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Type AMNESTY HEARINGDATE : 09-07-1997
Location CAPE TOWN
Names BASSIE MKHUMBUZI THOBELA MLAMBISA GCINIKHAYA MAKOMA
MR BRINK: Mr Chairman,there seems to be some confusion. On your papers, the front cover, the index,there is reference to the first applicant as Makoma, the second one Mkhumbuziwho is here. Those two are here. The third one who is here is a gentleman knownas Thobela Mlambisa. Mr Letlapa Mphlalele who had brought an application, isI understand not attending. He will not be attending. That is Letlapa Mphlalele,he made an application, he was notified but I gather he will not be appearing.I can't hear you sir.
MR BRINK: I will arrangeto get it out, I don't know how this happened, how these things have gone likethis. I understand however, there was application lodged and it is very muchin the same terms as the application form, form 1's which you have in respectof Mkhumbuzi and Makoma and I understand further that affidavits had been preparedby those representing these three on the same form as in the Amy Biehl matter.
ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, learnedmembers of the Committee. Myself and my colleague, Ms Goza appear here for theseapplicants in this matter. Mr Chairman, it is correct that Mr Mphlalele, hasnot given us any instructions. We actually don't know where he is at the moment,so we are not here to represent him and he is not before the Committee. In anycase it will become apparent soon, that he was not actively involved in theSt James incident, it would appear from his application for amnesty relatingto the St James incident, that at the time, he is the time who gave the orders,the instructions, he was the Director of Operations of APLA, so he is not herebefore you today unfortunately.
ADV ARENDSE: MrMlambisa is in fact an accused in the trial pending against him and Bassie Mkhumbuziin the St James matter and we were always under the impression that his applicationis before you, so just last week, during the course of last week, we submittedan affidavit on behalf of Mr Mlambisa stating that he did in fact apply. Sincethen, we have been told that his application had been found and that the matteris enroled to be heard today together with the other two. I am not sure whatarrangements internally, why Mr Brink was not advised of this.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Honourable Committee, we appear, myself and Mr O'Dowd, who is from the firmHofmeyr Herbsteins, today I appear on his instruction to represent the victimsin this matter, Mr Dawie Ackerman and Mr Lorenzo Smith. I understand that thereare a number of victims of the massacre present at the hearing today, althoughthey have not all specifically and formally opposed the matter, they are infact present at the hearing today. We however only represent Mr Smith and MrAckerman at this stage.
MR BRINK: Mr Chairman, may I also ask you to make a note I didreceive by way of correspondence a formal objection to the applications foramnesty by Mr Dimitri Makogon. This gentleman is away from Cape Town at thistime, but indicated that he strongly oppose the application. He was in the churchwhen this incident happened and he lost two legs and one arm. He was a Russiancitizen. Whether he is still ...
MR BRINK: As far as all the next of kin and victims are concerned, notificationwas given to all those who had an available address. I may say that Bishop FrankRetief, the Bishop of the Church of England South Africa, and who is apparentlyconnected to St James Church, was very helpful and cooperative and he sent mea list of all those whose whereabouts he was aware of and notices accordingly,were given to those people. In addition notice of these proceedings were publishedin the church magazine, so that, and I believe announced in church itself, sothat all those who were involved, apart from those who have left Cape Town andleft the country, are aware of the matter.
ADVARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Just for the record, the applicants aresitting from left to right in the order in which we intend to, or we proposeto deal with the applications. Bassie Mkhumbuzi and in the middle Thobela Mlambisaand on his left Gcinikhaya Makoma. Mr Chairman, as far as objections to theamnesty applications are concerned, my colleague and I, we only know about thatthrough the press. We haven't been given or we don't know, we can only assumeon what basis the applications are being opposed. Now, I suppose that Mr Ackermanand Mr Smith will be giving evidence before this Committee. We haven't had thebenefit of seeing any statements which they have perhaps submitted or handedin to the Committee or to the TRC, so we haven't had the benefit of discussingthem with the applicants.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, in the past the practise hasjust been that notification, rather notice of these applications are sent tointerested parties and they turn up on the morning of the trial to say theyare opposing the application and that is the notification we received. In termsof the Act, they are not required to furnish the grounds for opposition. Inother words, the Act doesn't say that they mustn't furnish, but there is noprovision in the Act requiring them to furnish their grounds for opposition.So we just have to do the best we can as we go along.
MR BRINK: Judge, I believewe are at the present in the process of preparing some extra copies. Perhapsin also in response to my learned friend's comments, we were as I previouslyadvised, briefed in this matter on very short notice, we have only had sometwo days to prepare for the matter and that is the reason for no proper previousdiscussion between us as to the opposition of the matter and we, as I also mentioned,may also require some indulgence from the Committee in that regard. As I understandthere are copies of the documents which people propose to use, being preparedat the moment. We do however, have a number of copies presently available. Iam not just quite sure as to on what basis we should at this stage distributethem among the various interested persons until the required number have infact been prepared.
ADV ARENDSE ADDRESSES: Mr Chairman and learnedmembers of the Committee, then just by way of an opening statement, can we justput the following on record. Unfortunately developments before this Committeehave caught up with us and we haven't managed to put this together in writingthis time, so I am afraid I am just going to have to read this back to you.Mr Chairman and members of the Committee, on the 3rd of March 1995 GcinikhayaMakoma was found guilty of eleven counts of murder of the attempted murder ofat least 58 people and of the unlawful possession of arms and ammunition. Thisincident took place at the St James Church in Kenilworth on Sunday, the 25thof July 1993. It is notoriously known as the St James Church massacre. Makomawas sentenced to 23 years imprisonment and he is currently doing his sentence.In the judgement the court, the trial court found that "it was plainlya joint enterprise". Makoma was the only accused in the trial. That isat page 69 of the record. The applicants Mkhumbuzi and Mlambisa were part ofthat joint enterprise. They currently face the same charges relating to theSt James incident and they are out on bail at the moment. We will be submittingMr Chairman, that the applicants Makoma, Mlambisa and Mkhumbuzi be granted amnestyfor the following reasons: Firstly, at the time they were all members of APLA.Secondly they carried out the orders of APLA Commanders, more particularly SichumisoNonxuba. Nonxuba is now deceased. He died in a motor car accident in Novemberlast year, while he was out on bail in connection with this matter and he wasaccused 1 in the subsequent matter, not the one that Makoma was in. He was theCommander of the operation and he was one of the persons who was in church,who came into the church, threw a handgrenade and fired the shots which causedthe deaths of 11 people and injured many others. Mr Chairman, members of theCommittee, if it is of any value, myself and Ms Goza also represent the accusedin the second St James trial, if you can put it that way, and we know this asfact. Those instructions were given to us. Just in case, we are not saying thisbecause the man is now deceased and we can take the liberty of using his name.The other person I was saying Mr Chairman, who gave an order was Letlapa Mphlalele,and that will also appear from his application form which one finds at pages15 to 21 of the bundle. He was the Director of Operations of APLA at the time.The third reason which we advance for submitting that they should be grantedamnesty, is that APLA is the armed wing of the PAC, was a political liberationmovement as defined in the Act and at the time APLA was waging a struggle againstthe State, private property and private individuals in pursuance of their objectives.We will also submit Mr Chairman, that the acts were associated with a politicalobjective, that of APLA, namely to free the country for the Africans so thatthey can get their land back. The applicants acted or orders, on instructions.The acts took place in a political context when this country was being ruledby a White minority, regarded as illegitimate by the Black majority. The StJames churchgoers were regarded as part of that White minority. Now Mr Chairmanand members of the Committee, we must just pause there because it is clear thata number of so-called Coloured people and I think Mr Smith, whom I happen toknow personally, was also in church at the time. And we will submit that theapplicants assumed that because St James was in a White group area, as it wasdefined then, that all the churchgoers were White. They were obviously wrongin assuming that. We will also submit that the acts were performed in the executionof an APLA High Command order, that having regard to the political context atthe time, that the offences were directly proportionate to the political objectivessought to be achieved by APLA and lastly Mr Chairman, that the offences werenot committed for personal gain and were not done out of personal malice, ill-willor spite against any of the deceased or the victims concerned. Thank you MrChairman.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Arendse, as far as Mr Mphlalele is concerned,were you originally instructed to appear on his behalf, what is his position?Was he given notice through your Attorneys or Mr Brink perhaps could assistus there? Is he in default today or how should we treat his application?
ADVARENDSE: Mr De Jager, Mr Chairman, Mr Mphlalele has always given us instructions.Mr Mphlalele, it is well-known for what it is worth, to the staff here at theTRC, that he actively, he in fact brought in boxes full of applications foramnesty being made on behalf of APLA members. He had been involved with us aslegal counsel in this matter since last year already. We were in fact presentduring the course of last year, when the applications were made the first time.I think they were only confirmed though, in May this year. That appears fromthe application. So, we can't understand and we don't have any reason why heis not here. And we just hope that for his sake, that nothing happened to him.He has got every reason to be here. So we want to ask that as far as his applicationis concerned, that that be withdrawn at this stage and be re-enroled at a subsequentstage.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Sorry, let me just interrupt you on that. I notice that in your opening address,you made reference to Mr Mphlalele's application. I don't know what you hadin mind in that regard. Are we going to be at large to use the contents of hisapplication, for example in cross-examining the applicants?
ADV ARENDSE: I would submit yes, that regard can be had. I think these applications are madebefore a Commission of votes, so it is in the form of an affidavit and certainly,we want to rely on what he says in his application.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Youmight have to give it a more careful thought, because it could have the kindof consequences that may cause problems to the applicants, may prejudice theapplicants. And I think you should as the Chairman has asked, you said you arewithdrawing his application, you want it to be removed from the role as it were.You are not withdrawing his application, because if you withdraw his application,you may not make it later, you will be out of time to make another application.You are just asking us to remove it from the roll?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Yes, well the only point thatremains is what I have asked you, whether you are saying that we should usehis affidavit to cross-examine your clients for example. Maybe you should giveit some careful thought.
ADV ARENDSE: Mr Chairman, it is part of therecord. The contents of his application have been discussed with the applicantsand we certainly note Judge Ngoepe's concerns and we will cross that bridgewhen we come to it.
MR BRINK: The problem I have Mr Chairman in thatregard, although it would have been difficult, but I understood from Mr Arendseneither he nor Ms Goza were actually representing Mr Mphlalele. If they hadnot instructions from him, I don't see how they can ask for the matter to beremoved from the role and maybe set down for another day, that is the problemI have. Without direct instructions, but I am not making difficulties, it isjust ...
MR BRINK: Mr Chairman, may I just mention one aspect on that point. It seems to me thatthe application on behalf of the applicants who are presently before the Committee,is somewhat premised on what will be said by Mr Mphlalele and that they presumeto state that he was the person who gave them orders, it appears to me thatthey intend to rely for support in their applications, on what will be saidby that person. To the extent that these proceedings are also premised on afull disclosure, I have some difficulty as to how the Committee is expectedor will be able rather, to make findings as to whether full disclosure has beenmade, whether a truthful disclosure has been made, whether there is any foundationin what is being said by the other applicants, without being able to test whatthe person who they rely on, would in fact say.
CHAIRMAN: We will wrestleas we get along. How we would propose to deal with the evidence that is goingto be adduced before us, the Committee will decide. But we can't postpone theseproceedings just because Mr Mphlalele is not here and we are going to proceedand cross-examination invariably can be directed at applicants at any kind ofinformation that may be at your disposal, it need not be evidence in anybodyelse's document or affidavit. So, to what extent reliance is placed on theirevidence and they acted on the orders of so and so, when so and so is not hereto confirm it, these are matters which we will have to decide when the timecomes.
ADVDE JAGER: Perhaps Mr Arendse, could I add, you should perhaps have a lookat Section 19(8) whether this application of Mr Mphlalele is a public documentnow and whether it can be used. Was the hearing in connection with himself,I don't know whether we've started that?
ADV ARENDSE: Mr Chairman, Idid say earlier that we always had instructions from Mr Mphlalele to representhim. When I say we don't have instructions, we don't have instructions todayto make representations on his behalf for example. So we certainly don't haveany objections to reference being made to his application and that the contentsof the application being disclosed publicly.
JUDGE NGOEPE: ... properly understood, Mr Bembridge's argument is that you want to take anaffidavit of Mr Mphlalele, you want to base your case on it and yet, he is nothere for him to cross-examine him in that regard? I think actually that is whathe is saying. In other words, you understand what I mean, he is saying thatMr Mphlalele is not here, you ask us to stand down his application, but at thesame time, you want to retain his affidavit, which is very fundamental apparentlyto your clients' case. You want to rely on it, but he is not going to be ableto cross-examine Mr Mphlalele because he is not here.
ADV ARENDSE: Theevidence will reveal that the reliance is more apparent than real. There isno reliance on Mr Mphlalele's application. And I would go along with the suggestionof the Chairman that we proceed and that we deal with that aspect if and whenit becomes necessary.
