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Type TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE, AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 09 December 1999
Location PALMRIDGE , JOHANNESBURG
Names THULANI TERRENCE TSOTSETSE (THULANI TERRENCE MLABA), NGEMA TAVERN SHOOTING
Case Number AM4400/96
Matter (CONTINUATION OF HEARING HELD FROM 6TH TO 8TH SEPTEMBER 1999)
CHAIRPERSON: When we concluded the last hearing, we had just commenced with the evidence of Mr Tsotsetse. He had been sworn in and he testified for about 5 minutes before we had to stop. So we will continue from there but I think because of the long gap, I'll swear in Mr Tsotsetse again.
EXAMINATION BY MR PADI: (Cont) Mr Tsotsetse, in your application form you are applying for amnesty for several incidents which, among others, include the killing of the people in the Ngema Section, ...(indistinct). Is that not so?
MR PADI: Mr Tsotsetse in the latest affidavit that you gave in, these are the only incidents that you state. Do you see the affidavit in front of you? I'm referring to the latest affidavit that was brought in by Mr Tsotsetse.
CHAIRPERSON: I wonder, Mr Mapoma, if you could just get hold of the logistics officer to make a copy. They can use mine if they want to for those persons who haven't got. I think just leave that one with Mr Richard. Let him read it. We need some copies. How many people need? Is it two? Two for you - three copies please. Thank you. Do the interpreters have? Sorry Matthew, if you could just inquire from the interpreters, they also need another 3, so that's 6. Thank you.
MR PADI: Thank you Mr Chair. Mr Tsotsetse, we were still saying that on this latest supplementary affidavit that you put in, these are the only three incidents which you have stated for which you are applying for amnesty. Are there any other incidents which maybe you did not include here on this affidavit, that you might want to apply for amnesty for?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but somebody visiting you in prison is not a matter to apply for amnesty for. Amnesty, you apply for amnesty in respect of offences committed by yourself. I don't know what the taxi one is either. Is it in the application form? Because we ...(intervention)
MR PADI: Mr Tsotsetse in your initial application form, you stated that you are applying for amnesty for the killing of a comrade known to you as Happy Thokoza. I'm referring to page 81, paragraph 2.1 (c). So are you applying for amnesty for the killing of this Happy Thokoza here?
MR TSOTSETSE: I will put it very simple. People were coerced, enforced to get out of their houses, harassed to do so, others will be killed in the process, so it was not on their own volition that they would leave their houses and go for the meeting.
CHAIRPERSON: Page 83, paragraph (f). So I think let's just get this clear before we proceed. So he's applying for amnesty in respect of the Ngema Tavern incident, in respect of the conspiracy to kill Mr Nduli, in respect of the murder of Mr Sithole, in respect of paragraph (f) on page 83 and in respect of paragraph (g) on page 83, that's the murder of people in taxis?
MR PADI: Mr Tsotsetse, is there anything else that you'd like to apply for amnesty for? For example on page 83 paragraph (e) you said that you were applying for amnesty for the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
MR PADI: In filling in these application forms, you would relate a story to a person who was assisting you, in this instance to Michael Bellingan and he would fill in the application form for you, is that so?
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Padi just to enable us to have a clear picture, would it be possible for you to indicate whether your client was convicted on each of these offences that you've listed here that he will be applying for amnesty for?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Padi at the moment you're just putting leading questions and he's answering them but you know if you've done an affidavit, what is common practice is and I don't know if you want to follow it, but what can be done is for the applicant to confirm the affidavit and perhaps read it into the record.
CHAIRPERSON: Well, you can get him to or you can show him this new supplementary affidavit and ask him if its his, etc and whether he confirms the contents of it and I think then perhaps for the benefit of the people in the hall, the victims and the other implicated people, that it should be read into the record and perhaps the most efficient way unless there's any objection, would be for you to read it perhaps sentence or paragraph by paragraph and get him to confirm it as you go on and then after that you can highlight anything you wish to highlight, fill in any gaps or whatever.
CHAIRPERSON: I think as far as I can recall we've only got the one exhibit. It will be Exhibit B. And have you all got copies of it now? You've got copies. This affidavit then that's just been referred to, it's and affidavit deposed to by the applicant on the 30th of October 1999 will then be received as Exhibit B. Yes, Mr Padi.
I, the undersigned, Thulani Terrence Tsotsetse, do hereby make oath and say: I'm the applicant herein and the facts contained here are within my personal knowledge true and correct.
"I'm applying for amnesty for the following crimes which occurred in the Ngema Section Natalspruit on the 22nd of January 1993, conspiracy to kill, conspiring with people who killed Sam Nduli and the murder of Norman Sithole."
"I have submitted two application - two forms for amnesty application. An inmate by the name of Michael Bellingan helped me to complete the first application form. A lawyer whose name I cannot remember, completed the second application form. In both instances I would narrate the story relating to the incidents for which I am applying for amnesty and they would fill in the form and prepare the annexed affidavit."
"I am a card-carrying member of the Inkatha Freedom Party. I joined the IFP in 1991. I was recruited by Mr Mafulela and Mr Khumalo. These are the people I regarded as leaders in the IFP. In the areas of Thokoza and Natalspruit. I do not know the particular positions of leadership that each held, but I know them to be very influential in the IFP."
"Prior to the conflict that erupted in the Thokoza area, I was involved in stealing cars. I would sell these to various people, both in the hostels and in the location. Mafulela Mlaba was my regular customer. I therefore grew closer to him."
"As for Mbhekiseni Khumalo I knew him as a bishop and of his notoriety of killing people. I first got into contact with him when he was looking for Mogadi whom he accused of raping his daughter. He came into a shebeen at Twala Section, Thokoza where I was drinking together with my friends. Mogadi was in our company. We were in the garage when we heard Khumalo accusing one lady of hiding criminals. He then came into the garage where we were drinking carrying an AK47. I bumped into the barrel of this AK47 and it chipped my front tooth as we were running away. That was my first contact with Khumalo. I knew from then that I was now one of the people hunted and as I was now considered to be a friend to Mogadi. Mafulela told ...(intervention)
"Mafulela told that it is possible that Khumalo did not know my identity. Khumalo found me at Mafulela's place. The latter introduced me and that was the beginning of my involvement with Khumalo."
