZI: And when did you come back into the country?

MR KUNENE: In 1991 in August.

MS VILAKAZI: Now you are appearing here today as the only applicant. What about Mthembu and Abe that you refer to?

MR KUNENE: Mthembu died in exile, I'm not sure whether in Angola or Tanzania but he committed suicide. Abe died here in Braamfontein in 1986. He got a parcel bomb, when he picked it up in the toilets it blew him up. '85/'86, I'm not hundred percent sure.

MS VILAKAZI: Right, one more question relating to the instructions. You said you got instructions from Mr Mthembu. Do you know specifically from whom he got the instructions?

MR KUNENE: That wouldn't be easy to ask where do you get instructions. What we knew is that he was our Commander, he was the only - would operate himself and he would only know the person that you are accountable to or who is accounting to you and that's it because asking questions as to where do you get information from and all that might have meant that you want to take that information to the enemy, so I don't know where he got the information from.

ADV SANDI: Did you have an opinion as to where possibly he was getting orders which he was conveying to you?

MR KUNENE: I knew it was from ANC. MK had a link with Swaziland and at some stage with Zimbabwe but who in particular there, we only know it was MK.

ADV SANDI: So you just assumed that the orders, he was getting them from high up?

MR KUNENE: From the higher structures of MK, yes.

MS VILAKAZI: This one question I nearly forgot to ask you relating to, as I was asking about other incidents which Mr Mesi was also attacked, I think when the Judge wanted clarity you were talking about another incident that you know of. Can you recall that?

MR KUNENE: No, what I was saying was we noticed a duplication of these, I mean incidents, of what we were doing and I said the only incident that I know which was involving myself in particular with Mr Mesi was that ...(indistinct) but would read about other incidents similar even to other councillors and such but were not necessarily involved in that.

MS VILAKAZI: That will be all, thanks Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Mtanga have you got any questions?

MS MTANGA: I have no questions, Chairperson, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, ma'am. Has the Panel got anything?

JUDGE MOTATA: Mr Kunene, the Tshabalala car, the policeman, was it completely burnt? Destroyed in other words?

MR KUNENE: I think it was. We didn't wait or even go back the following day or at other time to check but I think it was completely burnt.

JUDGE MOTATA: You alluded to the fact that you would get some of these things in the newspapers. Did the newspapers say it was completely burnt or they just said the car was burnt?

MR KUNENE: They just said the car - if I remember, I think they just said the car was burnt, they didn't say whether completely or partially or what.

JUDGE MOTATA: Now like let's take the first Tshabalala, the mayor, Mfula Soweto, when you threw the petrol bomb in the lounge, did you know whether the whole house would catch flame or you just did it that it should only be the lounge?

MR KUNENE: The aim was it should only be the lounge although of course there could be chances that the whole house could catch fire but the way we would actually throw it would actually target the lounge.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Makondo, any re-examination?

MR MAKONDO: No re-examination, Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr Kunene, you're excused. Thank you.



MR MAKONDO IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, there isn't much that I want to bring home, explaining to say ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm going to interrupt you there unfortunately. I just wanted to know if you're presenting any other further evidence or is that the case for Mr Kunene?

MR MAKONDO: This is the case, I thought you're asking me to round it off?

CHAIRPERSON: No not yet, it will come. It will come. Yes, so that's the case for the applicant. Thank you Mr Makondo.


MS VILAKAZI: No, evidence on the part of the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: No evidence from me, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Makondo, I interrupted you earlier.

MR MAKONDO IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson, thanks for the guidance.

As I said, Chairperson, in rounding it off it's clear that what the political aim was, the organisation, the time period, Chairperson, tells it all. The targets were very clear. The operations, the way they are, the Chairperson knows that how so far it has come to details and to ...(indistinct) that this is how the units used to work. And Chairperson, it is my submission that the applicant has a disclosure, has shown the political motive that was intended, the aims thereof and the results thereof and as I said the targets were very clear, precautions were taken and all the details are required as per the Act are being met, Chairperson. And it's my submission that the Committee should look at the applicant's application in mercy and make a proper judgment, Chairperson. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: And your client wasn't charged for any of these incidents, was he?

MR MAKONDO: He was never charged, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So you're asking for amnesty in respect of all of the offences from these incidents as been described in your client's evidence?

MR MAKONDO: All three, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Ms Vilakazi, have you got submissions?

MS VILAKAZI IN ARGUMENT: Yes Honourable Chairperson. Chairperson, I think this is a bit difficult in the sense that the Panel has to rely on information that is supplied by the applicant only and there isn't any other information to support it or to verify the correctness and truthfulness of the submissions that were made on the part of the applicant. As I have already put on record that in as far as the mayor, Mesi, was concerned, there's quite a number of attacks which took place and one of the attacks related to a petrol bomb that was thrown at the house and the description of the house that was given by the applicant while he was describing the house of Tshabalala, fits the description of the Mesi's house to an extent that ...(intervention)

JUDGE MOTATA: I assure you that the description given, because I cannot block this from my mind, that the description also fits Mr Tshabalala's house, the mayor in Mapolo.

MS VILAKAZI: Well in that event - because what I was going to put forward is the question now that the Judge has come up with that information, because ...(intervention)

JUDGE MOTATA: ...(inaudible) this thing, I'm not giving evidence.

MS VILAKAZI: But then the question ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: We might have to rule on the reliability of it.

MS VILAKAZI: Yes that is correct, Chairperson. Now the question is now how sure can the Panel be that the attack on the house of Mr Tshabalala that the applicant says he is applying for is not the attack on the house of Mr Mesi, only that he believes that the house of Tshabalala and not that of Mesi?

JUDGE MOTATA: No, in his evidence he was asked where the first Tshabalala lived, Mayor Tshabalala, is that Mapolo and Mesi it's Dobsonville, so I don't think there can be any question that somebody would not be sure what we're talking about?

MS VILAKAZI: I will not pursue that matter any further except to also state that having indicated that a number of incidents took place involving the family of Mesi and the fact that Mr Mesi was also a business person and having asked the applicant as to whether he knows of any effort that was made to dissuade Mr Mesi from taking part in the local structures that they were trying to discourage him from and from his own response one does not get a sense that there were other methods used or efforts made to dissuade him except for the attacks. Now the question that comes to the fore, how sure can the Panel be that the attacks were really directed at dissuading him from being a councillor or taking part in those structures and that they were not related to, for instance his business activity as an example and what is particularly disturbing is the fact that there doesn't seem to have been an effort made to discourage him from taking part in that and the action that was taken was drastic in the sense that the attack on the shop, for instance, it is not only the interest of Mr Mesi as a person but the entire family was affected by that. So that action was quite drastic and was it really warranted as a means of dissuading him, if that was the motive, to dissuade him from taking part in local structures. Was that really warranted, to take an action which would affect other members of the family without making any efforts to dissuade him as a person from taking part in those activities. That will be the submission, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Vilakazi. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I will not make any submissions and I would like to leave this matter in your hands, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: We have noted that, Ms Mtanga. Mr Makondo, any reply?

MR MAKONDO IN REPLY: Just on one aspect, Chairperson.

It is known that around that time there was an established Committee of Ten, that was charged with the task of talking to people of high profile to persuade them otherwise. As applicant has already alluded, Dr Motlana was there, Reverend Frank Chikane was one of them, Desmond Tutu, the Bishop then, he was part of them.

Chairperson, efforts were taken across the country to persuade people to use lesser drastic measures. However, there were people who were persistent. For instance, Chairperson, it is known that after the flop of these elections Mr Tshabalala, the Mayor, he was put again as the overseer of other, as the administrator of other so-called councillors in the then PWV area. So Chairperson, it's my submission that there were visible structures and there were people and efforts done to persuade people otherwise and the Committee should look into that when they make that decision. Thank you Chairperson.

