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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 30 November 1998

Location PALM RIDGE

Day 5

Names FANYANA POTONG NHLAPHO

Case Number AM 7302/97

MR MOPEDI: Thank you. The next applicant is Fanyana Potong Nhlapho, Mr Chairman. Page 196.

CHAIRPERSON: Pardon?

MR MOPEDI: Page 196.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nhlapho, can you hear? Please stand and give us your full names.

FANYANA POTONG NHLAPHO: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Nhlapho, were you also a member of the Self Defence Unit, Thokoza, Lusaka-A?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: When did you become a member?

MR NHLAPHO: During 1993.

MR MOPEDI: You have also brought an application for amnesty, is that correct?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: Could you tell us what prompted you to bring this application?

MR NHLAPHO: I've brought this application because I was also involved as a member of the SDU in the area, Lusaka. Can I go on to explain?

MR MOPEDI: Proceed to tell us about specific incidents in which you were involved.

MR NHLAPHO: I was involved in the Mazibuko as well as the Mshayazafe incident. We were called by Bonga, that he is the commander, that the Mandela section - we were called by way of a two-way radio that Bonga was in a problem and we had to go and help him out. We proceeded to Bonga to help him.

MR MOPEDI: If I may ask you, were you together with Mr Tshabalala and Mr Thulani Mahlangu, those that have testified earlier before you.

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: Alright, do you confirm what they told us?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: I will put this question again, do you confirm their testimony about the incident, what happened at both incidents?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct, I do.

MR MOPEDI: Okay, let's go back to the Mazibuko incident. What was your role there?

MR NHLAPHO: As I've already explained, we went to Mazibuko section and helped Bonga out. We shot the members of the IFP who wanted to chuck Bonga or chase Bonga out of the residential area or the houses. When we came back from the attack we were disturbed by the military group and the stability unit was there also. So we had to wait for quite some time so that the stability unit could move out of the area.

As we were waiting for the stability unit we heard some shots from the hospital. These shots were actually aimed at us. We went towards the Spruit area because there was no faction fight in the Spruit area.

MR MOPEDI: So let's go back to the Mazibuko incident now. What did you do, you in particular, you specifically, without taking the role played by others.

MR NHLAPHO: I shot at Mazibuko section. I also participated in the shooting. We all participated. We did basically the same thing.

MR MOPEDI: You said you fired a shot, what type of firearm did you have?

MR NHLAPHO: An AK47.

MR MOPEDI: And who did you shoot?

MR NHLAPHO: I do not know the people I shot at, I just knew that I was shooting at members of the IFP. Their specific names are not known to me.

MR MOPEDI: Can you say whether you killed or injured someone?

MR NHLAPHO: I wouldn't deny that I injured some people and killed others but as to the specifics, as to who was killed or injured, I do not know.

MR MOPEDI: So let's go back to the Mshayazafe incident. What did you specifically do there?

MR NHLAPHO: I also took part in the shooting. We were also called by way of a two-way radio. We had earlier on heard shots ringing from that area and it was apparent that there was a fight and we could not go out and attack or launch a counter-attack without the commander's instruction.

At a later stage we did get these instructions and we proceeded to Mshayazafe. We were operating in groups of five. I was based at the hostel, just behind the hostel, at Mdagane section. At Mdagane section I came across an IFP member. As the man approached I shot and I realised that I couldn't actually shoot this particular guy. I tried for the second time without any success and I called Vusi ...(end of tape) ... decided to run away and he went to the Mchachu section where he shot our members. I've forgotten the other members' names because we used to use Zulu names.

We also removed some of the bodies of the people that he had shot, some where injured. We decided to go back to our section. This man actually went back without having been shot. That was an IFP member. That's all.

MR MOPEDI: Do you know the name of that man that you were shooting at?

MR NHLAPHO: I did not know his name at that time but we used to call him the man with the coat because if you shot him the bullets would just stick on his coat, then he would just shake them off.

MR MOPEDI: So his real name, you didn't know his real name?

MR NHLAPHO: No, I didn't.

shot, how many of them?

MR NHLAPHO: Yes, that is correct, the Mchachu members, three of them were shot.

MR MOPEDI: So you've said members of Mchachu group were shot, how many of them?

MR NHLAPHO: Yes, that is correct, the Mchachu members, three of them were shot.

MR MOPEDI: Is there any further incident that you'd like to talk about?

MR NHLAPHO: No, besides the ones that I've already talked about.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just get a quick bit of clarity. You said the Mchachu members, three of them were shot, by this same chap?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And I didn't get the name of the section, is it Mchachu section that he came into after you tried to shoot him and is that the name of the section?

MR NHLAPHO: Mchachu is the commander from Slovo section and we were at Slovo section where the three were shot. But Mchachu is a person, he is a commander at the Slovo section.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Ma'm.

And the gangs were you not involved in disarming members of the gangs?

MR NHLAPHO: Yes, they were involved because they used to harass the members of the community.

MR MOPEDI: So were you there when they were disarmed or did it happen that on one occasion you were there when they were disarmed?

MR NHLAPHO: Yes, I was present at certain instances but these guns that were taken were legal guns or licensed firearms and they were able to get them back thereafter.

MR MOPEDI: And you were using a firearm, an AK47 during the attack?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: What happened to the firearm, the AK47 that was allocated to you?

MR NHLAPHO: It was taken by the police, the Brixton Murder and Robbery Squad. They arrived at my hiding place. I do not know who had actually told on me. They confiscated everything as well as the gun.

MR MOPEDI: Where were you staying?

MR NHLAPHO: I was staying in Lusaka section.

MR MOPEDI: So you are now applying for amnesty?

MR NHLAPHO: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOPEDI

CHAIRPERSON: Questions, Adv Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

CHAIRPERSON: Members of Panel, questions?

ADV GCABASHE: No questions.

CHAIRPERSON: I suppose you don't have anything further, Mr Mopedi, no re-examination?

MR MOPEDI: No re-examination, Mr Chairman.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MOPEDI

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nhlapo, thank you, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: We will take a short adjournment, we will adjourn for 15 minutes, thank you.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

 
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