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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 16 February 1999
Names JOHN RADEBE
Case Number AM 200/96
Matter MURDER OF MS NDUMO & ATTEMPTED MURDER OF MS ELSIE MOKOENA
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MS MOLOISANE: Madam Chair and Committee Members, we are in a position to proceed with this application, and we haven't prepared any supplementary affidavit. At this stage I wish to call the applicant, Njanjana John Radebe.
CHAIRPERSON: I thought by agreement, we had all agreed that we will get the testimony from Mr Radebe in respect of the killing of Ms Ndumo and the assault of Ms Mokoena first because the Evidence Leader has to lead evidence of Ms Mokoena in respect of that particular incident and thereafter you'll be given an opportunity to call Mr Radebe to give evidence in respect of the killing of Maletsatsi.
CHAIRPERSON: So we would expect him to give evidence only in respect of the Ndumo and Mokoena incident, for now, and once that incident has been testified to by him we'll then afford the Evidence Leader an opportunity of proceeding to lead evidence of Ms Mokoena.
Now you and your co-accused were accused of the murder of Hapile Ndumo, the assault, you were convicted of the murder of Hapile Ndumo, the assault on Elsie Mokoena and the illegal possession of arms and ammunition, together with your co-accused in that case, Samuel Neti, Abraham Mkhwanazi and Borman Letsulo(?), is that correct?
MS MOLOISANE: Now tell this Committee about the circumstances that led to the events of the 15th of August 1993 in Sebokeng, that is that led to the killing of Hapile Ndumo and to the assault on Elsie Mokoena and to the possession of those arms and ammunitions illegally. Proceed.
MR RADEBE: It was in 1993 on the 15th of August, it was on Sunday. I was at Small Farm, my two comrades arrived, that is Borman Letsulo and Abraham Mkhwanazi. They were on their way to Zone 7. I requested them that we should start at Ndluli's place, then I'll accompany them to Zone 7 so that they will be able to see one person there at the tavern. We agreed that we should start at Ndluli's place ...(intervention)
MR LAX: Could you just slow down a little bit please. We are very worried that what you say will not be interpreted if you're going too fast. It also makes it very difficult for us to take the notes down. Do you understand?
Just to say this, you said it was a Sunday, you were at Small Farm, your comrades, Letsulo and Mkhwanazi stopped, they were on their way to Zone 7, you requested them to pass - I didn't catch the name, was it Ndluli's tavern, Ndluli's place?
MR RADEBE: We arrived at that tavern, the three of us, we entered the tavern. I looked for the person whom I was looking for and then he was not present there. When we went outside I informed my comrades that I saw Hapile and Elsie inside the tavern.
MR RADEBE: I called them at the gate in the tavern. It was myself, Letsulo, Abraham Mkhwanazi, Hapile Ndumo and Elsie Mokoena. I told them that you are wanted within Sebokeng community. Hapile replied and said: "We know that we are wanted, but about what?" I told them that at this time we cannot talk much about those issues. I confronted Elsie that we are going to Zone 12 now.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, try and give your evidence at a pace that will enable the translator to translate everything that you are saying and enable the Committee as well as the Evidence Leader to take down that which is being translated from Sesotho into English by the translators. So try and be a little slower.
MR LAX: Can you just go back please. You said you were at the gate outside the tavern having called them, there was Elsie and yourself and your comrades and then a discussion takes place at that point, just continue from there. If you wouldn't mind just repeating the details of the discussion to us please.
MR RADEBE: I was the one who was talking and then I told that: "You know that you are wanted in Sebokeng", and then I told them: "I request you to go to Zone 12 in the office". That is when Elsie Mokoena said she is not going there. I wanted to verify as to whether she is not prepared to go there, then she said she's not prepared, then I asked her for a second time that is she not prepared to go, then I took the pistol, that is a 7.65. I shot her twice.
MR RADEBE: There were IFP groups who were staying at Kwamadala Hostel. Always they would enter in Sebokeng and shoot people, people who were defenceless, to a point where we as comrades met and discussed about that problem. That is where we formed the Self Defence Unit. That is why all the time we would be armed to protect people, our people, from the people who were shooting the community. Because at times a car would just enter the township and they would start shooting, then I'd be unarmed, so at all times I would have that pistol so as to protect myself and the community.
MR RADEBE: They were not there before. There was an Inkatha group or Inkatha groups which were killing people in Sebokeng communities, to a point where people went outside for MK trainings. They came up with the idea and they said we are present and we are here as MK cadres.
CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to stop you there. I'm not on the same page as you, Ms Moloisane. You are now asking him questions about something which is completely different to what he was busy testifying to. He was right in the middle of giving us testimony in respect of a particular incident and you're questioning elicits information which is completely different to what he was still busy testifying. It's going to play havoc with our record. However, he is also not responding to your questions.
MR RADEBE: She ran away. There was a two-roomed house around the tavern, she ran into the two-roomed house. Hapile ran inside the tavern. I had two pistols with, on me. I took another pistol and gave it to Mkhwanazi. A 7.62. Mkhwanazi chased the one who entered the tavern, then I chased the one who ran inside the 2-roomed house. I found people inside that 2-roomed house. When I looked ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: Try and be slow again Mr Radebe, sorry. We must plead with you, we have to take notes of what you are saying and weíve got to make sure that there are no errors in the interpretation. If you donít speak in a slower fashion your evidence will not be interpreted properly by the translators. We donít want you to have any errors in the evidence that will be translated by the interpreters to us, so try and give your evidence at a pace that will enable him to translate properly everything that you say in Sesotho. Now you were still saying that you had two pistols in your possession and that you gave one to Mkhwanazi and that Mkhwanazi ran after Hapile whilst you ran after Elsie. Do I have that correct?
MR RADEBE: Whilst I was chasing Elsie she has already entered the 2-roomed house. When I entered at the kitchen I found people inside that house. Then I requested them to show where the person who ran into that house is. They said she did not enter in that particular room and I told them that I saw her running inside that house and that I would search for her and shoot her in the house. When they saw that I was serious they instructed her to get out of the room. She went outside, then I pointed a gun at her, then I pointed her to the direction where she should take. I returned to the point where we were before, next to the gate, then I found that Abraham Mkhwanazi went outside to wait for me. Abraham Mkhwanazi, I found him pointing a gun at Hapile. We took them to Zone 12. On our way to Zone 12 I discovered that the guns we had had no bullets, then I came with an idea that we should start at Mr Sipapoís place, that is a person who was helping us in that regard. ...(intervention)
MR RADEBE: He was helping us with the bullets. We felt that that is a place where we would want to go to get with the comrades, and then we donít have transport, thatís the one, the person who was helping us with transport all the time, but in many instances he used to help us with the ammunition because he had a licensed firearm.
CHAIRPERSON: Well youíve not stated that in your evidence. At what stage did you decide to go to Sipapoís place for ammunition, and where exactly did you leave the others, and what do you mean by the others?
MR RADEBE: When I say others I mean Hapile Ndumo, Elsie Mokoena and Letsolo. I left another gun to Letsolo. I went with Abraham Mkhwanazi to Sipapoís place, because they were not aware that we did not have the ammunition with us.
MS MOLOISANE: Madam Chair, before we proceed, I just want to draw the Committeeís attention to the fact that the applicant said Ntjolo, not Letsolo. Referring to Borman Ntjolo, former accused, co-accused.
MR RADEBE: We went to Mr Sipapoís place. We found that he has only 9 mm ammunition, he doesnít have ammunition for a 7.65. We went back to Ntjolo and together with the two women we took the direction toward Zone 12 to the office. On our way to the office, because I knew that in Zone 12 these people are known, it may happen that one informer or a spy would inform the police, then I decided that we should pass at comrade Kraaiís place, who is Samuel Neti. We found Samuel Neti at the stockvel. I entered inside and I found him and we went outside together. I informed him that we caught those people who were wanted. When we talk Bopi we talk about Ntjolo. I found that Ntjolo is alone and then we should go to Zone 12. I requested him that he should remain so as to guard these two women, so that we should go to Zone 12.
CHAIRPERSON: May I get clarity? In your evidence you state that because the ladies in question were well known ...(inaudible) and because you knew that there could be a spy that could go to the police, presumably to inform the police about your abduction, you decided to go to Samuel Netiís place.
MR RADEBE: I discovered that these two people, and we were three and they were two, and where we went to fetch the ammunition, I was supposed to go with another one, because in many instances I would not go alone. There should be one member of the unit who would accompany me to that place. That is why Ntjolo had to leave with Neti, and that we should leave, that is why we went to pass at Netiís place.
MR RADEBE: There would be a place where we would store our arms. I have no right to go there alone. I should be accompanied by another comrade, because if I go there alone I would not get anything. That is why it was necessary to go with Abraham Mkhwanazi.
MR RADEBE: Yes, that is correct. In fact there would be no-one whom I would go to any community member because we used to address these issues in our meetings, that there will be no person who should go to our assistant alone, because tomorrow I will get there on my personal reasons, because maybe one of my friend is looking for that ammunition, then I would take my friend there and collect them. That is why there should be a comrade who would accompany me, as members of the defence unit were known.
MR LAX: Sorry, Iím still confused. Please Advocate, stop hitting your button. You cut me off every time you do. When youíre ready to talk, you can press the button. Iím just puzzled here because Iím not understanding you properly. Why was it necessary for two of you to go every time if you were known to the community?
MR RADEBE: The community knew us ourselves as members of the unit. We have our own way of operating. That is, in terms of the code of conduct. Because for example I would have a friend who is not known by the community, then I would go to that particular place, perhaps Mr Sipapo or somebody, and give me the ammunition. That is not the way we used to operate, but something of that sort would happen. That is why we did not find ourselves in that particular situation that one comrade would collect ammunition and misuse them.
MR RADEBE: In Hollywood we met comrade Stanley, and I informed him that we caught the two people, these two, these particular two people. Then we are going to kill them. Then he instructed us that we should do the good job, so that we would be able not to be arrested. I told him that we would not make a mistake, they would be killed.
MR RADEBE: Stanley was the chairperson of the ANC. He was a member of, he was the chairperson of the ANC youth league. Stanley is, was there before when they were assaulted, in regard to their Inkatha activities. That is why it was necessary for me to inform him.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Moloisane, may I just get clarity on this. I seem to have read something in the judgment of Mr Goldblatt Justice, that Mr Stanley, I canít recall, but you said Stanley was the branch secretary of the ANC. Are you certain that he was the chairperson of the ANC?
MR RADEBE: He had two portfolios. I donít know as to whether he has already changed to another position, but then I knew that he was the secretary and he was the chairperson at various stages. I donít remember when was he the chairperson or the secretary. That is why Iím not able to verify as whether, at this particular time, he was the chairperson or the secretary.
CHAIRPERSON: At the time when you gave evidence before Justice Goldblatt, did you say that Stanley was the branch secretary. And that is at page 3 of the judgment. I just recall reading something which is contrary to what you are saying now in your viva voce.