"At the time of this incident, I was staying with Mafulela at his place in Thokoza. That morning Mafulela and myself went to Angus to do some shopping. From Angus we went to Khumalo's place. There were a number of people as there were preparations for the funeral of Khumalo's wife. Mafulela went into the house while I remained in the yard, conversing with various people who were there. We were there for about ten minutes when Khumalo asked me to accompany him to Kwesenye Hostel, to get some bullets. Mafulela got into his ...(intervention)
"We were there for about 10 minutes when Khumalo asked me to accompany him to Kwesenye Hostel to get some bullets. Mafulela got into his car and left. I got into the car with Mbhekiseni. As we drove off, he told me that he wanted to show me where the ANC comrades hung out and that they should be killed. We went to Ngema Section, Natalspruit where he pointed out the house. I asked him about the time of their gathering. He said that we could get them in the evening and in the mornings."
"We then drove to Kwesenye Hostel. He got into one of the rooms in the hostel and came out with a bank sack filled with bullets. We drove back to his house and I left for Mafulela's place. It was about 2 p.m. then. I found Themba Zimu and Thembinkosi Buthelezi at Mafulela's place. I cannot remember well what happened immediately thereafter, but at about 6 p.m. Mafulela said that we should go and help at Khumalo's place. He drove the three of us there and left. It was myself, Themba and Thembinkosi. When we arrived we found a lot of people in the yard who were standing in groups. We went to the groups with Jabo Khumalo, Mbhekiseni's son and others. I cannot remember the number of people who were in that group. We were there for about 30 minutes when Mzwakhe Khumalo, also Mbhekiseni's son, called us and said that Mbhekiseni wanted to see us at the back yard. We followed him. It was myself, Themba, Thembinkosi, Jabo and Dume. Dume is also Mbhekiseni's son."
"When we got to the back of the yard, Mzwakhe told Jabo and Dume to go back and that they were not required. There were fewer people on this side of the yard. Mzwakhe then called Mbhekiseni and went to fetch Zwile Chamane. Mbhekiseni told me that the house he showed me earlier that day was the house which we were supposed to attack. Somebody, I don't know this person, brought guns and gave them to Mbhekiseni. He held them openly in full view of people who were around. The guns were 3 AK47s and a Z88 pistol. Mbhekiseni gave AKs to Themba, Thembinkosi and Zwile and a Z88 pistol was given to me. I did not have my own gun, a CZ88, with me then as it went for repairs."
We left for Ngema Section in Natalspruit, which was between 5 and 6 kilometres from where we were. It was already dark. Thembinkosi told us that he did not know how to operate an AK47. I suggested that we get to Twala Section at Boshini's place. When we got there, Zwile Showed Thembinkosi how to operate the AK. We stayed there for less than 5 minutes. We then proceeded to Ngema Section.
"When we got to the targeted tavern, we found one person known to me as Sipho standing outside. I asked him who was inside. He said he was with another person. I told him to get that person and that they should leave. He did that. I then went to look inside the garage. I saw people drinking and talking. The music was playing high. I had a gun in my hand and told the people to keep quiet. Zwile was the person who was immediately behind me. They paid attention to me, but the music was still playing. I shot at the speaker but it continued playing. I went outside. Asked Priscilla from where the "hi-fi" was being operated. She pointed out one of the outside rooms. In that room I found one gentleman whom I told to switch the music off. I then heard gun shots and screams from the direction of the garage. When I got out of the room, I saw my accomplices running away and I followed them."
"We went to Mphikeleli's place in Thokoza which was not far from Ngema Section. Mphikeleli's driver, I don't know his name, took us to Khumalo's place after we told him what we just did. Khumalo asked if we found them, referring to people at Ngema Section. Zwile responded by saying that we did. Khumalo then asked for the gun. I left with Themba and I went to Mafulela's place and Themba went home."
"The first meeting that I know of which preceded the killing of Sam Nduli, was held at Kuthuza Hostel. People who were present were Abraham Mzizi, Obed Radebe, Mafulela Mlaba, Tereblanche Msomi, Zwile Chamane and Themba Zimu."
"What I said at the meeting generally was that Nduli was a threat to the IFP and should be eliminated. Themba and myself were given the instructions to steal two cars, a van and a private car and to deliver them to Msomi. Two days later we went to Alberton and stole a Toyota motor vehicle during the day and in the evening we stole a van. We gave the motor vehicles to Msomi at Kuthuza Hostel."
"Booi Sithole was an influential comrade in Natalspruit. In a drive to eliminate the IFP opposition and to weaken the ANC, Mafulela gave me instructions to kill Booi Sithole. Mafulela knew that Booi's sister was my girlfriend and we have a child. I took those instructions as a test and I knew that if I did not follow the instructions I would be in danger. I went to Booi's place with Thembinkosi, Mafika and Stanley. Only Mafika and myself had guns. We stood at the pavement next to Booi's place. Norman, Booi's brother, approached walking towards his home. He walked past us, then stopped. He looked at our direction and called my name, put his hand in his belt as if he was reaching for a gun. I shot him in the chest and we ran away."
MR PADI: Mr Tsotsetse you said that in addition to the incidents that you have mentioned in this affidavit, you are applying for amnesty for the killing of passengers in taxis, can you briefly tell the Committee how this was done?
"You see in the area of Thokoza it was divided into two. There was one part of Thokoza where it was predominantly IFP and the other was predominantly ANC. Because of the death, the taxis also were divided. The taxis that were always servicing the IFP area will not at all go to the other side. Even the signs were different because when you were in the other side of ...(indistinct) for instance toward Eden Park, there will be a different sign, different from the one that was stationed in the IFP area so that we were supposed each time we encounter a kombi from the opposite side we take it and Khumalo also had a white E20, a kombi and Mzwakhe who was the son of Khumalo is also a driver or was also a driver and Khumalo will give us these cars and send us to town.
When we get to town on our way back we will say we must get on board the people who wanted to go to the ANC area. Some knew Mzwakhe and would not even attempt to get into that car. We were disguising to be their taxi, in other words others will not see him from the outside but once they are inside the taxi, they will see him and watch to escape immediately when the taxi will be in motion and once we succeeded in getting them, we will take them straight to the hostel."
