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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 25 March 1997
Names DANIEL MAGODA
Case Number 732/96
MR MTHEMBU: Mr Chair, with your permission and before this witness is sworn in, I have a request to make in order to curtail the proceedings, because the trend has already unfolded of what transpired on the 12th of February 1992. If perhaps I could ask Mr Magoda if he confirms the story as related by the three previous applicants?
MR MTHEMBU: You have heard evidence or testimony has unfolded before this Committee that on the 12th of February 1992 you and Mr Leeuw, Nkgwedi and May you attacked a farm called Stormberg and Mr Fourie, the owner of that farm was killed and robbed, as well as Mrs May who was in the company of Mr Fourie. Now in order to curtail the proceedings would you explain to the Committee exactly what role you played in the said attack?
MR MAGODA: The role that I played was that I was present during the time when we attacked them, where we attacked Mr Fourie and them, up to the stage where we killed him and we, comrade May and I took him and hid him behind the trees and were able to get into the car. Leeuw and I, and also Nkgwedi and the White lady and went to the farm, went onto the farm. That is where I also played a role in searching the property. We were all searching the property and we took whatever would have been of assistance to us as APLA and our members. And we also took the car. When we took the car it was after having searched the scene and we had tied up the White lady, we found the firearms, the two firearms, they were three including ours. We also took clothing and we took old coins. Thereafter we left the White lady tied up, got into the car and went back to Botshabelo. When we got to Botshabelo we, comrade Leeuw was driving and he, as our unit commander, said that these things were to be left in his care. I got out in the road where I lived and went home. I had a camera in my possession which I had found on the farm and a plastic bag with coins.
minutes before the police arrived and they had already taken Mr Leeuw into their custody as well as comrade Nkgwedi and comrade May. We were then arrested and told to go back to my place where the police wanted to know from me where the camera and the coins were. I then took them out because I didn't really hide them, and we were then arrested. That is the role which I played.
MR MAGODA: Mr Leeuw, my commander, said that these things should remain in my possession because the camera would sell quite easily and that would contribute to the money which we had also found there and was also going to be received from the sale of the car. I did not know where he was going to -where he intended to sell it at that stage and money was going to be sent to the organisation.
MR MAGODA: Yes. I would say what his explanation was that the farm belonging to Mr Fourie, since he was a reservist he was also a commander of a certain group of farmers and he thought that that would be where the arms were stored. That is what he told me.
MR MTHEMBU: Now the Committee has heard evidence that when you were arrested the police found the loot still inside the vehicle, but you have told this Committee that the camera and the plastic with coins were actually found in your
MR MAGODA: When Mr Leeuw left the camera - because he was in command he left the camera saying that he was going to come back to take this as well as the coins so that this camera could be sold and the money could then be used to assist the organisation in the liberation movement, the liberation of the Africans.
JUDGE WILSON: Yes but if he said you should be in charge of the coins and the cameras surely he meant you should take all the coins and look after them for him, not that the coins should be divided up?
MR MTHEMBU: As I see in paragraph 9.4 of your application, with due respect Mr Chair I am not that fluent in Xhosa but I can make out here that the applicant said that he hated White people, you say because that you have worked for Whites before and they played around with you and everybody. Now do you still share the same sentiments today?
MR MAGODA: No I do not feel the same way because it seems that there is a bit of compensation. I used to hate them before. There is a bit of reconciliation, and even when I attacked them it was not out of hatred, it was just to show them what we wanted as African people.
ADV DE JAGER: But if I understand the translation correctly we did this because we were oppressed and we hated White people, and also because they messed all Black people around. So here you said in your application in fact you did this because you hated White people and because they messed Black people around.
MR MAGODA: It must have been a slip of the tongue while I was writing the statement because I did it in a hurry. It is not that I attacked them because I hated them, it's that I hated what they did, because I worked for them for a long time, which reference to Whites. It was not that I hated Mr Fourie specifically or I hated Whites specifically, I hated what they did to Africans and to me as an African.
JUDGE WILSON: Furthermore in your application form where you answered the question as to what order or approval was given for you to commit this act, do you remember there was a question like that in the application form, who gave - that the order was given, do you remember that, that there was?
JUDGE WILSON: In the application form there is a section ll(b) which says if the act was committed as a result of an order you should state, give particulars of the order that was given to you, do you remember that?
