TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 28 AUGUST 2000

NAME: BASIL DUMISANE MAFU

APPLICATION NO: AM5293/97

HELD AT: DURBAN

DAY: 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. For the purposes of the record I am Judge Pillay. I'm going to ask my colleagues here to identify themselves for the purposes of the record and so too the various representatives.

JUDGE POTGIETER: My name is Denzil Potgieter.

MR LAX: Good morning, my name is Ilan Lax.

MR MGIDLANA: My name Tangwe Fika Mgidlana. I'm appearing for the applicant in this matter.

MR NONTENJA: My name is Sidwell ...(indistinct) Nontenja. Iím appearing for the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you spell you name?

MR : S-I...

CHAIRPERSON: No, the surname please.

MR NONTENJA: N-O-N-T-E-N-J-A

CHAIRPERSON: Nontenja.

MR NONTENJA: That's correct.

MS THABETHE: Thank you. My name is Thabile Thabethe. I'm the Evidence Leader for the TRC. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Which application is this, Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: We are hearing the application of Basil Dumisane Mafu.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr Mgidlana.

MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Judge. I will lead the evidence of Mr Mafu. May he be sworn in?

BASIL DUMISANE MAFU: (sworn states)

MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Chairperson.

EXAMINATION BY MR MGIDLANA: Mr Mafu could you give us your full names?

MR MAFU: My full names are Basil Kanye Dumisane Mafu.

MR MGIDLANA: Where and when were you born?

MR MAFU: I was born in Roelofvale in the erstwhile Transkei on the 11th of September 1957.

MR MGIDLANA: You are here to move an application for the granting of amnesty in respect of certain incidents. Which political organisation did you belong to?

MR MAFU: I belonged to and still belong to the African National Congress.

MR MGIDLANA: When did you join the ANC?

MR MAFU: I joined the ANC around 1978 and joined its military wing in 1981, 1980.

MR MGIDLANA: Did you receive any military training?

MR MAFU: I underwent military training in Angola and the Soviet Union.

MR MGIDLANA: Having undergone military training, where were you deployed?

MR MAFU: I first served in the military camp of the ANC in Angola. Later on I served in the front, that is inside South Africa, as a Regional Commander for the Transkei.

MR MGIDLANA: Do you recall the year in which you served in the Transkei?

MR MAFU: I think I was infiltrated into the country at the beginning of 1986, or late 1985. I can't recall the dates exactly, but I operated in the Transkei between the years 1986 and 1987, that is being physically inside the country, in the Transkei.

MR MGIDLANA: When you say you operated in the Transkei, what kind of operations were you involved in?

MR MAFU: I was involved mainly in covert operations of the nature of assault on police stations, ...(indistinct). I think mainly those were the operations. I'm also saying when I was physically inside the Transkei, because even if I was still outside the Transkei, having retreated to a neighbouring country, I still held the responsibility of Regional Commander for that area.

MR MGIDLANA: I gather that you were a Regional Commander, is that correct?

MR MAFU: That's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: When did you become the Regional Commander?

MR MAFU: I was the Regional Commander from, as I'm saying, from the beginning of 1986 up until I would say 1988, if I'm not mistaken.

MR MGIDLANA: As a Regional Commander, what duties did you have to shoulder?

MR MAFU: I had to shoulder the responsibility of advancing the struggle in the area I was deployed in. This involved both political and conducting military operations, so I had a number of units under me, deployed in the area.

MR MGIDLANA: In your application for amnesty you have almost about three incidents. Can you tell us which one happened first?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mgidlana, he's mentioned four, together with one that seems to be a blanket application, being (e).

MR MGIDLANA: Let me rephrase the question. You have mentioned about three incidents in which you were directly involved, by directly, physically involved.

MR MAFU: That's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: The fourth one being the one that took place in Mzamba.

MR MAFU: That's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: Now in respect of those that you were directly involved, are you able to tell us which one happened first, so that we start with that?

MR MAFU: If I may remember well, I think the Borris Sedawu bombing was the first one, if I still recall.

CHAIRPERSON: Which one did you say?

MR MAFU: The Borris Sedawu bombing.

MR MGIDLANA: Do you recall in which year did it take place?

MR MAFU: I think it was 1986.

MR MGIDLANA: Are you able to tell us with whom were you personally involved by the way?

MR MAFU: Together with Maziz Makadeza. We discussed this operation with Setselo Manki, they are unfortunately both deceased now. Setselo Manki then was working as a clerk at the Borris Sedawu building. We therefore organised a limpet mine which we primed and handed over to Setselo Manki to go and place, if I remember well I think it was the registry section of the Borris Sedawu building, which he did.

CHAIRPERSON: Who is that?

MR MAFU: Setselo Manki.

CHAIRPERSON: He was the one that was working at ...

MR MAFU: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: The three of you discussed this matter and in terms of the plan Manki would go place that bomb in what you say was the registry section.

MR MAFU: That's right.

MR LAX: Was he a clerk in that section?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

MR LAX: Was he a clerk in that section or where was he working?

MR MAFU: I'm not sure whether he was in that section, but he was working within that department.

MR LAX: That department?

MR MAFU: Yes.

MR MGIDLANA: Do you know which department that was?

MR MAFU: I can't be sure whether it was the Department of Interior or whatever. I'm not sure of the department exactly.

CHAIRPERSON: Well anyway, it doesn't really matter. He had access to the building.

MR MGIDLANA: Now, are you able to tell the Committee as to why did you chose Borris Sedawu building?

MR MAFU: This was more of a political statement, because I remember at the time, I think it was at the time of the death of King Sebata, so there was a lot of arrogance on the part of the then Transkei Government.

CHAIRPERSON: So who was head of it then?

MR MAFU: Pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: Who was the head of the Transkei?

MR MAFU: It was Matanzima, then as I'm saying ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Whose death are you talking about?

MR MAFU: King ...(indistinct) Sebata. So there was a lot of arrogance on the part of the Transkei Government pertaining to that and there was a lot of ill feeling within the communities in general, so this was in relation to that, it was a political statement on the part of the African National Congress.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me more about this arrogance.

MR MAFU: About the?

CHAIRPERSON: About the arrogance on the part of the then Transkei authority.

MR MAFU: King Sebata, Dalingyebo had been persecuted out of the Transkei and he went into exile. He was exiled to Lusaka, Zambia. I think that's where he passed away, so during his passing away, there was a lot of adverse publicity on the part of the Transkei Government.

CHAIRPERSON: Against?

MR MAFU: Against Sebata and the ANC, so we wanted to respond to that arrogance in a way which could be seen by everybody, that the ANC is opposed to what the Matanzima Government was saying.

CHAIRPERSON: Sebata was a known supporter of the ANC?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: Sebata.

MR MAFU: He was by then a member of the ANC.

MR MGIDLANA: According to your plan, having chosen Borris Sedawu building as a target, what time did you want this bomb to go off?

MR MAFU: We timed the bomb to go off before people got to work, because we didn't intend injuring any ...(indistinct), as I'm saying, this was just meant to be a political statement, so we wanted it to go off before 8 o'clock when everybody reports for work.

MR MGIDLANA: Are you aware as to when did it actually go off?

MR MAFU: If I may recall, I'm subject to correction, I think it went off around that time, before 8 o'clock in the morning.

CHAIRPERSON: As planned?

MR MAFU: As planned, yes.

MR MGIDLANA: Did you get to hear as to whether or not were there any people that were injured?

MR MAFU: According to newspaper reports, I think there was a person who suffered some injuries. I think it was somebody working in the Department, those who come earlier than 8 o'clock.

CHAIRPERSON: You say someone, or some people were injured?

MR MAFU: I think it was someone.

MR MGIDLANA: We now know that it was Mr Ndzobole, is that the person that was reported to have been injured even then?

MR MAFU: I can't recall the name at the time, this happened a long time ago.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mgidlana, who do you say it was?

MR MGIDLANA: Ndzobole, according to the bundle, N-D-Z-O-B-O-L-E.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mafu, are you prepared to accept that it was Mr Ndzobole who was injured?

MR MAFU: I've got no problem with accepting that, yes.

MR MGIDLANA: Was it just one limpet mine, or were there many?

MR MAFU: No, it was one limpet mine.

MR MGIDLANA: Now with that having happened, where you say there were no other people except for this lone person.

MR MAFU: As far as I know, Sir.

MR MGIDLANA: Was there any damage to the building caused?

MR MAFU: There must have been damage caused to the building. I don't ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Are you prepared to accept that there was?

MR MAFU: I'm prepared to accept, I mean because, when a limpet mine explodes, there's bound to be some damage.

MR MGIDLANA: Alright. Which was then - let's go on, which was the second incident to take place?

MR MAFU: The Madeira Street Police Station was the second attempt of the sequence.

MR MGIDLANA: Could you tell us as to who was involved in the planning as well as the execution of that particular operation?

MR MAFU: In the planning of the operation it was myself, Maziz Makadeza, Mbule Longono, Solly ...(indistinct)

MR MGIDLANA: So you were all involved in the planning as well as the execution?

MR MAFU: We were not all involved in the execution.

CHAIRPERSON: Just hold it, I just need to write down all these names. It seems that all your colleagues who acted with you, are now deceased.

MR MAFU: That's my dilemma. Yes.

MR MGIDLANA: So who was actually involved then in the execution of the operation?

MR MAFU: In the execution of the operation it was Mbule Longono, Solly Talagumeni and Siphiwe Mazwaye.

CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat that.

MR MAFU: Mbule Longono, Solly Talagumeni and Siphiwe Mazwaye.

MR LAX: Were you also involved in the execution?

MR MAFU: No, I was not involved in the execution but in the planning as a Senior Commander.

MR LAX: Okay. Thanks.

MR MGIDLANA: What was used in the execution of that particular operation?

MR MAFU: In the execution of the operation was used hand grenades, AK47's and pistols.

MR MGIDLANA: Who had supplied those who were to be involved in the execution with such armoury?

MR MAFU: I supplied the armoury.

MR MGIDLANA: What was the reason for choosing to attack Madeira Police Station?

MR MAFU: Madeira Police Station was the main police station in Umtata, the capital of the Transkei. One could safely say that it was the centre of oppression where police brutality was metered from to the people around the Transkei, so in a way it was the symbol of the Transkei Police.

MR MGIDLANA: According to the planning, when was this operation planned to be effected?

MR MAFU: It was planned to be effected towards 10 o'clock at night.

MR MGIDLANA: Was there any specific reason for choosing that time?

MR MAFU: The specific reason was that 10 o'clock was the curfew time in the Transkei, so we didn't want to attract attention by moving after 10 o'clock, but we thought that if it was closer to 10 o'clock, a lot of people would have left the charge office by then, that is the civilians, having applied for their curfew permits and it was also opportune because the attackers would approach the police station as if they were to come and apply for curfew permits.

CHAIRPERSON: When did curfew begin?

MR MAFU: You mean in terms of the time of the day? At 10 o'clock.

CHAIRPERSON: 10 o'clock?

MR MAFU: Yes.

MR MGIDLANA: This 10 o'clock is 10 o'clock in the evening?

MR MAFU: That's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: So were these three going to be joined by some other people in the execution of this task, or were they just going to execute it by themselves, the three of them?

MR MAFU: No, they were enough being three.

MR MGIDLANA: As far as you are aware, were any people injured or killed?

MR MAFU: Yes, I'm aware that a number of policemen were killed and I think there were some civilians who were hit in the cross-fire.

MR MGIDLANA: Do you know the names of those that were killed?

MR MAFU: I'm not familiar with the names.

MR MGIDLANA: What about those that were injured, do you know them?

MR MAFU: Also those who were injured, I'm not familiar.

MR MGIDLANA: Was any damage caused to the building?

MR MAFU: I reckon there must have been some damage, since there were some hand grenades which exploded.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you prepared to accept that there was in fact some damage?

MR MAFU: I'm prepared, ja.

MR MGIDLANA: With that operation having been executed, are you aware of any people that were - those who went to execute that particular operation, were they arrested?

MR MAFU: No, they were not arrested.

MR MGIDLANA: And you knew where they were staying, is that correct?

MR MAFU: I knew, yes, that's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: Then let's come to the third operation, then ...(intervention)

JUDGE POTGIETER: Mr Mgidlana, what is the date of this one?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE POTGIETER: What is the date of this attack?

MR MAFU: I can't remember the date.

JUDGE POTGIETER: Is it ...(intervention)

MR LAX: 29 July.