ADV ARENDSE: Thank you. Mr Chairman, thank you. The affidavit of BassieNzikizi Mkhumbuzi. Copies have also been made available to the interpreters,Mr Chairman. "I, the undersigned, Bassie Nzikizi Mkhumbuzi, do hereby makeoath and say that I am aged 21 years and I reside at 2023 Unathi, Old Crossroads.I am unmarried and I am the father of three children aged four, one and elevenmonths. The facts to which I depose, are true and correct and within my personalknowledge, unless the context otherwise indicates. I grew up in Cape Town andwent to school in Cape Town and reached standard 8, at Vuyiseka High Schoolin Woodstock. I am currently facing eleven charges of murder, charges of attemptedmurder and three of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition. I am out onbail at the moment and I am currently stationed at 3 SYI Infantry Battalionin Kimberley doing my basic military training. I will shortly be transferredto the Northern Cape Command on a permanent basis. The charges which I face,relate to the events at the St James Church in 3rd Avenue, Kenilworth in theDistrict of Wynberg, on Sunday, the 25th of July, 1993. At the time, I was 17years old. I have submitted an application for amnesty in terms of Section 18of the Act in respect of the charges which I face. I have been a member of thePan African Congress since 1989 and a member of the African People's LiberationArmy since November 1992. Before that, as an organiser of the PAC Youth League,AZANYO, I had actively supported members of APLA by providing assistance whencalled upon to do so. I was a member of an APLA Unit of which Makoma was a trainer,that is one of the other applicants. We held regular weekly meetings where weallocated each other various tasks. We would always report back at the weeklymeetings whether or not the tasks we were given at the previous meeting, wascarried out. As a member of APLA I was trained by APLA Operators and Commandersin various aspects of conducting guerilla warfare. The training I received includedphysical training, attending political classes and receiving instructions onhow to use and operate weapons, ammunition, arms and handgrenades. I was alsotaught how to make petrol bombs referred to as Molatov Cocktails. Approximatelya week before the St James incident took place, Makoma told me that an operationwas going to take place and that we were to prepare ourselves. He did not tellme when or where or what operation would take place or what the target or targetswould be. He instructed me to prepare myself by getting into top physical conditionand more importantly, I was instructed to get weapons and ammunition in Umtata,Transkei from comrades at the APLA High Command. I cannot recall the names ofthese persons, I was given their code names and I cannot remember them any longer.I went to the Transkei on the Monday before the incident and returned on theThursday. I went alone on a bus, I went to the address I was instructed to goto and there met some APLA comrades and they gave me two R4 rifles, 365 roundsof R4 ammunition, 3 M26 handgrenades plus the sum of R200-00 rand. At this pointI was not told why I had to collect the arms and ammunition, or for what purposeit would be used. I knew, however, from my training, that it would be used forsome or other operation. On my return to Cape Town, on the Thursday, I tookthe bag containing these arms and ammunition to a house in Khayelitsha. AfterI left the arms and ammunition at the house, I was instructed to inform SichomisoNonxuba, now deceased where the house was where I stored the arms and ammunition.I did as I was told and took Nonxuba to the house, left him there and I don'tknow what happened to the arms and ammunition after that. I did however, seethe same bag on the Sunday when the operation took place and while we were atthe Langa taxi rank. I assumed that the same military hardware was in the bag.On that Thursday when I left Nonxuba at the house in Khayelitsha he told methat we would meet again on the Saturday, the 24th of July, 1993 at approximatelythree o'clock at the Iona shopping centre in Guguletu. When I arrived therethe Saturday afternoon I saw Nonxuba and Mlambisa there for the first time.Nonxuba introduced Mlambisa to me as Aubrey and he told me that Aubrey was goingto work with us. Nonxuba instructed me to prepare four petrol bombs on the Saturdayand that I had to have it ready for the operation on the Sunday. At this point,all that Nonxuba told me and Aubrey, that there would be an operation the followingday, the Sunday. On that Saturday I prepared the petrol bombs. On Sunday, 25July 1993, we met at the Uluntu community centre in Guguletu. This time Makomawas also with us. We met between eleven and twelve noon. At this point Nonxubatold me that I was going to be part of the operation. He still had not toldme what the nature of the operation was, what the target would be or what timeit would take place. We were told to meet again at 6 pm at the Langa taxi rank.I was ordered to bring along the petrol bombs. When I got to the Langa taxirank before 6pm Nonxuba was already there and I noticed that he had broughtthe bag which I had brought from the Transkei. A little later Mlambisa and Makomaarrived in a Datsun motor vehicle. When I got into the car, the Commander ofthe operation, Nonxuba, said that we were going to the target. He still didnot reveal any details of what the target was going to be. I was told that Iwould be the security, Mlambisa the driver. I was sitting in front with Mlambisa.Nonxuba and Makoma were going inside. After they came out of the building Iwas to use the petrol bombs to throw them inside. As Mlambisa drove, Nonxubawas giving him directions as to how to drive and where to drive. It is onlywhen we got to the place which was identified by Nonxuba as the target did Irealise that it was the St James church. We had circled the church about threetimes. There were many cars and it appeared as if there were many people insidethe church. Mlambisa drove into the parking area at the church and parked approximately10 metres from the entrance to the church. Mlambisa reversed the car so thatthe back was facing the entrance. Nonxuba and Makoma got out, each one armedwith a rifle and a grenade. They then entered the church. I heard a grenadeand gunshots and then saw a red car stopping in front of us, apparently to blockus. I got out of the car and threw a petrol bomb at the car and Mlambisa gotout and shot at the car, causing the car to speed away. Then Nonxuba and Makomacame out of the church, jumped into the car and we immediately sped away. Idid not do what I was supposed to do, that is to throw the petrol bombs insidethe church. I do not know what happened inside the church, but I am fully awarethat with the arms and ammunition carried by Makoma and Nonxuba, that peoplewould be killed or injured. When we were in the car and making our getaway,Makoma said that someone had shot at him inside the church and that he was bleeding,but neither Makoma, nor Nonxuba said what happened inside the church. Nonxubadid, however, ask why I did not throw the petrol bomb and then I explained tohim why I did not do so. We then drove to a place under the direction of Nonxuba.I later learned that this place is called Ottery. Mlambisa and I left Nonxubaand Makoma there at a house in Ottery with the weapons. Mlambisa and I tookthe car to a scrap yard in Ottery, left it there and returned to this houseon foot. We slept at the house that night. That same night, we watched the newson CNN and I saw for the first time what happened inside the church. On theMonday morning Nonxuba and I took a bus to Wynberg and from there a taxi toGuguletu. Nonxuba got out in Guguletu and I went home to Old Crossroads witha taxi. I stayed at home for a while and I left to go to New Crossroads to mycousin's place. There I laid low for a short while, but then after a week ortwo, when I heard that Makoma had been arrested, I left for the Transkei bybus. I stayed in Umtata in a safe house. I was arrested in February 1996 inconnection with the St James case, but I was already in custody after beingarrested on 1 November 1995 in connection with an armed robbery which allegedlytook place in Crossroads. This case against me has now been withdrawn. I deeplyregret the loss of life which occurred as a result of the operation of whichI was a part on Sunday the 25th of July 1993. At the time I was 17 years oldand I followed the orders that I was given without questioning it. I was veryimpressionable then and regarded the older APLA operators such as Nonxuba asheroes. I wish to ask the family, relatives and friends of the deceased andother victims who were injured, for forgiveness. I respectfully submit thatmy application complies with the requirements of the Act, that the offenceswhich I committed and associated myself with, were offences associated withthe political objective, committed in the course of the conflicts of the pastand that it accords with the provisions of Section 22 and 23 of the Act andthat I have made full disclosure of all the relevant facts relating to the StJames incident, which is within my personal knowledge. Accordingly, I respectfullyrequest that I be granted amnesty in respect of those offences relating to theSt James incident". And it is signed by Bassie Nzikizi Mkhumbuzi and itwas signed on the 7th of July 1997.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I do Judge. Mr Brink has suggested however, thatI first get some guidance from the Committee on one aspect. We have in our possessioncertain statements which were made by Mr Makoma, confessions which were madeto the police which were ruled inadmissible at the hearing, the criminal hearingin this matter. It would seem to me that in light of the fact that the applicantsnow intend to confess to their participation in these events, that the contentsof these statements are no longer inadmissible on the basis that they were inadmissibleat the trial, that they would appear to some extent, in any event, to be correct.Mr Brink, has however suggested that I put to the Committee or ask for the Committee'sguidance as to what their admissibility would be particularly with a view tocross-examination in these proceedings.
CHAIRMAN: It seems Mr Bembridgeyou will have to clear the groundwork with Mr Makoma first to establish whetherthis was his statement, whether it was made freely and voluntarily, whetherany pressure or any violence was exerted on him at the time and matters of thatkind.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: It was decided, no it is notcorrect to say it was decided that he was assaulted, the court specificallyfound that the accused as he was in those proceedings, had not been assaulted,it was found however, that due to the length of the interrogations and perhapsthe time of day and factors like that, although it cannot
per se: be saidthat he had been induced into making statements against his will, that the mannerin which the interrogations were held, was not the best manner and there mayhave been some emotional stress on him at the time, which may have perhaps inducedhim to say things which he otherwise may not have said. But it was not foundthat the interrogations
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Well, I would submit that it could be relevantto the extent that it now appears that the applicants will admit largely thatwhat they said in those statements, is correct, which was categorically deniedin the criminal proceedings. Now it appears that they admit that what the natureof the confession was largely speaking, completely correct.
CHAIRMAN: Well, in that case, you will have to deal with it like my brother is suggestingto you, in fact I initially misunderstood, I thought that it was his own statement,now you say it was Mr Makoma's statement.
CHAIRMAN: You can do no more than if you have that statement, which wasmade by Mr Makoma where he refers to this particular witness, the best for you,you can do no more than ask this gentleman and say to him, in a statement whichMr Makoma disowned, he said you did this and this, is it true? If he says itis true, then you have no problem, but if he says it is not true, then you can'ttake it any further. But you will have to deal with it, not with pertinent questions,you will have to single out statement by statement, you may not say to him soand so made a statement, is that statement not true, that is what I am referringto when I say not a pertinent questions. You will have to deal with the statementsentence by sentence to be on a proper footing.
MR MKHUMBUZI: As a member of the PAC, I knew that there was a militarywing of the PAC, which is APLA. I was interested in joining or being a memberof APLA. In the activities I have done, I was an organiser and I met these people,I then joined APLA.
MR MKHUMBUZI: No, there was no procedure in joining APLA exceptthat if you wanted to be a member, and if you believed to what we believed in,if you wanted to be a member of APLA, you became a member of APLA, so therewas no procedure to follow in order to join APLA. If you wanted to join, youwould join.
MR MKHUMBUZI: What I did, I used to attend PAC meetings. I was AZANYO organiser and I alwaysheard about APLA soldiers but I couldn't contact and meet them. They would cometo PAC members and I found out about that after a long time, that they wouldattend PAC meetings and listen to the meeting and to the procedures. And theywould pick up right persons, that is how they recruited people to join APLA.You would not just come and say you want to be a member of APLA.
MR MKHUMBUZI: I can say that Iwas a member of the Task Force. I was working for the Task Force. From therethere were known contacts who were known to the leaders of the Task Force. Fromthere you would be a member of APLA.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: I just want to refer you to the plea of Mr Makoma which he madewhen, in the criminal trial in which he was prosecuted. It is at page 5 of thebundle for the purposes of the Committee. I don't know whether the applicantin fact requires a copy for him, otherwise I can just read to him the sectionto which I am going to refer.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Okay. Inhis statement to the court, Mr Makoma said that in and during 1993, PAC memberswere attacked by members of rival political organisations. He said this ledto the formation of the Task Group under the leadership of Siphiwe Makweso andthis group was specifically informed to protect PAC leaders and members, doyou confirm that that is correct what he says?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Mr Makoma stated in his plea to the court that in and during 1993, PAC memberswere attacked by members of rival political organisations. This led to the formationof a Task Group under the leadership of Siphiwe Makweso. This group was specificallyformed to protect PAC leaders and members. Do you confirm that that is correct?
MRMKHUMBUZI: No, it was not to attack, but I can say that in defending orprotecting members in the Task Force, there were different structures. Althoughsome of the people were not aware of those structures, my information is thatthe Task Force was there to protect or defend members of the PAC.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I wantto know did you see the congregation of the St James church as a rival politicalorganisation which threatened your members or leaders and which it was thereforenecessary for you to defend them against?
INTERPRETER: If I may interjectMr Chairman, there isn't proper interpretation of the word "threat",I think the misunderstanding between the person who is asking the question andthe applicant is as a result of a failure to interpret appropriately the word"threat".
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Did you see or did you consider the members of the congregation at the St Jameschurch as people who would, who were a rival political organisation to the PACand who may attack the members or leaders of the PAC?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I am asking him whether it is his opinion thatthe church was used to attack the PAC, he doesn't seem to understand my question,I am trying to put it in a slightly more basic form, to say to him, is it hisopinion that the church attacked the PAC or is it not his opinion.
MS KHAMPEPE: May I interpose Mr Bembridge? I think what Mr Mkhumbuzihas said is that he was a member of the Task Force which was formed to protectand defend members of the PAC. The evidence that has been admitted through theaffidavit indicates that the church was attacked by him whilst he was a memberof APLA, shouldn't you by tying the two before you can put that question tohim? Was a Task Force a unit of APLA?
JUDGE NGOEPE: That is how it started, but the actual attack may havetaken place at a time when he was not merely a member of the Task Force, butas a member of APLA and according to his evidence as I understand it, it wasAPLA that attacked the church.
JUDGE NGOEPE: I don'tthink that is really necessary, you are taking up a lot of time, because thefact of the matter is that PAC - who is a member of PAC knows that APLA is amilitary wing of the PAC, he was recruited into APLA, I don't think we shouldtake too much time over that.
JUDGE NGOEPE: At the time when the attack took place, he may have been not only in the TaskForce, but as a member of APLA, clear that up. Perhaps I should clear it up.You joined APLA as a member of the Task Force.
MR MKHUMBUZI: As I'vealready said before, in our meetings, PAC meetings, AZANYO meetings and TaskForce meetings, there would be APLA members, although we were not aware of that.It would happen that they will pick right people, those who they saw a rightpeople. They will approach you in a certain way, but you would not be awareof that.
JUDGE WILSON: No, Makomawas an trainer, now he says he wasn't. What you are challenging isn't it, isthat in his affidavit he said I was a member of the APLA unit of which Makomawas a trainer, he has now said Makoma trained with me, I was trained by somebodyelse.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: That may be a relevant factor, but I think firstlyit is important to establish what Mr Makoma's function was, was he a trainerin the sense of having some authority over this applicant or was he merely aco-trainee.
MR MKHUMBUZI: In physical training, each person wouldcome with his or her exercise because nobody would know each and every physicalexercises available, one would come with a different physical exercise and wewould do it all together.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: What do you mean there is nothing you could ask, you could askwhat the mission would be, surely you could ask where the mission would be?You could ask him all those questions? Were you not interested?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Well, with respect, we can't presentevidence on that behalf, we are appearing for the victims in this matter, itis however unlikely and I think this is a point on which it can be suggestedthat this person is not making a full disclosure of what he knew.
CHAIRMAN: Well, you can argue that, although one view may be that it is likely that hewould not have been, I mean for security reasons, those details they might notbe disclosed to these guys beforehand, especially in operation of this nature.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Can I put this to you Mr Mkhumbuzi, Mr Makoma inthe statements which I earlier discussed with the Committee, which he disputes,which he says were made to the police under interrogation, he said that he wastold by Vusi a long time, at least a week before the mission took place, thatthe mission was to be at a church in Kenilworth. Did he never tell you anythingof that nature?
MR MKHUMBUZI: WhatI knew was that if you got an order, you had to follow that order, you don'thave to ask question concerning that order. You just have to listen to the personwho is giving you an order.
JUDGE WILSON: You haven't suggested for oneminute that Mr Makoma was giving you an order. I can understand you not questioningan order, but all you've told us is that Mr Makoma who is a friend of yours,who was training with you, told you that there was going to be a mission. Surelyyou would want to know from him, what sort of mission, what do we have to do?
MS KHAMPEPE: WhenMr Mkhumbuzi, in your affidavit, that at paragraph 10, I think that is whatMr Bembridge is struggling with, when you say you were instructed by Mr Makomato prepare yourself by getting yourself into physical position, what do youmean by that? If you were on par with Mr Makoma and he wasn't in a positionto be able to give you instructions or orders in your unit?
