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Amnesty Hearings


Starting Date 10 November 1999


Day 3



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CHAIRPERSON: For the applicants, Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: For all applicants, my name is Brian Koopedi.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: I am Lula Mtanga, the Evidence Leader.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, we have slightly rearranged the order of the applicants. The order in which they will come before you will be that number 4, as on the list, Mr Mzumbe will be the first person to testify, the second one will be number 2, who is Mr Msimango, the third one would be Mr Hlongwane, the fourth one will then be Mr Patose.

Before you here is Mr Mzumbe, who is ready to be sworn in, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Koopedi. Mr Mzumbe, do you hear the interpretation on your headset? Is it working?


CHAIRPERSON: Good. Yes, will you please stand. Are your full names Sibulelo Goodman Mzumbe?


CHAIRPERSON: You may be seated, and just pull your chair in a bit. Mr Koopedi?

EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Mzumbe, is it correct that you are a co-applicant in this matter and that your application appears on page 24 of the bundle of documents before this Honourable Committee?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, that is correct.

MR KOOPEDI: Is it correct that you are applying for amnesty for an incident involving the attack on one, Johannes Selai, which occurred on the 29th of July 1992?


MR KOOPEDI: Now could you kindly tell this Honourable Committee where you were on the evening of the said date.

MR MZUMBE: I was at the Checkers Tavern. Would you like me to explain everything?

MR KOOPEDI: Ja, please proceed.

MR MZUMBE: We were at the Checkers Tavern, drinking on that particular day - on that night, and people from Kwamadala came and people who were staying there were members of Inkatha Freedom Party.

Whilst we were still drinking there, we heard gunshots, bullet shots that were coming through the window inside the tavern. Other people were shot that were with us in that tavern. We then hid ourselves under the tables.

After that when the shooting stopped, Johannes Selai was with them. He stood next to the door at the tavern, he ordered us to go out one by one. Whilst we were still going out they were beating us. They had firearms, those that were standing outside the tavern. They then grabbed Bennet Msimango because he was wearing a T-shirt that was written "Boipatong Call us to Action". After the members of attacked - it was after they had attacked in the township. We then went out of the tavern one by one and they would kick us while we were still going out of the tavern. They told us to leave that place. I then went back home.

After some time it was quiet and I then went back again. When I went back after some time, when I arrived, Johannes Selai was arrested by the comrades and they were asking him questions, beating him up, saying that he was an informer because he was with the people from the other side and at the time we were fighting with the Inkatha people.

He was asked questions, being beaten up. And I also had a knife with me, I stabbed him. After that there were lots of comrades there and because at the time when you were a member of Inkatha Freedom Party in the township, you would be killed because they were also killing.

So we didn't want them to go to the township because they had already killed a lot of people in the township. I stabbed him in the hand. He was then pulled outside the tavern where petrol was poured over him. He was burnt.

While his body was still burning, the police came and the soldiers, they were shooting. When they came they were already shooting. We dispersed and Johannes was then saved by the soldiers and the police.

Two weeks after the incident I was arrested together with others. We were taken to prison.

MR KOOPEDI: Now during this time, were you a member of a political organisation, a member or a supporter of a political organisation?

MR MZUMBE: At that time I was the supporter of the ANC, because at the township the majority of us were supporting the ANC because it was fighting against Inkatha Freedom Party. When you were a member of Inkatha Freedom Party in the township, you would be killed. We didn't want any people belonging to that organisation in the township because they were also killing people from the township.

MR KOOPEDI: Is it correct that this incident occurred shortly after what came to be known as the Boipatong Massacre?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, that is correct, it happened after the Boipatong massacre. After members of Inkatha Freedom Party attacked in Boipatong, we would group ourselves in different groups so that they cannot get a chance to go again in the township, because they were killing people and we didn't want any member of IFP to go inside the township because you would be labelled as an informer when you are from that side, so you deserved to be killed.

MR KOOPEDI: Now your attack on Mr Selai, what were your intentions, did you intend to kill him?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, because you are an informer in the township you would be killed. Out intention was to kill him, but he was saved by the police and the soldiers that arrived at the time.

MR KOOPEDI: Now your actions on that day, did you receive anything personally, financially or otherwise? Was there any personal gain on your side?

MR MZUMBE: Personally?

MR KOOPEDI: Did you gain anything financially, did anyone pay you, did you get a reward for attacking Mr Selai?

MR MZUMBE: No, we didn't expect money when we were attacking a person. When you were a member of IFP in the township and when we see you in the township, you would be killed, so there was nothing else that we gained, we just wanted to kill the members of the IFP because they were also killing.

MR KOOPEDI: Now you know that for you to obtain amnesty one of the things that you would have to do would be to fully disclose all material facts to this Committee. Do you think that you have disclosed all the material facts?

MR MZUMBE: Yes. Another thing is, he was helped by the police because our intention was to kill him because we were fighting against the IFP at the time, they were killing people. When they were in the township they were killing people, so they were regarded as informers, so if we get hold of an IFP member, we would kill that person so that we can eliminate IFP from attacking the residents of the township.

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, that will be the evidence of this witness, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Tlank you, Mr Koopedi. Ms Mtanga, any questions?

MS MTANGA: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, go ahead.


Mr Mzumbe, on page 26 of your application, on the sixth line the sentence starts with -

"It is alleged that later he was caught and stabbed severely and set alight by the community after ..."

That's the sentence. My understanding of that sentence is you are not admitting to the fact that you were part of the group who had caught him and stabbed him and set him alight, what do you say to this? Because you are not specifically associating yourself with the group that did that.

MR MZUMBE: When we were making this statement, this statement was made in front of the police, so I was afraid to state everything that I did because I was afraid of being sent to prison for a long time. I was writing this in front of the police and I was also scared. It's not the same as what I'm saying here. What I'm saying here is the whole truth.

If you can read this paper carefully, I only stopped at the point where I said that after they shot at us I left. Because when you are making a statement in front of the police you become scared and if there's nobody else helping you, you become afraid. It's not that everything I've written here is the truth because I wrote this statement in front of the police. There was nobody who was advising me.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this your handwriting, did you write this thing out or did somebody else write it for you or what?

MR MZUMBE: This is my handwriting, I'm the one who wrote it.

CHAIRPERSON: You wrote all this here?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, this is my handwriting.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: In your testimony today you indicated that after these IFP people had walked into the tavern, shot at you, you were then told to get out and you were kicked one by one as you went out of the door, you left the scene and then you indicated that you went back to the tavern where you found the group that had arrested or caught Mr Selai, what made you go back to the scene after you had been chased by the IFP? What made you go back?

MR MZUMBE: During those times we didn't sleep, we would be awake for the whole night guarding for anything that could happen. The reason why I went back is that I knew that they could come back again, so there was no time for me to sleep. I just thought let me go back to look or to see what had happened after I left and then when I arrived, Johannes was caught by the comrades. We didn't sleep in the townships at that time. So I couldn't stay at home not knowing what was happening where I was from, because we were always alert during the night.

MS MTANGA: Can you recall round about what time did the IFP come to attack you at the tavern? What time did this take place?

MR MZUMBE: It was after 7 o'clock, it was between 7, 8 or 9 o'clock, but I'm not sure about the exact time.

MS MTANGA: What time did you go back to the scene after you returned home?

MR MZUMBE: After we'd been dispersed by the police or after Johannes ordered us?

MS MTANGA: You were ordered by - the incident where Johannes ordered you out of the tavern, took place you are saying, between 7 and 9pm and then you went home, so my question is, round about what time did you go back to the tavern and found Johannes with the group that had caught up with him.

MR MZUMBE: I think it was after an hour or an hour and some few minutes that I went back.

MS MTANGA: Did you subsequently learn how they arrested Johannes Selai, because my understanding of your evidence is that you were all chased out of the tavern by the IFP, which means the IFP had an upper-hand over you at that particular tmme. So did you subsequently know how did they arrest, how did they catch up with Johannes Selai?

MR MZUMBE: Nobody told me because when the shooting - and after the shooting, it would just be confusion and chaos in the township and people would want to know from which direction is the shooting coming from. So I knew because I was there, so that is why I went back to the scene. Nobody told me that Johannes was with the comrades or the comrades had caught him.

The reason why I went back is because I was there before, so I wanted to know what had happened after I left because we were guarding in the township at the time, always.

MS MTANGA: Did you Johannes before this incident?


MS MTANGA: Did you know that he was an IFP member?

MR MZUMBE: No, I didn't know. That surprised me because there were people that would join and you wouldn't know when they joined the IFP. You would see when there is conflict that such and such a person is a member of that group.

MS MTANGA: Is it your evidence that you clearly identified him as the person who had stood at the door, kicking you as you were going out?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, I know that it was him.

MS MTANGA: No further questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Mtanga. Has the Panel got any questions?

MR SIBANYONI: No questions, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAX: Just one question, Chair.

Mr Mzumbe, you didn't quite answer the question that Ms Mtanga put to you, which was "How was the victim in this matter, Mr Selai, how was he abducted, how was he apprehended"?

MR MZUMBE: I said that after he ordered us to go outside the tavern, I left and I went and I went home. When I came back, when I arrived, the comrades had already caught him.

MR LAX: Yes. So you don't know how he was apprehended?

MR MZUMBE: No, I don't know. When I arrived he was already caught.

MS MTANGA: This violence in Boipatong between IFP and ANC, did it precede the actual massacre itself? Had it started before the massacre?

MR MZUMBE: This incident happened after the Boipatong massacre.

MR LAX: Yes, but the violence itself, this animosity between the IFP who lived a Kwamadala and the ANC residents, was the violence already on the go before the massacre itself happened?

MR MZUMBE: Yes, it happened before the Boipatong massacre.

MR LAX: Yes. Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Koopedi, any re-examination?

MR KOOPEDI: Nothing in re-exam, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mzumbe, thank you, you are excused.


MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, that's evidence. May I call the next witness, Mr Msimango?


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