|News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us|
Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 20 May 1998
Names MATHEDI SAMUEL MANGENA
Case Number 5275/97
MR TIPP: Mr Mangena I'm going now to deal with your application. Mr Chairman I omitted to mention the page numbers, it begins at page 118 of the bundle and there is also, as in the case of the other applicants, a supplementary Affidavit at page 129 A-D in bundle C. Mr Mangena you completed an application for amnesty in your own handwriting. Is that correct?
MR TIPP: Mr Mangena I'm now going to turn to the events at Shell House and may I remind you that an interpreter is available to assist you. Mr Mangena in your type written Affidavit , beginning at page 125, set out various incidents that took place in the course of Sunday evening the 27th of March and the morning of 28th March. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: To go to that direction of De Villiers Street there were people coming, running towards the building, running away from the IFP march. They were telling us we should go and look what is happening because there was a group of IFP people who were coming from that direction.
MR TIPP: Mr Mangena perhaps if you could just bear in mind that the interpreter must keep up with you and don't go too fast, alright. Did you hear yourself any sounds coming from the direction of De Villiers Street?
MR MANGENA: That is true, I heard some sounds from that direction from De Villiers Street, whether it came from which crowd of people I did not know until I arrived at that street, De Villiers Street and then I saw with my own eyes.
MR MANGENA: I took my position I think on the third pillar from Plein Street, that's where I took my position. At that time that group of marchers appeared or immersed from the corner at the of King George Street and De Villiers Street.
MR TIPP: I just you want to clarify Mr Mangena have you got the bundle - well let me put it this way, Mr Chairman there is a diagram SS at page 254 but perhaps I can just deal with it orally. Mr Mangena in King George Street there are pairs of pillars as you move up the street. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: When I saw that group emerging whilst I was still on that pillar, I saw that those people are coming towards the building, that is Shell House. I shot three times but I was not directed those shots to them, I was shooting in the air. The reason was that I was trying to show them that we are armed so that they should be repelled from their purpose of advancing.
MR MANGENA: After I shot three times. It shows that they did not respond to my warning shots, they proceeded coming, then I heard Mr Gary saying that we shoot, after that I started shooting towards those people, to that group which were coming towards King George Street.
MR MANGENA: I apply amnesty because there is a possibility that the shots I shot, it could have been possible that I shot beyond reasonable limit and it could have happened that my shots could have - maybe there were people I shot and who have died or who have injured.
MR TIPP: Yes. At the time that you fired your last shot Mr Mangena, as far as you can recall were there any members of the attacking group who were close to you or was the position clear in front of you?
MR TIPP: Mr Mangena you've explained to the committee that you consider that you might have injured people with shots that it wasn't necessary to fire. If that is indeed the case, how do you feel about that incident and your action?
MR MANGENA: My duty on that day was to defend the Shell House building and again to defend the leadership of the organisation who were inside and again to defend the employees, then all of us would remember that we were preparing for elections and as Shell House was the Headquarters, everybody who was in that building was in preparations for the elections.
MR PRETORIUS: If you look towards line 20, actually line 22, you will see that the court asked you certain questions. It reads: "But look Mr Mangena, as I understand your evidence and tell me if I'm incorrect, when you fired shots on that day you fired shots because you told me that you thought you were in danger", your reply: "Yes". "Not that Shell House was being attacked?", "Yes". "Is that correct, you were concerned for your own personal safety?", "Yes". "You did not fire shots because you thought Shell House was under attack?", "I do not know, maybe. Can I just try to explain this thing because when the shots were fired at me because I also, Shell House was behind me so when I was hit and died at the same time I think maybe a certain part of the marchers would have got access into the building, but now for protecting myself it automatically meant that I'm even protecting the structure behind me". "But I mean is that what you thought was going to happen, that Shell House was now under attack?", "I beg yours?". "When you fired that shot?", "Yes". "Is that what you thought in your head that Shell House is being attacked?", "It is not what I thought". It carries on from there Mr Mangena, in fact for several pages up to page 3365 and it ends, if you page to page 3365 again as from approximately line 18: "Well will you then explain to me why you were shooting?", "My life was threatened that is why I had to open fire", again: "Because your life was threatened?", "Yes". Do you see that Mr Mangena?
