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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 06 September 1999

Location PALMRIDGE, JOHANNESBURG

Day 1

Names THEMBA STEPHEN ZIMU

Case Number AM2806/96

Matter NGEMA TAVERN KILLING

CHAIRPERSON: I apologise for the late start, we were meant to start at ten. Before we start this hearing I would first like to briefly introduce the Panel to you. On my right is Advocate Francis Bosman, she's a Member of the Amnesty Committee, she's an advocate and comes from Cape Town. On my left is Advocate Sibongile Sigodi, also a member of the Amnesty Committee, she comes from Port Elizabeth and I am Selwyn Miller, a judge of the High Court attached to the Transkei Division of that court. The proceedings will be simultaneously translated into English, Zulu and Sotho. If you wish to benefit from the translation you must be in possession of one of these devices so I suggest that you obtain one of these devices from the sound technician and then you'll be able to benefit from the simultaneous translation. Channel two is English, channel three is Zulu, channel four is Sotho. I would at this stage request the legal representatives to kindly place themselves on record.

MR PADI: I am Thabo Padi, I am representing Mr Themba Zimu and Mr Thulani Mlaba.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Padi.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I am Anina van der Westhuizen, I'm representing the third applicant, Mr Nicholas Zwele Chamane.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Westhuizen.

MR VAN DER HEYDE: I am Chris van der Heyde from the attorneys firm Koos Van der Merwe Incorporated, I'm the instructing attorney for Advocate Swanepoel.

MR SWANEPOEL: I am Konrad Swanepoel, Chairperson, on instructions from the attorneys J H van der Merwe, representing certain implicated persons.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Swanepoel.

MR MAPOMA: I am Zuko Mapoma, the evidence leader for the Amnesty Committee.

MR MOTLOUNG: My name is Ike Motloung from the firm Makume and Associates, I'm acting for some of the applicants - the victims, I'm sorry in Thokoza. Thank you.

MR DLAMINI: My name is Jabu Dlamini and I'm also from Makume and Associates, I'm also appearing for the victims in Thokoza.

MR RICHARD: I am Tony Richard, I represent victims from Thokoza, principally the victims in the Ngema Tavern massacre.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Swanepoel? ...(inaudible) Have all the applicants been given an affidavit earlier this morning? Sorry, Ms van der Westhuizen, do you wish to state something about that?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Chairperson, I previously had instructions for Solomon Mbhekiseni Khumalo as well as Mr Mzwakhe Khumalo who are also applicants. I've been instructed by them to withdraw their applications for amnesty. I have an affidavit from Mr Solomon Mbhekiseni Khumalo which I would read into the record. It states as follows

"I, the undersigned, Solomon Mbhekiseni Khumalo, make oath and say as follows: I hereby confirm that my son, Mzwakhe Shadrack Khumalo and I am aware of our amnesty applications which are set down for hearing before the TRC from the 6th September 1999. We do not wish to proceed with these applications and instructed our attorney, Anina van der Westhuizen, to withdraw the applications on our behalf. We were informed that we will in all probability be implicated at the hearing and it was explained to us that we are therefore entitled to legal representation. We do not wish to be represented nor intended to be present at the hearing. We do not believe that we have done anything that requires us to ask for forgiveness or amnesty from the TRC or God."

And then it was signed on the 3rd September by Solomon Mbhekiseni Khumalo.

CHAIRPERSON: We're receive this affidavit as Exhibit A. Sorry, yes Mr Richard?

MR RICHARD: Chairperson, the question that we need to address from that point on is what is to be done with the application before us. I believe that there's only one competent finding to be made which can be made immediately and that is application for amnesty refused?

CHAIRPERSON: Ms van der Westhuizen?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Chairperson, I have no comment to make in this regard, it's my clear instructions to withdraw these applications. Both Khumalos have been informed of the consequences and that is indeed, I'm just performing my instructions as given by them.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think we'll proceed at this stage and we'll consider it during the lunch hour and then inform whether it's just straight withdrawn or whether there should be a refusal.

MR RICHARD: As the Committee pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: Which applicant are we going to start with?

MR PADI: We'll start with Mr Themba Zimu.

CHAIRPERSON: Zimu? Thank you.

MR RICHARD: Chairperson, I beg your pardon for interrupting yet again. In relation to Mr Zimu's application I would point out that on a careful reading of it his application is for an act which it is conceded constitutes a crime, he was indeed convicted for it which took place on the 21st January 1993.

CHAIRPERSON: That is in fact the Ngema incident.

MR RICHARD: It is my respectful submission that the applicant's evidence can only be confined to that particular incident, it cannot be extended to all the various other matters in which he might or might not be implicated in the Section 29 hearing and if my learned colleague intends to widen the enquiry I believe it is incumbent on him to give us full particulars of what amendment he would like to move and which specific incidents he would like to attempt if it's possible which I dispute to add into the application. As the Chair pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Padi?

MR PADI: Thank you, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Is Mr Zimu's application confined to the incident that took place on the 22nd January 1993?

MR PADI: No, Chairperson, it actually extends to some incident which was not mentioned here. Mr Zimu in his evidence will explain, will give - will make submissions to the hearing as to why those incidents were not covered in the application per se. So I request the Honourable Committee to give hearing to this, to Mr Zimu and my learned colleague will oppose it after the evidence has been made.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think that's a reasonable way to approach it, Mr Richard, because also there's the question of full disclosure or not and if he doesn't give the full story and he ought to have said something else then that could be used against him as well. Yes, we will listen to any argument on this point of what he would be entitled to at the end of the day.

MR RICHARD: I have given appropriate ...(inaudible)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Richard.

Mr Zimu, do you have any objection to taking the oath?

THEMBA STEPHEN ZIMU: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR PADI: Thank you Mr Chair.

Mr Zimu, do you recognise the application form which is on page 55 of the bundle?

MR ZIMU: Yes I do see it.

MR PADI: Who filled it in?

MR ZIMU: I requested one of my fellow inmates in prison to help me out, Shakespeare Buthelezi is the name.

CHAIRPERSON: So is this Mr Shakespeare Buthelezi a lawyer?

MR ZIMU: No, he's a prisoner but he is knowledgeable about filling in such similar forms, I did not have that knowledge.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, can you please tell the Committee as to the incident that led to the killing of the people in the Ngema massacre?

CHAIRPERSON: Just before you proceed, Mr Padi, perhaps while he is dealing with this form, have you read the form that is before us, Mr Zimu, that appears on page 55 onwards?

MR ZIMU: I have not read them yet.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, what is the highest standard at school that you have passed?

MR ZIMU: I went as far as Standard 4.

MR PADI: Can you read, Mr Zimu?

MR ZIMU: Yes, a little bit.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you read English?

MR ZIMU: Yes but I am not quite sure whether I'm reading correctly but yes I do read a little bit.

MR PADI: Thank you Mr Chair. Now back to my earlier statement Mr Zimu, can you again tell the Committee as to the incidents that led to the killing of the people at Ngema Tavern on the 22nd January 1993?

MR ZIMU: Mzwakhe's mother had passed away, she was Mbhekiseni Khumalo's wife.

MR PADI: Proceed?

MR ZIMU: And a night vigil was held and we had to attend the night vigil. Announcements were made to the effect that we had to attend the night vigil.

CHAIRPERSON: Who is we?

MR ZIMU: Everybody who resided at Penduka Section. Announcements were made to the effect that such people had to attend the night vigil at the Khumalo family. We did not challenge that, we went to the night vigil.

MR PADI: The people who lived in Penduka Section were they affiliated to any particular political party?

MR ZIMU: In our section, Penduka Section in particular, one would not be a resident of that section if one was not a member of Inkatha.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Padi. Penduka Section, is it a section of what place?

MR PADI: It is a section in Thokoza area. Proceed Mr Zimu?

MR ZIMU: And we went to the night vigil. On arrival there were IFP members. I was a follower. There were many IFP members, we got into the homestead and we were summoned by Mpigilele and Mbhekiseni Khumalo. They then told us where to go to shoot people.

MR PADI: Who - you said that you were called, you were already in the homestead and you just said that there were many people. Were you called on the side and if so who was it, were you alone or were you called with other people to decide?

MR ZIMU: There were several of us called to the side. These people included Thembakosi Buthelezi, Thulani Mlaba, myself Themba Zimu and Nicholas Chamane.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, just repeat those names? ThembaKosi Buthelezi, then you said Mr Mlaba that co-applicant here today?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And the other names please?

MR ZIMU: Thembakosi Buthelezi, Thulani Mlaba, Nicholas Chamane and Themba Zimu.

MR PADI: Exactly who told you - who gave you instructions and what were those instructions?

MR ZIMU: Mbhekiseni Khumalo had a list of people who resided at Thokoza. Some of them did not necessarily reside at Penduka. Some of them were business people owning garages or shops and these were people targeted. It was on the 22nd January 1993.

MR PADI: What was the explanation that was put forward for you to go and commit this act?

MR ZIMU: What he said was that there were ANC people responsible for killing many people and burning the people of many houses. He called out their names. I knew some of these people.

MR PADI: So Mr Zimu, you went ahead with instructions purely because you were told that the people who were listed were ANC people and had to be killed?

MR ZIMU: I could not have challenged that because we had to do as we were told. We could have been killed if we challenged the authorities.

MR PADI: What happened after you had given instructions?

CHAIRPERSON: Before you proceed, Mr Padi, if we could just get this cleared up. You said that you had no choice but to accept the instruction because you might be killed if you challenged the authority. What authority did Mr Khumalo have? What was his authority? Why did you consider him to be the authority?

MR ZIMU: It was very difficult. I assumed that he was holding a top position within the IFP.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, did you know for a fact that he held a senior position or was it just an assumption?

MR ZIMU: It was an assumption because only people in authority could issue such instructions.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, as a supporter of the IFP do you have knowledge of the leadership of the IFP in the area in which you resided?

MR ZIMU: Yes I knew them.

MR PADI: Can you tell the Committee who those leaders were?

MR ZIMU: Mrs Mzizi, Mr Mzizi, Mafalela, Albert Mkatjwa, Obed Gadebe, he is also here among the audience. I cannot recall others, there were many of them but yes I knew top people within the IFP, Mrs Mzizi, Mafalela and others, these are some of them.

MR PADI: Was Mr Khumalo not among the leaders of the IFP in that area?

MR ZIMU: Yes he was among them.

MR PADI: You may proceed with what happened after you were given instructions to commit the act.

MR ZIMU: They gave us the names of the people who had to be shot that day. The first one was Toto, Mkabela a son-in-law of Mabuleng Mbisa, Toto - I have forgotten her name but I knew her and Mabuleng Mbisa's son-in-law, his name is Mkubela Sibeko and names of other women who resided in the same street as himself were issued or given to us. He said that lady talks too much, she was a member of the ANC and therefore had to be killed and others in the list included Nkosana, he owned a garage that once belonged to Mabuleng Mbisa.

ADV SIGODI: Could we get the applicant to slow down, we've got to take the notes and can't keep pace with the names? Thank you.

MR PADI: Okay.

MR ZIMU: Thami, he owns a bottle store.

MR PADI: Were there any instructions that were given that you should go to Ngema Tavern?

MR ZIMU: Yes. Mbhekiseni Khumalo as well as Thulani Mlaba told us he took Thulani during the day and showed him round pointing out areas where these ANC people could be found and places that they used to patronise for drinking and indeed Thulani verified his knowledge of the pointed out places to us.

MR PADI: So the reason why Ngema Tavern was targeted was that the ANC people hang around there?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR PADI: You may proceed, Mr Zimu, as to what happened after you were given those instructions?

MR ZIMU: Mr Khumalo then informed Patrick Mabusa even though I cannot recall his surname very well, I think it's Mabusa, he instructed him to bring firearms from next door. Indeed had brought three AK47s, one 9 mm and I was given an AK47 and 30 rounds of ammunition and the other AK47s were given to others including Tamani, they too got 30 rounds of ammunition and the 9 mm was given to the other one. We then left. We walked the distance from Tegani Section to Ngema Section where we waited at a garage just outside and he said there were two boys. He wanted to go and get two boys from the tavern. Thulani Mlaba said we should wait because he wanted to get two boys from the tavern.

MR PADI: Why did he want to get them out of the tavern?

MR ZIMU: I had no idea but on asking him he said they are not among the targets, they had to be taken out of the tavern before shooting started to avoid getting injured.

MR PADI: According to your knowledge the people at Ngema Section or according instructions, did they pose any threat to yourself or to the IFP in any way?

MR ZIMU: As far as I'm concerned I only went there that day for the first time, I therefore cannot say. There was fighting going on in the township and therefore it was not easy to monitor the movement and attitudes of individuals. It was difficult to say that these are the people who are indeed involved in the fighting in the township. I just did as I was told and therefore I did not ask many questions.

MR PADI: From what you were told did Mr Khumalo in any way indicate to you and other people that were sent to go out that the people at Ngema Tavern are people who drank at Ngema Tavern, were of any physical threat per se?

MR ZIMU: I learnt that these people had firearms and they are likely to shoot us.

MR PADI: Who said that?

MR ZIMU: Thulani Mlaba and Mbhekiseni Khumalo.

MR PADI: What happened after Thulani got out the two people from the tavern?

MR ZIMU: These two people left the town and after they had we decided among ourselves that we should go in and we drew our AK47's and we went to the garage. I drew my AK47 and proceeded straight to the garage and I pointed it to everybody who was in the garage and I wanted to know from them where there firearms were. When I looked at the people who were sitting in the garage I realised that they were just drinking they were not carrying any firearms and there was a formed house next door. I rushed into that house to see if I could get hold of people who were in possession of firearms instead I came across women and children.

