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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 01 April 1998
Location EAST LONDON
Names DUMISANI NCAMAZANA
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ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, there is an implicated person who has been given notice, Mr Skolele Tjabani also known as Jimmy Jones, he is present. Mr B B Ntonga an attorney from Mdantsane indicated to me that he was representing Mr Tjabani. He has been contacted and he is on his way from Mdantsane, however a former colleague, Mr Mbandazayo is also present and has indicated that he has discussed the matter with Mr Ntonga and Mr Tonga is on the way and that the matter may proceed without him at this stage.
ADV PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. We are ready Mr Chairman. May I also indicate that in respect of the four matters, the requisite notices have been sent out in terms of Section 19(4). As I've already indicated an implicated person, Mr Tjabani is present and duly represented, thank you Mr Chairman.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, it is my intention to first lead the evidence of Mr Ncamazana and thereafter to lead evidence from Mr Mbambo. The evidence will essentially be based on the supplementary affidavit which is at page 49 of the record with which I have been provided by the Commission. May I proceed?
MR NCAMAZANA: We woke up that morning, we prepared ourselves. We washed ourselves, ate and after we were finished we prepared our arms, the ones that were issued to us and we concealed them under our clothes. We went on foot to the place where we were supposed to carry out the attack.
When we got there we waited because it had not arrived at the time. We waited, it was not long before it appeared. After that the late African Kid said: "Here it comes" and we then prepared ourselves.
The unit commander, the late African TNT issued a sign that by shooting the kombi to show that we must all shoot. Truly we followed suit shooting at the minibus. We shot and shot. It was only when he shouted: "Cease fire", and at the time I had finished by magazine.
MR NCAMAZANA: After we had finished the first minibus attack and reporting back we were then instructed, because we were told that - we noted that we would not get a driver, we were told that we were going to get another driver sent who was going to help us on another mission. Because it was said, after this mission we had to go back to Transkei fast.
Tona was sent to come and drive for us. That then meant we were five people who were supposed to come from Transkei, four I mean, four. We were then five, with my co-applicant or co-accused because when we reported there, explaining of the attack our contact whom we stayed at, we did not think he was trustworthy anymore. That then meant we had to return back with him because we thought he might not be dangerous that way.
MR NCAMAZANA: Because the unit commander led us to entering the church yard, there was someone painting the door of the church, he pointed him with the gun and forced him inside and he was now throwing his arms into the air, this person.
Other Africans followed behind him, I was at the back at the time. I did not go into the place where the people were in, I just stood at the door but could see the people inside the church. After that, after we entered there the unit commander, he shouted: "White this side and Africans this side". People divided themselves, white people were at one side, black people in one corner.
MR NCAMAZANA: Commander then instructed African Tjabane that he fetch them so that we can find keys. He went and searched them and found two car keys, a key of a BM and a key for a Jetta. African Tjabane took those keys and gave them to African Tona.
Tona went out and checked the car we were going to leave with. After he exited, African Tjabane also followed. After Tjabane had exited the hall rangs shot out, I mean bullets. I heard the first 7.65 and then an R5.
MR NCAMAZANA: Yes, because after that, after the shots rang for some time, they stopped, the Africans ran out, I followed after them because I was covering their backs. They went into the car waiting for us, we all rushed into the car and left facing Transkei.
MR NCAMAZANA: We embarked on the car and left for Transkei. After we passed the Kei river we moved about 500 metres, we took a gravel road turning to the left and the unit commander instructed Tona to take that route and he too did as instructed.
The car moved on until we got to a village where we got to a certain house that was better known to the unit commander. We got there and we stopped, we rested, we ate, we stayed for a short tim and then we left.
MR NCAMAZANA: I did not hear anybody saying such a thing. Of course if any such person had said so and said such a thing I'm sure we would not have believed that because we did not go there to kill English people or Afrikaner people of Chinese, we were there to kill white people and not discriminating as to whether they are a different ethnic group within white people as long as they were viewed as supporting the government of the day.
We started very late this morning and the rest of us were walking around, but I don't whether those interpreting have been sitting in those boxes since 10 o'clock and would like to take a short adjournment at this stage. If for any reason they would like to do so, could they please indicate?
MR NCAMAZANA: Our instructions were to attack the Da Gama and the minibus that was supposed to carry school kids moving from King Williams Town to East London and the Highgate Hotel. We must choose between the Highgate Hotel and the East London bar here in town at the station.
MR NCAMAZANA: When we arrived we slept at African Tjabane. We awoke on Friday and prepared everything. We ate, prepared our arms. After we were finished we put them in a bag, we left going to the Highway taxi rank. That is where we were to get a car in order to go to Da Gama.
We went there, we got at the highway. We had embarked a taxi which was station wagon, an Opel Rekord. That was according to our appointment with the driver who was supposed to take us to Mount Ruth. We left and went with the car.
Along the way next, about in Mount Ruth we told the driver to stop, he stopped, I disembarked because I was sitting just behind him. After I had disembarked guns were drawn against him inside and he was told to disembark. I too pointed a gun at him next to him outside, told him to climb out. Truly he climbed out of his car.
After that we told our own driver to come round and take the wheel of the car to drive. When we got inside we found that our driver cannot get this car started. We then shouted to the original driver of the car to come back to come and start his own car because he was not far off. He returned, he started his car.
Our unit commander then told him he must drive us, he must go with us to Da Gama. He went to Da Gama with us. When we got to about near the gate of Da Gama we saw the bus we were supposed to attack going into the gate and that was then to be the loss because that was not according to our plans.
The commander told the driver to turn the car around, the driver did that and we went back. He did not go into the gate at Mdantsane, he told him to go straight. He passed because we were now going - because our plans were, after we had attacked that bus when we were retreating, because the time of this bus and the car, the kombi carrying the kids were kind of coinciding.
We were supposed to attack the bus and then meet the kombi of the kids, school kids, along the road and we would do the same, attack it. We missed the bus. As we were now hoping for the kombi, when we got to that place where we were supposed to attack it, we discovered that it had already passed that place. Because we were supposed to get it where is was supposed to stop because it was going to come via the freeway, via Nahoon Dam. With cars following it coming about from Fort Jackson, we noted that we could not shoot it and that's how we missed that target because our car had been problematic as it didn't want to start. Due to anger the late Africa Kid disembarked very angrily.
At the time there was an oncoming car about in the same road with the car, it was a kombi Volkswagen and there were two white people in the front. He shot this oncoming kombi, doing his own thing. At that time that kombi was in motion.
As the kombi was now passing and turning quite near us, as it did not go a long way. When it was turning a black man who was at the back of that kombi jumped off. As we were going in the same direction of that kombi Africa was following this car but we were not trying to follow him, we were trying to escape. He also got into the car and we left. We left with that same driver. We went to Mdantsane to NU6.
When we got there he wanted to give us all his day's taxi money. We did not want to accept his money, we simply paid him R20 because we had used his car. That is how we departed and left him. We got to 6 at Mdantsane, to a squatter camp that was there to meet other comrades who were staying there. It was comrade Africa TNT who knew them better.
When we got there to that African we stayed. He prepared food for us and we ate. We stayed there until dusk. After that at about 7 o'clock late if I'm not mistaken, we left with the intention of getting another car in order to carry on according to the missions we were supposed to carry out. We went to highway, we got there and embarked on a kombi that was going to 14 here in Mdantsane.
In this kombi everybody was getting down along the way. We were hoping to be the last people to disembark from this kombi. After everybody had left when it was to turn back, going back, because we too were supposed to disembark ...[end of tape] ...[inaudible] we told him to give us his keys and leave. He did not want to listen, he simply drove on. There was another kombi coming in front.