JUDGE POTGIETER: Is it 29th of July, is that - there's a note in our papers that it happened on the 29th of July.

MR MAFU: I wouldn't dispute that date.

JUDGE POTGIETER; You would accept that's the date?

MR MAFU: I accept it.

JUDGE POTGIETER: Thank you. Yes, sorry Mr Mgidlana.

MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Judge. Then with that - what was the third operation?

MR MAFU: It was the ...(indistinct) shoot-out.

MR MGIDLANA: Are you able to recall as to when did it take place?

MR MAFU: I think it must have been towards the end of January in 1987.

MR MGIDLANA: Was that still during the era of the Matanzimas in the Transkei as the rulers?

MR MAFU: That's correct.

MR MGIDLANA: Were you personally involved in that particular operation?

MR MAFU: Yes, I was personally involved.

MR MGIDLANA: Could you briefly tell the Committee as to what had happened?

MR MAFU: We were hiding out in a shop in the Logwaiso area, near Dwessa, so this is not an operation which was planned by us but apparently the Security Forces had got wind of where we were. On the day in question, unfortunately two of us had gone out on another mission, so when they raided the place, they found one cadres, that is Mbule Longono, who was at the residence at the time. We only came back the following morning, not aware that the place had been raided. When we became aware, because we had started in another area when we got this information that the place had been raided, so we went to the place which was raided because we thought that he might still be lingering around, to try and salvage. That was the following day after the raid.

Unfortunately we had an engagement with the Security Services before we could reach the place where he was, that is the shop in Logwaiso. I'm not aware of any injury or death in that incident. We were not out to assault, but we were mainly disengaging from the Security Services, because as I'm saying, it was early in the morning, at about, I think if I'm not mistaken it was between 8 and 10 in the morning, so we didn't fight with the purpose maybe to inflict injuries or casualties, but we were mainly disengaging, so that we can retreat in safety and that's what we did. That was myself and Makadeza. We later established communication and contact with Mbule Longono who also managed to get out of that situation.

I am aware that one police officer, if I'm not mistaken, might have got injured in the ensuing battle, but I'm not aware of any fatalities.

MR MGIDLANA: When you say in the ensuing battle, at the time that you were already there, or before you arrived?

MR MAFU: I'm not sure, I suspect that it might have been when they raided the place, that is when Mbule Longono was there, but I won't dispute if it's said he got injured in the second encounter, that is with ourselves and Makadeza.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm not too clear on this one. You say your unit was hiding out at Mr Japhta's house and at some time it was necessary for two of you to leave that house for some other reason. While you were away, you were informed that the police had raided that house.

MR MAFU: On our way back.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, but you weren't at the house yet.

MR MAFU: Pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: You were not at the house yet.

MR MAFU: We were not at the house.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, you then decided to go to that house.

MR MAFU: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Why?

MR MAFU: We went to the house because one of us we had left there the previous day.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was that?

MR MAFU: It was Mbule Longono.

JUDGE POTGIETER: Was he also called Kaya, you said?

MR MAFU: Kaya Sizabane.

JUDGE POTGIETER: Was that his combat name?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE POTGIETER: Was that his combat name?

MR MAFU: That's his combat name.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, now you left Longono there and then you wanted to go see what - why did you go there now? You say you left him there the previous day.

MR MAFU: We left him there the previous day and the house was raided when we were not there, so when we came back, we got information that there had been a raid and it was our moral and military responsibility to go and establish exactly what happened and rescue him out of that situation because our concern was that he was alone and we were two who had left.

CHAIRPERSON: On your way there, you encountered the police.

MR MAFU: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And there was a firearm engagement.

MR MAFU: That's right.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja.

MR MAFU: As I'm saying, I'm not aware of any fatalities in that ...

CHAIRPERSON: There was shooting across.

MR MAFU: There was shooting across, they also brought in a helicopter.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, do you know how your colleague Longono got injured?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: How did he get injured?

MR MAFU: No, he was not injured in that situation. He got out of that situation, as we later joined with him.

CHAIRPERSON: So his injury had nothing to do with this incident?

MR MAFU: No, no, no, it was somewhere - he didn't die in that situation.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but did he get injured?

MR MAFU: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he get injured in a separate matter?

MR MAFU: The injury I was talking about, I was saying I think there might have been a policeman who got injured in that situation, not Mbule.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, carry on.

MR MGIDLANA: When you met with these Security Forces, how far were you from the or to the Japhta shop?

MR MAFU: Well as we were approaching the Japhta shop, there is a hill. As we were coming over the hill, that's when we saw the police officers and they were travelling in a Golf, then they pursued us from there, so we were almost next to the - I think we were less than a kilometre from the Japhta shop.

MR MGIDLANA: When you say you later met up with Longono, where were you? Were you still at Logwaiso or somewhere else?

MR MAFU: No, no, we were not in Logwaiso. After the shoot-out we manoeuvred to Butterworth and he had taken the route to Umtata, so we established communication and joined up.

MR MGIDLANA: Alright. Then did you assist Longono then to escape out of the Transkei, or did he remain inside the Transkei area?

MR MAFU: No, we left Transkei after some two weeks or so into Lesotho.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he in police custody when you returned, or planning to return to that safehouse?

MR MAFU: To the?

CHAIRPERSON: Safehouse.

MR MAFU: No, he was not arrested. He managed to escape.

CHAIRPERSON: No, that's what I'm trying to get at. During the raid, was he found at that house?

MR MAFU: Yes, he was in the house.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was arrested there.

MR MAFU: He was not arrested, he out-manoeuvred the police. They had surrounded the homestead, but he managed to get out of the homestead.

CHAIRPERSON: So your engagement with the police, had nothing to do with his freedom?

MR MAFU: We didn't know by then that he had managed to get out of the house, because this had happened overnight and we were returning in the morning.

CHAIRPERSON: I know that, but now that you know what the facts are, I'm just confirming with you that his freedom was not the result of your engagement with the police?

MR MAFU: No.

MR MGIDLANA: Then in your application you also mention the Mzamba incident. How were you involved in respect of that incident.

MR MAFU: I was involved in the Mzamba incident in terms of supplying weaponry to Mayapi and Zamela, who were in my unit.

MR LAX: Did you help with the planning at all?

MR MAFU: Pardon?

MR LAX: Did you help with the planning of that?

MR MAFU: Well I would say it was preliminary planning in the sense of just identifying the target, not specifically where the limpet mine would be placed.

MR LAX: And did you give approval for that operation?

MR MAFU: I did give approval for the operation.

MR LAX: And what was the object?

MR MAFU: The object was the Wild Coast Casino.

MR LAX: Yes, I know. What was the objective of the attack there?

MR MAFU: The objective of the attack was to make a political statement in the area and in terms of taking the war to everybody.

MR MGIDLANA: When you say everybody, what do you mean?

MR MAFU: Everybody, even those fraternised the casinos.

CHAIRPERSON: You say you supplied the firearms, or the ammunition.

MR MAFU: I supplied the limpet mines as well as the firearms, but there were no firearms used, it was only placing of the limpet mine.

MR MGIDLANA: So in respect of all these incidents, except for the Logwaiso one where you did not supply the weaponry, did you supply any weapons to Longono?

MR MAFU: Yes, I did supply weapons to him because he was falling under my unit.

MR MGIDLANA: So in respect of all these incidents, you had supplied weaponry when you - were these licensed firearms and explosives, did you have any authority to possess this weaponry?

MR MAFU: No, they were not licensed firearms. They were weapons of Eastern origin. These weapons we brought into the country for purposes of pursuing the armed struggle.

CHAIRPERSON: Just get this thing straight there with me, I'm not too clear on it. You say this Mzamba holiday resort was in actual fact a resort which included a Casino.

MR MAFU: Yes, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it targeted, the resort targeted because it had a casino?

MR MAFU: Not necessarily the Casino, because it had a Casino. As I'm saying the purpose then was to take war to everybody, there was an escalation of armed struggle. If I remember well then the clarion call by the ANC then was to take war even to the white suburbs, if I remember, so this was in that light.

CHAIRPERSON: But wasn't the call and I'm not sure of my dates now, 8th of January 87 I think, was in fact that call, but wasn't it a qualified call to take it to State institutions?

MR MAFU: I may not be sure of the exact dates and maybe in terms of the briefings that filtered to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well, let us not talk about the dates then, but that particular call to take it even to the white suburbs, was that not a qualified call to take it to the white suburbs, but to attack State institutions, like police stations?

MR MAFU: Well at the time, and may be Casino was all, the one ...(indistinct) was also owned mainly by the Transkei Government, that might have qualified as a State institution. I'm not referring to the people inside because care had been taken in that operation not to place it maybe in the machines where the people ...(indistinct)

CHAIRPERSON: You say care was taken to minimise any casualties.

MR MAFU: I don't understand.

CHAIRPERSON: You said care was taken to minimise any casualties.

MR MAFU: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: When you planned this and approved of this attack, was that the reasoning that the Casino should be targeted because it was owned by the then Transkei government and therefore qualified as a State institution?

MR MAFU: Yes. Yes, Judge, because in our understanding it was that it was generated income for the Transkei Government and therefore supported that regime.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I just be absolutely clear, this Casino you're talking about is what's known as the Wild Coast Sun.

MR MAFU: That's right.

MR MGIDLANA: In your application you also make some kind of a general application in the sense that you claim responsibility ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go to there Mr Mgidlana, is he entitled to make such an application?

MR MGIDLANA: In actual fact I was trying to get to that exactly Judge, because in my view, he can't be ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well isn't that a legal matter that you must advise your client on?

MR MGIDLANA: In fact I just wanted him to comment on it, be very difficult for him to say what specific incidents.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I will accept that you cleared it with him and he was unable to do so and that's the end of the matter.

MR MGIDLANA: As it pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: But I'm not going to stop you, if you really want him to give that answer, then proceed, but it's not going to make much difference.

MR MAFU: Yes, thank you Chair. Are there any other incidents that probably you now recall?

CHAIRPERSON: Well it's a bit too late, the date has gone by.

MR MGIDLANA: Well, they may have been covered under that general application. He will then be recalling them now Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: You would be in the same position whether he recalls it now or not.

MR MGIDLANA: There's another issue that has been brought up regarding an incident that took place in the Maclear ...area regarding policemen.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he make application for that?

MR MGIDLANA: He hasn't Judge, but it's just that it came up from the TRC evidence analyst, so I just want him to comment on it.

CHAIRPERSON: But in his application, he doesn't make mention of it?

MR MGIDLANA: He doesn't make mention, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What is the purpose of you raising that incident? For him to apply for amnesty?

MR MGIDLANA: No, Judge, I just wanted him to clear us out, whether he was involved or not.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Judge. Involving policemen that were shot. You may have heard about it from the evidence analyst from the TRC, is that correct?

MR MAFU: Yes, I heard about it.

MR MGIDLANA: Were you in any manner involved?

MR MAFU: I was not involved, but I know of the incident since it was involving members of the unit under me.

MR LAX: I didn't hear your answer, members of?

MR MAFU: Of my unit.

MR LAX: Of your unit, sorry.

MR MGIDLANA: So you were not involved in the planning and even the execution thereof?

MR MAFU: It was not a planned operation, I think it was just a meeting engagement between two members of the unit and the police patrol van.

MR MGIDLANA: So you are not seeking any amnesty in respect of that?

MR MAFU: No.

MR MGIDLANA: That is the evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Now Mr Mgidlana, can you give us an indication in respect of each incident, what he actually applied for? Let us take the incident, the Borris Sedawu.

MR MGIDLANA: In respect of the Borris Sedawu incident Judge, he's seeking amnesty in respect of the possession and supplying of unlicensed firearms, unlawful and unlicensed explosives and explosive devices in this form of the limpet mine, as well as malicious damage to property. It could be viewed as attempted murder or assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in respect of the person that was injured, as well as what could be generally called conspiracy to commit an offence, which if he were to be charged, it could be said to be unknown to the State in respect of his involvement in the planning.

MR LAX: Does he remember precisely what kind of limpet mine it was?

MR MAFU: No, I can't remember.

MR LAX: Was it a standard used ...

MR MAFU: Standard.

CHAIRPERSON: ...subject to what you've got to say, is it not, is this matter not a question of an application for amnesty in respect of sabotage in the attacking that building? What you've mentioned is all competent verdicts that arise out of that incident and if we were to grant him amnesty, it would be in fact for sabotage of that building.

MR MGIDLANA: I agree with that Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, okay. Let's get onto the second.