MR RADEBE: I donít know as to whether you understand me the way I am trying to explain, because usually we would have elections and the committee would be changed, and a person would be moved from one position to another position. That is why I am not able to verify, because even the person who was interpreting, maybe he was the one who made a mistake as to whether he was the chairperson on the secretary, because I was not sure that, but he was an office bearer of the branch.
CHAIRPERSON: Thatís all I wanted to find out. Are you now sure that he was the chairperson, because in your viva voce evidence you say he is chairperson and you have not suggested any doubt about his portfolio?
MR RADEBE: From Stanley we went to Abraham Mkhwanaziís place. He gave me my lumber jacket. We returned again to Borman Ntjolo, and Samuel Neti. When we left there, I found Borman Ntjolo not there, and Elsie Mokoena was not there either. It was only Hapile Ndumo and Samuel Neti. When I tried to enquire about the whereabouts of Ntjolo he replied to me and say he was running after Hapile without a waste of time as Elsie has run away she would come back with the police. Then we went again to Small Farm. When we arrived at Small Farm there was a certain comrade who is called Nkosana. I went to Nkosana then I gave him the pistol which I had, then he gave me 2.2 calibre. I found comrades interrogating Hapile Ndumo. That is where I shot at her with that gun. After that my self and Abraham Mkhwanazi went to my place. I took my suitcase. Before we left Samuel Neti was together with a certain comrade who was not known to me and we learned that he is from Soweto. Samuel Neti sacrificed that they would take Hapile Ndumo and take her to the ground, then myself and Mokolasi ...(intervention)
MR LAX: Just slow down. There was some rather strange term in the way it way interpreted. You said Samuel Neti sacrificed that he would stay behind and together with this other comrade drag her to the ground. Did I understand that correctly?
MR RADEBE: I went to my place and took my suitcase. ...(gap between tapes) Then I went to Zone 2. Then we returned to Abraham Mkhwanaziís place. Then he packed his suitcase and then the following morning we left those suitcases at his place. Then we went to where we left her corpse. That is where we collected the cartridges. Then we left. We took a taxi to Johannesburg. We went to ANC office. That is where we met Viva Umkhonto, together with Dakav.... We informed them about what we did. We informed them what we did about the sell outs, and what we wanted was a hide out or a safe place. Then we went to Mamelodi in Pretoria.
CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean when you say he was the person who was there? Was he part of a group, and if so, we have not heard any evidence about a group having been there at any stage. We only know Ntjolo, Mkhwanazi, Neti and yourself.
MR RADEBE: That is the time when we left at Netiís place and the people who followed us and those who heard that the informers were caught, then they became a group. As I knew that Nkosana was a member of the self defence unit at Small Farm, then I took his gun, that is the .22 calibre, and I used that gun.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe my questions are only confined to the incident around the 15th of August 1993, so I do not understand your evidence where it alludes to later. Around the 15th of August 1993, was your unit located at Small Farm?
CHAIRPERSON: Which month in 1993, because youíve just stated now that when this incident happened your unit was located at Small Farm, and this incident happened on the 15th of August 1993. So when you say you became a member of the unit that operated at Zone 12 in 1993, can you be specific?
MS MOLOISANE: As it pleases you Madam Chair. Now, after Nkosana had given you the 7.22 pistol you said you went to shoot Hapile. Briefly explain to this Committee why did you have to, you have already said so, but outline in detail why did you have to shoot her?
MR RADEBE: The reason for me to shoot at her was the information we already had before, that together with Elsie Mokoena and others who were not involved in this particular case, we had that information that they were involved with murders which happened in Sebokeng. That is why it was necessary for me to shoot her, because they would take the information from the township and take it to Kwa Madala Hostel, because those people who were residents of Kwa Madala Hostel, some of them did not even know Sebokeng. They knew everything about Sebokeng from the people who were staying in the township. Some of them were Hapile Ndumo and Elsie Mokoena.
CHAIRPERSON: Wonít you just tell us about the structure that you are referring to, to which you were his second in charge? Your only evidence has been that comrade Mabusa was a member of the MK and operated underground. Can you just be more explicit about the structure you are referring to when you say you were his second in charge?
MR RADEBE: In regard to the self defence unit structures, because at times when we observed things going on the community in regard to the murder or the killings of people, people would be deployed in that particular area, usually I would assist him in deploying people. We would know that certain people are in particular areas and other in particular areas, then we will be able to deploy them. That is why I am saying I was his second in charge.
MS MOLOISANE: As it please you Madam Chair. Now you told this Committee that you had, Stanley had given you some orders. I just want you to clarify this. If Stanley hadnít given you orders to do a clean job, would you still have killed Hapile Ndumo?
MS MOLOISANE: Just explain it further. If, what do you mean by saying because of the activities of Inkatha? I mean you would still have killed her because of the activities of Inkatha. What do you mean? Explain it further.
MR RADEBE: I killed her because of playing a role in the killings of Vaal triangle communities. That is the reason why I shot her, and to spy on our comrades. Because at any time I would be eliminated by Inkatha, or my colleague who was a member of my unit, or an innocent member of the community. That is why I killed her.
MR RADEBE: I killed, I shot at her because of playing a role in the killings of Vaal triangle community members, and to spy on our comrades. Because innocent people were killed, like small children sleeping at night. Those things made us feel bad.
CHAIRPERSON: That is right. What is not clear to me is whether he is saying to us he wanted to kill Ms Mokoena and he therefore seeks amnesty for attempting to kill Ms Mokoena, or he is only applying for amnesty for the assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm as was found by the criminal Court. That is not confined to the conviction that came out of the criminal trial. Thatís why I just want clarity in respect of the Elsie Mokoena incident.
MS MOLOISANE: As it pleases this Committee. Madam Chair, if, we are actually applying for amnesty for the attempted murder, the murder of Hapile Ndumo, the attempted murder in respect of which he was convicted for assault.
CHAIRPERSON: These are different offences. He is talking of the offence for which he was convicted, which is assault GBH. I understand that he would apply for that, but does he want to go further and say it was his intention to kill Ms Mokoena, and not just to assault her?
MS MOLOISANE: Now, I want you to clarify this point. When you shot at the two girls, that is Hapile Ndumo, Elsie Mokoena and later on at Hapile Ndumo, was this because you were, was it a revenge killing, let me put it that way, or were you doing it because of a particular reason?
MR RADEBE: Mainly it was protection. To protect myself. Because the information received in Boipatong, young people would knock, and when you opened the door people would start shooting, that is how we had to shoot them. And again because of their spying activity, because comrades were arrested or detained by the police, that is how we had to protect ourselves.
"...we then took Hapile with us at a distance of about plus minus four hundred metres. I shot Hapile with two bullets, shots, and Fani also shot her with two bullets."
MR RADEBE: In that instance, when I said he shot twice, I included that in my evidence in the Supreme Court because they were arrested first and the police showed me their exhibits and evidence that Iím the one who took the major, or played the major role in the murder which happened on that particular day. As I knew as a member of the self defence unit the, no member of the SDU would be able to testify against another comrade, then when I found out that they gave evidence against me, therefore I decided that I should give that evidence so that all of us would be convicted. But truly, Iím the one who shot. He did not shoot. Because his gun had no ammunition.
CHAIRPERSON: I cannot understand however why you lied when you applied for amnesty to this Committee, knowing fully well that the requirement for a successful application is the truth. Why did you do that? I can understand you lying during the criminal trial. I want you tell me why you lied when you applied for amnesty here.
MR RADEBE: On the statement which I made before the TRC investigator, that is Judge Mdluzi, I did not know that TRC is, does not align itself with what is happening at Court, because I thought that I would say exactly what I said in the Supreme Court when I came before this Committee, because a certain woman who came to me, that is Sissy Rampepe explained to us that as we have already applied we would get legal representative who would inform us about the procedure of the TRC. That did not happen, that I should know my legal representative in time before I came before this Committee. That they want only relevant facts in regard to the incident, not what happened in Court. That is when Ms Moloisane on the 7th and then on the 8th we were to appear here, that we should only tell what happened on that particular day only. That is why I tell the truth today of what happened on that, the particular day of the incident.
CHAIRPERSON: Were you not visited by several members of the Truth Commission, who explained to you the process, and advised you that you further had the right to be legally represented? Were you also not visited in prison by members of the community who understood the Act and were placed in places like Vereeniging and explained to you the requirements of the Act? I am now talking about the prison wherein you were.
MR RADEBE: That did not happen to me, that a particular person would come to me and visit me and inform me about the requirements of the Act. That what happened in Court has nothing to do with the TRC. What I knew was that a legal representative would come and inform me what would happen, what should happen in regard to my application for amnesty. I only knew my advocate on the 7th, and then on the 8th I came before this Commission.
MR LAX: So you knew that at the time you filled out the form, and at the time you made the statement. Please letís not play games here. You beat around the bush with a long story. Just give us a straight answer please.
CHAIRPERSON: And why then would you believe that you were committed to the lie which you had given during your criminal trial, and the lie which you gave when you were a State witness against your fellow comrades during your criminal trial, when it was explained to you the offences for which you could succeed for amnesty were politically related?
CHAIRPERSON: Why did you believe that you were committed to the lie which you had given during your own criminal trial, and the lie which you gave whilst you were a State witness in a criminal trial of your fellow comrades, when it was explained to you that the requirement for amnesty was that the offences for which you sought such amnesty had to be politically related?
MR RADEBE: I said so in Court, because I thought that they testified against me, and even I informed the Court that we did all these things in the protection of the community. That is why I thought they were politically inclined, because we were protecting the community against those who were attacking them.
CHAIRPERSON: You still have not responded to my question. I will ask the question again for the third time. Why did you believe that you still had to be committed to the lies you had told initially during your own criminal trial and subsequently when you gave evidence against your comrades during their criminal trial, when it had been explained to you by the warder that the offences for which you could apply for amnesty had to be politically related?
MR RADEBE: I understand it from the beginning, that is why should I commit myself to the lie which I said in Court in my case and then against my comrades, but at the end of that question I did not understand.
CHAIRPERSON: I donít know whether there is a problem of interpretation or is the question on itís own a little complex? I will attempt to dilute it further. You have already testified that the offences for which you could apply for amnesty had to be politically related, and that this information you were advised by a prison warder.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, Iím going to try and dilute my question. You probably are not on the same page. Youíve already testified that the prison warder had explained to you that the basis on which your application could succeed was that if the offences for which you sought amnesty were politically related.
CHAIRPERSON: And you had already during your criminal trial indeed pointed that out that the offences were committed within this context of the IFP and ANC fight, and that the reason why you were there as SDU members, you were there to protect the community.
CHAIRPERSON: Now my question is in relation to the lie you committed yourself to during the various stages of you giving evidence. Initially during your own criminal trial and subsequently when you were a State witness, in the matter of Neti, Mkhwanazi and Ntjulo, in which you lied about the details relating to how the offences were committed.
CHAIRPERSON: Now why did you feel that you still were committed to the lies that you had given during the criminal proceedings, when you were applying for amnesty before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
MR RADEBE: My reason is only one. My reason is only one. I would not make a false statement which I made in Court if I knew before that I should not associate myself with what happened in Court, I should only associate myself with the relevant facts of what happened during that incident, that I shot twice and Mkhwanazi shot twice. If I knew that I was supposed to say what I know has happened on that particular day. That the TRC does not associate itself with what happened in Court, I would only tell what I knew has happened when I come to apply for amnesty.