ADV SANDI: Isn't it the crux of the matter here that the applicant found himself in a position here that he had to carry out orders?

MR MAKONDO: I didn't get that, if you could repeat it?

ADV SANDI: I'm saying shouldn't we look at the realities of the applicant at the time in question? He was a foot soldier. It's the way I understood his evidence, he was just carrying out orders from his superior?

MR MAKONDO: Correct, Chairperson. I was also just highlighting the fact that my colleague, Ms Vilakazi, is saying there were no other efforts taken around to persuade people otherwise either than this way. Once the matter went into the military department of the organisation, I mean people had to carry orders, they were there, but outside that there were other measures that were taken. I was just replying to the submission made.

ADV SANDI: Yes, my point is that whether such preliminary steps had been taken by those who were above the applicant, does it really make any difference when regard is had to his position in the line of hierarchy?

MR MAKONDO: It wouldn't make a difference, I admit. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Makondo. Yes, well that concludes the formal side of the matter before us. We will take some time to consider the application. The material that was placed before us as well as the submissions and once the decision is available we will notify the interested parties as soon as we have in fact formulated a decision which we will endeavour to do as quickly as circumstances permit. So under those circumstances we will reserve the decision in this matter and use the opportunity to thank Mr Makondo and Ms Vilakazi for your assistance in the matter, it's appreciated. And if you don't have any further matters before us we will excuse you.

MR MAKONDO: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Mtanga, we have two more matters on the roll if I'm not mistaken?

MS MTANGA: Yes Chairperson, that is so.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you need an opportunity to rearrange?

MS MTANGA: Yes Chairperson, we need a five minute adjournment to organise ourselves.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll stand down for a few moments just to give an opportunity for the next matter to be prepared.






CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we want to proceed with the next matter which is the amnesty applications of Damien Michael De Lange, the amnesty reference number is AM7233/97. Ian Hugh Robertson, reference number AM5891/97 and Susan Catherine De Lange, amnesty reference AM7234/97.

The Panel is constituted as would be apparent from the record. I'm going to ask the legal representatives to put themselves on record for the applicants?

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you Chairperson, I'm Mr Raditapole, ...(indistinct) Thompson and ...(indistinct) Attorneys, I appear on behalf of the second to fourth applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Raditapole. Yes, Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: Perhaps I should at this stage, Chairperson, my name is Brian Koopedi, I represent Mr Ronnie Kasrils who will only be able to give evidence tomorrow, Chairperson. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Koopedi. We have noted that. And then on behalf of one of the victims?

MR COETZEE: Yes Chairperson, Honourable Panel, Coetzee, S.J., I appear on instructions of the firm Geiser and Coetzee Attorneys from Centurion. I appear on behalf of the victims and that is the Neethling family. Their father was the driver of the bus. He died shortly after the incident of a heart attack so he is deceased. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Coetzee. And then the Leader of Evidence is still Ms Mtanga.

Mr Raditapole, is there anything you want to put on record before we proceed with the evidence or do you want your first client to take the oath?

MR RADITAPOLE ADDRESSES: Thank you Chairperson, I do have a couple of preliminary points to make. The first point simply being to explain how we will run our evidence, that the second applicant will read a joint submission of all the applicants which will then be confirmed by the other applicants.

Having said that, then I'd just like to very quickly describe the nature of this application, Chairperson. It's an application in respect of acts for which the applicants were arrested and convicted and convicted in 1988 and the convictions were confirmed on appeal in 1989 and they subsequently were released on indemnity following the Pretoria Minute just concluded between the ANC and the then government around August 1990.

I do not propose to go into much detail around the issues because they are a matter of public record, save to describe the charges. The applicants were charged on various counts related to the bombing of a communications tower at Linksville Ridge in Johannesburg in November 1987 and a bombing of a bus carrying military personnel in Benoni on the 1st March 1989 -1988, I beg your pardon.

The accused were convicted after pleading guilty to various counts including counts under the Terrorism Act, unlawful possession of firearms and explosives, unlawful manufacture of explosives, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

The second applicant also pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and attempted attacks on Rosebank Police Station and ...(indistinct) Commando Headquarters.

So briefly, that's the background of the statement. So clearly, all we are doing in this application is really looking at their records being expunged of the convictions. Now I'd also like to say something about the background statement of Mr Hugh Lugg which is part of the bundle provided by the Commission, which is also unsigned. The statement has a range of inaccuracies which we do not propose to deal with for the purposes of this application, they are quite irrelevant. However, we wish to make the point that broadly the statement does explain the nature of the operations of the unit of which Mr Lugg was part of. It was subsequent to the arrest known of the Brooderstroom Unit.

We would also like to make the point that the statement, apart from describing the nature of the operations, certainly in a sense smacks of Security Police propaganda in relation to the political aspects that are raised in it, particularly from paragraph 1.13 on page 248 of the bundle through to paragraph 1.20 on page 259 of the bundle. And having said that, I'd then like to move to the evidence and to the affirmation of the second applicant who will read the joint submission. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The applications, are they basically in respect of the convictions of your clients?

MR RADITAPOLE: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Are all of these charges that appear from the judgment of the court?

MR RADITAPOLE: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Thank you, then we're with you. And you say that Mr de Lange will proceed?

MR RADITAPOLE: That is so, Chairperson and Mr de Lange will be affirmed.



Mr de Lange, do you confirm that you made an application to the Amnesty Committee in relation to the offences and charges we've just referred to?

MR DE LANGE: I confirm.

MR RADITAPOLE: Could you then take us through your joint statement after which I will pose a number of questions to you?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr de Lange, just before you do that, just for purposes of the record, the joint statement is before us and we will mark that Exhibit A. Yes, you may proceed?

MR DE LANGE: Chairperson, I'll read from the joint statement:

"We have applied for amnesty and are appearing before this Committee today so that our criminal records against our names may be expunged. With all due respect, we must state up front that we are not apologetic for our role in the struggle for the liberations of South Africa and particularly with regard to the matters in respect of which we were charged and convicted. I deal with the relevant issues below:

We were convicted on various charges related to acts being carried out in pursuance of the objectives of the African National Congress. In exile we joined the ranks of Umkhonto weSizwe, the military arm of the ANC, in order to participate more actively in the struggle for liberation of all South Africans. We were trained in various aspects of war and guerrilla warfare including intelligence and operations. We were under the command of Ronnie Kasrils who is the first applicant. He established us as a special unit that both collected information inside the country and carried out operations from 1987 until we were arrested. I was the Commander of the unit, Ian Robertson and Susan de Lange, then Westcott, were our Political Commissar and Communica-tions Officers respectively.

Other members of the unit were Hugh Lugg, who was the intelligence officer and Paul Annegan who served as our security officer. We were arrested in May 1988. We were charged and convicted on various counts related to attacks on communications tower at Linksville Ridge, Johannesburg and on a military bus carrying army - it was actually airforce personnel in Benoni. We carried out the attacks in late November 1987 and on the 1st March 1988 respectively. By the time of the second attack, Paul Annegan was no longer part of the unit. He was not with us when we were arrested either. The arrest took place 8th May 1988 after our then intelligence officer, Hugh Lugg, had sold us out to the Security Police on the morning of that day.

