DAY: 1

_____________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) logistical and otherwise due to matters which were beyond our control and we apologise for not having been able to start at traditional time. But be that as it may, we will now hear the application of Mr Mandlakomo. I'm going to ask the legal representatives to put themselves on record starting with Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson. My name is Brian Koopedi. I am appearing for the applicant, Mr Kevin Mandlakomo, in this matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Moloisane?

MS MOLOISANE: Thank you Mr Chairperson. My name is Lisago Moloisane from the Pretoria Bar, I'm representing the victim's family, that is Mr Sipho Ngema's family.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Moloisane. Mr Mapoma?

MR MAPOMA: Thank you Chairperson, my name is Zuko Mapoma. I'm the Evidence Leader for the Amnesty Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mapoma. Mr Koopedi, is there anything that you want to put on record or do you want your client to be sworn in?

MR KOOPEDI: There's nothing to put on record at this stage, Chairperson. We're ready to proceed and my client can be sworn in, Chairperson.



EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Mandlakomo, is it correct that you are an applicant in this matter which relates to the killing of Sipho Ngema during 1988?


MR KOOPEDI: I'm going to ask you to speak up because I'm not sure they're hearing you. Is that correct?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: When this killing happened, were you a member of any political organisation?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes, I was a member of the ANC.

MR KOOPEDI: Were you also a member of it's armed wing?


MR KOOPEDI: When did you join ANC??


MR KOOPEDI: Where did you join the ANC?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was in Lesotho.

MR KOOPEDI: Did you undergo any military training?


MR KOOPEDI: Where did you undergo military training?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Angola and Germany.

MR KOOPEDI: Now after your military training you were at some stage deployed in Swaziland, is that correct?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes that is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: When were you deployed in Swaziland?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was in 1987.

MR KOOPEDI: And what were you to do in Swaziland?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Actually our comrades were being harassed by askaris and hit squads from the South African Government and we were to counter that.

MR KOOPEDI: And what exactly do you mean by that, they're countering this harassment by askaris and hit squad members?

MR MANDLAKOMO: We were to identify them first, why it is needed to eliminate them.

MR KOOPEDI: Now you refer to "we", who is this "we". Did you belong to a unit?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes I belonged to a unit but unfortunately all of them passed away.

MR KOOPEDI: Can you remember how many of you were in the unit?

MR MANDLAKOMO: We were four.

MR KOOPEDI: You were four?


MR KOOPEDI: Can you name the people who were in your unit?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was Shezi, Thabiso, Dumele and myself.

MR KOOPEDI: Are all these travelling names, MK names or were these their real names?

MR MANDLAKOMO: The other one is his real name and the two the combat names.

MR KOOPEDI: Which one are you referring to when you say it's his real name?


MR KOOPEDI: Dumele. Do you have a surname?




MR KOOPEDI: Right. Now let's go to the events leading to the death of Mr Ngema. What ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Koopedi. Who was the commander of this unit, Mr Mandlakomo?

MR MANDLAKOMO: On the scene of this it was Thabiso but Shezi was the commander but he wasn't there.

CHAIRPERSON: So Thabiso in this operation, Thabiso was commanding?


CHAIRPERSON: But the unit was under the general command of Shezi?


CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, thank you Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson.

Now let's go to the events of that day. What happened, what led to the killing of the late Mr Ngema?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Initially, Mr Ngema was one of us and he defected.

MR KOOPEDI: When you say one of you, what do you mean? Was he a member of MK?

MR MANDLAKOMO: He was a member of MK.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. Please proceed?

MR MANDLAKOMO: And he defected us and he started his actions of identifying our people and they were harassed.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay, please go on?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I will not have something to say like saying he was harassing us by doing this but I was made to understand that he's one of the people who is harassing our people so he must be eliminated. So I got those orders that he should be eliminated.

MR KOOPEDI: From whom did you get the order, was that from within your unit or from somewhere else?

MR MANDLAKOMO: No, it was within the unit.

MR KOOPEDI: Do you remember who precisely gave you that order?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was Thabiso.

MR KOOPEDI: And what was the order, the precise terms of the order?

MR MANDLAKOMO: The order was to kill him.

MR KOOPEDI: Now how did you - did execute this order?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes I executed the order.

MR KOOPEDI: How did you go about doing it, where did you find the deceased and how was the order executed?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was in a restaurant, a Mozambique Restaurant in Manzini.

MR KOOPEDI: Manzini, that is in Swaziland.

MR MANDLAKOMO: In Swaziland, yes.