MR PADI: What did you do when you got to the house?

MR ZIMU: I pointed the AK47 to them and drove them into a bedroom. They were frightened and I instructed them to sit down, enquired about their firearms and they said they did not have firearms and I concluded that the suspicion as it appears in the instruction. I heard a shooting from the outside in the dining room, there was a T.V. and a phone, I hit the T.V. handle and I disconnected the telephone. When I was about to get out of the door I met with I'm not sure whether it was the owner of the house but the name was Priscilla Mvelasi. She reached to her breast looking like she was looking for the money and she said to me "take the money." I took the money and went out.

MR PADI: How do you know Priscilla, the one that you're just referring to now?

MR ZIMU: I know her because I heard her name when it was mentioned in the court that she was the owner of the house, she was the one who was selling the car.

MR PADI: What happened after, did you take the money that she gave to you?

MR ZIMU: Yes I took the money. When I went out through the kitchen door, when I looked at the garage I saw people lying down, they were injured, that was after the gunshots. I don't even know who was responsible for that. Thulani came and he told us to get out of the place. We left. In the dining room where I hit the T.V. the spring of the AK47 rifle was left there, I did not notice that and I realised when I was out of that place that AK47 rifle had no spring.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu were you the only one who got into the house at the time?

MR ZIMU: Yes I'm the only one.

MR PADI: What happened thereafter?

MR ZIMU: We were out of the gate, we went to another house that was where Bashini Sambo was staying.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, where who was staying?

MR ZIMU: Bashini Sambo, one of the people who was arrested but later acquitted by the court. Nicholas Chamane told me that my firearm had no spring and then he wanted to know but I told him that I did not see the spring. One of the AK47 rifles, the one that he had did not have enough rounds of ammunitions then he took mine.

MR PADI: How could Mr Chamane know that the spring from your gun went out?

MR ZIMU: Another piece of this AK47 was removed and then I asked him to put it back for me. That is when he realised that there was no spring.

MR PADI: Okay. Excuse me Mr Chair, I wonder if I should stop on this to let my colleagues cross-examine or should I proceed to other incidents?

CHAIRPERSON: It's better to finish the evidence I think, Mr Padi, rather than to do it in a piecemeal fashion.

MR PADI: Thank you Mr Chair. You may proceed Mr Zimu, what happened thereafter?

MR ZIMU: When we arrived at Bashini's house, Bashini wanted to accompany us and he was the one who was assisting us and telling us, pointing out the other shebeens where the ANC people used to drink. I think this was in Twana Section but different streets and the streets had names. We went to one of the shebeens or tavern. Thulani Mlaba was pointing out and when we got there, there was no one.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, do you know Sam Ntuli?

MR ZIMU: Yes I know him.

MR PADI: How do you know him?

MR ZIMU: We grew up together in our township.

CHAIRPERSON: What's that name again? Sam who?

MR ZIMU: Sam Ntuli.

MR PADI: Do you know that Mr Ntuli was killed at some stage?

MR ZIMU: Yes I know that.

MR PADI: Can you tell the Committee your involvement or if there is any how you were involved in his killing?

MR ZIMU: Sam Ntuli was my next door neighbour before they moved Pumalangashi where they later got a house. He was a person belonging to the civic association of Thokoza, he was responsible for everything, occasions like the go slow, the stay- aways and all the things that had something to do with the struggle, he was at the forefront. When they had left to stay at 836 Masabugo Street there were go slows and the townships, people wouldn't go to work.

MR PADI: Were these stay aways and go slows organised by the civic organisation under the leadership of Sam Nduli? Is that your evidence?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Can you explain to the Committee what the incidents were that actually led to his killing?

MR ZIMU: There was a gentleman by the name of Mpigileli Khumalo who was owning some taxis in Thokoza and Mbhekiseni Khumalo who was also owning some taxis in Thokoza. Those are the people who launched a complaint about Sam Ntuli that they couldn't do work properly, operate the taxis because he was responsible for the go slows, the people couldn't go to work because of him and the comrades on the other side were burning people, the property and assaulting people in the township. They were totally against that. They said they are going to make a plan in order to deal with Sam Ntuli because everything had changed in the townships.

MR PADI: Proceed Mr Zimu?

MR ZIMU: At some stage they met, that is Mafulela, Albert Mlaba and the second one was Mbhekiseni Khumalo and Mpigilele Khumalo and Obed Gadebe, Abrahm Mzizi and Gertrude Mzizi.

MR PADI: Where did they meet?

MR SWANEPOEL: Excuse me, I just want to come in here? I apologise for breaking in, I just want to know if this is hearsay or if ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes ...(intervention)

MR PADI: I was about to lead him on that.

CHAIRPERSON: If you could just clarify it?

MR PADI: Where did these people meet, Mr Zimu?

MR ZIMU: We met at Khumalo's place, Mbhekiseni Khumalo's place at Mdagani Street.

MR PADI: Were you present?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was present because I was working there at Khumalo's place.

MR PADI: Were you called to that meeting where all these people met?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was called because I'm the one who used to meet with Sam Nduli.

MR PADI: What transpired at that meeting?

MR ZIMU: They asked me about the places where that Sam Nduli frequented. I did not know that they wanted to kill him when they were asking me. I told them that he was drinking at such and such places and his girlfriend, Kuku Mzizi was also assisting in finding Sam Nduli.

MR PADI: Other than giving them information regarding to the possible places where Mr Nduli could be found, was there any particular task that you were given?

MR ZIMU: Yes there was another task that I was given, I was told to look for him if he was at that particular place. I went there and I found them at Peter's place and I came back to tell them I found him there. They got into their cars, they went there but he was not there and they came back to me and they asked me as to why did I lie. I told them that he was there with Kuku Mzizi and friends.

MR PADI: Were you at any stage asked to gather motor vehicles that would be used in the murder of Mr Ntuli?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Who gave those instructions?

MR ZIMU: Abed Gadebe, the one who is sitting there and Albert Malaba Mafulele.

MR PADI: Did you carry out those instructions?

MR ZIMU: Yes I carried them out.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what were you instructed to do, to get vehicles or but what does that mean, did you have to go to somebody’s house and just bring the vehicle or did you have to go and steal them or what was the situation?

MR ZIMU: Mafulela had all the keys that opens a Toyota. He had all the skeleton keys or master keys that opened the Toyota vehicle. If you use his key in opening a Toyota vehicle you will be able to start the car.

MR PADI: So were you actually told to go and steal the motor vehicles?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Did you steal the motor vehicles?

MR ZIMU: Yes I stole them. One Cressida was taken at Alberton's Pick 'n Pay and a Hilux van, white in colour, was taken at Checkers in Alberton.

MR PADI: Who did you give the motor vehicles to?

MR ZIMU: I gave them to Abed Gadebe and Mafulela at the Madala Hostel.

MR PADI: Did you have any further involvement in the - or did you play any further role in the assassination of Mr Ntuli?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was supposed to be there during the shooting but by mistake I got arrested before that date, I went to prison, I was in Modderdam in 1989 to 1992.

MR PADI: Do you know Vusi Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: Yes I do.

MR PADI: How do you know him?

MR ZIMU: He is just one of those boys that we grew up together in our Section Penduka and we used to know each other very well.

MR PADI: Do you know that Mr Shabalala was killed?

MR ZIMU: Yes I know.

MR PADI: Were you involved in his killing?

MR ZIMU: Yes I'm involved in his killing.

MR PADI: Can you tell the Committee the role that you played in the killing of Mr Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: There was a rumour that Vusi wanted to take over Sandile's position after his death.

MR PADI: Where did the rumour come from?

MR ZIMU: It was from Obed Gadebe and Mashwalele Mlaba.

MR PADI: Proceed?

MR ZIMU: I was at the taxi rank on that particular day, I was stopped there to go to Khumalo's place. Actually before the plan, the very same people whose names I have mentioned initially ...(intervention)

MR PADI: Can you list them again?

MR PADI: Obed Gadebe, Mafulela Melaba, Mr Mzizi, Gertrude Mzizi, Mpigilele Khumalo, Mbhekiseni Khumalo and Mzwakhe Khumalo.

MR PADI: Where did they plan this?

MR ZIMU: That was taking place at Mr Mzizi's place and at Khumalo's place in Dagani Street.

MR PADI: Were you present at the planning of the murder of Mr Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was present.

MR PADI: Where was this planning held?

MR ZIMU: At Mr Mzizi's place and Mr Khumalo's place in Ndagani Street. Khumalo Street and Ndagani Street.

MR PADI: Were there more than one meeting that related to the planning of Mr Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR PADI: Can you tell the Committee what happened on the first meeting in which you were called that related to the killing of Mr Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: There was an instruction, they said here is another one who is troublesome just like Sam Nduli and he wanted to take over and Mr Gadebe said no, that one is just a minor, he is not a problem, it will be easy for us to get him, though I did not know what did this mean and then I was told to go to the taxi rank in Thokoza as I was driving a taxi. When I arrived there I was told to stand at a certain place and look at the council office at the Thokoza offices and I would see someone giving a signal.

MR PADI: Who would give a signal and why would they give you a signal?

MR ZIMU: That would be Obed Gadebe who was working for the town council in Thokoza.

MR PADI: Why did he give you a signal?

MR ZIMU: He was going to give that signal when Vusi gets out of the office because I just saw him inside the town council office, I didn't even see him when coming in. He gave me a signal and then I saw Vusi getting out and I started a car and I hooted and Vusi came to me because he hadn't seen me for a long time.

MR PADI: Can you take us back to the meeting that was held at Mzizi's place? You listed the people who were involved there and you told us that the planning of Mr Shabalala was actually made there, so what I want you to tell the Committee is what transpired, what exactly was the plan that was put forward and what was going to be your role that was discussed in that meeting?

MR ZIMU: It was discussed there as the people were sick and tired of the ANC people and they did not want to hear anything from them and it was said that it was not going to be difficult for them to kill the ANC people and I was told to drive a car that would be carrying Vusi from the office.

MR PADI: How do you know, can you please clarify this, how do you know that Vusi would be coming from the town council's offices?

MR ZIMU: Obed Gadebe was going to give me a signal from the position where I was. I could see him, that is Gadebe, I could see his signal.

MR PADI: Was that the plan?

MR ZIMU: I do not understand.

MR PADI: The meeting that was held in this place, there was a planning that related to the killing of Mr Shabalala, so what you've just told the Committee, was that the exact plan that was involved and was that going to be your role in the killing of Mr Shabalala.

MR ZIMU: Yes, that is what I was told that I was supposed to take a certain role to bring Vusi. Indeed I did that, Vusi got into the kombi, the one that I was driving, he alighted from Buthelezi Street, there were cars that were following me from behind. Those cars were a van, a Nissan van, white in colour, belonging to Mbhekiseni Khumalo, there was Mpigileli and Mzwakhe Mbhekiseni inside. At the back there was a Honda Ballade belonging to Gadebe with Mafalela inside and Obed and there were other two people, if I'm not mistaken I think it was Lucky Khosa and Sabelo whose surname I did not know.

MR PADI: At what stage did you realise that these cars were following you?

MR ZIMU: Just before long I realised that there were cars and they were following me. I told Thulani, I was with Thulani Malaba in the taxi and he also looked behind and he confirmed that they were following us. When we were about to get to Buthelezi, Vusi told us that he wants to get out of the vehicle. When he looked behind he saw those people. It seemed as if he was aware that those people were looking for him. He rushed out of the taxi, I saw him going down Buthelezi Street, that was the last time I saw him. Later that day I went back to Khumalo's place. Mzwakhe told me that they had killed the dog, I did not ask questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Who said that? I just missed the name?

MR ZIMU: That is Mzwakhe Khumalo.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, do you know the incident at Maklala Supermarket?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Were you involved in that incident?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was involved.

MR PADI: Can you tell the Committee the role that you played in that incident?

MR ZIMU: Mbhekiseni and Mpigilele were complaining about this supermarket that was at Mdende Street belonging to Madlala. He was an ANC member. Before that wouldn't be possible to let the ANC people control that area whereas they were there. It was said that he should be killed and I was told to go and get a van from the hostel which number plate had changed. The original number plate was changed to the new one that was YBX. I took that van to Khumalo's place. Khumalo, Mpigilele and Mzwakhe took the firearms and they got on the back of the van. In front I was with Mpigilele and he told me that I should stop next to Dante's Hall at Mdende Street in between the bar and Madlala's supermarket, that's where I was supposed to stop. I did that, we went to Madondo, they got out of the vehicle, I went ahead to Nyati Street. As I was still standing there I heard gunshots. I did not see what was going on. After something like ten minutes they came back, they told me to start the car and we went through Buthelezi Street to the hostel and we left the van there. We went back to Mpigilele's place.

MR PADI: How far is Nyati Street from the place in which you lived? The people that were driving?

MR ZIMU: It's a distance from where I'm sitting to that door, the very last door.

CHAIRPERSON: Will the legal representatives agree that that's about 30 paces? More or less 30 paces.

MR PADI: From Nyati Street where you were parked were you able to see the people who were shooting?

MR ZIMU: If I wanted to see them I could have seen them but I was sitting in the car. I did not alight from the vehicle. The car was still on but if I wanted to see them that would be easy because I could just get out of the vehicle and look at them. We left the van at the hostel and we went back to Mpigilele's place. It was just across the street.

MR PADI: Regarding the shooting you said that you parked the car in Nyati Street then you heard gunshots. Can you tell the Committee more or less how long did the shooting take place?

CHAIRPERSON: Or approximately how many shots you heard as well?