MR MGIDLANA: In respect of the second incident which is Madeira police station.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja.

MR MGIDLANA: Again it will be sabotage in respect of that incident. Murder, because we now know that there were people who were killed.

CHAIRPERSON: How many people died there? Seven?

MR MGIDLANA: Excuse me?

CHAIRPERSON: How many people died?

MR MGIDLANA: It seems there are about eight Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Eight?

MR MGIDLANA: About eight yes, even though I don't know whether they died there and then, or subsequent to that.

CHAIRPERSON: Five people were injured?

MR MGIDLANA: Yes, it could be in respect of them attempted murder as well as alternative loss of ...(indistinct) Excuse me Judge?

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

MR MGIDLANA: Malicious injury to property as well. Possession and supplying of explosives and firearms and ammunition.

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

MR MGIDLANA: Grenade ja, a hand grenade.

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

MR MGIDLANA: And firearms, according to his evidence. He says there was ...

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

MR MGIDLANA: In the Logwaiso incident it will be possession of unlicensed firearms as well as ammunition, which they used to ...

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

MR MGIDLANA: Yes, that was our incident as well as, if anyone was injured, attempted murder or assault, yes.

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

MR MGIDLANA: Yes, that could be attempted ... We are not so sure as to whether any police vehicles were damaged, but in the event that they were, Judge, we will be also seeking amnesty in respect of malicious injury to property.

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

MR MGIDLANA: Yes. In respect of that one, it is the supply ... yes, yes, as well as the possession of the explosives and firearms and ammunition that he supplied those operatives with. Again understanding that there was murder and some people who were injured in that incident, in the event that it could be said that he could have been charged under the common purpose doctrine, we would apply for amnesty in respect of that murder as well as alternatively attempted murder and assault. Mali-cious damage to property as well in respect of that one.

CHAIRPERSON: Anything else?

MR MGIDLANA: Over and above, there's these offences I mentioned of conspiracy to commit an offence unknown to the State. That will be all. I may as well indicate that I'm also certain, I'm just subject to being given guidance by the Committee, insofar as his failure to report to the police that the people who committed these various offences are so and so and so when he knew them.

CHAIRPERSON: I know that that is a technical point that the academics normally raise, but I can think, for the life of me, that a person who commits a crime has any intention of walking into a police station and saying: "Look, I committed this." The fact that he committed a crime means he doesn't want anybody to find out, so he would want to go there. I don't know even if there's a duty.

MIKE TURNED OFF: ...to explore. Is there anything else?

MR MGIDLANA: I think then on that note Judge, that is all. Again of course unless there are others that the Panel ...

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MGIDLANA

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nontenja.

MR NONTENJA: At this point, Judge, I'd ask for a short adjournment so that I can take proper and further instructions from my client in respect of the application made by the applicant and the revelations which were not to our knowledge.

CHAIRPERSON: How long will you need?

MR NONTENJA: I don't think it's going to be too long Judge, it could be less than 10 minutes.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

BASIL DUMISANE MAFU: (s.u.o.)

MR NONTENJA: Thank you Judge. Judge, we have just a few questions to the applicant according to my instructions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR NONTENJA: Mr Mafu, in respect of the Borris Sedawu incident, you're saying the timing of the bomb was intended to explode before 8 o'clock, is that correct?

MR MAFU: Correct, Sir.

MR NONTENJA: Why was it so?

MR MAFU: It was timed to explode before 8 o'clock, because after 8 o'clock there are people who are working in Borris Sedawu.

MR NONTENJA: Okay. If I understand you well, it was your intention not to injure ordinary citizens in your operation, is that correct?

MR MAFU: Correct, Sir.

MR NONTENJA: Now in respect of the Madeira incident, your timing was 10 p.m., is that correct?

MR MAFU: Correct, Sir.

MR NONTENJA: And I take it that you are aware that at 10 o'clock, 10 p.m., people were in great numbers, rushing for the curfew permits at the charge office, is that correct?

MR MAFU: Our experience was that towards 10 o'clock, at about quarter to, police start chasing people away to say it's almost curfew time, go now. So we were under the impression that by 10 o'clock, at least it's already cleared with people who had come to request permits.

MR NONTENJA: I take it that you are aware that at the time of the arrival of the members, of your members, members of your unit, they could clearly see before commencing their attack, that there was quite a number of people inside the charge office before attacking.

MR MAFU: I may not be sure of that.

MR NONTENJA: But now, according to the statistics and in terms of the bundle of papers, the number of victims consists of ordinary citizens, instead of police officers, is that not so?

MR MAFU: I'm not sure about the statistics.

MR NONTENJA: You didn't peruse the bundle of papers?

MR MAFU: I beg your pardon?

MR NONTENJA: Did you peruse the bundle of papers?

MR MAFU: Yes.

MR NONTENJA: First page, to the second page. Let me rephrase my question. The number of people who died is more the police officers who were at work at that point in time. Are you aware of that?

MR MAFU: I'm not aware Sir. I see some are referred to in their police denominations, others are not. I'm not sure who's a civilian, who's not a civilian, in the list as it stands.

MR NONTENJA: Now are you aware that one of the victims was attacked far away from the Madeira Police Station during your operation at that point in time? At Sprigg Street, to be precise.

MR LAX: Sorry, will you repeat that name for us please.

MR NONTENJA: The victim?

MR LAX: The name of the street.

MR NONTENJA: Sprigg Street.

MR LAX: Spruit Street?

MR NONTENJA: S-P-R-I-G-G.

MR LAX: Sprigg.

MR NONTENJA: Yes and her name was Mama. Are you aware of that?

MR MAFU: I'm not aware Sir, but I wouldn't say that would be impossible. I don't know what must have happened. There might have been some hiccup or misunderstanding in the heat of the moment.

CHAIRPERSON: What does that mean?

MR MAFU: As I'm saying Judge, I'm not sure of what happened. There might have been some obstruction which might have been misinterpreted by people in that emotional situation, I mean from members from my unit. As I'm saying, I'm not sure exactly of what happened.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Nontenja, you're saying that the person you refer to as the deceased, was killed as a result of the attack for which Mr Mafu makes application?

MR NONTENJA: Exactly, exactly, Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got more details as to how that happened?

MR NONTENJA: Those at the instructions from my client.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but surely when you consulted, you must have got details?

MR NONTENJA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So let's hear those details, put it to the witness.

MR NONTENJA: Thank you. Immediately after the attack at the Madeira police station, a street on the other street, which is named Sprigg street, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where is Sprigg Street in Umtata?

MR MAFU: ...(indistinct - mike not on)

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where is Sprigg Street?

MR MAFU: Yes, I know.

CHAIRPERSON: Can the witness get one of these things?

MR LAX: English is on Channel 2.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where Sprigg Street is in Umtata?

MR MAFU: Yes, I know Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: It's apparently off Madeira Street, or near Madeira Street.

MR MAFU: It's a street parallel to Madeira Street.

CHAIRPERSON: Now it's been put to you that something occurred in Sprigg Street immediately after the attack on the police station at Madeira, am I correct?

MR NONTENJA: That is correct, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now can you tell the witness what exactly you're referring to, what happened and where?

MR NONTENJA: In fact are you aware of that incident which occurred immediately after ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He said it might have happened, it doesn't know. Have you got details for him to try to remember or to deal with?

MR NONTENJA: My Lord, I just - I wanted to ask him, in fact, as he indicated right from the beginning that he was not personally involved in that operation, I just wanted to find out from him whether he was aware of this incident which occurred at Sprigg Street.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you aware of an incident that occurred in Sprigg Street immediately after?

MR MAFU: No, I was not aware of anything that happened in Sprigg Street.

CHAIRPERSON: You see, I appreciate what your position is because it's not been put to you in any detail. We talk about the incident. We must now assume it was a violent incident related to your unit's activities, that's why I asked Mr Nontenja, you know, give us some details so that we could connect it. It may be some other incident, like a knife stabbing or something that had nothing to do with your unit. We don't know and that's why I think it's better to clearly put it to the witness, maybe he can say: "Look, I know" or "I don't know".

MR NONTENJA: Thank you Judge. Mr Mafu, it is alleged that immediately after the commission of the operation at Madeira Street the members of your unit attacked person in Sprigg Street. Are you aware of that?

MR MAFU: I'm not aware of that incident, Mr Nontenja. What I know is that during the commission of the operation there was another member of the unit who was deployed outside the police station, because there were some policemen coming in, so I know there was shooting and outside the police station. I'm not aware of Madeira Street.

CHAIRPERSON: Of Sprigg Street.

MR MAFU: Of Sprigg Street, I'm sorry.

MR NONTENJA: My Lord, I don't have any further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NONTENJA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Mr Mafu, I also don't have any questions with regard to the incidents you've applied for, except just to clarify the issue of dates and maybe one other aspect. On page 27 of the bundle there's a newspaper article, do you have sight of it?

MR MAFU: Yes.

MS THABETHE: Okay. In the third column towards the end, there's a line which says:

"Following a bomb attack at Mzamba One Stage hotel on April 18 1986..."

then it goes on. Would you concede that this is the date? Do you have any problem with that, that this is the date on which this incident happened?

MR MAFU: As I'm saying Ma'am, I might not be sure of the sequence of events. I'm not sure. I can't dispute that that was the date.

MS THABETHE: Okay. Also on page 27 of the bundle, the second column now, further up, there's a paragraph starting with:

"After details of shoot-out ..."

Do you have sight of that paragraph?

MR MAFU: Yes.

MS THABETHE: It makes mention of Zolile Nklati as the Commander of the ANC's military machinery in Transkei. Do you have any knowledge of this person? Was this person the military Commander?

MR MAFU: Well as you are aware Ma'am, this was not written by me, it must have come from somewhere else. I know that we went under very different names. At some stage, Makadeza was Zolile, he had gone under different names. I don't know who Zolile Nklati is.

MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Judge. Just a follow up Mr Mafu on this Zolile Nklati. You'll see that it appears there that there were four people involved in this incident, as mentioned in that report. How many people were involved in that particular operation?

MR MAFU: In the operation we were three. As I've mentioned, it was Kaya, Maziz, Makadeza and myself.

MR MGIDLANA: Sorry you were saying that people were going under different names. Did I get you as mentioning Makadeza as one of the persons commonly known as Zolile?

MR MAFU: Yes, I'm saying that at one stage he went under the name Zolile.

MR MGIDLANA: So shall we take it therefore that that could be a repetition, one and the same person?

MR MAFU: Maybe.

MR MGIDLANA: But otherwise you are certain that there was no other person by that name involved in that particular incident?

MR MAFU: That's correct.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MGIDLANA

MR LAX: Mr Mafu, you'll accept if one looks again at page 27 in the first column towards the bottom there's an underlined portion which refers to the shoot-out as having occurred on the 21st and 22nd. From that we will infer that your involvement was on the 22nd.

MR MAFU: Correct.

MR LAX: It just helps us peg the date clearly.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mgidlana, have you got any argument. Before that, have you got any other witnesses?

MR MGIDLANA: No, there's no other witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nontenja, have you got any witnesses?

MR NONTENJA: No witness to call.

MS THABETHE: No witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any submissions to make?

MR MGIDLANA: Yes, very few Judge.

MR MGIDLANA IN ARGUMENT: My submission is that from the evidence of the applicant, it is clear that he committed these particular offences as a member of an identifiable political organisation, namely the African National Congress as well as being a member of the Military Wing of the ANC, namely Umkhonto weSizwe.

Furthermore it is clear that the targets were targets that were associated with the political order in existence in the area called Transkei. They were indeed Government installations, even in respect of Mzamba, we have heard that the Transkei Government was owning the portion of whatever share holding was there and as such deriving some funds for the operation of that Government.

There is no evidence suggesting that the applicant committed these offences in furtherance of his own ambition, personal ambition. He was involved in all these incidents in furtherance of the struggle, he being on the side of the liberation movement, fighting against an oppressive government that we all know was in existence in that area and as such he did not derive any benefit. There hasn't been any suggestion made to the effect that he has not made any full disclosure and as such my submission is that his evidence has just been so clear and is in compliance with the promotion of Reconciliation Act and as such he has made full disclosure and it is my submission that he qualifies to be granted amnesty and I therefore apply that such amnesty be granted in the favour of the applicant. That is all.

MR NONTENJA: Thank you. Thank you Judge.