MR PRETORIUS: Now my learned friend Mr Tipp, right at the end asked you your reasons why you fired that day. You gave a long explanation, but it is quite clear from this passage and maybe for the benefit of the committee if I can just refer them on several passages, other passages, in the inquest record where he emphasised that he fired because he feared for his own life. If I may just enlighten the committee as far as that is concerned. Page 3329 as from line 24, page 3330 line ... (intervention)
MR PRETORIUS: Page 3344, line 4, that's also just references where he testified that he shot because his own life was in danger. Now just to get back Mr Mangena, when your counsel Mr Tipp, my learned friend Mr Tipp asked you the reasons why you fired that day, you gave a lot of reasons now at the end but you never said that you feared for your life. Is that correct?
MR PRETORIUS: At the end of the questioning of my learned friend Mr Tipp he asked you to give reasons why you fired that day and you gave a lot of reasons but the one reason that you never mentioned was that you fired to protect yourself because you feared for your own life. Is that correct?
MR PRETORIUS: You see Mr Mangena I have referred you now to passages out of the inquest record. In that passages you even testified that at that moment in time you did not think that Shell House was, or the building was under attack, all that you thought about was that your own life is in danger and that you must fire to protect your own life.
MR TIPP: Mr Chairman, I want to intrude as little as possible in the cross examination, but where the very first passage that my learned friend reads out sets out clearly the conjunction in the witness’s mind of the protection of himself and the protection of the building, it is startling that the present position should flow from that.
MR PRETORIUS: Mr Chairman with all due respect, he - on page 3363, that is what my learned friend is referring to, he set out at the top as combined proposition then he's questioned about that and just 3 lines from underneath that learned Judge Nugent asked him this question: "Is that what you thought?", that is now whether Shell House was under attack. You can read it from: "But I mean is that what you thought was going to happen, that Shell House is now coming under attack?", "I beg yours?". "When you fired those shots?", "Yes". "Is that what you thought in your head that Shell House is now being attacked?", "It is not what I thought", so he did not think at that stage that Shell House was under attack: "That is what I'm asking you, when you fired those shots it is not because you're worried about Shell House, it is because you are worried, and you said it, about yourself?", "Yes". It is precisely what I am putting to this witness now. It is clear from the record.
MR TIPP: Mr Chairman with respect, it is not clear from the record. The record goes on when Mr Mangena at 3363, line approximately 16 to 17 says: "I do not know maybe how, can I make the distinction between the two?". That is in the context where, notwithstanding the learned judge's questions at that inquest, he has clearly said, beginning at page 3362: "Is that correct?", he is asked "you were concerned for your own personal safety?". The answer is yes. "You did not fire shots because you thought that Shell House was under attack?", "I do not know, maybe can I just try to explain this thing because when the shots were fired at me because I was also, Shell House was behind me so when I was hit and died at the same time, I think maybe a certain part of the marchers would have got access into the building". If there is anything that can be a clearer statement of the two concerns present in the witnesses mind then I fail to understand it.
JUDGE NGCOBO: I think what is being put to this witness is what he said later on when he was specifically asked whether - did you think at the time and he says no. We understand what the record reflects and the context in which the questioning occurred.
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Tipp you have actually referred us to page 3362 at the bottom right up to page 3363, but omitted to read further from where he says: "But now for protecting myself it automatically meant that I'm even protecting the structure behind me".
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngcobo counsel is trying to suggest from the passages in your evidence at the inquest that upper most in your mind as your reason for firing was that you felt that your life was threatened. Now that seems to be the main reason and he says that today in your evidence in chief, you gave a lot of other reasons why you fired. You mentioned that you thought it was your duty to provide security for Shell House and the leaders and you felt that the action of the marchers might prejudice the elections and so on, you understand. Now counsel, in fairness to his clients, is putting it that if one reads your evidence at the inquest, your emphasise seems to have been rather on the fact that you fired because your life was threatened. Do you understand?