As far as I can see he was trying to show the one coming, oncoming car that he was in trouble because the kombi we were on, he drove it straight into the one oncoming and the driver of the oncoming kombi, trying to duck and dive away from this one so that we would avoid a collision.
After he had passed our driver left our car and ran away, he ran away with the key, running towards this other kombi. We also disembarked and left that kombi there moving on its own. We ran into 14 here in Mdantsane. After we had gone into 14 through the houses, we saw a Sierra station wagon going to a shebeen there at 14 Mdantsane.
We decided at the time that it's better that we get that station wagon so that we can carrying on with our work. We went to that shebeen, I was the first to go inside, walking with the late Luvuyo and other Africans followed behind us.
After we entered we did not stand a long time inside the yard, it did not take more than 5 ...[indistinct] we took our guns out and gathered everybody inside the yard. And inside there was a lot of people, full with people drinking. We took all those people outside, we took them inside.
They were packed inside the lounge of the shebeeen, all of them were at the lounge of the shebeen, packed there. I was left outside. If I remember well I was with African Tjabane who was standing next to the door next to the stairs in the shebeen. I was looking at the gate to see people coming in and out.
The driver, the late African Luvuyo, the TNT and the late Kid went inside. They screamed, asking for the driver of the car that had just gone in. Ultimately they found the driver and demanded the keys. He gave them the keys. The late Kid saw a policeman he could identify there inside and he thought that we must leave the driver of the car, we must move with him. We left with him to protect ourselves.
We left facing, going to King William's Town. When we were about Bellin at the bridge of Bellin we moved over, we turned about on top of the bridge and we went back to Mdantsane. No, we just faced Mdantsane and then decided that driver must disembark and we left him there, we left.
We went to Mdantsane, we go a garage at Highway, we poured petrol into the car and after getting the petrol we left going for Highgate. When we passed Highgate, because we were supposed to look at the Highgate hotel, we then were going to go and make a turn at the East London bar at the station. When we passed the Highgate we noted that it was packed full.
The driver said - commander instructed the driver when we were about at Cambridge at the station of the train, that he must turn back, we must not go to the East London station bar. The driver turned the car back and we went back to Highgate. We were forced to use the rifle grenade at the hotel because when we looked we noted that we could not disembark because there were many cars outside.
I was instructed to use the rifle grenade because I was the one holding an R4 and this rifle grenade had to be used using an R4 rifle. Truly I quickly prepared this and pointed to the door with the intention of shooting the lights on top, those big lights, in order when it hits those lights it can explode against those lights.
When I was pulling the trigger, I do not know what the driver was doing, the car shook, I do not know what he did, and I then disturbed. Everything did not go according to plan, the rifle grenade hit the wall and then we ran away with our car.
MR NCAMAZANA: That rifle grenade, because it was amongst other rifle grenades, the one we used a defective one. That we only heard after we had returned back, that a mistake was made that we were given that rifle grenade because it hit the ground, it did not even explode after it hit the wall.
MR NCAMAZANA: We left for Mdantsane. When we got there at Mdantsane NU6, we left that car there, the one we were using. We just wiped off the fingerprints and left it, we left to go and sleep at Tjabane's house, African Tjabane.
We slept and the following day, Saturday, the late TNT and the late African Kid left to make a phonecall in order to give a report back of what happened. I and the driver and Tjabane stayed at the house. After they returned, if I remember well, I think we left for another house at Mdantsane NU6 that same Saturday.
At that house that African that was staying there was a friend to TNT, he was an African too. We spent the whole of the Saturday there. That evening we went back to our original house. We slept that night, Saturday, we awoke on Sunday. We stayed the whole day there planning another attack.
MR NCAMAZANA: Because we were supposed to have hit the bars of Da Gama on Friday and things did not go according to plan we were then planning to re-undertake that plan on that same Da Gama bus and then go and hit that kombi carrying kids to school.
Late on Sunday we left to go and find a car around Mdantsane. As we were still at NU6 we saw a Honda Ballade, I think it had three people if I remember well, a man and two females. We passed there and as we got to a kind of a small hill we stood, the unit commander instructed the late Luvuyo and the late - sorry, and Tjabane, that they must go and take that car and we would keep watch as we were not far off from where the car stood and we would see everything as it was going on. They went.
They got there and pointed firearms at those people and forced the people out of that car. After those people had left the car the late Luvuyo got into the car and drove the car towards us. Africa Tjabane was left behind guarding those people. When the car got to us he was called loud to come to us. He came and we too got into the car and we left.
MR NCAMAZANA: When we left there our intentions we to carry that attack the following day. We were going to take the car, to keep it at a place to enable us so that the following day we could get it so as to enable us to carry on with the following attack. We took the car and parked it near the Xuwusana College of Education as the place we were staying as was quite near.
We parked that car there and left to go and sleep. We awoke the following morning. After we had awoke we prepared ourselves, ate and did everything and prepared our arms. We went to that car now in order to go to Da Gama.
Mr Chairman, I'd like to point out that between 58 and page 59 a page was omitted from the affidavit which would be now inserted as 58(a). Another thing that I wish to draw the Committee's attention to is, at paragraph 11.12 it's factually incorrect as a matter of fact. The second line says:
it's the other way around. Kid said that the rifle grenade should be used and this witness insisted that the firearms be used. I apologise for any inconvenience there, it just to have been a bit a mixup. So it should read:
"Kid said that we should a rifle grenade but I insisted that we should use our firearms as the bus was too close"
MR NCAMAZANA: That morning after having prepared everything the unit commander, the late TNT and the late Luvuyo left to go and fetch the car. We were then to wait for them about near the car, the road where the car was to pass.
They came back with the car and we got in and we left for Da Gama. I beg your pardon. Because we had awoke very early that morning we waited for the bus. We first passed at Da Gama gate, we waited for the bus at a turn way off so that when it comes from about town about the area with Njeje and facing Da Gama, to enable us to follow it and then the driver would pass it.
Initially our plans were to use a rifle grenade but when we were there waiting for that bus, we then discovered that we cannot use a rifle grenade, we must rather use guns. Truly we are great. The people who were supposed to shoot there were supposed to be the late TNT, the late Kid because they were at the left of the car and I was right behind the driver so I would not be able to shoot and the bus would be very near me.
They were supposed to appear through the car windows and sit with their backs on the window of the car and shoot over the roof of the car at the bus, as the bus is passing, they were supposed to do that. That is where a squabble arose. The late Kid said: "No, let me simply shoot it myself with the rifle grenade", I said: "I cannot do that" because it was too near for me to do that, it is better for you to use the guns. They refused to do that.
And at that time the bus is moving on, the car is moving on facing the gate of Da Gama. The car slowed down about to turn into the gate, the bus slowed down. We stopped near the gates as per instruction from the commander.
After stopping they disembarked, they shot at the bus. I too shot but from inside the car. Shots rang from a car that was seemingly escorting that bus, that we only discovered at that time. There was a lot of - a shootout arose there, a lot of shots rang out and the security guards of Da Gama were also assisting, we were shooting each other. The last time I shot was right there.
When those people came out I could no more shoot because my bullets, the bullets were hitting the car at the sides where I was and others were going through the window from my side. I feared that if I raise my head they would hit my head. I was forced to also disembark. It was difficult for me to disembark because the late - African Tjabane was next to me. When I said he must disembark, it was also difficult for him.