During our operations we conducted ourselves as soldiers fighting a just war for the liberation of our people. At all times we considered ourselves to be governed by the Geneva Convention on warfare and its various protocols. We believe that we should have been treated as prisoners-of-war under the same protocols, not as we were, like criminals. In this regard, comments made by the judicial officers in our trial and appeal reflect the extent to which the judicial system was part of the attempt to stem the tide of the struggle for the liberation of our people. The trial magistrate stated that and I quote:

'The accused aligned themselves against the law and order in this country to espouse the course of an organisation committed to overthrow the lawful government of the Republic of South Africa by revolution and acts of terrorism. They chose to call it 'acts of war'. If Black South Africans were in their position, their acts would be understood, although not excused. Van der Walt, J, in the Spar case regarded the fact that a White South African has espoused the cause of revolution as an aggravating feature."

In our appeal, Judge Curlewis, and Acting Judge Myburgh, had the following to say in relation to sentence imposed by the court. Again I quote:

'This much can be said of the sentence. It appears shocking in the light of the fact that those persons who sent the accused into the country to carry out these acts of murder and destruction are now by the present treated to tea and sympathy and made much of. But the learned Magistrate could not and this Court cannot take into account in assessing sentence any more than it can take into account the likelihood that these young people will be out before Christmas in defence to the request of the ANC.'

Negotiations between the ANC and the then government led to the signing of the Pretoria Minute in August 1990 in terms of which we were justifiably released from incarceration. In conclusion, we reiterate that we were soldiers, we should have been accorded prisoner-of-war status once we had been apprehended."

I thank you, Sir.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you, Mr de Lange. Could you just explain to the Panel what your intentions were when you firstly attacked the communications tower and secondly, when you attacked the military bus?

MR DE LANGE: Chair, without going into much detail, the communications tower was part of a project internally in the country to perfect the use of home made explosives. We had gradually gone through a number of smaller operations to a reasonable size, in military terms a reasonable size. The communications tower by our assessment was a tower used for line of sights communication by, amongst others, the Security Polices in and around Johannesburg. We saw it fit that this was a reasonable target in terms of war and a target which could be used to test the home made explosives.

The second explosion where we detonated again a home made explosive, supercharged with a limpet mine, was an airforce bus which bussed airforce personnel from Dunnotar near Johannesburg to the Pretoria Waterkloof area. If you will remember, Sir, the late '87 and early '88, the airforce received a lot of coverage for its role in the battle for Qita Kanavale in Angola. This and the fact that our targets were military targets, we deemed that the bus was a suitable and natural target in a war.

MR RADITAPOLE: In your view, in carrying out these operations, did you act within the ambit of the instructions given by Mr Kasrils?

MR DE LANGE: Chair, I would believe and I can say this jointly that we acted firstly within the ambit of the instructions that were given by Ronnie Kasrils, within the ambit of the instructions given by MK's military High Command and in no way did we see that these instructions were in breach of either the MK code or the Geneva Protocol, Sir.

MR RADITAPOLE: And what was your intention when you detonated the bomb in respect of the military bus?

MR DE LANGE: Chair, our intention was to destroy the bus and the personnel in the bus, Sir.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you Mr de Lange. Chairperson, I have no further questions for the second applicant.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Raditapole. Mr Coetzee, any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: Yes Chairperson, Honourable Panel, I do have questions.

Sir, the reason why you're making this application, if I understand your evidence correctly, it is purely just to expunge your criminal record, your SAP-69 record, is that correct?

MR DE LANGE: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: And you've got no other intention by bringing this application?

MR DE LANGE: I have no other intention.

MR COETZEE: Now as I understood from the statement from Mr Lugg which is attached to your application, that your cell was established for the purpose to collect information, is that correct? Was that one of your functions, to collect information?

MR DE LANGE: It was one of our main functions, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: You were, however, also an operational cell, you had to in other words not only get information, you also had to act on instructions to, for example, place these bombs?

MR DE LANGE: That is correct, Sir.

MR COETZEE: Now did you, from your information gathering actions, did you initiate or suggest that this bus, the Benoni bus, should be a target?

MR DE LANGE: Yes that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Now did you find out what type of personnel it was carrying apart from the fact that they were airforce personnel? What were there, in other words, were their functions? Was it pilots, was it administrative people? What was the employment scope of the people inside the bus?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, obviously we would not have had all the information on every detail of every person on the bus. The bus was an airforce bus. The bulk of the personnel were airforce uniformed people, wore their uniforms on the bus. Some of them were civilians. They all lived in and around Dunnotar in Devon. They worked in airforce establishments. Administrative roles, logistical roles and other support roles.

MR COETZEE: Yes, now you said that you acted in the ambit of your instructions and not in a violation of the Geneva Protocol. Now if I - does the Panel hereby understand, or have to understand, that you mean that placing bombs next to the road and exploding them in a civilian area causing damage and loss of life to people, that that is part of the Geneva Convention, that falls under the scope of the Geneva Convention?

MR DE LANGE: It does indeed, Sir. As long as you do not use more force than it is required. The bomb that was placed there was aimed at a bus. It had the ability, had the timing been correct, to destroy the bus and probably all the people. It did not have sufficient power to destroy for instance the robot junction that it was next to or other vehicles, so it was not force disproportionate to the target.

MR COETZEE: And was that the reason why there were bolts and nuts also placed in, to exacerbate the situation?

MR DE LANGE: Correct, that was to use or so to serve a shrapnel.

MR COETZEE: Yes, now if I understand from the documentation correctly and I must confess I do not know the area where this happened, it seemed to me as if there were buildings or houses as well as office buildings which were in the immediate vicinity where the bomb exploded. Am I correct?

MR DE LANGE: You are correct and as you have admitted so, you do not know the area, it is a big robot junction, there are wide verges between the place where the bomb was placed and the nearest vibacrete wall which backs onto civilian houses. On the other side of the junction and at a two lane with freeway junctions into it, was a Wimpy and a petrol station. The Wimpy was not functioning at that hour of the day. Due to our reconnaissance we also knew that there was not a lot of traffic in that area in and around that junction at the time. So I believe that we took all into consideration in terms of possible crossfire, possible innocent victims and that is what I mean by working within the protocols of the Geneva Convention.

MR COETZEE: Now, if I understand also from the sentence and I'm referring to page 51 and 52 of the documentation and it makes reference to some houses that were damaged by the blast. It refers to twenty two houses and four businesses that were damaged by the blast and I'm referring to page 52, the third line from the top. Was that a correct assessment by the Magistrate in his sentence?

MR DE LANGE: It is correct and you must also remember and I'm sure you are aware, Sir, that damage, whether it was a broken pane, whether it was a whole ceiling falling in, was registered by the Security Police and I'm sure that you are aware that the Security Police made every attempt as the document, but like to make sure that it was not a target of war ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: A military target.

MR DE LANGE: ...but that this was largely aimed at civilians.

MR COETZEE: But do you - let's just deal with whether or not it was a window pane that was broken or a ceiling panel that fell out. In fact some residences where people stayed were damaged?

MR DE LANGE: I would accept that as very possible, you're right.

MR COETZEE: And did you, at the time when you said that the bomb there and the charges there, did you anticipate the possibility that innocent civilians might be injured or die or could have died?

MR DE LANGE: In war you have to anticipate that there are going to be possible innocent people involved. Your task is to make sure that within your capabilities and within the capabilities of the weapons that you use, it is reduced to a minimum. You cannot say that you can rule it out forever.

MR COETZEE: Alright, you say generally that is the situation. Did you in fact in this, when you planted this specific bomb, did you have a look at the area to see there are houses, this is what you should perhaps do to minimise the effect on the civilian population?

MR DE LANGE: Yes, correct and as I've indicated we used the time of the bus, limited traffic, we used distance. The fact that some windows were going to break, it could have happened that someone else drove past at the wrong time. The fact that we used line of sight equipment, that we could actually observe the bus.