MR MANGENA: My response to that question was that even if the fact that my life was in danger, that was in my mind, I'm not able to make a distinction between protecting my life and protecting the building. When I was shooting all those reasons I took into considerations.
MR PRETORIUS: Mr Chairman I'm just going to read one more passage, it's in that same line of questioning. I referred the court to the fact that it actually took up to line, or page 3365 where Mr Justice Nugent particularly wanted to know why this applicant fired. If we can conclude at page 3365 if one reads as from line 6 or 7 it starts: "If that is the reason, well then we must sort this out because yesterday in your evidence you said that you shot in self defense, you felt afraid?", "Yes". If that is the reason then I ask you why did you not just turn around and go around the corner into Shell House. You did not need to shoot them, but now you say to me well it is to defend Shell House. I asked you a minute ago is that what was in your head when you shot of defending Shell House and you said no. You have got to make up your mind. Is it to defend you or is it to defend Shell House or is it just because everyone started shooting and you shot as well?", "No it was not because of that that everyone started shooting and then I shot". "Well then explain to me why were you shooting?", "I shot because my life was threatened, that is why I had to open fire". "Because your life was threatened?", "Yes". That is the conclusion, that was the end of that line of questioning so after he went through everything, his final conclusion was that that is why he shot Mr Chairman.
MR MANGENA: I did not have a particular point where I was posted. I was only told to go outside and defend Shell House, I was not deployed to a particular position. They did not explain me to be deployed on a particular position.
MR MANGENA: I say maybe we don't understand this word patrol the same way. May you explain to me how you understand patrol? When I speak of patrol then I'll explain to him what kind of patrol I'm talking about.
MR PRETORIUS: When you originally heard the sounds of the marchers, that is the chanting, sounds of gunfire and the other noise you spoke about, when you originally for the first time heard that where were you?
MR MANGENA: From there as I went out, I think there are a lot of other guards around there and then generally we were just moving up and down that Plein Street to the side of King George and back to the Plein Street.
MR MANGENA: I think maybe I must clarify this other fact because now when I went down up to the corner of King George and De Villiers Street, it was my respond to the people who were trying to (indistinct) there are some other group of marchers which are approaching from behind, that is from De Villiers Street. That is the only time that I went up to that corner of De Villiers and King George.
MR MANGENA: The marchers they were just approaching that junction between King George and De Villiers Street and I cannot state exactly where were they because this people were in motion and it would be very difficult for me to state exactly where were they at that particular point.
MR PRETORIUS: I'm not asking you to point an exact point, what I'm trying to understand is the marchers were then in De Villiers Street, somewhere between the corners of Wanderers Street and King George Street?
MR MANGENA: Chief I think this was quite a very big group and it was not moving simultaneously like that. It was just a group which was moving, others they were dancing, others they were doing all sorts of things so it was very difficult for me to have, monitor each and every step as they are approaching but the fact is that they were coming to the direction of Shell House.
MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, so that no one is taken by surprise there is something that we want to convey to the committee. At this stage, and that is Mr Chairman that after consultation with two of our clients, the eleventh and the thirteenth applicants that is Mr Magagula and Mr Mtshemla, we withdraw their applications for amnesty Mr Chairman and we will wish to place the reason on record in order to avoid any misunderstandings. The reason is that they maintain that their evidence in the inquest that they shot in the air to repel an attack at the entrance of Lancet Hall is correct and that is the reason why we will not ask the committee to be concerned in relation to those two applicants. We have been persistently asking Mr Chairman the order of witnesses that we may expect from objectors, we've had an indication of one witness which helps up to a very small point, but we would appreciate it Mr Chairman in the interests of accelerating the process if we are given a list of witnesses and the order that they intend calling them as we did in relation to them and I also want to make clear Mr Chairman as to what sort of further evidence we are going to ask the committee to hear will depend to a very large extent of what evidence is led. Up till now we've heard in the main conditional statements if they do testify. We are interested in accelerating the process and we would appreciate the co-operation of our learned friends.