MR ZIMU: About 20 - 25.

MR PADI: Are you referring to the shots?

MR ZIMU: 20 - 25 shots that was approximately three to four minutes because I wasn't there for long when this happened, four to five minutes.

MR PADI: So immediately after the shooting stopped they came back into the car?

MR ZIMU: Yes the car was parked at Nyati Street, they got into the van and Mpigilele told me to go and park the van at the hostel.

MR PADI: I just want to clarify the time issue as to how long they took before they got back into the car?

MR ZIMU: The place was not far it was just nearby. It was just nearby, just after the shooting about two minutes, they were already there.

MR PADI: What happened after they got into the car, Mr Zimu?

MR ZIMU: I started the car. We went through Buthelezi Street. We went past Msheshe Hostel and we went to Katuza Hostel, that is where I parked the van. We then went to Mpigilele's house.

MR PADI: Thank you Mr Zimu. No further questions. I have no further questions, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PADI

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Padi. Ms van der Westhuizen, do you have any questions you would like to put to the witness?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, I would suggest that I cross-examine later because it might be that there's something coming forthwith out of the questions my other colleagues ask that might relate to my client.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think your colleagues will probably say the same thing as you that there might be something. Look, we're not in a trial here, you know, how I normally do it is just ask the applicants to cross-examine. If there is something that comes up that hasn't been covered and you want to cover it, something that comes up out of questioning by the victims for instance, I'll certainly give you the opportunity to cover any new points that arise after you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Chairperson, on that basis I will continue with some questions.

Mr Zimu, how did you know Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo at that point in time when this Ngema Tavern shooting took place?

MR ZIMU: I've known him for a very long time. We grew up together with his family, we went to the same school, we were neighbours in the township and I worked with him in Natal at a driving school where we were teaching people driving. We stayed at a place called Makongalozi at Stella Skokana's place.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Is it correct that you were actually employed by him as a taxi driver?

CHAIRPERSON: In Thokoza now?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Sorry Chairperson, indeed, in Thokoza. We focus now on what happened in Thokoza.

MR ZIMU: To explain briefly about myself, Mbhekiseni and Mpigilele and others. When I started working at the taxis for the first time I started driving a vehicle for the first time in that family.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were actually employed by him as a taxi driver?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: During that period, we're talking about when Ngema Tavern shootings took place, where were you residing?

MR ZIMU: 128 Masibuku Street.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: How did you know Mr Thulani Mlaba, was he a friend of yours, did he work together with you, how did you know him at that point in time?

MR ZIMU: I knew him for the first time through Mafulela Mlaba and the others, that's how I knew him.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, is he related to Mafulela Mlaba?

MR ZIMU: Mafulela told me that he was his brother.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you know what was the occupation of Mr Mlaba at that point in time?

CHAIRPERSON: This is Thulani Mlaba?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thulani Mlaba.

MR ZIMU: He used to be in the company of Mafulela and Khumalo most of the time.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: But do you know what work he was doing, was he a bodyguard, what sort of work did he do, do you know at all?

MR ZIMU: One could say that he was guarding them and assisting them especially in cases where they had enemies, they would ask for his assistance.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you perhaps have any knowledge whether he was stealing cars?

MR ZIMU: I don't want to speak on his behalf but Mafulela and Obed and others would indicate that they had keys, a master key that would open any car door so any car would be stolen. They didn't necessarily steal the cars, they took the cars.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And just to get the background of the time in which this took place, just to get that right, you say that you were an IFP supporter. Are you aware of attacks on IFP supporters by other political groups at that point in time?

MR ZIMU: I came back from prison in 1992 and during my stay in Penduka Section I had not seen people coming from outside to attack.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you know the hostels that were in the Penduka Section or close to Penduka Section, do you know where they are?

MR ZIMU: Would you please repeat the question?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Just to make it easier for you, you earlier on mentioned two hostels if I'm not mistaken, the one is Katuza and the other one is Mashayasafi Hostel. Are you familiar where they are, the area where they are situated?

MR ZIMU: Yes I am referring to these two hostels. I was just indicating to you which route we took Mashayasafi and Katuza, there were two more hostels that we still had to go through and some of these hostels have since been demolished.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: These hostels that you mention, would you in that point in time regard them as hostels where IFP, mainly IFP supporters, resided? That is now after you've been released from prison?

MR ZIMU: We used to go to the hostel, there was no problem regardless of who was staying at the hostel.

CHAIRPERSON: No, the question is were those hostels IFP strongholds or not or don't you know?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What is correct, that they were IFP strongholds or that you don't know?

MR ZIMU: It is true that these hostels were the stronghold of the IFP in the township.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now before, during and after your release from prison, the period 1991 to 1993, have you heard of attacks or people from the hostel claiming that the ANC or other people attacked them often, have you heard of that?

MR ZIMU: I heard whilst I was in prison that there was a person who shot IFP members. The person's name was said to be Michael Pama. I did not see it happen, I only heard.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Is that the only attack you heard about on the hostel people?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: You yourself, did you ever attend meetings at - IFP meetings at any of these hostels?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Where did you attend these meetings, which of these hostels?

MR ZIMU: Madala Hostel Hall.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Who are the persons who called meetings at the hostels?

MR ZIMU: I would say that in the township there is this big loudspeaker that was used where some of the members of the IFP people like Thami Malindisa, they would make announcements through the speaker in the township, announcements to the effect that everybody was summoned to a meeting at the hostel and what I can say here is that what I observed happening was that if a person did not go to a meeting, a person would be forcefully dragged into the meeting and beaten up for not attending such a meeting.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you mentioned some names of people who you say were the IFP leaders. Can you just give us a brief indication how the IFP, how they were made up? Did you have a youth league, did you have a branch? Can you just explain roughly the structures at that point in time?

MR ZIMU: I would say that because by that time I did not have much information of the IFP. We were arrested shortly after the Ngema incident and therefore I did not have much knowledge about the structures of the IFP, I only got to know some of these things whilst I was in prison.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now apart from attending IFP meetings at the hostel, did you attend any IFP meetings that were not held at the hostel and if so where were these places that you attended these meetings?

MR ZIMU: When Buthelezi came from Ulundi he would come to Jabulani or John Vorster, I would be instructed to drive a kombi ferrying people where he was.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Did you attend any IFP meetings that were held at individual's houses?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Where is that, at whose house was that?

MR ZIMU: Mzizi's place as well as Mbhekiseni Khumalo's place and Mafalele's place at A4 Masibuko Street.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now knowing Mr Khumalo and I'm now referring to Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo, were you aware of the fact that his house was attacked on many occasions? Do you know anything about that?

MR ZIMU: No, I have no knowledge of that. All I know is that he would put a grenade over there and thereafter call upon the police to say people were trying to attack him.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now as a taxi driver, did you collect money from your passengers whilst driving the taxis?

MR ZIMU: Obviously that's what happens in a taxi, you collect the money whilst the taxi is in motion.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: What would you do to - who did you hand over that money that you collected from the days takings?

MR ZIMU: I would give it to my boss, you know it was this checking that was taking place every day in the evening.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Would that be Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo or one of the other Khumalos? Can you just clarify that to us please?

MR ZIMU: Let me clarify this. The whole Khumalo here, Mpigilele, Nokuka, all of them were my bosses. These are the people that I would take the money to after a days work. I would go to Piela's place or Mbhekiseni's place.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And you say that you have never heard from Mr Khumalo, Mbhekiseni Khumalo, that his house was actually attacked before by people?

MR ZIMU: That must have happened whilst I was in prison but not whilst I was still around. I used to hear him saying that there were people who wanted to attack him but I did not see anybody attacking him.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now it seems that you often visited the house of the - or the different houses of the Khumalos. Were you aware of the fact that there were people guarding their houses?

MR ZIMU: As far as I know there were no people appointed to guard over the Khumalo families. People who came to hang around at the Khumalo households were people who had come from the hostel and these are the people who were carrying out instructions such as killing people, following a hit list.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Were you a member of the IFP youth brigades in Thokoza at that time?

MR ZIMU: I would say I think I did explain earlier on that I did not know anything about positions and what roles people were playing in the IFP. I did not know whether I was an IFP youth brigade member or what, I was just a follower.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you know anything about self-protection units that were formed by IFP members in Thokoza?

MR ZIMU: No.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I want to take you to specifically the events leading up to the Ngema Tavern shooting and referring to the 22nd January 1993. You mentioned that there was a night vigil for Mr Khumalo's late wife. Have you heard any rumours as to who killed Mrs Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: Let me explain as follows. I was hoping that under normal circumstances if there is death in a family, there is usually a night vigil but there was no night vigil on that evening. Instead there were many people from the hostel but the night vigil itself did not take place.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Were you ...(intervention)

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, but do you know how Mrs Khumalo was killed or what was the cause of her death?

MR ZIMU: Mzwakhe's mother was taken by Khumalo and she was taken to Thembisa at some place that I do not know. The intention was to go and hide her because people were trying to kill her and after a few days I was told that she had been killed. I had wondered as to how that could be possible because they were the only people who knew her hide out.

ADV SIGODI: Yes, but do you know how she died?

MR ZIMU: I only heard from Chamane and Khumalo that she had been shot.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: During the day of the 26th January, did you perform your work as normal as ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You're talking about the Ngema incident, the 20th January or the 26th?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Chairperson, I'm talking about the day of the Ngema Tavern shooting, that specific day.

CHAIRPERSON: That's what I think was the 20th because you said the 26th now. 22nd, the 22nd.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Just to clarify it for you, the day, during the day that night the killing took place, during that day immediately preceding the night when the killing took place, did you work as normal as a taxi driver?

MR ZIMU: I would say after the death of Mzwakhe's mother, all the taxis were recalled, no taxi was operating, it was not safe to drive Khumalo's taxi around.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: What did you do during that day?

MR ZIMU: On the day before we went to Khumalo's place, myself and Thulani were taken by Mafalela to town. He went to pay for liquor and other things and we only came back late, I think it could have been around 4 o'clock if I'm not mistaken.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Can you estimate what time were you taken to town to buy liquor, what time did you leave together with Thulani and Mafalela?

MR ZIMU: We did not go to buy liquor, we went there so he could pay for some liquor.

CHAIRPERSON: But what time did you go to town, you said you came back at approximately 4 o'clock, what time did you go?

MR ZIMU: It could have been around past one.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Were you not together with Mr Thulani when certain places were pointed out during the course of that day in Thokoza section or into Thokoza itself?

MR ZIMU: No he was not with us, he was back home at the time because on that particular day Mpigilele and Mbhekiseni had parked a grey Mercedes Benz next to the hostel entrance, Katuza Hostel that is.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: At what time did you yourself arrive at the house of Mr Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: After 4 if I'm not mistaken though I cannot remember very well.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Was Mr Thulani Mlaba at that stage with you?

MR ZIMU: You mean on our way to Khumalo's place?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Well arriving at Khumalo's place, was he with you, did he arrive later or was he already there?

MR ZIMU: We got in there all at the same time.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: On your arrival there you said there were many people there, were there also people standing outside the house?

MR ZIMU: Yes, if my memory serves me correctly there were elderly people in the house, people like Mr Nokuka, Mr Khumalo's father and the other people. Most of the people were standing outside.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: You yourself, were you standing outside or were you inside the house?

MR ZIMU: When we got there we stood at the veranda outside, we did not get inside the house. I only got into the house after coming from Ngema Section. We got in the house and we had a meal there.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: When you proceeded to Mr Khumalo's house, Mr Chamane was not with you, you only met him at the house outside, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: We met Chamane outside the yard, just outside, not in the street but just outside the yard but not in the street, just on the lawn.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: That is also in accordance with my instructions from Mr Chamane and I just want to ask you, do you also know a friend of Mr Chamane by the name of Mondli?

MR ZIMU: Yes I know him.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Chamane will testify that Mondli was standing there with him when you arrived, can you confirm that?

MR ZIMU: I cannot dispute that because there were a lot of people standing there, I couldn't be in a position to greet them one by one, I just saw a large number of people but there was nothing bad, I didn't do anything further than that.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now can you remember at all the people standing around, what were the general discussions about?

MR ZIMU: No, I'd be lying, I did not hear anything, they were just chatting normally in groups, they were standing in groups and when we got in there Khumalo called us. We did not stay there for long, we stayed for something like twenty minutes and we left thereafter.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you know an Induna from the hostel by the name of Induna uMkhonto?

MR ZIMU: The only Induna that I know was Mtunu, I do not know uMkhonto.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now is it correct that you were actually standing there for quite a while before you left to Ngema's section outside the house of Mr Khumalo, you were standing there for quite a long time before you left?

MR ZIMU: No we did not stand there for long because on our arrival we stayed for three minutes and we were called and we were given instructions to go and shoot people.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: But if I understand your evidence correctly, you say that you arrived at this house at approximately 4 o'clock. Did I understand you correctly as far as that is concerned?

MR ZIMU: Let me explain this. It is just an estimation as to what time it was because I did not know that I will be required to do this, I did not know that something like TRC would come forward whereby I'll have to quote time and the likes because the people were dying and the police were not doing anything. I did not know that one of these days there will be something called TRC. If I knew that I would prepare each and every piece of information and bring it forward.

CHAIRPERSON: It's not - what Ms van der Westhuizen wants to know is approximately how long were you at the Khumalo house from the time that you arrived after you had been into town to pay for the liquor until the time that you left in order to carry out your instructions at the Ngema Tavern. Can you give us some sort of idea how long you were at the Khumalo's house on that occasion?

MR ZIMU: Ten to fifteen minutes if I'm not mistaken.