MR TSOTSETSE: You see, we found Sam in Alberton but towards the outskirts of Alberton, to Alrode, they were the people who were intending to go to the location and we went and pointed at the sign of the ANC and the people got in and I realised that these were the people I knew very well. Sam was there amongst others. There were two. The other one knew already, or suspected what was happening, because he knew me and when he was about to get into the car, it wasn't easy for him to follow because the one was already in the car, but the other decided not to get in, but Sam Mashiane was in already and we drove off with him and took him to the hostel. After a few days, three days or four days maybe, I heard, I think I read from the newspaper that he was discovered at the hostel gate, dead.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry before you proceed Mr Padi, you've told us not that you pretend you were an ANC taxi, pick up people, take them to the hostel, what would you do with them at the hostel? Did you just drop them off there, or were they taken inside the hostel? If you could just be a little bit more explicit.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see we would drive right inside the hostel and leave them right inside the hostel and there were so many people, we will just leave them there and inform them that these are the people and they knew very well what steps to take, the people in the hostel that is.
CHAIRPERSON: And do you know what happened to those people who were left at the hostel? Okay, you've told us that Sam Mashiane was, after a couple of days, found dead at the gate of the hostel, but the other people you dropped there, and if you could also give an indication of approximately how many people you yourself were involved in taking to the hostel in that fashion.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see this is one way I will approach this. It was obvious that when we take them there, they would be killed, because all the time there were corpses that were taken out of the premises of the hostel. The reason why I'm referring strictly to Sam Mashiane it's because he's the person that I was being harassed about because there was no way I could even set him free from the game he was in and he was the one person I knew very well and he was already in the car, there was no way I could assist him, or help him escape the ordeal.
CHAIRPERSON: But how many people would you say that you delivered to the hostel in this fashion? More or less, if you can give us an approximation of the numbers of people that you took to the hostel to be dealt with by the hostel dwellers.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see they will be killed, others will be killed, even before they died maybe they would be taken out of the hostel yard and others would be taken by the police from the incident, be taken away.
MR TSOTSETSE: Yes, some part of it I would see. Even outside of the hostel, just towards the houses, some people would be burned and I would witness that, but once they begin the burning process they would already have been shot at.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see, with regards to those, we would drop them in and leave immediately, drive out immediately to the location and others, maybe as we are still driving to the hostel, into the hostel, we would see some already in the process of burning and others would be seen maybe three days later has been already burned and one will not be knowing or know as to when and how he died, or they died.
ADV SIGODI: Would you hand these people over to specific people in the hostel? You can't just leave them in the hostel, surely you must take them to certain people in the hostel who would know what to do with them?
ADV SIGODI: And who are those? You are making an application for amnesty. You have a duty to make a full disclosure, so it is you who must say: "I did this, I took the people, I took them to so-and-so and so-and-so did this with them", because if you want to get amnesty you must make a full disclosure as to what you actually did, who you killed, how many people you killed, who was involved with you there. So who did you hand these people over to at the hostel?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I can explain this very simply. The people I knew very well were the leaders and there were the followers, that I knew like for instance Mr Msomi, who was well-known as Tereblanche. He was one person you will often find in the hostel as well as the other by the name of Nkunzi Buvu, light in complexion and others called Nkunu and others as well of our same age. There were so many people in the hostel, so when the car drives in filled with people, all people would want to come and see as to who we had inside the car and others would even pull them out before the car stops still and there will be just a kind of commotion.
MR TSOTSETSE: As I've already explained that Thokoza was divided into two sections, as there was this conflict. Within the IFP, still there will be people who were not necessarily supporting the IFP thoughts and activities, but dwelling within the area of IFP, so that we would harass them and force them to do things we want them to do or to act in line with the rest and sometimes I would have heard that a certain person is not wanted in the area. I would go together with other people in my company and go and inform such a person that tomorrow or the next day he must not be seen at all, he must just vacate the area, because he is not working hand in hand with us and is not acting in line with our actions.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well he had to leave. He left. He had some opportunity to get all his belongings and property in the house and leave immediately and the girl there or the daughter there had an intimate relationship with Themba.
MR TSOTSETSE: Yes, there were instances where people would be killed. In a case when we get to the house, sometimes we would get into the house and find people died, that have been killed and so I would not know how that happened.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, such things will be discussed at our meetings when we will be furnished with the information that certain people will have to leave the area and if they don't leave the area, they will have to be eliminated or killed, because they were problematic in the area of IFP, so that one we had such information, especially in my case, I was not quite used to the people of surveillance in the area, the few I knew, others would leave, get out and run away and leave others at the house, but as for assaulting any of these people, I've never done such.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, one thing I recall very well is that Khumalo would take the TV sets. He knew very well that certain people had already fled the area and he would take such items, video, TV sets and once he had accumulated a lot of them, he would take them to Alberton, at the pawn shop in Alberton.
MR TSOTSETSE: Often times in such cases he would be the one driving and we would have to alight from the vehicle and load those items into the van or in the vehicle that we will be driving in and take them into his house.
MR SWANEPOEL: Well, have a look, do you have the bundle in front of you? Have a look on page 74 of bundle 1, just before a hand-written statement by yourself starts. Do you notice there's a signature of a Commissioner of Oaths and what appears to be some indication that an oath was administered?
MR TSOTSETSE: I will explain like this. The statement that I compiled with Pearce, who is also an inmate, there was another person who was working for the TRC who was with Frank Mogale and his name was Pearce. Most of the details I related to him. I related the details to him and even the statement that I wrote with Bellingan, I gave it to Pearce. I think if one can read it to me, I can be able to recall.
CHAIRPERSON: You see, if you take a look Mr Tsotsetse at page 68 to 74, that's the application form and then pages 75 through to 80, that's the affidavit which was signed on the same day. It looks like, just at a glance in any event, that it's the same handwriting. The person who actually wrote the details in the form is most likely the same person who wrote the affidavit, it looks similar. Now is this Mr Bellingan's handwriting, or is it Pearce's?
CHAIRPERSON: We're talking about the statement that appears on page 75. It starts on page 75 of the document. have you ever read that? When you signed it. When you put your signature to it, had you read it prior to doing that, or had it been read to you?
MR TSOTSETSE: The first statement is Pearce's, if my memory serves me correctly and that is, Mark(sic) Bellingan was the first one and Pearce came with a legal representative while I was in Boksburg prison and then he took another statement, the statement that I signed. Most of the details that we were discussing with him, he told me that I would assist the Commission with that information, but after writing the statement, after compiling the statement, he never read the statement to me, he told me to sign.
MR SWANEPOEL: Alright, so that is a different statement from the one that appears on page 68 of the bundle, because you testified that this statement was taken down by Bellingan, your fellow inmate, is that correct?
CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps he should look at it. Mr Tsotsetse, you'll see that both the application form on page 74, which you've already been shown by Mr Swanepoel, has been signed by yourself, or apparently so. Take a look at page 74 and then take a look again at page, sorry, take a look at the bottom of page 73 and the bottom of page 79, there's a signature at the bottom of each of those pages. Is that your signature? First of all, let's go to page 73, it says Thulani Mlaba. Did you write that?