MR NONTENJA IN ARGUMENT: According to the instructions of my clients, although they are not opposed to the granting of the application, but they do not have the final detail to that effect, it is therefore in the hands of this Honourable Committee to make a finding accordingly. Thank you.

MS THABETHE: I have no objections to amnesty being granted.

NO ARGUMENT BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. We will reserve our decision in this matter and it will be delivered in due course.

MR MGIDLANA: Thank you Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe, what is the position at the moment?

MS THABETHE: Mr Chair, the position is that I had set down three matters for today. The Mafu matter, Mahambane matter and the Pilay matter. I haven't seen Mr Pilay yet. Mr Mahambane is here. I had requested the legal representatives to be here at 2, the representatives in the matter of Mahambane, but I did telephone them and requested them to come earlier. The lawyer for the victims is present, I've seen her. Ms Loonat is on her way. She said she'd be here by half past 12, so I would request an indulgence of maybe five to ten minutes and I'll let the Committee know as soon as they are here.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, so be it.

MS THABETHE: Thank you.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

NAME: MUSA MAHAMBANE

APPLICATION NO: AM6172/97

MATTER: MURDER OF MR WALTERS, BANK ROBBERY AND ATTEMPTED

HI-JACKING

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. The Panel is the same as we were constituted this morning. I'm going to ask the legal representatives to announce themselves for the purpose of the record.

MS LOONAT: Good afternoon. My name is Zarina Loonat ...(indistinct). I'm representing the applicant in this matter today, Mr Musa Mahambane. Thank you.

MS DE KLERK: Good afternoon Members of the Panel. I'm Marcia de Klerk. I'm representing the victim, Mrs Walters, Martin Craven, Mrs ...(indistinct), Mrs ...(indistinct) and Mrs Smith. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it Ms de Klerk?

MS DE KLERK: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you just go by those names of the people, of the victims again please?

MS DE KLERK: Mrs Walters who's the next of kin of Derek Walters who is ...

CHAIRPERSON: Deceased?

MS DE KLERK: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And who else?

MS DE KLERK: Mr Craven, Martin Craven. Then Mr de Grubb. However Miss de Grubb hasn't been included in the indictment, you know, for the trial. He hasn't suffered any injuries.

CHAIRPERSON: But is he willing to participate in the process because he can still be regarded as a victim?

MS DE KLERK: Well Mr de Grubb, I have got his instructions to oppose the application for amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Then?

MS DE KLERK: Then there's Mrs Barkor who is present. Mr Barkor is the wife of Vic Barkor who was shot in the eye outside the NBS, who has subsequently a few months later died.

CHAIRPERSON: As a result of his injury?

MS DE KLERK: Well, that hasn't been ascertained as a definite conclusion. Mr Barkor died of a brain haemorrhage which could have been as a result of the injuries sustained. Then there's Mrs Catherine Druft. Mrs Druft has also indicated to me, well given me her instructions to oppose the application. However, she's unavailable to attend the hearing today on the basis that she underwent an operation on Friday and she's still hospitalised. And then there's Mrs Gloria Smith. She said that she's not interested in attending the hearing or anything, but she does oppose the application.

CHAIRPERSON: Does not, or does?

MS DE KLERK: She opposes the application for amnesty. However, she's not interested in attending the hearing as such.

CHAIRPERSON: Now before we carry on, I see you have possibly 6 people who could be regarded as victims, all of whom are opposing the application. On what basis would they be opposing the application given the requirements of the Act?

MS DE KLERK: The basis of the opposition is the fact that they don't feel that the robbery as such, or the murder of Mr Walters, was politically motivated. They can't see the political object which the applicant was striving to achieve. It seems to be common amongst all the victims that this was just a blatant robbery, an attempted hijacking, whereby an innocent person, because he couldn't get loose of a seat belt, was murdered.

In terms of ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Who was that, Mr Walters?

MS DE KLERK: Mr Walters. In light of that, that the applicant doesn't fulfil the requirements in order for him to succeed in the application for amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Ms de Klerk in the meantime I think it'd be wise for you to get some information where applicable, where people have died, whether there are any children left as well, because they would, in the event of us granting in this case amnesty, they in addition to the surviving spouse, would be regarded as victims.

Yes, Ms Loonat. Does your client speak Zulu?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairman.

MUSA MAHAMBANE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, you were born on the 29th of March 1966 in Newlands in Durban, you are a South African citizen, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: You are now 34 years old and you have spent, according to the record, 7 years in prison of your 20 year sentence, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: The sentence was imposed on you on the 23rd of May 1993, for committing the following offences on the 26th of October 1991, at the NBS, the Natal Building Society, in Umhlanga, namely robbery, attempted murder of Mr Barkor, Messrs Barkor, Reed and Craven and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: In respect of who are the attempted murder application made?

MS LOONAT: Mr Barkor, Mr Reed and Mr Craven. Your Honour, this is on page 64 of the bundle, line 20.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Barkor, Mr ?

MS LOONAT: Reed and Mr Craven and I get that from the bundle on page 64.

CHAIRPERSON: And the murder of?

MS LOONAT: The murder of Mr Walters.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja and?

MS LOONAT: The unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

CHAIRPERSON: Anything else?

MS LOONAT: May I proceed Your Honour? Thank you. Sir, are you married?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MS LOONAT: Do you have any children?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I have two children.

MS LOONAT: Where do you live? Where do your children live?

MR MAHAMBANE: They live with my mother.

MS LOONAT: So were you employed prior to this offence?

MR MAHAMBANE: I used to be a taxi driver.

MS LOONAT: Do you have any previous convictions?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MS LOONAT: What political party do you belong to?

MR MAHAMBANE: The ANC.

MS LOONAT: Are you a registered member of the ANC?

MR MAHAMBANE: I am not a card carrying member.

MS LOONAT: Why didn't you get ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: At the time, were you?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, at that time it was not very important to have a card

MS LOONAT: How long were you a supporter of the ANC?

MR MAHAMBANE: I started supporting the ANC in 1985 after Mrs ...(indistinct) death.

MS LOONAT: Before we proceed, could you please tell the Panel what your level of education was at the time?

MR MAHAMBANE: Up to standard 9.

MS LOONAT: So it was after standard 9 that you got involved in politics, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: I was saying so, but we also used to have political meeting at school.

MS LOONAT: Do you own a firearm?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MS LOONAT: Are you trained to use one?

MR MAHAMBANE: We received very basic training on how to use a firearm.

CHAIRPERSON: Where?

MR MAHAMBANE: In the township.

CHAIRPERSON: By whom?

MR MAHAMBANE: By Mandla.

CHAIRPERSON: Who's Mandla?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mandla Mlambo was our leader.

CHAIRPERSON: What kind of leader?

MR MAHAMBANE: He is the person who used to issue out instructions when we held meetings.

CHAIRPERSON: For what?

MR MAHAMBANE: At the time, we were under constant attack from Lindelane residents and the police, so we were involved in defending our community.

CHAIRPERSON: What type of instructions did he give?

MR MAHAMBANE: As to strategising as to how to best defend ourselves against these attacks.

CHAIRPERSON: And he taught you how to use a firearm?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, he was the person who demonstrated to us.

CHAIRPERSON: How many lessons did you have?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was not very thorough, but he just showed us the firearm and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: How many lessons did you have?

MR MAHAMBANE: I will say two occasions.

CHAIRPERSON: Two occasions. In kwaMashu?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: How many students were there when you were trained on these two occasions?

MR MAHAMBANE: We were not more than 10.

CHAIRPERSON: So he would do at least, or most, 10 at a time?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, we'd never be more than 10.

CHAIRPERSON: What kind of gun or firearm were you trained in?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was a 9mm and a pump gun.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that at the same lesson or on different lessons?

MR MAHAMBANE: He first brought the pump gun and then subsequently he brought smaller firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: And each of the students would be trained in a gun?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I will say so.

CHAIRPERSON: Now how did it come you were part of this training session?

MR MAHAMBANE: Sorry?

CHAIRPERSON: How did it come that you were part of the training programme?

MR MAHAMBANE: I was a little bit older than my colleagues.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja and then?

MR MAHAMBANE: I'm saying, he had faith in me.

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe you misunderstand the question. How did it come that you were told to go to this training session?

MR MAHAMBANE: I realised the severity of the situation in the area at that time and decided that one should receive training.

...(END OF TAPE) on how to use a firearm.

CHAIRPERSON: For what purpose?

MR MAHAMBANE: To defend ourselves, so that we would be in a position to fight the attackers.

CHAIRPERSON: When you got the training, were you employed at that time?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I was not.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you not looking for work at the time?

MR MAHAMBANE: I was looking for work.

CHAIRPERSON: How long did these sessions take?

MR MAHAMBANE: It would be less than an hour.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Ms Loonat.

MR LAX: Can I just ask something Chair, while you're at it? When did these training sessions take place? What year?

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not recall precisely, but this happened after 1985, around 86, 87.

MR LAX: Thank you.

MS LOONAT: Thank you. Sir, you say Mandla was the person who taught you the use of firearms. How did he become a leader in your eyes?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mandla used to reside in G Section but he was requested by the people from L Section to come reside in our area, so that he could help to protect the community and he was also the person who used to liaise with people in senior positions.

MS LOONAT: Who is Bheki Manzi?

MR MAHAMBANE: He's a school principal and he is the person who fetched Mandla from G Section and let him stay at his home for the purpose of helping in the protection of the community.

MS LOONAT: So you say that Mandla was brought from G Section to L Section to assist you all with training and things to do with the ANC party, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: He was brought from G Section to K Section.

MS LOONAT: Is that where you resided, K Section?

MR MAHAMBANE: I resided at L Section.

MS LOONAT: Please tell the members of the Panel what got you interested in politics?

MS LAX: Sorry, can I just clarify something. Sorry to interrupt. You said earlier that he was requested by the people of L Section to come and live in your area, now you're saying he lived in K Section. What Section did you live in?

MR MAHAMBANE: Bheki Manzi brought Mandla from G Section and let him stay in his house in K Section and he was there to assist in protecting the community. I resided at L Section.

MS LAX: You spoke about Bheki Manzi.

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

MS LAX: Your evidence was and I've got a note here, that he used to reside in G Section, he was requested by the people of L Section and he came to live in our area to protect the community. Then you were asked about Bheki Manzi and you said Manzi went and fetched him from G Section.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, clear it up perhaps.

MS LAX: Just clarify it for us please.

CHAIRPERSON: Where was he staying? Where were you staying?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mandla used to reside at G Section. Bheki Manzi fetched him to stay at his home so that he could assist. I resided at L Section.

MS LAX: So what section was he assisting to defend?

MR MAHAMBANE: K Section.

MS LAX: Not L Section?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MR LAX: So how did you come to be involved in protecting K Section?

MR MAHAMBANE: We were protecting our Section, L Section, not K, it's Mandla who was brought to K Section.

MR LAX: Anyway you can clear it up in due course.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, please tell the Honourable Members of this Panel what got you interested in politics from your school days? What events led up to your interest, your active participation in politics?

MR MAHAMBANE: Firstly it was the death of Mrs ...(indistinct). After that incident all shops were burned down in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: When was Griffiths killed?

MR MAHAMBANE: Please repeat the question.

CHAIRPERSON: When was he killed? Was it Victoria? When was Victoria killed?

MR MAHAMBANE: 1985.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know her?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I did.

CHAIRPERSON: How did you know her?

MR MAHAMBANE: She used to represent comrades.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR MAHAMBANE: In 1987, her boy, who was my neighbour, Sikumbuso Ndlovo, as killed in Lindelane. The people who killed him who were Mr Tshabalala's men, were arrested but later released.

MS LOONAT: Who is Mr Tshabalala?

MR MAHAMBANE: He was a leader in Lindelane.

MS LOONAT: Leader of which party?

MR MAHAMBANE: The IFP.

MS LOONAT: And this is when you witnessed the death of your friends, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: There were seven of them who were found dead in Lindelane and one of them was my neighbour, Sikumbuso Ndlovo.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mahambane, now you got interested in politics, in 1985 you joined the ANC, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And I assume that that was after Victoria Ntenye was killed.

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You were not a comrade before then?

MR MAHAMBANE: Everyone in the township was a comrade.

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me?

MR MAHAMBANE: We were all comrades in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: Well then maybe you understand comrades not the way I do. And you learned to use a firearm in 1986/87 you say?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: As a comrade, under which banner did you, or let me put it this way, were you politically active?

MR MAHAMBANE: What do you mean?

CHAIRPERSON: Did you do anything under a political banner?