I was forced to jump over him and I jumped over him. After jumping over him the late African Kid and TNT, I could not see them but shots were still ringing out at that time hitting the car and I thought at the time that they had retreated and left us there, all three of us.
The driver had been hit on his muscle behind his knee. I was forced to stay in the car protecting the driver, taking the cover for the driver and Tjabane so as to allow them to run. I did that, I shot. They in the meantime were running away going into the forest nearby. I again shot in order to give myself a chance to follow them, I then followed.
When we were in the forest I saw in front of me the late African Luvuyo running, he was limping as he had been shot. I followed him, I could not see Tjabane, where he had gone to. I could not see the late Kid and TNT anymore. We crossed through the long grass, crossed the railraod, crossed the road beyond the railroad facing a factory or a firm beyond the road and then we crossed that road facing the graveyard.
Bullets and shots were ringing out from our back. We then went through the graveyard, went through the ...[indistinct] river, over the river facing the houses at Mdantsane 2 going to the African Tona. The plan was to go and leave the African who had been hit. When we got there that African put into another house because their family's house has two sections, another for old people, another for kids. He put us in the house below.
When we got there he got out and said he's coming back. He got back coming with a mother who was introduced to us as the wife of the African Jimmy Jones. She was staying quite near, it seems next door to the African ...[indistinct] to help the African who was injured. He helped him, bandaged him, wiped the blood off him, he brought food to us. It was difficult to consume that food because we did not know what had happened to the others.
We stayed on the whole day in that house. Late another house was arranged where we were supposed to go and sleep so that the following morning we could go to Transkei. We went to that house and we slept. The following day he gave us money to use for transport to go back to Transkei.
Because I was afraid for the gun I was using and having on me, to go back with it to Transkei fearing roadblocks, I requested him to keep it for me. I left it there with him. We left and we boarded transport at Highway. When we got to Highway we used a taxi to Transkei in order to go and give a report back about what had happened.
When we got to Transkei, when we got there at Mamma's Restaurant we were told that the Africans had been arrested the day before. We too we shall be forced to disappear and not be seen otherwise we would be captured too. We left there going to a school there called the Butterworth College of Education, to go to Africans who were there. As we had got money - the money we got from TO was only sufficient to take Mdantsane to Txoa, Butterworth that is.
We then arrived at that college, we met other Africans, we told them our problems and they gave us money. We took transport going to Tsomo in order to go and hide there. Truly we left until we got home at Tsomo in Transkei.
MR NCAMAZANA: He explained that all that happened and which we did, we did according to instructions given. As he too was getting reportbacks from the commander who was commanding us to go and make those attacks what had transpired, as the Director of operations.
MR NCAMAZANA: Firstly, I'm not happy, I don't feel happy that today I am where I am about things that had happened, that despite the fact that I did those under instructions having received those instructions and as I was forced to do those.
MR NCAMAZANA: The message I have for the victims is that I ask for forgiveness because what happened I did not do because I liked or because they were from my own opinion, but I was following instructions that I was forced to carry out.
CHAIRPERSON: The normal procedure Mr Prior, would be for the applicant now to be questioned by those appearing for the victims and interested parties. I see we have somebody sitting on my right who was not there at the commencement but he is for an interested party Mr Ntongo, aren't you? You're not for any of the victims?
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman yes, the two widows of the deceased in the Bahai, two of the deceased in the Bahai matter are present and they indicated to me on Tuesday that they wished to - I explained to them the process and indicated that I would be questioning the applicants and they said: notwithstanding that, they would like to ask questions themselves. Maybe it would be opportune to maybe ask them to come up.
CHAIRPERSON: It might be more realistic to ask them to listen carefully to the questions that are put by you too gentlemen and for them then to ask questions about anything that has not been dealt with, but they certainly will be given an opportunity to ask questions. Are they aware of that? Are they still present in the hall at the present time?
MR NCAMAZANA: As I said at the beginning, the late Kid, after he became angry he disembarked from the car, he hit a kombi because it had two white people. It was only, he had hit the car from the back when it was turning and the black person was only seen when he was jumping off.
ADV PRIOR: No, I'm asking you, you were in the car or the vehicle with other people of your unit, you say Kid got out of frustration and out of anger, this wasn't part of the plan, he just shot at this kombi. I'm asking: Was there any reaction from yourself or anyone else in the vehicle to remonstrate with Kid to say: "Well, maybe your putting our plans in jeopardy, you can't act out of, or the way you acted", was anything like that said to him?
ADV PRIOR: The trial, I think it was in Bisho - sorry, East London where you were on trial for the Nahoon, Da Gama and Highgate attacks, I understood you received an effective sentence of 16 years, was that matter ever raised that Kid had acted out of his own and you had not associated yourself with that act, in other words it was beyond your control?
ADV PRIOR: I may speak under correction, but my understanding of the judgement is that the defence that you put up there was that you were under force, you were under a sort of duress to participate in all these acts and actually you feared that if you hadn't gone along with the group, that you may also have been injured or even killed. Wasn't that in fact the line of defence that you adopted?
MR NCAMAZANA: As I have said when we were on trial at the High Court, Supreme Court at East London, what I said there was not always the truth because I was trying by all means to protect the commander, that he may not be arrested.
ADV PRIOR: Yes, I understand that, I'm just simply trying to understand what you tell us now about the Nahoon Dam incident, the kombi that was shot at. During the trial, and I refer to page 63 of the bundle, the Judge set out in his Judgement, the plea, in other words the plea explanation that you had given and that was that you had been acting under duress, you were present at those incidents but you were there against your will and later on the Judgement it would appear that you feared for your safety if you hadn't gone along, words to that effect. That was the sense of it. Was that not true?
MS GCABASHE: Mr Prior, could I just get a bit of clarification just so I can understand the question. That explanation, did it relate to all of the acts generally or can you isolate it to the Nahoon Dam shooting in particular? If you can just point us to that aspect on the record.
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, at page 63 of the bundle Mr Justice Liebenberg sets out the detail of the plea explanation and it related to all the counts as I understood, that it was Nahoon, Da Gama and the Highgate as well as the various counts of robbery where the vehicles were highjacked before the attacks as well as the possession of the firearm.
I do have the record of that trial present, I haven't put it up as a bundle because it was bulky. If the Committee at any stage wishes to refer to the ipsissima of the trial, I do have that available for the Committee.
But it's a general question, that a plea explanation was put on behalf of Mr Ncamazana, that he was, throughout those incident set out in the indictment, it was against his will as if were. He was under a form of duress, he feared that if he didn't go along with the others he may have been killed or injured. Could he respond possibly to that?
ADV PRIOR: Thank you. Mr Ncamazana, as I understand the philosophy and the training that took place with APLA, particularly in the Eastern Cape, you received political training and were you kept abreast of the developments politically within the PAC specifically insofar as those developments or decisions that were being made were brought to your attention? Did you keep abreast of those developments, political developments within your party?
MR NCAMAZANA: What we were told there, that moment, was the policy of the PAC, the aims and the objectives of the PAC and everything in the documents of the PAC and APLA that was necessary for us to know.
MR LAX: Mr Prior sorry, can you just canvass with him so we can clarify this, that APLA is in fact a formation of the PAC and that it's the political connection between on the one hand, the political commissariat and on the other hand the military commanders and how that interaction worked and how he understood that to work?
Mr Ncamazana, maybe to digress just for a while, did you understand the structure or how the APLA organisation fitted in with the PAC as the political organisation or group? Did you understand the relationship between the two?
ADV PRIOR: Did you understand also, that between the military operation and the political group, the PAC, there was a political commissar which was the link or the connection between the two, the go-between?