MR RADEBE: What I wanted to know from them is when am I going to appear, then they told me that I must wait for a reply or a notice from the TRC office in Cape Town, that when would my application be before this Commission, that is then I will be assisted with the legal services of what is going to happen at the TRC.
MR LAX: So, Mr Radebe, when these people came to you and spoke to you in prison, didnít they explain the process to you? You wanted to know when you would be appearing. Didnít they say to you well before you can appear there are a whole lot of things that need to happen?
MR LAX: Did they explain the whole investigative process to you, that it could take time, that the investigators would need to get more information, that they would come and ask you questions, they might write you letters, etc?
"...I didnít like to mention the names but as the Commissioners have asked for them I mentioned. I could not disobey the orders as I took an oath I would die for South Africa."
MR LAX: So in spite of having taken an oath not to reveal your comrades, you knew at the time you wrote this letter that you had to tell the truth to the Commission and reveal your comrades. Isnít that so?
MR LAX: Even Ďthough you took an oath that you would die for South Africa, that you wouldnít disclose who your comrades were, here you are in the face of the Commissionís request understanding that you must tell the truth, and so you disclose who your comrades and who your commanders were. Isnít that so.
MR RADEBE: I wrote this letter after, in response to the letter from the TRC, as to whether what I did I did that under orders. That is why I wrote that letter in that way. Although I know that that would complicate issues because other comrades are not interested to be before this Commission because they think that Iíll be testifying against them. As this is the problem which I have now, because a person thinks that if you expose his name this way you put him in trouble.
CHAIRPERSON: I think you understand the question Mr Radebe, very well. You know, we just do not have time to waste, nor time to play games. Do you understand. This is an important process and itís also one which does not afford this Committee much time to waste. And the question which was put to you by way of a statement by Mr Lax was that in your letter dated 2nd of April 1997 you disclosed names that you were reluctant to disclose but for the truth you were prepared to disclose.
MR RADEBE: I read the letter from the TRC saying, asking me questions whether who gave me orders, and then I was not prepared, but because you are requesting me to disclose those names, here are the names.
CHAIRPERSON: When questions were put to you by way of a request for further particulars, by the Committee, you did not disclose untruths. You did not give wrong names to the Committee. You stated the names of Paulos Kennel Malakwane, Stanley and Mabusa Mhlongo, as having been persons who had given you orders to commit the offences for which you are now seeking amnesty. You spoke the truth.
MR RADEBE: It was not my intention to lie to the investigator of the TRC. It was not my intention to lie. What I lied about was that I wanted to say what I said in Court, because I did not foresee what I said in Court, it is not necessary for me to say it. I did not know that I had to say exactly what happened on that particular day, and that must be the truth.
CHAIRPERSON: You have continuously misunderstood our questions, and responded to things that did not emanate from our questions. I must note that with a great amount of distress. Weíll take a tea adjournment for ten minutes. We hope that in future what we saw happening when we came in will not be repeated.
As it please you Madam Chair and Committee Members. Now Mr Mkhwanazi, Abraham Mkhwanazi, the previous applicant, who was also your co-accused in the High Court in Johannesburg, mentioned ...(intervention)
MS MOLOISANE: As it pleases you. Now on page 180 of the application for amnesty by Mr Abraham Mkhwanazi, at paragraph 11(b), he stated that he got orders from you, John Radebe. Can you elaborate on this?
CHAIRPERSON: Come again because I donít understand your response to the question put to you by your Counsel, and the question was what kind of orders did you give Mr Mkhwanazi? I do not comprehend the response that was interpreted. Will you please come again and respond to that question?
CHAIRPERSON: And it was known by all members within your unit that you took, as a member of that particular unit, instructions from Mabusa Mhlongo, as your commander? Was it known to each and every member in your unit that Mr Mhlongo was your commander and you took instructions from Mr Mhlongo?
CHAIRPERSON: Whilst we are on this point, whilst we try and ascertain the structure of command, and the structure of your unit, which is important for us to do, can we find out from you who were members in your particular unit? Can you enumerate your members in your unit?
MR RADEBE: What I would say is that Iím asking for forgiveness from them. And Iím saying that on behalf of the members of my unit because we did not do this to benefit either monetary or otherwise, it was in the name of protection, or protecting the community. If our comrades were not killed in Boipatong and in other places we could not have done this, therefore I would ask for forgiveness of what happened to Elsie Mokoena and Ms Ndumo.
MS MOLOISANE: Now, thereís one other aspect that I would like to cover. You said Mr Sipapo used to supply you with ammunition. In what capacity did he do this? Was he one of you, or why did you identify him as the person who had to supply you with ammunition?
MR RADEBE: There were people who would approach us that they aware that we are protecting the community by all our means, then as a businessman he used to contribute, so he used to say whatever type of help you would seek Iíll be available for your assistance. So there were many people who were assisting us in many ways.
MR RADEBE: I was going to interrogate them, so that they would inform me about their role in the killings of our people, as to whether who are they with and where they stay, they stay with whom, then after that we will shoot them.
MR RADEBE: The reason is that, for us not to go to the office, on the way I discovered that we did not have ammunition, and therefore if a mistake may happen we would not, if ...(indistinct) happen that the police would find us therefore we would be taken by the police and we would not find them again.
MR RADEBE: It just to aid in asking them questions, but there was nothing, there was no information which we wanted from them. It was just to verify some of the information we had, we have, so that may be of benefit to us, but the reason for us to take them there was to kill them.
MR RADEBE: We did not have the gun to use at Samuel Netiís place. We would kill her with whatever instrument we would find, but we were informed that you should not touch the blood of your victim. That is why in many instances we wanted to use a gun so that we would not touch the blood of our victim.
CHAIRPERSON: No Ms Thabethe. Put your question in such a way that you are in a position to cover both. You will recall that this Mr Radebe has given a version which is different to that which appears in his affidavit. In his viva voce testimony he obtained a gun which had ammunition from a comrade who was part of a group of persons that accompanied them from Samuel Netiís house to where the deceased was shot. In his affidavit he says he obtained ammunition from Sipapoís place, and he goes further to mention the number of bullets that were obtained from Sipapoís place.
MS THABETHE: Madam Chair can I proceed to find out Ďthough, because he said he didnít have guns and he didnít have ammunition, and in his evidence it was clear that he had obtained ammunition and he had guns.
CHAIRPERSON: Try and get him to respond why you have two versions in respect of that particular aspect. Refer him to the relevant page and paragraph and put to him his viva voce evidence and find out his explanation to the inconsistency.
MS THABETHE: Mr Radebe, can you explain why you had said initially that Mr Sipapo gave you ammunition, and you already had guns, and then later on in your evidence you say you were given guns and ammunition by your fellow comrade after you had taken Hapile to where you were going to kill her. Can you explain that contradiction to the Committee.
MR RADEBE: In regard to Mr Sipapo that we received ammunition, it is the evidence I gave in Court, which is a lie again that I shot and Abraham shot. The gun which we used on that particular day, that is a gun I took from comrade Nkosana. That is the gun I used which is from Nkosana Tshabalala.
MR LAX: Just to clarify Ms Thabethe. His evidence in his viva voce evidence was that Sipapo only had 9 mm ammunition, their firearms had 7.65 mm calibre, therefore they had to go elsewhere. I then turned out that later, when they saw Tshabalala he in fact got a triple two, .22 firearm which he then did the deed with. Itís just to clarify it. Thatís his viva voce evidence.
MS THABETHE: Thank you Madam Chair, thank you member of the Committee. In your evidence you also said when you called Elsie and Hapile outside itís because the community wanted them. Do you remember saying that? Or they were wanted by the community.
MR RADEBE: Any member of the community at that time knew that those people were enemies, because we were not hiding this information for us or from the community. The community would receive information from us. We are going to tell them that on a particular, we saw these people who have diverted and took another direction, because tomorrow you youíd shoot the person and then the community would be surprised why. That is why I said the community were seeking them.
MS THABETHE: When you had killed Hapile Ndumo, itís a follow up about my question of the community, since the community had wanted them, wouldnít the community then be glad that you got them and managed to shoot them?
MS THABETHE: Now can you explain to the Committee Members, if the community was satisfied and you had the approval of the community, why then, after you had committed this act, did you see a need to get away from the community?
MR RADEBE: Within the community there were those who were working hand in glove with the police. They would dress in the ANC uniform, but they would work hand in glove with murder and robbery squad, so that the comrades would be arrested and be shot by the police. That is why we had to get out of Sebokeng, because I donít know the person who would sell me.
MS THABETHE: Mr Radebe I donít quite get you because you say the community. I asked you who in the community wanted Elsie and Hapile. You said everyone in the community. Now I donít understand why then you would feel unsafe in a community that wanted these people dead in the first place. Why you would need to get away from such a community who were satisfied with what you did.
MR RADEBE: I would say they were not running away from the community but they were running away from the police, because I would see the person in the absence of the police. In the evening vanderBijl Park murder and robbery squad would know the identity of the person responsible for that murder, and it was difficult to think, or to suspect, that a certain person is responsible for informing.
MS THABETHE: My question is, since you already had an intention to kill her, you know when you shot her on the cheek, why didnít you kill her when she came out of that room? Why did you still took her to Samuel Netiís house?
MS THABETHE: And then she ran away into a house. You took her out of that house isnít it? My question is why didnít you kill her thereafter immediately? Why did you still proceed to take her to Samuel Netiís house?
CHAIRPERSON: I think at one stage he was a member of the Small Farm unit of the SDUís then in 1993 and approximately two to three months before the incident in respect of Ndumo, he became a member of the Zone 12 unit.
CHAIRPERSON: His evidence in this regard is conflicting. He gave two conflicting versions. When I questioned him then it was when he was in the middle of his viva voce evidence. Thatís the evidence he gave. However, towards the end of his evidence in chief his evidence was that he became a member of the Zone 12 unit two to three months before the Elsie Mokoena and the Hapile Ndumo incident occurred. Maybe you may want to get his explanation as to the contradictory versions he has given.
MS THABETHE: Thank you Madam Chair Iím indebted to you. Mr Radebe in your viva voce evidence when the Chairperson asked you a question as to when you became a member of an SDU in the Zone 12 Sebokeng township, you said you only became a member of the SDU Zone 12 unit after Hapile Ndumo was killed. Whereas later on in your evidence you indicated that you became a member of the Zone 12 SDU unit before, three months before Hapile was killed. Can you explain why you have given contradictory evidence in that respect?
MS THABETHE: No thatís not my question. My question is, earlier on you said, I remember very well your evidence, you said you were a member of a SDU unit in Small Farm when Hapile Ndumo was killed, itís only after she was killed that you became a member of Zone 12 SDU incident. Donít you remember saying that?