CHAIRPERSON: And when you went to the Ngema Tavern as you've explained, was it daylight or was it night time?

MR ZIMU: It was in the evening.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it dusk or was it sundown, was it night or could you see without artificial light, was it daylight?

MR ZIMU: It was still bright when they left the yard to Ngema because you could see the other person, it was still bright, the streetlights were not yet on at the time.

CHAIRPERSON: And at that time of the year I think we all know that it stays light until about half past seven, about then, seven to half past seven. Thank you, Ms van der Westhuizen?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you.

Mr Zimu, is it correct that you and Mr Thulani Mlaba were actually introduced to Mr Chamane there by either Mr Mondli or Mzwakhe Khumalo, would you confirm or deny that?

MR ZIMU: No, I do not agree with that.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Where have you met Mr Chamane for the first time?

MR ZIMU: Chamane used to frequent Khumalo's place, he used to be there almost all the time, he would be there. He was not the only person but I do not know the other people but there were a lot of people that you would find there. I did not see him for the first time on that particular day, I was not seeing him for the first time.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: If you say that he used to frequent Khumalo's house, would you see him there in the evening or during the day, can you remember at all?

MR ZIMU: Sometimes he would go to work and after that he would go to the hostel, from there he would go to Khumalo's place. At about 8 or 9 he would go back to the hostel.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Ms van der Westhuizen, if I could just ask a question?

You said that you didn't see him for the first time that day and he often frequented the Khumalo place but did you know him before that day to speak to? Did you know him as a person who you could have a discussion with?

MR ZIMU: Yes we used to talk, I was not seeing him for the first time there.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I just want to put it to you that Mr Chamane will testify that it's the very first time in his life that he spoke to you. He heard about you before but that is actually the very first time he spoke to you was on that specific day of the 22nd or that late afternoon of the 22nd of January?

MR ZIMU: I am saying he is mistaken.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now whilst you were standing outside the house of Khumalo, you were not standing in one big group. Were there people in loose groups standing talking to each other? Can you just try and create a picture for us please?

MR ZIMU: I do not know how to explain this. On that veranda you would see a group of eight people chatting, you would go and talk to the people that you know, people that you are used to discussing with, I am not sure if I am explaining this correctly, but there were people in groups there.

CHAIRPERSON: So there were just people that had gathered there, they had their own little groups, they weren't all sitting or in a row like the people in this hall now? They were just milling around chatting in groups?

MR ZIMU: Yes there were groups discussing or chatting.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you say that Mr Khumalo informed Patrick Mabusa to fetch firearms. Now when this happened where was Mr Khumalo? Was he inside the house when you spoke to Patrick Mabusa or did it happen outside the house?

MR ZIMU: When he told him we were standing with him. Patrick was not far from us, he just called him from a distance and he told him to bring the firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: The question was when Mr Khumalo told him to fetch the arms were you inside the house or were you outside the house?

MR ZIMU: We were outside the house, not inside the house.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Are you very sure that the firearms that were - or let me rephrase this, the 9 mm pistol that you mentioned, who was that given to, can you remember?

MR ZIMU: Yes I can remember that, that person who was in possession of that was Thulani Mlaba.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And are you sure this was not his own personal firearm that he was carrying?

MR ZIMU: Yes I am sure of that.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: You say that an AK47 was handed to Mr Chamane. Who handed this AK47 to Mr Chamane?

MR ZIMU: Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: When the firearms were fetched next door by Patrick Mabusa who was instructed to do so, was he carrying all these firearms by himself when he returned?

MR ZIMU: Yes he had all the firearms with him. The small one was somewhere in a pocket but the AKs were in his hands.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Were you given an AK47 yourself?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was given an AK47, one with 30 rounds of ammunition.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Ms van der Westhuizen, if I may just briefly intervene?

Was this dishing out of firearms done in full view of all the people that were milling around?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct. Let me explain this to you. These people were not afraid of anything, they were doing this in public and even if a person is shot at, that would be done in front of the other people, they were not scared of anything.

ADV BOSMAN: Ms van der Westhuizen, if I may just come in here?

Did you know how to use this AK?

MR ZIMU: That was my first time to touch that AK47 because even my father never gave me that weapon to go and shoot at people.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Ms van der Westhuizen, you may continue.

ADV SIGODI: I'm sorry, just on that point?

Could you use a firearm at all?

MR ZIMU: I used to have a small firearm just for safety sake in the township, I never used that firearm.

ADV SIGODI: Yes but could you use it?

MR ZIMU: Yes. As I got arrested I still had my application pending for my firearm.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Committee.

Mr Zimu, then the third AK47 that you mentioned. To whom was that third AK47 given to and by whom?

MR ZIMU: Will you please repeat the question ma'am?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Sure, I'll put it to you more lengthy. The third AK47, to who was that handed to?

MR ZIMU: There were three AK47 rifles, the other one was given to me and the other one to Thembakosi Buthelezi and the third one to Nicholas Chamane.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And was that also Mr Mbhekiseni who handed Buthelezi the AK47?

MR ZIMU: I do not understand, which Buthelezi now?

CHAIRPERSON: The one who got the AK47, you said three people got AK47s, Tamani, yourself and Buthelezi. Now the question was did Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo also give the AK47 to Buthelezi?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct, that is Mbhekiseni who Thembakosi Buthelezi the AK47.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Regarding the AK47 that Mr Chamane had on that night, I wish to put it to you that Mr Chamane will testify that he was not given that AK47 by Mr Mbhekiseni but that it was his own AK47 which he kept at the hostel. Do you have any comment on that?

MR ZIMU: That AK was different from the others. I was not seeing it for the first time as it was given to him. Tami Malindisa would use that AK47 sometimes, that wouldn't be found in the hostel but it was staying next to Khumalo's house, next door Khumalo's house. Sometimes with Khumalo or Mzwakhe. A lot of people would use that AK47, it was not in the hostel.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And Mr Chamane would further testify that Induna uMkhonto is a person who went to the hostel, fetched the AK47 and brought it back to Khumalo's house and handed it over to him there?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you deny that or agree with that, that's all you've got to do?

MR ZIMU: I dispute that, the AK47 would be kept at the next door neighbour, even the police when they came they found those AK47s there, those that were used in that Ngema incident. The AK that was not found was the one that did not have a spring and when I asked or when I enquired about that I was told that it has gone for repairs.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Zimu, how do you know all this, how do you know it was these AK47s were kept at the next door neighbours? How come you have this knowledge?

MR ZIMU: I know because every day in the evening or afternoon when Tamani comes he would go to the next door house and get that firearm and stay with it and then if he goes to the hostel he would take it back to that house and they would take it to the kombi if they were going somewhere. Then he would bring it back to that house. Even the owner of that house can attest to that.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Do you know the owner of the house?

MR ZIMU: You mean the next door? I know the mother and the children, the boys and girls.

CHAIRPERSON: Whose house was it?

MR ZIMU: I just forget the surname but there is a gentleman there by the name of Kobano, that was his home, I do not know the surname I only know that that was Kobano's home.

ADV BOSMAN: Was he an IFP official or something, do you know?

MR ZIMU: You mean the mother, the owner of the house?

ADV BOSMAN: The owner of the house, yes.

MR ZIMU: She was nothing in the IFP.

ADV BOSMAN: Okay, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms van der Westhuizen?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

Now Mr Zimu, when you left the house of Khumalo from your evidence I understand that you went directly to Ngema Section, do I understand it correctly or I just want to clarify, did you go, walk straight from Khumalo's house to Ngema Section?

MR ZIMU: We did not go straight to Ngema Section, we started at Bashini's home, Bashini Sambo who was residing at Talla Section, that is when we had time to check the bullets and the firearms that they were in the right position. As I did not have much knowledge of the AK47, Nicholas Chamane is the home who told me as to how to operate the AK47 and from there we left..

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I just want to put it to you that Mr Chamane agrees as far as your evidence is that he is the one who taught you to operate that AK47 and that that happened at Bashini's house, he is in agreement with you as far as that is concerned.

Now who was actually - you were four men walking together, can you tell us who actually knew the address you were going to, who was in charge of your group if there was anybody who was in charge of your group?

MR ZIMU: The people who knew the address there and the other places, I think it was Thulani Mlaba and Mbhekiseni Khumalo and Mpigilele because all day long they had been driving in a Mercedes Benz telling Thulani the houses that he should point out. I think those are the people who knew the place.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no I think the question what Ms van der Westhuizen is trying to get from you is when you were actually going to the Ngema Tavern there were four of you, who was if anybody, who was in charge of that group of four, who would you say was the commander if such a word may be used or were you just all equals, no one in charge?

MR ZIMU: The person who looked like my commander to me was Mbhekiseni Khumalo because he's the one who issued the instruction.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no but I'm talking about the four of you who went to carry out the attack. There was Chamane, there were Thembakosi, Buthelezi, there was yourself and there was Thulani Mlaba. Who took control, if anybody, of those four when you went out of the Khumalo's house, there were just the four of you? Was anybody the leader of those four or not, if not just say so?

MR ZIMU: The person that I regarded as a commander, as a person who was pointing out a place, was Thulani Mlaba.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Mr Zimu. Is it correct that Mr Thulani Mlaba who knew where you were going to in Ngema Section?

MR ZIMU: Yes, that is true, that is the one who knew the place very well because I just got there for the very first time. Yes I used to go to Ngema Section but I did not know the house, I just got in the house for the very first time.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you say that you did not know how to operate an AK47. Why did you not tell Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo that you cannot operate this weapon when he handed it over to you?

MR ZIMU: I did mention that but he just ignored me, he gave me the firearm and I realised that if I talked much it's not a good thing because I know those people because if I keep on asking questions or talking too much I would find myself in a difficult situation.

ADV SIGODI: What do you mean you knew them, what kind of people were they?

MR ZIMU: Those were the people who wouldn't laugh. If they gave you an instruction you must just do it as they say quickly. If you try and argue with them tomorrow you might die or something might happen to you.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you, Mr Zimu. Can you give any indication at what time you left Bashini's house for Ngema Section if you can remember at all, was it already dark, can you give us an estimation?

MR ZIMU: It was becoming dark when we left Bashini's home.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: How long did you walk from Bashini's to Ngema Section to this specific house, can you estimate?

MR ZIMU: It was not a long distance from Bashini's place to Ngema. I think I might estimate the distance to be from here to the shops, I think there are some shops just on the other side of the hall.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, those shops are about 250 metres away? I don't know, it's just a rough estimate but taking a look I think it's close by, it's if you are walking it would take a short while to walk there. Approximately 250 metres.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I'm in agreement, I'm indebted to you Mr Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: May I please just interpose here please Ms van der Westhuizen?

Mr Zimu, Bashini's house was that in an IFP stronghold?

Was it IFP area?

MR ZIMU: No, it is in an ANC area.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms van der Westhuizen, when it gets to a convenient point in your questioning, we'll take the lunch adjournment. I'm not saying we'll take it now but when it's convenient for you.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Chairperson, that will actually be a convenient time since I'm going to move on to what actually happened at the house.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll now take the lunch adjournment. If we could start again at quarter to two, would that be convenient? We'll take the lunch adjournment till quarter to two, thank you.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Ms van der Westhuizen, you may continue.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: (continues) thank you Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee. It seems like we're still waiting for Mr Zimu.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Zimu, I'll just remind you that you're still under your former oath?

THEMBA STEVEN ZIMU: (s.u.o.) Yes.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you. Mr Zimu, when you left Mr Bashini's house were you still the same four persons who left Khumalo's house? Were you still the same people who went on your way to this house in Ngema?

MR ZIMU: Yes there were still the four of us.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now if I understand your evidence correctly, at the house you went to a garage where you asked people whether they had firearms. Were you alone?

MR ZIMU: I did no go into the garage, we stood at the door but I'm the one who enquired as to whether they were in possession of any firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: Just before you proceed, Mr Zimu, this garage was that part of the premises of the house that you later entered into?

MR ZIMU: The garage is not attached to the house, it's a garage but it doesn't have this garage door, it has this ordinary house door.

CHAIRPERSON: So it's a garage that's been converted into a room for purposes of being used as a tavern?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And could you just give an approximation as when you stood in the door and spoke to the people, approximately how many people were in the garage at the time? What would your guess be?

MR ZIMU: There were many people in the garage, more than twenty I think and the distance from the door in - well should I say from the garage to the house it's approximately from where I am sitting to the judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that's approximately seven paces.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Zimu, you say that you were standing in the door of the garage. Who was with you, which of the four people who accompanied you was actually standing there with you? Can you remember at all?

MR ZIMU: It was Nicholas Chamane, Thulani Mlaba, Thembakosi Buthelezi as well as myself.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And is it correct that Thulani Mlaba and Mr Nicholas Chamane went on their own, they proceeded to another room and you went to the four roomed house, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: I left them at the garage door and went into the four roomed house.

CHAIRPERSON: Now when you left them, do you know where the other's went or what the others did?

MR ZIMU: I learnt later on that they did not leave that spot they started firing shots.

CHAIRPERSON: We just want to know what you saw with your own eyes at that stage. You didn't see where they went or what they did, you just went into the house?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: May I just enquire, why did you go to the house, was it part of the tavern or what was the position?

MR ZIMU: The garage as well as the house itself belonged to one person. They are on one premises so when I went into the house the intention was to look for some of the people that had been targeted.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Ms van der Westhuizen, you may continue.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Member.

Mr Zimu, did you see there what Mr Buthelezi did there at the house?