MR MAHAMBANE: We would hold meetings at the township.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that all? You'd only have meetings?

MR MAHAMBANE: We also used to guard over the township at night.

CHAIRPERSON: What were the meetings about?

MR MAHAMBANE: We used to discuss means of securing funds to be able to buy ammunition and firearms to defend ourselves.

CHAIRPERSON: In 1986/87?

MR MAHAMBANE: Around that time.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and what were the means discussed and decided upon of acquiring funds?

MR MAHAMBANE: I would inquire from Mandla if the organisation had no funds available and he said there were none, so we were supposed to take our own initiative on how to secure funds.

CHAIRPERSON: Like what?

MR MAHAMBANE: At the time, we used to hold discussions on the issue, but no decision would be taken.

CHAIRPERSON: But surely some ideas must have been raised at that meeting.

MR MAHAMBANE: What used to happen was when funds were available, people used to use them to go into exile.

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe you don't understand the question, I'm going to put it one more time. You say in the meetings you used to discuss funding of the organisation. Now what was suggested there in those meetings regarding the accumulation of funds? How would you people be able to get funds?

MR MAHAMBANE: There were many ideas put forth, for example the stealing of vehicles.

MR LAX: Yes, carry on.

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot recall other ideas.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and these meetings were being conducted since about 1985 you say, when you joined the organisation?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: For how long did these meetings take place where ways and means of getting funds were discussed? I'm not asking how long each meeting lasted, I'm saying these meetings were held over a period, which, can you give us an idea as to what that period was?

MR MAHAMBANE: Our meetings would not last long because we could not arrive at a decision.

CHAIRPERSON: Now did such meetings - such meetings were held in 1985, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: They were held from 1985.

CHAIRPERSON: 1986?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: 1987?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: When did these, as far as you're concerned, when did these meetings stop?

MR MAHAMBANE: Some comrades fled into exile during that course of time, but they lasted up until 1990's.

CHAIRPERSON: So every year from 1985 to 1990, you attended various meetings regarding the accumulation of funds, am I correct? Do I understand you correctly?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was not only the question of funds that was discussed at those meetings, there were other issues that were raised. I just regret the fact that I'm addressing people who do not know what type of life we led at the township at that time.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me rest you assured that each and every one of us are aware of what type of life was lived in South Africa. Apart from that, the quality of life we lived, different people, has nothing to do with the question. All I'm asking is as far as you're concerned, when did you stop attending such meetings?

MR MAHAMBANE: We used to attend those meetings even in 1990, 1991.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you can remember the only method of accumulating funds that you remember, you say, was stealing vehicles. That was one of the suggestions, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was not only that, but there was also a suggestion for every person to contribute something towards that fund.

CHAIRPERSON: Now were you told now what to do with this, or how was this car going to help your treasury?

MR MAHAMBANE: It would have been sold.

CHAIRPERSON: Who would sell it?

CHAIRPERSON: There are people who buy stolen cars in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but that's not the question. Who would see it, not who would buy it. Who would sell it?

MR MAHAMBANE: I could have sold it because I know of certain people in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: I see, that's what I was getting at. What I'm trying to find out is once a car is stolen, what would be done with that car? Would the thief go sell it or would you be expected to hand it in to certain official of the organisation for him to sell it? What would be the position?

MR MAHAMBANE: We would have approach Mandla about the latter and he would have to decide how to dispose of the car.

CHAIRPERSON: I ask that question because we've heard this type of evidence before, but yet you tell me you could have sold it. What is the correct position?

MR MAHAMBANE: The primary issue was getting the funds, it was not so important who sold the vehicle. We could have sold it on our own and brought the money back to Mandla.

CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't it the rule that once you stole a car, you should go to your Commander and say: "Look, we have succeeded in stealing a car. We have it. What must we do now with it?" Wasn't that the practice?

MR MAHAMBANE: Unfortunately no vehicle was stolen, but it was an idea that was raised at a meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: So in the five or six years that you were involved in these meetings where amongst other things ideas as to how to raise funds, including the theft of vehicles, you were not party to such an event, am I correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: There were many things that took place.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you just repeat that, Ms Interpreter?

INTERPRETER: The applicant said there were many things that took place at the time.

MR LAX: Didn't he also say he couldn't remember as a result?

INTERPRETER: Some of which he could not remember.

CHAIRPERSON: Where's Mandla now?

MR MAHAMBANE: I have been in prison for a while, so I do not know whether he's still alive.

MS LOONAT: Your Honour, may I add to that please? This matter was set down last year and because it was remanded for this year at that time because we couldn't get hold of Mandla, the investigation wasn't properly done. At the time we were in Pietermaritzburg and Lulama Mtanga was the Evidence Leader and whilst we were there in Pietermaritzburg, she phoned a telephone number that my client had given her. It was the neighbour of Mandla, and that is when she realised that there was such a person, when the person at the other end answered and so this is why we remanded for this year, because there was some truth in what he was saying. It was a gentleman, or somebody called Kholane, who answered and said: "Yes, Mandla does live next door" and this was when the matter was remanded for this year because investigations weren't complete and I believe it's still not been followed up. I personally tried to phone this number when I was given instruction again this year and the number's dead. The number that was given then is 503 5077 and that is what I believe Ms Mtanga dialled while we were there, so there was an existence of such a person. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: So you tell us that over a period of 5 to 6 years, you cannot recollect whether there was a motor car theft, do I understand you correctly? Am I correct? There was never a car theft during that five or six years that you were attending these meetings?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, there was not.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there any other idea, or other way of raising funds for the organisation that was in fact put into operation?

MR MAHAMBANE: Will you please repeat the question?

CHAIRPERSON: You say that there was never a car theft during that period. Did the organisation or was the organisation able to raise funds in any other way during that period?

MR MAHAMBANE: There was a time when comrades collected or contributed towards assisting others to cross into exile, but that was not much.

MR LAX: But that had nothing to do with the collecting of money for firearms, that was for a different purpose, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was not much, so it could not have bought firearms. We just gave it to the comrades who were going into exile.

MR LAX: So the only reason - the only manner collecting money that you know of that was discussed at all these meetings, was the stealing of vehicles? Do we understand you correctly?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, that is not so. We also managed to contribute or to collect some monies amongst ourselves, but it was not enough.

MR LAX: And besides that, was there any other manner of collecting money, besides the two you have now mentioned?

MR MAHAMBANE: Eventually Mandla realised that the issue of collecting funds was not progressing, so it was decided that we should go rob a bank.

CHAIRPERSON: When did that happen, or when was that decided?

MR MAHAMBANE: In 1990.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it in one of these meetings?

MR MAHAMBANE: Because he trusted me, Mandla called me aside.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it at one of these meetings?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was after the meeting that he approached me.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he approach you privately, or in front of others?

MR MAHAMBANE: He just called me to the side.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and then?

MR MAHAMBANE: Then he told me that because of our failure to secure funds in any other manner, he realises that we would have to rob a bank and there was one bank that he knew of. He also instructed me to get two other people to assist in that mission.

CHAIRPERSON: Did I hear you correctly, he told you which bank to go to?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say this instruction came in 1990?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: More or less in which month?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was towards the end of the year.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and then what happened?

MR LAX: Can I just check something, if I may. Did he also say to you that you should get two others to help you? Did I hear that properly?

MR MAHAMBANE: He said because he could not identify anybody he trusted in the meeting, I should look two other people who would assist me.

MR LAX: So he didn't know of any other comrades to help you with this, therefore he told you to find two other people. Is that right?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I think so, that's how we saw it.

MR LAX: Well did he tell you that or didn't he?

MR MAHAMBANE: The comrades were busy at K Section, so they could not have assisted us.

MR LAX: But you told us a few seconds ago that it was because he didn't have anyone he trusted. You told us a few seconds ago, you told us that he didn't have anyone that he trusted therefore you should look for someone else. Do you understand the question?

MR MAHAMBANE: Please repeat that question.

MR LAX: I said to you, I was trying to clarify whether he had told you to find other people or not and you said yes, there was no-one else that he trusted at the meeting, no other comrades that he trusted that were present there and therefore you should find other people.

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I was supposed to look for two other persons.

MR LAX: Yes. The issue here is the reason why you should go and look for other people. You don't understand what I'm saying to you?

MR MAHAMBANE: I would not be able to say or state the reason with certainty because he was the one who told me to go and look for other persons.

CHAIRPERSON: Why would you answer like that if you're not sure? You were asked, how did it come that he asked you and you said he didn't trust other people in the meeting.

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not understand.

CHAIRPERSON: Then take my word for it, that was your answer. That he asked you, Mandla called you aside and told you that you should go rob a bank and you should go find assistance with two other people and he did so because he didn't trust anybody else in the meeting, but you.

MR LAX: Is that right?

MR MAHAMBANE: Ja, it's right.

MR LAX: So it wasn't a question that there were comrades that were busy at K Section and therefore they couldn't help you?

MR MAHAMBANE: Those comrades were from K Section, we resided at L.

MR LAX: Carry on.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, you have us understand that it was Mandla who instructed you to rob the bank in Umhlanga, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: You had two co-accused with you. Who chose the two co-accused to assist you that day?

MR MAHAMBANE: I did.

MS LOONAT: Why did not Mandla chose them to help you?

MR MAHAMBANE: He said because I was going to be responsible for that job, I should decide on who to take with.

MS LOONAT: Were the two accused, members of the ANC party as well?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, they were just criminals.

MS LOONAT: Why did you chose two criminals to assist you in what was a politically motivated attack?

MR MAHAMBANE: I knew that they were criminals who were always after money. I knew that it would not be easy for them to refuse.

MS LOONAT: To refuse what?

CHAIRPERSON: To refuse the attraction of robbing a bank?

MR MAHAMBANE: They would not have refused to rob a bank because they were criminals who used to.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know of a few others who love money too. Now tell me, when you approached these two people, what was the arrangement you had with them?

MR MAHAMBANE: I informed them that there was a bank we were to rob. I informed them that there was a bank that we were supposed to rob and they said they wanted to go see it.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell us that whole story now. One of the things you must do to get amnesty, you must tell us everything. I want to know how you approached these people, how did you persuade them to participate?

MR MAHAMBANE: As I knew that they were criminals who were attracted to money, I was convinced that they would not refuse to accompany me, so when I arrived I told them that there was a job to do and they asked: "What?" I said it was a bank to rob and they wanted to go see the bank and we went.

MR LAX: But how did you know these people?

MR MAHAMBANE: They resided in the township and there aren't that many people. You know your fellow residents.

MR LAX: So they weren't friends of yours, they were just people you knew?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I knew them from afar, they were not my friends.

MR LAX: So they were really strangers to you, just people you knew that lived in the township and you knew that they were criminals.

MR MAHAMBANE: I would not call them strangers because we would sometimes meet at the soccer ground or wherever in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: In any case, you were supposed to be the main person in control, the Commander of this group to go rob a bank, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I was.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you tell them why this job must be done? Did you tell them that?

MR MAHAMBANE: I did not give them any reasons. They would not have accepted my reasons, that it was for political reasons, because these were criminals.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you tell them that: "Look here ..." How did you propose to then share the money? This job -this robbery of this bank was supposed to be done and committed for the benefit of your organisation totally. How were you planning to get away with 100% of what you robbed that bank of and give it to Mandla or whoever, because here you had two accomplices who were criminals and lots of money? How were you going to overcome that?

MR MAHAMBANE: Before we left for that mission, we actually left from Mandla's home and we had planned that we would return there.

CHAIRPERSON: And, were they not told: "Look, when we go on this robbery, this is not a normal robbery like happened in the old days in Texas where we share the money. All this money we take, we're going to give it to the organisation", did you not tell them that?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, they would have refused, had I told them so.

CHAIRPERSON: Did Mandla tell them that?

MR MAHAMBANE: He did not tell them.

CHAIRPERSON: How were you going then to overcome this problem when they said: "Look, we want our share of the money. We're going to split it three ways."

MR MAHAMBANE: That would have been decided on our return.

CHAIRPERSON: I want you to think about that. We're going to adjourn for five minutes.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

MS LOONAT: Your Honour, may I have permission first to address one matter that arose early in the evidence when I questioned my client about a previous conviction. At the time he denied it, but it's been worrying him because he did admit it to me and it seemed to have escaped my mind. He did have a previous conviction for stealing a purse, for which he got 4 strokes, he was 19 years old and he just wanted to clarify that before he proceeds.

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

MS LOONAT: Okay. Would you like me to question? Thank you.