MR LAX: Mr Radebe itís really quite simple. Youíre confronted here with a contradiction. In the first part of your evidence you testified that you were a member of the SDU in Small Farm. We confirm from you whether, when this incident took place you were a member of that Small Farms unit, you were clear that it was the Small Farms unit. You then indicated that you joined the Zone 12 unit sometime after this incident, because, as you put it, there were problems at Small Farms. Later on in your testimony you then said something quite different. You said that you had been a member of the Zone 12 SDU for about two to three months when this incident took place. Do you understand that? Now there is a contradiction there. Do you understand that thereís a contradiction?
MR RADEBE: I think the difference is that, the conflict is because, is because when I change from one unit to another there is nowhere where I would write down that Iím changing from the one unit to the other unit. That is a thing which just happened, and I found myself in a different unit. And all units within Sebokeng are united.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, I donít know whether it is part of your nature to respond to questions in the fashion in which you have been responding. You do not respond to what is being sought to be established by a particular question. You do on to ramble about unnecessary evidence that is not material to your application. I must implore you again to try and keep to issues which are sought to be elicited by a question. Questions are not put to you for the sake of being put to you, they are intended to elicit important information that will assist us in deciding your application. You at time do more damage than good in the manner in which you are responding to questions. Try and confine your responses to issues which are sought by any question put to you. To come back to the problem at hand. What is being asked of you is to try and explain why we are sitting with two different versions, particularly in regard to when you became a member of the Zone 12 unit. You will recall that before we took our tea adjournment, and when I asked you when you became a member of the Zone 12 unit after you had stated in your evidence in chief that you were a member of a unit that was located at Small Farm, your evidence was that you became a member of the Zone 12 unit after you had experienced problems at Small Farms and then you moved to the Zone 12 unit. When I asked you to estimate when you became such a member, you said you would be unable to do so. Then I said you must do so by making use of the occurrence of the Elsie Mokoena and Hapile Ndumo incident which occurred on the 15th of August 1993, and your response that was that you became a member of the Zone 12 unit after that incident had occurred. However, when we came back from our tea adjournment and you were still being questioned by your counsel, you gave a different version of when you became a member of the SDU, and your evidence in that regard was that you became a member of the Zone 12 unit SDU approximately 2 to 3 months before the incident occurred. Now you have been requested to explain how you could give two conflicting versions with regard to when you became a member of the Zone 12 unit.
MR RADEBE: We had only one unit in the whole unit in the whole of Sebokeng. For us to have various sub-units was that we should uniformity because even the criminals may be part of us and then do things which are not in accord with our structure. That is why I had a problem. Iím asking. I will ask that Iím requesting that if I made that mistake the community, the Committee should try to understand because Iím able to operate in Zone 7 and in Zone 8. If I found comrades in Zone 18 and they were fighting I cannot just leave them alone, I should try to intervene. Iím requesting the Committee to forgive me for the conflict or the contradiction.
MS THABETHE: On the same point Mr Radebe, Iím not quite sure of what you are saying. Are you saying now that you were confused because even if you were a SDU member of Small Farm you could still operate in Zone 12? Is that your evidence now
MS THABETHE: Then can you explain why there was need for you to change from Small Farm unit to Zone 12 unit, whenever, whenever you changed? Why was there need for you to change if it didnít matter in which unit you belonged to in the first place?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe when you were giving your evidence in Sesotho the interpreter was unable to pick up what you said. Will you please just repeat yourself so that what you said earlier on can be translated to us in English.
MR RADEBE: What I was saying is that for a person to change from a particular unit, I beg your pardon, Ms Thabethe was asking me why did I change from Small Farm to Zone 12 unit. CHAIRPERSON:†††Yes, we want your answer to that question.
MR RADEBE: My answer is that in, within the SDU unit in Small Farm I was not satisfied the way they were operating because I was prepared to patrol day and night but at times you would find that there was a car at a particular post and some people were shot and they would not give you the full account of the incident. Because I observed that the community would not have trust in us because we would say people were shot and the car has left the scene without being noticed. That is why I joined comrade Mabusa and others because they were committed to their work.
CHAIRPERSON: I am finding some problems in understanding this aspect of your evidence. I have understood you to be giving us the reason why you left the Small Farm unit and joined comrade Mabusaís unit in Zone 12 as having been because of your dissatisfaction with how that unit operated.
MR RADEBE: Within Sebokeng all units were helping, every unit were helping one another, weíre helping each other in different ways. Other comrades would inform us that weíre going to have a night vigil in a particular area. We would go there to that particular place to patrol that area for the whole night. ...(indistinct) those people were shooting at the community during the night vigils.
CHAIRPERSON: My difficulty emanates from understanding your evidence. Is it your evidence that you could have been a member of the Small Farm unit and still participate in operations and or activities of another unit? For instance the Zone 12 unit. Is that your evidence?
MR RADEBE: I would not say I resigned because we were working hand in hand with other units. It was just to change position to another sub-unit. But it doesnít mean that if I move from that unit I would not go back and help them.
MR RADEBE: When I talk about moving Iím talking about a base. As I was in my unit in Small Farm during the day and during the night I should be at the bases in Small Farm for anything which would happen unexpectedly, for reinforcement. That is why I said moved from Small Farm unit to Zone 12 unit.
CHAIRPERSON: That has not been your evidence sir. Thatís not your evidence in chief. Thatís not in the evidence when questions were put to you by Members of the Committee for clarification. That has not been your evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Your evidence has always been that you were working, you, were a member of a particular unit. You went on to explain to this Committee the membership within your sub-unit. You went on to name different persons who belonged to your sub-unit. Do you recall when you enumerated members of your sub-unit in Zone 12? You were specific Mr Radebe.
CHAIRPERSON: How can you then say you have not been given an opportunity to explain that you belonged to a number of units? How could you proceed to explain the membership and the structure of your unit, and the chain of command within your sub-unit, if you did not understand your evidence to be addressing that particular problem?
CHAIRPERSON: I am telling you that we have not understood your evidence to be to the effect that you were acting within different units at any given time. We understood your evidence to be saying you belonged to a particular unit at any given moment. You went on to explain when you were a member of the Small Farm, went on to explain why you left Small Farm. Your evidence in chief only referred to the fact that there were problems, without specifying the nature of the problem that you had in Small Farm. And then you said you joined the Zone 12 unit.
MR RADEBE: I understood the questions, but they were not in regard to my movement or a movement of any SDU member in relation to various units. But immediately we know that there is a particular incident, all of us would go and attend that situation.
CHAIRPERSON: You know your Counsel led you in this regard. In fact, she introduced her first leading question in ascertaining the structure of command and the structure of your unit by asking you about one Bonga Khumalo, and it was in that instance that you referred to the fact that Bonga Khumalo was a general commander of all units. Thatís what you stated.
CHAIRPERSON: And that you, however, were a member of the Zone 12 unit. I went on to request you to name the members within your unit in Zone 12, and I told you that my question sought to elicit the membership of the Zone 12 unit because thatís the unit that you were a member of, and you went on to explain that Mr Fani Abraham Mkhwanazi, Shiya Ntjolo, Gomani, Shakes, and others, whose names you could not remember, were a member of your particular unit, meaning the Zone 12 sub-unit and that you became a member of that unit in 1993. Wasnít sufficient ground laid for you to explain yourself better, to show that Ďthough you could have been a member of Zone 12 you also operated in other activities of the other units?
MR RADEBE: Not that I would engage in various operations of that particular unit, for example, the Chairperson is, Iím trying to explain that there would be an incident in Zone 2. They would send somebody, not that they would send somebody to call us, but because we would know, we would go there.
MS THABETHE: Thank you Madam Chair. Just a clarification Mr Radebe before I move to the next aspect. I just want to find out. You said you were a senior commander to Mr Mkhwanazi. Was this now before or after you had changed from Small Farm unit to Zone 12 unit? Was it before or after you had changed?
ADV BOSMAN: Ms Thabethe can I just clear up something here. It is not clear to me what the position was in regard to seniority. What was your rank in Small Farm? Where were you in seniority, in the Small Farm unit?
MR LAX: Now Iím totally confused. Your evidence in chief was when you were being, you werenít actually led on this issue but you expanded on it yourself, on the issue of training and so on, and your evidence was very clear. That you were a member of Small Farms, then you went to Zone 12, then after Zone 12 you went to Sasolburg, and it was there you got your underground training. Now youíre saying you got your underground training while you were at Small Farms. Which one, what is the true version now?
MR RADEBE: In those weeks I was attending some training because we felt that Iíd go to the underground training without understanding, so I had orientation before. That is why I saying I received training after.
MR RADEBE: Whilst I was in Small Farm I was attending some orientation courses in Sasolburg about the real training. So that I would understand first before I undergo the real training. The after I went to Sasol to do the real underground training.
MR LAX: Well please explain to us, which version do you now want us to accept as your evidence? Because we now have three different versions. Firstly you went for your underground training after you left Zone 12 and went to Sasolburg. Secondly we have you went for your underground training when you were at Small Farms. And now thirdly in an attempt to explain yourself, you went for a sort of pre-training, and initiation training to prepare you for your underground training later.
MR RADEBE: When I said I received training whilst I was in Small Farm, it was an orientation kind of training. Then after that I had to go for training as to whether am I fit enough so that I will be able to confront any particular incident. That is where I went to Sasol that I passed that training.
ADV BOSMAN: Ms Thabethe, just one question to follow on here. Can I just repeat my question again? If you had not undergone underground training but were just sort of orientated, on what grounds did you get promotion so soon in the Zone 12 unit?
ADV BOSMAN: You told me that you were promoted because you had undergone underground training before going to the Zone 12 unit, now you say it was not underground training, it was just an orientation to see if you fit for underground training. So could you just explain again then, how did it come about you were, so soon after youíd gone to Zone 12, promoted?
MR RADEBE: Maybe they were satisfied with my progress. Maybe because of the tasks which I performed before. I would not know the criteria they used in my promotion. I was informed that in the absence of Mabusa I would be in charge, that is why
MS THABETHE: Madam Chair, thereís a follow up question, yes I think it matters, because he had said earlier on that, he gave evidence that Mr Mkhwanazi also shot Ms Hapile Ndumo. So now I want him to explain because itís like heís the only one who shot him. I want him to explain how did he do it and what the others were doing while he was shooting her.
MS THABETHE: In your evidence you said you shot Elsie and Hapile because you wanted to achieve a political objective against IFP. My question is how was shooting Elsie and Hapile going to achieve that political objective? Can you briefly explain?
MR LAX: Well you see, youíve told us there were 4 units in Zone 12 alone, and each of those units had been 18 and 20 members, thatís 80 people at best. So of the balance of 100 people at best, or on your version, there are 20 other SDU members for the rest of Sebokeng. That canít possibly be true, you must be making a mistake.
MR LAX: If youíll just bear with me Chair, I just want to make a little note here. You said that the reason these people were killed was that they played a role in the killing of your comrades and they were involved in the spying of your comrades for the IFP. Did I hear that correctly?
MR LAX: So why would two women who were living in the township have to go and give information to the hostels, when there were people already in the hostels who were from the townships, who understood the SDUís, who knew a lot about them, and who were actively engaged in killing your members? Why would these two young girls have to go and do that, when there were already people who were doing that, famous people who were doing that?
