October 30, 1996


Issued by Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in the KwaZulu/Natal-Free State region will hold simultaneous hearings in Durban and Empangeni next week.

A four-person TRC panel which will be headed by regional commissioner, the Rev Dr Khoza Mgojo, will listen to more than 30 cases of gross human rights violations at the Empangeni Town Hall over three days, from Monday November 4 to Wednesday November 6.

Most of the cases that the TRC will listen to will focus largely on the conflict which has raged on virtually unabated for years, between the ANC and IFP supporters in the Empangeni and surrounding areas.

There will also be two cases of massacres that will come before the commission, including the gruesome slaughter of a family during the attack at the home of a popular trade unionist, Howick Modicai Ngubeni, a University of Zululand employee, whose home was attacked in August 1993.

The Ngoye massacre in the eighties is also likely to feature during these rounds of hearings. So will be the murder of Dr Henry Vika Luthuli who was gunned down in his surgery at Esikhawini on 2nd August 1990. His widow, Dorcas Nokuzola Luthuli, will appeal to the TRC to help in tracing the killers of her husband.

Persistent and brutal attacks on unionised workers, especially those employed at the Richards Bay Minerals will also come under the spotlight over the three days that the commission will spend at Empangeni.


The murder of civil rights lawyer, Griffiths Mxenge, whose gruesome murder in Durban years ago sent shockwaves throughout the country and abroad, will once again come alive at the Durban Christian Centre from Tuesday November 5 to Friday November 8 when the Amnesty Committee of the TRC hears applications for amnesty from three people who allegedly killed him, former Vlakplaas commander, Dirk Coetzee and his two sidekicks, Almond Nofomela and David Tshikalanga, both who were turned ANC operatives, known as "Askaris".

Mr Mxenge was abducted near his home in Umlazi and his body later found in the nearby soccer stadium, with more than 40 stab wounds and his eyes gauged out. Although this story has been told before, it will be the first time that his killers will openly admit to the crime and give finer detail of their deed.

Apart from the Mxenge killing, the amnesty committee will for the first hear how Coetzee and his henchmen killed an Eastern Cape political activist, Sizwe Kondile who was also brutally murdered in November 1981.

In his application for amnesty from the TRC, Dirk Coetzee has mentioned 7 murders he committed in various parts of the country.