MR MKHUMBUZI: When I mentioned this in my statement, I meant that we could get a message maybefrom Makoma, we could get a message through Makoma from the Commander or theycan get a message through me from the Commander, maybe it happened this waythat day.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Thank you.Well, the question is how did it happen? Not maybe how it happened, you saidin your statement specifically that it was Mr Makoma who came and told you tomake preparations for the operation, however now in your testimony you say thatyou didn't discuss the matter at all with Mr Makoma, now which one of the twois it?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: In paragraph 10 of your statement, you say that it was about a week before theattack that Mr Makoma came to you and told you that the operation was goingto take place and to make preparations, you say he told you to prepare yourselfby getting into top physical condition and that you were to go and get weaponsfrom Umtata.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I beg your pardon, that is correct. I am sorry, I misreadthat. You do say however in your statement that Mr Makoma told you to prepareyourself for the operation and to get yourself into top physical condition.But in your evidence now, you say you didn't discuss the matter or talked toMr Makoma about the operation at all.
CHAIRMAN: That is not necessarilyinconsistent you know. They did not talk about what they were going to do, hewas just told that he must prepare himself for whatever they were going to do.Isn't that what it really means?
MS KHAMPEPE: I havehim saying Mr Bembridge that the details of the actual operation were not discussed,but Mr Makoma gave him instructions to do certain things, which included gettinghimself into a proper physical condition for the mission. But the details ofthe mission
ADVBEMBRIDGE: You arrived back in Cape Town after collecting the ammunitionand you took them to a house you say. Thereafter you had certain meetings, oneat the Uluntu community centre with a person called Nonxuba, who is that?
MRMKHUMBUZI: Mr Makoma was staying at his home, I was staying at home. Wewould meet in meetings, but what I am sure about is that Vusi told me that Makomawas together with us in the same training. If he told me not to ask, it is clearthat he also told Makoma.
MR MKHUMBUZI: According tome, this attack would bring down the spirit of the oppressors in order for usto think back what they have done to see that it was not a good thing to takethe land from its people.
MRMKHUMBUZI: When there is violence in White areas, they would try and goto the government to lay there grievances so that the government can listento our own grievances in order for us to live together in peace.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: With respect, he said his motivation for taking part in the attackwas to perform an attack on a White area, yet he said he didn't know that priorto him actually deciding to go on the attack.
CHAIRMAN: Quite right. Theyattacked a White church and you asked him what were you hoping to achieve? Heoffers you an explanation as to what he thought, if there was violence in aWhite area, the government would pay attention to their grievances.
JUDGE NGOEPE: My problem is that you take that question out of context.Out of the context of PAC APLA operations, and you singled it out as a smalllittle trip that has to be considered on its own. You ignore the whole contextwhich he has given us that I was a member of this, I was a member of this militarywing operating this way and that way and then you singled it out and you takeit out of that general context and then you put it in isolation there.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: I don't seem to put it in isolation, however, it is clear ifwhat he says is true, he couldn't have been aware that that would be the effectof the attack, it may for all he knew, have been an attack on an ANC positionwhich would not have had the effect which he says is would have had.
MSKHAMPEPE: But with due respect, Mr Bembridge, that is the point that youactually covered, I think you went back to that point repeatedly. The Task Forcehe referred to was indeed a defensive unit, but the APLA unit that he has givenevidence to, was definitely something completely different to the Task Force,but he initially referred to he was recruited from the Task Force whose dutythen was to defend the community. He was recruited from that Force into theAPLA unit which had a completely different function from the Task Force, thatis the evidence which is before us.
MR MKHUMBUZI: The handgrenades together with otherweapons, I was told to take a suitcase and I was told what was inside the suitcase,but I did not open the suitcase to see whether there were handgrenades, butthese were written down that in this suitcase, there are such and such weapons.I had to give them back to the person who sent me.
MRMKHUMBUZI: I sympathise with the people who died in the church and I wouldlike to ask for forgiveness to them. But we could not stop what was happeningat that time, we could not stop it at that time. But now there is peace.
MR MKHUMBUZI: AsI've already said at that time we were fighting for our country and for democracy.It was very difficult at the time to stop such incidents because this country,we were oppressed in this country, South Africa, we could not at all.
MR MKHUMBUZI: Yes, I think so because today we are in this country South Africa, we are livingtogether. We are not fighting with each other, we are here today to this TruthCommission to give or to explain what we have done before.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I want to put it to you Mr Mkhumbuzi, that you arenot telling the truth, that you were aware, well before this attack took placewhat the target was, that you were aware that it was a church.
MR MKHUMBUZI: The only thing that I can say is that I sympathise withthose who were non-White in the church, I apologise to them, even to the Whites,but they could also understand how was the situation during that time and howquick things could happen, so we couldn't differentiate that these were Whiteand these were Coloureds.
MR MKHUMBUZI: As I've said that I did not know that we weregoing to attack a church. I didn't know that the target was the church. ButI felt as I've said before, the Whites were also using churches to oppress theBlacks. They took our country using churches and Bibles as we are reading thehistory. We as the oppressed ones.
MR MKHUMBUZI: As I've said before, I did not know that we were going to the church. Even anywherethe attack would have taken place, not just because it was a church, I meananywhere the attack was going to take place.
MR MKHUMBUZI: Yes, the onesI attended I knew that they were sanctuary but there were churches that wereused to do the wrong things as I've said before. I've said most of the Whitechurches were used to oppress the Blacks. So the one I attended I knew thatpeople were praying for peace that was not around. Even under the circumstancesthat they were living, they were praying for peace. So some other churches Iknew that they were just being used by our enemies to oppress the Black people.
MR BRINK: Did you know, having regard for the fact that you were a reader and a listenerto the radio and a watcher of television, were you or were you not aware, thisis the last time that I will ask this question about Bishop Tutu, that he wasopposed to apartheid?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Sorry, I think when it was put to the applicantthat many White leaders were opposing apartheid, in all fairness to him, itshould have likewise been indicated to him that many White church leaders infact justified apartheid and sought even to justify it on religious grounds.
MRBRINK: Yes, that is perfectly true, in fairness to him. I thought that wouldbe dealt with in re-examination. But I take your point, Judge. Yes, you've heardwhat Judge Ngoepe has said, it is perfectly true that there were some churchesin this country who did support apartheid, that is so. But you were also awareof the fact, weren't you that churches provided missionary work to help underprivilegedpeople such as yourself?
MR BRINK: Do I understand then thatthe attack upon the church was a revenge attack because when the land you saywas taken away from your people, they were using the churches, the Whites wereusing the churches, was this then a revenge attack?
MR MKHUMBUZI: It wasnot a revenge, but we just wanted our land to be brought back to us. Not thatwe were revenging because churches were used to oppress our people, but we justwanted the land to be brought back to us.
MR BRINK: Was this not an act of mindless barbarity, perpetratedon people who were in a house of worship, a house of God at prayer on a Sundayevening, when many people were killed and many, many more seriously injured?
MR BRINK: No, I don't want to put it againMr Chairperson. I will read to you a copy of a letter I received from one ofthe victims in fairness, because the Committee has it and I indicate that thisgentleman who is not present, apposes the application. I want to read his letterto you and you may comment on it if you wish. I, Dimitri Makogon, will be outof Cape Town on July the 9th and 10th, 1997 and do wish to make known my opinionregarding the amnesty application by those responsible for the St James massacrein which I lost both legs and my right arm. The aim of the TRC is to establishthe truth, the truth is that on July the 25th, 1993, the three applicants killed11 and injured more than 50 civilians, gathered in a church, unarmed and defenceless.Would you like to comment on that?
MR MKHUMBUZI: I really don't know but Iwould like to meet him and apologise to him. Maybe he would understand becausewhat we did was not right, we do regret that, but I wish we could meet withhim, maybe he would like to listen when we try to apologise. But I don't knowwhen you say he is not in Cape Town to show that we are sincerely apologising.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: It is actually two questionsMr Chairman. You said that when you went to church, or you say that you didn'tgo to church and you identified the Uluntu community centre as the place whereyou went to church, is that correct?
RE-EXAMINATIONBY ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, just shortly. Firstly, I think Imade the point in my opening statement, I don't think the applicant mentionedthat in his affidavit or in his evidence, about St James being in a White area?Bassie, did you identify St James as a target? The church?
MR MKHUMBUZI: No, I don'tthink so. Such a thing could not have happened. Let me explain. I don't thinkso because what I have learnt, before anything could happen, we would like toinvestigate first, so I don't think we will go to places where there is mostlyBlack people.
ADV ARENDSE: I am just asking you this, because thatis the arms and ammunition used during the attack. Now my question is, you weretold on your evidence, on a very late stage that you are going to be part ofthe attack in the form of "security". Now my question is, were youinstead of for example Makoma, asked to go inside the church armed with a rifleand a handgrenade? If you had been ordered to do so, would you have done so?
MR MKHUMBUZI: The only thingI can say is I was still a new APLA member, I was still in the premature stagesunder the training. Maybe I am just thinking, if they have told me, they wouldthink I would go and tell the police like to become an informer, sort of, sothat I can put my comrades in trouble, because things as such do happen. Thatis what I am thinking of.
MS GOZA: "I,the undersigned Thobela Mlambisa, do hereby make oath and say that I have alreadyin connection with this application, I wish to make a further affidavit regardingmy participation in the St James church incident". Mr Chairman, if at thisstage I may indicate that the first portion of that sentence relates to an affidavitthat the second applicant made relating to explaining that he had in fact forwardedhis application in (indistinct), which at the present moment cannot be found.That is what that first portion of that sentence refers to.
MS GOZA: "Paragraph 2 - The facts to which I deposeare true and correct and within my personal knowledge, unless the context statesotherwise. Paragraph 3 - I have been a member of the Pan African Congress, commonlyknown as the PAC since 1989 and I have been a member of the African People'sLiberation Army, commonly known as APLA, since 1990 whilst I was still at school.I was recruited into APLA by Sichomiso Nonxuba, now deceased. Paragraph 4 -I grew up in the Kentani area and went to school there up to standard 10, whereI attended the Maqibe High School. I matriculated in 1990. Paragraph 5 - I hadbeen appointed as a unit Commissioner in the Transkei where I was operatingfrom. Paragraph 6 - On the Tuesday before the incident took place, I got anorder from the late Mandla, also known as Mazala or Powa, the APLA Chief ofLogistics in the Eastern Cape Region to come to Cape Town. I had never beforebeen to Cape Town. He gave me an address where to go to. I knew that I was comingto Cape Town on an APLA mission. At the time, I did not know it was going tobe the St James church. I left Umtata on a Chilwan's bus, on the Wednesday andarrived in Cape Town on Thursday. I went to an address in Macassar and foundSichomiso Nonxuba and Makoma there. Nonxuba told me that my code name was Aubreyand introduced me to Makoma as Aubrey. I knew Nonxuba, but I was meeting Makomafor the first time. Nonxuba told me that I had been requested to come to CapeTown so that I could act as the driver during the operation. At that stage hegave no details. Nonxuba and Makoma left me at this house in Macassar and returnedlater that night. They still did not tell me what the operation was about. Paragraph7 - On the Saturday before the Sunday when the incident took place, I met Nonxubaand Mkhumbuzi at the Iona shopping centre in Guguletu at approximately threeo'clock. There I was introduced to Bassie. Nonxuba again told me that I wouldbe driving during the operation the following day, but gave me no details. Mytask was to hijack a car. I then went back to the house in Macassar. The nextday Makoma fetched me with a taxi and we went to the Uluntu community centrein Guguletu where we met Nonxuba and Bassie. Nonxuba spoke as the Commanderand said that we would be involved in an operation that day but he never mentionedwhat the target was going to be and when it was going to take place. However,he told me and Makoma that we were to get a car. We had to meet him at the Langataxi rank at 6 pm, that evening. Makoma and I then went to Guguletu where wesaw a Datsun motor vehicle, idling in the road. The driver came out of the houseand I approached him and asked him whether we could borrow the car and thatwe would return it. We told him that we were members of the PAC and APLA. Herefused and I shot at him with my 9 mm pistol. I don't know whether I shot himbecause I only wanted to frighten him. He then surrendered the car and I droveit. Paragraph 8 - I then drove to the Langa taxi rank where we met Nonxuba andMkhumbuzi. They got into the car. Nonxuba then directed me as I drove. Whenwe got to the target and after we had circled the building a few times, I noticedthat it was a church. Paragraph 9 - I pulled the car to the front of the church,with the back facing the entrance. While the car was idling, Makoma and Nonxubagot out and Bassie and I stayed inside the car. While we were waiting, a redcar stopped, blocking our exit. Bassie then threw a molatov cocktail at thecar and I shot one round at the car, causing the car to speed away. More-or-lessat this time, Makoma and Nonxuba came out of the church. I had heard a grenadeexploding and I heard firing inside the church. I knew that people were goingto get killed or injured during the operation. Paragraph 10 - I drove off underinstructions from Nonxuba who was the Commander of the operation. I droppedNonxuba and Makoma at a house in Ottery and Bassie and I then went to a nearbyscrapyard, to leave the car there. The scrapyard was about two kilometres away.We returned to the house on foot and stayed there until the next morning. Laterthat Sunday night, we saw on the CNN news what happened inside the church. Thenext morning I left the house with Makoma and went to Crossroads in a taxi.From Crossroads, I took the taxi to Macassar. This is the last time that I sawthose guys. I went back to Old Crossroads from Macassar during the week, andstayed there for about a week until I heard that Makoma had been arrested. Ithen left Cape Town for the Transkei with a taxi. Paragraph 12 - I was arrestedon the 25th of January 1996 in Tempe, Bloemfontein, while I was being integratedinto the South African National Defence Force. At the time I was at the FirstSpecial Service Battalion. I am currently stationed at 97 Ammunition Depot inDe Aar. Paragraph 13 - I deeply regret causing the loss of life on the 25thof July 1993 and further causing so many people to be injured and maimed. Iwish to ask the relatives and friends of the deceased and those who were victimsof the attack, to forgive me. At the time I was acting under instructions fromAPLA High Command and I was trained not to question these instructions. Paragraph14 - I respectfully submit that my application complies with the requirementsof the Act, that the offences in respect of which I am applying for amnestyare offences associated with a political objective, committed in the courseof the conflicts of the past and which are in accordance with the provisionsof Section 20, subsection 2 and subsection 3 of the Act and that I have madea full disclosure of all the relevant facts. Accordingly I respectfully requestthat the Committee grant me amnesty". Mr Chairman, those are the contentsof the second applicant's sworn statement.
ADV DE JAGER: Before we adjourn, I don't know what iscontained in the other affidavit or in the application, because it is not beforeus, but in this affidavit as far as I could gather, it is not clear what thepolitical objective was. I don't know whether it is, perhaps you could pointout where it is mentioned.
MS GOZA: If we could be granted a short timeto ... Advocate De Jager, the paragraph 3 of the second applicant's affidavitstates that the applicant was a member of APLA and the affidavit on paragraph6 goes on to state out the instructions that were given to the applicant fromAPLA High Command. And on paragraph 13, it is specifically stated there, andif I may read from paragraph 13, "At the time I was acting under instructionsfor APLA High Command and I was trained not to question these instructions". We would respectfully submit that those paragraphs read together state the objectivesas is required in Section 20 of the Act.