MR RADEBE: The comrades were discussing about that generally because if, if you were a member of Inkatha you aligned yourself with the police. Because whatever the comrades were doing it would be reported to the police.
MR RADEBE: The information we received from the comrades from Boipatong is that young people would knock at the doors. When the doors are opened the people, the occupants of those houses, would be shot.
MR LAX: I asked you what you knew about Boipatong, you said nothing about Mkhwanazi having told you anything. All you knew was that it was general information, but you didnít have any information that linked these two girls to that information. I asked you very carefully about that, and you agreed with me.
CHAIRPERSON: In your mind the fact that the police were perceived by your community to be collaborating with the IFP, you did not draw a very fine distinction between the two. When you speak of spying for the IFP and you speak of spying for the police, you also donít necessarily are drawing a distinction?
CHAIRPERSON: We know that the time is twenty to two, and I think Mr Radebe would probably want to have some lunch. We canít allow a witness to give evidence with a hungry stomach. I therefore suggest that we adjourn for lunch and we reconvene at five past two. Thank you.
ADV BOSMAN: Now is, Mr Mkhwanazi said different to what you are saying. He said that they sort of bumped into you and you insisted that they should accompany you. How do you explain this different version.
CHAIRPERSON: A questions was put to you, what you were going to do at Zone 7, what you were going to do at Zone 7, and you responded by saying Ntjulo and Mkhwanazi told you that they were going to see other comrades.
CHAIRPERSON: As it has already been put to you, that is not the version of Mr Mkhwanazi. Mr Mkhwanazi says that you requested them to accompany you to Zone 7 because you had to collect your money from somebody who was owing you. What do you say to that version given by Mr Mkhwanazi?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but the fact of the matter is that his version is that they accompanied you to the tavern because you had insisted that they should do so because you had to collect some funds from somebody who owed you.
ADV BOSMAN: I just find it strange that there is a rule in relation to the collection of ammunition and guns, but on the other hand you are allowed to have as many guns as you wish, that there were no rules in that regard.
MR RADEBE: As I have already said that operations were not the same. I would not be able to shoot one, I would not shoot one person with a rifle, I would use a pistol, then I would have a pistol and a rifle at the same time, depending on the operation. If itís, if necessary I would carry a grenade in addition.
ADV BOSMAN: Alright, I donít quite understand but I wonít pursue that any further. Mkhwanazi also said that your intention was to question the two girls, that was how they understood it. And you told us that you had decided to shoot them almost from the start, when you said, after youíd seen them. What is the correct version?
MR RADEBE: Zone 8 is a quiet place. It was not infested with violence, that is why I would not just shoot, that is why I had to verify with our comrades as to whether should we take them further or should I shoot them at that place.
ADV BOSMAN: I still donít understand. You say Zone 8 is a quiet place. It was not infested with violence, therefore you had to ask the comrades. Now why did you have to ask them, if you knew that it was a quiet place?
MR RADEBE: In my unit there were people who were able to survey the place as to whether should we continue with the operation or not, so on that day I sought his advice as to whether is it the right place to execute the operation.
CHAIRPERSON: May I interpose Ms Bosman? That is not the question that was put by Ms Bosman to you. Ms Bosman wants to know why you asked Mr Mkhwanazi whether to shoot the ladies or not. Now your response should be in relation to whether you did say that, or you didnít. Did you ask Mr Mkhwanazi?
CHAIRPERSON: Whether the ladies should be shot or not. Not about the place where they should be shot at, but about whether they should be shot at all. Do you understand the distinction between the two?
CHAIRPERSON: Why did you ask him that? The question does not want you to address facts about the locality of where they were to be shot. They want you to explain why you asked that question about whether they should be shot at all?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, why did you have to ask him? You were the second in charge. You were the one who was given orders. Do you see the contradiction in terms? You are asking your subordinate about whether you as a commander should do something or not.
MR RADEBE: As Iíve already explained that I did not seek his instruction or order. My problem was as to whether that place was conducive for that operation or not, because it was in the tavern and people would run away. As many things used to happen that people think that it was Inkatha which was attacking.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe you are taking us nowhere with the way in which you are responding to questions. You know the question that you asked Mr Mkhwanazi did not seek to establish whether the place was safe or not, that is quite clear. You asked the question, and you agree that you did ask that question. You surely cannot want to have us believe that you wanted to establish facts about the place, when your question clearly sought to seek his guidance about whether you can shoot or not.
MR RADEBE: Zone 12 is far from Zone 8. You do your terrible things in Zone 12 then youíd go to Zone 8 and the people in Zone 8 would not know you. There are members which I did not know at that time because we were many.
ADV BOSMAN: No you donít understand my question. You told us that the whole community wanted the girls, and then you were asked about the community and you said all the Zones had SDU units, and now my question is, if these girls were wanted by the whole community including Zone 8, why would they go to a tavern in the community to expose themselves?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Radebe, you have listened to the evidence that was given by Mr Mkhwanazi with regard to when the community became aware of the activities of Ms Ndumo, who is now deceased, and Ms Mokoena, and how he himself became aware of their activities, and the period in which he became aware of their activities.
CHAIRPERSON: My problem however, inasmuch as Iím aware of what you are saying, and I would agree with you, you didnít stay in Zone 12, where at least we have established that Ms Mokoena stayed, no evidence was led by Mr Mkhwanazi, on where Ms Ndumo stayed. My problem however is what Mr Mkhwanazi said in this evidence. He stated that he as a member of the SDU advised his unit about the activities of the ladies in question. Do you recall Mr Mkhwanazi when he gave testimony to that effect?
CHAIRPERSON: I thought that was referred to me. Mr Mkhwanazi stated that he shared his information about the activities of the ladies in question with his unit, that would be your unit, in Zone 12. He went on to say in any event the ladies were quite notorious with the community at large because of their activities. The community at large was aware of their activities. In a way youíve also admitted that the community was aware of their activities, however, in your evidence in chief you sought to rely on the information given to you by your commander, comrade Mabusa Mhlongo, and stated that had it not been him you wouldnít have been aware of the ladiesí activities. What I do not therefore understand, is whether Mr Mkhwanazi was telling us the truth when he said he as a member of your unit shared this information with you. When I say you, I am talking about your unit to which you were a second in command. Now why should you wait for comrade Mabusa Mhlongo to give you information in that regard, when on the evidence of Mr Mkhwanazi that information had been freely given to you as members of your unit?
MR RADEBE: As I was the second in command in that unit, itís not that I did not trust what Mkhwanazi said, as he was in my unit, but I would not take any instruction from him, that a particular operation should be executed. I had to wait for Mr Mabusa to give an order that the situation is like this, and this should be done.
CHAIRPERSON: Now you first became aware of the, your evidence said you got the information about the activities of the ladies from comrade Mabusa, and that you heard this in 1992 or early 1993. That was your evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: So you only trusted the information that was told to you by a commander, and not the information shared with you by a person who was staying closer to one of the ladies in question? You didnít trust Mr Mabusa when he told you that, Mr Mkhwanazi?
MR RADEBE: Not that I did not trust Mr Mkhwanaziís information, but as we are all members of the unit I would not take a decision on my own that this what we should do. It would come to the ears of Mr Mabusa and then he would be the one who would issue a command.
CHAIRPERSON: But Iím not even addressing the issue of whether Mr Mabusa gave you an order or commanded you to execute the ladies in question. I havenít come to that stage yet. I am merely trying to establish whether Mr Mkhwanazi shared this information with you, and if he did, why did it not say in your evidence that you first became aware of the activities of the late Ndumo and the person you assaulted, Ms Mokoena, when Mr Mkhwanazi advised the activities to your unit. Why did you not say that?
MR RADEBE: I said it is the truth of what he said, and itís true that he told us, but we would not act according to that information. We had to wait for Mr Mabusa to inform us, then itís then that I can take an action.
CHAIRPERSON: Well I will leave that aspect there and take your answers for what they are worth. Is it your evidence that you were commanded by comrade Mabusa to kill the ladies in question? Is that your evidence?
MR RADEBE: Let me try to explain. In Vaal we had ANC structures. Youíll find there is ANC youth league, there is a civic associations, and then the SDUís and members of the MK. There are problems which would make us to meet, therefore we would discuss about that particular problem. Then from there a decision would be taken. But the major decision would be taken by those who are responsible for the defence. That is why I said the command came from Mr Mabusa.
CHAIRPERSON: Itís a very simple question that Iím putting to you. It did not necessitate an explanation that you gave. Comrade Mabusa gave you an order to execute, and he gave such an order as your commander, and you belonged to the Zone 12 unit?
MR RADEBE: I will say some months before this incident. Or maybe weeks, but itís not on that particular day of the incident. The command was issued that wherever or whenever we see these people we should execute the operation.
CHAIRPERSON: I was about to go, I was going to ask you about the nature of the command and you have now come to my assistance. The command was whenever you as members of the unit, you used the word plural, when we, when you as members of the unit saw the ladies in question you were to kill them. Was that the command?
MR RADEBE: Yes it was issued to us as seniors of the unit, then it will depend on me, on myself, as to whether what will be the situation with whom am I among members of the unit. That would be the one who would help me to execute ...(gap between tapes)
MR RADEBE: We had one unit. We executing operations as, and we were eight when we did some of the operations, but the people who are responsible for the operations are ourselves, the eight, but other were doing other, other works.
CHAIRPERSON: So when you say there were four seniors, you are talking about your units and the other units that youíve already testified to their existence, because you earlier on said Zone 12 consisted of four units, and your unit was one of the four.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Now the problem which I have with this aspect of evidence, is that Mr Mkhwanazi testified that the commander of your unit was one Bonga Khumalo, and you are saying the commander was comrade Mabusa Mhlongo. Am I correct? Thatís the surname you gave us, Mabusa Mhlongo.
CHAIRPERSON: Now, how is it that Mr Mkhwanazi, who was a member within your unit, your particular unit in Zone 12, can say that you were all being commanded in your unit by Bonga Khumalo, and you say you were commanded by comrade Mabusa Mhlongo?
MR RADEBE: I would say he was, Bonga Khumalo is my commander. I would say he was my commander because heís an overall commander. But I would not go to him to receive instructions. Instructions were via from Mabusa to me from Mr Khumalo.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mkhwanazi went a step further. He said you were second in charge to Mr Khumalo, which really crystallises the issue. See, if he had left it at Mr Bonga Khumalo having been a commander there would have been no problems with me, but he went further to say you were the second in charge to Mr Khumalo. Now this brought problems in my mind when you gave your evidence. If he believed that Bonga Khumalo was a commander by virtue of him being an overall commander in Zone 12, why should he go a step further and say you were second in command to him?
MR RADEBE: He was supposed to say so because on that day I, on that particular day I gave him orders in that operation. Therefore would say I am in second in command from Bonga because he did not understand the overall commander and the commander of a particular unit, but I was second in charge to Mr Mabusa.