MUSA MAHAMBANE: s.u.o.)

EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: (cont.)

Mr Mahambane, you and your co-accused were instructed by Mandla to attack the bank and you left from Mandla's house at the time. The question is, when you obtained - if your robbery was a success, how were you going to convince two criminals who were not ANC supporters or members to hand over the money to Mandla?

MR MAHAMBANE: I trusted that Mandla and Bheki Manzi would be able to convince these two persons to hand over the money. I was the person, the primary person in that operation. I had the cash when we left the bank and from there we were going to go straight to Mandla's home.

MR LAX: Just clarify something. So Bheki Manzi knew about this plan as well?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, he did not know.

MR LAX: Well then how would he convince them if he didn't know about it?

MR MAHAMBANE: There is a person from whom Mandla received his instructions, I assumed that they would be able to convince these two persons between themselves.

MR LAX: Surely if he was going to convince them, he would have to know about the plan? He would have to know what they had done, to convince them to part with the money, surely?

MR MAHAMBANE: With regards to Bheki Manzi, I am just assuming that he should have assisted but the person who was close to me and whom I dealt with directly, was Mandla.

CHAIRPERSON: What makes things worse is that you took these two crooks to Mandla's house and you three leave from Mandla's house on this escapade of yours and yet you don't discuss it with Mandla as to: "Look here, I'm going to bring them back here with the money, you better see to it that you are able to convince them to part with the money", you just assume that Mandla and somebody else is going to be able to do so. How's that?

MR MAHAMBANE: I hoped that they would understand our mission because they were also aware of the circumstances under which we lived in the township.

MR LAX: So are you saying, they would understand that you were on a mission for the ANC?

MR MAHAMBANE: Even if it was not an ANC mission per se, but it was directed at defending our community, because the primary objective was to be able to buy ammunition.

CHAIRPERSON: Now tell me something, this crime was committed in 1991 October, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: The ANC was unbanned in February 1990, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: By October 1991, Umkhonto weSizwe was fully operational within the country, do you recall that?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, but at that time attacks on the townships had not stopped. We were still being attacked by the KwaZulu police.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me finish. Do you recall that Umkhonto weSizwe was operative in the country then? Correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I do recall.

CHAIRPERSON: And by then the ANC or MK had already structured self-defence units, correct? Do you recall that?

MR MAHAMBANE: They were not formed in the township.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure about that?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I am because there were still no-go areas in L Section.

CHAIRPERSON: That's precisely the point. No-go areas was a phenomenon that arose with the advent of self-defence units. Before the self-defence units came into operation, those that were causing strife had a free hand in the Council and when the SDU came about, that is when people said: "Look, there's no go areas and this is our area, that is your area. Let's keep apart and try to keep peace." Do you recall that? That's how it used to work, isn't it?

MR MAHAMBANE: I recall that, but I do not remember any SDUs at L Section, KwaMashu.

CHAIRPERSON: But you recall that, as I put it to you?

MR MAHAMBANE: I do recall and I used to hear about the establishment of SDUs, but it did not happen in our township.

CHAIRPERSON: You see why I'm raising that with you is that the SDUs, because you say Mandla was attached to through the ANC and the MK connections, the SDUs were being provided with firearms largely at that early stage. It's only long after that, well not so long, the period after that they found it necessary to embark on their own fund raising methods to obtain further ammunition and firearms, but not at that early stage. That's why I'm raising the issue of the SDU with you. Do you follow what I'm saying?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I do.

CHAIRPERSON: Now can you deal with that please.

MR MAHAMBANE: We did not receive any assistance from the organisation in terms of firearms.

MR LAX: Was Mandla linked to any SDUs as far as you know?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I don't recall. I don't even understand the nature of the SDU's role, because it was something that I just heard about.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, all of you were armed on that particular day, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: Where did you obtain these firearms?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mandla brought them.

MS LOONAT: Did you intend to use these loaded firearms that day?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was not our intention to go and kill anyone on that day, we just wanted to get the money.

CHAIRPERSON: Why was it necessary to come forward then?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was to be used as a threat so that they would hand over the money, because we did not shoot anyone at the bank.

CHAIRPERSON: One firearm would have done that. Is that not so? If it was to be used as a scare mechanism, then whether you have one gun or three guns, you'll have the same result, not so?

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not see how my accomplices would have agreed to go there unarmed.

CHAIRPERSON: That is so. When robbers go to a bank, they expect resistance, is that not so?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And isn't that the reason why you people armed yourselves, to overcome the expected resistance? You know that at that time already banks were being guarded at the front door and in the bank by private guards, not so?

MR MAHAMBANE: Before we carried out the robbery, we went to survey the area and we did find out that there was no-one who guarded the bank and the staff inside the bank were all female. We thought that it was going to be easy to go in there and get the money.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll ask the question again. If it was going to be that easy, why take the guns? You knew that there could be resistance, is that not so, and all three of you were going to use your firearms if that resistance materialised. Correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: We did not know that there was going to be resistance, we just thought that we would just go in there, take the money and leave.

CHAIRPERSON: That only happened in Alice in Wonderland. You must have known that there was going to be resistance, you expected you, all robbers expect it. Now tell me, did all three of you go into the bank?

MR MAHAMBANE: I was in front because I carried the shotgun. Two of us went in and one remained outside.

CHAIRPERSON: And how did you get there?

MR MAHAMBANE: Sorry?

CHAIRPERSON: How did you get there?

MR MAHAMBANE: We drove there.

CHAIRPERSON: By taxi, car, what?

MR MAHAMBANE: We used a private vehicle.

CHAIRPERSON: Who drove?

MR MAHAMBANE: The driver fled once we were inside the bank.

CHAIRPERSON: Who drove the car?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was Themba.

CHAIRPERSON: Four of you went to the bank. One was driving, one guarded outside the bank and two of you went inside?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now where did Themba come from? It's the first time we're hearing about Themba now.

MR MAHAMBANE: Themba was the driver of the vehicle. He fled. He could not even be found.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, you've already told us he fled, but who asked him to drive the car, or who asked him to participate in this robbery?

MR MAHAMBANE: I asked him.

CHAIRPERSON: What's his surname?

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot recall his surname.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he also one of these crooks?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, he was.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you approach him?

MR MAHAMBANE: After I had approached these two persons, I realised that we needed a driver.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were going to have to overcome the problem of three other people wanting their share of the booty, not so?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were going to go on this escapade on behalf of a political party to rob a bank for what could easily be only a quarter of the booty, correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: The primary aim was to obtain money to buy firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any more questions Ms Loonat?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Your Honour. Mr Mahambane, there are affidavits in the record which is submitted by your two co-accused, denying any knowledge of the political motive of the robbery. Please will you comment on that.

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is so, because I did not disclose to them the objectives of robbing the bank.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, please tell us what happened, how did it come about that Mr Walters was killed on that day?

MR MAHAMBANE: Because the driver of the car had already fled when we got out of the bank, we realised that we did not have transport, so we had to look for a get-away car. Accused number 3 went to the driver's side and I went to the passenger's side. Mr Walters tried to unfasten his seat belt and because of the commotion at that time, my co-accused got a fright and fired at Mr Walters.

MS LOONAT: Did you fire any shots on that day?

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not recall firing any shots. When I was running away, I had the firearm pointed upwards all the time.

MR LAX: May I just ask a question, if I may. Mr Mahambane, in the judgment the Judge talks about, you were carrying the pump gun weren't you, it was a shot gun?

MR MAHAMBANE: That's true.

MR LAX: But that talks of several shot gun cartridges being picked up at the scene of the crime in the Judgment. If you like I'll find it for you and your lawyer can canvass it with you, but you can take my word for it.

Was anyone else armed with a shot gun?

MR MAHAMBANE: As far as I can recall, I am the only person who had a shotgun.

MR LAX: Yes. And as far as you recall, you didn't fire it?

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not recall firing ...(indistinct)

MR LAX: Ja. Please carry on.

MS LOONAT: For the record, I did canvass the one shot that was fired, because I explained to my client that he did say that although he can't remember clearly, one shot did go off and he hurt himself with it accidentally, but he did not shoot at anybody at any time. Thank you. On page 45 of the bundle, line 10 it confirms that there was the unfired rounds in the magazine and one fired round in the chamber, for the record.

So you did not form the intention at any time to kill or even shoot at anyone, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I did not have any such intentions because even before we left, I did explain to my accomplices that we are not going out there to kill, but to obtain the money.

MR LAX: You see, it's all very well quoting from the record, but now you've drawn my attention to the portion that made me think of the question in the first place. It's patently clear from this, I'll read to you:

"It's clear from his own evidence as to the number of cartridges which were loaded and those found in the gun which was taken from him, that he's not being frank in this regard."

So it's clear that there were several shots fired, not just one and that's what the Judge found in the matter.

He's telling us he can't remember firing a single shot. At the trial he remembered firing one.

MS LOONAT: Ja, he does admit, he remembers admitting that he did fire one, which was by accident.

MR LAX: Well he doesn't say that here. His evidence here before us has been that he doesn't remember firing at all. You can't give evidence for him.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat it goes further, that last paragraph.

MS LOONAT: Ja, the last paragraph.

CHAIRPERSON: In the trial it is found that he endeavoured to suggest that only one shot was fired almost by accident, in which he injured himself. So it is clear from his own evidence as to the number of cartridges which were loaded and those found in the gun when it was taken from him, that he's not being entirely frank. Do you follow what I'm saying? So even if he admits to shooting one now, it is in conflict with what was found in the criminal case, although the Judge doesn't go as far as to say how many shots were fired at this stage, in this part of the Judgment, it is suggested that many more than just one accidental shot was discharged.

MS LOONAT: Your Honour, on the same page, line 10, is what I put to my client and that is where it says, on the 11th line, that one five round was found in the chamber, only one and we could - I couldn't find anywhere else others being shot from that particular shot gun.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, but if you read the whole record, the number of cartridges found from shot gun and he says he's the only one, as far as he can remember, that was in possession of such, it is clear from the Judgment that he discharged more than the accidental one shot and that's the point the Judge is making in the Judgment. I may just add, what crossed my mind is that if they were going to use these guns as mechanisms to create fear and to facilitate the robbery, why fill the gun up with ammunition? I just make the point to you because he says that that was the intention. I'll leave it to you to argue the point.

MS LOONAT: My client did - I did put the question to him Your Honour and my client submitted that his co-accused were just thoroughbred criminals and they would not go into a bank with firearms that had no ammunition at all, but the instruction was not to use the firearms and in his simple mind, a man who is not committed with no criminal record, honestly believed that it would be very simple, they just go and they rob and they walk away and if that did not happen, they would still not use the firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: One would have to be very naive to accept that, isn't it?

MS LOONAT: As the Chairperson pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm not talking about your client. Carry on.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, who shot at Mr Barkor on that day?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was accused number 1.

MS LOONAT: Were you anywhere near accused number 1 at the time.

MR MAHAMBANE: Accused number one remained outside whilst I and accused number three went inside the bank.

MS LOONAT: So you are not aware when Mr Barkor was shot by accused number one, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: I heard the gun going off whilst I was inside the bank.

MS LOONAT: Do you know who shot at Mr Kouvaris and Mr Craven?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I cannot.

CHAIRPERSON: You were there, isn't it, surely you can tell us who. You were present.

MR MAHAMBANE: The victims that I remember clearly were Mr Walters and the other person who was shot in the eye. I do not recall with regards to the others.

CHAIRPERSON: Who shot the one in the eye?

MR MAHAMBANE: It was accused number one who was outside.

CHAIRPERSON: The same person who shot Mr Walters?

MR MAHAMBANE: Sorry?

CHAIRPERSON: The same person who shot Mr Walters?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you said accused number one. Did you not just say number one shot Mr Walters?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, accused number one shot the person who was outside. Mr Walters was shot by accused number 3.

MR LAX: Yes, that was Mr Ziane?

MR MAHAMBANE: Ziane, yes, he shot Mr Walters.

MR LAX: This Themba that you talk about, this driver.

MR MAHAMBANE: Oh, he ran away.

MR LAX; Yes. Where was he from? Also from KwaMashu?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, he was from KwaMashu.

MR LAX: Was he ever arrested?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, he was not arrested.

MR LAX: And he didn't take part in the gun battle that led to your arrest?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I think he fled at the time when Mr Ivaco was shot and he was perhaps mistaken for a member of the public, so he just left.