ADV DE JAGER: I think it statesthat he received instructions from APLA and that he carried out instructionsfrom APLA, but nowhere is it stated that the objective for the act associatedwith a political objective, that the objective might have been to gain politicalpower or whatever it might be, but you could have a look at it tonight and seewhether you are satisfied.
MRBRINK: The mystery of Mr Letlapa Mphlalele appears to have been clearedup. There was a news item in this morning's Cape Times on page 3 on the bottomleft hand corner, and I will read it. "Former APLA Operations DirectorLetlapa Mphlalele was a guest of the PAC and could not be released to appearat the TRC's amnesty hearing in Cape Town yesterday in protest against the TRC'slack of objectivity, the PAC Transkei branch said last night. Mphlalele failedto appear as scheduled yesterday with Bassie Mkhumbuzi, Thobela Mlambisa andGcinikhaya Makoma to apply for amnesty in connection with the St James churchmassacre in 1993. The Transkei branch said discussions should be held firstwith the PAC national leaders about the uneven-handedness in which politicalparties, previously involved in the political conflict, are being treated bythe TRC functionaries." That was a South African Press Association release.
MS GOZA: Mr Chairperson and members of the Committee, beforethe proceedings proceed in the line of questions, could I be permitted to re-examinethe second applicant, Mr Mlambisa in relation to the aspect that was raisedby Adv De Jager concerning the political objective? It was raised yesterdayMr Chairperson.
MSGOZA: What are the objectives of APLA? Mr Mlambisa, I am speaking to youin English, there is an interpretation for you. If you feel more comfortable,please feel free to talk in your vernacular. Can we start again.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I takeit that it was also part of your training that when an attack was to be planned,one should go and have a look at the place where the attack would take placeand plan the attack properly as to how it would happen there?
ADVBEMBRIDGE: I think you are misunderstanding my question, I am not sayingdid you go and plan the attack, what I am saying were you not trained duringyour training that if one is to command an attack, it is important to go andhave a look first at the place where the attack will take place, so that youcan plan how it will happen there?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: My question perhaps should be rephrased, that is an important part of planningan attack that the site of the attack would be visited to ascertain how theattack will take place there? In the ordinary course that that would be a normalpart of the training?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Okay, what I am askingyou is was it part of your training, did they teach you in training that whenan attack is planned, it is an important part of that planning to go and lookat the place where the attack will happen to plan how the attack will take placethere?
MR MLAMBISA: No, it was not about the sketch of theattack, it was the way of an operation. Even after the liberation, we were taughthow to protect our country from another country, if the country is to attackSouth Africa again.
JUDGE NGOEPE: It may be that you were not specificallytrained or told in training that some planning must take place, but you area trained soldier of APLA, wouldn't you expect some surveillance to take placefirst and some planning? Not necessarily by yourself, by somebody else givenyour military knowledge and training?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: So, if I am understanding you correctly then, you were the person responsiblefor making sure that the team got to the attack and away from the attack safely,but you had no idea of where you were going or how to get away from there thereafter?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Mr Mlambisa, what would have happened if something had gone wrong? You didn'tknow what the target was, what if it had been a military target and Nonxubahad been shot, how would you have escaped?
ADVBEMBRIDGE: I think that is in fact contained in the statement in hand. Whenyou went to steal the car that you were going to use in the attack, once youhad stolen it, what if any preparations did you make to actually use it in theattack?
MRMLAMBISA: I cannot know, only my Commander can know that because he wasthe one who gave us the petrol money, he was the one who knew how was the operationgoing to take place, otherwise I know nothing further than that.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bembridge, isn't the crux of the matter the admitting they had done this,they admit this brutal shooting, that he drove the car, that he in fact robbedthe car, that he shot somebody in robbing the car. Isn't the crux of the matterthe question of proportionality?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: With respect, Mr De Jager,I think there are two issues to this. The one is the issue of proportionality,the other one is the issue of full disclosure and we dispute that a full disclosureis being made here. I do not accept that these applicants are being honest inpurporting to dissociate themselves with any responsibility for the choice oftarget or denying that they had any knowledge of the type of target that theywere going to attack. I submit that is not in the spirit of the disclosure thatis contemplated in the Act.
CHAIRMAN: Well, full disclosure certainlyof relevant facts, but whether R40-00 or R50-00 worth of petrol was put in thecar, who put the petrol and matters of that kind, surely I don't think thatwe should go into detail of that kind, I don't think they impinge on the pointthat you are trying to make.
JUDGENGOEPE: I understand you to, in effect, it may be a question of how onedoes it, but I understand you to say that, listening to your previous five questionsor so, I understand you to want to show that these applicants took part actuallyeven in the planning of this operation and possibly they are just putting everythingonto the late Nonxuba or something like that and that they must have taken partin the actual planning and sat down and discussed what we must do, which routeto take if we are caught, something like that. I think that is what you aretrying to do and you are saying that by trying to say that they did not takepart in the planning and the like, they are withholding information?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: That is my suggestion. I will submit it is essential in the nature of an operationsuch as this, that everyone would have had to have some input in as to how theattack was to take place. Specifically the driver, who would be responsiblefor the safety of the team to a large extent.
JUDGEWILSON: Do you dispute that this was his first visit to Cape Town, you haven'tasked a thing about that? If it was his first visit to Cape Town, is it at alllikely that he would know what route to take, what to do, wouldn't he have torely on the people who lived in Cape Town to tell him that?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I am unfortunately not in a position to dispute that was his first trip to CapeTown, but to the extent that he alleges that that is a significant factor inthat it mitigates against the suggestion that there is any likelihood that thisattack being carried out without him having been fully appraised as to how itwould be done, where the attack was to take place, what the target was and howit was intended he would escape.
JUDGE WILSON: He was a common soldier, he was notan officer of APLA, he was brought in for one purpose and that was to drivethe vehicle, so he says. There were three other people in the vehicle with him,all from Cape Town, surely they are the ones who would have known the routewhere to go?
CHAIRMAN: While you are looking at something else, can we take this further. You askedhim what preparations they did in regard to the vehicle and then he mentionedonly the petrol, but I am interested in other aspects as well. What furtherpreparations did you make with regard to the vehicle, for example did you removethe original registration numbers of the vehicle, put false ones on or did youdrive the vehicle without the registration number?
ADV DE JAGER: But if it was only a shot fired, I am sure you wouldhave been able to tell us no, I didn't intend to hit him and I didn't hit himbecause I didn't shoot at him, I only wanted to frighten him.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: You say that the first time that you realisedyou were attacking the church, was when you had already circled the church anumber of times. What did you think when you realised that it was a church thatyou were going to attack?
MRMLAMBISA: I think it is because as I was coming in there, I was introducedby Sichomiso Nonxuba to him and he introduced myself to Sichomiso and he toldthem that I was also a member of APLA. So, I think for my own protection I gotthat pistol.
MRMLAMBISA: I knew from Transkei that there was going to be an operation,otherwise I didn't know it in detail. I knew that there was going to be an operationwhether of which kind, but I had no guts to ask. That is what I knew it frommy heart. An operation for PAC.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: If you look atthe people sitting in the two rows behind me, they are all people who were partof that congregation at St James that you attacked, do you not see many peoplethere who are not White people?
MR MLAMBISA: As I'vesaid before, that I was taking orders from my Commander. And if you are justshooting, if you are just shooting someone within many people, you just getshot to everyone. That was the policy of the APLA.
MRMLAMBISA: If you are in a place where there are Boers mostly, because APLAwas attacking the suburbs, which means the White areas, we exactly knew thatin suburbs the residents were White, so the churches that were there, were attendedby White people, because Blacks were not going to the White churches. So ifthere were a few Black people in there and the majority was White, then therewas no reason for us not to attack.
MRMLAMBISA: As far as I know, the methods of the High Command, they do recognisancewhereby they would have decided whether the target must be attacked by APLA.It was obvious by the time we were going to St James, they knew that there wereonly Whites there or mostly Whites.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: It is interestingthat you say that, because the people from St James will say that they think,they read that they noticed the church being reconnoitred prior to the attacktaking place. So they agree with you that it is probably so that the attackwas planned and whoever the planner was, knew what type of people would be inthe church.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Well, clearly he didn't know that, because there were not only Whites there.And if that is the case, do you still say that it is in accordance with APLApolicy to have attacked that church?
JUDGE WILSON: I read inthe newspaper yesterday evening I think, that there were an estimated 900 peoplein the church. If this was so, this would have probably meant there were a lotof cars parked outside that church. Did you notice that?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: The person, the people from St James will say that they had for almost two years,when Russian people coming to that church every weekend and that whoever therefore,did the reconnaissance would have known that.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: It is a report in the Argus that says APLA denies involvement in massacre. TheAzanian People's Liberation Army, the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congresssaid the massacre at St James church was not our sort of operation. Can youexplain why they would say it is not their sort of operation?
JUDGE WILSON: Shouldn't you read thatnext paragraph as well. Commenting from Dar Es Salaam today an APLA spokesmansaid the movement was still waiting for information from its forces on the ground,and that they would issue a full statement later?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I will read it for you again. It says commenting from Dar Es Salaam today anAPLA spokesman said the movement was still waiting for information from itsforces on the ground, but we don't believe every killing in South Africa canbe attributed to APLA, though APLA would issue a full statement later. He saidlast night's attack was not the sort of operation APLA would mount."
MR MLAMBISA: The PAC has got its own movement. I wouldlike to know the person who wrote this. The Boers can also write this. I wouldlike the person who wrote this report, this spokesman, if I am talking aboutthe spokesman, they are not talking about any one, I would like the name ofthat person. Maybe Mphlalele, I just want the name of that person. APLA didnot deny their involvement in this operation.
ADV DE JAGER: In the same bundle you have presented to us the very next page, page 37, thereis an article headed various organisations claim responsibility for the attack.According to a spokesperson of the South African Press Association, SAPA, aman phoned the agency on Monday morning in Cape Town and introduced himselfas the Regional Commander of APLA. He apparently said that more blood wouldbe shed if the country was not returned to the Blacks. And then it continuesto say that the PAC in fact the Regional Director, denied that APLA was involved.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Firstly I would submit that it is clear that the PAC at all timeshave denied participating and condemned the attack and secondly that lends somesupport I would submit to the suggestion that this was an attack planned bya local Commander perhaps without authority, rather than an attack planned byHigh Command as is suggested.
ADV DE JAGER: Yes. Well, while you suggestedthat, what would the position then be as far as soldiers are concerned, if itwas in fact planned by a local Commander who had authority or would you suggesthe had no authority over the foot soldiers?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: To the extent that they wouldbe participating in an attack which did not comply with the political objectives,adhered to by the organisation which they purport, in whose name they purportto act, I would suggest that that is not then a legitimate political objectivewhich they were seeking to achieve.
JUDGE NGOEPE: You see, if you areWhite you are White, even if you are in church or in a rugby stadium, if youare White, you are White. Maybe you will develop that point much convenientlylater during argument.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Perhaps I can just put one more statementto the applicant. Perhaps I can refer you to page 47 of the bundle, it formspart of a press statement made by the PAC, relating to the armed struggle. IfI can just read that to you. It says there in the first paragraph on the topof the page, in the militarised environment in our country of the 1990's inthe face of third force violence against our people and individuals in placesof worship and in trains and taxi's, internally based operatives often madeerrors that APLA had earlier avoided. There was little political work done unlikein the camps abroad. These were the causes of the departures in the 1990's whichwe as political leaders who declared war must and do take responsibility for.Even if war itself was forced upon us by the oppressor, the upholders of Whitedomination. Does that not amount to an admission that what you did was a departurefrom APLA policy at the time?
MRMLAMBISA: As I've said before, we were forces on the ground. There werealso members of the High Command. They never told us the things that are writtendown, we never knew about them. I think members of the High Command and theleadership of the APLA can answer this question, but not me. We are only takingorders from our Commander.
MR MLAMBISA: APLA was formed to fight, we are still waiting for someone to order us to stopthe fighting. So we were still fighting then up until we had orders to stopthe fighting. I am also sure that you also know that. The struggle was stilltaking place, there was no suspension.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Can I refer youto page 70 of the bundle which is also a press statement from the PAC. In referringto the negotiations that were going on at the time, they say throughout thisperiod the PAC adopted a positive outlook and urged the negotiating partiesto be principled. Consequently we played a positive role in the convening ofthe multi-party negotiating forum which ultimately adopted the interim constitutionand paved the way for the democratic election of 1994. Are they not saying therethat the party in whose name you purported to act, encouraged rather participationin the negotiations, than violent attacks?
MR MLAMBISA: I am denying nothing,it is like it said. As I've said before, we were taking orders from our Commanders,but we never heard of any suspensions on the armed struggle that was only theduty of the High Commander to tell us to stop the fighting. I wouldn't changeanything, I couldn't say anything. Only the Commanders would have told us andif we don't obey orders, we will be in trouble.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bembridge, the PAC took part in negotiations.They were the sort of, could we call it, the mother organisation, but APLA initself was also a known political organisation acting under its own Commandersas far as I could gather. APLA itself never negotiated, is that correct?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: The suggestion is merely that in lightof their press statements, that the PAC being the mother organisation, was urgingprincipled action and positive participation then how could it have been theobjective of their military wing to contradict that?
CHAIRMAN: Yes. Asfar as this particular witness is concerned and the limited role that he playedin the matter, he couldn't be said to be aware of all the decisions taken atthe level of the High Command and was merely directly responsible to those whowere ordering him to do what he did. That is as far as it goes, isn't it, asfar as this applicant is concerned?