CHAIRPERSON: Why would Mr Mkhwanazi, who is a member of a unit, not understand the structure of command? Why wouldnít he understand an ordinary structure and the nature of its command? We have evidence from him that he had been a member of that unit since 1992. We have evidence from you that were joined, coming late into that unit. You only came in either late in 92 or early in 1993. Now on what basis would you believe that he would make such a mistake, when heís been a member of long standing in that particular unit?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mkhwanazi further gave testimony to the effect that so notorious were the activities of the ladies in question, that sometime in 1992 they were captured by one comrade Skosana and brought to the offices of the ANC, whereat the community administered lashes to show their disapproval of the community in the activities conducted by Ms Mokoena and the late Ndumo in spying for the IFP. Are you aware of that incident?
CHAIRPERSON: Now, did that incident not suggest to you that the community on whose behalf you were acting in protecting them against the IFP, did that incident not suggest that the community had condoned the ladies for their participation or association with the IFP?
MR RADEBE: They did not do anything to them because at that, for a long time they were not there. They were disciplined by being sjambokked, then from then they went back to the community as if they have been rehabilitated, but after some time they disappeared.
CHAIRPERSON: Did you, after their disappearance, have any tangible evidence that they had continued with their activities, notwithstanding the punishment meted out to them by the community? Did you have any facts in your possession as SDUís?
MR RADEBE: Because the killings continued. Then we received information that they were still involved. That information came from some members of the community and some members of our SDUís or our comrades.
MR RADEBE: I received information that they were doing these things before they were disciplined. Even after they had disciplined they returned to the community and after some time they disappeared. Then we received information again that they are still continuing with their association with IFP.
CHAIRPERSON: Iím surprised that this information that you are referring to ...(indistinct), according to Mr Mkhwanaziís evidence, at least with regard to Elsie Mokoena, she disappeared for a very long time, and was not seen or heard of by him even Ďthough he was staying very close to her home.
CHAIRPERSON: To use Mr Mkhwanaziís words, there was a wide rumour, and this wide rumour had been going on since 1992, and had not stopped. And it was as a result of that rumour that Skosana captured these women, brought them to the offices of the ANC, and the community participated in their interrogation, they gave their version, and the community decided to condone their actions.
MR RADEBE: I donít believe that Skosana would just discipline them for something which is not relevant. If we were supposed to kill people because of rumours we could have killed many people. We used to receive information then we would verify that information from other comrades, and then if a person says that a certain person is that kind of a person, you must tell your reasons why he says that, up to the point where you would understand that that person is a member of Inkatha. Because at times the people would label you as Inkatha member whilst youíre not a member.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and it was the same wide rumour that resulted in the ladies in question being captured by Skosana, being interrogated by members of the community, and the community at that meeting decided to administer lashes to them and did not execute them. It was the same wide rumour that continued, notwithstanding the communityís action in administering the lashes, and condoning their actions.
CHAIRPERSON: You know I at times find it difficult to comprehend your evidence, and I donít know whether you keep on contradicting yourself deliberately or not. You have been the one to be saying it was a wide rumour that was going around that these women continued to act in the way they had been acting before. Now why are you saying you couldnít have acted on a wide rumour because this is your evidence, itís coming from you? You say it was widely rumoured, the same words that Mr Mkhwanazi also referred to when he gave evidence. Now why do you want to now appear to be a person who would never act on a rumour?
MR RADEBE: It is true because I said I heard those rumours, but that would not be the reason for me to kill a person because it was rumoured in the township. There would be comrades who would chase the real facts, and be verified, and then it would be verified how they received that information.
CHAIRPERSON: You were second in command. Do you know whether in this case there was any verification conducted? Since you would have us believe that you wouldnít act on a wild rumour or one of your comrades pointing out somebody as being an IFP member or collaborator.
MR RADEBE: There was nothing which I would do without receiving orders. Comrade Mabusa came to me and told me that we have these two people who are doing this kind of work. Then I thought that comrade would not tell me something which was not there.
CHAIRPERSON: So it is not within your personal knowledge whether comrade Mabusa relied on information which had been verified, and whether he did not rely on the information that was the same, and the preceded the administration of punishment by the community. You wouldnít be able to say anything about that, thatís not within your personal knowledge, is it?
CHAIRPERSON: You would be unable to say for a fact whether comrade Mabusa relied on the information which had been verified. You canít say that. And you cannot say that comrade Mabusa did not rely on the same information that led to the community administering lashes on the two ladies in question. You wouldnít be able to say that.
CHAIRPERSON: Now when I asked you earlier on about when the command was issued to you by Mabusa, you gave me two answers. You said it could be a few months before the incident, then you corrected yourself, you said it could be a few weeks. In relation to the occurrence of this incident, which is the 15th of August 1993. In relation to that incident.
CHAIRPERSON: But in respect of this incident, your evidence is that you were given specific orders to execute two women. That is your evidence. The order was specific, in terms of who and the gender of the person you had to execute.
CHAIRPERSON: Now you gave evidence about the specific orders you gave to Mr Mkhwanazi. Have I understood your evidence properly, if I encapsulate it in this fashion, that your order to Mr Mkhwanazi was to go after Ms Ndumo, after she had fled into the tavern? Was that the nature of the order you gave to Mr Mkhwanazi?
MR RADEBE: He would decide what he would do because as I said he must pursue her. He knew that that person should be killed, because he would ask me why should I pursue her. He did that because he knew what should happen, what was happening. It was not a new thing to him.
CHAIRPERSON: If you give evidence to the effect that you ordered Mr Mkhwanazi, and if you were asked to detail the kind of order you issued to Mr Mkhwanazi, just tell us briefly what would be your response. What order did you give to Mr Mkhwanazi?
MR RADEBE: Is that she, he should pursue this lady. I was in a certain mood, because there were other things which I said to him but in my mind I had a picture of this person running away, then I ordered Mkhwanazi to chase after him because I shot somebody run away then I give him the gun.
CHAIRPERSON: It was or wasnít? Iím finding it difficult, I donít know whether it is your evidence, which is very confusing because itís contradictory, or the problem with the translation. Was it your intention to have Ms Ndumo killed by Mr Mkhwanazi when you gave him the gun which had no ammunition.
CHAIRPERSON: How can it be your intention to have somebody killed by someone when you give Mr Mkhwanazi a gun without any ammunition? How can you intend, how could you have intended for Ms Ndumo to have been killed by Mr Mkhwanazi?
MR RADEBE: I knew that we would take them, then we would look for ammunition at Sipapoís place, then later they would be shot, because both of them did not know as to whether those guns had ammunition or not.
MR RADEBE: Any member within the unit or we are at a certain patrol, if I give that person a gun, it is up to him to check as to whether that gun is ready for use or not, because I would give him a gun without noticing as to whether it is in order or not in order. Then he would be injured whilst heís carrying this gun. I believe that after he, when he pointed the gun at his person he knew already that there were no bullets inside.
CHAIRPERSON: If Mr Mkhwanazi says that he believed that he was acting under orders, and therefore was justified in committing the offences in question, and your evidence is that the order was to pursue Ms Ndumo, and he did just that as you had ordered, he pursued Ms Ndumo, was able to bring Ms Ndumo back, you then continued to shoot Ms Ndumo. What order would you have given to Mr Mkhwanazi in those circumstances?
CHAIRPERSON: Pursued him. Mr Mkhwanazi pursued Ms Ndumo, as you had ordered that he should do, brought her back, and then you continued to shoot her. Would I be correct that he had then complied with your order of pursuing her and of bringing her back to where you were, which was, according to your evidence, next to the gate at the tavern?
MS MOLOISANE: Before I call the other witnesses to come and testify, Madam Chair, I donít know whether I am allowed to ask at this stage a question that emanated from the questions that were put to the applicant by the Committee, and in particular the question that, the questions that were put by the learned Committee Member, Mr Lax.
RE-EXAMINATION BY MS MOLOISANE: Now Mr Radebe, as question was put to you that there were a whole range of reasons that led to, or that made you, to kill Hapile Ndumo and to attempt to kill Elsie Mokoena.
MS MOLOISANE: And the answers that you gave, according to the interpretation that I got, were preceded by I thought that they were spying for the IFP, I thought they were this, this, this. So can we just clarify that to the Committee. Iím not quite sure whether it was a problem of interpretation or whether it was your own problem, but would you please clarify this whole issue as to what led to the killing Hapile Ndumo and the attempted killing of Elsie Mokoena.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. You are also willing to just raise this issue without resorting to him having to give an explanation, if you feel that there was a problem with a translation in this regard, just draw our attention to that, and whether what your client has said was I thought or I know.
CHAIRPERSON: May I also say whenever you pick up this peculiar situation where things have not been properly translated just bring it immediately to the attention of the Chair so that we can appropriately attend to that problem before we move on.
CHAIRPERSON: We would prefer that you choose a language that you are most comfortable in. If you would like to lead your evidence in Zulu, please say so. Donít say even Sotho will be okay. We want to know which language you prefer to give your evidence in.
MS MOLOISANE: Yes. Just explain to the Committee how you know them, and whether they occupied any, or whether they were any, whether they were members of your organisation or not, and if so what portfolios did they have.
MR GQIBA: Let me start off with Abraham Mkhwanazi. He is the one that I knew first. He was staying at Zone 12, we recruited them into the organisation. He was still young by then and could only qualify as a member of the so-called pioneer movements, who the members of which were under sixteen. We had set up their own structures to which we referred as the pioneer movement, and that is where we groomed the leadership of the ANC. Radebe I knew very late, and I got to know that he came from Small Farm. I knew him through other members of the organisation at Zone 12.
MR GQIBA: Yes, he was a member having been introduced to the organisation by other members of the youth league. I cannot remember whether he had a membership card or not, but I think he did because we wanted that everybody who was to be a member of the organisation had to have such a card.
MR GQIBA: Yes, but they did not tell me about the two girls. They told me about their, our enemies which they had already captured. I remember we were talking about that, but then I was at work, not at the office of the organisation.
MR GQIBA: They were within the premises of the night club. There were rooms where we were accommodated by the owner, where we had an office. Thatís where our office was, but the night club was detached from the offices and we had separate entrances.
MR GQIBA: One other thing that I can still recall is that they told me that these are the people who have been sought for a very long time, they are informers, spying on people in the township, and they have been warned several times about things that they were doing, passing on information, wrong information to the police, etcetera. If I still remember very well, what I said to them, and this is what I used to say on a daily basis, that what we wanted, or what we liked as an organisation, was that a person or units who allege that people are informers have to be sure, bring forward evidence to that effect. That was our stance.
MR GQIBA: They did not have a chance to explain that to me because I was also busy at work. They were disturbing me. I only tried to establish this the following day. One other thing that also happened was that I had heard about Hapile previously. This was a rumour thatís been going on for a while that he was apparently a member or an informer, she was apparently an informer. One other person who was alleged to have been an informer, even Ďthough they were not friends were, one other friend of hers, Elsie, was later rumoured to have been an informer, Hapile as well transpired earlier on to have been an informer. These people were apparently warned together with others earlier on. They were called to order and presently we still have others in the township and as to whether they were continuing with their activities this time I donít know about that. They are the ones who should testify to that effect. To the effect that they continued passing information on to the police.
CHAIRPERSON: I think what we are interested in getting from you Mr Gqiba, is whether you, in your capacity as the chairperson of the ANC in 1993, knew whether the persons concerned were alleged to be still continuing in their activities as previously rumoured before they were warned.
