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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 01 December 1998

Location JISS CENTRE, JOHANNESBURG

Day 4

Names SANDILE JEREMY NGUBENI

Case Number AM 7298/97

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MR SAMUELS: I call Sandile Ngubeni, case number 7298/97, page 180. Mr Chairperson, may I increase the number of offences that this applicant will apply for, he will also apply for possession of an AK47.

ADV DE JAGER: Is that the only thing that he's applying for?

MR SAMUELS: No, no, he's applying for kidnapping, murder and possession of an AK47.

CHAIRPERSON: You say kidnapping and murder?

MR SAMUELS: And possession of AK47.

CHAIRPERSON: That's three?

MR SAMUELS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngubeni, what language would you prefer to use?

MR NGUBENI: Zulu.

SANDILE JEREMY NGUBENI: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR SAMUELS: Mr Ngubeni, how old are you?

MR NGUBENI: 31 years.

MR SAMUELS: Do you live in Thokoza?

MR NGUBENI: Yes.

MR SAMUELS: During 1993 were you a commander of a self defence unit in Thokoza?

MR NGUBENI: No, I will like to correct it, it's from 1993.

MR SAMUELS: I see. Were you a commander?

MR NGUBENI: Yes, during 1993.

MR SAMUELS: And what unit did you command?

MR NGUBENI: Unit in F Section.

MR SAMUELS: I see.

MR NGUBENI: Now you're applying for amnesty for three crimes, kidnapping, murder and possession of an AK47, is that correct?

MR NGUBENI: Yes that is correct.

MR SAMUELS: Now tell us in your own words about the kidnapping, who did you kidnap?

MR NGUBENI: If I remember well, it was 1993. I can't remember the specific date but the month was October. I as a commander and Vus Pamula, Shane Menges, Dumasani Khosas, we left unit F and went to Extension 2. We were going to collect Sipho Makatini.

CHAIRPERSON: Who took that decision?

MR NGUBENI: It was myself as a commander.

MR SAMUELS: Continue?

MR NGUBENI: When we arrived at Extension 2 where he was staying, we asked him to accompany us back to Unit F. He refused, therefore we forced him and took him back. While we were kidnapping him, going back to unit F, when we arrived at Unit F Dumasani Khosa shot him and I also finished him and that's how he died. That's the end of the story.

CHAIRPERSON: Wait, just repeat that now, you kidnapped him and then what happened after that?

MR NGUBENI: We kidnapped him and took him with us to Unit F which is called Danger Zone. That's where we shot him.

MR SAMUELS: Why did you kidnap and shoot Sipho Makatini?

MR NGUBENI: The reason we shot Sipho was because supporters of the IFP, after killing people in the township they will celebrate and blow their whistles in the township.

MR SAMUELS: So just because he celebrated he was killed?

MR NGUBENI: That wasn't the only reason, the other thing that hurt me so much, that made me to take the decision that he should be killed was - I can't remember well whether it was Saturday or Sunday, IFP members were coming from a funeral at Phola Park, they were coming from attacking, they were attacking Phola Park when they were passing our place. They entered one house and stabbed one woman with a spear.

Secondly, there was a young child whose age I can't remember and that house was under three, was stabbed with a shield and they said this woman's stomach is dirty because she gave birth to ANC supporter. Again they found someone, a lady who was pregnant and one of the members did kick that pregnant lady on her stomach.

ADV MOTATA: Was Sipho Makatini present when this happened?

MR NGUBENI: I will say it was happening right next to his place.

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is off.

CHAIRPERSON: This whole killing of Makatini was more of revenge?

MR NGUBENI: I can agree that that is the case.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that the only reason?

MR NGUBENI: My understanding is the IFP started attacking us during 1990 and while we were being attacked Makatini was so happy about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Was Makatini a member of the IFP?

MR NGUBENI: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And did he do anything physical to anybody? Did he attack anybody or did he kill anybody or what?