MR KOOPEDI: Yes and what happened in this restaurant?

MR MANDLAKOMO: You know, people were drinking, some were eating and we found him. He was seated in a corner.

MR KOOPEDI: And what did you do? Did you say anything to him? What happened?

MR MANDLAKOMO: No, I just told him to identify himself to confirm that he was Sipho and he did.

MR KOOPEDI: And thereafter?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I shot him.

MR KOOPEDI: How many times?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Four times.

MR KOOPEDI: Where on his body did you shoot him?

MR MANDLAKOMO: At the chest and head.

MR KOOPEDI: And after shooting him what did you do?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I left the restaurant.

MR KOOPEDI: Who was with you when this happened? Who was with you?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I was with Dumele.

MR KOOPEDI: And Dumele, is it the same person, a member of your unit?


MR KOOPEDI: Or who was a member of your unit.

MR MANDLAKOMO: Thabiso was driving.

MR KOOPEDI: So you had a get away car so to speak?


MR KOOPEDI: And Thabiso was outside?

MR MANDLAKOMO: He was outside.

MR KOOPEDI: And did you go into the car?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes we went into the car.

MR KOOPEDI: And where did you drive to?


MR KOOPEDI: Did you report this to anyone after?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I did not report it to anyone.

MR KOOPEDI: Were you made to believe that this matter was reported? Did Thabiso say he will report this matter to Shezi for instance or any person?

MR MANDLAKOMO: No, he did not indicate that.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Now in the bundle of documents that are before this Honourable Committee you have referred to Mr Vusi Mavembele as having been in some kind of authoritarian situation. Can you briefly explain what was Mr Mavembele's role if any in this matter?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well he was the head of the RPMC in Swaziland.

MR KOOPEDI: When you say RPMC are you referring to the Regional Political Military Council?



MR MANDLAKOMO: Yes. So his involvement in the unit I don't know, never seen him, members of the unit.

MR KOOPEDI: What you basically are saying is that he was the most senior ANC person in the region as far as you were concerned?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I was made to believe that.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Now is there anything that you think is relevant or you know to be relevant to this matter that you have left out?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Not that I know of.

MR KOOPEDI: This killing, was it politically motivated?


MR KOOPEDI: Can you explain what the political motivation is?

MR MANDLAKOMO: The political motivation is that Swaziland was our transit for our people to go home, so when there is a unit of this nature like the Sipho's and others that will block that way, then we find it necessary that we should counter their actions.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Did you benefit anything materially, personally? Did you benefit anything?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Personally, no.

MR KOOPEDI: And finally, this killing, were you party to a decision that was taken or were you just ordered to proceed and kill Mr Ngema?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I was ordered to do that.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you Chairperson, no further questions at this stage.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi Ms Moloisane?


You told this Committee that at the time of the killing your commander was Thabiso, is that so?


MS MOLOISANE: When did he actually issue the instruction that Mr Ngema should be eliminated or killed?

MR MANDLAKOMO: When we saw him in Manzini at the restaurant.

MS MOLOISANE: Yes, but how long before the actual killing did he issue this instruction?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I would not remember that but it was some time.

MS MOLOISANE: Yes, but what I need clarification on, how long? Was it days before the actual killing or a few hours before the actually killing?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Days before, yes.

MS MOLOISANE: But then on this particular day you told the Committee that at the time of the killing Thabiso wasn't there. Initially in your evidence, that's what you say?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Sorry, come again?

MS MOLOISANE: Initially in your evidence you told the Committee that at the time of the killing Thabiso was not there?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I said Shezi wasn't there.

MS MOLOISANE: You say Shezi was not there?


MS MOLOISANE: But then when as you were driving away from the scene immediately after the killing you told this Committee that you were with Shezi and Thabiso was driving?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I said I was with Dumele.

MS MOLOISANE: I'm sorry, Mr Chairperson.

I've nothing further Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Moloisane. Mr Mapoma any questions?


Mr Mandlakomo, Shezi was a unit commander, that's your evidence. Is it so?


MR MAPOMA: And now did he know of this mission to eliminate Sipho?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I think as a unit commander he knew.

MR MAPOMA: Yes. Now who was going to report this to the unit commander that this mission of elimination of Shezi?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I should think it was the responsibility of Thabiso who was in the scene.

MR MAPOMA: Yes, now to your knowledge did Thabiso convey that message or that report to the unit commander?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Not that I know of.

