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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 09 February 1999
Names MOLEFE MICHAEL SELEPE
Case Number AM7154/97
MR SHANE: Mr Chairman, before you are two affidavits which were put on your desk, it is affidavits of a certain Penwell Nkosi and an affidavit of Vicor Jeremiah Mngomezulu. These affidavits are before you Mr Chairman, in response to the affidavit of Sotole Khanyile and others, which was placed before you yesterday.
I think that deals with that matter of the opposition to, and Mr Chairman, I have one more affidavit which I have in front of me. If I could hand them up, unfortunately they were written in my hand, I didn't get a chance to have them typed, Mr Chairman, but they have been attested to.
ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if I may be of any help, I would get the prison records, and because if there is previous convictions, there will be fingerprint records, I will make sure that you get that.
EXAMINATION BY MR SHANE: Before we proceed with the actual acts for which you seek amnesty and before we deal with the affidavits that are before this Commission, can you please go through your political credentials, in other words, can you explain from the beginning of your life, when you became involved in politics, up until now?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I want to point out to you too, Mr Selepe, that you are now under oath, you are on your own. Your Attorney will lead you, which he is entitled to do, and object to any matters that may prejudice you, but you can't seek his advice every time a question is asked. Do you understand that? To that extent, you are on your own now. Please proceed.
As I was a member of the Executive Committee in COSAS, many members were detained. I had to leave school and leave my area, the community where I lived. Then I left school. I went to hiding. At that time, I was staying in Tokoza, but I was attending school at Letutula Secondary School. I looked for employment. In the township I was a member of Tokoza Youth Congress as from 1987, 1988.
I was compelled to look for employment as to support my family. I found employment at Early Bird TV Services. Whilst I was working there at Early Bird, I was detained by members of the Security Branch. It was during the time of the state of emergency.
After I was released, I was restricted. I was confined to my house, so that I should not roam around in the township without notifying the police. I was not supposed to be amongst people who were more than three, unless it was at church or members of my family.
Before I leave Tokoza township, if I go to my relatives or wherever I go, I've got to give them an address of where I will be going, and the telephone numbers of the place I was visiting. They would verify before I leave.
I was prosecuted for rape. On the final day in court, she exposed the members of the Security Branch that they bribed her, and that she was lying, that she must lay a charge, therefore I was acquitted by Magistrate Van Wyk in Germiston.
When I returned to Early Bird where I was working, my employer told me that because I was arrested for rape, I am working with female employees, therefore they terminated my services. I worked in the township with Tokoza Youth Congress. I was a member of Tokoza Civic Association at that time.
I was taken by Bishop of the Anglican Church, who is Bishop Mokoene. Because I did not have a steady place to stay and was not able to stay with my family, he got a scholarship from Britain so that I should go and further my studies there.
MR SELEPE: I started to be a member of the SDU in 1990. As I was a Media Officer of the Youth League in Tokoza, there was a meeting because the war had started between hostel dwellers and the residents of Phola Park. At the time the war started, it wasn't clear that it was a fight between the ANC and the IFP.
Everybody observed that as a fight between Zulu's and Xhosa's. On that meeting of the ANC Youth League, they said that amongst the members of the ANC Youth League and I was also the Chairperson of the Slovo Section, that we must form Self Defence Units.
After the formation of those structures, we held elections for various positions within the Units, because at that time, members of the leadership of the ANC or members of the Executive in Slovo Section, people like Thabi Penqe, Vusi Sibeko, were attacked in their houses, and then I was left alone.
People like Sam Ntuli, Dan Pumselo Mbatha and Tshabalala have already died at that time. That is where we formulated the SDU structures. Those people who were near the hostels, came to our sections and at times, they were threatened to join the IFP.
There were activities which I did with the SDUs until I was arrested in 1992, around September or October, I don't remember well. After I was detained, I stayed in detention for some months. In 1993, I learnt about what was happening in the township, especially in my particular Section.
Those three months which I stayed in detention, six people or seven people, were killed by Bishop Khumalo's gang, who is a member of the IFP. I was forced to get out of prison, because I was never granted bail.
MR SELEPE: A certain comrade called Duma Nkosi came, he was together with a certain person, who is not known to me. MR SHANE: That person who is not known to you, have you now found out that that person is Mr George Ndlozi an official from the TRC?
MR SHANE: Sorry Mr Chairman, at this juncture, I must just place on record that what is now being said, is totally contradictory to the instructions that I took. It is not according to the instructions that I took in a lengthy consultation with this applicant.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Selepe, your Attorney has informed me that you have deviated from your instructions to him. I don't know what he intends to do about it, but it may be possible that you may not have his services for much longer, as a result.
MR SHANE: That is, you have my word, I just want to point one thing out Mr Chairman, I just possibly, maybe I can do so in the presence of Mr Steenkamp, but it is possible Mr Chairman, that he is misunderstanding because I was expecting to lead the applicant on this, but the discrepancy has emanated from questions from yourself Mr Chairman.
I just want to, and it is on this point, and I hope I could clear it up, it might need a consultation, but like I say Mr Chairman, if it can be done in front of Mr Steenkamp, otherwise I won't consult, but I am thinking to get around ...
