CAPE TOWN May 12 1997 Sapa


The most senior ANC leader to betray the struggle, Bartholomew Hlapane, was assassinated by an Umkhonto we Sizwe unit in December 1982, according to the ANC's second submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Monday.

Hlapane, a member of the ANC's national executive committee and the SA Communist Party's central committee, turned state witness in the trials of leading anti-apartheid activist Braam Fischer and "compunded this treachery by giving evidence for the state in a number of other trials", it said.

"Hlapane crowned these deeds by playing a central role in the March 1982 Denton committee hearings in the USA, which produced `witnesses' supplied by the apartheid regime.

"This propaganda exercise sought to seriously damage the reputation of the ANC in the international arena, and to set back the liberation struggle, by portraying the movement as a terrorist group under the control of the Soviet Union, carrying out depraved acts such as infecting South Africa's water supplies with cholera."

Labelling him a "particulary dangerous informer", the ANC added: "He was shot by an MK unit".

The ANC said informers were essential tools of the security forces as without them the apartheid regime would have been seriously hampered in its attempts to crush resistance.

Many informers and "turned cadres" were directly responsible for the imprisonment, detention and deaths of "literally thousands of activists and ANC leaders", the submission said.

In an appendix titled "List of MK operations", the submission said that former ANC cadre turned security branch policeman, Leonard Nkosi, was killed in September 1977.

Another ANC member, Steve Mtshali, who turned state witness in various trials was shot and wounded in January 1978.

The submission also refers to former ANC Transvaal deputy chairman Abel Mthembu who was targeted in April 1978 for turning state witness at the Pretoria ANC trial.

An expelled ANC official, Tennyson Makiwane, was shot dead in June 1980 for actively assisting the police.

The list also refers to the targeting of SAP personnel, including Sgt Benjamin Letlako who was shot dead in Katlehong in Febraury 1979 and the assassination of W/O P Selepe in November 1982 for giving evidence in many trials.

Under the sub-heading collaborators in apartheid repression, the ANC lists the October 1987 bombing of the Lenasia offices of former House of Delegate MP Amichand Rajbansi.

The bomb exploded hours after the official opening, but no injuries were reported.

In September 1988, an explosion at the home of municipal election candidate SD Goolam injured four policemen, two guards and one civilian, according to the submission.

South African Press Association, 1997
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