CHAIRPERSON: I am not going to ask them to disclose to me now who they are likely to call or when. Please understand we're engaged in a serious business and we all have to co-operate and if there's a reluctance on your part to disclose then I think your reasons should be made known to Mr Bizos as to why you are reluctant to disclose who is going to be called to give evidence. If your problems are of a logistic nature and you don't know when your witness will be available, then at least you can tell then who the witness is and when he is likely to be available. I would appreciate that. I thought that on Monday morning that time will be usefully gained or usefully occupied in at least sorting out that problem. I don't want to raise that now, I'd like us to proceed with the evidence and I appeal to counsel to sort that out and I don't want reasons now as to why you haven't been able to sort it out.
MR DORFLING: Mr Chair may I just indicate we have indicated a number of witnesses which we intend to be called. There are 7 people on the list, it has been given through - oh but the names are available, I've got the list with me. Apparently there was a typing error, it hasn't been given through but the list is available.
CHAIRPERSON: If there are going to be any objectors, even we in the committee would like to know beforehand who they're likely to be so that if there is any reading and preparation we may ourselves be prepared for that.
Thank you Honourable Chairman. Mr Mangena just to proceed to where we were immediately before the lunch adjournment. You were on the 7th floor, from the 7th floor you went down to the foyer, from the foyer you went down in Plein Street in the direction of King George Street then you walked up King George Street up to a stage when you were on the corner of King George and De Villiers Street. Do you recall that?
MR PRETORIUS: That is exactly what I put to you Mr Mangena, I said they were in De Villiers Street approaching from the direction of Wanderers Street, so they were busy approaching down De Villiers Street from Wanderers Street to King George Street. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: From De Villiers Street where I never mentioned about, or I never seen marchers as I said off Wanderers Street. I don't know where they were coming from but I saw them in De Villiers Street.
MR PRETORIUS: Can you indicate to us roughly - I don't, I'm not going to ask you to do it in any exact figures, but can you just indicate in court perhaps how far were they away from you at that stage?
MR MANGENA: Oh, I just peeked at them and at least, I cannot be precise as to how far were they from me but generally what I'd say is that I was at a safe distance from the marchers and to the spot where I had taken cover. I was just at a safe distance from them.
MR PRETORIUS: Did you notice any ANC guards in this whole process that you now went from the 7th floor right down to where we are now, did you notice any ANC guards that you can name to the committee?
MR PRETORIUS: In regard to this time period we're speaking about now Mr Mangena. In other words that is when you first saw the marchers in De Villiers Street, from that period on. Where were you when you heard the first shots fired?
MR PRETORIUS: Now Mr Mangena Mr Khumalo and Mr Zuma testified that when the first shots were fired they were on the corner of King George and De Villiers Street. They thereafter ran down from there down King George Street in the direction of King George and Plein Street, thereafter they ran into the foyer. If that is true they must have run down right past you. Did you notice them?
MR PRETORIUS: After you positioned yourself at the second set of pillars, when the marchers came around the corner of De Villiers Street into King George Street, where were the marchers when you heard the first shot?
MR LAX: Maybe we can help you here Mr Mangena because we're going over the same ground over and over again. We're not talking about the time when you heard the first shots. There was - you retreated from the corner of King George and De Villiers to your position at the pillars. Now, did you hear any shots while you were retreating?
MR LAX: No what you're being asked is, during that period did you hear shots? That's when he says what was the first shots you heard at that stage in other words. Don't get confused by the word first shots, it's at that stage he's referring to. Are you with us?
MR MANGENA: Oh at that stage I don't quite remember when did I hear that shots because I fired also the shots and other colleagues also were firing. I fired three shots at that point and other colleagues were also firing.
MR PRETORIUS: Can you recall whether you heard any shots, that is now after the marchers turned into King George Street from De Villiers Street, any shots other than that of yours and your colleagues behind you?
MR PRETORIUS: So the only shots that you can recall as you're sitting there today that was fired on that day, after the marchers turned around De Villiers Street into King George Street were the shots of yourself and that of your colleagues?
MR PRETORIUS: As you are sitting there today, the only shots that you can recall having heard that day, after the marchers turned into King George Street from De Villiers Street, were the shots of yourself and that of your colleagues?
