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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 01 December 1998

Location PALM RIDGE

Day 6

Names CYRIL NDLONDLO BONGANI KHUMALO

Case Number AM 7658/97

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MS NHLAYISI: Mr Chairman, the next application is application number 7658/97, Ndlondlo Cyril Khumalo, on page 119, Lusaka-B.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khumalo, can you hear me? Please stand and give your full names for the record.

CYRIL NDLONDLO BONGANI KHUMALO: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sit down. Ms Nhlayisi?

EXAMINATION BY MR NHLAYISI: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Khumalo, you have applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

MS NHLAYISI: Were you a member of the Self Defence Unit in Lusaka-B at some stage?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

MS NHLAYISI: In which year did you join the Self Defence Unit?

MR KHUMALO: During 1990.

MS NHLAYISI: Who was your commander?

MR KHUMALO: From 1990 we did not have a commander. At that time we still had problems with the Khumalo gang and we used to congregate as the community and barricade with stones so that they wouldn't gain access into the area. It's only during 1993 that Makasonke came and became our commander.

MS NHLAYISI: Do you have any specific incidents that you would like to be granted amnesty for, wherein you were involved in acts of violence against somebody?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

MS NHLAYISI: If you could mention them. Which is the first incident that you would like to bring to the attention of this forum?

MR KHUMALO: With regard to the Mbele section, there is a certain man who used to reside in the hostel or was a hostel dweller, who was involved with a resident within our area. He was a member of Inkatha and used to wear Inkatha T-shirts and at times he would coerce members of the community to join Inkatha.

He had a special sjambuck that he used to assault people who did not want to co-operate with him. We discovered at a later stage that he was a member of Inkatha, after having conduced this reign of terror, and we decided to kill this man. That is when we started assaulting him and we pelted him with stones. We heard the following day that he had been necklaced.

MS NHLAYISI: So this incident that you are mentioning, is it the same incident that was mentioned by the previous applicant, Thabo Miya, wherein somebody was stoned at Mbele Street? Are you referring to the same incident?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

MS NHLAYISI: You mentioned that you discovered at a later stage that this particular person was eventually killed by some other people. You were not involved in the killing itself?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, I wouldn't say I was involved in killing him, we only stoned him and ran away. At that time he was still screaming and he was still writhing. It's only the following day that I heard that he had been killed. As to who killed him, I have no clarity.

MS NHLAYISI: At the time of the stone throwing, did you observe whether he was injured?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, he had been injured because at the time that we assaulted him or threw stones at him, others were using iron rods and iron bars to assault him.

MS NHLAYISI: Is there anything that you wish to add regarding this particular incident?

MR KHUMALO: No, there isn't.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute, just a minute.

Did you get that question, Interpreter?

INTERPRETER: No, we got the answer, he just said no.

CHAIRPERSON: And the question?

INTERPRETER: No.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't get the question?

INTERPRETER: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Nhlayisi, won't you just repeat that question, what happens is that as he is speaking they are translating and then when he is done they are still busy translating. Of course when he has stopped speaking, so you obviously don't hear it over the headphones. So they are still busy translating the answer so we've missed that question.

MS NHLAYISI: The last question?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS NHLAYISI: Is there anything else that you wish to add regarding the incident at Mbele Street?

MR KHUMALO: Could you please repeat the question?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want that question repeated?

INTERPRETER: Yes, please, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, okay. Ms Nhlayisi?

MS NHLAYISI: Is there anything else that you wish to add regarding the incident at Mbele Street?

MR KHUMALO: No, there's nothing.

MS NHLAYISI: What's another incident wherein you were involved that you would like to bring to the attention of this forum?

MR KHUMALO: As Thabo had already pointed out, there is a certain man that we came across at Mkatize. He was coming from Penduka section. He was originally from Inkantla, who received from his brother saying that they had some employment for him, he should duly come to Johannesburg.

We accompanied him towards Kweseni hostel and there was a group of people from Mavimbela and the Radebe section who were patrolling the area. And we searched him, we saw the letter from his brother as well as the Inkatha membership card. At that stage the Stability Unit appeared and I ran away.