MR ZIMU: No I did not.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And if I understand you evidence correctly, you said after you finished or after you left this house in Ngema Section you went back to Bashini's house, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: You see Mr Chamane here differs from you. He would testify and say that you went straight back to the Katuza Hostel. Do you have any comment to make on that?

MR ZIMU: Yes, before we went to the hostel we via'd Bashini's place, that was before we went to Mafulela's place at the hostel.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: On your way to, on your version, to Mr Bashini's house, or the hostel, were you fired upon at all?

MR ZIMU: We did not go to Bashini's place, we left Bashini's place on the way to Thokoza, that is when we heard gunshots, we didn't know the origin of these gunshots.

CHAIRPERSON: But were you fired upon, I mean - or did you just hear gunshots in the distance?

MR ZIMU: Shortly after leaving Bashini's place we walked a short distance and then we heard gunshots. We didn't know where these gunshots were coming from so we tried to flee on our way to Thokoza.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now there's also, Mr Chamane also differs from you in as far as you say that there was a hit list that Mr Khumalo produced before you left his house and read some names from it. Mr Chamane denies that he ever seen such a hit list or heard names read from it. Do you have any comment on that?

MR ZIMU: Yes, I would like to ask a question. If he says so, if he says only one instruction or should I say if he says so, does that mean that only one instruction pertaining to Ngema Section was issued?

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: I'm asking you, was Mr Chamane with you when names were read off a hit list?

MR ZIMU: Yes he was present.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Well I want to put it to you that he will deny that.

MR ZIMU: If he denies that he would be telling a lie.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Chamane will also further testify that you initially set off to go and spy out these places but that it happened that you started to attack this tavern but you didn't set off knowing that you're going to attack that tavern. Do you have any comment to make upon that?

MR ZIMU: If we went out on an inspection initially, we would not have taken some firearms along. We had vehicles, an inspection on these targeted places had already been conducted and our mission was to go there and start shooting.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Chairperson, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Westhuizen. Mr Swanepoel, do you have any questions that you would like to put to the applicant?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Zimu, let me just get clarity. As far as the Ngema Tavern massacre is concerned, you were convicted of one count of robbery and five counts of murder in respect of that particular incident, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: And further you were convicted of - if you could just bear with me a moment, Mr Chairperson? Seven counts of attempted murder in that regard or six counts of attempted murder, I'm sorry?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright. Now if I understand your evidence correctly as far as that incident is concerned, you did not shoot anybody, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: And I furthermore - do I understand your evidence correctly that not only did you not physically shoot anybody but you also did not shoot at anybody, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: So in respect of the charges of murder and attempted murder that you were convicted, you are not applying for amnesty, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Which offences are you referring to?

CHAIRPERSON: I think he says on his application form that he is applying for murder and attempted murder, page 55.

MR SWANEPOEL: Yes can I just ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no you can ask him.

MR SWANEPOEL: He doesn't give any evidence of murders committed or attempted murders committed at that incident?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but we also know about common purpose and other such doctrines that have applications in the criminal court.

MR SWANEPOEL: Do I understand your evidence correctly to be that you did not kill or attempt to kill anybody at the Ngema Tavern massacre?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you proceed Mr Swanepoel.

You mentioned that Priscilla took some money out and gave it to you. How much money did you get?

MR ZIMU: On counting the money, myself and Khumalo, we counted it to R150.

CHAIRPERSON: Now the robbery charge in respect of which you were convicted, was the subject matter of that robbery charge a R150?

MR ZIMU: There was a lot of discrepancy in court because Priscilla said R150 and later on she spoke about R180.

CHAIRPERSON: But it was in respect of that money that you took from Priscilla, was that the robber charge whatever the amount was?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Swanepoel?

MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

As far as the Ngema Tavern massacre is concerned, do I understand your evidence correctly that you received instructions from the Khumalos and Mr Mlaba, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Did you receive instructions from anybody else in that regard?

MR ZIMU: Are you referring to this one particular incident or other incidents?

MR SWANEPOEL: Just the Ngema incident, the Ngema Tavern incident.

MR ZIMU: Yes, one person who sent us out there was Khumalo and Mlaba.

CHAIRPERSON: When you talk about Mlaba, I think if you could refer to him, if you're not referring to Thulani, refer to him as Mafulela?

MR ZIMU: Okay.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, so you received instructions from the Khumalos?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Thulani?

MR ZIMU: Thulani was the one person who was to direct us to Ngema Section.

MR SWANEPOEL: Yes and who else?

MR ZIMU: It was only Thulani who was supposed to accompany us to the place at Ngema Section.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright. Now you mentioned in your evidence in chief that you have no knowledge of the organisational structures of the Inkatha Freedom Party at the time, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Does that mean that you did not know how a branch was made up or who the leadership of a particular branch was?

MR ZIMU: Yes I would say that but I knew that the higher echelon of the IFP were people known to myself.

MR SWANEPOEL: How did you know that?

MR ZIMU: I had stayed at Palua Section for some time, I had come to know these people. Mafulela Mlaba would also inform me as to who was holding what big position or high position within the IFP.

MR SWANEPOEL: Now from your personal knowledge, who was the Chairperson of the local branch in the section where you stayed at the time?

MR ZIMU: Thabani Dlamini if I'm not mistaken.

MR SWANEPOEL: And who was the leader of the youth league in the section where you were staying at the time?

MR ZIMU: As I have explained to the Commission earlier on that I had not yet had a full grasp of who was exactly occupying what position. I would only gather bits and pieces of information as to who was occupying what position. I didn't have a full grasp of the situation in terms of positions because I had just come out of jail.

MR SWANEPOEL: So would you agree with me that from your personal knowledge you did not know who the leadership of the IFP in that part of Thokoza was at the time?

MR ZIMU: Only people that I knew were the ones that I have just referred to. Thabang, Dlamini, Mzizi, Mlaba and the others but I did not know the rest.

CHAIRPERSON: You don't know what office they held within the party if any office at all, whether they were the local branch leaders, who was the local branch leader, who was the secretary, who was the youth leader, that sort of thing? Who was on the executive committee of the local branch, you don't know that or do you?

MR ZIMU: Yes I did not know all of that.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, do you know what the policies of the IFP were?

MR ZIMU: No, I did not.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Swanepoel?

MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Now as far as Sam Ntuli's killing was concerned, what was the exact date on which Sam Ntuli died?

MR ZIMU: I heard it was in September in 1991 if I'm not mistaken. I learnt that it was in 1991.

MR SWANEPOEL: And you say at the time you were in jail, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: When were you arrested?

MR ZIMU: In 1991.

MR SWANEPOEL: Can you remember approximately what month, what date?

MR ZIMU: I cannot recall but yes it was in 1991.

MR SWANEPOEL: Would you agree with me that it was during August 1991?

MR ZIMU: In August it was the time when I was sentenced. I cannot recall when I went into the trial process, I was only sentenced in August.

MR SWANEPOEL: What were you arrested for?

MR ZIMU: I was convicted for transporting people in a kombi, people who had been involved in a hijacking incident.

MR SWANEPOEL: And how long were you in jail?

MR ZIMU: I was sentenced in August and released in 1992 in August. I spent twelve months in prison.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright. Now you gave evidence to the effect that you were instructed to go and steal cars for the purpose of being used in Sam Ntuli's murder, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

INTERPRETER: Chairperson, may the question please be repeated?

CHAIRPERSON: Please repeat the question the translators asked for it to be repeated, it didn't come through clearly?

MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson. You gave instructions or evidence to the effect that you received instructions to steal cars to be used in the murder of Sam Ntuli, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that you did indeed steal two cars for that purpose, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Were you alone when you stole those cars?

MR ZIMU: Yes I was alone.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright and can you remember when those cars were stolen?

MR ZIMU: It was 1990 even though I cannot recall the month.

MR SWANEPOEL: So would I be correct in saying that that was sometime before Sam Ntuli died, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Would you say less than six months or more than six months?

MR ZIMU: I think it was less than six months.

MR SWANEPOEL: Now you gave evidence in a Section 29 enquiry before the Commission previously, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: And are you aware that Mr Mlaba gave evidence in that enquiry as well?

CHAIRPERSON: We're talking about Thulani now?

MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairperson.

MR ZIMU: Yes I do have that knowledge.

MR SWANEPOEL: Now - Chairperson, I'm referring to page 136 of the record of those enquiries.

CHAIRPERSON: It's bundle 2. We'll call this thicker of the two bundles, bundle 2 or Volume 2. Volume 1 will be the thinner one. Page?

MR SWANEPOEL: As you please Mr Chairperson, page 136 of the record.

Now at that page Ms Zeelie who lead the evidence in that enquiry asked Thulani about a meeting where Mr Ntuli's murder was planned and then the question three quarters down the page was:

"Was it immediately after this meeting that you and Mr Zimu went to steal two cars?"

And Mr Mlaba answered:

"Yes that is correct."

What is your comment on that?

MR ZIMU: No, I did not go with Thulani Mlaba, I went alone.

MR SWANEPOEL: And at the time that Mr Ntuli was killed, you said that you were in jail, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct?

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, now on page 149 ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Looking at the typed page 149 or the one that's written in marker pen?

MR SWANEPOEL: Sorry Chair, the paginated page 150.

Mr Mlaba was asked questions about what he did on the day that Sam Ntuli was murdered and the question asked to him at that stage was:

"You also said here that you remained behind? Who else.." ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, it's about halfway down the page for people who wanted to know, on page 149 of the typed 149, 150 of volume 2.

MR SWANEPOEL: As you please Mr Chairperson.

"I'm talking about people here who were in your gang. People who specialised in operations. Who else remained behind with you?"

And Mr Mlaba answered:

"Themba Zimu was also not involved, I think it was Themba and myself only."

What do you say to that?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct. I was not involved in his murder but I was involved in the stealing of the vehicles.

MR SWANEPOEL: Well Mr Zimu, Mr Mlaba says that on the day of the murder you remained behind with him and that you stole the vehicles with him while you say you were in jail. How do you explain that?

MR ZIMU: I do not agree with him, he made a mistake in his statement.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, now the meeting you mentioned at which the death of Sam Ntuli was planned, was Mr Mlaba present?

MR ZIMU: Yes he was present.

MR SWANEPOEL: And when exactly was that meeting?

MR ZIMU: No, I cannot recall but it was around 1990 if I'm not mistaken.

MR SWANEPOEL: Did you attend a meeting shortly between Sam Ntuli when Mr Mlaba was present?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR SWANEPOEL: So you attended more than one meeting when Sam Ntuli's death was planned, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: How many meetings did you attend?

MR ZIMU: I think there could have been two or three.

MR SWANEPOEL: Were all these meetings held before you were arrested?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Right, now the first of those meetings where was that?

MR ZIMU: At Thembisa in Mbhekiseni Khumalos place at Mdagane Street.

MR SWANEPOEL: And the second of those meetings?

MR ZIMU: If I'm not mistaken it was at Mrs Mzizi's place at the Khumalo Street, that is if I'm not mistaken. The third one was at the hostel if I'm not mistaken.

MR SWANEPOEL: And this was all during 1990, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Now the Mzizi house, could you explain to the Committee how it looks on the inside?

MR ZIMU: I'm not in the position to describe it but it has a face brick wall, it's a house, I don't know how to describe it.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that you went there for a meeting, what can you recall?

MR ZIMU: We went into the dining room where we sat. There were couches in the dining room or in the sitting room, rather.

MR SWANEPOEL: Let me ask you this, did you go in through the front or through the back door of the house?

MR ZIMU: We entered through the kitchen door.

MR SWANEPOEL: And how many rooms does the house have that you saw?

MR ZIMU: I don't want to tell a lie, I have no knowledge of the number of rooms it has.

MR SWANEPOEL: And from the kitchen could you see the lounge?

MR ZIMU: No you cannot see the lounge, there's this partition that is separating the lounge and the kitchen so that you cannot see the kitchen.

MR SWANEPOEL: And did you have to go through a door from the kitchen to the lounge?

MR ZIMU: Will you please repeat the question?

MR SWANEPOEL: Did you have to go through a door from the kitchen to the lounge?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, exactly when was Vusi Jabalala killed?

MR ZIMU: In 1993.

MR SWANEPOEL: Which month?

MR ZIMU: It could have been January if I'm not mistaken.

MR SWANEPOEL: Was it not during October 1992?

MR ZIMU: I'm not quite clear of the dates, I cannot remember them very well.

MR SWANEPOEL: Well you were released from prison in August 1992 is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: How long after you were released from prison approximately was Vusi Jabalala killed?

MR ZIMU: It had not been long after I had been released.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, now how many meetings did you attend where his death was discussed?

MR ZIMU: Two meetings.

MR SWANEPOEL: And where were those meetings?

MR ZIMU: At Mzizi's house and at Mbhekiseni Khumalo's house.

MR SWANEPOEL: What was the address of the Mzizi's house?

MR ZIMU: No, I just know the house.

MR SWANEPOEL: Well in which street was it?

MR ZIMU: Khumalo Street next to Mlala's house.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, now could you recall when you entered the house for that meeting did it look the same as the last time when you were there?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR SWANEPOEL: Through the course of this hearing evidence will be presented to the effect that the lounge of the Mzizi's are clearly visible from the kitchen by virtue of the fact that they have an open plan kitchen. What do you say to that?

MR ZIMU: I think that was my mistake because there's just a short partition if you're at the kitchen, I did not understand whether it was a kitchen or a dining room but there was an incomplete wall.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that there is no door that you walk through from the kitchen to the lounge?

MR ZIMU: When did that person say that because it's so easy to change the appearance of the house, you can change your mind tomorrow and do something else with your house. When did that particular person see that difference?