ADV PRIOR: Did you understand also that the APLA could not simply operate on its own, it had to be politically accountable to the hierarchy or the higher structures of the PAC? In other words APLA would carry out, in the military, political decisions or policies that had been formulated by the political party.
ADV PRIOR: Yes, I understand that but did you also understand in the broader sense, how the political structure worked and how it fitted in with the military operation? Or how the military operation fitted in with the political decisions that were made, did you understand that broader picture as it were?
ADV PRIOR: Let me give you an example. For example the way forward or that idea of the way forward or people's war or the year of storm or the great storm, was something that the political leaders had devised and advocated, do you agree?
ADV SANDI: You do not know it as a matter of fact that this was in fact the position, the PAC as the political leadership giving directions to APLA. Are you speculating or are you saying that was in fact the situation?
ADV SANDI: When you say you understood your duty as one of carrying out instructions from your commander or commanders, who did you think the commanders were getting these instructions from as to what should be done from time to time?
MR NCAMAZANA: If the commander gave me instructions the instruction he was giving me, as to where he got those instructions was not my business, mine was to follow those instructions. Where he got those instructions was not part of my business, mine was to follow and accept those instructions that's all.
Apart from simply carrying out orders, which I understand your evidence mainly to be, although you had the political training and you did these things to liberate the country and liberate black people, liberate the Africans, am I correct in understanding that the overriding motive that you had was simply, you were carrying out instructions given by your commander?
ADV PRIOR: And despite - if I understand you further correctly, towards of your evidence you said you did not always like what you were doing or words to that effect, you didn't always enjoy, if I can use that word, you didn't like what you were doing but because they were orders given in the context of liberating your country you found that was your duty and you did that?
ADV PRIOR: I think I've just put it the other way around but the sense of it is that, even though he may have had misgivings about what he was doing, he did it nevertheless because of the instructions that he received, am I correct in understanding it like that?
ADV SANDI: I think Mr Prior, his attitude to those instructions was not entirely clear. Maybe we can find out from him what he means when he has said in his evidence in chief about twice that he was forced, he was compelled to do those things.
ADV SANDI: I thought you said that - before we talked about the Court it was in your evidence in chief, you were talking about the time of the general context in which all these acts had been perpetrated. Are you saying that you did not really want to do these things?
ADV PRIOR: Yes, but in your evidence a short while ago, before you rounded off your evidence, you said you were compelled to carry out those orders or you were forced. I've actually got a note here: "I was forced to do those things".
CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't that part of his explanation to the relatives of the victims? When you say he was rounding off his evidence, didn't he say this forced part as part of that, I'm not sure of it. My recollection is that it was.
MR LAX: Just for the record, he did actually answer your question before my colleague interjected. And in reply to your question he said: "Njalo" which means: "Yes, that is so". It will be on the tape but if the Interpreter can simply confirm that that actually happened.
MR LAX: And just for the record, that was the question dealing with the fact that, as Mr Prior put it which was a slightly different emphasis to the way I'd put it, that he was carrying out his duties in spite of the fact that he didn't really like the thought of having to do those things.
MS GCABASHE: Mr Prior, just before you continue. I would still like a bit of clarification on this issue of "forced" because the note I have indeed is in the explanation to the family: he was "forced" to do these things which is independent of the "forced" that he felt at the Court hearing, if he can just resolve those two. "Forced" at the hearing, I understand that. The "forced" in relation to his explanation to the family, can you just resolve that one for the Committee?
MS GCABASHE: Yes, that's alright. What I was saying Mr Ncamazana, was I understand the forcing that you talked about at Court, that you lied to protect your commander, that I have no problem with but you did say when you were explaining to the family, that you were sorry, you in fact did say that you were forced to do these things, can you explain what you meant by that?
What I need to find out from you is that especially during March of 1994 and possibly from the beginning of that year, January, February, March of '94, were you aware of the political changes prevalent in the country? May I be more specific? April was the election, the general election, the democratic election to which the PAC had committed itself, were you aware of that development?
ADV PRIOR: And to I understand also - or I'm going to suggest the following, that you were also interested in that political development and the way the changes were going to affect you as an individual and also as an APLA member and also as a PAC member, is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: And were you aware that in, I think it was January of 1994, there was a congress of the PAC at UNITRA, that is at the University of The Transkei at Umtata, they held their national congress, were you aware of that?
MR NCAMAZANA: I don't know, I cannot remember whether I heard that, whether I heard over the radio or from the paper. I could not accept that as the truth because what the television, the radios and the newspapers say about the party I could not accept as a soldier. What I was prepared to accept was from my commander, it's him telling me: "this and this is happening", not to me following things from the media.
ADV PRIOR: On the 17th of January, and I refer to the four reports that were handed to the Committee - may that possibly be identified or marked Mr Chairman? We don't have any exhibits as yet here in this hearing. I don't at this stage want to refer to anyone specifically but just to the general content of all four, they all say the same thing.
CHAIRPERSON: The Sowetan as A3 and The Citizen as A4. Sorry, The Star A1, The Daily Despatch A2, The Sowetan A3 and The Citizen A4 and I hasten to say that I have not put them in any form of order of merit, that is just the order in which the papers were.
"APLA suspends its war. The PAC announced the suspension of the armed struggle. APLA to lay down arms"
and so forth. The commanders had started informing cadres to lay down arms. That seems to be subject matter of quite widespread publicity and medica coverage on the 17th of January 1994. The question that I want to ask you, did you not become aware of the publicity surrounding these announcements? Maybe you could answer that question first. Were you aware or were you not aware?
ADV PRIOR: I see. When you gave up an answer earlier that you did not always accept or believe what was printed in the newspaper, did that not refer to this announcement of the suspension of the armed struggle?
ADV PRIOR: Are you saying that when you went out with your unit and attacked all these places and people that you've said, you did not know that the PAC and/or APLA had made a public announcement to suspend the armed struggle running up to the election in April which was only a matter of weeks away from when you launched these attacks?
ADV PRIOR: I just want to try and understand you, from January '94 until before the first attack that you've mentioned in your evidence, are you saying to the Committee or do I understand you to say that there was never, as far as you were aware, any discussion or any talk in your own social group, your own unit or your town or your home, about the suspension of the armed struggle which had been announced in a very public way by the PAC and APLA?
MR NCAMAZANA: I heard people talking about it on radio but I did not accept it because I could not hear through the radio, the television or the newspaper. What I was supposed to hear as true must come from the mouth of the commander, he must tell us that today that is what is happening.
ADV PRIOR: Well, if you had heard this and you didn't believe it and you wanted to hear it from the mouth of the commander, did you perhaps at any time ask Mr Jimmy Jones whether this in fact was true or not?
ADV PRIOR: Did you at any stage before you went out on these attacks in March of '94, at any stage contact your commander or ask your commander whether the news that he armed struggle was being suspended because of the elections, where that in fact was true and whether that in fact affected you as a cadre?
ADV PRIOR: You told the Committee that Mr Leklapa Mpashlele gave evidence at your trial in the Bahai matter and he supported what you had said or had supported you in the following way, that he confirmed that there was an instruction given by the military structures to attack Bahai, that was the sense of what he told the Court, is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: You see I'm going to suggest to you that in light of the suspension of the armed struggle, that instruction could never have come from the military structures of APLA who had announced the suspension of the armed struggle as is reported in the press releases. Just for your comment, can you say anything about that? Do you agree or disagree with that?