MR LAX: You see the newspaper report of this incident says that four heavily armed men were involved in a gun fight, but on your version there were only three.

MR MAHAMBANE: They are mistaken. The driver fled from the scene.

MR LAX: So only three people were involved in the gun fight, according to your evidence?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, the three of us.

MR LAX: Now Themba's name wasn't Mavundla, was it? His surname?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mavundla was accused number three.

MR LAX: Because his nickname was Themba Mavundla.

MR MAHAMBANE: His other alias was also Siyane.

MR LAX: Please carry on.

MS LOONAT: Mr Mahambane, you have served seven years of your twenty years sentence and you've had plenty of time to think about what happened on that day. How do you feel about the aftermath of your criminal deeds today?

MR MAHAMBANE: I have never rested since the commission of that crime because I'm aware that people died and some were injured. The primary aim of lodging this amnesty application was for me to apologise to those people and explain to them that I did not really have intentions to harm them, but it was because of the situation or circumstances that we lived under at the time and things did not go according to the plan, so I take this opportunity to ask for forgiveness from them, even though I did not fire the gun directly, but I was responsible for the fact that I approached these criminals and I was the primary person in this mission. I extend that apology, particularly to Mrs Botha who lost her husband. I am not really concerned about my freedom, I have spent some time in prison and I still wouldn't mind to spend more time in prison. It's not the most important thing to be free, but what is of more importance is to ask for forgiveness for the people who were injured and those who lost their loved ones in that attack.

MS LOONAT: I have no further questions, Your Honour, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOONAT

MS DE KLERK: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I don't know - can I please clarify something before I start with my cross-examination? Did I mention that there's a Mr Reed as well, when you asked me the names of all the victims?

MR LAX: No, you didn't.

MS DE KLERK: Please can I include Mr Reed as a victim as well please?

MR LAX: What are his initials, just for the record?

MS DE KLERK: All I have, his name is spelled Reed, but I don't have his... Apparently it's R, for Robert Reed. I did consult with Mr Reed personally and Mr Reed advised me that he didn't consider himself as a victim, however he wished to oppose the application for amnesty.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS DE KLERK: Mr Mahambane, did you at any time during the criminal trial, advise anyone that your role that you played in the robbery was politically motivated?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MS DE KLERK: Can I ask you why? Did you not feel that it was necessary?

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, my experience was that the judges of the day regarded it as aggravation.

MS DE KLERK: I understand that but in some of the applications that I've moved for amnesty, on occasion my applicant had actually advised them and there was reference in the Judgement to, although it was disregarded, that this wasn't done.

CHAIRPERSON: I accept that. Proceed.

MS DE KLERK: Would you like to answer the question please?

MR MAHAMBANE: I don't think there would be anyone who would believe that story. That would be taken as plain robbery, but I knew inside of me that the intention of this robbery was politically motivated. They would not take me seriously if I would turn this bank robbery into something that was politically motivated. They would think that I'm insane.

MS DE KLERK: Who is Zitho Ncumalo?

MR MAHAMBANE: That is Mandla.

MS DE KLERK: Is it correct, I understand from your evidence, okay, is it correct that accused number 3 joined you later at Mandla's home?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I don't know that. Will you please repeat the question, maybe I do not understand?

MS DE KLERK: Is it correct that accused number three in the trial met you at Mandla's home?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I know nothing about that.

MS DE KLERK: Will the Panel please bear with me, I'm trying to find the ... Okay, we'll come back to that when I get to it. You've said that at the meetings that were held, you discussed various ways that you'd be able to raise funds and one of the ways was where you'd steal military vehicles, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MS DE KLERK: But you made no mention of a bank robber in order to obtain these funds, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: That came later on in the 90's because it became apparent because there was no other way to raise funds. We started with our meetings from 1985, 1986, up to 1987 but later in the 90's we came up with this idea of robbing the banks.

MS DE KLERK: So was it only this one particular bank that you aimed to rob and no other bank?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, there was no other bank.

MS DE KLERK: So all the while, you must correct me if I'm wrong, from 1985 right up until 1990, even though you were having meetings and you were discussing means of raising funds, you didn't take any action towards - other than the two that you've mentioned to us - you didn't fulfil any other acts to raise funds?

MR MAHAMBANE: There was no other action that was taken except for those.

MS DE KLERK: You said earlier on in your evidence that you were going to see the motor vehicle, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, although that never happened, but that was our intention and that was also part of discussion in our meetings.

MS DE KLERK: So in your evidence, you've also told us that Mandla instructed you to get two other accomplices to help you, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MS DE KLERK: And it was put to you by the Panel that there were actually more than just three of you, there were actually four of you, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: At first there were three of us, but we had no driver and I had to organise someone to drive the car.

MS DE KLERK: And Themba, sorry, was that accused number one that drove the car?

MR MAHAMBANE: No.

MS DE KLERK: But who drove the vehicle?

MR MAHAMBANE: Themba. His name is also Themba, but he was never arrested.

MS DE KLERK: So you did make a statement, a plea of guilty, in respect of the charges that were brought against you, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I pleaded guilty in Court.

MS DE KLERK: And in your plea of guilty, you've omitted to involved Themba in the whole robbery as well, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is true.

MS DE KLERK: And in your plea of guilty, you've also associated yourself with accused number one and accused number three in the actual robbery, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Will you please repeat the question?

MS DE KLERK: In your plea that was tendered by you, you pleaded guilty to the robbery as well as the murder of Mr Walters in respect of your relationship with accused number 3 and accused number 1, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MS DE KLERK: And is it also correct that at no stage you ever mentioned that this was politically motivated or that the objective was because of the furtherance of your political organisation, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: I did not mention that to my co-accused.

MS DE KLERK: I know that. You told us in your evidence that you didn't mention it to your co-accused, but what I'm suggesting to you is that you also didn't tell it to the Judge as well.

MR MAHAMBANE: The Judge wouldn't believe me because I was charged for bank robbery and I was going to be dismissed because they couldn't reconcile the two. Any person who was there was going to dismiss that statement that the robbery was politically motivated.

MS DE KLERK: Who represented you at the trial?

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot remember, but he was coming from the Legal Aid. I cannot remember the surname. He was coming from the Legal Aid Board.

MS DE KLERK: So did the ANC not pay for your legal representation at your trial?

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot say so, but I do not remember any payment being made.

MS DE KLERK: And did you advise your legal representative about your political motives and your political objectives?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I did not mention that to him.

MS DE KLERK: In respect of Mrs Walters, who is the wife of Derek Walters, are you aware of the fact that Mrs Walters has - well is since a widow and that she now has to go through the rest of her life without her husband and dealing with the trauma of seeing her husband being murdered?

MR MAHAMBANE: That is the sole reason for me to forward this amnesty application, because I have mentioned that for me it is not important to be freed from prison, but I wanted to reconcile with Mrs Walters, because I remember very well that she was at the scene when her husband died and I even have bad dreams time and again in prison, that is why I decided to use this opportunity to come and reconcile with Mrs Walters, although I'm not the person who actually pulled the trigger, but I know that this happened and it happened because of me, more especially the trauma that she suffered and she's still suffering. He was shot at while far away from the bank. The people who were much nearer were not affected, but a person who was at a distance of at least a kilometre from the bank, is the one who was affected.

MS DE KLERK: Surely, you were very close at the time that accused number three shot Mr Walters, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I was very close.

MS DE KLERK: Isn't there anything that you could have done to have prevented the loss of Mr Walters' life?

MR MAHAMBANE: There was nothing for me to do, because when we moved from the bank going up, it was quite a distance from where Mr Walters died, because we were being chased by the police from the bank and even Mr Walters was shot at by mistake because accused number 3 thought that as he was reaching for his waist, he thought that he was reaching for the firearm and when I tried to open the door.

CHAIRPERSON: How do you know that?

MR MAHAMBANE: After the incident, I asked him why did he shoot at the white man and then he said he couldn't see properly because we were being followed by a hail of bullets and by mistake the trigger was pulled and then he was shot at.

MS DE KLERK: But you're telling us something different now. Initially you told us that Mr Walters was shot because he reached in his side, in other words suggesting that he was going to reach for a firearm or something. Now you're expanding on it and you're changing your version now. Now you're saying that it was because it was done by accident. What is the true position?

MR MAHAMBANE: As I'm saying accused, as we were discussing after this incident, I asked him why he shot at the white man and then he told me that it was a mistake because he thought that the man was reaching for a firearm on his waist, only to find out that he was unfastening the seat belt, that was the discussion that took place after this incident.

MS DE KLERK: So then how does the accident part come into it then?

MR MAHAMBANE: I got that from him, that it was not his intention to shoot him, but as we were being chased, we were running away and he panicked and he pulled the trigger.

MS DE KLERK: I understand from the Judgment that Martin Craven, one of the victims, was one of the persons whom you attempted to murder, in that you had fired a shot at him. Do you know if this is correct, or - he's one of the members of the local police services and he was pursuing you, that's my instructions. He was actually pursuing you.

MR MAHAMBANE: I do not understand the question.

MS DE KLERK: Okay, in terms of the Judgement, okay, and also what Mr Craven has told me, okay, he was the person whom you were shooting at when you were trying to get away after attempting to rob the bank.

MR MAHAMBANE: Though I cannot remember that, this happened very quick.

MS DE KLERK: Do you agree, if not - if you couldn't identify Mr Craven, but would you agree with me that you did fire shots at certain protection service gentlemen who were in pursuit of you and your co-accused?

MR MAHAMBANE: As I've mentioned before, I cannot remember pulling a trigger, because even in Court no-one ever mentioned that he was shot at with the pump gun, because they were different from the other firearms.

MS DE KLERK: We've heard your evidence in respect of Mr Barkor, that you were inside the bank and accused number one was outside the bank and it was accused number one that shot Mr Barkor.

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: In light of that, I'm not going to put any questions to you in respect of Mr Barkor. In respect of Mrs Druft, what was your role that you played in the actual bank robbery. When I'm speaking about the bank robbery, I'm speaking about in the bank. What did you do when you were inside of the bank?

MR MAHAMBANE: I am the one who was on the forefront. I'm the one who started the whole thing and instructing the people to lie down and I went straight to the counters and we collected the money with accused number 3.

MS DE KLERK: Were you the one that snatched Mrs Druft's chain from her neck?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, that was accused number 3. Even in Court he pleaded guilty to that.

MS DE KLERK: So you played no part in the fact that Mrs Druft's chain was snatched from her neck?

MR MAHAMBANE: We did not intend to take jewellery, but with me - we wanted to take the money, that is why I did not take part in that. My focus was on the money, that's all.

MS DE KLERK: And you were the leader of this whole group, according to your evidence, is that correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: Did you advise your co-accused that you were only going for the money, you weren't going to snatch any jewellery or anything like that?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I told them from the beginning that we're not going there to kill anyone, we are just going there to get the money. We had an agreement.

MS DE KLERK: And you believed them that when they agreed with you that they weren't going to kill anyone and they weren't going to steal anyone's chain from their necks, or any jewellery from anyone?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I believed them.

MS DE KLERK: Even though you didn't know them personally, they weren't personal friends of yours, you believed them?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I believed them.

MS DE KLERK: Even though you knew that they had previous convictions and that they were criminals, so you called them, you believed them, you trusted them, I think those were your words, you trusted them.

MR MAHAMBANE: I also wanted to do the job and if we get the money, that would be finished, so we were not looking for any other thing.

MS DE KLERK: In respect of Mrs Smith, did you at any time point a firearm at her whilst you were in the bank and instruct her to open the safe?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes.

MS DE KLERK: So will I be correct in saying that you were the one that took Mrs Smith then from the controllers room through to the tellers?

MR MAHAMBANE: Even that Mrs Smith, I cannot remember her identity. I cannot remember which one is Mrs Smith.

MS DE KLERK: Who was the one that took, was it you or was it accused number 3, that took the lady with the key through to the safe? Was it you or was it accused number 3?

MR MAHAMBANE: I think it was accused number 3, because I was busy collecting the money from the tellers.

MS DE KLERK: So am I correct in saying then that your whole role in this whole bank robbery and the subsequent murders and stuff, was that you recruited accused numbers one, three and the driver who had fled, you went into the bank, all you did was collect the money, accused number three, he snatched Mrs Druft's chain off her neck, he pushed Mrs Smith at gun point with the keys to the safe, all, your whole role was just merely to get the money, that was all. Am I correct?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is true.