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright. Now are you aware of what happened with the cars that you stole between the time that you stole them in 1990 and the time that Mr Ntuli was killed in 1991?

MR ZIMU: Yes the person who told me that a Cressida was burnt, the one that was used in the shooting of Mr Sam Ntuli, Nicholas Chamane told me so.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright. Were you aware of the fact that there was an eye witness to Mr Ntuli's shooting?

MR ZIMU: No, I did not know that.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that according to that eye witness there was no Cressida on the scene of Mr Ntuli's shooting on the day that he was shot?

MR ZIMU: I cannot dispute that because I was not there.

MR SWANEPOEL: So I ask you again, from your personal knowledge do you know what happened with the vehicles that you stole from the time that you stole them in 1990 to 1991 when Mr Ntuli was killed?

MR ZIMU: The car that I know that was burnt down was a Cressida. I saw the van, the Toyota Hilux with the YBX registration number.

MR SWANEPOEL: Where did you see that?

MR ZIMU: It was used by Mpigilele, they were staying at Katuza Hostel.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, so the one vehicle was used by one of the Khumalos and the other was burnt out, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: From your personal knowledge do you know what the vehicle was used for?

MR ZIMU: What I heard from Nicholas Chamane is that it was involved in the killing of Sam Ntuli, I did not ask him anything besides that and I didn't even know who the driver was.

MR SWANEPOEL: From your personal knowledge do you know of anybody else that used the vehicles other than the Khumalos?

MR ZIMU: Yes another person who was using the car before the shooting of Sam Ntuli was Mafalela Mlaba.

MR SWANEPOEL: How do you know that?

MR ZIMU: The car that was stolen at Pick 'n Pay Alberton had money and cheque books inside and sometimes they would go and defraud with those cheques.

MR SWANEPOEL: Who specifically gave you the instruction to kill Vusi Shabalala or to help in the killing of Vusi Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: It was Obed Gadebe and Mafulela Mlaba.

MR SWANEPOEL: Did anybody else give you an instruction as far as Vusi Shabalala was concerned?

MR ZIMU: No other person.

MR SWANEPOEL: Where were these instructions conveyed to you?

MR ZIMU: We were at Mbhekiseni's house at Ntagana.

MR SWANEPOEL: Who all was present?

MR ZIMU: There was Mpigilele Khumalo, Mzwakhe Khumalo, Mbhekiseni Khumalo, Obed Gadebe, Mafulela Mlaba, Gertrude Mzizi and Mr Mzizi.

MR SWANEPOEL: What time of the day was that?

MR ZIMU: It was during the day though I did not take note of the time.

MR SWANEPOEL: The day after those instructions were given to you, can you remember what you did?

MR ZIMU: No I cannot remember.

MR SWANEPOEL: And the day before those instructions were given to you, what did you do then?

MR ZIMU: I was just told that Vusi would be at the town council offices in Thokoza and he would go there after being called by Lucas - by Mr Gadebe and I must just go there and fetch him. All I know is that I had to go and fetch him there at the taxi rank and I left him at Buthelezi. I cannot remember anything that happened thereafter.

MR SWANEPOEL: On the day before those instructions were given to you what did you do?

MR ZIMU: I was doing a lot of things I cannot remember specifically.

MR SWANEPOEL: On what date were those instructions given to you?

MR ZIMU: I cannot remember the date.

MR SWANEPOEL: When you were sent out to find Sam Ntuli at a place where he frequented, when was that?

MR ZIMU: The date or year?

MR SWANEPOEL: The date.

MR ZIMU: No I cannot remember the date, that happened some time ago.

MR SWANEPOEL: And in what year was it?

MR ZIMU: It was in 1990.

MR SWANEPOEL: Do I understand your evidence to be that your total involvement with the killing of Sam Ntuli was more than nine months before he was in fact killed?

MR ZIMU: That is possible though I cannot remember.

MR SWANEPOEL: Where did you grow up?

MR ZIMU: At Thokoza at 128 Masibuko Street.

MR SWANEPOEL: And when did you first get to know the Mzizis?

MR ZIMU: Some time ago when I was growing up I used to know Mr Mzizi and even during this case that I was involved in, I have been to the offices of the attorneys where Mr Mzizi was working, he's the one who is doing the interpretation or translation as to how to do the statement for me.

MR SWANEPOEL: So would you say you know the Mzizis well and that they were prominent members of the community?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Are you aware of any attacks on their home during 1990 and 1991?

MR ZIMU: What I heard is that the house was nearly attacked but it was not attacked.

MR SWANEPOEL: When you went to the house for the meetings you alleged, did you notice any bullet holes in the walls?

MR ZIMU: Are you talking about the old house of Mr Mzizi or the one that is new, the one that he stays in, in Khumalo Street? Which one are you referring to?

CHAIRPERSON: Any one.

MR ZIMU: No, I never noticed any holes on the wall.

MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

I specifically also refer to the house where you attended meetings?

MR ZIMU: No, I do not remember seeing the bullet holes because it was not easy to shoot at that house because it was situated right in front of the hostels.

MR SWANEPOEL: If it becomes necessary, Mr and Mrs Mzizi will give evidence to the effect that you never attended a meeting in their house?

MR ZIMU: They would be making a mistake.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that they will further give evidence to the effect that if you did attend a meeting in their house you would have noticed things like there was no door between the kitchen and the lounge and bullet holes in the walls?

MR ZIMU: I do not dispute that as I'm saying there is a half wall just between the lounge and the kitchen door, I am not sure, I'm not so sure that that was a partition.

MR SWANEPOEL: If necessary, they will give evidence to the effect that the leadership of Inkatha at the time were not involved in any of the incidents mentioned by you today?

MR ZIMU: As far as I'm concerned they are implicated, all they should do is to ask for apology from the community instead of going on denying.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that any crime that was committed by yourself and or the Khumalos or any other applicant here today had nothing to do with the leadership structure of the Inkatha Freedom Party as it stood then?

MR ZIMU: As far as I'm concerned there was no crime in the township. Khumalo wouldn't do anything without getting an instruction from Mr and Mrs Mzizi. Mr Mzizi would come to Khumalo's place and discuss with the others and their cars would be parked next to Mzizi's house and after that a person would be killed. How can they say that they are not implicated in this?

MR SWANEPOEL: And the evidence if necessary will furthermore be that the Mzizis moved to their house in Khumalo Street during May 1991 and did not live there during 1990 when you alleged that you attended meetings there, what do you say to that?

MR ZIMU: I just want to ask this question, which house are you referring to because Mr Mzizi and Mrs Mzizi left Kumala Banji to stay there. Which house are you referring to, is it the one at Kumala Banji or the one at Khumalo Street?

MR SWANEPOEL: Yes, your evidence was that you attended meetings in the house in Khumalo Street, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: And that these meetings were held during 1990, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR SWANEPOEL: Now if necessary the evidence will be that they moved to that house in May 1991 and they did in fact not stay there during 1990, what do you say to that?

MR ZIMU: I dispute that.

MR SWANEPOEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SWANEPOEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Swanepoel. Mr Motloung, do you have any questions you would like to ask?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOTLOUNG: Yes I do, Mr Chair.

Mr Zimu, just for basics do I understand your evidence correctly that the detail of what happened on the incidents that you have referred to might be escaping you but the one thing that you can say without doubt is that you were involved in the four incidents you have referred to?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: And you are saying that you never regarded yourself as an IFP member, correct?

MR ZIMU: I regarded myself as a follower of IFP. In that section where I used to stay at Penduka people were forced to follow Mr Mzizi and Mrs Mzizi, they were in control of the place, if you were against it you had to pack your things and go and immediately you leave your house they would come and destroy the house.

MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Zimu, I'm not sure if I understand you well but are you consciously making a distinction between being a supporter and being a member?

MR ZIMU: I was just telling myself as a person who was staying there I was also an IFP person.

CHAIRPERSON: I think he might even be making a distinction between being a supporter and a follower. The impression I get, I think it's quite clear and he can correct me if I'm wrong is that he was not a member in that he wasn't a card carrying member, he hadn't signed up but that he was a follower of the IFP due to the circumstances in which he found himself mainly because he lived in a particular area and came under the influence of certain people in that area.

MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Just to step off that point, Mr Zimu, no matter how we call it, the point you're making is that you never belonged to any formal IFP structure, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Now talking about Mr Khumalo, if one refers to the Ngema massacre ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You'd be talking about the father, is it? Mbhekiseni?

MR MOTLOUNG: That is correct, Mr Chairperson. Now I was saying if one refers to the Ngema massacre or the Ngema shooting, the first impression that I get is that that was a revenge attack. Apparently in retaliation of the killing of Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo's wife, is that impression correct?

MR ZIMU: That is not true because a lot of people were mentioned on that particular day belonging to the ANC, people who were staying there in that area and the other one was in Natalspruit, I do not think that was an action that was revenge.

MR MOTLOUNG: What was this all about?

MR ZIMU: As far as I'm concerned the commander just wanted the ANC people to be killed even if the one was not implicated on anything as long as the particular person belongs to ANC that person was supposed to be killed.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Motloung's getting to, did you get the feeling at all that he wanted those people killed because of the recent death of his wife?

MR ZIMU: No, I did not see it that way, I disagree with that because Khumalo is the one who issued the instruction that his wife, his own wife should be killed. He is the person who issued an instruction that his wife should be killed.

MR MOTLOUNG: Okay, I'll leave it at that for now. But apparently in the list amongst the people mentioned in the list, the hit list you have referred to, there was someone that was a bottle store owner, correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct, that the owner of the bottle store was Tami but I cannot remember his surname. He was residing at Pumalongashi.

MR MOTLOUNG: And there was also a garage owner, correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct, that was Nkosane, he was working at Fedgas and Mabulani Mbisa's son-in-law, Nkabela and Toto, those are the people who were supposed to be killed and Mr Mtlala was owning a supermarket at Mdanda Street was one of them.

MR MOTLOUNG: Now Mr Mtlala apparently, according to your evidence, at some point used to be an ANC member. But what about Tami Nkosana, why were they on the hit list according to your understanding?

MR ZIMU: I think they were included because they were ANC members. The ANC members were not supposed to own anything whereas the IFP members where there at Penduka Section.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry what, just to follow that up, what businesses did Mr Khumalo have? Mbhekiseni Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: He had a tuck shop and some taxis.

ADV SIGODI: That is all?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR MOTLOUNG: And did you say that Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo was complaining amongst others that because of Sam Ntuli their businesses had slowed down or had come to a halt, I'm not sure how to put it?

MR ZIMU: Yes that's what he said.

MR MOTLOUNG: Was it then your understanding that if Sam Ntuli was to be killed, Mr Mbhekiseni Khumalo intended that his businesses must start flourishing again?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Now this Mtlala Supermarket, was it in Penduka, in the Penduka Section in Thokoza?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR MOTLOUNG: And if I understood your evidence correctly and please correct me as I go along, you wouldn't dare stay in Penduka Section which turned out to be and IFP stronghold unless you were an IFP member and/or supporter, and/or follower, isn't it?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Do I then understand you correctly that you didn't dare walk around that supermarket unless you were an IFP supporter?

MR ZIMU: Will you please repeat that question, Sir?

MR MOTLOUNG: Okay.

CHAIRPERSON: You said that the area where the supermarket was, was an IFP area, you said that?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and because of that the people there who would be going to that supermarket would be IFP people, that is what the question was.

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Now Mr Zimu, I then put it to you that on that particular day that you people set out to conduct the shooting, this Matlala Supermarket, I want to suggest that on the face of it you people killed IFP supporters, what do you say to that?

MR ZIMU: I realised that after the incident when we went there for a second time and we realised that people who were shot there were Mondli and the others and I realised that those were the IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Motloung. How would it come about, how would it occur that an ANC person would own a supermarket in an IFP area?

MR ZIMU: Mbhekiseni Khumalo and Mpigilele said that Mr Matlala was an ANC member therefore it was not right for him to own a business there and the people who were buying in his shop were the IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: So am I correct in when you say that Mr Matlala was an ANC person your knowledge comes from what Mr Khumalo said about him? You don't have personal knowledge about his political affiliations?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

ADV SIGODI: And just on that point, how long had Mr Matlala owned this supermarket?

MR ZIMU: It had been some years, four years if I'm not mistaken though I cannot remember well but that was more than three years.

ADV SIGODI: And at the time that he owned it was there already friction between the IFP and ANC then in Thokoza?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

ADV SIGODI: Do you know where he stayed personally, his house?

MR ZIMU: Mr Matlala?

ADV SIGODI: Yes.

MR ZIMU: He was residing at Natalspruit.

ADV SIGODI: So he went to buy a supermarket at Penduka in an IFP stronghold when he was an ANC person knowing fully well that it was an IFP area?

MR ZIMU: That also came as a shock to me when Mr Khumalo told me that Mr Matlala was an ANC member therefore he cannot run a business in the area. I just got that information on that particular day that Mr Matlala was an ANC member.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Motloung.

MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Zimu, I want to suggest to you that what was actually happening was that Mr Khumalo and you people, yourselves wittingly or unwittingly actually just wanted to wipe out this supermarket because it posed competition to Mr Khumalo's Spaza shop?

MR ZIMU: I do not know anything about that.

MR MOTLOUNG: Because the problem was, Mr Matlala, are you able even in hindsight today to explain why would it then be necessary to attack just the people who would normally be expected to be IFP supporters in that area and not Mr Matlala himself?

MR ZIMU: Yes. He realised after the shooting that the IFP members were shot at and that did not end there and the people thought that the people who had attacked the place, they said those were the people who were from Polla Park. Even Tamani and the others, they went to Polla Park, I don't know what is it that they did when they got there.