MR NCAMAZANA: What happened could not take weeks, days or months, it could take 6 months that all APLA soldiers who are around in South Africa be told that the armed struggle has been suspended because APLA soldiers were not in Transkei, they are full in South Africa. It was difficult that all of them could be informed timeously about it.
ADV PRIOR: Can I just maybe ask you this question, were you aware whether your commander, Mr Jimmy Jones, was in communication with anyone higher than himself, for example a person like Leklapa Mpashlele, the operational commander or military operations in APLA? Did you know whether they communicated with each other?
CHAIRPERSON: We took a slightly shorter adjournment yesterday, did that inconvenience any of the other people? Would it inconvenience you if we adjourn until a quarter to two? Very well, we will adjourn until a quarter to two.
Mr Ncamazana, are you able to comment on the following proposition, that the group that you've referred to being commanded by Mr Jimmy Jones, also know as Xholile Mbabani, was that a dissident group, and what I mean by that, a group that wasn't or didn't consider itself to be obedient to the rest of APLA or to the rest of the PAC? In other words, a group that did not want to suspend the armed struggle and had decided on its own to continue with attacks.
ADV PRIOR: The objective that you stated was the objective of your particular group and all these attacks, you say was to assist liberate the country from the white settlers or the white colonialists, correct?
ADV PRIOR: Given the time frame or the time span between the attacks and the general election that occurred a few weeks later in April, can you tell the Committee what benefit did those operations have, in other words do you think that they effected the outcome or the result of the - sorry, not result of the election, the fact of the election in any way?
MR NCAMAZANA: I saw it the way the instructions came, as my commander who gave these instructions would not give me instructions that were not valid at the time, that is why I carried on as per instructions given.
MR LAX: So you didn't apply any of the political education you'd acquired, to consider these instructions or to consider the PAC's policies or to consider APLA's policies, you simply followed your instructions?
MS GCABASHE: Now at the time that you went either for your military training or for your general discussions about your organisation, did the opportunity arise where you could discuss some of the things you believed in and some of the things that you were sent out to do?
MS GCABASHE: As a member of that organisation, apart from going out on missions, what other contribution did you make to the discussion of, you know just to the way your organisation did things, you as a member?
MS GCABASHE: But then says to me that you were simply as a soldier there to complete a mission and come back, you operated to me, like a hit squad. You didn't discuss anything, you simply did as you were told. Just help me understand your function.
MR NCAMAZANA: I cannot remember anymore because when I listened and heard this report I was doing something at the time because I did not take special notice as I did not believe all what comes out of radios and newspapers. What I believe are those things that come from the commander, not to listen from the radio, television or newspapers.
ADV SANDI: Do you recall the content of what was coming from the radio? You do not remember who was talking but what exactly was being said about the PAC and this thing about suspending the armed struggle?
MR NCAMAZANA: The reasons for me not to take special note is because I knew, I know that the enemy can do such a thing, disseminate over the radio and television something like that with the aims of fulfilling their aims, to fulfil their own aims.
ADV SANDI: If what was being said over the radio was true, that the PAC had at that stage suspended the armed struggle, would that not have been an opportunity for you to have to stop doing those things which we were being forced and compelled to do?
MR NCAMAZANA: It is because first, I did not have the right to go to those offices. Secondly, I could not listen to what they told me. If they had anything to tell us they must tell it to our commander. I had to listen to what my commander tells me.
CHAIRPERSON: I thought that is what you'd just said, You said you couldn't listen to them, you could only listen to your commander. And why didn't you have the right to go to the PAC office? You didn't have the right to kill people either did you, but it didn't stop you.
You see I have great problems with what you're saying here, it doesn't square with what your leaders have told us in other hearing in the Commission, that the PAC was a democratic organisation, that APLA was a democratic organisation, that the cadres and the comrades discussed political issues openly as part of their political education.
And we heard yesterday and the day before from another commander of another unit who spoke about how his members discussed issues, discussed their objectives and here you are indicating a totally totalitarian approach which is totally at odds with the policies of the PAC and totally at odds with the policies of APLA. How do you explain this if you know about the PAC's policies?
MR LAX: Please, let's not mess around here, you know exactly what I mean. You have simply answered me already in that issue where I simplified the very long question for you. You know very well what I'm talking about, please answer my question.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, if I might interject here. If the applicant is being asked to comment on evidence that was led yesterday about what a commander said happens within APLA, discussions that take place in this democratic army as it's been put, then surely we should have the opportunity of seeing exactly what was said yesterday so that we can comment it on that basis.
CHAIRPERSON: The question was about the PAC and APLA policy and an example was given that yesterday we heard the same thing from an ordinary commander. But the questions about the fact that the PAC and APLA are democratic organisations whose cadres are entitled to and do discuss policy.
MS COLLETT: Whilst I hear what you are saying Mr Chairman, my question is this: Is the question that is being asked of my client, whether or not he was given an opportunity before every mission was carried out to discuss whether it was a good idea, a bad idea, put forward alternative objectives, because if that is the question then it should be framed in that manner.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, whilst I understand that you're asking, that the Committee is entitled to ask a question like that, there's a lot of confusion that is obviously reigning because it's being compared to what somebody had said in testimony yesterday and which we don't have before us.
ADV SANDI: That has been contrasted with not only what had been said yesterday but a submission by PAC and the leadership of APLA to the Truth Commission, which was some time last year. I think that is the contrast Mr Lax is trying to make there.
MS COLLETT: Whilst I hear what you're saying Mr Chairperson, I would ask that we don't have a copy of that before us so we can't specifically comment on what was said or whether it was even true for that matter. He is here and he is giving his side of the version and when he was asked to comment on that he said: "Well that didn't happen as he was concerned".
MR LAX: Of course there are things you can't do. In society there are things you can't do, that doesn't change democracy. The question is that APLA policy was under discussion. You were expected to carry out and know APLA policy. When you went on your mission your leaders were not with you, correct? Only your individual units went out on those missions.
MR LAX: In order for you to know such policies and in order for you to understand such policies and in order for you to be able to apply such policies, you can't that without discussion, isn't that correct?
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, the nature of these notes, which I can pass to you as well, are to remind the witness that he is entitled to refer to evidence that was led in his trial, which evidence is not yet before the Committee.
MS GCABASHE: Now, the only think that I'd like you to help me with if you can is, was there any opportunity at all to revert to your PAC status, I understand the military, and at that level discuss issues that concerned your organisation?
Mr Ncamazana, I would like to refer to a quotation or I'd like to quote what Brigadier D Mofokeng said at the submissions of the military hierarchy of the APLA at the Truth Commission during October of last year, the 7th of October. A copy of that submission was handed to Advocate Corlett this morning. I refer to page 25 of the transcript. Please listen carefully.
Brigadier at that stage was explaining how the discipline worked within APLA and in the second to last paragraph he said the following, in fact he referred to certain rights which APLA cadres had and he said:
"These could be grouped into three categories: the right to equal treatment, the right of individual APLA members to have open and fair participation in the process of decision making that effected their lives and wellbeing, the right to express opinions to information, to attend meetings, make contributions and be greatly involved in the political life of the organisations"
ADV PRIOR: Thank you. I want to just move on to your comment or your evidence when you said that: at some stage school children were targeted by your group coming out of Butterworth, that was the Jimmy Jones group. Is that correct, that there was discussion about attacking either kombis or buses of school children and killing them? Was that part of the strategy, was that one of the aspects of your strategy in East London?
ADV PRIOR: So when did you reach the stage that that instruction was given, and who gave that instruction, and was that instruction or that command, was that discussed among your unit? Sorry, I know there's three questions but couldn't you deal with them in that order? When did that instruction come to kill school children on buses?