EXAMINATION BY ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Thank you Mr Chairman,if I may proceed to read into the record the affidavit of Gcinikhaya ChristopherMakoma. "I, the undersigned Gcinikhaya Christopher Makoma, do hereby makeoath and say that I am 21 years old and currently serving a sentence of 23 yearsat the Victor Verster prison for eleven counts of murder, attempted murder andthree of the unlawful possession of arms and ammunition arising out of the StJames incident which took place on Sunday, the 25th of July 1993. The factsto which I depose are true and correct and within my personal knowledge, unlessthe context indicates otherwise. I have made an application for amnesty in termsof Section 18 of the Act, in respect of the charges of which I was found guiltyas well as the incident relating to the ambush of a police motor vehicle inKhayelitsha. This application however, relates only to the amnesty applicationin respect of the St James church incident. At the time of the incident, I was17 years old. I was a member of the Pan African Congress and a member of theAfrican People's Liberation Army, APLA. I joined APLA in 1993. I was introducedto Sichomiso Nonxuba by his code name Lester, by Vusi an APLA Commander approximatelythree weeks before the St James attack. I was a member of Vusi's unit. Vusiwas going away for between two to three months and said to me that Lester wasgoing to take over the command of the unit. I met Lester for the first timeapproximately three weeks before the attack. Mkhumbuzi was the only one of theapplicants in this matter whom I knew quite well before the attack. I met Mlambisafor the first time when Lester introduced him to me on the Thursday before theattack, at a house in Macassar. Mlambisa was introduced to me as Aubrey. I accompaniedNonxuba, Lester and I gave Mlambisa a 9 mm pistol for his protection. When Imet Mlambisa, Nonxuba did not discuss any aspects of the operation. I was madeaware by Vusi that there would be an operation, but at the time the target wasunknown to me. The full compliment who would be involved in the operation metfor the first time on Sunday, 25 July 1993 at the Uluntu shopping centre. ThereNonxuba ordered me and Mlambisa to get a car and Mlambisa and I left together.Although Nonxuba revealed no details of the operation to us, we knew that therewould be an attack. After we met, Mlambisa and I went to Crossroads and Guguletulooking for a car. We found a car in Guguletu when it was already quite darkand it was after six o'clock. We took this car at gunpoint, after we told thedriver that we were members of the PAC and APLA and that we only wanted to borrowthe car. The driver refused to voluntarily hand the car to us and I heard Mlambisafiring a shot after which we got into the car and drove off. From there, wewent to Langa where we met Mkhumbuzi and Nonxuba at the taxi rank. After Nonxubaand Mkhumbuzi got into the car, Nonxuba gave Mlambisa directions where to drive.Nonxuba told me that I was to be part of the operation, but whilst in the car,he never told me where the operation would take place. I knew that there wereguns and ammunition in the bag which was in the car. As we drove, Nonxuba toldmet that I was to go inside the target with him. At that time I was not awarethat it was going to be the St James church. When we got to the target however,I realised that it was a church. Nonxuba then told me that we were going tobe the main operators, he gave me a rifle and a handgrenade. I knew what thiswould entail as I had received training in how to handle weapons and ammunition.Mlambisa parked the car fairly close to the entrance of the church. We got outof the car. I had no disguise and only put a cap on my head. When we enteredthe church Nonxuba led the way and as we entered we were in a passage whichled to the main doors. People were walking up and down the passage. We leftoff the passage for a few seconds and then Nonxuba said we will enter throughthe main doors. Nonxuba then told me to throw the handgrenade and to shoot tokill. Nonxuba led the way and we then burst through the doors of the church.Nonxuba first threw his handgrenade, he was on my left hand side, and then Ithrew mine. As the handgrenades exploded, we took cover behind the doors, re-enteredand while the people inside were screaming we started to shoot. We shot indiscriminatelyand I finished my full R4 magazine, some 31 rounds of ammunition. We had alsoheard a shot outside and a car screeching. We went back into the passage toreload for our later protection. Inside the church one of the churchgoers hadalso fired at us. As we left Nonxuba was in front and I turned back to shootat the person who shot at us. We got into the car and the car sped away. WhenI was inside the car, I realised that I was bleeding. When we were inside thecar Nonxuba again directed Mlambisa where to drive. I subsequently learned thatit was a house in Ottery. Inside the house Nonxuba treated my injury with bandages.I had suffered a cut on the left hand finger. The next day I left the housewith Mlambisa and went to Old Crossroads. I was later arrested at Unathi inOld Crossroads on 5 August 1993. I admit that I was not truthful when I gaveevidence during my trial. I do, however, wish to reiterate that the notebookwhich is referred to at pages 52 and 53 of the record which is before the Committee,that that notebook belonged to Vusi although I had scribbled on some loose pageswhich were found in the notebook. I had no idea that the St James church wasto be the target. It is now obvious, however, that Vusi and Nonxuba had knownof the operation for some time. As a member of APLA we operated under the slogan"one settler, one bullet" and this to us meant that any White personin South Africa was regarded as a settler and if we came across any settlersduring our operations, they had to be killed or injured. I now deeply regretthe loss of life and injury caused by me and the other applicants on 25 July1993, and all I can ask for is that the family, relatives and friends of thedeceased and the other victims, forgive me. I respectfully submit that my applicationcomplies with the requirements of the Act, that the offences that I have committedwere associated with a political objective as contemplated by the Act and thatI have made a full disclosure of all the facts relevant to the St James incidentand to this application. I accordingly, respectfully request that I be grantedamnesty in respect of the offences which I have committed and for which I havebeen found guilty and I am currently serving a sentence". It is dated andsigned by Gcinikhaya Christopher Makoma on the 7th day of July 1997.
MR MAKOMA: APLA had politicalobjectives. APLA is a military wing of the PAC, it was formed to fight the armedstruggle. It was fighting to bring back the African land to the owners whomare known as Africans, who were taken by the Boers and they ruled. APLA wasthe military wing, it was involved in the armed struggle, fighting the Whites,fighting for the independence of the Blacks.
ADV ARENDSE: Now we'vealso heard my colleague here next to me, Mr Bembridge put it to your comradenext to you that they will say that there were three people inside the church,what do you say to that?
ADVARENDSE: Mr Chairman, if I could just for the record refer to page 1 ofthe bundle handed in on behalf of the victims, that the summary of the factsin paragraph 2, the last sentence in paragraph 2 alleges that while two guestsingers were singing a hymn on the stage, accused 1, that would be SichomisoSiphiwe Nonxuba and Makoma, the applicant, entered the church through a doornext to the stage. The accused carried machine guns, R4 rifles and handgrenadeswhich had wire nails glued to it. I just mention that for the record, becausethat was the summary that was given to us as counsel in the criminal trial.Now Mr Makoma you heard what I just read out to you about that it is allegedhere that you entered through a door next to the stage, would that be correct,at the church at the time that you committed this deed?
ADV ARENDSE: Can youturn to page 5 Mr Makoma. On page 5 and going onto page 6, your counsel at thetime Mr Desai who is now a Judge, read into the record in the criminal triala plea on your behalf, do you remember that?
ADV ARENDSE: In the middle of the page onpage 5, round about lines 18 to 20, there is reference to a Task Group underthe leadership of Siphiwe Makweso and that this group was specifically informed,it should be formed I suppose, to protect PAC leaders and members. I joinedthe aforementioned group. Is that part of your statement, is that correct?
ADV ARENDSE: The next part you say that you were nota member of APLA or the military wing of any other political organisation andthat you do not believe that it is the policy of the PAC to perpetrate suchacts, was that the truth or was that correct?
ADVARENDSE: Okay. We will try and deal with the not everything part now. MrChairman, my learned friend Mr Brink suggests that I should suggest to you thatperhaps it is appropriate to take a short break.
ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Makoma,can I refer you to page 7 of the bundle that you have there. Now, page 7, 8and 9 purports to be a statement which was taken from you. The date on page7 on the top, right hand side, is 14 August 1993, do you remember that?
ADV ARENDSE: Now, if I can just refer the Committeeand my colleagues to page 48 of the record in regard to this statement whichI have referred to Mr Makoma, the Judge, Judge Marais in the criminal case saidthat and I quote from line 6 onwards that we were not satisfied that it hadbeen proved beyond reasonable doubt that the deprivation of sleep and the persistentand continuous interrogation which immediately preceded the making of the statementto Lester, played no significant causative role in the accused's decision tomake the statement. It is for those reasons that the statements made to Lesterwere ruled to be inadmissible. Do you remember the Judge ruling that the statementwhich I've referred you to and which is on pages 7, 8 and 9, that that statementwas not accepted into evidence by the court?
ADV ARENDSE: Now, we are here before the Amnesty Committeefor you to reveal the true facts of what happened at the incident, when it tookplace, before the incident, during the incident and after the incident, do youaccept that?
ADVARENDSE: I am asking you do you accept that you are here before the AmnestyCommittee to say to the Committee exactly what happened before the incidenttook place at St James, what happened during the incident and what happenedafter the incident?
ADV ARENDSE: Now, it is for that reason that I want totake you through this statement even though the court ruled that it was notacceptable to the court. Now, in the statement there is a constant referenceto a person called Vusi. Do you see that? In the statement there is constantreference to Vusi.
ADV ARENDSE: Now, it may be putto you or suggested to you that notwithstanding the fact that the criminal courtruled this statement inadmissible, notwithstanding that fact, that ruling wason technical grounds as it were, but and this is the point I want to make, butthat what is in the statement is really what happened before, during and afterthe incident. What would your response be to such a proposition? That what iscontained in the statement is really what happened before, during and afterthe incident?
MR MAKOMA: What happened is this,when I was arrested the policeman had already had their own information. Theyalready knew about the unit of APLA that was present at that moment and whowas the Commander. They already knew about the attack that happened. The namesAubrey and Bhasi, they knew about them. Even my name too. But how did they findthem, I don't know. Some of the things, most of them, they questioned me aboutwere the things that were asking me, forcing me to say. So I was forced to acceptthose things. The ones that I know and the ones that I don't know. So undersuch circumstances I decided that instead of dying in the police cells, I mustmake my own story. The one that could be closer to what they are telling meto do. So that is how the statement came about.
ADV ARENDSE: Now, thecourt in your trial also rejected your allegations that you were amongst otherthings, assaulted before or during making this statement or while making thestatement, the court rejected your allegations in that regard, do you rememberthat?
MR MAKOMA: As I've said in the court that I wastortured, beaten up and the statement that I made I was forced by the policementhat they are real. I was forced to say yes to that. The names they were talkingabout I had to accept them, but the problem that they had as policemen, theycouldn't identify the people they were talking about.
JUDGE NGOEPE: MrArendse, what exactly are we busy with now? Do you want to start another trialwithin a trial or what are we busy with here, because as far as I understandthe situation, the statement on page 7 which seems to be troubling you, whyI don't understand, is that in the first place the trial court did not admitit, it found it was inadmissible, for whatever reason. Your client has saidto us that it does not contain the truth at any rate. Why are we going to thisgreat length to investigate circumstances under which the statement was madeif the trial court had rejected it in any case and your client is also rejectingit now. On what conceivable basis can it come into and be used here in our proceedingsbefore us against your client?
ADV ARENDSE: Judge, thank you for askingme that question. The questions around the statement are being put in anticipationof what I believe my colleague, Mr Bembridge will be putting to the witness.As I understand their case up until this point, they are opposing this applicationon two grounds, the proportionality aspect and that these applicants are notrevealing the whole truth to the Committee. That is one reason.
JUDGE NGOEPE: That reason makes it immediately a question for re-examination because I meanyou can't re-examine in advance. You would have to wait and see to what lengthMr Bembridge is going to go and then deal with it in re-examination becauseyou keep on anticipating, maybe you are mis-anticipating and then we don't know,you see, that is why I am asking, we don't know how far we are going to go inthe process of trying to anticipate the cross-examination, particularly if thebasis of this statement is so dubious.
ADV ARENDSE: Firstly, with due respectit is a perfectly legitimate tactic or aspect of leading the evidence of yourclient to anticipate what the opposition is coming to say or do. Secondly theprocesses, the criminal trial and this process are entirely different. If thereis in fact, and that seems to be your
prima facie: view, that this statementshould be thrown out completely because another court has already in its opiniongiven a ruling on it, then if the Committee is agreed that that is the casethen believe me I would be the first one to accept it and I won't have to dealwith it.
JUDGE NGOEPE: No, you don't understand my point. The questionof legitimate anticipation is a fair one, but you missed the point. There mustbe a basis for it, for anticipation and it is not for me to say that we willthrow that statement out, your client has said it does not contain the truth.
ADVARENDSE: Judge, the other reason which I think is a compelling reason whywe should deal with it and why I rather deal with it, is that the question canlegitimately be put to him that the names Vusi, Aubrey, Bhasi, there is mentionof a Datsun vehicle, are mentioned in the statement, be it that it was ruledinadmissible, it is also mentioned in your statement before the Commission,it is also mentioned by the others. We now know as a fact that Vusi exists orexisted. We know as a fact that Aubrey ...
CHAIRMAN: Wouldn't it be, sorry, wouldn't it meet the requirements if you just clearedup with your client that to the extent that his evidence here, differs fromthe contents of his statement, he maintains that what he is now saying, is thetruth? Now, then if you are going to suggest to him that some of what he saidin that statement was suggested by the police, or by anybody else to him, tosay, then you may point out that. Point that out, but I think that it will beappropriate if we proceeded along the lines as suggested by my brother, theother side know by now that there are differences between what is containedin his statement and what he is saying here now under oath and in his affidavit. So, I think that there can't be too much dispute, everybody knows that thereare these differences. If it is your intention now to go through each pointof difference between his evidence here now and what is contained in that statement,then I think that you are overstepping the mark.
ADV ARENDSE: Thank youMr Chairman. Mr Makoma, it has been put to your other comrades already, thatyou would have been aware that the St James church was a target, even beforethe killings took place. What do you say to that?
ADV ARENDSE: Can you turn to page 31 of that bundle?Now, you see I don't know whose handwriting it is, but we are not going to putthat in issue, there is a comment there from Barney Desai, do you see that namethere?
MR MAKOMA: Theonly thing I can say African Barnie Desai is the leader of the PAC and the APLA,is the military wing of the PAC and the attack that happened in the St Jameschurch, was led by one of the High Commanders in APLA. Then in 1993 when hewas commenting as he is saying here, I can understand as he is the politicianand during those days we knew that the struggle was still in power. On behalfof the APLA, I think the members of the PAC are not involved in the operationsdone by APLA. Only APLA members that are involved and they are the only oneswho can come with clear information in anything that has been done by APLA.
ADV ARENDSE: You see there APLA denies involvement in massacre and thenon the next page, I think quite properly pointed out by Adv De Jager at thetime, that in Afrikaans, in the middle sort of in the paragraph next to theseidentikits there is in Afrikaans, you don't have to read it, but the sum totalof what that says is again where the organisation accepts responsibility forwhat happened. Now, I want you to comment just on the denial that you see thereon page 36. Did you see that? I suppose on the 26th of July you had been arrested,you had been in prison at the time, awaiting trial, weren't you?
ADV ARENDSE: Now, Mr Makoma, you know what you did. The carnage thatyou inflicted on the churchgoers attending the church at the time, resultingin the death of 11 persons and injury, some of them maiming people for life,like the Russian gentleman whose letter was read to you yesterday, to us yesterday.What is your view of that now, how do you view what you did? How do you feelabout it today?
MR MAKOMA: What I can say is this, to those relativeswhose loved ones have been killed and those who had injured, and those who werebadly hurt, as I was deeply involved in that mess, I threw a handgrenade, Ifired shots obeying the instructions from my Commander, that resulted in whatwe are talking today about, I do regret and please forgive me because it wasthe situation in South Africa at that time. And as a soldier, obeying instructionsfrom the Commander, I was trained that the Commander is the only one that givesthe instructions. You don't have to question that. You don't have to deny that.Do as you are told. I as Khaya, as I was deeply involved in this, but therewas nothing I could do, to let this not happen because this was an order fromabove and as a soldier I had to obey the instructions. I am so sorry, pleaseforgive me. To those who had been injured and their loved ones who passed away.I know there is no one who had the right to kill. But the situation in SouthAfrica led us as we were young as we were, to do those things because we grewup in a violent country. We were seeing our fellow Africans being shot and killedby the Whites. All in all, I don't know if you grew up in such circumstances,wouldn't you expect such things to happen because we were not involved in thestruggle because we wanted to, we were forced by the situations. There is nothingI can say. If you do forgive me, or you don't, it is all up to you. But theinformation you wanted to know who did this, I as Khaya, I told them what Idid and how was I involved. That is all, thank you.