CHAIRPERSON: If you take a look on page 78 below (g) where it says Mlaba and also on page 79 in the margin it says Mlaba and on each of the pages there's a Mlaba. So that's yours, but you say that the signature at the bottom's not yours? The bottom of page 79.
CHAIRPERSON: It's not a question of remembering signing there. Can you recognise that as being your signature? Many, many of us don't remember signing specific pieces of paper but when we see it we recognise it to be our signature, although we don't remember actually making it. Do you recognise this to be your signature, or not?
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairperson. Alright. Now I do understand you correctly that your statement contained in pages 68 to 73 of the bundle, that was signed by you and did I understand you to say that you do not know what is contained therein?
MR TSOTSETSE: I am not in a position to say who was doing what. The only people that I can talk about are the people who used to address people. People like Indunas and Mafulela. I used to know him as a person who had a position in the IFP like Tereblanche, Msomi and the others, those are the people to me who look like people who operate and Mr Mzizi was amongst those people.
MR SWANEPOEL: Now on page 68, in paragraph 7(b), the question that is asked in the standard form of this Commission is: "State capacity in which served in the organisation, institution, body or liberation movement concerned, if applicable, and membership number if any" and the answer filled out there is: "Leader of the IFP Youth League at Twala Section." Is that correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: Mr Bellingan, some of the details he would get them from newspapers like Citizen and City Press, getting those newspaper from Pearce and he said those are the sources that are going to help me and he would take some of the details that were relating about the situation in Thokoza at the time. He would read those newspapers and then come back and tell me what was happening, but he was in jail at the time.
MR TSOTSETSE: Perhaps if I can read this statement, I might be able to recognise some of the issues like the one that says that I was a leader of the IFP Youth, I do not remember telling Pearce about that.
MR SWANEPOEL: Yes, I just want to have absolute clarity. In your evidence in chief you, before this statement which was marked Exhibit B was read out to you, you confirmed the correctness thereof, is that correct?
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please Mr Chair. I just want to establish from the witness that he could read and understand what is contained in this English affidavit. Did you read this affidavit and understand what is contained in this?
MR TSOTSETSE: As I explained before, Happy's incident, I was never arrested for those incidents, but Pearce wanted us to help him to that effect and that is why I even mentioned to him this incident of Happy. I know very well about it because I was in Khumalo's premises when Happy was killed.
MR TSOTSETSE: I did not see. I did not witness, but when they left for the killing I was in the premises and they left and then they came back telling me that they had shot him and they were even in possession of his firearm.
MR TSOTSETSE: Happy was always a wanted person and he used to escape all the time, but when he was found, I was left in the premises. If you move from Khumalo's house to Happy's house, it's not a big distance, it's not a long distance.
MR TSOTSETSE: He's a white gentleman who was working for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I think he was also an investigator, that's what I gathered from him, but now it looks like he's no longer in the employ of the TRC.
MR TSOTSETSE: It means that Pearce took a statement about the incident of Ngema Tavern and then he later asked about the other incidents, killings that we know about Thokoza and then we told him about Sam Nduli, Happy and the others and the incidents of forcefully removing the people out of their houses. He just wanted us to give him evidence, so that he'll be able to follow traces during his investigations.
CHAIRPERSON: I think that's just the typed version of the preceding statement from page 75. 2.1 (c) Also during 1992 I shot and killed another member/comrade/supporter of ANC by the name of Happy Thokoza. This is contained in a statement, which is purportedly your statement.
MR TSOTSETSE: No, I do not recall anything about this Happy Thokoza. I didn't even know his surname, I only know his first name and the kombi that he was driving. I do not recall telling Pearce that I am the one who killed Happy. It's just that I was present when the people were leaving to kill. There would be an interpreter when communicating with Pearce.
MR PADI: I'm sorry Mr Chairman. It appears to me that where reference has been made to Happy and the name Happy is being followed by Thokoza, that Thokoza has more to do with the place where Happy was staying. It says Happy, Thokoza, address unknown.
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please. Now where would this information have come from if you did not say that to Pearce and you did not say that to Bellingan, where did this information come from, do you think?
Mr Chairperson, Ms van der Westhuizen told me during the recess that she has certain things to place on record before we go any further, which have become relevant by virtue of the cross-examination. If we may?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. I just wish to place on record that I made inquiries at the TRC's offices in Cape Town and more specifically inquired from Linda ...(indistinct), who compiled the evidence, as to obtain a copy of the second application of the applicant. I was informed that there is no such second application in the possession of the TRC's offices. I also made written a request and verbal request for a copy of the statement obtained by Mr Pearce and I assume it is the same person, Pearce Pigot who used to be with the Gauteng Investigating Unit and I was also informed that he never took a statement from this particular applicant. As it pleases the Committee.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I personally was involved, but I can't recall Mr Mlaba's name, but I was involved in a hearing in Boksburg, relating to incidents which occurred on the day of the funeral of Mrs Khumalo. There was shooting in the street, actually on the day of the funeral, it might be that one.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, if I may, I'm in possession of that specific application because I represented or I was involved in representing another applicant in that matter. That application form as well as annexed affidavit, is exactly the same one as the one that is before this Committee, it's not any different, it's exactly the same.
MR PADI: Excuse me Chairperson, before he proceeds, I would like to respond as well to the issues that have been placed on record here. Chairperson, indeed, the TRC has got one amnesty application from the applicant who is testifying now and no other application in their database and secondly about the affidavit which is said to have been taken by Mr Pearce Pigot, I am at the moment trying to get hold of Pearce Pigot, he is in Johannesburg, and I will get an account from his upon me having spoken to him directly. Unfortunately I have not managed to get him at the moment. Thank you Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Because I know and it's not always the case, but the usual procedure is that these application forms are received, maybe together with a supplementary affidavit like in this form by the Commission, put on the database etc and then if there's any query etc, the investigators would write a letter asking for further information and that's usually the time when the TRC staff would come in to get further and better details. That was the usual procedure, so it might be possible that, if he was approached by Mr Pearce, it might be in respect of getting further details, but not necessarily so.