MR GQIBA: Yes, it oftentimes happened that we, for example, were within a political organisation, it so happened oftentimes for example we had SDUís in the township, we would hear the following day that so and so was in a particular place and that person has been killed and we would not know because such information would not be disclosed, and we would later on learn that such a person was an informer and this you would only learn during an investigation. We usually did not get information, the whole information about a person alleged to have been an informer. We would only get such information after the death of the person.
MR GQIBA: In this instance I am talking about the information to the effect that they were continuing about the activities on which they were warned about passing information on to members of the police, and those who were killing the community, the SPUsí we used to refer to them as MSPU. They were the self defence unit of IFP residing at the hostel. They would come to the township and shoot people, using vehicles. I can quote a number of people who were killed. ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: You are deviating from, you are deviating from the ambit of the question. Did you, in this case, know about whether the women concerned continued with the activities for which they had been warned by the community, which activity you described as having passed information to the police? Iím talking about the 15th of August.
MR GQIBA: I was not in the nature of issuing instructions to members of the SDUís. It was for the first time that they came to me with such a request, so I did not say anything to them. I did not tell them anything. They would not have taken my instructions above those of their commanders.
MS MOLOISANE: Now Mr Radebe testified to the effect that you told them that they should do a clean job. Do you have any comment thereon? And that they should make sure that they are not traced. Do you recall saying that to them?
MR GQIBA: Yes, I said that, it was upon me to say that. There was no way they could have done a thing without being arrested. I had heard about that and I requested that they do a clean job because we didnít want to be arrested. My understanding was that what they were doing was part of defending the community. Yes I requested them, and appealed to them to make sure that they do a clean job.
MR GQIBA: At that time we used to have a certain language. We used to refer to informers as Imidwembe. That is when it came to me as to who these people were. I learned that Imidwembe were captured, and I then knew that there were our enemies. These are people who are making our lives difficult.
CHAIRPERSON: The question put to you Mr Gqiba is a very simply and straightforward question. Did Mr Radebe or Mr Mkhwanazi specify to you what they intended to do to their captives? That is the question, and the response that you have now given to us does not address the question put to you.
CHAIRPERSON: I donít want to listen to hearsay evidence. You are here to give us facts about that which you know in relation to this incident. I suppose that was explained to you quite precisely by Ms Moloisane. We do not have time to waste. We donít want to hear any hearsay evidence. We want to have evidence that is within your personal knowledge. So donít tell us about what was known. Tell us about what happened on this particular day. That is the 15th of August. Did they specify what they intended to do to their captives, yes or no?. If yes, what did they say?
CHAIRPERSON: I know that although your, although your microphone was not on, the translator was able to pick up what you were saying. There is something wrong with the lines because your microphone is on.
CHAIRPERSON: You know, I want you to confine yourself to what is being put to you. I thought you had concluded your response to the question that was put by Ms Moloisane, whether they did specify what they intended to do to their captives. I thought you said they didnít say anything to you.
MR LAX: Are you not leading this man on? Are you not leading him? Are you not leading him? Youíre telling him what the answer to your question is the way youíre putting it. Do you know what a leading question is?
MS MOLOISANE: As it please you Madam Chair. Now you said when they asked you for ammunition it was known what would happen to the captives. Just clarify that point. Did you personally know what they were going to do with their captives, or didnít you?
MR GQIBA: It would be difficult to explain the operations of the structures, because usually these structures were operating according to blocks with commanders. We as people who were involved in politics were not so much part of the SDUís.
MR GQIBA: Yes, they were, but there were times where certain things would happen without involving the organisation. Iím talking her about decisions that would be taken by the SDUís and only inform the organisation about the decision at a later stage.
MR GQIBA: I would not say what position he held within the SDU, but at least we as the organisation had deployed him as a repatriated MK from exile, so that the entire SDUís should fall under his control. We used to consult with him quite a lot pertaining to the SDUís.
CHAIRPERSON: What bearing would that piece of evidence have in relation to the offences which were committed under the command structure of the SDUís, which operated independently, as Mr Gqiba has already testified to the other organisations, whether it be the ANC youth league, or the ANC itself?
CHAIRPERSON: You already have a very comprehensive picture. After the ANC had made its submission in relation to how the SDUís were established, and what role the ANC played in establishing the SDUís, and how they operated. We donít need evidence in that regard. We fell the evidence we have is sufficient.
MS MOLOISANE: As it pleases this Committee Madam Chair. I leave it there. Now after the event of the 15th of August 1993, that is after Hapile was killed and after the attempted, attempted murder of Elsie Mokoena, did you see the applicants again, thatís Abraham Mkhwanazi and Radebe?
MR GQIBA: In my discussion with them I wanted to know whether they were sure whether these people were informers or not, and they had to convince me that indeed these people were informers and they were guilty of all the offences that were levelled against them. They assured me that these people were informers, and they went as far as to say that they had witnesses, people who could testify to that effect. And usually in the township one could not have been singled out and be pursued for a very long time accused of being an informer, if that was not the case. If a person was singled out definitely there must have been something about that person.
CHAIRPERSON: Now Iím very interested in what you are saying now, in view of what you said earlier on, when you explained that the stance that you and the ANC took then, was to explain to people that they were not to believe any rumours which sought to allege that any person was an informer, without having to verify that information or rumour, and that that was the advice you gave to Mr Radebe and Mr Mkhwanazi when they came to see you at Hollywood on the 15th, because it was known that some people could be said to be informers when they were not, and thatís why your organisation took that stance. So you are now saying something contrary to what you earlier on said. Now you are saying there could be no accusation about someone being an informer unless there was merit to that accusation. That stands in stark contrast to what you said when you first gave your evidence. Iím just reminding you what you said earlier on. You may proceed Ms Moloisane.
MS MOLOISANE: Now evidence was adduced to the effect that the two girls were at some stage prior to the 15th of August 1993 punished for their activities. Do you know anything about the punishment that was imposed on the two girls?
MR GQIBA: That is when the killing of people started, and they were accused of the fact that they were seen in vehicles that were alleged to have been driving around shooting people in the township. These vehicles included vehicles driven by Getisi among others, and ...(indistinct) that they were trafficking with the police. It was not only two of them accused of this, there were others but I cannot remember them. There could have been 5 or 6 of them.
MR GQIBA: They were revealing the names of people involved indicating that so and so came to fetch me and said we should go to such a place, and we would go there and meet people like Getisi. They revealed the names of people involved.
MR GQIBA: On lashing them out, actually I must say that it was not only the youth league that was involved, Iím talking her also about the civic itself. Other people in the township were also involved. They were punished and warned that they should not continue with these activities.
MR GQIBA: Yes, we had a basis because some of their parents were present at the time of this discussion. They were ...(indistinct) down as we were discussing that they should be punished. Some of the parents came forward and gave us information to the effect that they had not seen their children from such a date, and the accused would then speak on their own, indicating who came to fetch whoever where they went thereafter.
MR GQIBA: What I can say is that we were now using the Hollywood office during the Boipatong massacre. I think it was before the Boipatong massacre, because at that time we were using the Hollywood office.
MS THABETHE: And my instructions, Mr Gqiba, are that Elsie had a boyfriend who was a policeman. It would be common cause that she would be seen in his vehicle. Did you know anything about this? Did you have such information?
MR GQIBA: By then the people of Boipatong would have kill you instantaneously if one was seen in the company of police. Police were not permitted in the township. Their houses had already been burned and some of them had fled.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe I probably understand his evidence differently. He did not at any stage of his evidence say that the reason why Ms Mokoena and Ndumo were taken to the garage to answer accusations levelled against them, he never said those accusations were in relation to them having been seen in the vehicles driven by the police. His evidence is that they were accused of having been seen in vehicles driven by amongst others, Getisi, who is not a policeman, which vehicles were used by the likes of Getisi to shoot at people in Sebokeng. Getisi is not alleged to have been a policeman.
CHAIRPERSON: I donít have that in my notes. My notes only refer to people who were driving vehicles that were shooting at people, and Getisi being one of those. There was no reference to a police or a police vehicle in that regard. However, ...(intervention)
MR GQIBA: I cannot speak about all of them. They had different allegations against them. Some of them were seen in the company of the police and some of them were seen in the company of Getisi. At the time it was known that the police were assisting Getisiís group, so that if a person was seen in the company of the police such a person would be assumed to be collaborating with Getisi and his group.
MR GQIBA: I am saying I cannot recall what charges were placed on him at, on her at the time of the accusation and the meeting, but the one that was accused of going out with a police person is a friend.
CHAIRPERSON: Thatís not what you said, when you were asked this question by Ms Moloisane. You responded to that question by saying that they were accused of being seen in vehicles driven by people who would shoot at the local community, and that Getisi was one of those who would be seen with the persons against whom an enquiry was held, during 90 and 91.
MR LAX: Just to clarify something here, Mr Gqiba. Ms Thabethe had put it to you that Elsie had had this relationship with a policeman, and you confirmed that you knew about that relationship. You confirmed it in reply to her question. It wasnít in relation to anyone being punished at that stage. That came in a later question she put afterwards. Is that not right?
CHAIRPERSON: My questioning had nothing to with what you had already confirmed to Ms Thabethe. I just wanted to get clarity on what you alter on said, that you did not know, because she asked you whether you knew, she asked you on what charges did they appear before your enquiry in 90, 91, and you said you didnít know. It was in relation to that that I then reminded you what you had earlier on said in respect to the charges that you said you knew, and then that was those charges were in relation to having been seen in the company of Getisi and those who drive vehicles that would shoot at the community in Sebokeng.
MR GQIBA: The mistake that I made is that I confused the information about these people being seen in the company of Getisi and this one girl who was in love with a policeman. I answered that way, confusing the two as a result.
MS THABETHE: Hollywood Club. Thank you. Thank you Member of the Committee. They did not tell you what they were going to do with whoever they had captured. Is that correct? Do you remember saying that?
MS THABETHE: You actually said they did not tell you anything about what they were going to do. That was your evidence. Can you explain then why, on what basis, did you say they must do a clean job so that no-one can chase them, if they didnít tell you anything about what they were going to do?
CHAIRPERSON: May I, before you proceed, Ms Thabethe Iím sorry to do this, havenít you earlier on stated that when they came to you and told you about their captives and the fact that they were enemies of the people, you reminded them of the stance that you as an organisation usually takes, that is to verify the information before they can act upon that information. Wasnít that your earlier evidence?
CHAIRPERSON: That is your evidence. Thatís the evidence you gave us. That came from your lips said. And let me remind you it came after you had recalled what else they had said to you on the persistence of Ms Moloisane and you then remembered that they said that the person they were having as captives were persons who had been sought by the community for a long time and were persons who were alleged to have been spying and passing on information about the members of your community to the police. Then you went on to say you told them that a person, or a member of a unit, who alleges that persons are informers, should ensure that that kind of information is verified before it is acted upon. That was your evidence. I am not misquoting you.
MR GQIBA: Yes, that is correct. I donít know myself to have changed in that evidence. Yes I did say that. I said everything you have just said. I went as far as to say that insofar as our organisation is concerned, anybody who was alleged to have been an informer should be investigated and have the information thereabout verified, because members of the MK and others were adamant that such information had to be verified.