MR MAKOMA: What I cansay today, it is a new South Africa and I also know that this new South Africacame through struggle by the Africans. So the Whites are also people, we werenot fighting them because they were White, we were fighting them because oftheir deeds as the White nation. If today, as I am listening on television andradio, because I am in prison, they said there is peace amongst the Africans,Whites and Blacks, I am happy to see that. As Whites they are not looking toBlack people as animals that were supposed to be killed, armed or not armed,sleeping or alive, young or old, because what they did were not directed toold people, they were directed to the youth as Africans, as part of the Africannation, we made a decision that we won't tolerate such a thing. So, when thereis peace, I am also prepared to take them as human beings. If they are alsotaking Africans as human beings, people who have the right to live, to go anywhere,to say anything independently because by the time we were involved in this mess,such things couldn't happen. And as we were young, blood was still very hot,we couldn't tolerate those things. I don't say that gives me the power or thewill to go out and kill as I wish. I was obeying the instructions from my Commander.As he couldn't come forward and agree to this because he passed away, becauseit is clear that we are the ones that have to answer. I am saying to the parents,those who lost their children, injured, we are very sorry. Not because of theSt James massacre, but in everything that happened under the name of APLA, becauseit was the situation in South Africa during those days. We were also forcedto do such things. I am finished, thank you.
MR MAKOMA: As far as I know, APLA was fighting the Whites. Sowhen we were going to attack there, I assumed that we were fighting the Whites.As I was inside the church, I didn't notice anyone who is not a White. Evenif that person was there, the order said I must shoot, throw the handgrenade,I couldn't reject that because I was trained that the instructions are not disobeyed.
ADVARENDSE: The Judge in the trial, when he found you guilty said, and Mr ChairmanI am referring to page 50 of the record, the line 5 or so from the bottom, hesaid - Khaya, it is not in front of you there, I just want to read the portionof the sentence there which says that the attack could only have been committedto serve a political objective. That is what the Judge said in your case, doyou agree with that finding of the Judge?
JUDGEWILSON: Before you stop Mr Arendse, I am afraid I am totally confused andI would like to clarify something and I don't want you to think that I am reopeningthe question. You told us of a statement made by this witness which was introducedas evidence at the trial and which the Judge rejected.
ADV ARENDSE: Well,but I am nevertheless pleased with the answers that the witness gave in regardeven to this statement that was apparently made to Segal, because I wanted totie up the names that are mentioned in the statement on pages 7, 8 and 9 withwhat is found in his statement to this Committee. I don't have any further questions,Mr Chairman.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Mr Chairman, I am in somewhat of a difficult situation at thisstage. I have been approached by Mr Lorenzo Smith, who is one of the victimswhom I represent, he has advised that he is due to leave for Bloemfontein atone o'clock. We did not anticipate that we would not be able to lead his evidencebefore this time. He has asked me to request the Committee whether there isany possibility of some arrangement being made or some plan being made to allowhim to in fact give his evidence before he leaves at one o'clock and whethersome departure from the normal procedure would be considered by the Committeein these circumstances? He will naturally abide by whatever finding the Committeemakes.
MR SMITH: I feel that the churchis a place of sanctuary and looking at the way it was constructed, it was preplannedand being preplanned, the church itself has got no political aspect as to whatis actually put across the board. If it was that which I see looking at it,whoever came to the church to preplan it, they could actually identify the amountof people and the different nationalities that were at the church at any giventime on a Sunday evening or any other evenings.
MR SMITH: Yes, at a later stage, the servicewould actually come to a pause where the Russians would actually leave the serviceand would have a special service, translated in Russian at a smaller sort ofhall with an interpreter in English.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: What is your comment on the suggestion or any suggestionthat maybe made that the applicants as victims of apartheid or as representativesof apartheid, were therefore justified in furthering the struggle against apartheidand in attempting to achieve the ends of that struggle, in committing this attackupon the church?
MR SMITH: It was a normal evening, Sunday evening.Unfortunately we were blessed with a thunder storm, that many fellow Christianscouldn't attend, but nevertheless it never kept myself and my late wife andmy children from attending the service. We attended, we normally when we reachedthe church, we located ourselves in seating places where we regularly sat inand that evening my wife said to me, darling, could I just move one seat forward.I thought to myself one seat forward? I asked her what is the reason, she saidwell, the teenagers were making a noise in the background. We normally sit rightat the back, about 25 rows from the front, right at the back of the church,that is our normal seating places. During the service, what drew my attention,the way the door on the left hand side was opened. One person entered the church.At that time I thought it was a hoax, he lodged a handgrenade and started firing. I thought at that stage it was fire crackers, they were probably playing youknow, some (indistinct), whatever you call it. But then when I saw the peopleactually taking cover and falling, I said to the crowd and my wife, take cover,this is for real. At that time, the first person that actually emptied his rifle,his automatic rifle, walked back to the door when the second party walked inand stood in the centre on the one side, because there are two isles and heemptied his rifle. Then he walked towards the door. But I could see everythingbecause where I was laying, I thought to myself I am protected and I am protectingmy wife because I was laying right on top of her and thinking that if anythingshould happen, the shot will actually take flight and it will never reach usbecause we are on a higher plane, but the second party walked back to the isleafter he had emptied his rifle and he lodged a handgrenade right up the islewhich actually landed about a metre and a half away from me. And that handgrenadeactually caused my wife's death and many others that were in that vicinity atthe time, the second handgrenade. To me it was canny to think that here I protectedher with my body, nothing was wrong, I never had a scratch on me, but here mywife had the shrapnel that actually went right through her, right through herheart and she only lived for about 10 minutes of that and she was gone.
MR SMITH: It was a miracle I will say, because the Lord's hand was over each individualthat suffered that evening and I feel that although he allowed it to happen,the outcome of things that we only see today, we don't know why, but we knowthat the outcome of things was for a reason. And I felt that my wife died inthe presence of serving him. I have no animosity, the way that she died, butthe way she was killed, I disagree that a person can go out to take someoneelse's live in that manner. I feel that we believe in prayer, and through prayerwe were actually set free from this whole situation that this country was in.Violence had maybe on the brink at time, had taken place but it wasn't throughviolence, it was through prayer and if you go back into the Bible itself, itstates there that people were suffering in bondage and they were set free atthe time, but through prayer. For 40 years they had prayed, people had suffered,Christians had suffered, but at a given time, the Lord set them free. And thisis what I felt too that at the given time, we will be set free. If you lookat the country's situation and economics, you could actually see we were goingto a slump. We were being boycotted by other countries and violence wouldn'tadd any help to the situation that we were in.
MR SMITH: That is true. I was brought up in District Six, Ican identify with the struggle of the Blacks. My late father was White, he hadto actually class himself as a Coloured, reclassified himself. I never had theprivilege of seeing my grandparents, because at that stage, if you had reclassifiedyourself, there had to be no dealings with either the White or Coloured. Mydad said to me at one stage, when he was alive, he said you know, the heartachethat this country has come across, has affected many a person and until yousee reason that you can forgive that things do come to a change, that is beforehe died, he accepted Christ within his life too and I was so grateful for that,because this was part that I could see the outcome of things, what happenedthrough the St James massacre. But nevertheless we stayed in District Six, wehad to evacuate District Six because of the Group Areas Act, we had to go toother areas. It was good and it was bad, because I feel that people stayingin that area was pushed further back where they couldn't attend jobs, etc, becauseof transport, but to have the option of buying their own homes, so in a wayit was good and in a way it was bad. So I could relate to the way the Blackswere feeling and certain places that you weren't allowed to go would be, itwas either White or Coloured. I've been overseas, travelled overseas as a Seamanat many places and what is worse to go to a country where it is not practisedby the government, but you get social discrimination which is worse when inthe country you stay, you knew where you were on and off. And I knew at a giventime, things will change. As it was introduced in this country, 40 years prior,it would change at a given time.
MR SMITH: There was justification which I feel to theirpart, they felt there was justification, but I feel that what they had lookedat, the target that they had chosen, was not the right target to choose, tobring their motive to the media.
MR SMITH: Man, what I've heard, we actually haveto take an oath to actually tell the truth as to what had actually happenedat that day. But what I heard of the colleagues sitting in front, right in frontof me at the end, he mentioned that two of them came in at the same time. Irecall sitting right at the back, only one came in, one fired, the other onewas standing at the back. There was someone at the door, I couldn't see him,but the door was ajar, it was open. The one went back again and the gentlemansitting in front of me, he entered in. As he said he entered in, but he enteredin, he is the one who opened up fire, walked back to the door, came back tothe isle and lodged the handgrenade, but what I heard what he said that theywent back into the isle, reloaded and then lodged the handgrenade, so whereis the truth of what actually happened? Doesn't he recall what actually happenedat the time?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: What is your response to the suggestionthat it was only the Commander who had any knowledge of the target or the natureof the attack, that the other people who were involved in this or was carryingout, had no such knowledge?
MR SMITH: I believe that we have a will anda right to refuse things when we come face to face with it and each and everyone out there that were involved in the incident, had at the given time a chanceto make that decision. Yes, or no, if they are going to go through with whatwas happening, what is going to take place.
MR SMITH: I can speak for myself. I am going through major, I wouldn't say myself, I haveremarried, I will be married in August for two years. Just through the graceof God I met a beautiful woman, she is fantastic, I love her dearly. I haveput the past back about my wife, I accepted her death. She has gone home, shehas gone to a place that I look forward to in being. My children are sufferingtremendously. There are times when my wife too, she feels that she is inadequateto fill a gap of a mother, she is a parent, but of a mother. I have got a daughterof 18 years old, there are given times when I didn't know her. I said to her,this is going to be a lifetime for you to go through the situation that youare in. I have a son that is 23, he is doing his Master degree in Marine Biology,he doesn't speak. He doesn't speak about the incident. He has got a deep, deepsort of trauma about it. He says he is feeling okay, but I know he is not. AndI feel that it is going to take them a lifetime to overcome. I have acceptedit, I have put my wife behind my back, and I accepted her death, but the wayshe died, I feel it is not right for any human being to take life in that manner.
ADV ARENDSE: I don't wish it on anybody and we have instructions also from the applicantsto convey their deep regret to you about the death of your wife and the deathof other people. Mr Smith, can I just read back to you what Mr Makoma said inhis statement about what actually happened in church? He says when we, becauseI am just reading it back to you because I think perhaps you either didn't hearproperly or it didn't come over to you correctly what he actually said. Whenwe entered the church, Nonxuba, who is also deceased, led the way and as weentered, we were in a passage which led to the main doors. People were walkingup and down the passage. We left off the passage for a few seconds and thenNonxuba said we will enter through the main doors. He told me to throw the handgrenadeand to shoot to kill. That was presumably now in the passage as they - Nonxubaled the way and we burst through the doors of the church. He first threw hishandgrenade, he was on my left, that is on this applicant, Makoma's left, andthen I threw mine. As the handgrenades exploded, we took cover behind the doors,re-entered and while people were screaming, we started to shoot. We shot indiscriminatelyand finished the respective R4 magazines, collectively must have been about62 rounds of ammunition. That is what he says what happened. Doesn't that approximate...
MRSMITH: Well, what I've seen and there is many in the church that can verifythe same thing, what I've seen on oath, he came in. The second person that camein, it was him, right, he first shot before he emptied out his rifle, walkeda couple of paces to the door, turned back again to the isle and lodged thehandgrenade. I was sitting at a place where I could see everything from thedistance where I was sitting. To me there is a miss, sort of evidence that heis giving.
ADV ARENDSE: I amprepared to accept that thank you, and I recall now actually that he said thatMr Smith, Mr Lorenzo Smith will say, that there were three or as the Judge correctedme, presumably three. You are now sure that there were two?
MR SMITH: This thing must have taken plus minus,over a minute to a minute and a half. And you can say you can see a lot in aminute and a half. You can ask me how do you see in a minute and a half, allthese things.
MR SMITH: As I said to you I am short sighted. I cannot see further. You put anythingin front of me, faces are vague at the distance of that nature, but I just knowthey weren't covered up, their faces weren't covered up. They were dark skinnedpeople and two people came in at different times.
MR SMITH: The one had a cap on. Acap on his head, like a balaclava. As I said to you the way they came in, theynever came in disguised. You could actually make sure that those were the people,so what they actually did meant that whoever is going to actually identify them,they weren't concerned about it. They actually came to the church, fully preparedwhatever gives, whatever the cost may be, that is what they are going to do.
MR SMITH: There are so many that made statements to the policeat the stage, I felt that - to the press I spoke many a time to the press andin my affidavit to the press you can actually read what I am actually speakingabout, it is the same thing, nothing changed from that time to now.
MRSMITH: Man, to me I tried to I wouldn't say shield away from it, but I don'tlook at news, because I look at positive things, not negative things. When theseaccused were trailed, someone came to me and said do you know that the perpetratorsof St James had appeared. I said what, he said, don't you read the news, andI said I don't buy newspapers.
MR SMITH: BecauseI believe in a positive way and that is the way I look at things. Not the negativeway of bad stuff to run you down when you get up in the morning and look atthe news. That is all that you see, violence, crime, corruption.
MR SMITH: Maybe not fully on the newspaper. I am not politically minded. As I said toyou, I don't involve in any of the political situations that is in. To the matterof fact, I don't even know who - our President I do know is Mandela, but therest of it, I don't even know.
ADV DE JAGER: Could I ask Mr Smith, Mr Smith in fact whatever waywe look at it, there is a confession that they in fact killed your wife. Theydon't deny that today. Whether she was killed by a bullet or by shrapnel, heeven wouldn't know, but that wouldn't pardon him. What he had done was accordingto the law wrong, he had been convicted and sentenced for murder. So, we arenot disputing and I don't think anybody could dispute that as far as the lawis concerned, he is guilty, he had been found guilty of murder and it was murder.So that is not what is at issue today. The only thing we have got to consider,is whether in terms of the Act, amnesty could be granted and in that respectI don't think, it is necessary Mr Arendse, to go into details and try to let'sbe honest, nobody could have observed everything that happened there, it happenedin seconds. So I believe Mr Smith is honestly relating what he in fact saw.And I don't think it would be of any advantage to us, it could serve any purposeif perhaps he had seen things differently from what the applicant said. It couldn'thelp us in coming to a decision.
CHAIRMAN: This put on the basis thatwhat this witness, Mr Smith now says, proves that the applicants have not madea full disclosure and if that is based entirely on the fact that there is adifference in his version, from the applicant's version, that difference ison the matters of detail, you know. That doesn't throw any light on whetherthe event occurred or not, it is just on a matter of detail and that differencemight be an honest difference of memory, recollection of events and so on.