I just want to raise certain other issues with you afterwards. Mr Selepe, it is unfortunate that your Attorney has to withdraw in your application. I am going to postpone this application to next Tuesday. I am aware that you are in prison and it would be a little more difficult than would otherwise be the case, to obtain the services and assistance of another Attorney.
That is why I am going to postpone this matter to next Tuesday so that you can use this afternoon and the rest of this week, in an attempt to acquire the services of an Attorney and do so in time, such that he can consult with you properly, and prepare for your application. Do you understand that?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Shane, you asked me a little while ago about arguing at the end of the evidence and I indicated to you that we would make request to you in matters that we were uncomfortable with, where there were clear cases, we wouldn't need arguments on now and the one that does give us a problem, is the one of Thami Mahlala.
MR SHANE: Correct, he said his actions were designed, there were three vans and some of his actions were designed to defend himself, but the shooting of the white policeman in I think a kombi vehicle, was he said, to kill them so that he could get their weapons.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Shane, he went further at one stage of his evidence and said I knew I shot at them, because I knew they would take me to the hostel and do something to me. Do you recall he said something like that?
On another occasion, during his evidence, then it changed somewhat, and yes, he did say that he wanted to obtain the weapons. We have a problem with that also because he was dealing with three motor vehicles and a number of people, that he was taking on single handedly. How did he even hope to win that battle, never mind obtain the arms?
I need you to argue and persuade us that he has in fact made full disclosure there, if we accept that he wanted to obtain their firearms. On the other hand, if he wanted to shoot the white policemen to defend himself, then what political motive would he have had to shoot him?
CHAIRPERSON: I am not questioning his right to apply. I am saying if his actions were, if what he did, was committed in self defence, and that was his intention, you've got to persuade us that he has complied with the Act which requires his actions to be based on a political motive. Self defence in our view, is not a political motive because he could justifiably be found not guilty.
CHAIRPERSON: We have to consider the other version, and note that there are two versions that he gave, on that score as to why he shot at the police. Could we believe him to put it crudely if he wanted to obtain these firearms, to take on more than six policemen alone? Six armed policemen?
In that case, has he then made full disclosure? On two scores, he has given us two versions. The other version is the probabilities of a single man, trying to disarm at least six policemen of their firearms. Would you like to argue on that?
MR SHANE: If I may ask Mr Chairman, I would like to just prepare myself, if I could possibly argue it possibly tomorrow if that is possible Mr Chairman. Nine o'clock if it suits you sir? Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: ... indicated to Mr Shane, we have no problems with most of the applications at this stage, and I indicated that I would ask the various representatives to address us on issues that gave us problems. In the Madlala matter in which you appeared, we really have a problem with that whole application, in particular whether full disclosure was made, for example whether this was not an escapade in burglary and nothing more and what was the political motive?
Our attention had been drawn to the fact that there seems to be a connection between the applicant and his colleagues and burglary at the house near the spot where they were found, and of course, the murder and the attempted murder becomes particularly a focal issue when one considers the question of political motive.
We think of perhaps also the attempted escape, it really doesn't make sense to us. Maybe you can persuade us that it should make sense. Perhaps the armed robbery was something that was done with a political motive, on the other hand it may be related to some kind of organised crime. We need you to attend to that.
CHAIRPERSON: There is a matter in which she appeared for Mr Joseph Motshwene. The big question here is, in her case, Mr Motshwene has made application for amnesty in respect of attempted murder of a teacher or teachers and the unlawful possession of a firearm and associated ammunition.
We have no problem with the unlawful possession of the firearm and ammunition, it is this attempted murder, shooting blindly at a teacher and a principal in a school yard, for what political purpose would that have been? He says he couldn't identify the people, but yet he shoots at them?
Somewhere one is uncomfortable with also the possibility of him not making full disclosure about exactly what occurred there. His evidence was really bland and I think at one time, he even resorted to amnesia, because of the passage of time. Those issues give us problems, and those are the only cases that we need argued. Would tomorrow suit you? We want to give judgement tomorrow in most of the matters. No, not tomorrow, Thursday.
CHAIRPERSON: Okay, we will be here nine o'clock, Mr Shane has undertaken to be here nine o'clock. If you can ask Ms Nhlayisi or inform her of the position. Depending on how long you people decide to argue, we won't be long. We want to adjourn and consider the issues and hopefully give decisions in as many of the matters, on Thursday, as we can.
CHAIRPERSON: In the Nkosi application, the last one, there seems to be at least identifiable names, like the Thabete family and Mlaba. We have no further details on it and we couldn't get further details from the applicant. I don't know how possible it is for you or your associate, to obtain that information. If we can't, we can't, but at least, let's give it a shot.
It is to be hoped that matters have now subsided and people can live together as human beings, as we should have been doing all these years. I further hope that we will take care and take particular precautions against a repetition of what occurred in the area. Too many people died. It will remain one of our tragedies of this country.
I am going to postpone this matter till tomorrow, nine o'clock hopefully, for the lawyers to come and argue what they need to argue. You are welcome to attend merely to listen to that if you want to and I intend to give decisions on most of the matters if not all, on Thursday. I thought it necessary to inform you, so that if you don't feel like coming to listen to lawyers, which is not always the most attractive thing to do, then you can come Thursday. We stand adjourned until tomorrow.