MR MAPOMA: You know, I'm asking this question because if this was an operation of the unit naturally the unit commander might have been made to know that the mission has been accomplished, the mission which is supposed to have been instructed by him as a unit commander. If that did not happen, ones impression would be that you were doing your own thing, not that of the unit?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well it was not my responsibility to report, it was the responsibility of Thabiso to do that so if he wrote the report he wasn't going to show me.

MR MAPOMA: Now you say he defected from the ANC. What do you mean by that?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I was made to understand that he defected. He was a member of MK.


MR MANDLAKOMO: And all of a sudden he wasn't, that's what I was told.

MR MAPOMA: Did he defect to serve the enemy for instance?

MR MANDLAKOMO: That's what I was made to understand.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mapoma. Would that be the Security Forces of South Africa?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I was made to believe that.

CHAIRPERSON: That he had joined the Security Forces?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Has the panel got any questions?

ADV SANDI: Thank you Chairperson, maybe one or two.

Did you know Sipho Ngema before this incident? Had you worked with him before as MK members?


ADV SANDI: So that explains the reason why you asked him if he was Sipho Ngema and he said yes then you shot him?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I knew he was Sipho Ngema because I'd seen him Swaziland after he had defected.

ADV SANDI: Yes, but why did you have to ask him?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was a confirmation.

ADV SANDI: Was he the only person who was killed on the basis of this suspicion that he was working for the other side?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It's only him that I know of.

ADV SANDI: Do you know if any attempt was made to eliminate other suspects as well?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Not that I know of.

ADV SANDI: Yes, I'm asking this question because I want to establish if we're not dealing here with perhaps an isolated incident, who may have been killed for some other reason?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well maybe there are other incidences but I was only involved in this one and this is the one what I know of and I was just a subordinate in the unit, so I might not have been briefed of other missions because of security reasons.

ADV SANDI: Were you told when he had defected to the other side?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was around '86, if my memory serves me well.

ADV SANDI: Were you given any specifics as to the kinds of actions he was involved in the capacity of furthering the interests of the other side against the ANC and MK?


ADV SANDI: What specifics?

MR MANDLAKOMO: It was identifying our people to the hostile elements.

ADV SANDI: Who had he identified at that stage?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I didn't ask that but we were so many in Swaziland, who I was believe he knew of.

ADV SANDI: Did anything happen to the people you've referred to as the result of him having pointed them out?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I'm sorry, come again?

ADV SANDI: What happened to the people he pointed out?

MR MANDLAKOMO: I was made to believe that he identify Mr Kersias Make who was killed from the airport but I don't know how far true is that.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: One question, Mr Mandlakomo. From whom or from where did Thabiso derive his authority to give you an order? He was not the unit commander?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Well I was made to understand that they were reporting straight to the head office in Lusaka.

ADV BOSMAN: Who was reporting straight to the head office, Thabiso?

MR MANDLAKOMO: Thabiso and Shezi, they were ...(intervention)

ADV BOSMAN: Yes but did Thabiso hold a particular rank within the unit, was he the second-in-command or what was his position, why could he give ...(intervention)

MR MANDLAKOMO: He was second-in-command, yes.

ADV BOSMAN: Okay, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-examination, Chairperson.

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


MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, we are not calling any other witness and that will be the applicant's case.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Koopedi.

Ms Moloisane are you ...(inaudible)?

MS MOLOISANE: No evidence to be led, Mr Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mapoma?

MR MAPOMA: No further evidence, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mapoma. Mr Koopedi, have you got any submissions on the merits of this application?

MR KOOPEDI IN ARGUMENT: I do Chairperson and it's a very brief submission.

Chairperson, Honourable Committee Members, it's my

submission that this applicant has complied with the requirements of the Act that enables yourselves to consider granting amnesty.

It's my submission, Chairperson, that this killing was politically motivated. According to the evidence that is before you this applicant was given information by his superiors and the information was that the deceased was an askari, an institution well known to the - acting on the other side of the ANC and uMkhonto weSizwe. It is my further submission, Chairperson, that this applicant who was a subordinate in the unit or what we normally refer to as a foot soldier, this applicant was ordered to proceed and execute the late Sipho Ngema and in compliance with the orders so given to him, he proceeded and did that.

I wish to submit further, Chairperson, that it is evident that there was no personal or material gain there on the part of the applicant. He didn't receive anything.

And finally, Chairperson, it's my submission that all the relevant facts have been put before yourselves and I would ask that you favourably consider this application. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. Ms Moloisane, have you got any submissions?

MS MOLOISANE: Yes Honourable Chairperson and Committee Members.