MR COETZEE: But what I'm actually more referring to, the fact of the matter is, I understand what you say with regard to traffic due to the hour, but that could have meant that there's people that's not on the road were in their houses and that that hour also there might have been children, school children, babies, people, even any people could have still been in the houses? They most likely were still in the houses at the time when the bomb went off?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, you are right, they probably would have been in the house and that was our assessment that they would be. If you go to the scene as it was then in 1988, there were vibacrete walls right along the backs of all of those houses. It was unlikely that shrapnel would go through the vibacrete walls, but the fact that the sound of the detonation would break windows or dislodge a ceiling or break a lamp or set off an alarm is one of those things that you have to take into consideration.

MR COETZEE: Apart from the fact that the passengers in the bus were airforce personnel, were there any specific target, in other words, as I understand your evidence correctly, you said that at that stage the airforce was quite visibly involved in counter-insurgence as it was being referred to. Were there any specific targets in that bus apart from the fact that they were airforce targets, in other words a pilot for example that as far as your knowledge was involved with any of these counter-insurgence actions?

MR DE LANGE: No Sir, war is never personalised to that level. A target is a target because they are on the opposing side and in a military institution, it doesn't matter whether you pilot is killed or whether one of your log staff is killed, it means that the enemy has struck you.

MR COETZEE: Now Sir, the instructions that you received from Mr Kasrils at that stage, did you present him with a formal plan to say that we have now in our intelligence found out this bus will be travelling on this route and you set down to him that we intend or we suggest that we use this kind of force to the bus, to destroy the bus. Did you make such a presentation to Mr Kasrils?

MR DE LANGE: No, Sir, you don't - we would never do that kind of plan. More especially in a guerrilla war situation or especially if you're working in cell systems where you are using cells to protect people's security activities. There is a lot of ambit given to the Commander to select and to make those kind of decisions on the ground. The go-ahead for operations to strike, operations against the armed forces of the then South African Government, provided the overall ambit. The area is then restricted as PWV.

MR COETZEE: What I'm actually getting at is, would Mr Kasrils have been aware of the fact that you were going to set off this bomb before you actually did it or did you just afterwards inform him that that operation there was from "our cell"?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, it's getting down to a technical detail. In essence he knew we were going to carry out operations and in this case he knew that we were progressing along a line of experimenting with home made explosives. The explosions were going to be bigger and bigger. We were going to inform him, he would hear either through the radio informally and then from use formally through a report as to which target we again selected. He did not know a bus on the 8th March on such and such a place on such and such a road.

MR COETZEE: And I understand from also Mr Lugg's statement that there was apparently some unhappiness for the fact that there was no body count, the words he used, that there was nobody dead. Was that a concern for you that you consider your operation there as being a failure because there was nobody killed in this incident?

MR DE LANGE: No, the body count was not necessary and was not an indicator of a success or not a success. That was the aim, but the aim behind it was to strike at airforce SADF personnel, which was achieved. I don't know whether it's relevant to our application, but as our counsellor said, the document, unsigned document by Hugh Lugg, which did not form part of the evidence in court during our trial, has a lot of inconsistencies and to me, personally, it smacks very highly of Security Police plan and then I would put this embellishment of need for a body count within that kind of bracket and not take it very seriously.

MR COETZEE: Why I'm referring to that, Sir, is if you have a look at page 223 of the said statement you're referring to now, it states here that:

"De Lange was concerned that there was no, what he called, a body count"

that's why I asked that question because it appears from this that you actually wanted a body count?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, look, we can go into this document and I've said that and we go into it and we can take it apart piece by piece. In essence, if we have to, then we have to deal with it. I don't know if it's relevant to this, De Lange - this is Hugh Lugg, he hasn't signed it, it didn't form part of the evidence of the court, I was not unhappy that we had not killed all the people and tore my hair out.

MR RADITAPOLE: Chairperson, if I may? I did make the point earlier the difficulties of this statement in relation in particular to these aspects and that we would confirm the contents of it insofar as they relate to operational issues but these other areas are really areas that we don't prefer to go into. You know, if the Panel believes if these are relevant to the application at all?

CHAIRPERSON: Well, we'll assess the questions as we go along. I think Mr de Lange has stated the attitude of the applicants towards this document and we'll see to what extent Mr Coetzee wants to make something out of this. So for the moment, Mr Coetzee, if there's anything else you want to deal with on this document, let's hear?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, yes, I'm definitely not going to take Mr de Lange step by step through the statement to see where he concurs or not concurs. There was just some of the aspects which I needed to clarify and I believe that we're quite entitled to do that.

Sir, the one other aspect that I also wish to enquire from you, Sir, is the financing of your cell, was that based on a performance bonus or anything like that whereby if you performed and you set off a certain amount of bombs you would be remunerated to a certain extent?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, I find it an odd question but I will answer it. Number one, as members of MK, we were paid no salary at all, for all the activities, for all the work. Wherever you were sent you expected that at least you would get some food and some clothes, some ammunition and water. That was your expectation. There was no salary, there was no remuneration. I served in Angola, I served in worse conditions. There was no bonus, there was no red line pay, there was no R and R, there was not going home for seven days leave. It was a guerrilla warfare for a very specific cause. When you came into the country you knew you could die, you could be arrested. No one said at the end of it you will get X, or for a body or bring back ears, it was not a SADF.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thank you. Then one other aspect. I see that on the statement here, this is a joint statement of the second to third applicant - that should read second to fourth applicant, if I'm not mistaken?


MR COETZEE: Is that right? So that is also for the fourth applicant. Then the one aspect that I noted is that in page 43 of the documentation before the Commission, I see that the third applicant did not plead guilty, she pleaded not guilty to this aspect. Was that just because of the fact that she was not linked to that at that stage or do you not know the reason?

MR DE LANGE: I don't understand what you're saying. But Susan - the fourth applicant here, or Susan Catherine de Lange as it is listed here was charged under the same charges as us, found guilty under the same charges as us. I don't see where, we all pleaded guilty to the same charges. The only difference was that I, myself, had three accounts of arson.

MR COETZEE: The only reason I'm asking, I just wanted to clarify this because I see from the charge sheet there that she was accused number three and I see from page 43 there that accused was - she pleaded not guilty and was acquitted on the count. You see, I'm not tricking or I'm trying to make any - score points here, I just want to know is it because she was not perhaps actively involved there at the day in the planting of the bomb, that it was more a conspiracy situation that was involved there rather than a physical planting of a bomb?

MR RADITAPOLE: Perhaps if I could assist? There is some confusion here but in fact what transpired was that there were a whole range of charges and in discussions between the prosecution and the defence it was then agreed which charges the accused would plead guilty to and which charges they would plead not guilty to and I believe there might have been some confusion as things panned out which led to the comment being made in the judgment that accused number three pleaded not guilty in relation to this. That's the best I can say. Particularly because the fourth applicant does state that she did not plead guilty in relation to that charge to the attack on the bus. I can't take it any further than that.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it common cause that Susan de Lange was acquitted on that count which seems to be count 20, if I understand this correctly? Because you see on page 40 of the bundle, when the Court is giving its judgment and the finding is made in respect of which charges there would be in an acquittal and in respect of which charges there would be a conviction, Mr Sogget, who seems to have appeared at the trial then intervenes and he reminds the Court that - that's about line 13 - and he says that in respect of accused number three, which would have been then Ms de Lange, count 20 should be added, that is in respect of matters acquitted.

Yes, do you need some time to clarify that?

MR RADITAPOLE: Well Chairperson, as I stated, some deals were done in relation to these charges and some there was agreement to drop some and so on and it may well be that Mr Sogget, on the basis that Mrs de Lange was not present when the bus was attacked, may well have managed to get that dropped but as far as Mrs de Lange is concerned, you know, she didn't particularly plead not guilty to the attack on the bus. I can't take it any further than that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and perhaps you should just, perhaps you should just clarify because I'm about to take the luncheon adjournment, just to clarify whether or not she is asking for amnesty in respect of that count here or not and you can indicate to us at a later stage.