MR MAPOMA: Thank you Mr Chairman. I am surely constrained to come into the matter. I would have preferred to say nothing on the matter, but I want to suggest as we go along, because of the issues that are being raised, that we should consider it as a serious possibility that the applicant himself might be confusing himself as to how many applications did he in fact do. What is clear is that he has spoken to several people who took statements from him regarding the amnesty application or amnesty applications and if one further goes through the bundle, with reference to this Mr Pearce, according to the applicant he was in the company of a certain lawyer. There is in the bundle an affidavit that was indeed compiled, if one is to refer to page 86, by a certain lawyer, who appears to be Adv Z L Madasa and it would appear to me that this is the other instance that the applicant is actually referring to when Mr Madasa actually made this statement. It appears to me he was then with this Mr Pearce, if one has regard to the contents of that statement. I am merely saying that perhaps the best time to have said these things would have been at the end of the application, but now that the issues have been raised pertinently, its ...(indistinct) that I want to place before us.
ADV BOSMAN: Chairperson, may I just suggest that if Mr Mapoma should speak to Mr Pigot, is just to ask him whether he hadn't taken statements in relation to the HRV Hearings, because I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that there was mention of his name in the HRV Hearings. (end of tape)
MR MAPOMA: ...the Section 29 Hearing is a proceeding that took place during the HRV era, prior to Amnesty Committee and in fact during the procession of this amnesty application Mr Pearce Hugo had already left the TRC by then.
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairperson. Mr Tsotsetse, I'd like to finish up this line of examination now, but I just want to be absolutely clear of a few aspects. You raised the issue of an interpreter possibly making a mistake in your cross-examination shortly before the adjournment, but you also gave evidence that you did not work through an interpreter when you deposed to the statement that Mr Bellingan took from you, is that correct?
MR SWANEPOEL: And even though you didn't sign at the bottom of page 79 of the bundle, your name has been written by yourself several other places on the relevant, what appears to be affidavits, is that correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: I can say I trusted Pearce. After writing, he would read out to me. This application form, we did not have enough time to read it after writing it, I just took it and gave it to the police in prison and I did not read the statement thereafter.
MR TSOTSETSE: As I'm explaining, because of the situation and I knew nothing about the TRC process and we were in a hurry because Mr Pearce was telling me that the deadline was to come soon, therefore I had to forward the application before the deadline. I trusted him, that is why I did not give myself a chance to read the statement.
MR TSOTSETSE: The people who were present there were Msomi, the one that I referred to as Tereblanche. ...(indistinct) was also there. Mafulela and Obed were also there. I cannot remember the other people because at that time I didn't know them very well, but it was quite a large amount.
MR SWANEPOEL: And what exactly was discussed? Was the way in which Mr Nduli would be killed discussed? Were the names of the people who would carry out the deed mentioned? Was a plan discussed, how he would be ambushed? Could you enlighten us?
MR TSOTSETSE: I can say the reason for us to attend the meeting, it's because they needed the cars and from the way that they were discussing it looked like we were supposed to be present and Themba Zimu was arrested during that process, therefore I was forced to go and steal this car, but I knew very well that I was supposed to be present during the killing. When I brought the car, they decided to say I'm a tsotsi, a township boy, I'm going to commit a lot of mistakes and then I was removed from the group but when they left I was present.
MR TSOTSETSE: The stealing of the car, I got that information, but I didn't know that the cars were going to be used in killing Sam Nduli, but when the meeting was held I already knew that we were supposed to get two cars, but during the meeting I got to know that these cars were going to be used in the killing.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just before you proceed Mr Swanepoel, these meetings, what were they, Mr Tsotsetse, were they like public meetings? A whole crowd of people like are in this room now, or was it a group of people sitting talking amongst themselves?
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairman. Now let me just try to get the order of events correct. The meeting at Kuthuza Hostel which you gave evidence of in chief. Was that the first of the series of meetings that you just described, or the second or the third?
MR TSOTSETSE: There was another meeting when Themba was arrested, where I was told that I should go and steal the cars, but I cannot say that was a meeting because I found Mafulela Mlaba, Obed, Tereblanche, those were the three people who told me that I should go and steal a car.
MR SWANEPOEL: So, when you say, let me just understand this correctly. After the meeting at Kuthuza Hostel, that is not the meeting at which you were instructed to go and steal the car, is that your evidence now?
CHAIRPERSON: My understanding is that the first meeting they were told they'll need cars and it was meant to be Themba Zimu and him to steal them and then thereafter Themba got arrested and then he was told he'd better do it himself.
MR SWANEPOEL: As you please, Mr Chairperson. So, let me just read to you from Mr Zimu's evidence. He says he was sent to jail in August 1991 in response to a question at the previous hearing, is that your recollection as well? From August 1991 to August 1992.
MR TSOTSETSE: I know nothing about what Zimu is saying because I remember when I was in Boksburg, Mr Pearce took me to point out the places where I took those cars and I went to Alberton and then I pointed out the places to him.
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot say he was lying, or he is lying because Themba, the person would be at the taxi rank and sometimes he would not be there, but what I can remember is that Themba brought a car, a Cressida and I don't know what happened to that Cressida. That was just before his arrest.
MR SWANEPOEL: Now this evidence was canvassed with Mr Zimu under his cross-examination as well and I want your comment on this, you give evidence there at the bottom of page 136 of a meeting at Mzizi's home where the murder of Sam Nduli was discussed and then over on page 137, the first question as to you is
"What was decided at that meeting? What did you discuss? Did you discuss the way you were going to kill Mr Nduli? What was discussed at the meeting?"
"What they did, what we learned was that on a Sunday we should go and steal two vehicles, so that by sunset Sam Nduli must have been killed. And they explained to us, I was also present when it was discussed that Mr Nduli should be killed and they said they will come up with means to make sure that he is found wherever he is and they were going to explain to us how to get hold of him."
CHAIRPERSON: You did include the name Mr Tsotsetse, because it's here, this is a record of the proceedings and it's not the sort of typing error that would occur where another person's name is included, when that person's name wasn't mentioned. They spell it incorrectly, but I'm sure it's Mr Zimu rather than Zimo.
CHAIRPERSON: I think the question is, when you gave evidence here, now today, you said that you went to steal the two cars after the arrest of Mr Zimu and you went with one Marika and you stole the Toyota and then later you stole the van. When you gave evidence before the TRC when they were having the Section 29 hearing, which has been referred to by Mr Swanepoel on page 137 of volume 2, you say that you, together with Mr Zimu, went and stole 2 vehicles. It's different to what you say today. Now Mr Swanepoel is asking you, can you explain this difference? Why do you say one thing at the Section 29 hearing and another thing today?