MR NGUBENI: ...(indistinct)

ADV MOTATA: Please, we don't want Zulu again, give us English.

INTERPRETER: Okay, I promise it will be English.

MR NGUBENI: A police came to me, they were called the ISU. When they arrived they were together with Makatini. They arrived at me and asked why were my eyes red. I told them my eyes were red because I inherited them from my father. They said I'm an IFP member, they're going to take me to the hostel, that's where they're going to leave me. They took me with him, when we arrived at Buyafuti Hostel one father who was an Induna came. It was someone whom I helped on the way in Standerton, this is the person who managed to rescue me.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you have regard Makatini as a political opponent?

MR NGUBENI: May you please repeat your question?

CHAIRPERSON: Would you have regarded Makatini as a political opponent?

MR NGUBENI: I regarded him as a member of the IFP.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you regard him as a political opponent?

MR NGUBENI: Yes that's correct because the Inkatha people were troubling us.

MR SAMUELS: And finally, what happen did you have?

MR NGUBENI: I was armed with an AK47 and a knobkierrie.

MR SAMUELS: And did you realise that being in possession of AK47 was illegal?

MR NGUBENI: Yes I knew it was illegal but because of the situation whether it was lawful or it was not lawful, it was something that didn't come to my mind.

MR SAMUELS: I see, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SAMUELS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Swanepoel?

MR SWANEPOEL: I've got no question, Mr Chairperson.

MS PATEL: No thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: Why did you take all the people to Danger Zone and kill them there after you've kidnapped them?

MR NGUBENI: I would like to tell the whole house that that was the most dangerous place and all things were happening there.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes but now you're kidnapping somewhere else and you bring him to danger zone and you kill him there so you create the impression that people are being killed there, isn't that so?

MR NGUBENI: Can you please repeat your question?

ADV DE JAGER: We've had evidence that people were kidnapped in Extension 5 and then brought to Danger Zone and being killed there. Was that the pattern in Thokoza?

MR NGUBENI: I don't understand your question.

ADV DE JAGER: We've heard a number of people testify about deaths and kidnapping and assaults and whatever and it seems to us that everytime that somebody got killed or attacked or kidnapped, it happened in Danger Zone. What was so special about Danger Zone?

MR NGUBENI: Chairperson and the people in the house, this place called the Danger Zone is a place which had been demolished. When we were trying to stop the IFP from infiltrating our side, we will barricade at the danger zone, so that's the reason why it was used as a place to kill people.

ADV MOTATA: Now we have been whilst we were in Vosloorus shown a map of the area in respect of Schoeman Street and Khumalo Street, if we speak of this Danger Zone, where would you place it with regard to the hostels lining around there?

MR NGUBENI: Danger Zone is at Schoeman Road at my Section. When you're at Khumalo it's far from it, it's far.

ADV MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got nothing further.

CHAIRPERSON: You say you were a commander on the ground there in Section F?

MR NGUBENI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And life wasn't very easy during those days and living in the way that was abnormal?

MR NGUBENI: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand matters have improved somewhat and there's a bit of peace in the area today?

MR NGUBENI: I didn't understand, I didn't hear you?

CHAIRPERSON: Life in the area today is quite different to what it was that time?

MR NGUBENI: Yes it's peaceful, you can even come and join us and stay with us.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you and a lot of things happened during that time, people dying, people defending themselves and a lot of decisions were made at the time which today we look at weren't very nice decisions. It may have been necessary, I'm not saying it was, you people may have thought it was necessary and tactics were employed etcetera. How do you feel about it today, that people died and lost property, lost limbs and soforth. How do you feel about it today?

MR NGUBENI: Chairperson, I feel very hurt because my work, I normally go to the choir and sing and go and play football. Because of the situation I have to leave this ...(indistinct) and now that it is peaceful, I'm back in the ...(indistinct) I continue my life very well.

CHAIRPERSON: And how do you feel in respect of the families of those who had died during that period, who had lost property and been injured, how do you feel towards them?