MR RADITAPOLE: I will do so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take the luncheon adjournment and we'll reconvene at 2 o'clock.



MR RADITAPOLE: Chairperson, you had given me an assignment over lunch.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh okay, ...(inaudible)

MR RADITAPOLE: Yes. It would appear what transpired in the trial was that Mrs de Lange indeed pleaded guilty to count 20 but as matters proceeded, counsel saw a gap and jumped up and said no, but she wasn't there, she can't be found guilty on this one and that's how it happened and in fact that was contrary to instructions. My instructions are that Mrs de Lange was quite upset about that because in principle she had aligned herself to the other accused. So that's what transpired in that instance.

CHAIRPERSON: And you don't want to take that gap here? You don't see the gap? You're accepting responsibility?

Yes Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: (continues) Thank you Chairperson.

Mr de Lange, apart from these acts that you were charged with and found guilty of, were there any other acts of violence that you were involved with or any other acts that could have, in some way, be construed as being a crime and during that stage, that 1988, '87/'88, in which you and your cell were involved in the Republic of South Africa?

DAMIEN MICHAEL DE LANGE: (s.u.o.) The question would seem unusual because it would seem like I'm going to throw myself into something ...(intervention)

MR RADITAPOLE: Chairperson, can I perhaps just come in here? Again I'm not sure what the relevance of that, we are applying for amnesty in relation to two stated issues and I'm not sure about the relevance of the question as far as these applications are concerned.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, is it in respect of the matters that are before us or is this just an open question because if it is an open question?

MR COETZEE: Yes Mr Chairperson, if I may just explain?


MR COETZEE: Maybe I did not explain myself quite clearly during the question. One of the aspects of obviously considering amnesty, you will bear in mind whether there was full disclosure.


MR COETZEE: I know that there's been certain various different interpretations as to what exactly is full disclosure, whether it is limited to the acts currently before yourselves or whether it refers to all the other possible acts which might have been committed?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes of course the provision is that the applicant should disclose all relevant facts.

MR COETZEE: All relevant facts?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, of course relevant what is before us.

MR COETZEE: Yes, if that is so, is such an interpretation, I have just been in front of other commissions where they took a more broader stance on other acts which are not necessarily within the confines of the application. But I will leave that there, I'm not going to press the point. I just wanted to point out whether perhaps there are other applications which are still pending.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no I think if it is the broad question that you intended to ask then of course it won't be relevant what is before us and insofar as we are concerned, what is required of us is to make sure that the material that was placed before us constitutes a full disclosure of what is relevant to the incidents that we have to decide upon.

MR COETZEE: Yes. I will leave that then there, thank you.

Mr de Lange, there is the last aspect which I wish to deal with is that the whole commission was convened on more than one leg. The one is the application for amnesty and the other one is the - as it is very clearly stated there on that banner there, it is also the Truth to the Road of Reconciliation. Now do you - and this is a general question, firstly, it might not be all pertinent, but have you found it in yourself to reconcile also with your previous enemies?

MR DE LANGE: Firstly I would like to say it is probably a bit broader than maybe even outside of the specific application, but as you know, as you probably would know, the progress of South Africa's history brought a democracy. Within that democracy was the integration of the desperate and opposing armed forces. I find myself now as a ranked officer in the South African National Defence Force where there are some of the officers who were on that bus in other installations. There is no direct animosity between us, in fact we are building a national defence force for the common cause of defence of democracy and its constitution. So if that is the reconciliation you are looking for, I think definitely I have, on that road.

MR COETZEE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr Commissioner, I've got no further questions to the applicant.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Coetzee. Mr Koopedi, would you have anything that you want to raise?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Perhaps a few questions, Chairperson.

Mr de Lange, is it correct that as a cell Commander or a unit Commander your instructions, that is when you were inside the country, included the taking of initiatives on your part, you know, in terms of looking and deciding at a target and similar things? My question, is it correct, do I understand correctly that you would have to take initiatives and not necessarily have to go and ask for permission from your overall Commander, Mr Ronnie Kasrils, about each and every aspect of your operations?

MR DE LANGE: A hundred percent correct, Sir. Whether that was collecting the information, the area of collecting the information, the specific target, actually carrying out operations as long as it fell within the ambit of what MK saw as military operations and we were limited to the PWV, then I would not ask for specific guidance or instructions or a go ahead, it would be left to our initiative, my initiative at the end of the day to take a decision.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. You have stated that as an MK member, a soldier of Umkhonto weSizwe, you were not paid and therefore then perhaps my question should be did you receive anything personally, anything personally which would be of material gain?

MR DE LANGE: No, not at all, Sir.

MR KOOPEDI: Your actions, do you view them as having been politically motivated and if so, briefly tell this Committee how politically motivated were they?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, I would say they were politically motivated, they were in the general sphere of anti-apartheid, they were in the specific sphere of the ANC's direction as how to liberate South Africa for all South Africans of all races, of all colours and more specifically as MK, obviously by definition it is defined more specifically to military operations but under the guidance of the ANC's strategy, positions, goals, whether it was Freedom Charter as a document or whether it was at standpoint on particular issues and definitely political guidance was of utmost importance, Sir.

MR KOOPEDI: Regard being had to the testimony you've just given, your amnesty application form and the joint statement, do you think that you have fully disclosed all the relevant facts before this Honourable Committee for it to consider granting you amnesty?

MR DE LANGE: I believe yes, Sir, we have done so.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga, have you got any questions?

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson, I have no questions for this witness.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you ma'am. Has the Panel got any questions?

ADV SANDI: One question on a very peripheral matter. What is your rank at this stage Mr de Lange? Did I hear you say you are in the army?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, I'm a Brigadier General.

ADV SANDI: Thank you Brigadier.

CHAIRPERSON: How is that called, what is the - is it Brigadier or General?

MR DE LANGE: Sir, this time it is now General we have changed more to the American style and it's regarded as a General.

CHAIRPERSON: So you're addressed as General?


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Have you got any re-examination?

MR RADITAPOLE: I have none, Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you General de Lange. You would be excused then.




_____________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: Are you moving to Mr Robertson?

MR RADITAPOLE: I am indeed, Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Robertson, are you also affirming or taking the oath?

MR ROBERTSON: I'm affirming.

IAN HUGH ROBERTSON: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR RADITAPOLE: Mr Robertson, do you confirm that you've applied for amnesty in relation to the two activities we've just been discussing with Mr de Lange?

MR ROBERTSON: I do confirm that.

MR RADITAPOLE: Do you confirm the joint statement read out on to the record by Mr de Lange?

MR ROBERTSON: I confirm the joint statement read out by Mr de Lange and endorse it fully.

MR RADITAPOLE: And do you confirm the other evidence given by Mr de Lange in relation to questions that have been put to him today?

MR ROBERTSON: Yes I do indeed, I wouldn't want to elaborate, I think that Mr de Lange did a sterling job on that.

MR RADITAPOLE: And would you have anything else to add in conclusion?

MR ROBERTSON: Nothing Sir.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you Chairperson, I have nothing further to ask.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Coetzee?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: Mr Robertson, can I thereby accept that your answers to the questions that I posed to Mr de Lange will be the same as the ones he supplied to the Commission?

MR ROBERTSON: Absolutely, Sir.

MR COETZEE: Thank you, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Coetzee.

MR KOOPEDI: No questions from me, thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Mtanga, are you going to break the record?

MS MTANGA: No questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Panel?

MS MTANGA: No thank you Chairperson, I don't want to break the record.

CHAIRPERSON: A disciplined Panel. And you, are you going to spoil it or what?