CHAIRPERSON: The only problem that I have with your evidence is when you are asked by Ms Thabethe on what basis you then said to Mr Radebe and Mr Mkhwanazi they must do a clean job so that they can not be traced, and the response that came after that question was put to you. And thatís the problem. I was only trying to draw your attention to the fact that your response creates a problem to me because you are the one who had told these young people to verify information and not to act on unverified information, yet you are the one who is saying you already knew what was going to happen to the captives, when you had not been given any facts about whether that information that they were tell you about had been verified or not. That was the ground norm of your organisation. You wouldnít incite a member to act on unverified information.
MR GQIBA: What I said at the time, I must say that people were dying in large numbers at the time. At the time people were dying in the township, even Ďthough I was at the night club I knew that we could be attacked at any time. Many things were happening at the time, so that I knew fully well that one could not have waited for many statements and verification. The fact that the told me that these people were Imidwembe informers, I already knew therefore that it is possible that these people were now going to be killed and I assumed that they were now following instructions, having verified the information.
MR GQIBA: I knew these people as members of the organisation, card carrying members of the organisation. I knew them to be involved in the SDUís. I knew that they were commanders, except that I did not ask them who else were involved in that group as they were moving with these captured people. I concluded that they were sure about the information now that they were looking for ammunition.
CHAIRPERSON: Did you ask them about whether the information they were giving you about their captives had been so verified? And if so, what prevented you from doing so? If they did not say we are telling you an information which has now been verified by our unit, why did you not ask if they had verified that information? As a chairperson of an organisation that has a cornerstone rule of verifying information before acting upon it.
MR GQIBA: That is what I am trying to explain, that had they found me at the office I would have asked all those questions, but at the time I was at work, busy, attending to patrons, and I did not have time for them to try and find out exactly what was happening. It was not safe at the place because there were many people, patrons, at the night club. We therefore could not have discussed these questions in the presence of so many people.
MS THABETHE: Mr Gqiba, you said you met with the applicants later on when the incident happened, and you asked them to convince you as to whether Elsie and Hapile were informers or not. My question to you is, exactly what did the applicants say to you to convince you that Elsie and Hapile were informers?
MR GQIBA: They emphasised that the evidence they had about the two, one of whom was killed, was that there was a time when they disappeared from the township, and during that time they were dealing with the people to whom they were informing. They said something to that effect that they were sure that these people once disappeared from the township, during which time they were away with the people to whom they were informing.
CHAIRPERSON: No, Iím not saying. Iím saying you said to us that the applicants further advised you that they had witnesses that could be called to confirm that indeed Elsie and Hapile informed on the community. Thatís what they told you, that they could call witnesses to corroborate the allegations levelled against them about them being informers and passing on information to the police.
MR GQIBA: There, the fact that there are ammunition in the office that was something that was not known to me. They knew that. Maybe they as members of the SDUís had a cache but we as leaders, no, we did not know. There is no time where I came across ammunition at the office.
MR LAX: Mr Gqiba the effect of Mr Radebeís evidence was that you did know about that store room. And he understood your answer to say there was no ammunition to mean that there was nothing in the store room.
MR GQIBA: I think he is a little bit confused. I think he is forgetting some of the facts. Maybe one of them, or one of us there, or maybe their commanders knew, not myself. I did not have that knowledge.
MR LAX: He was emphatic that you should have, that you must have known. Be that as it may, letís turn to the question of after this event you went to them and you asked them to convince you that the people who had died were the informers. Why did they need to convince you? Why did you need convincing at all?
MR GQIBA: I did not go to them. I did not go to them, I only met them after a while since they had fled the township. I had not seen them for a while and when they came back from whence they had hidden, that is when I came across them. They actually came to us where we were, that is when I started asking all these questions.
MR GQIBA: It was known that we as an organisation had to know, because we already knew. We only knew the following day who did that and therefore it was encumbent upon us to make sure that the information was correct, to prepare ourselves in order to account to other structures in the community. It is for that reason that I asked for verification or information to the verification of the evidence, and it transpired that one of them was in love with a policeman.
CHAIRPERSON: You are saying you wanted to be convinced about the veracity of whether the two ladies were informers or not, because you still wanted to account to other structures, even Ďthough you needed this convincing sometime in 1994. You still felt you had to account to other structures.
MR GQIBA: When I met them at the time, yes it is true it was in 1994. What I am saying here is that we have civic structures and it is know that these are structures members of which are adults from the community, and here I was dealing with members of the youth league, and I would be expected to meet members of the civic and explain to them, because it was now known who were responsible for the death of Hapile. I had to go to the structures such as the civic and explain to the elderly in those structures, explain to them that I had met members of the youth league and give them a full account.
CHAIRPERSON: I find your explanation very upset in the strongest terms. Are you saying these people were operating outside the structures, that you had to wait for individuals to come back in order for you to get information? You couldnít have obtained this kind of information from Mr Khumalo, who had been deployed by you to be part of the SDU structure? Your explanation does not make sense with me, with respect. Proceed Mr Lax.
MR LAX: You see the issueís a very simple one Mr Gqiba. They disappeared from the township immediately after this thingís happened, the very day after they tell you what they were about to do, from which you inferred, from what they told you, exactly what they were about to do. There was no secret in your mind as to who had committed this offence. And then some six months later people are still asking who did it and why it was done. Now if we believe you that that was the case, then these applicants have a serious problem, because then what they allege was common knowledge in the community wasnít in fact so.
MR GQIBA: It was a norm that things had to be explained to the community as to who had died and who was injured. I am no talking here about everybody, but there was a time that it was necessary to remind or inform the community that such a person whom we have been warning for a very long time has done it again, hence the result. It was therefore necessary that this be explained to the community as to how it came about that these people be killed. There was no way everyone in the township could have known that these people had just left the township. Others could have thought that these people were still in the township, members of the SDU who were making a follow up are the ones from whom we had to get information, which information we would in turn take to other structures, which structures would in turn take the same information further on.
CHAIRPERSON: You know Mr Gqiba, you are giving a very long winded explanation about the simple problem which has been posed to you. Why was it necessary for you to explain to the community about this incident, about who had done the deed, and why a deed had been committed, when it was public knowledge that the ladies in question were spying for the IFP and passing on information to the police?
MR GQIBA: It is not my knowledge that the general public knew. It was not generally known who was an informer and who was not. There were people for example in one street there would be certain people who had that information, not the entire community. For example, my mother did not know that, and my brother too, and yet they were part of the community. They were part of the community but they did not know about this. People who knew are people who came across the incident or heard about the incident, and therefore it was necessary to inform the structures, and this included parents of the people who were victims in the incident, and therefore we as leaders had to account, meet with the people who were responsible for the deeds, take them along to the different structures and explain so that ultimately the information will arrive at the parents.
CHAIRPERSON: In short what you are saying is that it was not public knowledge that Ms Elsie Mokoena and Ms Hapile Ndumo were spying for the IFP and passing on information to the police. In short thatís what you are trying to explain.
MR GQIBA: What I did was that I met with those who were present, the ones who were present at the office at the time. There was a shock about these incidents, incident, some were justifying this action saying that they have been warning these girls for a very long time, and finally this has happened.
CHAIRPERSON: Let me get your evidence properly. Are you saying that the next day there was a meeting, and in that meeting a portion of those present expressed their shock, and others however were not surprised, and pointed to what the ladies had been doing to justify the deed? ...(intervention)
MR GQIBA: Yes, what I am saying is that we are not all from one place. Others were hearing this for the first time at the office, and when such people came to the office they came across this for the first time, thatís when they reacted and they were then informed about what happened the previous day and who were responsible for that. Do you understand that? Thatís when people got a shock. That is why I am saying that some of the people got a shock and wanted to know when it happened, and at the same time there were others who were saying it is true, everything, or every accusation levelled against these people was correct. Because there were certain comrades out.
MR GQIBA: When asking other people who knew about this evidence or suspicions others would come forward and testify to the veracity of the information, so that we ultimately in unison agreed that this could have been a correct step to take.
MR GQIBA: I am not quite sure. It could have been a day or so after. This happened on a week-end. Iím not quite sure whether it was Saturday or Sunday. If it was Sunday then the whole thing happend on Monday. We did not operate on Sundays, so that our offices were closed on that day.
MR GQIBA: Sometimes there would be reasons for the office to be open 24 hours, for example, discussing crime. The office was not always open 24 hours except for exceptional cases where certain things had to be discussed, meetings, like criminal cases.
MR LAX: Now, in any event, within a few days after this incident you had had a meeting of community people, the issue had been discussed, some had expressed their shock, but at the end of the day you were satisfied on the evidence presented at that meeting that this was a correct action. Have I understood you correctly? Just say yes or no, not a long story, please.
MR GQIBA: I had to meet the people who were responsible for that to satisfy myself. I wanted an explanation from them how they did it and all the steps right up to the ultimate day where these people were shot. Thatís the information I was trying to get.
MR GQIBA: He was a member of the youth league, a card carrying member of ANC youth league. I knew that he used to received certain instructions from the SDUís, but they were under our control insofar as politics is concerned, but yet they had their commanders, the SDUís. I therefore cannot say what his role was.
CHAIRPERSON: When Mr Radebe and Mr Mkhwanazi came to see you at the night club on the 15th of August 1993, and told you about the fact that they had captured the enemies of the organisation, in what capacity did you think they were telling you about their capture?
MR GQIBA: I thought that even Ďthough they did not meet me there but meet any other member of the committee they would have informed such a person the same thing or told the person the same thing as they did me, about trying to procure ammunition, and they just happened to tell me that they had captured informers.
MR GQIBA: I think they told me about this knowing that I was a chairperson of the youth league, knowing also that I was working at the night club. It could as well be that they met other members of the youth league before they ultimately came to me.
MR GQIBA: It was not common practice, especially those, with reference to those that were not known to us. We had meetings with people such as Bonga where Bonga for example would have to give us details of what happened on such a date and reasons therefor, and how that came about.
CHAIRPERSON: Was it therefore not peculiar that they should have access to you with regard to an information that involved the execution of the enemy of the organisation? Did that not strike you as being peculiar, and not being accord with the common practice, that you as chairperson of the youth league, was well conversant with?
MR GQIBA: No, I was not familiar with this. What I know is that I had thought that they were doing what they were doing because they were desperately seeking ammunition, and because they were desperate they were trying to secure those ammunition, or that ammunition.
CHAIRPERSON: I notice that the time is now quarter past five and we are now going to reap the wrath of correctional services for not having stopped timeously. We have repeatedly been requested to stop at 4 oíclock for logistical reasons. May I on behalf of the Panel apologise for having transgressed this important rule, they know why it has been placed by the members of correctional services, and state that they should please just draw to our attention once we go over 4 oíclock. We actually find ourselves not looking at our watches and being so keen to conclude with the evidence of Mr Gqiba that by the time we did now it was well after five oíclock. Our apologies again. The time being 5:15 we will adjourn this hearing until tomorrow morning at 09:30.