ADV PRIOR: When did the instruction come to kill school children, white school children on buses? Was that - let me try and assist you, was that during March when these other attacks took place or was it at a different time?
MR NCAMAZANA: What we did was to accept the instructions as they were given to us, we then - before we did, according to the instructions given, we had to plan we were going to execute our instructions.
ADV PRIOR: You indicated in your evidence that when you were asked a question you said that the school children were also the enemy and their parents were supporters of the government of the day, could you maybe just explain that to me, I'm not clear. On what basis did you say children, school children, were enemy of APLA or of the greater community or the greater black community? I don't understand that.
ADV PRIOR: Was there any benefit to be obtained by killing children whether psychologically or politically? Was that discussed within your group? Or are you able to comment if it wasn't discussed within your group, did you view it in that respect, that there was a political or psychological benefit to be obtained?
ADV PRIOR: I want to move on and I want to refer to a portion of the record, a portion of the same submissions made by the APLA high command at page 90 of that bundle of the submissions. It was a statement made by Brigadier Fitla, and I refer to the middle of the page where the sentence begins
"So that is the political benefit also we are talking about and when we talk about proportionality here, we could have easily gone for much easier targets than the adults. We could have gone for creches"
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, there ought to have been copies, may I just enquire from our logistics officer? I know there are copies at the back next to the photocopy machine. Mr Chairman, I understand that I have purloined your copy, may I - I'll hand it to you immediately, I don't propose to ...[intervention]
The discussion went about there was no distinction in APLA's mind about hard targets and soft targets. Hard targets being military type installations like police stations and army bases and soft targets being civilians, that was the ...[intervention]
"So that is the political benefit also we are talking about and when we talk about proportionality here, we could have easily gone for much easier targets than the adults. We could have gone for creches, we could have gone for institutions for the disabled but we had to look at proportionality. Some of the things that we could also politically justify and defend. If we had gone for children in a nursery school we would not be in a position to stand on this platform today and proudly speak of those activities, so therefore we looked at our operation at two levels as well. First, the political benefits that would be derived by those activities in terms of also the support that both APLA and the PAC would enjoy"
I want to suggest to you that in the light of what Brigadier Fitla said, that it was not APLA policy to attack school children as you have mentioned here today and that if you say it was then you belonged to a different group than APLA, as we heard from Brigadier Mofokeng and Brigadier Fitla in October in Cape Town last year. Would you like to comment on that?
ADV PRIOR: Well, that's what is being suggested, certainly a group that did not regard itself bound by political directives of the PAC, which was the controlling force in the organisation. Yes, I certainly make that suggestion and I will ask the Committee to have regard to that at a later stage.
It's just to again to finish off this discussion about policy and school children. If you look at the other side of the same coin, did you discuss the killing of black school children, black children? You know if you are saying these discussions, I didn't really make a contribution to white school children particularly being killed, what did you talk about in relation to black people being killed, black school children being killed? That might put a context to what you understood as a cadre.
MS GCABASHE: I'm just talking about the context now of PAC policy and the fact that white school children would certainly have been regarded as a soft target, in fact as a "none target" but to understand where you the individual, where you are coming from, did you talk about black children being killed? I'm just trying to understand your own - how you felt about your organisation and what you were doing, what you sought to protect.
famous incident or a notorious incident, let's put it that way, in which the SADF attacked the house, I think it was the Leruma family in Umtata and there were some young students in that house who were killed.
MR LAX: Mr Prior, just to be fair to the witness, I think he was trying to respond to the question put by my colleague to try and equate the killing of black children and the killing of white children. It didn't have anything specific to do with the change or the instruction that he got to go on that mission persay.
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I understand - if the suggestion is, in his mind it made no difference because the SADF were killing black children then he must say that. Is he saying that as a reprisal - I don't think he says that but he may be trying to say that, that as an act of reprisal white children were then targeted to make up for what the SADF did.
MS GCABASHE: It's really just to put it into a context Mr Ncamazana, just for us to understand you, what you learnt, what you lived and what therefore made you do certain things and discuss certain things. That is all I was really trying to find out, how you related to your life, your experiences, to your organisation.
MS GCABASHE: But what you haven't clarified to us is whether that type of incident is what made you do some of the things you did or as suggested by Advocate Prior, you haven't said it was a reprisal, maybe that's what it was. You haven't really said to us: "It is because of these experiences that I did some of these things", we haven't got the connection yet.
ADV PRIOR: And you mentioned in paragraph 6.6 of your affidavit, at page 51 of the prepared bundle, that you phoned Mtutuzeli Mamma, code name Matura, at Mamma's Restaurant. That was to report the attack, is that correct?
MR NCAMAZANA: The one who was phoning, who held the phone in his hand was the unit commander. When he phoned he said he wanted to speak to Mr Matura and when he was called he then talked with him and told him everything.
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I take cognisance of the fact that he initially referred to the attack on the minibus, the teachers, it wasn't specifically prepared but may I with the Committee's permission, in the time that I have available till Friday, if there were no gross violations of human rights, to notify either the school or anyone involved if they are interested and then to deal with this specific matter during this hearing?
My information to date, I haven't received any information that there were any fatalities in this incident. So with the Committee's permission I will comply with the Act insofar as notice goes and that this matter then can form part of his application.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, I did point out to Advocate Prior that the application for this seems to somehow have slipped into this bundle of documents as well. I wasn't too sure whether it was going to be dealt with or not. Neither of the applicants can say whether there were fatalities or anything so I don't have any problem with Mr Prior dealing with it at all.
I'd like to move on to the Bahai Church attack, and I'm following the chronology of your affidavit. Your colleague and co-applicant, Mr Mbambo, is it correct that during these attacks he was not a member of APLA or the PAC?
ADV PRIOR: Well, is it not correct that after the Bahai incident your group was chastised for taking Mr Mbambo along, by Jimmy Jones, saying that he wasn't APLA, he wasn't a member of APLA? Is that not correct?
ADV PRIOR: Was there never - sorry, I just seem to recall in the evidence that was presented and the statements and the confessions and the documents that form part of the bundle, that after the Bahai matter where Mbambo was present and you went back and reported to Jimmy Jones, that there was some form of rebuke, that Mbambo wasn't a member of APLA and why did he go along, why was he allowed to participate in that attack. And I'm just mentioning that in support of my suggestion to you that he was not a member of APLA at that stage, he wasn't part of your group, officially a part of your group. Do you understand what I'm driving at?
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, can I be of assistance here? The situation - what Advocate Prior is referring to is actually a statement that was made that was annexed to the initial amnesty application which the applicant made. It was a statement that was made prior to the trial of the Highgate hotel and the Da Gama incident which was held in East London.
Mr Chairman, you will see that the affidavit which starts at page 49, of this applicant, is a supplementary affidavit wherein he says that the application that was initially submitted with its supporting documentation is not what he wanted to say to the Truth Commission, in fact this was.
ADV PRIOR: Thank you, I'm indebted to my learned friend. I've actually found the place in the bundle and it may assist. It begins and 14(h) and it is indeed a statement attached to his initial amnesty application.
"They also introduced me as a person that was that, wanting to join them. Jimmy Jones told my friends that they were not supposed to take me with and that I must hand my smoke grenade back which I did"
It commences at the bottom of 14(h) and leads on with - I may have phrased the question originally more stronger than it was set here but it certainly seems that Jimmy Jones was to some extent alarmed at the fact that Mbambo had been taken along on a mission, obviously without his knowledge and he said any weaponry that Mbambo had must be handed over immediately, the smoke grenade for example. Do you agree with that, that that happened?