MR RADITAPOLE: I have no re-examination, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Robertson, thank you very much. You're also excused.

MR ROBERTSON: Thank you.




_____________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: And you want to get Mrs de Lange? Can I just before you settle, can I also ask you just to stand? Are you going to affirm or are you going to take the oath?

MRS DE LANGE: I'll affirm.

SUSAN CATHERINE DE LANGE: (affirms and states)


Mrs de Lange, do you confirm that you've applied for amnesty in relation to the matters we've been discussing today?


MR RADITAPOLE: Do you confirm the joint statement laid out by Mr de Lange?

MRS DE LANGE: Yes, I confirm the statement.

MR RADITAPOLE: And you confirm all the answers provided by Mr de Lange to questions asked today?

MRS DE LANGE: Yes, I confirm all the answers.

MR RADITAPOLE: Do you have anything else to add?

MRS DE LANGE: No, I've got nothing else to add.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: I've got no questions, thank you.


MR KOOPEDI: I also have no questions, thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: I have no questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Has the Panel got anything? I assume you won't have any re-examination?

MR RADITAPOLE: I beg your pardon, Chairperson, I missed that?

CHAIRPERSON: I've assumed that you don't have any re-examination?

MR RADITAPOLE: I have no re-examination, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: At least we agree on that.

ADV SANDI: I thought you were going to break the monotony and ask a question there?

MR RADITAPOLE: Chairperson, I thought I would defer to the Leader of Evidence, I thought she would at least ask one.

CHAIRPERSON: I won't allow the Members of this Panel to intimidate you. So Mrs de Lange, you're excused.


CHAIRPERSON: Would that be the case for the applicants?

MR RADITAPOLE: Well Chairperson, save to say that the applicants believe they've complied with the requirements of the Act, particularly Section 21 and also that they are entitled then, in the light of that, to the benefit of sub-section of Section 20.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I might come back to you on that score. Mr Coetzee, were you going to present any evidence?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I'm not going to present any evidence, no.

MR KOOPEDI: Not at this stage, Chairperson. The only evidence we will present will be tomorrow when applicant number one gives evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Very good. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: No evidence, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. I was just going to clarify that that was the case. I expected that to be the case. If there's anything else you want to add on the merits of the place please, you can feel free to do so.

MR RADITAPOLE IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson, I have nothing. Again I've jumped the gun as I did last time round. I made my submissions before finishing the round. Save to repeat that the applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act, more particularly Section 20 and that they are entitled therefore to the benefits of Section 20.10, which relates to the expunging from the records of their convictions. Thank you, Chairperson.


JUDGE MOTATA: I wanted to ask you, Mr Raditapole, in respect of expunging the criminal records or what they normally term previous convictions. If we just look at the two incidents boldly, you know, the attack on the communications tower and the airforce bus, would it do justice in the expunging or should we, as appears from the statement given by Advocate Sogget, in tabulating the charges for which they were found guilty? Because if we simply say the attacks on the bus and the tower, would it be picked up for those who, you know, keep these records? I just want some clarity there.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you Chair for raising that point. In fact the application as much as we'll refer to the two incidents really relate to the counts, to all the counts that are then related to the incidents as tabulated by Mr Sogget.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, because I thought if we deliberate and find that my colleagues and I are in agreement probably to give amnesty, we wanted to do justice because if you look at the preamble, that is point 1 of the joint statement says that these crimes should be expunged, you see? So I thought probably if we approach it that way but thanks for the direction you have given.

MR RADITAPOLE: I'm also indebted to the Chair, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, have you got any submissions?

MR COETZEE IN ARGUMENT: Mr Commissioner and Honourable Panel, as I've stated from the onset already in chambers that I am not opposing this application. I was here on behalf of the family to clear up some factors which were not clear to them and which they needed to know what the situation was. I therefore do not oppose the application as such. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Coetzee. Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: No Chairperson, I have nothing to submit at this stage. I'll limit my submissions to tomorrow's evidence, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson I'll also not be making any submissions.


JUDGE MOTATA: Just to go back to you, Mr Coetzee? At the beginning, I don't know if I've got everything right, you said you are representing the family of Mr Neethling, the driver, who is now deceased. We are supposed to, in terms of the Act, if we do grant amnesty, that we should refer to the people who have been victims in this instance. So from whom did you get instructions when you say the family of the deceased?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairperson and Honourable Panel, I got instructions from the son of Mr Neethling. His name is Schalk Neethling and I consulted then with his mother and his sister who were all at that stage, well still living at home and it was also my instruction from Mrs Neethling, the wife of the deceased, the bus driver, not to oppose as such. She did not want me to oppose the application for amnesty. She wanted me to know, there's some answers that she wanted which I obviously then believed that was clarified during this hearing, either through the direct evidence or from my cross-examination and in the light thereof, it is in fact my instructions from Mrs Neethling and her children and I just wish to state it clearly that although they do not propose that there was a legal nexus between the bombing and the death of Mr Neethling, they felt that it did have some effect to the sudden deterioration of his health after this incident and that's why there is some emotions involved with the family as to the incident. However, I must reiterate, I was clearly requested not to oppose it as such. Thank you.

JUDGE MOTATA: Other than Schalk, what is Mrs Neethling's names?

MR COETZEE: The surname of the daughter I know is Swart now, she's been married so it's Mrs Swart actually, the young - the daughter and I addressed Mrs Neethling as Mrs Neethling. I did not get her first name. If the commission so pleases, I'm going to phone them tonight, to give them feedback. I will get the full names of all the people involved.

JUDGE MOTATA: I would say get in touch with our Evidence Leader. Why I'm asking that is that sometimes it becomes very difficult if you just say the Neethling family are victims, you know? Now they want us to be specific so that we don't give them too much work. So get her telephone numbers and give the names to her.

MR COETZEE: I'll be here tomorrow any way, I will give her feedback. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Raditapole, have you got anything further you wanted to say?

MR RADITAPOLE: Chairperson no, simply to confirm that obviously it's patently clear there's no legal nexus and therefore there was no need for me to address the issue of Mr Neethling at all, Chairperson. The other point simply being a more logistical one, that second to fourth applicants would not be here tomorrow, that I will be here simply for the sake of completeness, really. I do not believe there's material need or any difference in the evidence that will be given tomorrow in relation to the second to fourth applicants.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, because I was going to advise you that for their interest, even though they are applicants in the same, more or less you know, that somebody should be here to represent their interests.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you very much, Mr Raditapole. Well that concludes the testimony and the formal aspects of the applications that are before us. Insofar as those applications are concerned, we will deal with them on the basis of what has been placed before us and consider the testimony as well as the applications and formulate our decision on this matter as soon as circumstances permit. We will then notify everybody with an interest in the matter once that decision is available. So we'll reserve it under those circumstances.

MR RADITAPOLE: As the Chair pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Raditapole, you're finished? You don't have anything further?

MR RADITAPOLE: I have nothing further to add, Mr Chair. Then we're going to excuse you as well. We've already excused your clients. We know that you - you've indicated you will be present tomorrow just for the formality?

MRS DE LANGE: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but for insofar as his applications are concerned we thank you for your assistance and you're excused.

MR RADITAPOLE: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Coetzee, you've indicated you will also still be here tomorrow?

MR COETZEE: Yes Mr Commissioner, I will be here tomorrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and Mr Koopedi we know will be present. Very well. Well thank you very much, that concludes the matter that was before us.

There's another matter Ms Mtanga that we have to attend to not so?

MS MTANGA: Yes Chairperson, the next application is that of Shabangu and Mr Koopedi will be appearing for him. He has requested that the Committee adjourn for five minutes before he can organise himself?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, very well. We'll stand down briefly.