MR NGUBENI: It's also a sad story and I feel bad about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you attempted to talk to people and victims who you know of?

MR NGUBENI: Yes, even our brothers in the IFP camp, we are now in good terms and work together because as former commanders we launch another command where we're one and call ourselves Simunye, meaning we are one. Some of those people were members of the ANC.

CHAIRPERSON: I see, I'm pleased to hear that. It is to be hoped that that peace can be maintained for good, that people must have learned from the mistakes of the past and there will be attempts to affect that peace and I think the residents and the leadership should remember what happened before so that it's not repeated, would you agree?

MR NGUBENI: Yes that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV DE JAGER: Are you playing soccer together?

CHAIRPERSON: Members of the IFP and the ANC do they play in the same team? Soccer?

MR NGUBENI: Yes we play in the same teams and also in different teams.

ADV DE JAGER: I hope you'll do very good and win the league next year, hey?

MR NGUBENI: Yes that's correct, we're going to replace Bafana Bafana National Squad, Soccer Squad. Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR SAMUELS: Mr Chairperson, I seem to have run out of witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Are there no more applications?

MR SAMUELS: No there's nobody here that I can see. If I may have five minutes please if I may?

CHAIRPERSON: Let me just check.

MR SAMUELS: We've been through yes, quite a bit one page 1.

CHAIRPERSON: There's none on page 1.

MR SAMUELS: On page 1, Vusi James, in fact may I update you, Vusi James Ngubani will be a matter heard in Chambers.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR SAMUELS: The three persons, Molise, Khanya and Mtsweni, those persons are still outstanding, Embrose May has testified and the next page ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Cyril?

MR SAMUELS: Cyril Chisoma is not here. Oh sorry, may I call Cyril Chisoma?

CHAIRPERSON: Please. Mr Samuel, is this the last applicant from your side?

MR SAMUELS: Yes, there are still three persons, Molise on page 1, Molise, Khanya and Mtsweni.

CHAIRPERSON: What about them?

MR SAMUELS: I'm afraid these persons we still haven't traced, we have great difficulty them, we are continuing to do so, if we do not trace them my submission is going to be to have these matters adjourned sine die and they can take their place on the roll, on any roll for now. These are the only matters we have and we should finish them all.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm giving you until 11 o'clock tomorrow morning.

MR SAMUELS: Thank you. Mr Chairman, may I in their defence, attempt in their defence just to say this, I think many of the witnesses were given letters by whoever saying that you should appear on certain days. Now I'm not taking the point that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'll tell you what has happened. The person appointed head of the ANC TRC desk made those arrangements with the office but I understand that the understanding between them is that those dates are convenience dates and there may be changes like happened now.

MR SAMUELS: No I do not wish to take the point that it is a specific date, no, I just meant that to motivate.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I understand what you're saying. I must say I'm extremely disappointed that that person who is head of the TRC desk of the ANC has chosen to absent himself from the major portion of the hearing because there are a couple of things I would like to have asked him and the difficulty some of your clients have is traceable to him.

MR SAMUELS: Thank you Mr Chairman. May Mr Chisoma be sworn in?

CHAIRPERSON: Where are we on the page?

MR SAMUELS: Page 83.

CHAIRPERSON: Volume 2?

MR SAMUELS: Yes Volume 2.

ADV DE JAGER: I haven't got a page 83.

MR SAMUELS: Page 83 is I think up to page 40 something. I know there is some confusion with the numbering. Mine, it's up to the red folder if that helps.

ADV DE JAGER: Thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: Which language would you prefer to use?

MR CHISOMA: Zulu.

CYRIL CHISOMA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Samuels, this application is not signed?

MR SAMUELS: May he ...

CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to adjourn now, probably for the day. Will you sort this matter out. We'll adjourn till 9 a.m. If I'm walking in here at 9 a.m. and there's nobody here at the tables, I'm striking the matter off.

WITNESS EXCUSED

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

 
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