MR SMITH: The negotiations, you know, with this youfeel that if that is taking place, why have the violence to back that up? Youcan have a peaceful settlement through a different manner than violence. Waittill after that, the outcome of that and if you see, you are not getting whatyou actually standing for, then by all means, apply yourself to what you thinkis fit, but in this manner, I don't see they could do that.
ADV ARENDSE: But do you accept as a fact that there were nevertheless organisations who differedon the manner in which they are going to bring about change in this country?There were some, just to narrow it down, there were some who believed that theyshould do so through sitting around a table and there were others who believedthat they should do so through the barrel of a gun?
MR SMITH: As I'vesaid before, I don't read the news, it is only what I hear from people and tome, as I heard, there are people out there called APLA, whatever it is, thatwere taking offence in that manner.
MRSMITH: Normally, the people, as I've said before, we attended the church,you find out, you familiarise yourself with one seat and you stick to that seatand in the front rows, there were Blacks, outright Blacks, there is one personsitting in the congregation this evening, that was sitting right in front, mydaughter was the last actually that was pulled down, and she is not fair andyou could see it from a distance and the guy that shot to that direction, theguy right in front of me, if he couldn't see that, then I don't know, then hedidn't know what the distinction between White and Black is.
RE-EXAMINATION BY ADV BEMBRIDGE: Just one questionMr Chairman. May I just clarify with you Mr Smith. What you are saying is that,or am I correct in summarising what you are saying to be that because the doorin the church stayed open, you assumed there was a third person holding thedoor open?
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Mr Chairman, my learned friend has suggested, as he suggestedthat I suggested that we take an adjournment at this stage until half past one,I don't know what the Committee's attitude to that would be?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV BEMBRIDGE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Makoma,when did you, you say you became a member of the Task Force or rather you became- let me just clarify something. You became a member of the Task Force in 1993,is that correct?
MR MAKOMA: I became a member of APLA when theone who was a Task Force Commander was arrested. And it was investigated thatI was one of those who were suspected. Under those circumstances I had to alignmyself with APLA members.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Is it correct thatyou at some stage left your parents' home and went to live with another woman,another lady in Site C in Khayelitsha, because you thought your parents wouldforce you to go back to school, which you didn't want to do?
MR MAKOMA: I last saw him about two or three months beforethe attack, because he was supposed to go away. The only thing I knew he wassupposed to leave in a period of two to three months. And then Lester was goingto take over, Lester Sichomiso.
MR MAKOMA: By the time I was still in the TaskForce group, as Bassie has said before, there were also APLA members who wereinvolved in the Task Force, but we knew nothing about them. We didn't know thatthey were members of APLA, I was trained by them. Everything was organised bythe Commander of the Task Force. I was trained by them with my fellow Africans.The ones that police were looking for.
MR MAKOMA: I've heard the Judge saying I am laying,but I was facing a very difficult time at that moment so I couldn't bring infront the evidence that I was tortured and beaten. I did hear him, but I triedto show him that I was tortured. There was nothing I could do when he said Iwas not beaten.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Now, I am putting to you that the record of thoseproceedings dealing only with the question of whether you were assaulted ornot, runs into almost 1 000 pages. At the end of that investigation, the Judgestill found that you were telling lies when you said that you were assaulted.Do you still insist that you were assaulted in interrogation?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: You see if the Judge after that long investigationwhich I have described and after you say your Advocate put your story to thecourt, if he found that you were laying, then how are we to believe otherwisetoday?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Now, if we lookat your statement that you made on the 14th of August, in that statement yousay that two weeks before the attack on St James, you saw Vusi at a taxi rankin Site C, that he told you that he was going to Kenilworth, that he told youthat he used to go to a restaurant there, but that on this occasion he was goingthere to find a place to attack? Why did you say that?
MR MAKOMA: I willanswer your question. It is because I was tortured, that is why I made thatstatement. If you still continue asking those questions, I won't have to answerthose because the torture effected me badly. If you still continue, you willmake me rude.
INTERPRETER: If I may interject there Mr Chairman, the interpretationthere was not exact. The applicant said that I will then find myself in a situationwhere I say things that I did not mean to say, then the interpreter interpretedthat as rude, which is not quite the same.
MR MAKOMA: I told you that police knew Vusi.By the time I was arrested, I was facing some problems. The policemen said Imust agree with what they are telling me as they are telling me. Under differentcircumstances, the way they were torturing me, so I had to make up some storieslike this one. The one you are saying they are statements.
MR MAKOMA: What I am trying to clarify here or to bringup, they didn't accept this in court. Political parties have informers. I wasnot an experienced soldier, I had a problem when I met policemen who had fullinformation that some of them, I don't know. I was tortured, beaten, I couldn'tsleep, I was not eating. Under those circumstances I had to do many things sothat I can run away from this thing. Although the policemen didn't bring thatthing up or forward. I tried to kill myself, but they found that. I took thegun from the police, not in the intention to kill them, but to kill myself becauseI was in a very, very difficult situation.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Perhaps you can have a look at page 8 of thebundle in front of you. If you have a look at the last paragraph on that page,before it says signed G.C. Makoma, that paragraph, can you read and understandthat?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: What I want to ask youis if now, you had admitted to the police here that you had committed the attack,why is it necessary for you to make up all these other things about the meetingin Kenilworth and what Vusi told you about the attack when he met you in Kenilworth.You've now confessed to being involved in the attack, the police would not surelyhave forced you to say all this? This is something you made from your own head?
MR MAKOMA: Theywanted to know about the operation that happened in a restaurant in Claremont,who attacked there, shooting of policemen in Guguletu of which I know nothingabout that. And who did that, they had information that I was also involved.And as the Commander of the Task Force was arrested, the Commander told themI am the one who is responsible for the ammunition. I did keep the arms.
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Then, now you say you knew nothing about the attack on the policemenin Guguletu, but you knew something about the attack in Claremont? I don't sayyou were part of it, but you knew something of it?
JUDGE WILSON: It was mentioned but not used, at page 47 of the record,after having referred to the questioning, prolonged questioning of the accused,the Judge there says the accused then capitulated, wrote a lengthy statementfor Segal and agreed to point out things at the scene of the crime the nextday, top of page 47. He then agreed to point things out and he said that hehad been compelled to do so because he had been assaulted by the police.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Thank you Mr Chairman. You see, it seemsclear to me from this statement, that you were well informed about what thetarget of the attack was and that you knew it was a church in Kenilworth andthat when you and the other applicants say you had no idea of the target ofthe attack, you were not telling the entire truth.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Well, you asked him whetherVusi did tell him as to what was going to happen? Whether there was going tobe an operation, which was apparently on a different day, some days before the25th?
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Certainly, but his evidence is that right up untilthe time of the attack itself, they didn't know the operation or what the natureof the operation was. Now he says that prior to the time, he knew that therewas to be an attack.
JUDGE WILSON: When he says I was made aware by Vusi that therewould be an operation, but at that time the target was unknown to me, doesn'tthat only mean an attack? An operation where the target is unknown?
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Bembridge, Imust say in Xhosa an operation is an attack. I think you will have to phraseyour question in such a way that you make it quite clear to Mr Makoma that youwant far much more than what has been put in the interpretation.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, this is in the English language, it is done throughinterpreters and I think that you must concede that the word operation and attackcan be read as if they were synonymous, but I don't know whether there is anythingmaterial that turns on it. You wanted to know precisely whether he knew wherethe operation was going to be or where the attack was going to be and he saidhe didn't know. So he didn't know where the operation was going to be or whatit was, he didn't know where the attack was going to be. You are saying thathe knew about it, that is the point you are trying to make, isn't it?
MR MAKOMA: When we have told something, they werenot going to ask for permission from you. They were just giving orders. Youdon't have to oppose or ask any questions up until they tell you this is theright time to do that.
MRMAKOMA: When we arrived at night, the weapons were taken and put back intothe bag and I went to sleep. The following day I woke up, Lester left and Bassieleft and then we were told that we will be leaving in the afternoon. I don'tknow what happened to the arms, maybe we left them in the house, I don't know.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Why is it only obvious now though, why wasit not obvious before the attack? If you have a look at paragraph 13 in thelast sentence, it is now obvious however, that Vusi and Nonxuba had known ofthe operation for some time. Why is that only obvious now, why did you not realisethat before the attack took place?
MR MAKOMA: The name obvious that iswritten there, maybe it is the English that I don't understand, but what I knowis the Commanders are the only ones who are supposed to know. Because if theydidn't know, there was no attack that is going to happen.
MR MAKOMA: The attackwas done under the Commander of APLA, and APLA was fighting the armed struggle.It was fighting for the land of the Blacks that were taken from them with forceby the Whites and that was the duty of APLA to fight for the land to come back,using armed struggle, that is what it was formed for.
MR MAKOMA: The strugglethat was going on in this country, as the African nation was the struggle tothe oppressors. When we see them, we see White people. They were the minoritythat was ruling. The power they had were using them to oppress the Africans.They were in a war with us as Africans although we were unarmed, the way theywere armed. APLA then was fighting returning a bullet with a bullet, protectingthe Africans in Azania and the PAC was busy using other tactics, so that youpeople in the government could hear the cries of the children of Azania. Ifyour ears couldn't listen, APLA decided to take guns to open the ears that werenot prepared to listen.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: But is it not so Mr Makoma thatthe very time you did that, there was a special meeting of all the parties arrangedin Johannesburg to specially provide that all the ears of everybody would beopened to hear what the PAC and everyone else had to say, at the very time youcommitted this attack?
MR MAKOMA: I know that, but APLA as the militarywing of the PAC never had an instruction from the political leadership of PACnot to use the arms, that is why soldiers of APLA were still busy fighting andshooting.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: You heard earlier the press statements that weread out and the newspaper reports which said that the PAC denied any responsibilityfor the act, that they condemn the act, that APLA denied any responsibilityfor the act. You heard the statement of Mr Desai who said that he condemnedthe act, you heard APLA saying it was not the kind of operation that they wouldauthorise. On what basis then do you say it was in the furtherance of APLA'spolicies that you committed this attack?
MR MAKOMA: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania,when there is a call to South Africa and when someone is calling him or herselfas a member of APLA, and then that person does not identify him or herself clearly,and then we were supposed to take that instruction. And we would say it is fromAPLA and yet, it is from the media or the papers, not from APLA.
MR MAKOMA: Are you saying when I was going there I - is it I knewthat there was going to be many people because I have told you that I didn'tknow. Maybe you can ask whether did I see that there were many people, becauseI knew nothing before that.
MR BRINK: You see what I don't really understandis that APLA is part and parcel of the PAC, I know it is the military wing,but it is the same organisation, isn't it? The PAC is the umbrella organisationand it have the junior branches and the military wing?
MRBRINK: Would not APLA Commanders have received instructions from the leadershipof the PAC not to perpetrate acts of this sort in the light of the fact thatnegotiations were proceeding at Kempton Park?
MR BRINK: Now I understand that youwere merely a soldier and not an activist in the PAC as such, but what I findhard to understand and maybe you can help me, how it came about that the PACwhich was involved in peace negotiations at the time of this attack, had nottold APLA leadership not to do this sort of thing. Do you understand?
MR MAKOMA: Yes, I can make a comment. APLA had powers to go on with the armed strugglefrom the Congress that was held by the region of the PAC of South Africa. Aslong as the Congress that didn't hold another meeting to tell the soldiers notto attack, orders were still going on on the ground that we must continue attackingup until the leadership could call another Congress and then the members ofthe PAC of all the regions, would take a decision that APLA must stop the armedstruggle. And then APLA would stop. Because the leader is a political leadershipwhich is PAC, the mother body.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Thank you Mr Chairman. We would like to callMr Ackerman. He has asked me to request Mr Chairman that we just have a veryshort recess if possible, just a few moments for me to speak to him.
MR ACKERMAN: They come from all sectors of the community.They are - we are predominantly a family church, where families come to worship.Families meaning mothers, fathers, children and children of all ages.
MR ACKERMAN: At this point in time I would saythat is a close percentage, I don't have the exact figures, but just by castingone's eye over the congregation today I would say that it is very close to 50-50.
MR ACKERMAN: That is correct, we have a mission outreach to visitingSeamen in our port, we worked very closely at the time with another missionaryorganisation called Biblia and together with them, we concentrated on visitorsin the harbour, Seamen and Russians, Filipino's, Chinese, Koreans, were broughtto our church.
MR ACKERMAN: The most regular is the Russian, that happens justabout every week, depending upon whether there are ships in the harbour, theother Filipino's and Koreans and so on, that fluctuates with the work of Biblia,but not so weekly regular, but I would say regular in terms of every few weeks.
MR ACKERMAN: On the night of the attack,there was about 125, in the immediate weeks before that, there was a crew changetaking place and we had up too 350 to 400 visitors about two weeks prior tothe attack.
MR ACKERMAN: We have had since the mid 1980's anoutreach to Khayelitsha, to Site C, that is to the Black community, we alsoin the old apartheid era had outreaches to other so-called Coloured areas wherewe established daughter-churches, some of them became constituent sister-churchesand became independent from our help and became self-sufficient churches. Wenever saw them in any other context but as Christian churches and they happenedto be in areas which were disadvantaged and we were fully aware of that andour outreach to them in the first instance, was for the gospel, but we realisedtoo that you can't reach out to these areas without having a social obligationalso.
MRACKERMAN: In the Khayelitsha outreach, we commenced by established a crechefacility during the week. The same hall was used on Sundays for services. Duringthe week also we provided sewing classes at that facility for the women of thearea.
MR ACKERMAN: At that stage we had one, we nowhave a daughter-church in Mandela Park. At that stage already we had the ground,but through lack of funds we hadn't yet been able to start the building work.Building work has commenced recently and in fact I think it must be completedby now. And that is in Mandela Park and that is a more permanent feature. Nothingin Site C can be permanent, you are only allowed to erect timber and iron orshack type of dwellings there. Excuse me, could I have some water please, thankyou. Please carry on.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: I understand also that there wassome interchange between the churches and that people from the various churchesattended services at the other churches forming part of the St James group ifwe can term it that?
MR ACKERMAN: That is quite correct, we regularly,every Sunday people from our church would go out to Khayelitsha to participatein the services that were being held there. And similarly from time to time,we would bring the parishioners or the children from the Khayelitsha outreachto our church to expose our people to them again.
MRACKERMAN: Well, let me answer it to you like this. The church started inabout 1968/1969 with five children. I was not there at the time. I can't answerfor that. But certainly when I joined the church in 1979, they were alreadya mixed church, but certainly the percentage was not anywhere near 35 percentat the time, it was probably in the vicinity of about 10 percent people of colourin 1979. The church does not have borders, it is not a church with a predeterminedborder that says this is the church for Kenilworth, Wynberg, we were alwaysa church without borders and attracting people that were interested to hearthe gospel. Friends brought friends.