CHAIRPERSON: T Shabangu, reference number AM7153/97. The Panel is constituted as would be apparent from the record. Ms Mtanga is still appearing as the Leader of Evidence and we're going to ask Mr Koopedi to put himself on record on behalf of the applicant.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. My name is Brian Koopedi, I appear before you on behalf of the applicant who is Mr Shabangu. He is ready to be sworn in, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: He will testify in Zulu, Chairperson.


EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Shabangu, I am showing to you a document, page 1 Chairperson, of the bundle of documents. Is this your application form?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: And in the same document, the back of that document on page 9, Chairperson, at the bottom of this page, the word "deponent" and there's a signature on top. Is that your signature?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now is it correct that you are applying for amnesty for three incidences. Chairperson, the incidences are on page 2 of the bundle of documents. Is it correct that you are applying for the incidences that are listed here which would be the burning of two shacks which happened on the 4th September 1993 and burning of plus minus six shacks belonging to IFP, also which happened on the 7th September 1993 and finally the burning of shacks at A9 in Mazibuko Street which also happened in September, but on the 25th September 1993?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Koopedi, perhaps just before he answers? Just carry on to page 3, I think that includes, at the back of that, you see on page 3, he seems to include two more incidents? Have you got that? So there seems to be five of them.

MR KOOPEDI: I'm indebted Chairperson, in fact there are five incidences and perhaps lets confirm the remaining four incidences. It would be the burning of four shacks, A21 Lekwane Street and finally the burning of Albert Mlaba Mafulela house. Is this correct, these are the incidences for which you are asking for amnesty?

MR SHABANGU: Yes that is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now at the time when these incidences occurred, were you a member of a political organisation?

MR SHABANGU: Yes I was a member of the Self-Defence Units.

JUDGE MOTATA: Mr Koopedi, before you proceed, I'm sorry to interrupt you. Couldn't we with the first two have an indication were these shacks where other than belonging to IFP because if you look at incident 3, burning of shacks at A9, A8 Mazibuko Street and we have burning of four shacks, 821 Lekwane Street, burning of Albert Mlaba. At least we have an indication but just burning of shacks without probably an idea of the location?

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. The first incident here, the burning of the two shacks belonging to the IFP, you have it here as A1, that this happened at A1, is that correct?

MR SHABANGU: Yes that is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: It's actually A18, the first incident. Do you confirm that this happened at A18. What is A18, is it a section? What is A18?

MR SHABANGU: It was on Lekwane Street.

MR KOOPEDI: Is A18 a street name or a name of a particular section or is a house number?

MR SHABANGU: A18 is a house number.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay, now the second incident, you have it as having burned plus minus six or seven shacks belonging to IFP. Where were these shacks?

MR SHABANGU: These shacks were in A8 and A9.

MR KOOPEDI: And A8 and A9, these were also house numbers?

MR SHABANGU: Yes, they're both house numbers.

MR KOOPEDI: What street was this?

MR SHABANGU: Mazibuko Street.

MR KOOPEDI: Now the third incident here is the burning of shacks at A9 and A8, Mazibuko Street. Would this be different from the second incident where six or seven shacks were burnt?

MR SHABANGU: It is not different. Those two house numbers, A8 and A9 referred to the place where those shacks were burnt.

MR KOOPEDI: The third incident, is the third incident and the second incident one and the same? Now let me try and explain. Are you saying that you burnt six or seven shacks at A8 and A9?

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr Koopedi. Or if you look at paragraph 9a(iii) (2) in the circle there or in the second incident where the six or seven shacks were burnt. Was that in the yard of the church at the corner of Mazibuko and Masondo Streets in Tokoza?

MR SHABANGU: The six shacks were burnt at A8 or A9.

CHAIRPERSON: And was there any shacks that were burnt in the yard of the church on the corner of Mazibuko and Masondo Streets?

MR SHABANGU: They were shacks that were burnt at the corner of Mazibuko and Mavuso Streets.

CHAIRPERSON: Mazibuko and - I'm sorry can you repeat that last name of that street? Was it Mavuso?

MR SHABANGU: The church is at the corner of Mazibuko and Mavuso Streets.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, thank you very much. Were there shacks there that were burnt as well?

MR SHABANGU: Yes there were shacks that were burnt there.

CHAIRPERSON: And to which political organisation did those people belong whose shacks were burnt there?

MR SHABANGU: They were IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: And - I just want to try and complete it. How many shacks was it about that were burnt in that incident?

MR SHABANGU: I cannot recall the amount.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Koopedi, perhaps you can take it further?

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson, I'm indebted to the Honourable Panel.

On page 3 of your application form you also have this burning of four shacks at A21 Lekwane Street. Is this any different from the other incidences you've mentioned?

MR SHABANGU: It is different.

MR KOOPEDI: These were more shacks?

MR SHABANGU: Yes those were shacks that were in Lekwane.

MR KOOPEDI: Now the fifth incident, the burning of Albert Mlaba, where did this happen?

MR SHABANGU: In Mazibuko Street.

MR KOOPEDI: And do you recall the date or the page - is it this number five at the middle of the page being 5th October 1993, would this be the date when this happened?

MR SHABANGU: I cannot specifically recall the dates but I can say yes it is.

MR KOOPEDI: Now at the time of these offences, you said that you were a member of the SDU, is that correct?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: And this SDU, this Self-Defence Unit, was it aligned to any political party?

MR SHABANGU: Yes it was aligned to the ANC.

MR KOOPEDI: Now why - what was the reason behind the burning of these shacks and the burning of Albert Mlaba? What was the reason behind that?

MR SHABANGU: The reason for the burning down of the shacks was that the owners of the people who resided in those shacks forced us as residents to attend meetings at the hostel.

MR KOOPEDI: Now these owners, you have referred to them as being shacks belonging to IFP people. I just need your confirmation. Were these owners members of the IFP?

MR SHABANGU: Yes they were members of the IFP.

MR KOOPEDI: Then on previous occasions and on other amnesty applications, members of this Honourable Committee have been told that there was a war between the ANC and the IFP. Do you want to confirm that?

MR SHABANGU: Yes, there was a war between the ANC and the IFP.

MR KOOPEDI: And these attacks, do you regard them as being part of that war?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now let us briefly deal with each incident and I'd like you to explain to this Honourable Committee what happened on each occasion and specifically what role did you play? Let's start first with the two shacks at A18.

MR SHABANGU: We were a large crowd and I cannot specifically say what role I played but I took part in the burning down of those shacks.

MR KOOPEDI: You say there was a large number, who were these people? There was a group of you, is that correct?

MR SHABANGU: I cannot recall the names of the people who were present.

MR KOOPEDI: Who were these people, were they all SDU members, were they just friends, who were these people?

MR SHABANGU: They were members of the SDU's.

MR KOOPEDI: And why did that group go and attack these two shacks at A18? Was there an instruction from anyone, did you just go there on your own?

MR SHABANGU: For us to go there, there were members of the IFP who resided there and they were responsible for forcing us to go to the hostel.

MR KOOPEDI: Yes, but what I want to know is, was there any order or this was just an impulsive action by this group?

MR SHABANGU: There was an order that was issued.

MR KOOPEDI: And who gave this order?

MR SHABANGU: It was the Commander of our section.

MR KOOPEDI: Do you remember who this Commander was?

MR SHABANGU: It was Mr Bongani Nkosi.

MR KOOPEDI: Is it correct that he is present in this hall?

MR SHABANGU: Yes he is.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. Now the second offence, this is where six or so shacks were burnt. Please tell this Committee briefly what happened there and in particular what was your role?

MR SHABANGU: With regards to the six shacks that were burnt down in A8 and A9, these shacks belonged to IFP people which they used to hide on their way to attack us. We then burnt down those shacks so that we would be in a position to see them as they approached.