MS NHLAYISI: Mr Khumalo, apparently there is evidence before this forum that that particular person was eventually killed, did you participate in his killing?

MR KHUMALO: No, I was not involved. As I had already said, when the Stability Unit appeared I ran away.

MS NHLAYISI: Do you know the identity of this particular person?

MR KHUMALO: I did not look at his membership card. I was not able to see his name or his identity. As soon as others saw that he was a member of the IFP, they started assaulting him.

MS NHLAYISI: Is there another incident wherein you were involved, except these two incidents that you have mentioned?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, there is.

MS NHLAYISI: Please mention it.

MR KHUMALO: As members of the SDU we used to patrol during the day. As we were still patrolling the area called Ndabazimbi, there is a street called Givani Street where you are able to get a view of the whole area and people coming from the Inkatha section we were able to see.

When members of Inkatha wanted to attack the Slovo area. We would assist each other, people from the Slovo area as well as other areas. We went to help the people from Slovo section. We approached the section from Tshabalala Street.

We shot at each other and at the same time we took cover towards Khumalo Street. That is where we met them at Mshayazafe hostel. I took part in the shooting, shooting Inkatha members who were shooting at us through windows of the hostel.

MS NHLAYISI: Were you in possession of a firearm on that particular day?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct, I had a gun in my possession.

MS NHLAYISI: What type of firearm did you have?

MR KHUMALO: I had a 9mm pistol.

MS NHLAYISI: Where did you get this pistol?

MR KHUMALO: I got it from Mhlope, that is my commander.

MS NHLAYISI: When you shot at these IFP people, as you've mentioned, did you observe whether you killed or injured anybody in the process?

MR KHUMALO: Not at all. I wouldn't be able to say that there was or there wasn't but if you have a gun and you are pulling the trigger, the intention is to kill or injure as the person has the same intentions.

MS NHLAYISI: So there is that possibility that in the incident at Mshayazafe where you shot, somebody might have been killed or injured in the process?

MR KHUMALO: That is highly probable.

MS NHLAYISI: Is there anything else that you wish to add regarding this particular incident?

MR KHUMALO: No, there's nothing.

MS NHLAYISI: Were you at any stage issued with an AK47 during the time you were an SDU member?

MR KHUMALO: No, I've never been given an AK47.

MS NHLAYISI: What happened to this 9mm pistol that you had on the day of the incident at Mshayazafe?

MR KHUMALO: Another man was arrested in possession of the same 9mm because they had gone there to base the area but the police accosted them.

MS NHLAYISI: So in short you are applying for amnesty regarding the incident that happened at Mbele Street where a person was stoned and he was eventually killed, and the shooting that took place at Mshayazafe, wherein you shot at people, and the fact that at some stage you were in possession of an unlicensed firearm?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

MS NHLAYISI: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS NHLAYISI

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Nhlayisi.

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

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Panel?

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

This man you say was arrested in possession of the pistol, when was that?

MR KHUMALO: That was during 1993.

ADV SANDI: Is it you who had given this pistol to him?

MR KHUMALO: No, it wasn't me. As soon as I had used the gun I handed it over to the commander.

ADV SANDI: The pistol was given to you by Mhlope, when was that, when was it given to you?

MR KHUMALO: I think it was on a Monday when he gave me the firearm and round about Thursday he took it back.

ADV SANDI: Are you able to remember the month during which he gave the pistol to you? I suppose that was in 1993?

MR KHUMALO: I don't remember the month.

ADV SANDI: Roughly speaking, for how long would you say you were in possession of this firearm?

MR KHUMALO: I got it on a Monday, on Thursday it was taken.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, Chair.

Let's got back to the Mbele Street incident. You heard that this man had been necklaced?

MR KHUMALO: ...(no English translation)

ADV GCABASHE: The Mbele Street incident where the IFP member who wore a T-shirt and was forcing people to join the IFP was attacked. That is the incident I am referring to. Do you remember that evidence?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, I do remember.

ADV GCABASHE: Now you pelted him with stones, you threw stones at him, yes?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: But you also heard that he had been necklaced, you said?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, that is correct. I heard at a later stage that he had also been necklaced.