MR MANGENA: Well I think as I'm sitting here I think the shots that I heard I cannot, I'm not in a position to say whether they were the shots which were shot by myself and my colleagues because it was just, the situation was very fast and I could not make out as to where this shots are coming from, the marchers or they're coming from our colleagues.
MR PRETORIUS: In any event there's no shots that you can refer this committee now there after the marchers had turned around De Villiers Street into King George Street that were fired, or that you perceived were being fired by the marchers. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: I'll do my best Ma’am of the committee. Mr Mangena after the marchers turned into King George Street from De Villiers Street, there are no shots that you perceived were specifically fired by the marchers before or during the shooting that took place thereafter?
MR MANGENA: I cannot confirm that because the situation, as I said, was very fast and there was a lot of confusion there but as to the marchers they shot or what but I cannot confirm it, whether they shot or they didn't shoot.
MR PRETORIUS: I will read from the third last line or fourth last line: "What was you decision?", "No when my life it is in danger, it is only then (indistinct)", then "Alright, these first gunshots that you heard is that what you are saying, that you started shooting because your life was in danger?", "Sorry?". "Are you saying that you started shooting because you concluded that your life was in danger?", "Yes". "The first gunshots that you heard, which direction did they come from?", "Which direction were they coming from?", "Yes", "They were coming from the direction of De Villiers Street". "How many gunshots did you hear?", "I am not sure, I do not recall, I do not remember how many gunshots I heard". Now that was when you were standing immediately before you start firing, that appears from the previous page where we started reading. Do you agree with that Mr Mangena?
MR PRETORIUS: When you testified there you wanted to indicate that when the shots were coming from the direction of De Villiers Street that it was coming from the marchers. Is that correct Mr Mangena?
MR PRETORIUS: When you testified, during this passage which we've just read, you wished to indicate that the shots, gunshots, were coming from the marchers, the gunshots that were coming from De Villiers Street as you said. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: I think the answer to your question that is just put to me is that I think I might have forgotten about this other aspect of it because I don't think maybe I can be in a position to recall each and everything that happened that day.
MR PRETORIUS: During your evidence at the inquest court therefore you testified that you concluded that your life was in danger, that is immediately before you fired shots, because shots were ringing out from the marchers. Is that correct?
MR MANGENA: I was at the corner - at that time when the time they were just coming through King George, that time I was at the corner of Plein and King George, I mean at the second pair of pillars between Plein and King George, meaning that it was distance from the corner of King George and De Villiers Street.
MR PRETORIUS: Indeed, thank you Ma’am of the committee. Mr Mangena just lastly, I take it that your legal advisers have explained to you that - let me just clarify. What you refer to there in paragraph 17: the shots were fired at the ANC security personnel. Which security personnel were you referring to?
MR PRETORIUS: Now your legal advisers now would most probably have explained to you that the ballistic evidence is to the effect that there could no evidence be found of any shots being fired in the direction of King George and Plein Street. Are you aware of that?
MR MANGENA: As I've said that things were going very fast and then it was not easy for one maybe to have that or maybe to see whether this shot is it coming to this direction or is it going whatever direction, it was even difficult to notice a bullet when it comes out from the gun but now the sound, this might be the shots which were being fired by our personnel maybe or wherever they were coming from but now the impression that I got at that particular time was that this shots are coming from those marchers.
MR PRETORIUS: Mr Chairman the position is that in, as was pointed out correctly, he said that there were shots fired in the direction of Shell House and the ANC security personnel. It now became clear that there were no such shots fired, at least in the direction that he indicated. I'm asking him in view of that, why was it necessary to fire.
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Pretorius I think you know, without belabouring the point, his response has been a very short one. His perception at the time was that his life was in danger. Do you think you can take it further than that? I don't think so.
MR PRETORIUS: After you started firing at the crowd, you decided to cease fire out of your own, it wasn't if you heard an order or anything else, you yourself decided to cease firing. Is that correct?