CHAIRMAN: I appreciate that, butmy question then is, if I were to ask you whether going back with history with50 percent, 35 percent and I keep on going back, if I were to ask you was therea time when it was 100 percent White, you wouldn't not be able to answer thatquestion?
ADVBEMBRIDGE: Would it be correct also to say Mr Ackerman, that it was to someextent by reason of the application of the Group Areas Act that in the pastmore people of colour could not attend the church?
MR ACKERMAN: No. No, our churchwas always open, we never had any - from what I understand from our leadership,that prior to me joining, that there was never any discrimination practised.I understand at the time too, and it is a very dark time of our history, thatthere was still an area close by to the St James church, which was a so-calledColoured area and I think it would be reasonable to suppose, although I can'tsay for sure, that some of those people might well have attended St James church.But that would be conjecture from my side.
MRACKERMAN: From day one. That is what Mr - Judge if I may be permitted toadd, that is one of the considerations when I became a Christian that attractedme to this particular congregation, I came from an Afrikaans background, I attendedthe Dutch Reformed Church and I was unhappy with the political connection ofthe Dutch Reformed Church and that was part of my motivation to go to this particularchurch.
MR ACKERMAN: All age groups from - in the evenings children as young as six years old wouldcome to church. We don't provide creche facilities in the evening, so approximatelyage five, six years old, right up to 80 and plus where they are still alive,it is customary that the children would leave at the commencement of the serviceafter the singing of the first hymn or during that time, to a childrens' programme.Children up to the age of about 12 years old.
MR ACKERMAN: Almost halfway through the service, thelast song item was taking place before the main preaching of the Word was goingto take place, and almost at the end of the song item, the door burst open andI saw two gunmen, or two people come in, it all happened very quickly. I sawand heard shots being fired. I saw a grenade flying through the air and I -it was at that point that I ducked down together with the other people in mypew.
MR ACKERMAN: My wife was sitting right at the door where the perpetrators burst in. We weresitting separate from one another because of the large contingent of Russiansin order to spread ourselves amongst them, I did not mention that my wife andI actually headed up the outreach ministry to the Russians. We started it bythe grace of God.
MR ACKERMAN: Well, the immediate, as the attackwas progressing was horror. My ears were zinging from the gunshots and thenespecially from the two grenade explosions. I was afraid. I had visions of theattackers walking up the isle and shooting the people between the benches asthey were laying down. My concern was for my wife and my one son who was inthe service. I knew my wife was sitting at the entrance. One part of me thoughtshe can't escape, another part of me hoped that she had escaped. The attackcertainly did not last more than a minute. When I got up and people, there werepeople screaming, but immediately after the attack, it was as if a deathly silence,apart from a few screams and groans here and there, settled on the church. Andit was like a whoosh as the people went for the exit doors. I went forward tomy wife, saw her still sitting upright. I thought that she might have survived,but she had not.
MR ACKERMAN: It was veryhorrific. Three benches in front of me the second handgrenade had landed andit had blown the whole bench apart. And I saw Dimitri Makogon laying there,as I now knew it was Dimitri. He was a bloody mess. I can't remember now thatI actually saw his legs blown off, but it was just blood everywhere, so it wasdifficult to - and then my attention was more focused to my wife. In walkingtowards her, I had to step over the dead bodies of Russians, I knew them, Icould identify them as Russians by their clothing and also by where they weresitting. One had his head blown open and blood was oozing out on the carpetfrom his head wound. Others were mutilatedly shot and were either dying or weredead already. There were about three bodies that I stepped over to reach mywife.
MRACKERMAN: Well all age groups, children 12 and older, because the under12's had left the service, but yes, there were children. Mr & Mrs Harker'stwo boys, they are in their early teens, there was another teenager, the sonof a Pastor, Richard O'Keele, he was about 17 and then people like my own wifewas 45, I think at the time.
MR ACKERMAN: I think in a shortsentence, it has devastated my life. Immediately after the attack and afterI had taken my wife to the hospital and where she died about 20 minutes later,I returned to the church in search of my children and was reunited with allof them there. The more longer term effect of the incident has devastated mein the following way in as much as I soon after that event, went into depressionwhich I did not recognise. It caused me to become progressively more unfunctionalin my work, in my ability to show emotion. I was diagnosed as suffering fromanxiety depression about a year later after I was already suicidal. I was hidingit, I was in a leadership position at the time of the attack. I had resignedfrom these leadership positions because I just felt I was not capable of performingthem.And I was not getting help and I was hiding the fact that I was sufferingfrom anxiety depression at that stage. In fact I didn't believe that I had it.It was only when I consulted a Doctor that he diagnosed me as such, that I confidedin my Pastor and also in my employer of my true condition. I was placed on medication,it did not have a good effect on me and I stopped taking the medication. I insteadsought counselling, Christian counselling. I also confided in my Chairman atwork, where he on a continual basis monitored me and my ability to work.
MR ACKERMAN: That is correct. That is correct.My condition deteriorated. The position that I held was that of Secretary ofan Industrial Council, now known as a Bargaining Council for the clothing industry.It is a very demanding position. There were tremendous changes taking placein South Africa, it was the forum where the Unions and the employers would meetto negotiate. It was the forum where one of the most, the third largest Unionin the COSATU fold, being SATU, came to do their negotiating business and withall the demands of the new South Africa, the changing-over, the democratisationprocess, the establishment of new health benefits and new Provident Benefits,it was a tremendous workload that I was in charge of and in the end I was unableto fulfil these tasks.
MRACKERMAN: Because of my emotional, not only because of my emotional stumping,but certainly my emotions had been stumped, I find it impossible to be angrywith them. I should have anger, but I am not. I instead I am angry with my ownfamily members. It is very difficult for me to say this, but I have a need tosay it. I want them to hear it. I fight more with my children now than whatI ever had before, and we fight about stupid things. I have never cried overthe death of my wife other than have silent cries, but I have never had an emotionalcrying outburst. While Mr Makoma was testifying and he talked about his torturesand that he was suicidal, I could identify with that. I thought to myself andI wrote you a note to bring your cross-examination to an end, because what arewe doing here? The truth yes, but I looked at the way in which he answered youand his anger. How on earth are we going to be reconciled? May I add one thing?I am sorry, while it is in my mind now. I went on record after the event tosay that I hold no personal grudge, that I do not hate them and I stand by that.I also held out reconciliation to them, and I believe with all my heart becauseI've experienced reconciliation with God, through Jesus Christ, that it is availableto everybody, including to them. And I held that out to them at the time andI still do so now.
MR ACKERMAN: In the aftermathof the attack, a super-natural calmness and presence was felt by our church,we couldn't explain it. We just realised that this was of God. I understandfrom Bishop Retief that international journalists came to him or a group ofjournalists, including international, came to him and asked him please explainto us what is going on here, why are you forgiving, why are you not filled withrage and bitterness and he said that we have always told you that the Christianmessage, the Christian gospel does have power, now you see it, now you are thewitnesses of it, report that. That is what in the aftermath of the attack, whatit was, what we experienced. It has not been easy, there has been hurts. Therehad been people that have sort of reactions varied, people that couldn't returnto the church again, others that couldn't stay away. I for one couldn't stayaway from, in the immediate days following the massacre, to return to wheremy wife had been shot down. It was a release to me to go there and to be whereshe was killed. And as the time unfolded and the Truth Commission started upand I heard the testimonies of my fellow Black South Africans, who had beensubjected to the treatment that they had and parents and mothers, brothers,asked, telling where is my son, where is my father, and we know now that someof them were buried in a farm somewhere in the Free State, some were thrownin rivers in the Eastern Cape, because I know the value of going back to theplace where it happened, I appeal to the agents of the government, whoever theymight be, to come forward and to identify what they had done, where they didit, at least give them also the opportunity to grieve where it happened.
ADV BEMBRIDGE: Mr Ackerman, can you tell me, or tell theCommittee do you think that in the political climate and having regard to thepolitical developments that were going on at the time of the attack, that itin fact achieved anything or it was an appropriate attack in the circumstances,or justifiable in the circumstances?
MR ACKERMAN: Mr Bembridge, it isdifficult for me to answer that because I am so subjectively close to the happening.In retrospect I can see now that the apartheid government was an evil government,that in some respects that the opposition to it was legitimate. I must tellyou that in my own personal opinion, I think that the gravity of the attackand the fact that it was a defenceless church, people at worship, that I cannotunder any circumstances condone that in terms of an armed struggle and I muststand with that answer.
MR ACKERMAN: Yes.May I address the applicants? May I ask the applicants to turn around and toface me? This is the first opportunity we've had to look each other in the eyeand talk. I want to ask Mr Makoma who actually entered the church - my wifewas sitting right at the door when we came in, where you came in, she was wearinga long, blue coat, can you remember if you shot her?
MR ACKERMAN: It is importantfor me to know if it is possible, as much as it is important for your peoplewho suffered, to know who killed. I don't know why it is so important for me,but it just is. If you don't remember, I will accept that. I have heard youthrough your Attorney say and into the microphone, apologise and I have alsoheard your leadership extend an invitation to my church leadership which isstill required, I think, to be considered, that they want to come to our churchto offer condolences and they said that they would bring you along, whetheror not you receive amnesty in a show of reconciliation. I would like to hearfrom each one of you as you look me in the face, that you are sorry for whatyou have done, that you regret it and that you want to be personally reconciled.You can speak in your own language directly to me, you don't have to worry aboutthe microphone.
MR MAKOMA: We are sorry for what we have done. It wasthe situation in South Africa. Although people died during that struggle, wedidn't do that out of our own will. It is the situation that we were livingunder. We are asking from you, please do forgive us. All that we did, we cansee the results today.
MR MLAMBISA: I am also asking for an apology. Aswe were working under orders, we didn't know that this will come to such a place.We wanted to be where we are today. We were working under the orders. As theTRC is alive today, we hope that this will come to an end. I hope that you doforgive me, because I ask for forgiveness. Thank you.
MR MKHUMBUZI: Ialso want to say I do apologise to those people who were in the church at thattime, while there was that shooting. We also thought that we would meet withthe church members, those who were there. Even if we can also go to the churchto show that we want reconciliation with them under the circumstances that wewere, I also say please forgive me to everybody who is White and Black, whoare in this new South Africa. Thank you.
MR ACKERMAN: I want you to knowthat I forgive you unconditionally. I do that because I am a Christian and Ican forgive you for the hurt that you have caused me, but I cannot forgive youthe sin that you have done. Only God can forgive you for that and I plead withyou, when God saved me, he gave me something that I can't explain and that islove. A love for people, all people to have what I have. I can't explain it,He just gave it to me. When I look at you and I think of your Commander I thinkit was Vusi, that has died in an accident, I can only think that he had diedwithout Christ, you still have a chance and I appeal to you, to return to thefaith of your parents. I understand that you were all brought up in Christianhomes. I appeal to you to go back to your parents, to ask them for forgivenesstoo and that you would consider the Christian gospel, Christ as the mediator,the person that can forgive you from eternal sin. You are going to have to considerthat and I appeal to you to do it. Mr Bembridge, thank you.
CROSS-EXAMINATIONBY ADV ARENDSE: Just one Mr Chairman. Mr Ackerman, can I just say from ourside that during your moving testimony, that I think we were only beginningto appreciate what you have gone through and only in these brief moments, havewe been able to share that with you. I just want to ask you one question, doyou not think that reconciliation in respect of these applicants would be betterserved, by them being granted amnesty instead of them staying behind bars andserving out their prison sentences?
MR ACKERMAN: Mr Arendse I am too subjectivelyclose to be able to make a valued judgement like that. It is my position thatthe sword has been given to the State, that it is their responsibility to decide.It has been my objective to get the truth, to get to the truth. If in this process,we have established that and I must leave that to the Committee to evaluateand to decide on, if they feel and it is for them to decide that, if they feelthat the requirements that the law has laid down for these gentlemen to getamnesty, then they must give them amnesty. If they feel that they have not metthe requirements, then they must decide and decide to refuse them amnesty. Iand my family will abide by your decision, lady and gentlemen and I know too,that that is the official position of my church, that the church will abideby whatever decision is taken here today or will be taken as a result of today.
MRACKERMAN: Mr Arendse, that is not my call. I can't, I am too subjective,I can tell you what my subjective answer is and my subjective answer is no,I don't think that I've heard everything. I think there might yet be somethingmore, but is that because I want them to tell more, or is that because thereis more? I am too subjective Mr Arendse. That is why we have a Committee. Thatis why we have people like you and Mr Bembridge, to get to the bottom of thetruth. It is not me.
MR ACKERMAN: Thank you. Mr Judge, mayI thank you for the opportunity to, I am not sure whether I have oversteppedthe boundaries of this particular Committee in what I did with the applicants,in asking them to face me, if I have, I apologise, but I am sure that you canunderstand. Thank you very much for this opportunity. We need reconciliation.
CHAIRMAN: Mr Bembridge, likewise,if Mr Arendse has until Monday to hand in his written submissions, if you findit necessary to do so, you could also have that time to make your submissionsavailable to the offices here by Monday.
MR BRINK: Just one thing Mr Chairman. Co-member of your Committee,Adv De Jager, asked me to ascertain whether the applicant Makoma was assistingin his application for amnesty in respect of the police ambush which is referredto in his application, I understand that he is not.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman and members of the Committee,I am going to request for a postponement in tomorrow's matter Mr Chairman. Firstperhaps I must request that it be done today, even if the matter was scheduledfor tomorrow. The reasons for the postponement Mr Chairman, are that a requesthas been made by both the legal representatives for the applicant, Mr RiaanBellingham as well as the legal representative for the victims. I have theirrequests in writing. Mr Chairman, the second reason is that as a result of investigationthat was conducted by our investigative unit, it has emerged that certain peopleare likely to be implicated and these people have not yet been informed accordingly.
ADV MPSHE: And the Act enjoins us to inform the said people in termsof Section 19 of our enabling Act. Mr Chairman, I may further state that I havediscussed the matter pertaining to the date with both Attorneys on both sides,and the dates agreed upon are the 13th to the 16th of October, current year.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, may I further state that the lawyers on both sides have requestedme to put this on record that they will not be available and they are not herecurrently, but they are aware of the postponement as well as the victims. WhenI phoned the lawyers yesterday, he was with them and he conveyed this to them.The only problem that we have is one, it is about one of the Africans, thatis Mr Mbelo. Mr Mbelo has not been notified but attempts have been made. Heis currently in the South African Police Service, we left three messages witha Mr Ruiter who said at four o'clock Mr Mbelo will be reporting at the policestation and he shall inform him accordingly. We shall endeavour further to makesure that we talk to him personally. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: If there is nothing further, the Committee will nowadjourn. Before adjourning, I must thank counsel on both sides who have assistedin making the work of the Committee perhaps a little less difficult than itis. Thank you.