ADV GCABASHE: When you saw him lying on the ground writhing, you know twisting, was that before he was necklaced? You did not observe the necklacing at all?

MR KHUMALO: No, I did not.

ADV GCABASHE: You have also said that the ISU arrived and you fled, is that correct, at that incident or have I got that wrong?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, that is correct, you got it right.

ADV GCABASHE: So somewhere between the ISU arriving and the following day, this man necklaced but you don't know what might have happened?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

ADV SANDI: Now when you heard that this man had been necklaced, what was your attitude to that?

MR KHUMALO: Could you please repeat the question?

ADV SANDI: You say you subsequently heard that this man had been necklaced, did you think that those who had necklaced the man had done a good thing?

MR KHUMALO: I think it was a good thing that they burnt him because he was harassing the community, forcing members of the community to join Inkatha and he violated the rights of the members of the community. He saw himself as a law unto himself, so I was happy that he was eliminated.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr Khumalo. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Now between 1990 and 1993, you had no commander in the Self Defence Unit, is that right?

MR KHUMALO: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now was there in fact a Self Defence Unit of which you were a member during that period, 1990 to 1993?

MR KHUMALO: At that stage there was no Self Defence Unit, it wasn't a structure that had been formed already but it was just a congregation of members of the community who were barricading the streets to prevent the entry of the attackers into the area.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it just an informal sort of an effort on the part of the Lusaka-B community to protect themselves against these attacks?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now how did the community at that stage protect itself, apart from barricading the streets?

MR KHUMALO: After barricading the streets, that meant that we had to use home-made petrol bombs and that meant that there were no taxis that got into the area and as a result people couldn't come in cars and large numbers to attack, they would have to come by foot and we would be able to throw petrol bombs at them.

CHAIRPERSON: Now during that period, were the attackers armed with firearms or how were they armed?

MR KHUMALO: They would be armed with firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: And the community, did it have no firearms at all, nobody on your side had firearms that could shoot back at these people?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, that is correct, we didn't have any firearms at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there many attacks that were launched on your section, Lusaka-B, in this period that we are talking about, 1990 to 1993?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, there were some attacks but at times they would attack during the day. They would be driving cars and conduct some drive-by shootings. During the day we would have no barricades.

CHAIRPERSON: The barricades, was it objects that you would put in the street to obstruct vehicles from travelling in the streets?

MR KHUMALO: During 1990 and 1991 we still used to have the very large dustbins and we would use them to form a barricade. At times we would also use large rocks and use them to barricade the area. At times we would collect tyres and make them into a heap and set them alight so as to prevent entry. ...(end of tape)

CHAIRPERSON: ... incidents where if these attackers come in, you would attack them back with petrol bombs?

MR KHUMALO: Unfortunately when we were prepared with petrol bombs so as to be able to protect ourselves, they never came because we used to do that during the night but they would come during the day unexpectedly when the barricades are not there, when the petrol bombs were not there, when we were not at all armed, and they would attack us successfully.

CHAIRPERSON: So in this period that we are talking about, were you ever involved in a fight with these attackers?

MR KHUMALO: Could you please repeat your question?

CHAIRPERSON: During this period that we are referring to, 1990 to 1993, were you ever involved in any fight with these attackers?

MR KHUMALO: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you aware of any other of your comrades who were involved in such fights?

MR KHUMALO: No, I wouldn't know that because other people would congregate on their own accord and decide what they had to do. I cannot recall any instance offhand where people I knew were involved in such acts.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there any member of the community in Lusaka-B who got killed there or that you witnessed, in this period 1990 to 1993?

MR KHUMALO: Yes, there is a certain man who was my neighbour. He was also injured by the Khumalo gang. I think it was New Year's Eve and we thought it was firecrackers, only to find that he was being attacked by the Khumalo gang and he was shot.

CHAIRPERSON: You were not involved in that fight at all, were you?

MR KHUMALO: No, I was not involved because that did not take place at Lusaka-B, it took place at Slovo, but the person who was injured stayed in my section.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Nhlayisi, any re-examination?

MS NHLAYISI: No re-examination, thank you, Mr Chairperson.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MS NHLAYISI

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Khumalo, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

 
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