In response to what my colleague has just said now, Mr Chairperson, we have a problem as far as the requirements of Section 21C are concerned, that the applicant has made a full disclosure of all the relevant facts. When the applicant was cross-examined by my learned friend, Mr Mapoma, he says when asked who was going to convey the message to the overall commander, he says - the answer he gave - I mean, he was asked who was the person who was going to convey the message to the overall commander and the answer was "not that I know of" and he was again asked why - let me rephrase this one Mr Chairperson. He again told this Committee that he was made to understand that the deceased in this matter, Mr Sipho Ngema, was serving the enemy. He hadn't by himself established whether Mr Ngema was serving the enemy. He was just operating on what his immediate commander was telling him, he did not even verify with the overall commander whether this was true or not or whether this was just an isolated incident of settling his course between, you know, people from the same place, serving in the same organisation or serving in the armed wing of the ANC.

ADV BOSMAN: Ms Moloisane, would one in the normal course expect a foot soldier to question the order of his commander and to verify that the order is based on some justifiable course?

MS MOLOISANE: Ms Committee Member, in certain instances it has actually happened and it does actually happen for one to verify whether indeed the action that you have commit the act that you have to commit is in accordance with a command that comes from the top structure of the organisation. So if I understand what the applicant is saying, what he's saying is that he did not know, he had no knowledge. All that he did was just to eliminate, to kill the deceased, Mr Ngema.

I have nothing further to submit, Mr Chairperson and Committee Members, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Moloisane. Mr Mapoma, any submissions?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson none, except just to respond a bit from what has been raised by my learned friend Ms Moloisane. Whilst Chairperson, the applicant did not know whether the order was given was reported back to the unit commander. One needs to understand, Chairperson, that this Thabiso who gave the order was a commander in his own right from the version of the applicant and generally in all the force matters, the operatives, foot soldiers, theirs was to execute an order and not ask questions. I mean that's the general trend that has been gathered throughout these hearings of this nature. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mapoma. Mr Koopedi, is there anything else that you wanted to add?

MR KOOPEDI IN REPLY: Perhaps a brief reply to what counsel has said in her address.

I submit, Chairperson, that there is no evidence whatsoever that this was a personal matter or a matter of settling scores as it was put by counsel. I also submit, Chairperson, in reply that there was no way that the applicant could have had the discretion whether to or not to carry out the order. He was given an order and as a foot solider he simply had to comply be it wrong or right.

And finally, I wish to add, Chairperson, that the applicant was not even present when the decision was taken. He therefore had no knowledge whatsoever and did not even participate in the decision making or in confirming whether or not the deceased was an askari. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Koopedi. That concludes the application. The panel will consider the application as well the submissions that were made to us and we will produce a decision in the matter once we are ready to do so. So in the circumstances the decision will be reserved.

We thank the legal representatives for their assistance in this matter and we also thank the widow for having attended the proceedings again. So in the circumstances we will notify all of the parties with an interest in the matter once the decision is available.

Mr Mapoma is there anything else?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, I understand that the deceased was a married person and we have his wife here. I would recommend, Chairperson, that her name be referred to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee.

MS NGEMA: My name is Zanele Ngema, presently residing in Swaziland.

ADV BOSMAN: Are you a South African citizen there?

MS NGEMA: Yes, I'm a South African by birth but I've got Swazi citizenship. My address is 214 Manzini. I have a son who is 18 years, presently 18 years old now, at school doing Standard 10.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he born of the marriage with the deceased?

MS NGEMA: Yes, that is true.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that the only child?

MS NGEMA: That is the only child.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, the address that you gave us, 214 Manzini, is that your physical address?

MS NGEMA: We don't have physical addresses in Swaziland, we use postal addresses.

CHAIRPERSON: So is this a postal address?

MS NGEMA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So is this box?

MS NGEMA: P O Box 214.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. Thank you very much, we've noted that and we have noted the request that was submitted to us by Mr Mapoma. Yes thank you, you will then be excused if you so wish Ms Moloisane and your client as well and Mr Koopedi and your client if you want to. Mr Mapoma is there anything else that we have on the roll?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, that is the only matter that was ready for today's roll. Well, the remaining matters as things are now will only be hearable tomorrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. We are then going to adjourn the proceedings. I intend to start at 9.30, would that be in order?

MR MAPOMA: That would be in order, Chairperson, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well we'll then adjourn the proceedings and we will reconvene here tomorrow morning at 9.30. We're adjourned.