ADV PRIOR: Alright. And was there no discussion of how he became involved or did you not ask him whether he was an APLA cadre, whether he had gone for training like you had? Did you not speak to him in those sort of general terms?
ADV PRIOR: Well, did you know that Mbambo's mother worked with a doctor who had come from Iran, from the Middle East, who was working at that hospital and who was also connected with the Bahai Church at Mdantsane, did you know that?
MR NCAMAZANA: I did not a reason for us to first, to reconnaissance because the late TNT and Kid knew that place. They were the people who knew that place, that's why we didn't see any reason to again go and reconnoitre them.
ADV PRIOR: I don't know. I'm assuming that is you came into East London from Butterworth and if the taxi stopped in East London and then proceeded onwards to Mdantsane, that you may have seen white people driving in motor vehicles alongside the taxi or walking in the streets or did that not happen?
MR NCAMAZANA: What he came for was to drive for us so that what we had to do we would not have any disturbances and quickly rush back to Transkei on time as we had been told that we must quickly rush back to Transkei.
ADV PRIOR: And I need to ask you this or put to you that, would you agree that there were many other targets in the East London area which would have suited your goals, in other words you could have got rid of a lot more white people in bars and pubs, in offices, in hospitals or wherever it was in East London rather than going all the way to Mdantsane to the Bahai Church where eventually you say you found three white people who you then killed? Would you agree with that proposition? There were many more white people elsewhere that would have suited your purposes?
ADV SANDI: Sorry Mr Prior, if I can interrupt you for a second? They may have had a particular reason for attacking those people at that particular place. Maybe we need to find out from him what reason they had for attacking those people at that particular place.
Can you tell us what the reason was to go to Bahai and kill the people that were in fact killed, the three gentlemen that you found there, the male persons that you found there? What was the reason for that? And by reason I mean, what political benefit did you achieve from that or was achieved from that?
MR LAX: Sorry, I'm a bit puzzles here because a briefing is more than just getting an instruction. If you were instructed, the simple words are: "I was instructed". If: "I was briefed", to brief means to have things explained to you and set out, what the plan might be, what the objective might be, that's what a briefing is and that's the word that is used here, so please explain this to us.
MR NCAMAZANA: What we were told was that, that's why we must go and attack and the method we were supposed to use were there. As to the briefing and how briefing is done, it may be that we have used the wrong word here.
MR NCAMAZANA: What we were told, we were told about the church we were supposed to go and attack, the method we were supposed to use and the people we were supposed to go and attack. About how I was briefed and so on, I do not know.
MR NCAMAZANA: As I said, people who knew better about this are those who are late now because the late Kid, the place where the church was held was an area he was staying at 2. He knew that church very well.
MR NCAMAZANA: It is because firstly, the first attack we had been involved in before we nearly suffered because of the place we were at because it was next to a Court and a police station. In this next area of attack for the second time it was amid houses, it would not be easy for us to quickly disappear.
MR NCAMAZANA: No, I cannot remember properly the questions, except that they tried to explain to me as I did not know that place and the other Africans who were going to go with and they were trying to explain to us as much as they knew about the church.
he said there was someone painting, that is the person you referred to painting the burglar guards or you saw a person painting here so your version corresponds with his. He said there was also a station wagon, a Ford Sierra, it was greyish in colour and he was asked whether he was interested in this vehicle, he said:
ADV PRIOR: You see I want to suggest to you that it seems from that that at least Palapala was under the impression that the purpose of going there was to obtain a vehicle but that Ford Sierra was too old for whoever's purposes.
"Well, it was said that those vehicles were not there yet and in fact it was also suggested that we should leave the place so long. This was said by Kid.
"We returned to the church, I think Kid must have seen the motor vehicle was moving in the direction of the church"
ADV PRIOR: Yes, you're right, you're correct. And I understand from the widow of the owner of that vehicle that it was a month old, it was a brand new motor vehicle. Would you agree with that, it was a very new vehicle?
ADV PRIOR: Now what I'm going to suggest to you, even though you say you had no information about the Bahai Church, I want to put the following to you. It would seem that at least Kid, the commander and whoever else and possibly Jimmy Jones who gave you the instruction to go and kill these people, knew that there were three persons as you say, white people, at that Faith Mission, that they would be there towards the evening and that at least one of them had a brand new or a newish vehicle and that he would possibly be coming from some place to the mission at that time. Do you agree with that?
ADV PRIOR: You see, if your task was simply to go and attack the people there, the white people there, then I don't understand why it was necessary according to Palapala's evidence, why you had to wait until a certain person had arrived before the attack could take place. In other words the attack seemed to be dependant of the arrival of that person and on my information it was the person driving the green Jetta motor vehicle, that was Mr Rasdvi.
He was in fact coming from the university. So maybe I can simplify it. It seems to me that your information was that the attack couldn't take place until that person had got to Bahai. Do you agree with that?
ADV PRIOR: Well on the occasion that he mentioned because he disputes that they got there as Palapala states. I'm simply going to put it on the basis that when they arrived there, possibly in the first instance.
Did you hear singing or did you hear singing at any stage when you got to the Bahai church, whether it was the first or the second occasion, according to Palapala or on the occasion you say you got there?
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I wish to refer to the photographs of the Bahai Church, they haven't been marked yet. Could they be marked B and they are the photos of B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 and they simply depict the Bahai Centre, the exterior as well as the exterior.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you realise what the question was, it wasn't when you entered, it was when the people who died entered. The three men you've called the white men, did one of them come in later or were they all there at the same time?
"The deceased, two deceased were seated amongst us. We were all singing and I was teaching them to sing a song"
"We were busy teaching each other hymns, singing at the same time and the children were seated in the middle and the side of the church. Whilst we were singing we lifted up our eyes and saw a young man and this young man was entering and so on and another young man and another one"
ADV PRIOR: Now, were the - the people that you say were white people, were they asked anything, where they worked, where they came from? Were they asked any questions by the commander, that is Kid or TNT or whoever?
MR NCAMAZANA: After the one who was outside had gone inside with his hands up they were then two, divided from the other people to one side and they also followed suit to their friend who had already lifted his hands up.
ADV PRIOR: Would you agree that that gesture is an indication of total defencelessness, they were indicating that they were at your mercy, if I may put it that say, that they were not armed, that they posed no danger to you, they posed no threat to your unit, is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: Alright. I'm not going to question you on the detail of what happened there because the witnesses who testified, particularly Manensa, on detail she differs from you, but I want to put the following to you. She said she heard people from your unit or your group talking about: "Ama Africa" and "Ama Boer" or "Boers" and "Ama Africa", is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: Did no-one in that church of the elderly women, tell you that these people were not Boers, that they were not white people, that they were people from overseas and that they were people that were helping the community, they were part of the church? Did you not hear that?
ADV PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. May I simply then just put that the witness tried to explain that the deceased were not white people, they were not Boers, ignore the balance,thank you. I apologise for that.
CHAIRPERSON: What she in fact says she said was that she asked you, your people to have a good look at those people that you had made to stand against the wall and she said she told you that they were Persians from Iran and they were not the local people, at page 98.
MR NCAMAZANA: I did not hear such a thing. What I only heard is that they were praying that they were separated to others and praying at that time. I did not hear what they were saying because the language they were speaking was strange to me.
MR NCAMAZANA: The way I heard them they were speaking a church language, that church of theirs as I did not know that church. They had their hands up high clearly praying though we could not understand what they were saying.