MR MOTLOUNG: And as far as you were concerned yourself personally you knew that people were going to die there, isn't it?

MR ZIMU: Yes I knew.

MR MOTLOUNG: And is it correct that you didn't care how many people were killed and who were there, as to their identity you didn't care, isn't it?

MR ZIMU: It was very difficult for me because I had no say, I had to do as I was told, that is all, I couldn't disagree with them on anything.

MR MOTLOUNG: Okay and talking about Mr Khumalo, Mbhekiseni Khumalo and the other people that you consistently mention like Mr Mpigilele including up to Mr Mzizi and Gertrude the wife, did I understand your evidence correctly that you didn't know what positions they assumed within the IFP hierarchy?

MR ZIMU: I do not want to lie, I did not know anything, I just knew them as people in the higher levels of the hierarchy but I did not know anything about their leadership roles.

MR MOTLOUNG: And to put it differently, you didn't know whether for starters they had any cause to give instructions according to the IFP policies and/or rules, whatever you may call it, give orders for people to be killed? You didn't know that, isn't it?

MR ZIMU: I knew that they had some powers to issue instructions to kill people. If they say go and kill such a person you should go there and kill that person and that would end just there.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what's being put to you by Mr Motloung is that you assumed that they had power to give instructions because they did in fact give instructions but you don't know whether or not they in fact had that authority to give such instructions because you didn't know exactly what positions they held within the hierarchy of the party in that area or in any other area?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Now that you have been told that the IFP leadership and the IFP as a structure or as a party, denies any involvement in the incidents that you have referred to, what would be your comment if any?

MR ZIMU: I would explain it as follows. They came to me on several occasions in prison where I'm serving my sentence. I'm referring here to Mr Mzizi and others such as David Mkulu who come from the township. Mr Mzizi said we should not fill in these application forms ourselves they will help us do that and they asked us what happened and we explained that Mr Khumalo had sent us to go and shoot people and he said we should not say that and that is when we started to differ.

MR MOTLOUNG: Okay, I don't think I can take that point any further. Mr Zimu, is it possible that there are other crimes that you committed around the relevant periods before you went to prison and afterwards that you might have forgotten about or that may well be escaping your memory?

MR ZIMU: I used to be involved in stealing of vehicles and they stopped me saying that I should not bring stolen vehicles because I'm inviting the police and they said I should stop it because they were working together with the police. That is when I stopped bringing in stolen vehicles. Those are some of the offences in which I was involved.

MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Zimu, is it not that and please correct me if I'm using wrong words, is it not that you people were generally on rampage and you didn't keep a register and/or record of the acts that you were busy committing? Is that understanding correct?

MR ZIMU: I cannot recall being involved in a random attack. They only started realising or noticing some of the things when I came back from prison, I realised that things had become tense.

MR MOTLOUNG: Coming to the case of the killing of Mr Sam Ntuli, your application form unless I'm making a mistake does not seem to include this incident that it's one of those for which you're applying for amnesty?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct. I did explain in length to the investigating officers, I indicated to them that I was not involved in the case, I'm simply assisting the TRC for them to gather information pertaining to the death of Sam Ntuli.

MR MOTLOUNG: No, I think in all fairness to you it seems to me you are saying that your understanding was that because you were not involved in the actual killing there was nothing to apply for?

CHAIRPERSON: Or because he was not convicted for it.

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: But no doubt you are now saying that you were involved in the planning and in fact took some initial steps to execute the plan to kill Mr Sam Ntuli, correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: And to the extent that the law may be finding that or may be holding that what you committed was a crime. Are you applying for amnesty regarding that?

MR ZIMU: I'm only sorry about participating in the planning

of his killing. I was supposed to have been part of the killing itself but I was arrested before I could be part of it.

MR MOTLOUNG: And as a matter of interest and maybe the reason for this question may come out later, do you know if any Thokoza Town Council employees and/or officials were involved in any of the meetings that you attended?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: Who were they?

MR ZIMU: Members of the Thokoza Town Council included Obed Gadebe, most of them were not there at the Thokoza Town Council at the time. One person who was employed there was Obed Gadebe and one person with whom he was close at the council was Mafuleng Mlaba who frequented the office.

MR MOTLOUNG: And without sounding like a racist do you know if any White employee and/or official of the council attended any of the meetings?

MR ZIMU: No, I have not seen anyone of them.

MR MOTLOUNG: And in conclusion, Mr Zimu, do I understand your whole testimony correctly that you only carried out orders because they were orders and you found yourself compelled to obey them otherwise your own life and/or limb was in danger, otherwise you didn't do anything for political reasons?

MR ZIMU: No, all what happened, happened in the name of politics.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Motloung is asking you is from what you have said you yourself personally involved yourself in these incidents which we've heard, the Intuli, Jabalala, Mtlala, Ngema incidents, because you were instructed to do so, you didn't involve yourself on your own out of a compelling political passion or desire to do so?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: And furthermore, in the execution in any instructions that you might have carried out it mattered less to you as to how many people were killed, actually what was being done in the process in relation to what was being sought to be achieved, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR MOTLOUNG: I have no further questions, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOTLOUNG

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Dlamini, do you have any questions you would like to ask?

MR DLAMINI: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I think my learned friend has covered most of the questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Richard, do you have any questions you would like to put to the applicant?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR RICHARD: After the array of questioners before me, not many. However, Mr Zimu, let's go

back to page 55 of the first bundle, the thin bundle, bundle 1. You say Mr Buthelezi helped you complete this form, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Now how would you do it, would Mr Buthelezi take the question on the form, explain to you what it meant and then you would tell him what to put in?

MR ZIMU: No, he actually filled in the application form himself for me. What happened was that he will ask me questions and he would fill in the form.

MR RICHARD: Now before we get down to the completion of the form. When you were on trial in the High Court, did you ever tell the judge that you were very sorry that you had done all the things that had happened but you had no choice because you were forced to do it?

MR ZIMU: Yes I did point this out to the judge but my plea was not understood. He said we were bad people, we killed people in cold blooded murder and that is when we were sentenced.

MR RICHARD: So to go back to the form, to go to page 56, paragraph 10, there if I read it correctly when you answer the question

"State what political objectives sought to be achieved?"

You say:

"In fact I stay in Thokoza in Mazibuku Street, so I was under the gunpoint."

Let's stop there. Whose gunpoint were you under?

MR ZIMU: I do not quite understand?

CHAIRPERSON: They say, if you read on a bit, perhaps you want to ask which?

MR RICHARD: Thank you Chair, I'll read the paragraph. In answer to the question you say

"In fact I stay in Thokoza, in Mazibuku Street so I was under the gunpoint of these IFP members."

What do you mean by that statement?

MR ZIMU: To explain briefly I think it was a misinterpretation on his part when he referred to the gunpoint. All I meant was that one would not have resided in that area unless one was a member or a follower of the IFP so that your household could have been attacked at any time but if you followed these people you and your family would be safe.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Richards. We hear what you say Mr Zimu, but when I read this paragraph when they talk about under the gunpoint, I don't think any of us here interpreted it literally that they actually forced you with a gun at your head to go and do this, what you meant was that you were under pressure, you were under duress to do it. I think it's just a use of words here, it's just a saying "under the gunpoint" doesn't literally mean they had a gun pointed at you.

MR ZIMU: Yes I think it was a different interpretation here according to Shakes Buthelezi, his interpretation that I was always under gunpoint. I think it was a mistake on his part. All I explained was that you had to tow the line if you resided in that area. If you did not do that your life would be in danger.

MR RICHARD: Now where were you born, in Mazibuku Street?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Did you ever mind being under the control of the IFP?

MR ZIMU: Yes at the beginning but then later on I realised that this was a problem that was prevalent throughout the whole township, I just had to continue that way.

MR RICHARD: Now within that particular area called Mazibuku Street who within the IFP gave you instructions? I'm not interested in the township, I'm not interested in the country, in Mazibuku Street?

MR ZIMU: You're referring to instructions pertaining to these offences?

MR RICHARD: Yes.

MR ZIMU: One person was Mafulela Mlaba who resided at A4 and Khumalo who is now residing in 164 Mazibuku Street. These are the IFP members that I can refer to.

MR RICHARD: Now did you ever ask who gave them instructions?

MR ZIMU: No I did not because if one person wanted to do something, one such person would go via Mr Khumalo, Mr Mzizi rather, was Mr Khumalo.

MR RICHARD: Now if you had wanted could you have questioned what Mr Khumalo meant by talking to Mr Mzizi or his wife?

MR ZIMU: I concluded that Mr and Mrs Mzizi must be occupying very top positions within the IFP at Penduka. Their actions too pointed to that.

MR RICHARD: Now the impression you're giving me is that the Khumalo family, that's the father and the son, in fact carried out the instructions of the Mzizi's or am I incorrect?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Can you give me practical examples where you can say to me that Mr or Mrs Mzizi said "Mr Khumalo, do that", can you think of any example?

MR ZIMU: It was in 1992 and Mr Mzizi had gone to Mr Khumalo's place to put some brake pads on his vehicle and Khumalo told him that there were some boys who were troubling them and Mr Mzizi just instructed him to kill them. That is when I started to learn the kind of person he was.

MR RICHARD: Do you remember the names of the boys that were told to - that were spoken about?

MR ZIMU: The names are Gaba, Malega, Nkosinati, I cannot recall the names of the others, but yes I do remember the names of the three.

MR RICHARD: Now to turn to the Ngema massacre, when the instructions were given to you, where were Mr and Mrs Mzizi?

MR ZIMU: They were at Khumalo Street in Thokoza, they were not at Mzizi's house but yes, Mr Mzizi was at Mr Khumalo's house during the day but not in the evening.

MR RICHARD: Were you ever present at a time when either Mr or Mrs Mzizi would have heard either one of the Khumalos say what instructions they gave you without repeating the instructions?

MR ZIMU: I would not know. I don't know whether he heard that I received an instruction or not. Nothing would have escaped their knowledge.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Richard wants to know is when your received instructions relating to the Ngema incident, only the Ngema incident, were either of the Mzizis, Mr or Mrs, present at the time that those instructions were given so that they could have heard those instructions?

MR ZIMU: They were not present, they only heard.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) say heard but they might have heard from somebody else later at a different place and time?

MR ZIMU: Yes because on leaving Ngema went to the hostel, Mafulela told us to wait at his house, he went back to Ngema to look at the situation and he came back, congratulated us and we went to take Mpigilele's Mercedes Benz in which we drove to Khumalo's house.

MR RICHARD: So the impression - well, before we go onto that, were the Mzizis at the night vigil?

MR ZIMU: I did explain earlier on that the night vigil itself was not held.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I think what Mr Richard is saying, were they present at the Khumalo's house that night, that late afternoon of the 22nd January when all the people gathered there prior to the funeral of Mrs Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: No they were not present.

MR RICHARD: Thank you. Where you went and - I won't go through that again, the scene at the Ngema Tavern, if I describe it as an ordinary single car garage next to a house and then on the right of the garage there's a courtyard where there are rooms, the back door of the house, some toilets. Am I describing it correctly?

MR ZIMU: It is not an ordinary garage. I don't know how to describe it. It's a room that was meant to be a garage but it does not have that garage door instead it has an ordinary house door. Next to the garage there are rooms so that there is this main house, the formed house on the side.

CHAIRPERSON: It would seem Mr Richard that it was probably a garage where the garage door had been bricked in and an ordinary door put in there to convert it into a tavern.

MR RICHARD: Thank you. Now would you have entered the garage straight down the drive through the front where there was a door or had you gone round the side into the courtyard?

MR ZIMU: On entering the premises you would have to take a turn to your left then you'd be facing the door into the garage.

MR RICHARD: And that's not facing the street, that's facing some other direction into the courtyard or passageway?

MR ZIMU: As I am sitting here the garage door would be facing my direction.

MR RICHARD: Thank you. Now when you stood at the door and you say you didn't quite go in according to my notes and there were about twenty people inside, where were the other three of your colleagues?

MR ZIMU: On leaving that spot we went inside, we did not necessarily go inside, should I say we stood at the threshold, we could see the people inside.

CHAIRPERSON: But I think what Mr Richard is asking is when you were at the threshold of the door and you were speaking to these people about firearms, where were your three companions, were they with you standing right in your immediate vicinity or were they walking around elsewhere?

MR ZIMU: They were at the door immediately after me.

MR RICHARD: So that means they would have heard you and see you doing whatever you were doing and seeing the same thing as you?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Now your statement is that at that point you saw that people were just drinking and that there were no firearms, did I understand your evidence correctly?

MR ZIMU: That is correct, I enquired from these people where the firearms were and they said they did not have firearms. From the garage door I went into the house to see if I could not find other people, instead I found women and children.

MR RICHARD: My point is that at that point in time, the four of you realised that you were at an ordinary suburban township shebeen that had nothing to do with ANC supporters and you could well have just left and disengaged and indeed that is the correct thing that you should have done, that your instructions were wrong, that's my proposition?

MR ZIMU: That is not correct because we were informed that these people were armed and when I enquired from these people they indicated that they did not have firearms, I started wondering but I did not communicate my thoughts to my company.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Richard, just before you proceed?

Did you see any of the people whose names had been read out to you or who were on the list sitting in that tavern? Sorry, the applicant's got a difficulty with the mike. Just check the channel number there, Mr Padi? See if it's the right one?

MR PADI: It's not the right channel.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll just repeat my question. Did you recognise or see anybody in the tavern sitting in the garage who were on the list, the hit list?