MR TSOTSETSE: What I wanted to explain was the fact that myself and Themba Nduli were the persons who were supposed to go and steal the cars, that is what I was trying to explain there. It's not that I went with him to steal the cars.
MR TSOTSETSE: I'll explain like this. By Sunday morning the cars were there. The first car came on a Saturday during the day and another one was there in the evening, Saturday and by Sunday morning the cars were available, that is why I say it was only a day in between.
"On the day of Sam Nduli's assassination, you said to us that you were left behind. How did it all come about that you were left behind whilst other people were going, especially knowing you were a loyal member of the gang as well?"
MR SWANEPOEL: Well you see, Mr Tsotsetse, the Committee is now confronted with three versions as to how it came about that the cars were stolen that were used during Sam Nduli's assassination and also a different version as to who was present on the day that the assassination took place. Can you explain that?
MR SWANEPOEL: As it pleases Mr Chairperson. That you went without Mr Zimu during September 1991 to steal the two cars in question and you gave evidence that you went with Mr Zimu during September 1991 to steal the two cars in question, so there are three different versions. Can you explain that?
MR TSOTSETSE: I have already explained that Themba was also involved in stealing the cars, but I don't know what happened to the car that he stole, but the cars that were used are the cars that I brought myself and I handed them over to Tereblanche.
MR SWANEPOEL: If you could just bear with me a moment Mr Chairman, I just want to - where is the evidence of the previous - and why is it that you now say that Mr Zimu did not remain behind with you on the day of the assassination of Mr Nduli but that you gave evidence to that effect earlier?
CHAIRPERSON: He's already explained. It's mainly a question of argument, because when you asked him this earlier, although you referred to the section where he said Themba Zimu, he said he was referring to Thembinkosi.
CHAIRPERSON: If you could just please listen to the question Mr Mlaba. How many meetings did you attend, not that what you know about, did you attend where the death of Mr Nduli was discussed? You yourself, how many were you present at?
MR TSOTSETSE: The first meeting was one that was held in Kuthuza and the second one is when I met with Mr Mafulela, when I was instructed to go and steal the car. The last meeting was held in Mzizi's house, where they emphasised that there is a need for cars.
MR TSOTSETSE: No, I did not know who was going to pull the trigger but I believed that as we were there, those people were the people who were gong to commit the murder, but I did not know actually who was going to do the actual killing.
MR TSOTSETSE: All I can remember was that they were going to use his girlfriend in order to get hold of him, but I did not know where he was going to be found, otherwise I heard that his girlfriend was going to be used.
MR SWANEPOEL: Mr Chairperson, I am in possession of a copy of a part of a transcript of what appears to be evidence in front of the Goldstone Commission, pertaining to the murder of Sam Nduli. Now, I unfortunately didn't make copies yet. I will do so in due course, if you would permit me to question.
MR SWANEPOEL: The part of the evidence that I would like to canvass with him is that Mr Xhosa says that a blue Chev vehicle was used in the killing of Mr Nduli and whether this witness knows about the existence of such a vehicle.
"People who were plotting the assassination, I would say the meeting was held at Abraham Mzizi's home and Abraham Mzizi was present as well as Gert Mzizi and Albert Mlaba was present as well."
CHAIRPERSON: He didn't go so far as to say planned it, it was discussed and he said it was first raised at the first meeting he attended, it was discussed. He said he wasn't aware of any plans. You asked him about what the method was, he said he didn't know.
CHAIRPERSON: Well was he, I'm just asking, was he detained from his arrest because very often people get arrested and then they get released on bail and then they were tried, I don't know what - you know the fact that you're arrested doesn't mean that you're out of action continuously from the time of your arrest to the time of your release from jail, after you've been sentenced.
CHAIRPERSON: So that means - it's better to talk about being sentenced rather than actually arrested. Mr Tsotsetse, Mr Zimu said that he was in jail from August 1991 through to August 1992. You say now that he was present at the meeting that was held at the house of Mr Mzizi and that the following day cars were stolen and Mr Nduli was then murdered shortly thereafter and we also know that Mr Nduli was in fact murdered at the end of September 1991, which means that on what you are saying, Themba Zimu couldn't have been at the meeting at Mzizi's house as he would have been in jail at that time. What do you have to say about that?
MR TSOTSETSE: I knew Themba through IFP and Mafulela. On this particular day that I'm talking about when it was discussed at a meeting that cars should be arranged, Themba was present at that meeting in Mr Mzizi's house.
MR TSOTSETSE: If they dispute that, I won't say anything but their consciences are telling them that they were present there. I cannot just fabricate that story but their consciences know very well that they know something about Sam Nduli's death.
MR SWANEPOEL: If necessary, Mr and Mrs Mzizi will deny that there was ever a meeting at their house where the murder of Sam Nduli was discussed or where either you or Mr Zimu were present. What do you say to that?
MR TSOTSETSE: I'm saying the same thing, that he knows very well that he was present in that meeting where Sam Nduli was the subject. If - not unless perhaps they are talking about a meeting as a meeting with a large number of people, but they were in a group who was discussing that Sam Nduli should be killed.
Mr Tsotsetse, during this period of the Ngema massacre as well as when the killing of Sam Nduli happened, what was the situation in the township and more in particular, the situation between the ANC and the IFP, from your experience?
MR TSOTSETSE: During those days it was very tense in the townships and I remember very well that there was a conflict between IFP and ANC. As, I think, the first hostel was already demolished at the time.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: If you personally did not regard ANC supporters or members as your enemies, why do you say this attack on the Ngema Tavern was committed with a political objective? What do you see being your political motivation for taking part in that attack?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now these incidents that you're applying for amnesty for, would you say that these incidents where you were involved, I'm referring to the Ngema Tavern as well as conspiracy of Sam Nduli's death, the killing of people on the taxis as well as eviction of people from their houses, do you say that you committed these acts with any political objective in mind?
MR TSOTSETSE: In all what you have mentioned, there's nothing that was ever my initiative or I took a decision about. Mafulela and Mzizi were the people who made it possible for the people from Natalspruit to hate me because during these conflicts they would come and fetch me from my home and I was portrayed as a person who had a double agenda, therefore I couldn't stay comfortably at my home, I was forced to go to their side.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you mentioned in your latest statement that was read into the record today that when you met Mr Khumalo, that you were together with a certain Mr Mogadi. Was that Mr Mogadi a member of the Mogadi Gang? Would you know?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I'd like to explain this so you may be enlightened. You see, there is this tendency that when you are in a shebeen or in some tavern of some kind and we are sitting and drinking together, there would be such occasions that we would have Mogadi in our company in such fashion, so we will be just sitting down and having fun and drinking.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, the one thing I will say is that Zwile, one person was always in the kombi together with Khumalo or Mzwakhe's son and they people who will patrol around the location and even at that particular time when they will get to Ngema when I had not known Khumalo, I think Zwile was there as well, I will say so.