The gentleman in the suit is Mr Rasdvi, he was the gentleman that worked at the university in the computer department and the other gentleman is Mr Anvari. I do not have a photograph of the doctor, his family have left or gone back to Iran. I want you to have a good look at those photographs.
Would you agree that just by looking at those photographs, that the deceased were clearly not white people or if I could put it this way, Caucasian but that they were obviously - I don't know how to explain this.
ADV PRIOR: You see I have information that Mr Mbambo in an interview with Captain Els which is on a tape recording, it's been recorded, it was at his request, had indicated that you were one of the persons that shot at Bahai, among other things that he told him which are on the tape.
ADV PRIOR: Most certainly and Advocate Corlett was informed this morning of the existence of such tape. We're having difficulty with the machine, it was a machine used by the security branch and the tape is being, I'm not saying transcribed but we are trying to find another machine on which we can hear what was said but I'm putting on the basis of what Captain Els has informed me, what occurred at the interview with Mr Mbambo and that he indicated to me was clearly audible on the recording.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman, whilst I haven't heard it and whilst I do admit that I was told about it this morning certainly, how can the witness be asked to comment on something he's neither heard or knows anything about at this stage? Surely he could keep that question over until such stage as we've given such evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, before we go on. I don't know if you're expecting to get a machine here this afternoon but if you could get it tomorrow morning then we could all perhaps listen to it together rather than to have to pass it from one person to another.
MS COLLETT: Sorry, before you continue. Mr Chairman, might I just ask, if this a confession or a statement or something of that nature made by Mbambo, surely the correct thing to do is not to put it to this witness, it would be the correct thing to put it to Mbambo because he would have been the author of that?
CHAIRPERSON: Well, it will clearly be put to Mbambo but this witness must be given a chance of dealing with it rather than not say a word to him and then we get the evidence later of these very damaging remarks, accusations against him.
MS COLLETT: Mr Chairman whilst I hear you, I think that the furtherest that my learned friend could go is to say to him: "Such an allegation has been made against you", even without us hearing the tape and for him to say jay or nay.
The vehicle that you eventually went away with was the Jetta and you took it back to Butterworth and you replied in your evidence that it was kept by APLA as was the custom or as was the practice, is that so?
MR NCAMAZANA: As I've said already, after the attack of the De Knox we gave a report back, we said we saw him as a dangerous person to us, what if we brought him along or should we leave him back but what was said was: if we see him as a security threat we must not leave him as he already had a lot of information about what we were doing.
MR NCAMAZANA: Firstly, the guns we had or the weapons we had, secondly, it was almost commonly heard then that we had moved with him and over the radio it was announced that what happened there had happened - but the time we were instructed to come back with him this matter had not been reported over the radio.
After we had heard over the radio the report that Port Knox had been attacked, we then decided indeed it was necessary for him not to be left behind. And that also at the church he must not be outside he must come along into the church as everybody else.
CHAIRPERSON: So he wasn't a member before but you took him with you to the killing at the church and took him into the church so that he could see that all the things you did and he then became a member, is that what I understand?
MR LAX: Well which of the two are you talking about because they're two separate things within one? Was he a member of the PAC and then he became a member of APLA and part of your unit or was he a member of both the PAC and APLA already or was he just a member of the PAC and then became a member of your unit?
MR LAX: You see that is what was put to you earlier, that's precisely what was put to you earlier and you denied that. You said he was a member of APLA already and that is why I've been canvassing this issue with you because it's confused me that you've said one thing previously and then you denied it and now you are admitting it. Can you explain this to us please?
MR LAX: We have a contradiction here. Previously you denied that he wasn't a member of APLA, you insisted that he was a member of APLA before this operation and now you're admitting that he wasn't a member of APLA, please explain this.
MR NCAMAZANA: I did not say that I agree that he was a member of APLA. What I say is that - what I knew was that he was a member of the PAC and that does not mean that you automatically a member of APLA. You may a member of the PAC but not that of APLA.
Your code name that you gave up in your statement at page 50 of the papers of the bundle is Tiznado, is that right? Tiznado, I don't know if that's the correct pronunciation, T-I-Z-N-A-D-O, is that right?
ADV PRIOR: Maybe it's not necessary to hear the tape. If I may just refer you and your counsel to page 14(h) of the bundle where your co-applicant said the following round about the middle of the page
"One of my friends called Tona picked up the keys. He went to the vehicles which were parked inside the church yard. I was also told to go out. TNT and Kid followed me leaving Tiznado inside the church. Kid instructed Tiznado and said: "Take them", Tiznado started to shoot. Kid later said to Tiznado that he must stop"
MS COLLETT: If I might be of assistance here Mr Chairman, it was produced at the trial of the Highgate, Nahoon Dam and Da Gama incidents where I believe it was ruled admissible, for what it's worth but obviously it's not evidence against this witness M'Lord.
ADV PRIOR: I think the next incident following your statement is the Nahoon Dam and I think you mentioned that that was Kid's act of frustration and anger, it wasn't planned, it was out of your control and that certainly wasn't discussed with the unit, is that correct? Would you say that was a mistake that occurred on that occasion?
ADV PRIOR: I'm not going to spend too much time on that matter, I'll move on. Sorry, why were you at the Nahoon Dam turnoff at that stage? Were you - oh sorry, I remember now, you were to attack the Da Gama bus ...[intervention]
ADV PRIOR: So he was a reluctant person. Did you not explain that you were APLA and this was part of the liberation of the country and that his vehicle was required? Because we've heard evidence in other matters where APLA were involved, for example in the Heidelberg Tavern matter where the Opel Rekord motorcar that was taken from Guguletu, the owner of the vehicle was told that it was APLA and they required the vehicle for an operation and the vehicle would be returned or put in a place where he can recover it.
I just want to refer back to Bahai and I want to go back to page 14(h) of the bundle, that is Mbambo's statement. He indicated there that when he searched the white members as he put it, it got a sum of R60 or R70 from one of the white males and he got three motorcar keys from different people. Are you aware of that, that money was taken as well?
ADV PRIOR: Before I deal briefly with the incident itself, you said afterwards you took the vehicle to some place where you wiped off the fingerprints or cleaned the vehicle or dusted the vehicle for fingerprints or sorry, wiped the vehicle for fingerprints and you then left it there, is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: I'm curious to find out, on the photographs it would seem that there are two bullet holes around the petrol tank of the vehicle, it seems to suggest that someone tried to shoot at the petrol tank or did in fact shoot at the petrol tank but obviously it didn't set alight, it didn't catch alight. Do you know anything about that shooting at the vehicle in order to set it alight?
ADV PRIOR: You said in your evidence that the decision to target the Highgate Hotel on that evening was because it was packed with white people unlike the station bar, I should presume had a few or much fewer people, is that correct?
ADV PRIOR: I just want to get the place where you fired the rifle grenade, do you agree that you later pointed out - I don't want to burden the record with photographs of pointings out, but the place where the rifle grenade struck was very close to the entrance to the discotheque where the people were dancing. There's like a little passage that goes up, the rifle grenade struck to the left on the wall, is that correct?
"We first went past a bar at Highgate Hotel and thereafter East London station bar which had also identified as a target. We returned to the Highgate Hotel"
MR NCAMAZANA: We had to choose between the two. When we passed the Highgate Hotel we saw that it was full, that's when we took the decision that we might as well not go there, that is to East London station bar.
ADV PRIOR: Just to round that off, is that the R100 that he gave you on or about the 10th of March or thereafter, before you came to Bahai as referred to in paragraph 6 of your, 6.5 of your affidavit at page 51 of the bundle?