MR ZIMU: No, the hit list that we were told about at Khumalos place did not mention people's names, we were told go to such a place, Thulani knows the people and when we got to the place I went to the garage and then into the main house but found women and children instead.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Richard.

MR RICHARD: Thank you Chair. So while it is correct that you and your comrades, the people that were with you, did not discuss anything about what you saw when you stood at the threshold at the garage, you've agreed with me that they saw the same thing as you did that there was no one with firearms in that garage?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Now I then say that what did you think that they were going to do next once you'd left them to go into the house and they didn't come with you. What was your belief? What did you think your comrades would do?

MR ZIMU: According to the information that I had we were warned to the effect that these people were dangerous, they could kill us, so I went into the main house and I had to watch over that door into the main house to make sure that nobody comes out of the house to shoot us unawares.

MR RICHARD: My question is very simple. You left your three comrades at the threshold of the garage, correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: You went to cover their rear by looking in the house so as to make sure that there could be no counter attack from there, correct?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Now what did you think your three comrades would do while you were protecting the rear, what were they going to do next?

MR ZIMU: It came to my mind that they were going to shoot because we had left our place following an instruction to go and shoot the people who had been gathering and drinking there.

MR ZIMU: And in other words, your act was designed so as to facilitate and assist them in doing exactly what you set out to do, shoot who was ever in that tavern despite the fact that you saw no one who posed any threat to you in the tavern? What is your comment?

MR ZIMU: I was not giving them an opportunity. We had all left our place following one instruction from Mr Khumalo. We did not even exchange opinion on this along the way and the prime concern on our part was that these people who were drinking in the garage had to be killed.

MR RICHARD: And that is an opinion and an intention you shared with your comrades and went there to carry out regardless of what you found at that tavern?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: So that means the fact that you saw no one with any weapons in the garage doesn't matter insofar as your guilt is concerned?

MR ZIMU: That is correct.

MR RICHARD: Now how long were you on the property from beginning to end?

CHAIRPERSON: Just give an estimation of the time?

MR ZIMU: It could have been seven or eight minutes or thereabouts.

MR RICHARD: Chairperson, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR RICHARD

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Richard. Mr Padi - sorry, Mr Mapoma, do you have any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Yes Chairperson, just a few.

Mr Zimu, do you know Oscar Msomi who was known as Terblanche?

MR ZIMU: I know Mr Msomi who was residing at Nyani Street.

MR MAPOMA: Was he present during the discussions about the assassination of Mr Sam Ntuli?

MR ZIMU: I do not want to lie, I never saw him.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MAPOMA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Padi, do you have any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PADI: Yes Mr Chair.

Mr Zimu, on the question that related to the hit list that was called out at the time prior to the Ngema incident, were the names that were called out to you actually written on the document or they were just called out to you?

MR ZIMU: The names were written on a paper.

MR PADI: In relation to the motor vehicles that you were given instructions to steal and according to your evidence that were later used in the killing of Mr Ntuli, was Thulani Mlaba present when you were given those instructions to go and get the cars?

CHAIRPERSON: The question was when you were instructed to steal cars for the Ntuli operation was Mr Thulani Mlaba present?

MR ZIMU: Yes he was present.

MR PADI: Was he meant to go with you on the mission that you were given?

MR ZIMU: Thulani was also given another instruction, we were not - it's not only one person who was given a specific instruction but people were given information.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, when you went to steal the Cressida, who accompanied you?

MR ZIMU: The person who was with me in the kombi if I'm not mistaken was Sipho Shabalala. He was in the kombi, he's the one who would be left behind whenever I parked the kombi.

MR PADI: Is it the person who drove away with the kombi after you got into the Cressida?

MR ZIMU: Yes after taking a car he would follow with a kombi.

MR PADI: When you went to get the Hilux, the van, who accompanied you?

MR ZIMU: It was Sipho, again.

MR PADI: And the same situation happened or he drove the car that you went to when you went to steal the van?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, under cross-examination you stated that the Mr Khumalos and others actually were the ones who told you to stop stealing cars, is that so?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: Now how do you explain the instructions that they gave you to steal cars after the other ones who took you out of that life of crime?

MR ZIMU: That instruction came after I was coming from prison in August. I was told in September that I had to stop stealing the cars because it was actually bringing the police into the townships.

MR PADI: In relation to the incident of the Matlala Supermarket, you stated under cross-examination that Matlala Supermarket was actually situated in Penduka Section and that the people who were in Penduka Section were mainly IFP members, maybe supporters and followers, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

MR PADI: So what was your impression when you were actually told to go to Madlala Supermarket to help in the killing of people that you knew that belonged to an organisation to which your leaders were also members?

MR ZIMU: I told myself that these people were also coming from Penduka and they know everything about this supermarket. I had nothing to say but I just had to do as I was told.

MR PADI: Mr Zimu, you testified that prior to the killing of Mr Shabalala there were meetings that were held. Can you tell us how many meetings were actually held relating to all which involved the planning of the killing of Mr Shabalala?

MR ZIMU: I know of two meetings.

MR PADI: Where were those meetings held?

MR ZIMU: The other was at Mbhekiseni Khumalo's place and the other one was at Mrs Gertrude Mzizi's house.

MR PADI: Where was the meeting held where the whole plan was finalised and had to be executed thereafter?

MR ZIMU: The final meeting was at Mbhekiseni's place, that is where the final decision came and on that particular day I was fetched at the taxi rank.

MR PADI: Thank you. I have no further questions Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PADI

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions you would like to put to the applicant?

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Zimu you said that you assumed that Mr Khumalo was an IFP - high up in the IFP. On what did you base this assumption?

MR ZIMU: I am saying that because I noticed a lot of things that were happening there. Even during the funeral of Mzwakhe's mother all the hostel residents from all the hostels attended the funeral and I told myself that this person was a very important person because almost all the IFP members were there.

ADV BOSMAN: But he was your boss you told us, you said all the Khumalos were your bosses, is that right?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: So you had daily contact with them?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: Didn't they speak to you about the IFP and about their position in the IFP?

MR ZIMU: No, I was never told about that. I would just assume, I would look at things and assume because people would die in the township, not everyone would attend the funeral but when all the hostel residents attended that funeral I assumed that he was a leader, an IFP leader.

ADV BOSMAN: So until that day you didn't think he was a leader, only on that day you assumed he was a leader on the day of the funeral? I don't know whether I'm understanding you correctly?

MR ZIMU: Even today I'm still telling myself that he is the most important person in the IFP and Mr Mzizi and others are coming just after him.

ADV BOSMAN: When you took the money from Priscilla had you asked her for it or did she just automatically give it to you?

MR ZIMU: When I got inside, he got a shock because he just said take this money and I took the money and after leaving the house I gave it to Khumalo who said he was going to buy gunpower with the money.

ADV BOSMAN: But why did you take it, why didn't you say to her I'm not here for money I'm here for other things. Why did you take the money, you had no instruction to take money?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct but I had told myself that I'm the person who had got into the house and Khumalo would later hear that that happened and at least I had to do something so that I'll be able to report back to him about what had happened inside the house.

ADV BOSMAN: So what did you tell him about the money?

MR ZIMU: I told him that I got a lady there in the kitchen and she gave me the money and then he asked me as to where the money was. I gave him the money and he said he was going to use it to buy the gunpowder.

ADV BOSMAN: The night at the meeting at Khumalo's house where you expected a vigil. What were the people there for then? You said a vigil never took place, why were there so many people, what were they doing there?

MR ZIMU: In my mind if there is a death in a certain house a cow would be slaughtered and a tent would be erected but that never happened, they just bought meat from the butchery, there was no tent, people would be told to go and kill people, that's what was happening.

ADV BOSMAN: Yes but my impression was there were many people, there were many people, am I wrong?

MR ZIMU: Yes there were people, many people there but people did not see what they had expected as it was normal that whenever there is a death the people would come from different places to help in the slaughtering of the cow but that was never the case there.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sigodi, have you any questions you would like to ask?

ADV SIGODI: Just one aspect clarified, Chairperson?

You'll agree with me that the killing of people was something very, very serious?

MR ZIMU: Yes I agree with you, it is something very sensitive or painful.

ADV SIGODI: And when you plan to kill somebody, it's not something that you do publicly, is that correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

ADV SIGODI: Right, so when these plans to kill Mr Ntuli and Mr Shabalala were being made by Mr Khumalo and when he gave you these orders, he must have trusted you very much?

MR ZIMU: He didn't trust us that much. Khumalo were people who would whenever they say do something and you had to do it, they wouldn't be ashamed of whatever, they would just if you are supposed to die, according to them you would just die.

ADV SIGODI: But the impression I'm getting from your evidence as a whole is that he was using more or less the same people to go and do the killings, he wasn't getting people from outside, he was using - I mean from all these incidents that you've applied for, he was using the same people, yourself, Mr Mlaba, Mr Chamane, Mr Buthelezi?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct.

ADV SIGODI: Now if he was using the same people he must have trusted those people that they were going to - can I just go and tell anybody to go and kill because it's not everybody who can go and kill? Is it correct?

MR ZIMU: Yes that is correct. They would tell us that we should not tell other people, even my parents did not know a thing about it. I was so scared to tell them because I would do that and they would go and ask Khumalo about it and my family would die because of that.

ADV SIGODI: Yes, but what concerns me is that why did he choose you particularly, what were the other people doing, were they also in the employ of Mr Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: They would not employ anyone, they would just instruct you to do something. No one would be employed permanently to do a specific job.

CHAIRPERSON: No, what Advocate Sigodi is asking you, you said that you were in the employ of Mr Khumalo in that you were a taxi driver, drove one of his taxis. Now you're being asked were the others, Chamane, Pulani and Buthelezi, were they also employees of any of the Khumalos like you were?

MR ZIMU: The only person who was formally employed to drive a taxi was myself. I do not know anything about the others whether they came because they were members of the organisation whatever, I do not know that.

ADV SIGODI: Were they not staying at Mr Khumalo's place or did they not frequent or spend a lot of time at Mr Khumalo's place as well?

MR ZIMU: They were always there but Chamane would go to work, he was working at Steeldale, he would go back to the hostel and go to Khumalo's place thereafter.

ADV SIGODI: Now the stealing of cars, who had these master keys?

MR ZIMU: Mafulela Mlaba.

ADV SIGODI: Did he steal these cars and give them to Mr Khumalo?

MR ZIMU: No, he would take the cars, the other one, he would fix the other car and use it as his car.

CHAIRPERSON: Just very briefly, Mr Zimu, after any of these - I'll call them operations, operations that you've mentioned, the Ngema incident, the Ntuli and the others, did you receive any payment or remuneration for participating in them?

MR ZIMU: I received nothing, I even went looking for another job from Sitho. I worked there for only two weeks and was arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you just give an estimation of the number of shots you heard being fired at the Ngema Tavern?

MR ZIMU: I'll be lying, I couldn't count as to how many bullets were released or fired.

CHAIRPERSON: From what you heard and maybe learnt afterwards, did you get the impression that more than one gun was being fired?

MR ZIMU: All I know is that firearms that were used there were two, the Z88 and the AK47.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, are there any questions anyone would like to put arising out of questions that have been put by the panel?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Mr Chairperson, with your permission of course, there's one point that escaped me as I was busy with the cross-examination, please?

Mr Zimu, is it correct so that amongst others, your sister was killed around Kathlehong - oh you're not that person, I see you're raising your eyebrows?

MR ZIMU: The person who was killed was Thulani Mlaba's sister, not my sister.

MR MAPOMA: Oh, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms van der Westhuizen?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Chairperson. There's actually a portion of Mr

Chamane's evidence which I neglected to put to Mr Zimu and that is Mr Chamane will testify that you never went to the garage where you actually asked people whether they had firearms or not and that it was only him and Mr Thulani Mlaba that indeed went to that garage? Do you wish to make any comment on that?

MR ZIMU: Yes, I disagree with that statement, that is not true at all. I'm the first person who got into the garage and as I was standing at the door they were standing behind me, all of us were facing inside the inside of the garage.

MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you, that was all Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Swanepoel, do you wish to put something?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR SWANEPOEL: Just one or two things Mr Chairperson.

Mr Zimu, did you ever - let me ask you this way, did Mr Gadebe ever do anything more than attend meetings with you, did he ever give you any instructions?

MR ZIMU: No, except those that I have told the Committee about there was nothing else.

MR SWANEPOEL: Alright and did you ever take any instructions from Mr or Mrs Mzizi?

MR ZIMU: No.

MR SWANEPOEL: And were they ever present when you took instructions from any of the Khumalos?

MR ZIMU: Yes.

MR SWANEPOEL: When was that?

MR ZIMU: In Vusi's case, Vusi Shabalala that is and Sam Ntuli's case.

MR SWANEPOEL: If it becomes necessary, Mr and Mrs Mzizi will come and give evidence to the effect that they were never present when any of the Khumalos gave you instructions to commit a crime. What do you say to that?

CHAIRPERSON: He's already said it, he will obviously dispute that.

MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Anything further?

MR SWANEPOEL: That's my questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SWANEPOEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Zimu, that then concludes your evidence, you may stand down now.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: I see it's now 4 o'clock, this would be an opportune time to adjourn. What would be a convenient time for legal representatives to start? Would half past nine be okay? nine thirty, I'm told nine thirty, alright.

We'll then adjourn until tomorrow morning, we've come to the end of today’s proceedings. We will carry on tomorrow in the same venue at this hall but we will start at half past nine tomorrow morning so we are now adjourning until half past nine tomorrow morning and I wonder please if the Department of Correctional Services could make sure that the persons that they are bringing, the applicants are present. Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

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