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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 22 April 1998
Location ALIWAL NORTH
Names STEVEN VUSUMZI DOLO
Case Number AM20/96
Matter Zastron Mayaphuthi bridge shooting
MR PRIOR: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, the amnesty application of Steven Vusumzi Dolo, 0320/96 proceeds on the 23rd of April 1998. Mr Chairman, I understand there's a request by the transcribers that the panel members and the legal representatives identify themselves ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Well they wanted them to do more than identify themselves, they want them to talk for some time so they can get to know the voices. We intended to do that this morning and have a special recording made, but unfortunately as matters developed we did not do that, and I see that Mr Mthembu is no longer with us.
CHAIRPERSON: Well, we may think so, I don't know if the transcribers do. But could we place on record that appearing for the applicant is Mr Mbandazayo. Would you please put yourself on record. Describe where you practice and where you come from, and talk for a minute or so.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I confirm that, Mr Chairman. My name is Mbandazayo and my initials L, that is for Lungelo, and I'm representing the applicant. And I'm coming from East London where I am practising as an attorney. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, my names are Patrick Charles Prior. I'm an advocate with the Amnesty Committee. I'm the evidence leader. I've been conducting many of these matters with, involving APLA and I think my voice is pretty distinctive from the rest of the Committee. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Well I, my name is Andrew Wilson. I am a Judge and the Chairman of this Committee and I think the same applies to me. I think the people transcribing will have no problem recognising my voice. I will ask the various members of my Committee now to introduce themselves and say something.
MR SIBANYONI: My name is Jonas Ben Sibanyoni. While I'm a new member of the Amnesty Committee, but I think my voice is also distinct and I am from Pretoria and from a NGO - Non-Governmental Organisation on human rights. Thank you.
ADV SANDI: My name is Sikolelo Sandi. I'm originally from Grahamstown, but I now live in East London. I'm an advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa. Before I joined the Amnesty Committee I was in the Human Rights Violations Committee, that is one of the Committees of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I also thought my voice is very different to everyone's. I think that's about all I can say.
MR LAX: Through you, Chairperson. My name is Ilan Lax. I'm an attorney from Pietermaritzburg. Like my colleague Ntsiki Sandi, I was a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee until I was appointed to the Amnesty Committee. Like my other colleague, Mr Sibanyoni, I'm quite new on the Amnesty Committee, but I wouldn't hesitate to suggest my voice was very distinctive, although I seem to, some people seem to think my manner is quite distinctive. I think that's enough time spent on this.
CHAIRPERSON: I hope that will assist the persons responsible for preparing the records, but before we go on with this matter, I would like to record something else that has happened today. My Mbandazayo, at the request of the Committee, and on behalf of the Committee, made contact with Mr Lethlapha Mphahlele, also known as Happy, a person whom he has acted for in the past and has advised on a number of occasions. The purpose of this was to inform Mr Mphahlele that he was an implicated party in the matter to be heard today, as well as that to be heard next week. He had already been supplied, as I understand it, with a list of all the matters set down for hearing and was thus fully informed of the matters. Having been informed that he was an implicated party and to what extent he informed Mr Mbandazayo that he had no intention of appearing and that the hearing should proceed in his absence. Have I recorded it correctly?
CHAIRPERSON: Can I on behalf of the Committee as a whole express our gratitude to you for the trouble you have taken today to make contact with this gentleman to inform him of the position and to bring his answer back to us. It has saved us a considerable amount of time and trouble, and we are extremely grateful.
MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, the matter at hand, the Lady Grey Police Station attack, as you no doubt will have gleamed from the papers briefly, was an attack on the police station and on the 3rd of January 1992 at Lady Grey where certain members of the Police Force were having a braaivleis a handgrenade was thrown and certain shots were fired. However preceding the attack the applicant, it would appear, and others acquired a motor vehicle on the Sterkspruit Lady Grey Aliwal-North Road. It was a vehicle belonging to Mr Funchani and preceding that event another vehicle was shot at on the same road, a vehicle belonging to Mr Andele Mpela. May I also inform the Committee that as far as the victims are concerned, a schedule has been put before the Committee. The victims are listed there. Mr and Mrs, or Mr Roetz and Miss Roetz, Sergeant Martens, his wife and a Sergeant Veldsman. Out of those victims who have all been notified, only the Martens family responded. They are present at the hearing and they will no doubt make a submission later on, Mr Chairman. The other victims expressed no desire to participate on these proceedings. Mr Funchani is not present, however the family of the other person, Andile Mpela are present, Mr Chairman. Thank you.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I want to also to put this on record that as I indicated in Chambers that I've just taken over the matter, and as such, Mr Chairman, I will be using the documents which are in the bundle regarding this matter. And also that, Mr Chairman, as we go along as usual he gives testimony reading the affidavit, he will allow for it as I consulted with him that there are certain things which needed to be put in the affidavit which are not there, as far as I am concerned which are necessary for this application. But maybe, before I do any other thing, Mr Chairman, may the applicant be sworn in.
MR PRIOR: It seems to be connected to the, when they switch the interpreter's mikes on. Chairperson maybe we should just take a short adjournment while we sort this thing out. It's a bit difficult, it's just unfortunate.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, as I indicated, as I go along there will be certain corrections in the affidavit and certain additions. Mr Chairman, it's not numbered, I will have difficulties, but I'll try explain which paragraph, but for the purposes of this hearing, Mr Chairman, I'd like us to use the typed one which is more clearer, which is from page 16. Mr Chairman I will start with the last paragraph of page 16 which the first one is self-explanatory. For Mr Dolo, I'll read you the last paragraph of this affidavit and I would like you to explain to the Committee in details as regard this paragraph
"On a certain date in December 1991 we held a meeting. It was me, Lethlapha Mphahlele and another Comrade, met with intention of getting instruction from the Commander of Operation. It was then decided that we were to attack the Lady Grey Police Station as our main target."
Now, what I want you to tell the Committee, is the place where you met with Mphahlele and the details of the discussion regarding the attack at Lady Grey. Can you take the Committee through the steps in your meeting. What transpired in the meeting? Explain it in detail.
MR DOLO: It was in December 1991. We were in the house. It was myself Mphahlele and Vuyo Wilson. When Mphahlele came he told us that one day we will have to attach the Police Station in Lady Grey. He told us that he will come to us on that particular day. He will tell us all the details about when to leave.
MR PRIOR: Mr Mbandazayo it might be helpful, just if we follow the numbering that's already there, could we just number each paragraph after that. So the last one on that page 16 is 13 and then we go over the page, that's a continuation of the first one. The next one will be 14 and onwards.
"....on the 2nd of January 1992 Lady Grey Police Station was already targeted. We went to Transkei and hijacked a bakkie and drove to Lady Grey. Comrade Lethlapha was the driver, and myself as well as Vuyo was sitting at the back."
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I'll do that. Mr Dolo can you take the Committee through what happened then on the day of the incident. You have already told the Committee that Mr Lethlapha Mphahlele came to you and told you that you are going to attack Lady Grey's Police Station and you'll receive from him, you will hear from him. Now, can you tell the Committee what happened now on the day of the incident? Take us through the preparation.
MR DOLO: On the 3rd of January we were in Mbele-Mbele's home. Comrade Mphahlele told us that on that particular day we'll go to Lady Grey to attack the Police Station. On that same day Comrade Mphahlele showed us some guns. The R5, two pistols and a grenade. He told us that those were the arms that we were going to use. On that same day we left the house, we took the arms. I had an R5 rifle. We boarded a taxi. We left for Sterkspruit. When we arrived there at Sterkspruit we boarded another taxi that was going to Herschel. When we arrived there we left Comrade Mphahlele there in Herschel. Myself and Vuyosile we left. We were actually looking for a car. A bakkie, a van, the van that we would use when we were going to the Police Station. When we were on the way there was a van, a bakkie. We stopped this van. The owner refused to stop. I heard a sound. The van passed. We went on. We reached a certain point. We waited there. We waited. Another van came, a bakkie. We tried, we stopped this vehicle, we stopped this van. It also passed. There was a sound. We shot, it stopped. When it stopped we ran. We ran towards the van. There were two people inside. There was a lady and gentleman. They asked us not to kill them. We told them that we were not going to kill them. We were just, we wanted them to borrow us their car. We would use it and we would bring it back again. We asked for the keys. The keys were inside the car. I went straight to the driver's seat and Vuyo came in also. I drove the car. We went on to collect Happy in Herschel where we had left him earlier. Comrade Happy became the driver. We went, we take the direction Lady Grey. On our way there, my self and Vuyo. We alighted the vehicle from the front seat, we boarded at the back of the, of the van. We went strait to the Lady Grey Police Station. When we arrived there the Lady Grey Police Station we went past, we looked at this Police Station. There was someone outside. When we came back again we find that that person was still there. Myself, I shot, when I shot, when I was still busy shooting, Vuyo threw the handgrenade. We went on. We went back to Sterkspruit. When we arrived at Sterkspruit, we parked the car on the main road, in front of the main road. We went on. We went to a certain point. Comrade Happy fetched, fetched some transport. He came with this transport. He took us back to Comrade Mbele-Mbele's place where we spent the night.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Tell the Committee, what type of, of grenade that you used. You have already told the Committee that you were having an R5 rifle, what type of weapon, what type of pistol was Happy, if I'm not mistaken you mentioned that they were having pistol, what type of pistols where they, Happy and Vuyo were having? The grenade and the pistol. Can you still remember, can you tell us?
MR DOLO: It was a stick grenade. The pistols were 9mm and the revolver. What I'm not sure about was Happy's, I'm not sure which one was carrying one of those, I'm not sure between Happy and the, and Vuyo.
MR DOLO: The, Vuyo's aim, he actually wanted to shoot in the air to scare those people, to actually force them to stop, to make them stop. Because we wouldn't aim at the driver or the tyres, because if we shoot the driver the car, we, we would not be able to use the car, because it would capsize. And if we shot the tyres we wouldn't use the car also, because it couldn't move, it wouldn't move.
MR DOLO: When the car was coming towards our direction, I pointed at the car. When it passed a little bit, I shot in the air. And when it was at a distance in front of us it stopped and we ran to the car, that's when we took the car.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now, I understand that you were finally arrested for that offence and you were sentenced to a long time, for a long time in jail. Can you be able to explain to the Committee whether the owners of the other car were present in court to give evidence with regard to that car? With regard to what happened to their car, which you said it passed, it never stopped?
MR DOLO: With the first bakkie there was no charge, I was never sentenced for that, and on that same day even, I, I was surprised today to get to know that something happened on that day. Even when the Investigation Officer was asking me of some of the things he didn't bring that to me. I'm surprised that something happened on that day.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman I won't go through the whole affidavit, because I would like to have the guidance of the Committee, Mr Chairman, because it involve a number of issues, the other one is not going to be the subject of this one. Of this hearing, which is the farm attack, it includes also the farm attack. I would like to go to whether the other one for the, at prison he applied for amnesty for "Sodai" also.
MR PRIOR: Mr Mbandazayo, I think let's, we're going to do the farm attacks as part of that hearing when we're going to do them all together I understand, so let's not lead evidence now that we would end up duplicating unnecessarily. Let's restrict ourselves to this issue. So there are really three issues here, the one is the first shooting, the one is the second highjacking, if you want to call it that, and then the attack on the Police Station itself. Let's just deal with those three incidents as one, one process leading up to the attack.
Can you, Mr Dolo, is there any other thing you want to tell the Committee regarding this incident? That is all that happened before the attack at Police Station and after you have completed your attack at the Police Station. Is there anything you want to add that you have not said to this Committee up until to now?
MR DOLO: The reason for the Police Station attack. The Police during the times of oppression, they were actually the perpetrators. They were the oppressors and the SANDF, South African National Defence Force, therefore it was necessary that the Police, it was necessary that we attack the Police to force the Government, to force the Government to come to our level as freedom fighters. Even the Police, as they were able to shoot innocent people. They, they should know that there are people who can do the same. They should know that there are people who can also kill them.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Dolo is there anything you want to say to the people who was affected by your attack at the Police Station, and also those people you, you robbed their car, and those who were injured when you tried to take there car. Is there anything you want to say to them at this stage, this hearing?
MR DOLO: I would like to apologise, ask for forgiveness to those people who were injured in the first bakkie. The aim, I want to say that it was not our wish that we should injure Africans, it was not our aim to hurt them, it was not the aim to hurt them. I sympathise with them, because what happened on that day, it, it happened that they were injured also on that same day, on that same day. I ask for forgiveness, I ask for forgiveness again to the owner of the car, the one that we took. It was not our aim to hurt him, to take his car by force but, because of the situation that was prevailing at that time we were forced to do that on that day, because we did not have time to talk to him nicely and ask him nicely to give us his car, because that would not succeed. I ask, I'm asking for forgiveness, that was not my aim. I will end there.
MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Dolo it seems from your affidavit, that you have confirmed as your evidence, you received quite extensive military and political training as a member of APLA. Is that correct?
MR PRIOR: Now, the first vehicle that came past, you've agreed, you shot, it was shot by Vuyosile. That vehicle appears to have been the property of Mr Mpela. Mr Chairman page 40 is a statement of Mr Mpela. He says the two people that he saw in the road ...(intervention)
ADV SANDI: Should we not perhaps find out from the applicant concerning the rule you have referred to, rule no 11, concerning the use or abuse or damage to people's private property? Should we not find out from him what he understood that rule to mean?
MR PRIOR: Yes. "Do not misuse or damage", it's obviously a spelling mistake, it says "Do not misuse or damage people private or public property". I should be probably people's private or public property.
MR DOLO: It means that you are not to damage people's property, anything that belongs to Africans. If you have, if you have used someone's property, you've got to leave it in good condition. You must not leave it otherwise. That's how I understand the rule.
MR DOLO: It says that you must not demand and take things forcibly. To me it means that when I come here I must, when I come to a certain situation I must not demand people's things. If I want to do something because that I know that I have a gun, I must not take people's things forcible to further my own motives.
MR DOLO: On that day I was not doing that for my own benefit. That was for the progress and the success of the mission on that day, therefor we were obliged to take the bakkie forcible. I don't think that I actually deviated from the principle of APLA in that way.
MR LAX: ...(inaudible) at page 40 in the bundle, in the third paragraph. He says he saw two persons on the left hand side of the road as he was driving along. He had already passed these persons when both pointed firearms at them, that is at the vehicle. He couldn't say whether they were pistols or revolvers, but they were not rifles. You told the Committee that only Vuyosile fired.
MR LAX: In the beginning of your evidence you said you didn't know what happened. There was a shot. You didn't know what happened. There was just a shot. But you told this man to shoot when the vehicle passed. So how can you tell us you didn't know what happened?
CHAIRPERSON: Well didn't he correct himself even? He had first said it was a shot, then didn't he say it was a sound, "on the way to it we stopped the van. The owner refused to stop. I heard a shot" and then he changed it and said "I heard a sound."
MR LAX: The point is though, he didn't know what happened. The question I am asking you, how can you say you didn't know what happened, when your instruction to your colleague was to shoot in the air? Do you follow the question? Do you understand what I am asking you?
MR LAX: I am asking you to explain to us, why, if you had given this person an instruction to shoot in the air, you told us in your evidence that you didn't know what had happened when there was this sound, which would have obviously been him shooting. Do you follow?
MR DOLO: Yes, I can hear you. I was trying to say that when I heard this sound I don't know what was happen, I don't know happened, because the car kept on moving. And the reason for that when I realised that the car passed us, it was when I was thinking of shooting, because I thought that my, my firearm was better than the pistol, so I was thinking of shooting at the time.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Chairman, I know the question of Mr Chairman, but I think there was a, the interpretation was not that good regarding that, that explanation. I don't think it came out clearly to the Committee. He said that the reason why he decided to shoot on the second incident was because he thought that it did not make any impact on the first one because it was a pistol. So that's why he decided to shoot on the second motorcar.
MR PRIOR: Okay, the question is really quite simple. We have here a problem and the problem is this, he tells us that his instruction to his Comrade was to fire a shot in the air to try and scare these people. Yet in his beginning of his evidence when he related this incident, as Judge Wilson has indicated, he said he didn't know what happened, then he corrected himself and he said he heard a sound. That's what I am asking him to explain to us.
INTERPRETER: He is asking that, he is saying that when you were testifying you heard a gunshot, but when they are questioning you now, you are saying you gave your Comrade and instruction to shoot when the car, the first car was passing, whereas you said you just heard a gunshot ...(intervention)
INTERPRETER: And you said you didn't know what was happening. So they want you to clarify that because you are saying you gave your Comrade instructions to shoot, and yet you say you don't know what happened, what was happening.
MR PRIOR: Mr Chairperson ...(inaudible) it's clear he can't explain this. Thank you, Mr Chairman. I'm moving on to Mr Fushane, the second bakkie, that actually stopped. You said you fired in the air and the bakkie stopped. Mr Fushane says in paragraph 5 that the persons who stopped him there identified themselves as soldiers of Umkhonto weSizwe. Did you tell him that?
MR DOLO: That is why we took his bakkie by force, because if we asked him he wouldn't give us the bakkie, but if we took it by force, he would tell the Police, report to the Police, but he wouldn't be able to identify us because he did not know us.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Mr Chairman, you can take it up after that if you are not happy. He's saying that after they had stopped and approached this man, the Vuyo or Vuyosile was in the front. Because he was a recruit, he was a new recruit from them. He did not mention APLA. So he did not have a chance to correct him to say no, it's not Umkhonto weSizwe, it's APLA. So he ended up agreeing that it's Umkhonto weSizwe with him. It was Vuyosile who said "we are Umkhonto weSizwe". He was a new recruit, not know maybe the difference. I don't know. That's how I interpret it.
MR PRIOR: You see, the question really is why did you hold yourselves out as MK rather than APLA? And you've given an answer as I understand it, which is that you wanted to mislead the Police. That's how it came interpreted. If you don't agree with that and I've misunderstood you, please indicate that that is so. I'm quite happy to be corrected.
MR PRIOR: Let me just explain to you. We've heard from many APLA cadres now in these hearings, and most of them have indicated that when they took things from Africans, they indicated clearly that they were APLA, that they were on a mission for APLA, that they were encouraging the co-operation of those Africans. Why didn't you do that? That seems to have been standard practice in APLA.
MR PRIOR: What we are saying to you is, it seems to have been standard practice in APLA, that when you took things from Africans, you made it clear to them that you were APLA, that you were on an operation, that you were wanting their co-operation for them to help you with your mission, and that is why you were taking something from them. So they would understand and most likely assist you. That seems to be standard practice in APLA. I'm asking you why didn't you do that?
CHAIRPERSON: A few moments ago you said you only said this because you wanted them to relax. Did you say it because you wanted them to relax, or did you say it because it was the truth, you intended to return it?
MR DOLO: Our aim was to return this car. After the operation we would return the car, but we would not give the car to them. We would leave the car somewhere, but if they go to the Police and report the car, they would find their car not damaged.
MR PRIOR: Just one last point. Just one last point. It took them more than 45 minutes to get to Herschel from where you left them on the road. That gave you plenty of time to carry out your operation and disappear again. So why were you so worried that they would report it to the Police? The point is, by the time they would have got to the Police, you would have been long gone.
MR PRIOR: I'm just questioning your statement that you were worried that they might report this to the Police. The fact of the matter is that you would have been long gone by the time they had a chance to report it to the Police, and that was in fact so. Do you understand the question?
MR DOLO: We knew that when we were leaving there the Sterkspruit Police Station was not, was far, but a car maybe would come by and help them and take them to the Police or they can use a telephone from Herschel and phone to the Police Station to get help. We also expected something like that.
ADV SANDI: Just one issue, Mr Dolo. I have heard my colleague, Mr Lax, making two statements to you regarding what he said were matters of common practice to APLA. I have not heard what your response was to that, whether you deny or admit those two propositions. To start with, he says to you, there was a practice amongst APLA cadres to identify themselves, who they were. Where you aware of such a common practice? To identify themselves to African people who they were, were you aware of such a ...(inaudible)
ADV SANDI: He has also proposed to you that there was a common practice amongst the APLA cadres to make it clear to the owner of the vehicle where he or she will get it once it has been used for the purpose which it was being sought. Were you aware of such a practice?
MR PRIOR: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Fushani complained to the Police that when he recovered his vehicle or found his vehicle on the next day in Sterkspruit, the sum of R60,00 was missing from the vehicle. Are you able to assist the Committee and tell the Committee whether you removed money from the vehicle, or anyone else removed his money?
MR DOLO: I am sure that in that car I did not take money, even the Comrades that were with me. No-one took the money in the car. We did not take anything. We just left the car as it was when we found it. Again we found a purse inside the car and we gave it to a lady who was inside the car. She left the purse inside and then we gave it to her and the two ...(indistinct) that were inside the car we said "here are your two ...(indistinct).
MR PRIOR: Mr Lax, Mr Fushani confirms that. But did you not see his travel document. He said there was a cheque for R1500,00. That was all there when he recovered his vehicle, but the money, but you say you don't know anything about the money. You've answered the question.
"All my property was taken with the vehicle. That includes my passport, my driver's licence, a cheque in my name - value of R1500,00, two wallets or purse and approximately R60,00, groceries and other property."
MR PRIOR: Oh yes, according to Mr Veldsman, a statement at page 38, Mr Chairman, the single quarters is next to almost alongside the charge office. Do you know whether anyone from your own knowledge at the time of the attack, whether anyone was injured there?
MR DOLO: What we were sure about is that it would not be easy for a person to come and take the car because we were familiar with the situation in Sterkspruit. People were not stealing like in any other areas, so we were sure that the owner of the car would find the car in that place together with the Police.
MR DOLO: I didn't go to Umtata for training or meetings, but when I was coming this side or in Sterkspruit, I passed in Umtata and I went there when I attended a funeral. That was the second time. I did not attend meetings in Umtata.
MR PRIOR: Alright. In December '91 at Sterkspruit, your Commander of operations, Lethlapha Mphahlele, gave you instructions, well you said it was decided that you were to attack Lady Grey Police Station as your main target.
MR PRIOR: You said also in that paragraph, page 17, you wish to mention that during your military training "our targets were to be Police Stations, farmers and the South African Defence Force." Was that you training before you came into South Africa? Was it also part of your training while you were in South Africa, having returned from Uganda?
MR PRIOR: Your training, which was military and political, that your targets, during this training of yours with APLA, targets were identified, you indicated in that paragraph, and those targets were Police Stations, farmers and the South African Defence Force.
MR DOLO: We did not receive that training, but the Police Stations, the farmers and the South African Defence Force camps. We were told that they were the pillars of apartheid. As the pillars of apartheid we had to attack them because the government, they were supporting the government. When we attacked them the government will be forced to understand the Africans. To understand everything and to identify themselves with the aims of the Africans.
ADV SANDI: Sorry, Mr Prior, I'm just concerned about what the witness has just said shortly before his very last statement. This appears to me is a problem of interpretation. I think it was not very accurate. The interpretation, that is the English interpretation, was that these people, that is the Police Stations, farmers and members of the SADF were to be attacked so that they could identify themselves with the aims of the black people, or something. I think I heard him saying in Xhosa these people to be attacked so that they could understand what the aspirations of, what the aspirations of those people were. Can you confirm that, Mr Mbandazayo?
MR PRIOR: It's clear to me from your evidence and from your affidavit that the Director of operations of APLA had given clear instructions what your targets were to be for future attacks during 1992. Is that correct?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Of course, Mr Chairman, after there's, even if it's not him, anybody who was involved in the decision making, definitely, Mr Chairman, I'll call with regard to all other applications, Mr Chairman.
MR MARTENS: Well, we were busy with the braai when I saw a bakkie drive past in the street, and which was in the direction of the town. After a while I saw that this vehicle came from the outer part of town.
MR MARTENS: I saw this bakkie when I came out. I saw that there were two people sitting in the back, after which, or after I heard a gunshot and after that, an explosion. I saw that the windows breaking.
MR PRIOR: We heard in evidence from the applicant that a handgrenade was thrown to the single quarters where a Policeman stood. It was via you. Can you tell the Committee this loud explosion that you heard, could you see what, what did it?
MR MARTENS: I then ran into the building, if there were not people that were injured, after which, or after I saw that everybody was all right, or alive, and not seriously injured, I and Veldsman, or Veldsman and I ran to the Police Station where we got a vehicle and weapons and followed the vehicle.
MR MARTENS: Well, I do not agree with his application because the fact is that my wife and child could have been dead today as a result of the attack, and also the fact that this person said that the attacks were, or targeted towards the Police, and he shows no regret towards me and my family. And that is why I say that I cannot feel anything about him. For me, or as I see it, he must remain in jail and complete his sentence.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I just, first before I ask one question. Mr Martens, accept my sympathy for what you went through during the attack, and your family. My question is, Mr Martens, the reason you are saying that the applicant must stay in jail, he must not be granted amnesty, is because he is not showing any sympathy for what you went through, or any regrets of what he had done. That's the only reason that you are saying no, he must not be granted amnesty?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Lastly, Mr Chairman, I've said it's one question, but lastly, if the applicant would say to you that he is sorry for what he did, you won't have any objection to his application for amnesty, am I getting you correct?
MR SIBANYONI: Thank you, through you, Mr Chairperson. Mr Martens I will also preface my questions by saying I have got sympathy to what has happened to you, but there is just one aspect I want to clarify. You are saying you are opposed to this application because your wife was there, she could have died. Now my understanding is that it was a Police Station and only there were only single quarters there. Now, the question is, under normal circumstances, it would be only Police who are staying at the single quarters, but not members of their families. Will I be correct to say that?
ADV SANDI: I suppose you also heard when he went on to say for the role, for the reason that the Police were perceived by APLA to be maintaining the previous system, they saw the Police as legitimate targets. Do you have anything to say to that by way of response?
CHAIRPERSON: I don't want to get involved in a long discussion about this, but I wonder if in a few words you can tell us about the layout there. We have been referred to the charge office and then we were told the single quarters were next-door. Is that so?
MR MARTENS: That is correct. As you come in in town, the single quarters is at the bottom of the road. It boarders on the road, but it's lower than the road and approximately 20m to 30m from there is the charge offices or the Police Station.
MR LAX: Just one last thing, Mr Chairperson. It may interest you, Mr Martens, to know that it is not a requirement for the granting of amnesty, that the applicants should show remorse. In other words, in terms of our statute, they are not required to show remorse in order to get amnesty. I just wanted you to understand that. It doesn't affect how you feel, but just so you understand.
Sorry, Mr Chairman. May I place something on record that's been brought to my attention. And I don't know if my learned friend will maybe confirm or agree to this. The two ladies that were injured on the vehicle, that is the first vehicle referred to by the applicant, and which is referred to in the affidavit of Mr Mpele at page 40. The two ladies names I understand, this has been confirmed by the evidence analyst who made enquiries a short while ago, was Voncela Ngojo and Nomonde, I'll spell it, Mkhasakhasa, or it could be "na" at the end.
"A single bullet went through from one side of Nomonde's mouth, through the other, and then went into the front of Nonthebe's neck just below the jaw, but missing the gullet. It went, and narrowly missed the jugular vein, and remained lodged at the back of her neck until it was removed at the Aliwal-North General Hospital. Nomonde had to have teeth removed as a result of those injuries."
Now, Mr Chairman, I haven't had any opportunity to confirm this, but I understand that Miss Ntanga obtained this information from hospital records, or from an investigation report. I don't know if my learned friend wants time to consider that, but I would like it to be placed on record and possibly agreed to, otherwise I'm, if there's a dispute, I'll have to produce better evidence.
MR LAX: Chairperson, if I could just add one thing. It's clear from one of the statements somewhere in this bundle, that a bullet was recovered and sent for ballistics. It's not in this particular bundle, I think it's in the farm bundle, but it relates to this incident.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Chairman, as I don't think I need even to consult, as the applicant has already given evidence. He does dispute that he says that it was so and he accepts it if that's the case. He won't be in a position to say what sort of injuries and he can't dispute those injuries which were suffered. I don't think, Mr Chairman, we have to waste our time in ...(indistinct) evidence. If that's the position, the medical evidence, it should be a subject by the Committee. We have no objection to that.
MR LAX: Just one thing, Mr Prior, it may be important to know what the calibre of that bullet was, because it's highly unlikely that a bullet from a pistol would have gone straight through somebody in that way. I just want to raise that. One would expect a high calibre bullet to do that, but not from a pistol or a .38.
MR MBANDAZAYO: In fact, Mr Chairman, I was going to say, I happened to be involved in one case which we had a similar incident where one bullet managed to hit, nobody knew where it is, but it managed to hit and went towards the side, and went to the car. This person was standing next to the car. So, it ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: I don't, as I understand him, he is not seeking to keep that reservation for a long time. If we came dispose of the matter, we will dispose of it. You don't want us to reserve the matter for months to see if you can get someone, do you?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Mr Chairman, it won't be months, Mr Chairman. Definitely, if we can't get Mr Mphahlele himself, personally, there will be somebody, but it must have to have his blessings, definitely, because he was the person.
CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we'll reserve our decision in this matter subject to the applicant's right to notify us if certain evidence, further evidence becomes available and arrangements can then be made to hear that evidence. It may well be that it can be combined with other hearings.
MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, that's the roll for this week. We postponed the, all the, there were five farm incidents that couldn't proceed, and then the, next week we have the two Sterkspruit Mayaputi matters.