"The person issuing the instruction that we should go and attack the White person because he was treating Blacks badly and the plan had to be made with regard to him".
do you understand what I have just read to you? You said this person was to be attacked because he was treating Blacks badly, and a plan had to be made with regard to him. It would seem that you were talking here of a plan to attack a particular White person because he treated Blacks badly.
MR MTHEMBU: Sir to take this issue further which was raised by Mr Chair, in paragraph 11(b) in brackets you said this person who gave that order that you should attack this particular farm was Jan Showa of the PAC, did in fact Mr Showa tell you or instruct you to attack this particular farm or not?
MR MAGODA: He did not specify which farmers. We received instruction from Mr Leeuw as our commander that we should go to this farm. He did not explain why we had to go there since the instruction that was issued was that we should attack farms and that was all. We could have chosen any farm but because I found that Mr Leeuw knew what we could find there and they referred to the fact that this man was a reservist and he was a commander and that we would be able to find things on his farm.
"The Whites took our land and our possessions from us as Blacks. We are not educated because of them, that is why we are taking revenge. I was fighting against the oppression of Blacks and taking back what is rightfully ours and was fighting for our country".
MR MAGODA: Yes it was a mistake on the part of the person that was writing the statement, because I passed standard three and that person wrote that I had passed standard five. It was not my mistake. I told that person which standard I had obtained at school.
MR MTHEMBU: Can I proceed. Mr Magoda paragraph 11(b) of your application form, when you wrote out what's contained therein, did you really mean this or you were just negligent in the manner in which you completed this application form?
MR MAGODA: I would say that I can read it, but I am - I can't read that well. Something else that affects me is stress and it causes me not to be able to concentrate very well. When reading a book I sometimes sit and read the same paragraph over and over without comprehending what it says.
MR MAGODA: No it was not explained to me because we'd filled these forms in a hall at the prison and there were many of us sitting there and when we had finished they were taken and people said that it was the official closing date, the cut-off date so many of them were collected and there was no chance for us to re-read what we had written.
MR MTHEMBU: But on your application form it was signed on the 25th of November 1996 and the cut-off date was the 18th of December and there was still time that your application could reach the Committee timeously.
MR MAGODA: Sir I would then say that the mistake was on the part of the person that had brought the forms to us to fill in because there were many of us in prison who were filling in applications. That is what the person said to us.
MR MAGODA: Yes. I would like to rectify something. You see the death of someone is not that commonplace, but that is what disappointed me the most in my offence. I would describe it as such. But what happened, happened. It cannot be undone.
"We did all of this because we were oppressed and we hated White people and also because they messed all Black people around".
He asked you did you mean that and do you still mean it. You said you meant that yet then but you don't mean it now. What I want to know from you is exactly how did you feel then and how do you feel now? Do you still hate White
MISS THABETHE: One more question. You deny the fact that you killed Mr Fourie because he was treating Blacks badly and a plan had to be made to kill him, why then did you kill Mr Fourie, can you tell that to the Committee?
MR MAGODA: Very briefly I would say that when we killed him it was not because he ill-treated Black people, it was the system that all Whites used to oppress Africans and treat them badly. As I mentioned I worked with them for a long time and they were doing bad things to me as well. The first bad thing that they did was that I was unable to be educated and know right from wrong according to a curriculum and syllabus and it is because of what they have done that I could not complete my education and I believe that if I was able to complete my education I would not have been in the position I find myself in today.
MR MAGODA: I do not know whether they were used because the statement - I do not know if the police statement was used at court or not, because it was the first time I had been arrested and I did not know how the law operated.
JUDGE MGOEPE: I don't know whether you will be able to remember that. Was there, during your trial, was there any argument about whether certain statements were made freely or were made as a result of assault, or alleged assault?
MR MAGODA: No there were those - although I've forgotten the name of the chief of police who had threatened us by saying that he knows that we APLA people were people that were out to get farmers and that he would take us away and kill us and they would not know whether we escaped or not, and we would hear that somebody would be killed somewhere and not know how that person had been killed and we thought things like that would happen to us as well if we did not cooperate, that they would kill us and say that we were trying to escape.
JUDGE MGOEPE: Mr Mthembu the reason why I put that question to the witness is that I see a note here in front of me that apparently the venue, this gentleman was then the investigating officer in this case, according to this note he is going to fax certain material or important statements, statements whose admissibility was contested in a trial, and a trial was heard and all that. Will you please try to ...(intervention)
JUDGE WILSON: (Aside)....These are things about the missing money and what have you. This is the enquiry we made when we wanted information about what goods were found, what money, what was missing, R8 000 worth of goods, that's what this is about.