CHAIRPERSON: But what Ms van der Westhuizen is asking you for instance, was Mr Chamane involved in the murder of Norman Sithole at all or was he involved in the murder of Mr Nduli, or was he involved in these incidents where you would pretend that you were ANC taxis and take passengers and take them to the hostel to be killed, or was he involved in the incidents where you told people to get out of their houses and leave the area?
MR TSOTSETSE: In my killing, Norman Zwile was not there present, but with the Sam Nduli incident he was present and the others, I may say that he would be present and in other ones he would not be present, but in this particular one of the taxi, Zwile was a prisoner awaiting trial.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Tsotsetse, it's a very serious thing to implicate a person in the involvement of a criminal activity where he is actually not involved, therefore I want you to explain exactly what was Mr Chamane's role, according to you, in the killing of Sam Nduli.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see I will not saw Zwile had done this because I was not there when Sam Nduli was captured, I wasn't there, I will not know all the intricacies relating to that but one thing I know is that he was there from the hostel.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Well, I will put it to you that Mr Chamane denies that he went with to kill Mr Sam Nduli. He only heard of Mr Nduli's death after he was already killed. Do you have any comment on that?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Tsotsetse, I will indeed show to you that you said that Mr Chamane is one of Gugu's killers and I will demonstrate it, it's going to take some time and I'm going to do this to demonstrate that you will involve Mr Chamane in as many matters as you can. Do you remember making a warning statement regarding the death of Sam Nduli?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, I'm just going to read a paragraph from this statement before going in too much detail and I just want your comment whether you can remember having said this and that is the following, I'll read it to you
"On the same Sunday I heard that Sam Nduli has been killed. One day the same group suggested that Gugu Mzizi should be killed before revealing information about the death of Sam Nduli. She was also killed. One of the hit men is Zwile."
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, the date of the statement is the 12th of December 1996 and it was taken from, well he's referred to as Thulani Mlaba at the Boksburg Prison and it's a warning statement in respect of the murder of Sam Nduli.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, as I said I did not talk about Zwile that he had killed Gugu but that is the information I gathered in prison, but I did not have the details as I was already locked up in prison, not a free man.
CHAIRPERSON: So you were making a statement about things you didn't know, you were basing what you were saying in the statement on things that you had heard, but you didn't know yourself, is that what you're saying?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, if I remember well, we did not quite understand each other, myself and the Sergeant who was taking the statement, because if I remember well, we did not even bring closure to the discussion we had. Those were the things also which brought some conflict between myself and him because I also went to the other police who was there to tell him that the things that he is furnishing to me or advising to me, I had no knowledge of.
CHAIRPERSON: Just let's get this clear now, Mr Tsotsetse, are you saying now that you've got no knowledge that Mr Chamane played any role in the killing of Mr Nduli's girlfriend, personal knowledge? You haven't got any first-hand knowledge that he played a role in the killing of Gugu?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, if you could just give me a moment, I just wanted to use something. Now you testified that this specific - sorry before I move on, I just want to put it to you that Mr Chamane could not have been involved in the killing of Gugu Mzizi since she died on the 18th of April 1994 at which time Mr Chamane was already in prison. Do you have any comment on that?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now earlier on you were asked about the death of a certain Happy and there was mention made of a Happy Thokoza and I know that you said that you were not involved with this specific incident. I just want to ask you, could this surname, if you know at all, of Happy have been Happy Mbele?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, well then call her Happy Mbele, I only heard after her death or after Happy's death, I knew Happy as Happy before the death because he was one person in the location who was working for the firms nearby.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, Mr Tsotsetse, do you remember that at a certain stage the TRC requested certain particulars or they asked you certain questions to your application for amnesty, can you remember that?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Let me make it clear to you, on the 13th of November 1998, the Amnesty Committee sent you a written request for further particulars in which they asked you further information relating to your amnesty application which was thereafter responded to in writing. Can you remember that you replied in writing to certain questions?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, I also do not have copies of this request as well as reply available. It might not be necessary to make such copies, I just would like to ascertain whether this is indeed the answer given by the specific applicant.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. Mr Tsotsetse, I want to show you a hand-written document and I want you to have a look at it and see whether there are indeed the answer that you wrote down and sent to the TRC.
"Were you assisted by any IFP members in carrying out these acts? Kindly supply the names of your co-accused for each offence that you committed."
"Murder of Frank Happy Mbele in Thokoza in December 1992. I was assisted by the IFP members in carrying this act. My co-accused in the offence are the very people I have stated above, which were involved in the murder of Sam Nduli."
"Oscar Msomi, Gertrude and Abraham Mzizi, Lucky Xhosa, Sabelo, Obed Radebe, Zwile Chamane, Mbhekiseni Khumalo, Mphikelele Khumalo and Nkunu."
You say the very same people were together with you involved in the murder of Frank Happy Mbele. Why do you say these people were involved together with you if even not yourself was involved in this killing?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, when I mentioned these names or these people, I wasn't necessarily mentioning the names of the people who partook, but those were the people who were quite important in the area with regards to the IFP, those were the people who had knowledge about the death of Happy.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Well Mr Tsotsetse I want to put it to you, you are implicating people in a very serious matter. It's the murder of a man, not knowing whether they were involved. You merely implicating them on your own version now because they were important people. Do you have any comment on that?
"With whom did you conspire to murder Sam Nduli? Who planned the murder of Sam Nduli? Who else was involved in the murder of Sam Nduli? Who gave the orders to kill Sam Nduli?"