MR KOOPEDI: Were there any people staying inside those shacks?

MR SHABANGU: No, no one resided at those shacks. In fact there was no person living on that street.

MR KOOPEDI: Now this burning, was it also per order of someone or was it an impulsive burning or a decision taken by your SDU?

MR SHABANGU: It was per instruction.

MR KOOPEDI: And per instructions, who gave the order, was it your Commander again?

MR SHABANGU: Yes it was the Commander.

MR KOOPEDI: And perhaps let me cover this whilst I'm still at it. All these actions that have been listed here, were they all actions upon an instruction, that is did your Commander give instructions on all these incidences?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now let's move on to the next incident. What role - you have stated that the burning of, what is here is number 3, actually means 2, this is where the six or seven shacks were burnt. Now there was another incident at A21 Lekwane Street where four shacks were burnt. Could you tell the Honourable Committee what happened on this day and what was your role, what did you personally do?

MR SHABANGU: Members of the IFP resided at A21 and as I've already explained, they used to forcefully take us to meetings that were held at the hostel and for us to prevent that it was important that we remove them from the townships so that they go reside with other IFP members.

MR KOOPEDI: And what did you do to achieve this objective? How many of you went there, if you were part of them what did you have with you, did you have any weapons, did you have any matches? I want you to explain to this Committee what you did, your role?

MR SHABANGU: We were a large crowd and even on other incidents there were many of us who took part. What I can say is I did not play a major role and you could not really ascertain who was doing what if somebody was doing something active or somebody was just present.

MR KOOPEDI: Now do you align yourself with what you colleagues did?

MR SHABANGU: Yes, I do align myself with my colleagues.

MR KOOPEDI: Now this last incident, the burning of Albert Mlaba, can you briefly tell this Committee who was this Albert and why was he burnt and the role you played again?

MR SHABANGU: I'd like to explain that Albert Mlaba was a member of IFP. He is not the person who was burnt but it was the shacks in which he previously resided that were burnt but at that time he had already fled his home.

MR KOOPEDI: So actually it is incorrect to state that Albert Mlaba was burnt, you should rather say the shacks belonging to Albert Mlaba were burnt, is that correct?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now can you tell this Honourable Committee what role did you play here?

MR SHABANGU: I broke a wall which was used by IFP people. They would stand behind the wall and use that as a shield to shoot at the residents. On that particular day two women were attacked and we decided that we'd rather break down the wall so that it is possible to see anybody who approaches from the other side.

MR KOOPEDI: Other than the breaking of the wall, shacks were also burnt, is that correct?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now regard being had to evidence you've just given, the things you say you have done, as far as your memory can assist you, have you told this Honourable Committee all the relevant facts in terms of your involvement and your participation in these actions?

MR SHABANGU: That is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Now in all these incidences, did you receive anything of personal gain?

MR SHABANGU: No I did not.

MR KOOPEDI: And these burnings, do you regard them as having been politically motivated?

MR SHABANGU: Yes, they were politically motivated because there was a war between the ANC and the IFP.

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, that is the evidence-in-chief.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga, have you got any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I just have one question.

Mr Shabangu, I just want to clarify something. In respect of incident number 2, the burning of six shacks, you said these shacks were at a church yard at corner of Mazibuko and another street. In your application you indicated that this street was Masondo Street but in your testimony you said it's Mavuso. Am I correct? This is stated on page 2 of your application, you said it's corner Mazibuko and Masondo, that's what you wrote in your application?

MR SHABANGU: Please repeat that question?

MS MTANGA: My question to you is that can you clarify here, on your application on page 2 you indicated that the church yard where you burnt shacks, where this church yard is located at corner Mazibuko and Masondo Streets. This is what you've written on your application. However, in your testimony today, you say this church yard is situated at corner of Mazibuko and Mavuso. So which one is correct? Is it corner of Mazibuko and Mavuso or is it corner of Mazibuko and Masondo Streets?

MR SHABANGU: I cannot specify the streets but I do know that the church is at the corner of Mazibuko and another street.

MS MTANGA: I have no other questions, Chairperson, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Mtanga. Has the Panel got any questions?

JUDGE MOTATA: Mr Shabangu, this large crowd, what did they use in burning these shacks?


JUDGE MOTATA: In other words they poured petrol over these shacks and set them alight?

MR SHABANGU: We would first check if there in no one inside the shack. If there's no one and there is no property, we would burn the shack because all these incidents there were no persons, no property inside the shacks. People will come perhaps during the day to check if their residences are still intact.

JUDGE MOTATA: And this petrol was bought by yourselves, that is the members of the SDU's?


JUDGE MOTATA: So when you received instructions from Bongani Nkosi, did he say what mode of burning you should use or you used your own discretion as far as that is concerned?

MR SHABANGU: We used our own discretion on arrival at the scene.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you Mr Koopedi, any re-examination?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-examination Chairperson and we will not be leading any further evidence in support of this applicant's application and that is his application.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi and thank you Mr Shabangu, you will be excused. Ms Mtanga?


MS MTANGA: Mr Chairperson, I will not be leading any evidence but I would like to place on record that we received a letter or a fax from Advocate Chris van der Heyde who normally represents IFP members and in his letter he indicated that Mr Mlaba, who is referred to here as also Mr Mafulela, is not opposing this application and that his personal details, that is the address, will not be provided for his safety and then should be need to be contacted then he can be contacted at 0824385967, that is in respect of any referral made to the reparations committee.

And then secondly, the occupants or owners of the shacks, we did advertise for them but no one contacted the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Mtanga. We've noted all of that. Mr Koopedi, have you got submissions?

MR KOOPEDI IN ARGUMENT: A very brief submission, Chairperson, Honourable Committee Members.

Chairperson, this applicant who is now before you comes from an area that has a peculiar history to it. You will know, Chairperson and fellow Honourable Committee Members, that in Tokoza there was at this time, during those years, a war between the IFP and its aligned self protection units together with the ANC on the one hand and the Self-Defence Units. Then it's my submission, Chairperson, that the applicant was a member of an established Self-Defence Unit which was commanded by Mr Bongani Nkosi. It's my submission, Chairperson, that in all the actions or incidences where the applicant was involved, he acted under the command of Mr Nkosi. I will in this regard, Chairperson, refer you to page 11 of your bundle of documents which was a statement by Mr Nkosi. The typed version can be found on page 11(a), Chairperson, where he states that he was a Commander of this Self-Defence Unit and he states further that the applicant was under his command, Chairperson.

And perhaps, finally Chairperson, I will submit that the applicant has also met with the requirements stipulated by the Act for him to be considered for amnesty and I would strongly urge this Honourable Committee to grant amnesty to this applicant. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, I will not be making any submissions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you ma'am. Mr Koopedi, you won't have anything further to add, I assume?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing to add, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much, that concludes the evidence and the Panel will consider the application and will take time to prepare a decision in the matter and will ensure that the interested parties are notified once that decision is available. Therefore the decision in this matter of Mr Shabangu will be reserved.

Ms Mtanga, is there anything else that is on the roll?

MS MTANGA: Chairperson, that is all we had for today.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we will then, I have gathered, proceed with Mr Kasrils' part of the previous application that we've heard tomorrow morning.

MS MTANGA: Yes, that is so Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What time should we reconvene here? Have you made any arrangement with Mr Kasrils?

MR KOOPEDI: We advised him that this Committee starts work at 9, Chairperson, we expect him to be here at 9. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Perhaps we should in the circumstances adjourn the proceedings until 9.30 tomorrow morning and to dispose of the application of Mr Kasrils. So we'll adjourn and we'll reconvene at 9.30 tomorrow morning.