MS DE KLERK: Thank you. I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS DE KLERK

MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Mr Mahambane, with regard to the shooting of Mr Barkor, do you think it was necessary for him to be shot at?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, it was not necessary at all, but we were inside the bank. The person who shot at Mr Barkor was outside the bank at the door. We heard the gun shot as we were still busy inside the bank.

MS THABETHE: Having your answer in mind, would you say then that the act of shooting Mr Barkor had anything to do with the political objective of your organisation, ANC?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, it's got nothing to do with that.

MS THABETHE: Now coming to the shooting at the policemen, that is Mr Reed and Mr Craven, the policemen who were chasing you, do you think that was necessary?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, it was not necessary.

MS THABETHE: And do you think this action would have in any furthered the objectives of the ANC?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, not at all.

MS THABETHE: Now coming to the murder of Mr Walters, the guy who was in the vehicle, why didn't you try and overpower him? There were two of you, he was the only one in the car. Why didn't you try and then chuck him out of the car and then take the car and run instead of shooting at him?

MR MAHAMBANE: As I have already mentioned that I came through the passenger door and accused number 3 came to the driver's door and on the passenger side the door was locked and accused number three proceeded for the driver's door and opened the door and we couldn't see properly, it was becoming dark at that time and there was noise and we were being chased with a hail of bullets and there was confusion, we couldn't think properly because we were not yet used to that situation and we also panicked.

MS THABETHE: Do you agree with what he did? Do you agree with his decision to shoot Mr Walters?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, I totally disagree that is why I even asked the question as to why did he shoot at him and then he explained to me that he couldn't see properly, it was a mistake.

MS THABETHE: And would I be correct to say it cannot be even justified politically?

MR MAHAMBANE: In your opinion, bank robbery is just plain bank robbery. Even in Court I didn't mention any political motivation, but my intention was to come here and apologise to the people who were traumatised more especially Mrs Walters. It is up to you to associate it with political objective, but to me, this is an opportunity for me to come here and apologise to the people who were wronged.

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

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

MS LOONAT IN RE-EXAMINATION: Your Honour, I just want to clarify one point on the question of Mr Craven. It is my understanding, on page 63, line 7, that there was in fact some confusion and line, the first paragraph on page 63, I quote, it says that:

"Accused number three fired directly at him when he was in his vehicle"

and it goes on to say that:

"Mrs Johns and Holman both agree that accused number 3 did the firing"

and not my client. My client was unaware of the firing from the outside. I have no further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOONAT

MR LAX: Mr Mahambane, there's just one issue that I'm a bit puzzled about and maybe if you'll clear it up for me. Zitho Ncumalo, you said that that was the name of Mandla, is that right?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: That's Mandla who came from G Section to L Section to train you and he was your Commander, is that the same Mandla?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: Now in the Judgment at page 42 of the bundle, there's reference made to Zitho Ncumalo being present on the scene.

MR MAHAMBANE: Please repeat the question Sir.

MR LAX: In the bundle page 42 of the papers and your lawyer's showing you the section, it says:

"When they were dealing with the weapons by themselves and by Zitho Ncumalo..."

and then it carries on and then it says:

"Accused number three said the weapon he saw protruding from Zitho's belt was an automatic pistol."

Now you've told us nothing about Mandla being present on the scene, yet it's clear from here that he was present. Why haven't you told us about this?

MR MAHAMBANE: Mandla was not present.

MR LAX: Well who is this Zitho Ncumalo they're talking about who was present, who had a gun protruding out of his belt?

MR MAHAMBANE: Zitho Ncumalo is Mandla, but I think this is a mistake, because Mandla was not there.

MR LAX: Well was Mandla maybe not the driver who ran away and was never arrested and that's why you're not telling us about it?

MR MAHAMBANE: No, that is not true.

MR LAX: why was his name mentioned at the trial at all?

MR MAHAMBANE: You were there, I wasn't there. I'm asking you, how did his name come up at the trial as Zitho Ncumalo? In what context was the name mentioned at the trial?

MR MAHAMBANE: We were asked where we got the firearms from. We mentioned his name. That's how he was implicated.

CHAIRPERSON: You pleaded guilty in this case, isn't it?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You advocate, did your advocate hand in a written summary of what you admitted that you had to sign?

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot remember.

CHAIRPERSON: But you didn't testify at the trial, did you? Did you testify at the trial when you pleaded guilty?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, I pleaded guilty in court.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja and you didn't take the oath and tell the Judge what happened, did you? It was not necessary, you pleaded guilty, or did you? I don't know, I'm asking.

MR MAHAMBANE: I think I remember testifying.

CHAIRPERSON: Well did you testify on the merits or on sentence?

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot remember.

MR LAX: Just one last thing and that is that - did only two of you enter the bank?

MR MAHAMBANE: Yes, that is correct, the third person remained at the door.

MR LAX: Outside or inside?

MR MAHAMBANE: At the door. He was just there at the door.

MR LAX: You see, if you read this judgment it's clear from this Judgment that Mr Kouvaris and two of the ladies who were inside the bank who testified, speak about three people coming inside the bank. If you like, I'll show you the portions.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you explain that, because it does appear in the Judgment.

MR LAX: Page 42 - sorry, just bear with me one second, I'll give you the specific reference.

CHAIRPERSON: It doesn't matter. I'm telling you it's in the record, in the Judgment that three people entered the bank. What have you got to say about it? Have you got an answer? In the record it states that three people entered the bank. What have you got to say about it?

MR LAX: Page 38, lines 27 onwards.

MR MAHAMBANE: I cannot dispute that because as we got into the bank, the two of us, the one who remained at the door was regarded as inside, though he remained there at the door. That is why the person is saying three people entered the bank.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me, did you not even foresee that there may be shots fired at the bank when you people took firearms?

MR MAHAMBANE: That was possible, because as we were trying to get out of the bank, we were shot at.

CHAIRPERSON: When you went there, did you foresee that it is possible that you people may have to use the firearms and somebody may be killed? You must have foreseen it, that's why you took the guns. Not so?

MR MAHAMBANE: Do you mean the shooting would take place inside the bank?

CHAIRPERSON: Ja.

MR MAHAMBANE: It wouldn't be possible to fire inside the bank.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. You're excused

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat are there any other witnesses?

MS LOONAT: No, Your Honour, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, have you got any witnesses?

MS DE KLERK: No thank you Mr Chair. Mrs Barkor has asked if she could be excused. She's not feeling too well with what she's heard.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe have you got any witnesses?

MS THABETHE: No witnesses, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat have you got any submissions to make?

MS LOONAT: Just my final address, Your Honour.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja.

MS LOONAT: Okay.

MS LOONAT IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson, Honourable Members of the Committee, my Learned Colleagues, Ladies and

Gentlemen, my client is today seeking amnesty for this horrendous crime. In his evidence he states that he was 19 years old when he committed the first offence which was stealing a purse to the value of R4 for which he received four strokes.

He has since had a clean record. ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat, we're not really interested in his personal factors and his previous convictions. Tell us how does he comply with the requirements of the Act. Firstly, how do you say that what he did was based on a political decision.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, okay. Can I just go on to how he has made full disclosure etc throughout the evidence? okay

He admits that the horrendous crime that he embarked upon in the company of two others, namely the pre-planned armed robbery at the Umhlanga Centre, on 26th of October 1991, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Was it with two or three others, that's the first.

MS LOONAT: When I was liaising with him, he mentioned the two co-accused, he'd not mentioned the driver which came about during proceedings. It has left him full of remorse. More so as one person lost his life that day and another lost the sight in his one eye. My client has maintained throughout this hearing that it was a politically motivated attack. Having been subjected to an incessant political warfare in the 80s where he lived and having witnessed the death of friends and the ambushing of the school children and even the death of a lady he most respected, Mrs Ntenye, an ANC stalwart, he knew he had to retaliate to protect his home, his people, their possessions. After all, he was a fully trained cadre of the ANC Military Wing.

CHAIRPERSON: Fully trained?

MS LOONAT: So he said in his application. Lack of finance to procure the necessary weaponry was the only obstacle to obtaining peace, or so Mandla propagated at their meetings. Mandla, a leader in the ANC, who trained my client and supplied the shot gun and other weapons used by all the accused on that fateful day. He planned the robbery and instructed that the spoils be handed to him to further the cause. The instructions were not to use the firearms. Human nature being what it is, things went awry and panic rained that day.

My client admits to removing cash from the tills. He was in charge of the cash at all times. He did not assault anybody, including the lady who lost her gold chain. It was not him, according to his evidence. My client admits that the cash, all of it, was in a maroon bag which was in his possession at all times. He knew that he had to hand over same to Mandla that day. This was how the instructions, the political objective was planned and he knew that he would convince, or he thought he would convince his co-accused, in Mandla's presence, that the cash would be used to promote a peaceful climate to live in, thereby handing it all over to Mandla, the leader.

My client admits that Saturday was a busy day. Lots more cash would be available and as no-one was to be injured, it made no difference that it was a busy, busy day. Therefore it did not occur to him that more people's lives would be at risk, as a result of their actions. My client did not fire at or injure anyone that day and he stands by that. He's trying to make full disclosure as far as he can remember. He still maintains that one shot went off from his gun whilst running away and that shot almost injured him. He admits that whilst he was trying to enter late Mr Walters' motor vehicle via the passenger side, it was his co-accused number three, who did in fact shoot at Mr Walters in panic because he thought, that is number 3 thought the gentleman was reaching for a gun when in actual felt he was trying to loosen his safety belt. He knows now that he was in fact trying to do his seatbelt.

My client is deeply saddened by this tragic death, saddened by the whole event. Money, not murder and mayhem was uppermost in his mind when he set out on this actions. Money, not for personal gain, as he's been maintaining, but for the cause, peace and protection against attacks, political attacks in his section and surrounding. The police did nothing to assist. To quote the Honourable Judge Wilson on page 62, line 20:

"The killings were not committed during the course of the planned robbery, it was during the course of the get away, after arrangements had collapsed"

There was no mens rea until after the get away car wasn't there and foiled their plans, hence the death penalty was not imposed. In fact my client was only trying to enter Mr Walters' motor vehicle to use as a get away, when the co-accused pulled the trigger.

Indeed Mr Mahambane admits to hand picking his co-accused, without Mandla's instructions to pick these particular men, but he did not inform them deliberately that the proceeds had to be handed to Mandla for the course. Mandla, the mastermind, who was my client's mentor, who trained him in firearm use and who had the wherewithal to procure more if necessary, all not for personal gain but for the cause. My client except for that one shot that went off accidentally, injured no-one, not even when he fled in panic and things went awry.

Today he advises that he wish to express personally to the victims families his deep remorse, to Mrs Walters for the loss of her husband, whom his co-accused shot in panic and to the other victims that day. At that time he was full of hate because of the political situation which existed in his area for several years in KwaMashu especially. Today he's full of contrition. The attack that day on the NBS was politically motivated in his mind, to obtain cash for firearms and ammunition for the cause, a far cry from that R4 that he stole. He has made full disclosure today as far as he can remember. He acted on an instruction from a leader who propagated ANC slogans, policies, at their clandestine meetings in the late 80's and early 90's. I humbly submit that the honourable members of the Committee grant my client amnesty in terms of Section 20(1)(2)(a), (d), (f), (g) and (3) (a) to (f).

Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms de Klerk, we don't need to hear you. We don't need to hear you also. We'll take our time deliberating this matter and we'll issue a decision in due course.

MS THABETHE: Sorry, Mr Chair, can I just find out something. With regard to Mr Grubb, ...

MR LAX: Yes, he's mentioned in the Judgment as a protection services person who was shot at with Mr Craven. If you'd like, I'll give you the page reference.

MS THABETHE: Yes, in the Judgment, the person who was charged, who is, I think its accused number - page 57, says he was not found guilty and there was no evidence led of any attempt to murder or ...(indistinct), so I wanted to know whether he is part of the victims?

MR LAX: Just because there was no evidence led about it in the trial, doesn't mean that he wasn't there. We know he was there, but it's ...

MS THABETHE: He was there in his capacity as a police officer, but what I'm questioning is, was he - would we say he's one of the victims in the fact that there was no evidence led as to whether he was shot at or not, so can we really conclude that he was a victim?

MR LAX: It becomes academic in any event.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but whether the criminal court found that or not, we've got to go on what was led here and if it's proved to us that he was there and shot at, then he would, in a normal situation, be a victim by definition. Okay. We'll adjourn till 9.30 tomorrow morning.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS