CHAIRPERSON: Good morning to you. Before we start I'd like to briefly introduce the Panel to you. On my right is Judge John Motata, he's a Member of the Amnesty Committee, he's from Johannesburg. On my left is Mr Jonas Sibanyoni, also a Member of the Amnesty Committee, he's at attorney from Pretoria. I am Selwyn Miller, a Judge of the High Court, and I'm from Umtata.
These proceedings will be simultaneously translated and in order to benefit from the translation, you must be in possession of one of these devices. They are available from the sound technician. You just tune into the language, into the correct channel, and you'll get a direct simultaneous translation.
I apologise for the late start this morning, we were due to start at 10 o'clock, but unfortunately there was a delay that was beyond our circumstances, relating to the matter we are about to hear, whether or not a person was an applicant, and some investigation had to be done before we started. So I apologise for the inconvenience caused by the delay, but it was beyond our control. I can assure you we would have preferred to have started on time ourselves.
We'll be commencing with the amnesty application of Michael Leshomo. I would at this stage kindly request the legal representatives to place themselves on record.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee. My name is Lungelo Mbandazyo, I'm representing the applicant in this matter. Thank you.
MR VENTER: My name is Jaap Venter, I act on behalf of the Fick family.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Venter.
MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson. Ramula Patel, Leader of Evidence, I also appear on behalf of the victim, Ezekiel Malinga. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Patel. Mr Mbandazayo, I take it your client will be testifying in ...
MR MBANDAZAYO: Setswana, Chairperson.
JUDGE MOTATA: Give us your full names please.
MICHAEL LESHOMO: (sworn states)
JUDGE MOTATA: You may sit down.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mbandazayo.
EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee.
Mr Leshomo, is it correct that you were born on the 20th June 1945, in Sofiatown, Gauteng?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that you left school in standard three?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that you are seven children at home, and you are the fourth-born child?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that your father passed away in 1962?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: And that your mother is still alive.
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that you are married and you have two children?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that your first-born child is 17 years of age and is doing standard nine?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that your second-born child is eighteen years of age and is doing standard five?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that from 1990, in 1990 you were a supporter of PAC?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: And can you tell the Committee when did you formally join PAC.
MR LESHOMO: In 1970(sic).
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Leshomo, you told the Committee that you have been a supporter of PAC in 1990(sic), am I correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: And at that time you were not a member of PAC.
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now when did you become a member of PAC?
MR LESHOMO: Do you mean a card-carrying member?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think the question, Mr Leshomo, asked to you by Mr Mbandazayo is when did you formally join the PAC? In other words, if you became a card-carrying member, when did you become a card-carrying member?
MR LESHOMO: In 1970. 1997.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what's your answer? In 1997? Three years ago.
MR LESHOMO: 1970. Am I right?
CHAIRPERSON: Have you got a card, Mr Leshomo, a membership card?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I do have.
CHAIRPERSON: With you here?
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps that will give an indication of when you became a member, either through the membership number or else it might even have a date on it.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson. It's the 8th of July 1997, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Mr Leshomo, let's now come to this incident. Am I correct that around April in 1991, you were approached by Monde Radebe who was an APLA cadre?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee what Monde Radebe wanted from you?
MR LESHOMO: Monde Radebe came to me. He knew I was already a member of the PAC, he wanted money, and I said to him: "Monde, I do not ..." ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Leshomo, before you proceed, how could he have known you were a member of the PAC, if you only became a member in 1997?
MR LESHOMO: My apologies, maybe I made a mistake. He knew I was a supporter.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Continue, Mr Leshomo.
MR LESHOMO: He came to me, he said he wanted money for the weapons. I told him I did not have money because the business was not going well. He left. After two weeks he came back ...(intervention)
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Mr Leshomo, can you tell the Committee if you say that the business was not doing very well, did you have any business then, and what type of business did you have?
MR LESHOMO: I had a tavern and a taxi.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay, then continue.
MR LESHOMO: He left and he came back after two weeks and he said there was an operation in Witbank and we should go an repossess. We went to check. After checking we came back. He called me, he said I should come to him so that we can go to Witbank. We were together with Solly. We came back, we dropped them off at Solly's place. I do not know when then did they go to Witbank.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, who is Solly? Do you know his name?
MR LESHOMO: It's Solly Mopedi.
CHAIRPERSON: So what you're saying, Mr Leshomo, is Radebe came back, Monde Radebe came back about two weeks later and then said there's an operation and you said you went to check, did you go to Witbank?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, myself, Monde and Chris Khumalo, we went to Witbank.
CHAIRPERSON: And Chris Khumalo, not Solly?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, it's Chris Khumalo. We went to go and reconnoitre the place.
CHAIRPERSON: Now where does Solly Mopedi fit in?
MR LESHOMO: After we've reconnoitred the place, Monde Radebe introduced us to Solly Mopedi.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Chairperson, if the Committee will note that Chris Khumalo was accused number 3 and Solly was accused number 5 in the case. The person he calls Solly was accused number 5. Chris Khumalo, he's called Chris Khumalo, is accused number 3 in the case.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you.
Now can you tell the Committee how did you know Monde Radebe, how did you know this person?
MR LESHOMO: I know him through a person called Japhta.
MR MBANDAZAYO: So am I correct to say that you were introduced to Monde Radebe by Japhta?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Was it - when Monde Radebe came to you and wanted money, was it the first time that he came to you and wanted money from you, or was it the first time that a person from PAC or APLA came to you and wanted money? Was it the first time?
MR LESHOMO: It was not the first person to come to me.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee how many times, if you can remember, did somebody come to you and wanted money?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall, but it was quite a few times.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now you told the Committee that you went to Witbank and you came back, it was yourself, Chris Khumalo and Monde Radebe. And you came back from Witbank and thereafter, what did you do after coming back from Witbank?
MR LESHOMO: When we came back from Witbank, I dropped him where he lived and we went to Solly's place.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee, when did you go to Solly's place, after how many days after coming back from Witbank? Did you go the same day or the following day or after a week or what?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall whether it was the following day or after two days.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes. And did you take him - was he still with Chris Khumalo, or was he alone, Monde Radebe?
MR LESHOMO: Are you talking about Monde?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Monde was alone.
MR LESHOMO: It was myself, Chris Khumalo - it was myself and Monde and we went to Solly's house.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now did you know Solly, this Solly, before you went there with Monde?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I knew him because we all lived in Diepkloof, but not in one zone.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Tell the Committee what happened on your arrival at Solly's place.
MR LESHOMO: When we arrived at Solly's place, Monde introduced me to him, he said: "This is Solly" and this is the person who will go with us to work in Witbank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, what happened thereafter?
MR LESHOMO: I did not know him. We met and we greeted each other and I left them at Solly's place. I don't know when did they leave for Witbank, but they went to Witbank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Did they tell you anything before you left them at Solly's place? And if there is anything they told you, what was that?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, Solly and Monde and Chris told me that they were going to Witbank and to Solly's girlfriend and they will spend the night there so that the next morning when they wake up they go straight into the mission, they will go and reconnoitre the bank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, what happened thereafter?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know how many weeks they spent there, whether it was two weeks, but they called me, they gave me a call from Witbank. They told me that the place was okay, I should search for transport. In other words, a getaway car. I went to Lucky Mkoni and I asked for a car. Lucky Mkoni was with Delani Mphosa. After that I called them to inform that we have a car.
MR MBANDAZAYO: How did Lucky Mkoni come into the picture and Delani Mphosa now? You have been telling us about Chris Khumalo, Solly and Monde Radebe, now there's Lucky. Lucky, Mr Chairperson, is accused number 2.
MR LESHOMO: He's my co-accused.
MR MBANDAZAYO: And Delani Mphosa was accused number 4. How do they come now into the picture?
MR LESHOMO: Monde called me, he told me to go and contact Lucky and look for a car from them.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Did you know Lucky and Delani before he was sent by Monde to them?
MR LESHOMO: I just knew them, but I was not close to them, especially Lucky. The person who used to come to the tavern was Delani.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay, continue.
MR LESHOMO: I went to Lucky, I told him that Monde sent me to them and I had to get a car from them. They said yes, the car was ready.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, continue.
MR LESHOMO: I think the next day was the 14th, I told them that we were going to leave for the Witbank. On the 14th, I went to them and I told them to wait for me at the garage, we will leave round about 5 o'clock, I have to go to the hostel to go and get Joseph Malinga, because Monde called to tell me that I should go and get Malinga from the hostel and Elimo and the others who were in the car.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee about Joseph Malinga and Elimo, how are they coming in the picture also?
MR LESHOMO: Monde told me to fetch them. They were also the accused in this case.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Mbandazayo, I didn't catch the second name. The first one was Joseph Malinga, and the other person was?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Elimo.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, it's E-l-i-m-o.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Do you know, was his real name Elimo? Does he have another name, or?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know these people, I only knew them through Monde, so I would not know whether these are the real names or not.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay. You went now to fetch Joseph Malinga and Elimo, what happened thereafter?
MR LESHOMO: We left and Lucky and them were waiting for us at the garage. We filled the two cars with petrol and we left for Witbank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: You arrived at Witbank, then tell us, on your arrival at Witbank on the 14th, at what time did you arrive at Witbank?
MR LESHOMO: We arrived - I do not recall the time, it could have been around eight, it's between seven and eight.
CHAIRPERSON: That's in the morning?
MR LESHOMO: No, in the evening.
MR MBANDAZAYO: What happened on your arrival at Witbank?
MR LESHOMO: We took a getaway car and parked it at the hostel, we went back to the house belonging to Solly's girlfriend.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Where did you get this getaway car? Tell us about this getaway car you are talking about now that you went to park at the hostel.
MR LESHOMO: We got the car from Lucky, Lucky Mkoni. This is the person I was told to contact in order to get a car.
MR MBANDAZAYO: What type of car was it?
MR LESHOMO: It was an XR6.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, you parked it at the hostel, you went back to Solly's girlfriend's place, tell us more. What happened there at Solly's ...
MR LESHOMO: We spent the night there, we slept. When we woke up we sat down because each one of us had to know what role to play at the bank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now tell us about the plans, how were you going to go to the bank, how were you going to do all this in the bank? Were you armed or were you not armed, what type of weapons did you have, who brought the weapons? Tell us more about your plans.
MR LESHOMO: Monde Radebe brought the weapons.
JUDGE MOTATA: What kind of weapons were they which Monde brought, and how many?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall, it was one AK and 9mms, I don't know how many of them were there, and the 3.8s. I do not recall how many of them, but among the weapons there was an AK47, the 9mms and the 3.8.
JUDGE MOTATA: .38 or 3.8?
MR LESHOMO: It's 38, I don't know how many of them, and it's a 16 shooter.
JUDGE MOTATA: But were the weapons for the entire entourage that had to embark on the operation?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they were for the entourage, but two of the people were not armed. It was myself and Solly, we did not have weapons.
JUDGE MOTATA: How many were you?
MR LESHOMO: We were seven.
JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you. You may continue, Mr Mbandazayo.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson.
Now you told the Committee that there were weapons, it was yourself and Solly who were not armed, tell us more about the operation. How were you going to spring the operation? How did you divide yourselves, how many cars were you going to use, and what format were you going to take?
MR LESHOMO: We used three cars, two were straight cars, the one was a getaway. In other words, according to your plan, the getaway car went to the bank with the people who were supposed to get into the bank to execute the work. Myself and Solly, we were at different places, so that when they leave the bank they should get into our cars and we leave the getaway car where it was parked. That is far - we were parked far from the bank.
I don't know what happened in the bank because I was not in there, because what I knew was that after the repossessing they were supposed to come back to the cars. I didn't see them coming. I heard a gunshot, I don't know what was happening at the bank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: How many people went inside the bank? We know that yourself and Solly, you were drivers, and Solly was outside town with his car. How many who went inside the bank?
MR LESHOMO: Five people went inside the bank.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee who were they?
MR LESHOMO: It was Lucky Mkoni, Elimo, Delani Mphosa, Joseph Malinga and Monde Radebe.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now you told the Committee that then you went to the bank and you heard what was happening, you did not go to the bank, when did you again meet them?
MR LESHOMO: We met at Solly's house.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Did they tell what actually happened in the bank?
MR LESHOMO: They told me that there was an accident in the bank and there was a crossfire.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, continue. What happened?
MR LESHOMO: They also shot and they left. They could not get enough money, they only took money from one till, amounting to approximately R28 000.
MR MBANDAZAYO: What did you do with the money?
MR LESHOMO: We gave it to Monde Radebe.
MR MBANDAZAYO: None of you - did you not divide the money amongst yourselves?
MR LESHOMO: No, we did not divide the money amongst ourselves.
MR MBANDAZAYO: What happened thereafter, after you have handed the money to Monde Radebe?
MR LESHOMO: I left with Monde, we went to Johannesburg.
MR MBANDAZAYO: What happened with the weapons?
MR LESHOMO: We loaded them in the car, together with the money and we drove back with Monde.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee how were you arrested thereafter.
MR LESHOMO: It was at night, I was sleeping and the police arrive, the Brixton Police. They arrested me and they told me that Elimo was already in custody in Brixton. When we arrived at Brixton, I found Elimo not there. They took me to a room and they undressed me and they choked me.
MR MBANDAZAYO: After chocking me I noticed that they were not going to stop, I told them: "I do not know the people you are talking about". The police said: "You will know them," They choked me until I ended up pointing to them where Solly Mopedi lived.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay. Now you told the Committee that you managed to get R28 000, did they tell you what actually happened, because there were two people dead in the bank? Did they tell you who shot those people?
MR LESHOMO: After the accident nobody wanted to tell me who shot these two people, but I learnt later on that Monde is the person, Monde Radebe is the person who shot.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is there anything that was taken in the bank except the money?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know, I heard when we were in court that some of the things were missing. I only know of the money.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Because according to the judge, it is that - and also what you were convicted of, was that jewellery, a ring, watch, was also taken from some of the people in the bank.
MR LESHOMO: I did not see those, I only saw money, but in court during our trial yes, I heard those items being referred to but I never saw them.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Well if - let's assume that happened, these things were taken, if they were taken was it part of your mission also to take jewellery, watches, rings?
MR LESHOMO: No, it was not part of our mission, the mission was to repossess, to get money.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee, according to your confessions, in all your confessions you agree that the money was divided amongst yourselves.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I said that in Brixton because I was afraid they will kill me if I tell them what happened to the money.
MR MBANDAZAYO: All of you, you decided because - I assume that all of you, you are saying you were tortured at Brixton, that's the reason you said the money was divided amongst yourselves.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, that was the reason why we said we shared the money amongst ourselves. Because we didn't know what these people wanted, we wanted them to leave us so we told them we shared the money amongst ourselves.
MR SIBANYONI: Excuse me, Mr Mbandazayo, excuse me just while you are still there.
Why did you think they would kill you if you told the police what happened to the money?
MR LESHOMO: I did not want to tell them that we took the money and gave it Monde Radebe, because their next question would be: "Why give it to Monde?" The answer would be: "PAC."
MR SIBANYONI: So you are saying you never wanted to mention that this was a PAC operation or mission?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, we did not want to tell them, because these people were choking us. At that time when they were electrocuting us we did not want to tell them the truth, we just wanted them to stop with the electrocution, so we told them we shared the money amongst ourselves.
MR SIBANYONI: Thank you.
JUDGE MOTATA: If I may again, Mr Mbandazayo.
You say "when they choked us", were you together when they choked you?
MR LESHOMO: No, they did not choke us simultaneously, they took us one by one. They took me alone. They arrested me first ...(indistinct), so they took me to Brixton, that's where they choked me. And I went with them to pinpoint the accused. They fetched me from my house, they took me to Brixton where they choked me.
JUDGE MOTATA: When did you see other people, that is Malinga, Elimo? After you arrest, when did you see them for the first time?
MR LESHOMO: That was after I pointed out Solly and they were all arrested one by one, until we were all taken to Brixton.
JUDGE MOTATA: Were you in the same cell with the others? Were you locked up together in other words?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they locked us all in one cell, but then they would call us one by one for interrogation. For interrogation purposes they did not call us all, it was one by one.
JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo, you may proceed.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson and Honourable Member.
Now Me Leshomo, can you tell the Committee why didn't you want to mention that this was - "Well don't torture us, don't do anything to us"? This was an APLA or PAC operation, you were instructed by an organisation to do that, why didn't you just tell them that?
MR LESHOMO: I know they hate APLA.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now can you tell the Committee - I understand before you were convicted of this offence you had other previous convictions, can you tell the Committee about them, starting with the first one.
CHAIRPERSON: What page are we on? Do you have a page reference there?
MR MBANDAZAYO: On conviction, Chairperson?
MR MBANDAZAYO: It's page ...(intervention)
MS PATEL: 73, Chairperson.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Page 73, Chairperson.
Can you tell the Committee about your previous convictions.
MR LESHOMO: Are you referring to the cases, all the cases that I was convicted for before? Or which cases are you referring to?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, I want your cases in which you were convicted, like the one involving liquor, selling liquor without a licence, all your cases up until before this one you are applying for amnesty.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I was arrested before. Before it was traffic offences, I would skip a not pay the traffic tickets and I was arrested for selling liquor without having a licence. My other case I was arrested, actually I had an accident in the house with my wife.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, can you tell the Committee about this accident about your wife that you are talking about, what was it and what happened?
MR LESHOMO: I had a car, my car, and I bought her her own car and one day I discovered that her boyfriend was driving my car and I asked her: "Why do you take my car, because you have your own car? Why do you take my car and give it to your boyfriend?" And she hit me with an ashtray, she was drunk. I assaulted her with my bare hands until she died.
My other was robbery at First National Bank, another robbery at First National Bank. The other robbery, OK Bazaars. The other robbery, First National Bank, Witbank. That was the last one.
CHAIRPERSON: Just on this, Mr Leshomo, I see that on the 2nd of November 1990, you were convicted and sentenced and on two charges of robbery and you were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: How was it that you were not in prison then when this Witbank incident took place?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I was not in prison.
CHAIRPERSON: But you were sentenced in November to 10 years and then the Witbank robbery took place seven months later. So how did it come about that you were not in prison?
MR LESHOMO: Let me give you an explanation, you are asking questions. The cases that I've referred to yes, sent me in, in other words 10 years and I appealed and when I was arrested I was on appeal, the appeal was pending.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now Mr Leshomo, can you tell the Committee what's the difference between the cases you were convicted of in 1990, and the case you were convicted in 1993. That is the Witbank case. What is the difference in these two cases? What I'm trying to get at is that why didn't you apply for amnesty in that case for which you were convicted in 1990 and you are applying for amnesty in this one in 1993? What's the difference between the two cases?
MR LESHOMO: When I was sentenced I was sentenced to death. When we were in Pretoria, they told me "You've been sentenced to death twice." Now if you are sentenced to death you are not charged for other cases. Now I took it upon myself that if I apply for one case, I've generalised for all cases.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Are you trying to tell the Committee that also those cases for which you were convicted of in 1990, has something to do with politics? If I get you correctly it's that you thought that you were applying for all the cases when you were making your application.
MR LESHOMO: That is correct, I was applying for all cases.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now what I'm getting at is, are you trying to tell this Committee that also they had political motivation, the 1990 cases which you were convicted of?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they had a political motive.
JUDGE MOTATA: What is the political motive for the one for which you were convicted on the 2nd of November 1990? The robbery. What happened?
MR LESHOMO: I committed this offence trying to gather money so that I can assist APLA.
CHAIRPERSON: But I can tell you, Mr Leshomo, that the 1990 robberies are not before us as applications, because in your application form you specifically mentioned only Witbank.
MR LESHOMO: Yes. You asked me a question ... (intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: And you mentioned only one date, it's "15th of June 1991 - Witbank".
MR LESHOMO: Please understand - yes, I told you already that when I applied I thought I was applying for all cases, because I was told when I was sentenced, that the death sentence encompasses all the charges, so I thought applying just once would cover all the charges.
CHAIRPERSON: But you understand that the others are not before us as applications, they haven't been investigated, no work has been done in respect of them at all.
MR LESHOMO: I do understand.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can I proceed, Chairperson?
Now Mr Leshomo, you heard in court what actually happened, the witnesses testified and you have heard the trauma which they went through, those who survived, and you also heard about the anguish of those who lost their loved ones, what do you say to that today?
MR LESHOMO: I want to say to those who lost their loved ones, my sympathies, the intention was not to kill, the intention was to repossess. Please forgive me, those of you who lost your loved ones. It is not nice for me as well.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Now my last point, Mr Leshomo, can you tell the Committee why should they grant you the amnesty that you are applying for.
MR LESHOMO: I'm applying for amnesty for what happened, that is why I am here.
MR MBANDAZAYO: That is all, Chairperson, at this stage. Thank you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MBANDAZAYO
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo. Mr Venter, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?
KRUISONDERVRAGING DEUR MNR VENTER: "Soos dit u behaag.
Mnr Leshomo, u sÍ vir hierdie Komitee dat us sedert 1970 'n ondersteuner van APLA was, is dit korrek?
MR LESHOMO: I was the supporter of the PAC.
MNR VENTER: Goed. u Het eers in 1997 'n kaart-draer geword van die PAC. Is dit korrek?"
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR VENTER: Did you at any stage before this Witbank incident, receive any direct orders from APLA?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, in the previous cases.
MR VENTER: What were those orders?
MR LESHOMO: The instructions were to repossess money and hand it to APLA for the struggle, APLA was supposed to buy weapons for the war.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if you could just assist me Mr Leshomo on this, why should a person in APLA give you an instruction to involve yourself in an APLA operation when you were not a member of APLA yourself?
MR LESHOMO: I'm the member of the PAC, I assisted because I was driving a car. A member of APLA approached me and asked me to drive a car and I was assisting, that's how I got involved in this whole thing.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter?
MR VENTER: What seems strange to me is that APLA had trained cadres and they were responsible for carrying out these operations, now what would have been the reason why you who were a mere supporter had been approached to carry out such a complicated operation as a bank robbery?
MR LESHOMO: APLA is the military wing of the PAC, now as a member of the PAC, any instruction coming from APLA I would follow that. The slogan is "Serve, Suffer and Sacrifice".
MR VENTER: The point I'm trying to make is that there were APLA members who had been trained in Tanzania and these people were trained to be combat units, combat machines and they surely would have been in the front line to try and obtain funds for APLA. Do you agree with that?
MR LESHOMO: In this operation members of APLA were involved, they were APLA guerillas. They were members of APLA in this operation.
MR VENTER: Which ones of your co-accused were members of APLA?
MR LESHOMO: They came with Monde Radebe, I do not know them.
MR VENTER: Yes, but please answer my question, to the previous you said that these people were members of APLA.
MR LESHOMO: Monde Radebe came with these people and I would not ask him who is this person, was he trained or not trained, who trained him, that was not my duty. I was not supposed to ask questions.
MR VENTER: You know that Mr Joseph Malinga who was convicted along with yourself, also applied for amnesty. Are you aware of that?
MR LESHOMO: I did not know, I learnt that here.
MR VENTER: And in those documents he was alleging that he was a member of Qibla.
MR LESHOMO: I do not know.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Leshomo, do you know of Qibla? Q-i-b-l-a. I'm not quite sure myself what it stands for.
MR LESHOMO: I do not know that, it's my first time to hear of that here.
CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm just referring to the documents here, we've been given documents and on the application Mr Malinga, which appears on page 178, he says that he is a member of Qibla, Q-i-b-l-a, and you say you don't know that one. You don't know Qibla?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know it, Sir. I knew Malinga as a member of the PAC. I don't know what you have just asked me.
CHAIRPERSON: Just for the record I'd just like to indicate that none of the Panel Members here were involved at all in Mr Malinga's application.
MR VENTER: ...(indistinct - no microphone)
CHAIRPERSON: Just push the button, and would you repeat the question please.
MR VENTER: The money that you had to rob, if this was for purposes of the PAC, for what reasons would members of another organisation partake in this robbery?
MR LESHOMO: Because the PAC did not have money, there were no countries supplying money.
CHAIRPERSON: I think what the question asked by Mr Venter is, if this was a PAC or APLA operation, why would somebody belonging to another organisation, like Qibla, participate in such an operation?
Is that what you were asking, Mr Venter?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know, I really don't know. And these people came with the Commander. I've just mentioned that these people were brought by Monde.
MR VENTER: Very well. You say that you were arrested first and that you were taken to Brixton Police Station.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
MR VENTER: And there they tried to choke you.
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry just before you proceed, I just want some clarity, Mr Venter.
You say you were arrested first, the first of all seven of you, you were the first one to be arrested?
MR LESHOMO: I was the first one to be arrested.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you know how that came about, seeing that - why I ask is from what you've said, you weren't even at the bank, you were far away from the bank. I was just wondering how it came about that you were not involved in the actual incident at the bank, you weren't even on the scene and you became the first person to be arrested.
MR LESHOMO: I am still surprised, I still want to know even today how it came about that I was the first to be arrested. I really want to know that, I haven't have a chance to know.
MR VENTER: You were then taken to Brixton Police Station where you made a statement, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct, after they choked me I ave them a statement. They choked me and I gave them a statement. I had no option, I was dying.
MR VENTER: And with the statement that you made and your later statement at Witbank, did you supply all the names of your accomplices?
MR LESHOMO: Which statement are you referring to, Sir? Explain it further.
JUDGE MOTATA: The confession you made at Witbank.
MR LESHOMO: They asked for names of the people who were with me, I gave them those names.
MR VENTER: Did you supply names of all the persons who were involved with you?
MR LESHOMO: I gave them all the names.
MR VENTER: I see. But do you know what is not there in that statement of yours, what is not there is the name of Monde Radebe.
MR LESHOMO: On the day of the operation, Monde was not called Monde Radebe, we called him Bennet, that was his nickname.
MR VENTER: If you would grant me a moment please.
In your confession ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I don't know if they got that, if you could just start again with the light on please.
MR VENTER: In your confession no reference is made to Bennet either, is there a reason for this?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know why his name does not appear there. I did not write the statement.
JUDGE MOTATA: May I interpose, Mr Venter?
I see there are statements there and I'm not sure, but there is one on page 29 - oh, it's Malinga. Thank you.
MR VENTER: And what is further strange to me is that in your confession before the Magistrate you said
"Solly came to me and said there was work in Witbank."
MR LESHOMO: I did not say that before the Judge, I mentioned that at Brixton. The Judge actually read to us the statement that we gave to the Brixton Police.
CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Venter's asking you is, what he's saying to you is that in your statement, the one that was made before the Magistrate, not the one, whatever you said at the trial, but the one that you made at the Magistrate, you said in that statement that Solly approached you and said there was work in Witbank. Did you say that in your statement to the Magistrate?
MR LESHOMO: I did not know he was the Magistrate, the Magistrate is supposed to be in a court, how would I know that he's a Magistrate, because he was not wearing a gown. The statement was taken at Brixton.
CHAIRPERSON: In that statement that was taken at Brixton, did you say that Solly approached you and said that there was work to be done in Witbank?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall whether I said that, this happened a long time ago.
MR VENTER: But certainly you might remember this statement well, it was a woman Magistrate who took the statement from you. Can you recall this incident?
MR LESHOMO: I would not recall everything. When you write a - it was my first time to give a statement at Brixton, I was told this is a Magistrate. I don't even believe today that he was a Magistrate.
MR VENTER: It appears very strange to me that today you say that Monde Radebe approached you and on that day you said it was Solly, and we take cognisance of the fact that you willingly disclosed all the names of your accomplices and therefore I wish to put it to you that Monde Radebe never gave any instructions to you.
MR LESHOMO: He gave me instructions.
MR VENTER: I wish to refer you to page 1 of the application for amnesty where at paragraph 7(b) you say that you were a cadres of APLA.
MR LESHOMO: I cannot write, some of the things here I agree to, some of them not. The person who was writing must have written this himself. I did not go through this application after it was completed because I do not know how to read.
MR VENTER: So the person who wrote here sucked it out of his own thumb that you were an APLA cadre?
CHAIRPERSON: He doesn't mention the word "APLA', it's got PAC and then it's (cadre) (comrade).
MR VENTER: Reference is made to the PAC, the military wing of the PAC.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible - no microphone) paragraph 11. Carry on, Mr Venter.
MR VENTER: Now this Monde, what is his name, what is his surname?
MR LESHOMO: Radebe.
MR VENTER: Because you mention it as Hadebe in your statement.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, that's the person who gave us instructions.
MR VENTER: Hadebe, spelt with an "H"?
JUDGE MOTATA: Hasn't he, Mr Venter, just testified that he can't read or write so somebody else wrote.
MR VENTER: I shall leave it there.
Your co-accused, all of them in their statements say that these monies that were robbed were divided amongst you all. Is that so?
MR LESHOMO: That is not so. I said when I mentioned earlier on that we confessed at Brixton, we said yes, we have shared it among ourselves, while knowing that is not true. We told the Brixton Police that we shared the money. We were afraid to tell them, they were choking us. Yes, you are correct because that is what we said but we told them lies. Maybe they were afraid of being choked so they said yes, the money was shared amongst ourselves.
MR VENTER: You see that Mr Joseph Malinga was a member of Qibla, and in his statement he says that he received money - or I beg your pardon, that is not he who says this. He says he is a member of Qibla, would he then go ahead and rob a bank ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: If you look at page 30, down at the bottom, line 29, that's the statement of Joseph Malinga.
"We counted the money and divided it amongst ourselves. I received R3 000."
INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on.
MR VENTER: He said afterwards
"Mike, Chris and Bernard left."
Would you please tell the Committee, after the robbery when you arrived at Solly's house, what happened there exactly?
MR LESHOMO: When we arrived at Solly's place, amongst us there was Monde, that is Bennet, myself and Monde went back to Johannesburg. I do not know what happened after we had left. We left. After the operation we took the money, myself and Monde, we took all the money and we left. I do not know what transpired after we left.
MR VENTER: Did you not use the money to buy food?
MR LESHOMO: No, we did not use the money for the food.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where Monde Radebe is today?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know, I heard when I was in jail that he died because Brixton Police shot him.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter.
MR VENTER: You are saying that with the initial planning of this robbery, you were involved in the initial planning.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I was present.
MR VENTER: What did the planning entail of this incident?
MR LESHOMO: The plan was well organised but the execution of the plan did not go well, there was an accident. It was the intention that people get injured or people get killed, the aim was to repossess. In other words, to take money.
MR VENTER: How was the planning done for this incident?
MR LESHOMO: We went to reconnoitre the place, to check as to whether the place was okay, we noticed yes, it was an easy target, but things did not turn out that way on the day of the execution of the plan.
MR VENTER: Why was the First National Bank in Witbank chosen?
MR LESHOMO: We chose First National Bank because it belongs to the settlers, many settlers banked their money in there.
MR VENTER: But were there not many other banks?
MR LESHOMO: We wanted a place where the settlers banked their money.
MR VENTER: Did other persons besides the settlers also not bank at First National Bank?
MR LESHOMO: The majority were the settlers. The bank had mines, they have diamond mines, platinum mines, coal mines, that's why we went to Witbank.
MR VENTER: Do you agree that the bank was not a political institution? The First National Bank was not affiliated to any political person or any political body.
MR LESHOMO: We wanted a bank. There was no way to get money. PAC does not have money. We do not get money from other countries. We were going to fetch money from the bank because money is kept in the bank, there is no other place where one can get money except the bank.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just on another point, just while there's a gap. This name Gabapalelos(?), what name is that.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Which page, Chairperson?
MS PATEL: It's 59, Mr Mbandazayo.
MR LESHOMO: Gaopalelwe, it's my name, it's my Tswana name and the other one is Michael. My name is Gaopalelwe.
CHAIRPERSON: What about Leshomo?
MR LESHOMO: Leshomo it's my surname.
CHAIRPERSON: So is your name Gabapalelos Michael Leshomo?
JUDGE MOTATA: No apparently Chairperson, it's wrongly spelt, Gaopalelwe is G-a-o-p-a-l-e-l-w-e.
CHAIRPERSON: I just wanted to get that for the record because from the statement it doesn't bear the name Leshomo, but only this other name. Thank you. Mr Venter?
MR VENTER: You then agree that the bank was a commercial bank which did not have any affiliation to any political party.
MR LESHOMO: A bank is a place where money is kept. We went to the bank with one aim, which is getting money. If the money was not there we would have not gone there. We went there because we wanted money.
MR VENTER: Would you agree with me that there is a great difference between repossession and a bank robbery?
MR LESHOMO: Within the PAC circles robbery is not called robbery, it's called repossess. We were going to take what belongs to us. That was our money in that bank. The settlers oppressed us with out money. We are struggling this way because of the settlers. We were going to the bank to repossess our money. They had repossessed this money from our forefathers a long time ago. I had not gone to school because my forefathers were robbed of their money by the settlers. I am struggling.
MR VENTER: In that bank there were a great number of black persons, business people who also kept their money with First National Bank.
MR LESHOMO: I know there were black people banking in that institution, but the majority of the bankers were the settlers.
CHAIRPERSON: No, I don't think you mean the bankers, you mean the people who deposited money there. A banker is the bank itself.
MR LESHOMO: I was responding to his question. Yes, I was saying - he says a bank belongs to everybody, yes, everybody who deposits money is allowed in the bank but the majority of people who deposit their money in that bank were the settlers. And yes, the blacks were also there as people who deposited their money in that bank. And nobody black was working there. We went there looking for a black person who will give us information, we did not get one, all the employees were white.
MR VENTER: I put it to you that you are not speaking the truth, First National Bank was one of the first banks who amended their personnel appointments so as to be representative of the geographical population.
MR LESHOMO: I don't know, but we reconnoitred a place and I went inside the bank. I did not see any black person, not even someone who is a cleaner sweeping the floors. I went inside asking for a change, nobody, nobody was black.
MR VENTER: Did you only go into the banking hall?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I did not get into the back, but at least there should have been one black person to see that it was representative of all population of the country. I do not know English, I do not know Afrikaans, I wanted someone to assist me in Sesotho. There was nobody.
MR VENTER: If the bank appeared representative to you, representative of the population of South Africa, would you have continued with your robbery there?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, we would have gone forward with the robbery.
MR VENTER: So despite anything else you would have continued with the robbery?
MR LESHOMO: The plan was to go and repossess and there was no way of turning back.
MR VENTER: These incidents took place on a working day, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR VENTER: Before you went to the bank, did you realise that all of you were armed with AK47s, 9mm pistols and .38 revolvers?
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
MR VENTER: And you knew that those firearms could be used.
MR LESHOMO: I knew that we had to remove any obstacle in front of our way, but we were not going to fight, we were going to repossess, but in case of an accident. When someone fights you, you have to fight back.
MR VENTER: Mr Leshomo, Mrs Barnard was shot dead behind her desk where she was seated, she was not fighting.
MR LESHOMO: I don't know, I was not inside the bank, I do not know what transpired inside the bank. Had I been inside the bank I would be telling you a story as to what happened. I mentioned earlier on that I was not inside the bank. ...(end of tape 1B)
MR VENTER: ... for Mr Fick, who did not have the keys to the safe. He was also shot, he was also not fighting.
MR LESHOMO: I do not know, I was informed when I was in court after we'd been arrested, that there were people who died. I did not know.
MR VENTER: But clearly in your planning you foresaw that persons could be killed?
MR LESHOMO: When we put our plan together it was not to kill people, it was to repossess money. I don't know what happened, I was informed that there was an accident and there was a cross-fire and people were killed, but the plan was not to kill people.
JUDGE MOTATA: May I interpose, Mr Venter.
The question is that you foresaw, because you people were armed, that people could be killed in the bank. That's the question from Mr Venter. Would I be right, Mr Venter?
MR VENTER: That is correct.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
JUDGE MOTATA: And did you marry yourself with the idea that in the event of people being killed in the bank, you would share the responsibility of those who died?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, if someone is fighting you, he's shooting at you and then you don't fight back, what would have happened had one of us been shot? They would have died.
JUDGE MOTATA: You may continue Mr Venter, thank you.
MR VENTER: Mr Leshomo, with the planning of this offence you could have planned to commit this offence after hours when there were no employees of the bank on the premises.
MR LESHOMO: How would we got to a closed bank? We cannot go to a closed bank.
MR VENTER: So you followed the path of the least resistance, which happened to be the most dangerous for the general public and for the employees of First National Bank, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: The accident happened, an accident can happen any way. You are driving your car, if you bump your car, was it your intention to bump your car?
MR VENTER: Mr Leshomo, you say you gave the monies to Monde Radebe, after the robbery.
MR LESHOMO: That's what I said. I think I'm repeating myself. I don't know how many times you have asked me and I've responded in the same way, that we've given the money to Monde Radebe. Who should I say I handed the money to?
MR VENTER: What did Monde Radebe do with the money?
MR LESHOMO: He knows what happened to the money, we handed the money to him. He probably bought firearms.
CHAIRPERSON: I think the question was, do you know what he did with the money.
MR LESHOMO: He told me that the money was going to be used to purchase firearms, after that I never met him. I don't know whether he bought those firearms, but he told me that he had his Commanders. I can't confess that I saw him. I saw what he did with the money, but what I saw happening was he left with the money.
CHAIRPERSON: Was all the money cash or were there cheques? What was it, notes?
MR LESHOMO: I saw notes. It was cash.
CHAIRPERSON: And after the robbery when you went to Solly's house, did you sit out there and count the money? When I say "you", I mean all of you.
MR LESHOMO: The money that I know that I saw, was R8 000. I don't know about the other money. I don't know, but the money that I saw was R8 000.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Venter.
MR VENTER: Your co-accused all of them in their statements say that they divided the money and that each and every one of you received R3 000.
MR LESHOMO: I bear no knowledge to that, they will have to come and account here. I am telling you what I know. We handed the money to Monde.
MR VENTER: You see, if you were all members of the PAC and you had this honourable intention of repossessing all these monies and giving it to the organisation, then it appears strange as to why some of your co-accused did not apply for amnesty.
MR LESHOMO: These people have applied for amnesty but they were not responded - nobody responded to their applications. I know they have applied. If no response came in relation to their applications, I would not know, I am not supposed to know that.
MR VENTER: I put it to you that you are abusing the amnesty process in an attempt as a last resort, to be set free from prison and that this conduct of yours was never committed upon instruction of APLA or the PAC, that it was you and your friends who had executed this robbery for your own personal benefits.
MR LESHOMO: That's what you are telling me. I have put forward my story. What you are saying is your own version. I've put my version on the table, which is the true version.
MR VENTER: You see this incident took place at a stage when your business was in dire straits financially, is that not so?
MR LESHOMO: My business was going very well. The money that I did not have is the money that I was supposed to give to Monde. My businesses were running very well. I told him "I cannot give you any money because the money that I have is for my business." I did not have an extra amount to give to him. The money that was there was for my businesses. Had there been an extra amount I would have given it to him, definitely.
JUDGE MOTATA: If I may interpose, Mr Venter.
Did Monde tell you how much he wanted when he approached you for money for the PAC? Did he mention a specific amount or did he just say "We want money"?
MR LESHOMO: He did not mention a specific amount, he only said he needed money. How much, he did not disclose.
JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you. You may continue, Mr Venter.
MR VENTER: Did you at any stage ask him how much money did he need?
MR LESHOMO: I did not ask him, he only said he needed money. He said he needed enough money to purchase firearms.
MR VENTER: What was Monde's position in APLA?
MR LESHOMO: He said he was a Commander.
MR VENTER: Do you know or was it ever revealed to you how many members of APLA were under Monde's command?
MR LESHOMO: I would not know, many I assume, and they did not know each other I believe.
CHAIRPERSON: I see it's getting on, Mr Venter, I wonder, would this be a convenient time to take the lunch adjournment? I see it's twenty past one.
MR VENTER: Yes, it will be convenient.
CHAIRPERSON: We'll now take the lunch adjournment and we'll resume at 2 o'clock.
MICHAEL LESHOMO: (s.u.o.)
CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you. Mr Venter?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VENTER: (Cont)
Mr Leshomo, you were arrested first and the police eat Brixton then tried to choke you, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR VENTER: At that stage you had not yet seen your co-accused, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MR VENTER: After they choked you, you made a statement.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
MR VENTER: After you had made your statement, where were you taken?
MR LESHOMO: They took me to Witbank.
MR VENTER: Did you go alone with the police?
MR LESHOMO: All of us together with the accused, and they fetched us from Brixton.
MR VENTER: I notice from your statement and from the statement of the other people, that they all say that they shared the money. Solly for instance in his statement says that when you arrived there he went to buy food and when he came back he saw that you were sitting with the money which had been divided into equal stacks. What do you say about that?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know what you're talking about, I never had any food to eat. I am saying I left with Monde Radebe, we left them behind. Maybe they bought food after we left. I do not know.
MR VENTER: I want to refer you to your statement and that is page 62 of the document, in which you said
"Afterwards we sat and we ate, myself, Chris and Abel, then went back to Johannesburg and we left the others behind."
MR LESHOMO: It could be that I mentioned what you've said, with the intention of convincing these people to leave us alone, but I do not recall eating food. Actually maybe I don't know, but I do not recall that I had a meal in Witbank.
MR VENTER: But what is important here is that in that statement you said that yourself, Chris and Alimo went back to Johannesburg. There is no mention here of Radebe or Bennet.
MR LESHOMO: I don't know, it's probably a mistake. We left with Monde, the two of us.
MR VENTER: What difference would it have made to yourself and your relationship with the police if you had said "We took the money and we gave it to Monde"?
MR LESHOMO: There was going to be a difference, they were going to injure us. They would even go to an extent of killing me. They had killed many people, the Brixton Police, because those people were members of APLA.
MR VENTER: Why did you not take the blame yourself and say "Well I took the money"?
MR LESHOMO: I would not carry the burden and say I have the money, having given the money to Monde.
MR VENTER: But now you took the decision that you should all share in the blame equally, except for Monde, the one who actually had the money. What is your answer?
MR LESHOMO: Monde is also involved but he was not arrested.
MR VENTER: And you never implicated him in your statement.
MR LESHOMO: We implicated him, I mentioned that we called him Bennet, didn't I? We mentioned his name. I don't know why his name does not appear in here, but he mentioned that he was Bennet. I don't know and I can't look at the statement.
MR VENTER: The story you told us this morning is a bit strange because you told the Magistrate
"Solly came to me and said that there was a job to be done at Witbank. I said I was scared because I also have other cases against me."
Is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: I confessed to the police because I had no option. Yes, I said that because I was afraid of being shocked. I just wanted them to leave me alone.
MR VENTER: Yes, but you could have said anything, but what you did say was I said I was afraid because I also have other cases. At that stage you did have other cases, is that not so?
MR LESHOMO: Which other cases?
CHAIRPERSON: I think it's common cause that you said that when this was taking place you were out on bail pending appeal in the other robbery charges.
MR LESHOMO: I might have said it but this happened a long time ago, I do not remember.
MR VENTER: You see that is the truth, you did have other cases against you, you had an appeal pending at that stage.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, didn't I mention that appeal? I told this Committee about that appeal.
MR VENTER: And then you said that Solly asked you to look for other people for him, to find other people and the rest of the story was that you could only find one person by the name of Alimo.
MR LESHOMO: What I mentioned in my statement at Brixton is correct, these people were brought in by Monde.
MR VENTER: The statement to which I refer is the one which was made in Witbank, not the one at Brixton, when you were not under any force or coercion.
MR LESHOMO: They had rifles, they said I should tell the truth otherwise they would shoot me. That was in Witbank. So I was actually forced.
MR VENTER: But then you spoke the truth.
MR LESHOMO: I laid charges against them because of that assault. I would not say they forced me whereas they didn't, wow why would I lay charges against them? They threatened me.
MR VENTER: Yes, they threatened you, according to you, they threatened you so you should tell the truth. Now my question to you is, you then went and you did tell the truth. Although you had been threatened you spoke the truth.
MR LESHOMO: They did not threaten me, they actually assaulted me. It was Capt Venter.
MR VENTER: And you were then afraid of Capt Venter.
MR LESHOMO: Where was I? I was at - it was the second Brixton of some kind. They use the same methods.
MR VENTER: No, I'm asking you whether you were afraid of Capt Venter.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, at the police station, yes. I was scared of him because it was at Brixton.
MR VENTER: No, my question is very simple, you were afraid of Capt Venter, you were scared of the police, you said that they had weapons and they told you that you were going to make a statement and you should tell the truth. My question is simply this, did you then tell the truth?
MR LESHOMO: I was scared of them.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Leshomo, the question is, if you can just listen to the question. What Mr Venter's asking you is, did you tell the truth when you made your statement?
MR LESHOMO: I did not tell the truth.
MR VENTER: What was your story, what did you say? What was the lie, and why?
MR LESHOMO: I told lies in front of Venter and them.
MR VENTER: What was the lie that you told?
MR LESHOMO: They were forcing me to say something.
MR VENTER: Yes, but what was it that they forced you to say?
MR LESHOMO: That I killed the people in the bank.
MR VENTER: But that doesn't appear anywhere in your statement.
MR LESHOMO: The statement was taken at Brixton.
JUDGE MOTATA: But Mr Venter is asking you about the statement made at Witbank, which is in the bundle of the papers we have before us. That's what he's asking you about, not what happened at Brixton, but what happened at Witbank. That's what he's asking you about, Mr Leshomo.
CHAIRPERSON: You see the statement that was made in Witbank, the one that appears on page 59, through to 63, at page 63 it says, at about line 7
"Solly and I did not possess firearms. We drove the vehicles and I can't say exactly what happened in the bank."
But now you've told us that the police were forcing you to say that you killed people in the bank, but here you say that you didn't, you weren't even in the bank.
MR LESHOMO: It's true, I did not get into the bank.
CHAIRPERSON: Now Mr Venter wants to know from you, you said the police were forcing you to say things and you said "Yes, they forced me to say that I killed people", now he's asking you what did they force you to say.
MR LESHOMO: That was before I made the statement. That was before I made the statement.
CHAIRPERSON: So at the time - what he wants to know, this statement at page 59 to 61, is that the truth or not?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I made a statement to Venter, that I was in the car and I did not have a firearm.
JUDGE MOTATA: No, what we want to know, we say the contents which appear from page 61 to page 63 of this statement, is that the truth or not?
MR LESHOMO: It is true, I was in the car, I was not at the scene of the crime.
CHAIRPERSON: Now if you can listen, Mr Leshomo, please listen to the question. This statement that was made at Witbank, was made before a lady, can you remember that? Her name was Helena Ferreira. Can you remember that statement?
MR LESHOMO: I remember.
CHAIRPERSON: Now when you related what happened to that lady, did you tell the truth or not? Forget about Mr Venter, I'm just saying, when you related the incident to that lady in Witbank, was that the truth or not?
MR LESHOMO: It was the truth.
CHAIRPERSON: That's what Mr Venter wanted to know. Mr Venter?
MR VENTER: I did not hear the answer.
CHAIRPERSON: It was the truth.
MR VENTER: It that was the truth, that which is in that statement, then it differs substantially and materially from what you've told the Commission today.
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall exactly what I said to that woman. This was a long time ago. I don't have a statement, I don't read anything here. This happened a long time ago, I don't recall what I said to her. She did not read to me what I dictated to her. This happened a long time ago and I'm forgetful also.
MR VENTER: This Magistrate, she didn't know Solly.
MR LESHOMO: I agree with you on that. Yes, she did not know Solly.
MR VENTER: Why would she then, of her own accord, say that Solly approached you?
MR LESHOMO: I said I do not recall. I'll never recall an incident that happened a long time ago, as to what was written precisely.
CHAIRPERSON: Well we can read it to you. This is what that lady wrote down
"Solly came to me and said that there was a job to be done in Witbank. I said I was scared because I also have other cases against me. He said I must find him other people, and I said I don't have anybody."
Now this is a portion of what that lady wrote down, and now what Mr Venter is asking you is - well he's already asked you and you've agreed that she did not know Solly. Now he is saying, why would she make this up herself, it must have been you who told her. That is what he's putting to you.
MR LESHOMO: She might have read the previous statement, I don't know. What I'm saying is I don't recall. I'm not saying it's not me who gave her that, but I don't recall many of the things.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Venter, to intervene.
Why did you mention your co-perpetrators names to the police?
MR LESHOMO: They shocked me, they wanted their names. I was the first to be arrested, so they wanted names.
CHAIRPERSON: Ja, but if it was - wasn't it paramount to protect them, seeing that you were all comrades? Why not give false names? Because the fact that you gave names, meant that they all now got into trouble.
MR LESHOMO: You are right, but I was shocked for quite a long time and I was prepared to sacrifice, but it never came to being. They shocked me until I confessed and mentioned the names. I had no option.
CHAIRPERSON: Because why I ask is, you say that you lied on certain aspect, despite being shocked, yet you tell the truth about who your co-perpetrators were, why not lie about that as well? Because you've said that you didn't tell the whole truth to Venter. That is why I'm wondering why, if you weren't going to tell the whole truth, why you mention your comrades names and get them into trouble.
MR LESHOMO: I felt pain and I ended up revealing the names of the people I was with. I had not option, these people wanted the names, they were hurting me and I felt pain. Had they asked, without any torture, I would have totally refused.
MR VENTER: You see I put it to you that what you have said here in the statement was indeed the truth. The incidents which you related, that is probably how it did take place. But do you know what I find strange, that there you expressively say that Solly approached you and Solly does not apply for amnesty. Now you all of a sudden, you want to change Solly's version, so that it should read Monde Radebe, so that a political shade could be attached to your conduct.
MR LESHOMO: How would I change that? I said Monde passed away, at least I heard so, how then could the names be changed? Because I was told that Monde passed away.
MR VENTER: You see that his your problem, before you knew that there was to be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, you spoke the truth, telling how it had taken place, that you had robbed the bank, and then the PAC and APLA played no role whatsoever, but after you became aware of the existence of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in a last resort to be freed from prison, you are trying to change what is written here to suit your own needs.
MR LESHOMO: There's a member of APLA here who would come and testify. An APLA cadre would come and testify to the effect about Monde.
MR VENTER: Am I correct when I say, in your application you request amnesty for the two murders and the five counts of robbery?
MR LESHOMO: How many cases are we here, aren't we here for the Witbank case?
CHAIRPERSON: I think that the two murders and the five counts of robbery, relate to the charges that you were convicted of in respect of the Witbank incident. It's not just one count, you were convicted on two counts of murder and I think, five counts of robbery. That all came out of the one thing that happened at Witbank, it wasn't just one charge.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone)
INTERPRETER: The Chairperson's mike is not on.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
Is that what you're applying for, your convictions in respect of the robbery that took place at Witbank on the 17th of June of 1991? Is that right?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I applied for that.
MR VENTER: What about the charges of attempted murder for which you were also convicted?
MR LESHOMO: They fall under one robbery. This murder took place on the day of the robbery.
MR VENTER: Your previous convictions with regard to robberies, I think in your evidence-in-chief you mentioned that one was a previous robbery of First National Bank and the other one was OK Bazaars, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That's correct.
MR VENTER: Which branch of First National Bank is referred to here?
MR LESHOMO: It's Johannesburg.
MR VENTER: Which branch in Johannesburg?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know, I just know that it's in Johannesburg, in Commissioner Street - Market Street. I don't know ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: It's in the city centre, in the CBD?
MR LESHOMO: That's correct, Sir, inside the city.
MR VENTER: Did you execute that robbery by yourself?
MR LESHOMO: No.
MR VENTER: How many people were with you who assisted you?
MR LESHOMO: It was myself, Zandi, Andrew - I think were were five. It was Zandi, Elimo, Tabang, Eddie. We were four.
MR VENTER: Were there four or five, because now it's ...(intervention)
MR LESHOMO: Yes, yes, it was Tabang, Andrew, Eddie and Zandi and myself.
CHAIRPERSON: Not Elimo? You said Elimo just now.
MR LESHOMO: No, it was Tabang, Andrew, Zandi, Eddie and myself. We were five.
MR VENTER: And these persons, were they also convicted of this robbery?
MR LESHOMO: No, two of them were discharged, Andrew and Tabang, and the other one was convicted and Eddie was sentenced.
MR VENTER: And the robbery at OK Bazaars, who was involved there?
MR LESHOMO: The same people, the five of us.
MR VENTER: The monies involved in these two robberies, how much money was there?
MR LESHOMO: I do not remember, it's a long time ago.
MR VENTER: Was there much money?
MR LESHOMO: It was quite a substantial amount of money. I do not recall how much.
MR VENTER: I see in the list of previous convictions, they refer to R633 000.
MR LESHOMO: I said it was quite a substantial amount, but I do not recall how much.
MR VENTER: What did you do with that money?
MR LESHOMO: We took it to the party, that is APLA.
MR VENTER: Where were the offices of the party?
MR LESHOMO: We gave it to Matsemela Manaka. He was a member of APLA, and he left with that money.
MR VENTER: Was APLA aware that you and your cohorts had been accused of ...(end of tape 2A)
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they knew.
MR VENTER: Why would they, while you were out on bail, approach you once again for another robbery?
MR LESHOMO: We needed money for the party.
MR VENTER: But certainly there must have been many other PAC or APLA members who did not have this sword hanging over their heads, who could have performed the job.
MR LESHOMO: They also had other tasks to fulfill.
MR VENTER: Because you see, on page 62 of your statement, when you told Solly that you were afraid because you had other matters, do you want to tell this Commission that while this 10 year sentence was hanging as a sword above you, you were willing to partake in a bank robbery once again?
MR LESHOMO: It was a sacrifice, I had to do it. It was a sacrifice.
MR VENTER: And this for a party of whom you were not even a member, you were just a supporter?
MR LESHOMO: If you are a supporter, you belong the party, you love the party, you would do anything, even gathering money for the party.
MR VENTER: At the cost of your own family? At the cost of your business, yourself, your family, everything?
MR LESHOMO: I was doing this for the party, there was nothing I could do. It was in support of the party.
MR VENTER: This Manaka Matsemela to whom you gave the money, where is he now?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know who he gave the money to.
CHAIRPERSON: No, if you could just listen to the question, the question is where is he now?
MR LESHOMO: He's not here.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you know where he is?
MR LESHOMO: He was involved in a car accident last year.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but was he killed in the car accident, or what?
MR LESHOMO: He was killed in that accident.
MR VENTER: Now if you robbed money and you handed it over to the party, was any receipt given to you?
MR LESHOMO: I would not enquire as to what the organisation used the money for, I only knew that the money would be used to purchase firearms.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Leshomo, please listen to the question, the question was very simple. When you handed over the money, was a receipt given to you? That's the question.
MR LESHOMO: No receipt was issued out.
MR VENTER: Do you think that this was good practice that any person who was a member of the PAC could come to you and say "We need money, please go and rob this bank", and then you go and you go and rob this bank, putting your life at risk and you just hand over the money to them without asking any questions such as: "Does it go directly to the party or not"? Was that the steps that you followed?
MR LESHOMO: We knew that the money for going for the party. We were talking amongst ourselves, we knew what the PAC's needs were, we knew it.
MR VENTER: What did the PAC need at that stage?
MR LESHOMO: It needed many things, computers, firearms, an office.
MR VENTER: If you would grant me a moment please, Chairperson.
The weapons used in this attack, where did you receive these weapons from?
MR LESHOMO: Monde brought the firearms with.
MR VENTER: Did he bring it to your house or whereto?
MR LESHOMO: He did not bring them to my house.
MR VENTER: Where did you see the firearms for the first time?
MR LESHOMO: In Witbank.
MR VENTER: During the robbery there was one of your co-accused wearing glasses, what type of glasses was he using?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall who wore spectacles on that day.
MR VENTER: Was it not Chris wearing glasses?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall, I don't recall who among them had glasses on. I didn't specifically look at what they were wearing.
MR VENTER: Who had the AK47?
MR LESHOMO: It's Monde.
MR VENTER: Monde? Because you know when one studies your application, page 63 of the record, you say
"I do not know whether I mentioned all the persons who had firearms, but Delani had a 9mm pistol, Chris also had a 9mm pistol and Lucky had the AK47 rifle, Elimo had a .38 short rifle. I cannot recall the other man, but he also had one."
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall exactly who had what. Everybody had his task, I knew my task.
MR VENTER: But every time you diverge from your original statement by attributing something to Monde, which was never the case.
MR LESHOMO: When we left to impliment the plan, everybody had to concentrate on his task. I only concentrated on my task. Everybody knew his task.
CHAIRPERSON: But what Mr Venter's getting at is, in your statement you said Lucky had an AK47, here it is on page 63 for everyone to read, but when he asked you here now two minutes ago, who had the AK47, you said it was Monde. That's got nothing to do with everybody knowing his task. You definitely said it was Monde who had the AK47, and in your statement you said it was Lucky. Now you're saying
"Well everybody had their task. I can't recall."
if you can't recall, why did you say Monde just now and why did you say Lucky when you made your statement?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall. The person who was supposed to carry the firearm was Monde. Maybe it's a mistake. I don't recall.
MR VENTER: After the completion of this robbery, what happened to the firearms?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know what happened to the firearms after the robbery. Monde went away with the firearms.
MR VENTER: Because Solly in his statement says, for example, on page 55 of the record
"They said I should not return to Soweto because they still had to come back and fetch the firearms. The morning of the 16th of May 1991, Delani, Lucky and I think Joseph, once again came back to take the firearms. They took the firearms and drove to Soweto. After three days I returned to Soweto myself. After a further three days, Mike came to my house in Soweto, along with an unknown man and said that one of the firearms were still in Witbank, in a small bag in Koekie's house. I called Koekie and said that there were people who would collect the firearms and I told her to hide the firearm and give it to them when they came to fetch it."
So you are saying that Solly, in his statement, is talking nonsense, Monde took all the arms with him?
MR LESHOMO: It's Solly who spoke in that statement. I don't know whether he's telling the truth or not. Who am I to say he's talking nonsense? I did not write that statement.
CHAIRPERSON: But surely, Mr Leshomo - so you're saying what was read to you now, might be the truth?
MR LESHOMO: Can you repeat, who actually uttered those words in that statement, myself or Solly?
CHAIRPERSON: Solly said that, Solly said that the guns were fetched later from Witbank and then there was another - you told him that there was still a gun at Koekie's house and then Solly phoned Koekie and said "Look, keep the gun, somebody will come and fetch it." That's what Solly said. Now are you saying that that is true, or what? Because you told me "Who am I to say it's true or not true because Solly said that." That's why I couldn't understand your answer.
MR LESHOMO: I don't quite recall whether a firearm was left behind in Witbank. Yes, yes, I think one firearm was left behind, but how the firearm was left behind I don't know.
MR VENTER: Then Solly is correct when he says that three men only on the 16th, came to fetch the firearms from there.
MR LESHOMO: I don't know. Monde left with the firearms. I heard when I was in Witbank. I don't know.
MR VENTER: A further aspect of your evidence which concerns me, is that this morning you said that Monde introduced Solly to you.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, Monde introduced me to Solly. Monde introduced me to Solly, that's correct.
CHAIRPERSON: When did you see Solly for the first time in your life?
MR LESHOMO: We know each other with Solly. He was a plumber.
CHAIRPERSON: How long had you known Solly?
MR LESHOMO: It had been quite a long time and he was related to my second wife. I think that the wives that we married were relatives. They were related.
CHAIRPERSON: So had you known him for many years?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I knew him, yes, I knew him quite a few years.
CHAIRPERSON: But the first time that you got to know him, was it Monde Radebe who introduced you to him and said "Mr Leshomo, please meet Solly, this is Solly"?
MR LESHOMO: When Monde introduced me to Solly, he introduced me to a person that I knew and he introduced me, he said "This is Solly, this is the person who will go with us to work", only to find out it's a person that I know.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter.
MR VENTER: Do you know Koekie?
MR LESHOMO: Koekie? Yes, I know her from Witbank.
MR VENTER: When did you meet Koekie for the first time?
MR LESHOMO: On the 14th, we went to spend the night at her house.
MR VENTER: Did you not know her beforehand?
MR LESHOMO: I did not know her before that.
MR VENTER: Thank you, I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VENTER
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Yes, I do. Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
Just a follow-up on the previous questions to you, Mr Leshomo, in connection with the fact that Monde had introduced you to Solly. Solly's statement in the bundle on page 52, he starts his statement by saying:
"At the beginning of last month, Mike and his friend came to my house. Mike was with his friends and Mike said that I should take him to Witbank."
Solly doesn't say that you were introduced to him by Monde. What is your comment on that? From the statement it appears that you and Solly were friends beforehand.
JUDGE MOTATA: ...(indistinct) the context
"At the beginning of last month, Mike and his friend came to my house."
it would appear, Solly knew Mike.
MS PATEL: Thant's correct, Honourable Chairperson.
It appears that you were the contact person.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I knew Solly. I mentioned that I knew Solly.
MS PATEL: And you also said that you were introduced to the rest of the group and that you didn't know them beforehand, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, these people came with Monde to me.
MS PATEL: Now if you look at Mr Mphosa's statement, he on page 43 says to us that you were the person who recruited him.
JUDGE MOTATA: What page is it?
MS PATEL: 43, Honourable Chairperson.
He starts his statement, Mr Mphosa starts - that's Delani, he starts his statement off by saying:
"Before the day of the incident one, Mike, came to me and asked whether I had a vehicle."
So there's no mention of Monde in the statement there, you were in fact the person who went to him and asked him for a vehicle. What is your comment on that?
MR LESHOMO: I said Monde called me, he said I should go to Lucky. When I got at Lucky's place I found Delani there. Yes, I was told to go to Lucky, but I found Delani also.
MS PATEL: Did you not know Lucky from beforehand?
MR LESHOMO: I knew him from the township. I just knew him as an ordinary person. I was not close to him.
MS PATEL: Okay. He also goes further - just in terms of your invovlvement in this matter, Delani also says on page 43 - round about 17, Honourable Chairperson
"Mike and Solly showed us everything, also where we should leave the town and where we should leave the vehicles."
Is that correct? That you in fact played a pivotal role, a crucial role in the planning of this operation and in telling people what to do.
MR LESHOMO: I did not know Witbank. I did not tell them what to do.
MS PATEL: So Delani is lying.
MR LESHOMO: I don't know, but what I know is I do not know Witbank.
MS PATEL: Alright. Just to go back a bit, why did you only formally join the PAC in 1997, after you applied for amnesty?
MR LESHOMO: I was a supporter of the PAC.
MS PATEL: Why did you only join the PAC after you applied for amnesty?
MR LESHOMO: Before I was arrested it was burnt, there was no office and there were no meetings to attend where one could go for help.
MS PATEL: So how did the organisation then operation beforehand? If there were no meetings and there was nobody that you could speak to, how did the organisation operate?
MR LESHOMO: APLA was operating underground, Ma'am.
MS PATEL: What does APLA stand for, Sir? Give me the full name of APLA. What does it stand for?
MR LESHOMO: It's Azanian People's Liberation Army.
MS PATEL: And PAC?
MR LESHOMO: Pan Africans Congress. PAC of Azania.
MS PATEL: That's not correct. That's not correct, Sir, you were a supporter of this organisation from 1970, you say, and you don't know what PAC stands for.
MR LESHOMO: PAC stands for Pan Africans ... Azanian Congress of PAC of Azania.
MS PATEL: You can't be serious, Sir, you don't even know what PAC stands for. I have to put it to you, Sir, that you were not a supporter of the PAC at the time that this offence was committed.
MR LESHOMO: I was a member of the PAC. You must understand I cannot spell, I cannot read.
MS PATEL: Is that an excuse? You say you joined ...(intervention)
MR LESHOMO: PAC ...(no interpretation) Pan Africanist Conference. PAC of Azania.
MS PATEL: That's quite alright, Sir, you've already tried several times and you've failed on every single occasion. I'll leave the question there. In your further particulars to us - on page 13, Honourable Chairperson - you say you joined the PAC, Diepkloof branch in 1990 and you were a full-time supporter, and today according to your card, your membership card, you only joined in 1997. Would you care to offer an explanation for the distinction in dates there?
MR LESHOMO: I was a supporter from 1990, the supporter of the PAC. A supporter.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I thought you said 1970, or did I mishear you?
MS PATEL: That's correct, Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Earlier you said you were a supporter from 1970. Here you say
"I joined the PAC at Diepkloof branch, in 1990."
Now you don't join anything to become a supporter.
MR LESHOMO: The person who wrote here made a mistake, I said - I can't write, I said I was a supporter of the PAC.
MS PATEL: From which year?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, 1990.
CHAIRPERSON: And so what was this about 1970 then? So you weren't a supporter from 1970?
MR LESHOMO: I produced a card. I said to be a card-carrying member. That was in 1997.
CHAIRPERSON: Does that card indicate Diepkloof branch?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, it indicates Diepkloof branch.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson, it indicates
"Branch: Diepkloof, ...(indistinct) West Rand."
MS PATEL: Mr Leshomo, you say that you've been an ANC supporter at best for - sorry, a PAC supporter at best for 30 years now, so I would imagine that you have a fair idea of how the organisation operated, what their aims and objectives were and who were the leading members of the organisation, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, you are right, I knew some of them.
MS PATEL: Okay. Well as a supporter you would then at least know who the President of the organisation in 1990 was. Can you tell me who he was, Sir?
MR LESHOMO: It was Zeff Motopeng.
MS PATEL: In 1990? And the Deputy?
MR LESHOMO: It was Clarence Makwetu.
MS PATEL: And did he ever become the President of the movement? - of the organisation.
MR LESHOMO: Can you repeat your question.
MS PATEL: Clarence Makwetu, did he ever become the President of the PAC?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, he ended up as the President of the PAC.
MS PATEL: Okay. And during that time, who was the Chairperson of the Central Committee outside of the country?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall.
MS PATEL: During that time, who was the Secretary of Defence for APLA? He was also a Commander of APLA. Tell me his name. A very popular person.
MR LESHOMO: It was Gorra Ebrahim.
MS PATEL: No, no, Sir, do you want to take another - do you want to try your luck again?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know the - it was Bennie Alexander, the Secretary. We won't know all the members of the PAC.
MS PATEL: No, these are the members of the top structures, these are the most popular members that I am asking you about. You don't know. Well given that you were involved in repossessions let's start there, who headed up the Repossession Unit? At least you must know that.
MR LESHOMO: As the Director or as the head?
MS PATEL: Who headed up the Repossession Unit?
MR LESHOMO: The Director was Letklapa Mphahlele. The Head was Tabelo Maseko. Those two I knew.
MS PATEL: And do you know Fihla(?)? What position did he hold?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know General Fihla.
MS PATEL: You don't. Well let me tell you that he supported many of his cadres in amnesty applications before us. What position did Bennie Alexander hold? You mentioned Bennie Alexander earlier on.
MR LESHOMO: He was the Secretary.
MS PATEL: And who is the President now?
MR LESHOMO: It's Stanley Mokgoba.
MS PATEL: And the Deputy?
MR LESHOMO: It's Motsoko Peku.
MS PATEL: To go back to the operation, do you confirm that all the members who were involved in this operation were fully aware that this was a repossession operation and that all the monies had to be returned to Monde?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they knew that.
MS PATEL: All of them?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, Monde must have told them. I don't know, but he must have told them.
MS PATEL: Well you say in your further particulars to us, that the planning was done by Monde, Crispen Khumalo and yourself, right? Is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, it was myself, Chris and Monde who went.
MS PATEL: And then there was another meeting that was held with all the members present just prior to the execution of the operation, where you stated to us that everybody's specific tasks and responsibilities was told to them, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: It was on the 14th at Solly's house.
MS PATEL: And at that stage would everybody have been told that the money must be handed over to Monde?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, they knew. They knew.
MS PATEL: Alright. And after the operation, nobody received any money, the monies was definitely all handed over to Monde.
MR LESHOMO: That is so.
MS PATEL: Okay. Then what I find curious is that Mr Malinga in his statement to the police then, had stated that monies were divided amongst all the perpetrators, as have the rest of the co-perpetrators stated in their statements, but further to that Mr Malinga who has applied for amnesty to us, doesn't mention the involvement of APLA at all. He says, as part of his motivation, that he robbed money with the aim of trying to raise the level of the poor. And he goes further at some stage in his application, he says that
"This offence is the result of the fact that it is now time that we as black people are given priority. These whites needs to be taught a lesson."
that's what he says his political motivation was, he doesn't mention any of the long story that you've given to us about Monde and Repossession Unit and monies having been handed over to Monde. In fact, one infers quite clearly that the purpose of the operation was to take money for personal gain, why would he lie then? Even in his amnesty application to us which was made under oath, there's no question of interrogation, there's no question of duress to the man, he knew he had to make full disclosure in order to qualify for amnesty. What is your comment on that?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know what to say.
MS PATEL: Because he's telling the truth, not so? I put it to you that he's telling the truth. Mr Malinga.
MR LESHOMO: He is telling a lie.
MS PATEL: Were you at any stage upset at the manner in which this operation was carried out?
MR LESHOMO: Me?
MS PATEL: Yes, you.
MR LESHOMO: No, I was never upset.
MS PATEL: Well Sir, Solly mentions this in his statement on page 55, and it's a quite a curious thing to say because it doesn't really make any sense unless it's really the truth. It's towards the top of the page. First he says
"I received between R2 500 and R2 600. They sent me to buy food. Mike was cross and drove to Johannesburg with two other people."
Why would he say that you were angry?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know. I never get upset, I was not upset.
MS PATEL: Alright. Sorry Honourable Chairperson, if you'll just grant me a moment.
You were asked earlier by my learned friend, Mr Venter, what the money was required for and you mentioned computers, offices and firearms, how did you know that this was what the money was required for? Computers and offices. After all, you stated earlier on that PAC at that stage was a banned organisation, there were no meetings, one didn't know where to find them. That is why you didn't apply because you didn't know where their offices were. So where does all of this come from?
MR LESHOMO: Monde told me what the reason was for this money, he told me what the money would do, the money that we repossessed from Witbank.
MS PATEL: Then why didn't you mention the question of computers and offices in either your initial application to us or in your further statements to us? That is not mentioned anywhere.
MR LESHOMO: I did not mention it, I only mentioned the firearms.
MS PATEL: The question is, why didn't you mention it, Sir.
MR LESHOMO: I did not just mention it.
MS PATEL: Okay. And medical supplies, what did the PAC need medical supplies for at that stage? You mention it in your application to us, on page 4?
MR LESHOMO: I'm illiterate, the person who wrote this wrote something out of this world. I did not dictate to that person to write that. I can even read, I did not read to check whether what I told the person was correct or not.
MS PATEL: Fine, Mr Leshomo, we'll argue that point later, I will not argue it with you. You said that there were seven of you involved in this operation, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, we were seven.
MS PATEL: Right. Maybe I've got my notes incorrect, I'll ask you to confirm this for me. You were asked how many people went inside the bank and you mentioned Lucky, you mentioned Elimo, you mentioned Delani Mphosa, Joseph Malinga and Monde Radebe, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: If I recall well there were five.
MS PATEL: And those are the five that went into the bank, not so? The names that I just repeated to you. Can I go through it again with you? It's Lucky ...(intervention)
MR LESHOMO: Yes, it's Lucky, Delani, Elimo, Monde - who did I leave out?
MS PATEL: Malinga.
MR LESHOMO: Malinga, Joseph Malinga.
MS PATEL: Okay. That makes it five of you, which means that there are three other people left. There's Solly left, not so? Besides the five that you've now mentioned, then there's Solly and yourself.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, it was myself and Solly.
MS PATEL: And Chris. Did I get that right?
MR LESHOMO: It was Chris. Those who were inside the bank, it was Chris, Delani, Lucky, Joseph Malinga and Monde.
MS PATEL: And what about Elimo?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, and Elimo. It's Elimo.
MS PATEL: So now there were six people in the bank?
MR LESHOMO: I do not recall, this happened a long time ago.
CHAIRPERSON: Let's just try to sort this out and perhaps take them one by one, from what Ms Patel put to you. Just correct me if I'm wrong, I just want to try to finalise this. In the bank, the ones that went into the bank, in other words the ones who had the firearms who went into the bank, were Chris.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Who is Lucky, what is Lucky's other name?
MR LESHOMO: It's Lucky Mkoni.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: That's Delani Mphosa.
MR LESHOMO: That's correct.
CHAIRPERSON: Joseph Malinga.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Monde Radebe.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: That leaves us then with Elimo.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, Elimo.
CHAIRPERSON: What's Elimo's other name? Do you know?
MR LESHOMO: It's just Elimo. I only know that one.
CHAIRPERSON: So from then, Mr Leshomo, are you saying in the bank were Chris, Lucky, Delani, Joseph, Monde and Elimo? Six.
MR LESHOMO: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: And then out of the bank, in the vehicles, was yourself and Solly.
MR LESHOMO: Yes, myself and Solly.
MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
So then there were eight people involved in this operation, not seven as you earlier testified.
MR LESHOMO: I might have made a mistake, I'm sorry for that.
MS PATEL: That's fine. Who was the ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Just on that, if you turn to page 11 and 12 of the document.
MS PATEL: He only mentions four people there Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: He mentions five.
MS PATEL: Sorry, five.
CHAIRPERSON: Because if you look at the answer to number 4.
MS PATEL: Yes, with Monde, that's right.
CHAIRPERSON: In the letter which was written on your behalf purportedly by you because it says "thanking you, yours faithfully, Mike Leshomo" you say that the persons who were involved with me were Solomon Mapele, Salani Maposa, Chris Khumalo and Joseph Malinga. You don't mention - and then later on you mention Monde Radebe, or Gadebe. You don't mention Lucky or Alimo?
MR LESHOMO: I can explain. I told them that - or I did not mention Alimo's name because he was not arrested and Lucky was discharged. That is why I included the names of those who were charged and Monde passed away, that's why I included these names.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
You say that Chris was the Commander of this group. How did you know that?
CHAIRPERSON: He said Monde was.
MS PATEL: He also ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Well sorry, in the evidence today he said Monde was the Commander. Is that not so?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct, Sir.
MS PATEL: Yes but in your reply to our further particulars you were asked and the response - the question is on page 8, Honourable Chairperson, question number 2. Names and contactable addresses of your Commander during the said robbery and his response to that question on page 12 is Chris Khumalo.
JUDGE MOTATA: And look further to page 14 to the (i), the place was identified by my co-accused Solly Mopedi, Chris Khumalo and our Commander, Monde Radebe.
MR LESHOMO: I made a mistake, I might have made a mistake or is it the person who was writing, I don't know. Whether the person took that from me or just simply made a mistake, I don't know.
MS PATEL: You can write, however, can't you?
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you can get back to that. Just while I see it, when did Monde die?
MR LESHOMO: If I'm not mistaken I heard he passed away in 1994. I was already in prison.
CHAIRPERSON: Because you see, I've just seen it now, question 4 on page 8
"Give us the contactable address of Monde Radebe who gave you orders to carry out the said robbery?"
And the answer is:
"Mr Monde Radebe, 2867 Mark Road, Zone 1, P O Kwatoma, 1868, Soweto".
So how can a person who has been dead for five years have an address like that?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, the question wanted the address where he lived, that's why I provided the address where he lived.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. If you could just grant me a moment, I think I'm almost finished? Alright, thank you Honourable Chairperson, just finally then for the sake of completeness I just want to put it to Mr Leshomo that you are not or were not at the material time a supporter of APLA or PAC, that you acted for personal gain, that your version that you have placed before us is a lie, that's it's been fabricated, so that you can qualify for amnesty and on behalf of my client, Mr Malinga, I want to say to you that he was an innocent young man who happened to be passing the bank at the time when he was shot in the leg and has suffered severely as a result of that injury that he has sustained. I do not believe that you have made full disclosure to this Committee.
MR LESHOMO: I gave a full disclosure before this Committee. What I said is true.
MS PATEL: Alright. I'm sorry, if I may just by the way - you stated that you murdered your wife. When did this happen and what was your sentence in this regard?
MR LESHOMO: Yes I was sentenced.
MS PATEL: When?
MR LESHOMO: I don't recall, it's a long time ago. I don't recall in which year it was.
MS PATEL: Was it before you got involved in these robberies?
MR LESHOMO: A long time ago.
CHAIRPERSON: Are you talking 1960 something or 1970 something or 1980 something? More or less? 20 years ago?
MR LESHOMO: I think around 1967, I don't want to lie, I do not recall.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel just wanted to know more or less when but I think it's quite clear that it was many years ago. Thirty years ago even?
MR LESHOMO: Yes it's a long time ago. We've been married to the second wife for twelve to fourteen years now and I might recall when looking at the death certificate. I'm a very forgetful person.
MS PATEL: If it's that long ago I find it curious that it's not a part of your criminal record, it would have been reflected. Are you sure that it's that long ago and that it's not subsequent to the robberies having taken place?
MR LESHOMO: No, it's not subsequent to the robberies, it's a long time ago.
MS PATEL: And APLA was aware of this, that you had murdered your wife and still had recruited you?
MR LESHOMO: They did not know. This was an accident, they did not know.
MS PATEL: Okay.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just for completeness. When you went to that trial relating to the death of your wife, did you go to the Supreme Court or did you go to Regional Court, Magistrate's Court for trial? Were you convicted of murder or culpable homicide or were you charged with murder or culpable homicide?
MR LESHOMO: I think they said something like culpable homicide, something to that effect, I don't know what it is.
CHAIRPERSON: It means more of an unlawful death. When you kill somebody not with an intention to kill somebody but you killed him acting unlawfully, either negligently or even illegally but not with the intention to kill.
MR LESHOMO: I wanted to threaten her because she hit me with an ashtray. I was so angry I did not use anything to assault her, just my bare hands.
CHAIRPERSON: Probably raised the defence of ...(indistinct) but we won't go into that.
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
And just finally, for how long have you been - sorry, you said you owned a taxi and you had a liquor outlet, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
MS PATEL: And for how long have you owned the liquor store, the tavern, sorry. Yes that is correct, how long have you owned the tavern for?
MR LESHOMO: It's a long time, I forget easily. I can only recall and remember things when I have documents to remind me but it's a long time. It's more than ten years. Ten or fourteen years, I don't recall.
MS PATEL: And what was your occupation when you were a young man, when you were in your twenties, what was your occupation?
MR LESHOMO: I was employed at Sunday Times.
MS PATEL: Doing what?
MR LESHOMO: I was a foreman.
MS PATEL: Okay. Alright. No, I just find it curious that you say that you killed your wife round about 1967 or so. You would have been about 22 years old at the time and at that time you stated that not only did you have a car but you bought her a car as well. But I will take it no further than that. Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
MR LESHOMO: I want to respond to that.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you can do so.
MR LESHOMO: I've just mentioned that I don't recall in which year it was. Now you're forcing me to know exactly which year it was. I said in my response it's a long time ago and I don't recall. It's true, I was working. There are witnesses here. I was working and I bought her a car. People who were serving under me, they are witnesses to this.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo, do you have any re-examination?
RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson, there are a few aspects I want to cover.
Mr Leshomo, the Chairperson asked you a question, he asked you that you were brought to Witbank and you were brought before a lady and this lady happened to be a magistrate and he asked you what you told that lady who was a magistrate was the truth and you said yes, it was the truth. Do you still confirm that, that what you told that lady was the truth?
MR LESHOMO: Let me think properly now. You know, I do not recall this vividly. I was a bit scared. This woman was writing this statement in a court. You see, when you give a statement before the magistrate, just to be in front, in the courtroom, so I was not free because it was not in the court. Whether it's a Sunday or a holiday, if you make a statement the court will open it's doors.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Leshomo, I'll ask again. You were asked this question by the Chairperson and you said "yes, what I told the lady was the truth." So what I want to know now is just do you still confirm that it was the truth? You have already answered that it was the truth but I want to confirm it because I wanted to ask you a question which is related to that.
MR LESHOMO: Just give me a second. I want to think this over. What I told that woman was the truth. Now Mr Leshomo, if what you told that woman, you are still confirming what you told that woman is the truth then it is the truth that you divided the money after the robbery?
CHAIRPERSON: Say that in his statement?
MR LESHOMO: That's why I said to you give me a minute to think. Anything that I did at Brixton was not the truth, anything that I told them at Brixton was not the truth.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, does it say that there?
JUDGE MOTATA: "Solly and I went to buy food and when we returned, thereafter we sat and we ate."
MR LESHOMO: That is not the truth, I never bought food.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Leshomo, let's understand each other, I asked you first, I'm not talking about Brixton, now I'm talking about the lady at Woodburn, I'm not talking about Brixton, I'm talking about Woodburn before the magistrate. You have already said for the second time that you told that lady the truth, I'm not referring to Brixton. I won't ask you anything about what happened in Brixton Murder and Robbery squad, I won't ask you anything about that. I'm asking you about what happened in Woodburn and you have already confirmed again that what you told the magistrate was the truth. Now in relation to that what you told the magistrate is that also after the robbery - I'm just taking one point - after the robbery, you divided the money amongst yourselves?
MR LESHOMO: It is not true what I told that woman, it is not true.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay, Mr Leshomo I'll leave that one. You were asked by my learned colleague, Ms Patel, about the leadership of the PAC in 1990 and she asked you the president and you said it was Zephania Mothopeng which is correct and she asked you about the deputy-president and you said it was Clarence Makwetu which is correct and she also asked you about somebody who was popular, Secretary of Defence then, also Commander of APLA and you said you are not sure, you don't know him. I going to come to that. Do you know the leadership of PAC, the presidents of PAC after 1990 up to now, do you know, do you still remember it?
MR LESHOMO: I recall them.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee after the death of Zephania Mothopeng who took over the presidency? He died in 1991.
MR LESHOMO: It was Clarence Makwetu.
MR MBANDAZAYO: He had two deputies, who were those deputies?
MR LESHOMO: I know only Mutso Kupeko, that's the only deputy I know. The other one I do not know. The other one I do not recall, I only know Mutso Kupeko.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Okay. Now I'm going to take it also, for the benefit of the Committee I know that I would be expected to tell what were the deputies of course. Chairperson, there were two deputies. The first one was Johnson Mlambo and the second deputy was Degan ...(indistinct), it was Advocate ...(indistinct). Now we come to this - I'll ask you something, do you know Sabelo Pama?
MR LESHOMO: Yes I know him.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Who was Sabelo Pama?
MR LESHOMO: He was the chief Commander of APLA.
MR MBANDAZAYO: But you were just asked by my colleague, Ms Patel who was the secretary of defence and the Commander of APLA and you said you don't know. Why didn't you tell her that it was Sabelo Pama?
MR LESHOMO: I did not hear her well. My other ear is dysfunctional, I did not hear properly. You see, even the name Mlambo, the two deputies, I just know them, when they just slipped my mind. You know sometimes when you are asked a question, especially in this kind of a forum, you tend to forget. The people she asked me about I know them but you know, I don't know why but I just forgot them. I know them.
JUDGE MOTATA: Are the proceedings not interpreted to you, Mr Leshomo?
MR LESHOMO: They are interpreted for me, Sir.
JUDGE MOTATA: Maybe ask the Honourable interpreters to speak a little louder because he's got ear problems.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. Now the next point I would like to know, am I correct, did you know who else do you know in APLA, did you know the hierarchy in APLA or you didn't know? The top, not the other members, those who were at top of APLA.
MR LESHOMO: I know Sabelo Pama, I know Zephania Mothopeng, I know Mphahlela, I know Tapello Maseko, those are the ones I know.
MR MBANDAZAYO: I just want to address what came up from my learned colleague because you mention Maseko. Okay I agree with you were members of APLA and Solly Hlapa Mpashlela he was high ranking but those who were close to Sabelo Pama, did you know them? Second in command to Sabelo Pama, do you know the men who were second in command or can I say do you know the person who took over from Sabelo Pama after his death, who acted?
MR LESHOMO: His position as president or which position are you referring to?
CHAIRPERSON: Sabelo Pama's position. We know that Sabelo Pama was killed in a motor accident in Tanzania and he was the Officer Commander, the Commanding Officer of the whole of APLA. Now what Mr Mbandazayo is asking you, when he was alive who was his second in charge, who took over his post when he died?
MR LESHOMO: Let me think it over.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Leshomo, there's not harm in saying you do not know. Okay, let me put it this way. I was asking somebody who acted, now somebody who was appointed after that but I'll ask you another way, maybe you know the name. Do you know a person by the name Romero Daniels? They called him Romero?
MR LESHOMO: I've heard of that name.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Do you know that he was a high-ranking member of APLA?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, I once heard that there was a top guy within the circles of APLA by that name.
MR MBANDAZAYO: He is presently a Eastern Cape Commander of the South African Defence Force. He is the person who took over from Sabelo Pama but the person I was asking who acted after his death was Banim Zolo, was known as Banim Zolo, his real name was Bani Hlatshi, he was known as Muntu Mzolo but his real name is Bani Hlatshi, he was a chief of staff of APLA, immediately after the death of Sabelo, he acted as a Commander of APLA.
If the Committee can bear with me I just want to - now, the last point I would like is the application of Malinga. I just want to tie up. Mr Malinga, as I indicated, that in your statement before the magistrate you said you divided the money which indicates that if that is true it was for personal gain. Mr Malinga and others also gave the same statement that you divided the money but further that Mr Malinga in his application form confirms that the money was for personal gain. If you told the Committee that everybody knew what was the purpose of the mission, why would Mr Malinga, now when he's applying for the Amnesty Committee not tell the Amnesty Committee the truth that this money was for APLA, we gave it to Monde, but instead he says that he was a member of Qibla?
MR LESHOMO: He is lying.
CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Mbandazayo is getting at is one can understand more readily why a person lies when he or she is accused in a criminal case because one wants to prevent being convicted but when one is applying for amnesty, why should he lie about the organisation to which he committed the offences, in whose name he committed the offences? Why should he lie about that when he knows that it's one of the most important criteria to tell the truth and he's got no reason to lie in this nature, to say something. If he was PAC there's no reason for him to lie by saying that he wasn't PAC or APLA. In fact one would expect him to mention that in favour of Qibla - by the way, sorry Mr Mbandazayo, you're knowledgable, what is Qibla?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Qibla, Chairperson, is a Muslim organisation. It has a relationship with the PAC. One of it's members in 1986 - were arrested in Boputhatswana, who was present, is a top man now in the - what is the organisation in Cape Town?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Is the top guy in PAGAD, they were arrested together, they trained together in Libya, so that's how they came to be together.
CHAIRPERSON: They were definitely separate organisations?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Definitely, Chairperson, they were separate organisations.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Leshomo, that's what Mr Mbandazayo is saying, why do you think Mr Malinga would lie in his application for amnesty about his membership of APLA or PAC?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know but I know that he is lying when he says we shared the money amongst us. This is the platform where he has to tell the truth. I don't know why he is lying. We are not in a court here, we are not at Brixton, we are at the right place, to tell the truth.
MR MBANDAZAYO: And he further says that he belonged to the Soweto Muslim Association, that is Malinga? Page 178, that is his actual application, it says Soweto Muslim Association.
CHAIRPERSON: 8(a), question 8(a).
MR LESHOMO: He is the only person who knows and why he mentioned that. He will come here to testify.
MR MBANDAZAYO: That's all Chairperson, I wanted to - those are the points I wanted to raise.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MBANDAZAYO
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbandazayo, I'll ask my colleagues if they have any questions they would like to put. Judge Motata, any questions you would like to put to the applicant?
JUDGE MOTATA: Mr Leshomo, you were asked about the monies, the R636 000 of the robbery in 1990 and the answer you gave, you say the money should have reached the PAC or APLA because they were given to Matsimela Manaka, do you recall that?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, that money, some of the money was given to Matsimela Manaka and then the other money was taken by Brixton.
JUDGE MOTATA: Now this Matsimela Manaka, was he a member of the PAC or the military wing of the PAC?
MR LESHOMO: He was a member of APLA.
JUDGE MOTATA: Had he gone abroad to train, Mr Leshomo, or was he trained inside the country?
MR LESHOMO: It seems as if he went outside.
JUDGE MOTATA: And came back to fight?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, he came back.
JUDGE MOTATA: Where did this Matsimela Manaka live? In Soweto?
MR LESHOMO: He lived in Diepkloof but at the time of his death it looks like he had a house somewhere in Sebokeng.
JUDGE MOTATA: Diepkloof next to Neyembesi's place?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
JUDGE MOTATA: And that is the actor who was writing - the actor at the Market Theatre, popularly known as an actor? Is that the same person?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, Sir.
JUDGE MOTATA: And the same person who was working at the centre up in Diepkloof next to Lesedi Clinic Career Centre?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know that but after coming back he was an actor as you mentioned but as to where he worked I do not know.
JUDGE MOTATA: Why I'm asking you these questions is that I know the person personally. I'm originally from Diepkloof. I've declared why I know the person, that he was a teacher out at Career Centre where he was teaching music and aspirant actors and the place where he was teaching is next to the famous Lesedi Clinic. Would I be right?
MR LESHOMO: Yes you are right.
JUDGE MOTATA: When you say because you joined or you supported the PAC during 1990 and joined formally in 1997, would I be wrong that when he was teaching at Career Centre it was in the year 1985? You wouldn't know that, would you?
MR LESHOMO: Can you repeat your question, Sir?
JUDGE MOTATA: I say when he started teaching at Career Centre was during 1985?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know where he taught.
JUDGE MOTATA: Do you know the place I'm talking about, in Zone 6?
MR LESHOMO: I know the place.
JUDGE MOTATA: You know where Ivan Khosa, the famous footballer lives?
MR LESHOMO: I know, at the corner. When you are heading for Lesedi Clinic.
MR LESHOMO: At the bend, yes, then the place next door to it, cutting his fence, that's where he used to teach. Matsimela Manaka? Then when you say he trained and subsequently come back to the country more or less when did he train because I have indicated to you that during 1985 he was a tutor of music and acting at the centre?
MR LESHOMO: He was an APLA cadre, I don't know whether he trained inside or outside but he was a cadre, he was an APLA cadre. I don't know where he trained, inside or outside, but he was an APLA cadre.
JUDGE MOTATA: During 1970, during those times to 1978, he was an assistant to Maisha Mapoenya, do you know the famous actor, Maisha Mapoenya?
MR LESHOMO: I know Mapoenya, from Pefeni?
MR LESHOMO: No, from Diepkloof Zone 4, around the 7300's, that's where he used to live, that is the third street from the main road that goes down to Zone 6 from the Zone 4 shops in Diepkloof?
MR LESHOMO: I do not know him but I know Diepkloof, I know Zone 4.
JUDGE MOTATA: Yes, when you are at the Makomani Primary School from the Zone 4 shops, the first turn on your left, you turn left there and then it's the third street, the second house as you turn right, that's where Maisha Mapoenya lived?
MR LESHOMO: I don't know.
JUDGE MOTATA: Do you know Modisho Butsi Church Zone 4?
MR LESHOMO: I know that.
JUDGE MOTATA: It's the third street behind Modisho Butsi?
Why I'm asking you these questions is that if he had gone out for training you could probably give us an indication. I'm not saying he never trained but I'm just giving you his career path inside the country.
MR LESHOMO: I know that he trained, I'm making a mistake, I don't know whether it was outside or inside but he was a member of APLA. Even during his funeral I was in prison but I read in the newspapers and they asked me and do you know Matsemela from Diepkloof and I said yes and those were my prison mates. They said here, it's his burial and I told them I know him and the executive committee came to prison to tell us that they were going to attend the funeral of an APLA member, Matsemela and an executive from Diepkloof came to us to inform us about Matsemela's death. That is why I know him. My first wife - do you know I married from the Tula's next to Dr Nyembesi. If you know Dr Nyembesi's place you must know Tula's place.
JUDGE MOTATA: That is the next door to Matsemela?
MR LESHOMO: That is correct.
JUDGE MOTATA: You were married to a light in complexion lady, thickset, is that not the one? And you lived at Zone 1 next to Dr Mjaso's place? Would I be talking about you if I mention that lady? I don't know whom she was married to but would I be talking about you? Orlima?
MR LESHOMO: Orlima?
JUDGE MOTATA: Yes. Were you married to Orlima?
MR LESHOMO: Yes it's me.
JUDGE MOTATA: Yes, I only know the lady because she was next door to Matsimela?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, that's why I also know him, it's because he was next door to Tula's place.
JUDGE MOTATA: Now I just want an indication, I know Matsemela and I know his career path and you were just a supporter from 1990. I want to get an indication from you, I'm not saying Matsemela was not an APLA member nor a PAC member, I'm not suggesting that to you, get me clear about that. It's just that I know the person and I've got to declare as a Judge my acquaintances or the person I know. Now could you give us an indication because he was living next door to your in-laws, that if he indeed trained, more or less when did he train?
MR LESHOMO: I know this person, Sir. I know that he was a member at APLA and that he got training but whether it was inside the country or outside I do not know. I don't quite get it whether he trained inside or outside the country.
JUDGE MOTATA: You see, Mr Matsemela, it's quite correct that he was abroad several times but it was in connection with his acting, not that he went outside illegally. He used to go and raise funds for the Career Centre and came back with the funds because they depended on donations. That's my problem.
MR LESHOMO: No, he was doing this for APLA. I'm not saying he took this money for himself, no.
JUDGE MOTATA: No, I will not take it further. Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni, do you have any questions you'd like to ask the applicant?
MR SIBANYONI: Yes Mr Chairperson.
Mr Leshomo, apart from the underground activities of the PAC you were involved in, were you involved in the ordinary activities of the PAC?
MR LESHOMO: Yes I was busy. I recall a meeting that I attended in connection with a operation at - the meeting was at Uncle Tom's Hall but when on many occasions when the PAC people wanted help I assisted but because I was busy I could not get myself too involved but when they wanted assistance, I was there to assist.
MR SIBANYONI: Was it the only meeting you attended or is it the only meeting you can recall attending?
MR LESHOMO: Yes, that is the only meeting I recall because I was always busy but I knew when there were underground missions but I would not attend such meetings but I supported. I was busy, I had to take care of the tavern. At times I was at the taxi rank, at times I was at home. I was just busy.
MR SIBANYONI: What was the name of your tavern?
MR LESHOMO: Mike's place.
MR SIBANYONI: You told this Committee that you went to FNB in Witbank and asked for change and you noticed that there was no black person working there. At what stage, was it at the stage when you were - decided ...(intervention)
MR LESHOMO: It was during the reconnaissance period, I recall having R20 and I went inside and I wanted change so that I can pay for parking. I don't recall when it was but it was in '91, the date, which month, all that has left my memory.
MR SIBANYONI: What I want to know is it at the stage when you people had already decided on FNB as a target or were you still looking for a target?
MR LESHOMO: It was during the reconnaissance of the target. Monde had selected it so we were just going to reconnoitre the place and it was late when we got there.
MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairperson, no further questions.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any questions arising out of questions put by Members of the Panel, Mr Mbandazayo?
MR MBANDAZAYO: None Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter? Anything by questions put by Members of the Panel?
FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VENTER: As it pleases you. You say that you were aware of the underground activities of the PAC but you did not attend their usual meetings, is that correct?
MR LESHOMO: Yes I was busy, that is correct.
MR VENTER: Do you know of an operation by the name of Beauty Salon?
MR LESHOMO: I know that operation, yes.
MR VENTER: What operation was it?
MR LESHOMO: I know that it was an operation and it's codename was Beauty Salon.
MR VENTER: What type of operation was it? What was done under that name?
MR LESHOMO: Beauty Salon was supposed to repossess.
MR VENTER: Was it a specific operation?
MR LESHOMO: No, I would not know whether it was a specific operation. We only went to that operation because somebody told us to go but then I would not know whether it was a specific operation or not.
MR VENTER: You see Mr Leshomo, the whole codename of repossession was called Beauty Salon and you do not know that. I have no further questions, thank you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VENTER
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, any questions arising?
MS PATEL: No thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Leshomo, that then concludes your testimony, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo, are you calling any further witnesses?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, there will be only one witness I will call but I don't know, I'm at your hands whether should I call it, taking to time, I don't know the Correctional Services, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Venter, you don't have to answer me or I don't want to commit you at any stage but are you intending to call any witnesses?
MR VENTER: I'm not calling any witnesses.
CHAIRPERSON: And Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: No thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: It might be better then if we can try to complete this. I don't know what the position is with Correctional Services, if they can make arrangements. Do you want to take a five minute adjournment and find out and just see, you know, just speak to the people concerned and see. We'll just take a five minute adjournment now, that will also give the translators a little bit of a break as well and then if you can call us as soon as possible again, Ms Patel, and then we can either carry on and finish it or else we'll have to come back tomorrow. We want to do what's most convenient to the people concerned. Thank you.
MS PATEL: As you please, Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you. I take it we've then agreed to conclude this matter today?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, I think that would be better. Mr Mbandazayo?