MR PRETORIUS: 3-3-8-0, Sorry. You testified that after you started firing at the crowd you saw them, or some of them falling down. That appears from line 6 onwards. It reads: "You see 3, 4 people falling down, you see people falling down after you started firing shots?", "Yes".
MR MANGENA: After the people fall down I cannot say about the rest of the crowd because some were turning back, some were retreating so others maybe they might have hidden themself, there were some slabs there so really to say exactly what happened to the rest of the others, I don't know.
MR PRETORIUS: Mr Mangena in your evidence in chief you testified that when you stopped firing there was nobody left standing there in King George and De Villiers Street in that area, people were lying down so I put it to you that you must have continued firing from the point that they started falling down onwards until there were nobody left standing to fire at. Do you agree with that?
MR PRETORIUS: I just want to confirm the following that you saw on that video material the people lying on the ground in front of the chemist with a lot of traditional weapons around them. Do you recall that?
MR PRETORIUS: Mr Mangena after the firing ceased did you leave the scene and didn't look at what happened thereafter, that's the scene in King George Street, more in particular it is the corner of King George and De Villiers Street, was it still visible to you or after you left did you not attend to that corner at all again?
on Shell House on that day and that they were fired upon by the guards of Shell House totally unjustifiably and unnecessarily. That also is the same position with regard to those objectors represented by Dr Van Wyk. Just place it on record, do you want to react on that?
MR VAN WYK: I think I can make my copy available Mr Chairman. There's a copy thereof, can you have a look at that document please. If you look at the first document it will be marked page 261 on the right hand top and I want to ask you to ignore the yellow highlighting on the page because it was in respect of another weapon. Do you see that you've signed there for a arm, firearm?
MR MANGENA: I'm not quite sure who was collecting those, who was in charge to collect the firearms which were used on the 28th but I remember there was instructions that everybody who was issued out with an ANC firearm should return it back and I did that.
MR VAN WYK: I want to show another page of the book to you and I want to put it to you that you did not return that firearm but the records at Shell House indicates that it appears it was a Mr P. Jardine that returned this firearm and I want your comments on that. Can I just show you the documents?
MR VAN WYK: Mr Chairman I see only the first page copies were made, that appears to be the second page of the records, no copies has been made yet, but I undertake I will make copies tonight and I will supply it to you by tomorrow.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DORFLING: Mr Mangena would you please turn to page 128 of your application and read pages 17 to 20, I'm sorry, paragraph 17 to 20 at this page, page 128. That's the typed application page 4. Have you got that?
MR DORFLING: Can you be of some assistance, was he more towards the De Villiers Street side of King George Street or more towards the Plein Street side. We know that you were positioned somewhere up the block towards De Villiers Street, was he more towards Plein Street or more towards De Villiers Street?
MR DORFLING: You see sir the reason I'm asking this, on the evidence of Mr Khumalo he was positioned at the corners of Plein and King George Street or in that immediate proximity at the time when he fired ... (inaudible - end of tape)
MR MANGENA: I think maybe I understood you the other way around because you said Eddie Khumalo was more on the side of De Villiers or Plein Street. I said he was more on the side of Plein Street. You said that maybe that he was further north of my position at (indistinct) I said yes.
MR DORFLING: No I think sir you - I'm not sure whether you perhaps misunderstood but you indicated that he was more towards De Villiers Street, in other words more towards the side where the crowd ... (intervention)
MR DORFLING: I'm putting it to you Mr Mangena that a fact of this nature must have been one of the uppermost features and facts in your mind and that you're not being truthful to say it was just an innocent mistake, you blatantly omitted it to mislead?
MR DORFLING: I want to put it to you Mr Mangena that the objectors on whose behalf I appear will, if called to give evidence in front of this committee, testify that there was no justification for any of the ANC guards to shoot.
MR LAX: Just one little question Mr Mangena. When you were told to be deployed outside, were you told why you were being deployed outside. What was the purpose you were told, why you were being deployed there?
MR MANGENA: I think in my statement I said that prior to instructions that I should go and deploy outside, there had been a briefing at the 7th floor where it was (indistinct) that there would be an IFP march and during the march the ANC offices will be attacked.