"The murder of Sam Nduli was planned by Albert Mafulela Mlaba and Abraham Mzizi, Obed Radebe. Msomi Tereblanche was also involved. Gertrude Mzizi and Thembinkosi gave the orders.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Well, I put it again to you that you are merely implicating leaders of the IFP for reasons of your own. Thembinkosi was never mentioned before and this is the first time you mention him, specifically in relation to Sam Nduli's death.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I was trying, I was attempting to respond to your question as to Themba because I will even mention further that even the weapons that were being used, were given by him or were distributed by him, so I will not repudiate that or refute that in any way once you put it to me. Well, you are representing them, that is no wonder and it's not a surprise to me, but they know very well the truth as to this.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Chamane, first of all, I want to inform you that I'm representing Mr Chamane, that is the person whom I'm representing before this Committee and I am going to put it to you that you are not answering my questions. You are mentioning in this statement that Thembinkosi also gave an order for the killing of Sam Nduli. Where did he give this order?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, when I'm talking or mentioning about Thembinkosi, I was referring to the fact that he was there and he has knowledge about the fact of Sam Nduli because he was always in Thokoza, that is Thembinkosi, we could not go by without him getting there.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, when I say he knows, it's not just an assumption or whatever, but at the second meeting, when I was told that I have to go get vehicles, Thembinkosi was there and there are weapons or firearms that I took from his car.
CHAIRPERSON: That second meeting, you said that it was Mafulela, Msomi and I've got it here, there were three people who met you and it wasn't really a meeting. That's what you said. You said it was Mafulela, Msomi and that you actually just came across them. You said you had that first meeting at the hostel where it was decided to steal the two cars and then you said sometime thereafter you came across those three, I think it was three people, it was Mafulela, Msomi and one other and they mentioned to you that Themba Zimu is in jail, now you will have to steal the cars yourself and that wasn't really a meeting, you just happened to come across them, they told you that info. Now are you saying that Thembinkosi was there at that time?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Mr Tsotsetse, now you're putting us in the picture when Mr Nkosi so-called got involved in this killing of Sam Nduli. What order did he give you regarding the killing of Sam Nduli?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, I want to put it to you, this is a demonstration, you will involve any leaders of the IFP in order to persuade this Committee to give you amnesty. What is your comment to that?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I'll reiterate the fact that you are representing Chamane and everything that I utter in this Commission is the truth and I won't say so much, I won't go more than this, but they know very well what I'm saying deep down in their hearts.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, I want to take you to the specific Ngema Tavern attack. You mention in your affidavit that you went to Angus to do some shopping. What did you go and buy at Angus? Did you buy beer on that day?
CHAIRPERSON: Is the lunch ready? Do you know, have you seen? Yes, I'm told it is. Yes, if that will be a convenient time, we'll take an adjournment. Can we resume at 25 to two? Will that be convenient?
Mr Tsotsetse, it appears from your affidavit, Exhibit B, that you went to Mr Khumalo's house at approximately 6 o'clock. During that afternoon from 2 o'clock till 6 o'clock, did you consume any liquor?
MR TSOTSETSE: He just left a parcel there with a child and we left, we didn't stay for a long time and we proceeded to the hostel. I am not sure whether Zimu had something to drink or not, but he was just sober as I know him.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you say that he said that he wanted to show you where the ANC comrades hang out and that they should be killed. Did you know yourself which places the ANC comrades used to frequent?
MR TSOTSETSE: I had no idea but that I only knew that in that particular area was the ANC terrain, it's only the ANC members who would be found there, but I didn't know anything about the places that they frequented.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I questioned him. He said that those were the comrades who killed his wife and I asked him again, because he's the one who instructed us to kill his wife, but he said that he knows very well that those were the comrades who killed his wife.
MR TSOTSETSE: From my own thinking, a lot of things that were happening there, if they were talking about Natalspruit, as a person who was residing at Natalspruit they said it's easy for me to know Natalspruit very well and I can be able to point out places to the other people who did not reside in the area.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now taking you to a bit later that day, or that evening, when you returned to Mr Khumalo's house, when you arrived at the house, you said you went together with Mr Zimu as well as Thembinkosi and that when you arrived there you found a lot of people standing outside in groups. Now when you arrived there, the three of you, did you go inside the house, or did you remain outside?
MR TSOTSETSE: It was a night vigil. I cannot go on listening to the different groups of people to hear what is it that they were saying, I just joined a group of people and started discussing because there were so many people moving around there.
MR TSOTSETSE: No, I never mentioned that. Well, he told me about this, it was not something that was going to take place on that very same day, I just knew that it was just a house that would be attacked anytime, but not on that particular day of the night vigil.
"Mbhekiseni told me that the house he showed me earlier that day was the house which we are supposed to attack."
MR TSOTSETSE: Khumalo talked to me on our way to Kwesenye Hostel. he never mentioned anything in his yard but he just told me that the house that he pointed out to me during the day, he was supposed to go there, there were people he was supposed to kill on that particular day, on a Friday.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Just for clarification purposes, are you now saying that there in the back of the yard that evening, Mr Mbhekiseni did not tell you to go and attack Ngema Tavern? I'm talking about, not to confuse you, that evening standing outside Mr Khumalo's house. Did he not there tell you to go and attack the house, or tavern rather?
MR TSOTSETSE: He gave me the firearm and he told me that the house that he pointed out to me during the day, I was supposed to go to that particular house, otherwise I couldn't do anything if I was not given a firearm.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now Mr Chamane testified and I just want to put it to you that he did not hear any such order being given by Mr Khumalo. Do you confirm that it's possible that he maybe was not there at the time?
MR TSOTSETSE: I would like to pose a question to you. Was it possible for Zwile to take a firearm without being told where to go? Obviously he was going to ask what to do with the firearm. When Zwile was told to go with us and go to that particular house, because I'm the person who knew the place, he knew very well what was going to happen and where we were going. It was not only Ngema Section, the other people who were killed, the people in the Thokoza area, just next to that place. To me it was very difficult for me to go and kill a woman. I didn't want to do that. I couldn't understand the fact that you should go and kill the females and those were the people that were instructed by Khumalo to kill.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, I also want to put it to you that Mr Chamane testified that the AK47 that was in his possession that night, he did not receive that AK47 from Mr Mbhekiseni but that Induna Mkhondo fetched it from the hostel and handed it over to him. Do you have any comment on that?
MR TSOTSETSE: All I can say is that all the firearms were brought by one person, 3 AK 47's and 1 pistol. All these firearms, as we were standing there, they were given to all of us. No one said: "I had my own firearm" and rejected that other firearm, but we were given those firearms by Khumalo. Khumalo was given those firearms by somebody else.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now also, whilst you were standing there in the yard and Mr Mbhekiseni now giving you this specific order, did you have any plan worked out what exactly you were going to do there or a route that you were going to follow?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but most of the attacks the objective was to kill people, but that also necessitated some sort of planning. What Ms van der Westhuizen wants to know is, did you people when you set off, when you got those firearms, did you have any plan in mind how you would go about killing these people? Did you have any tactic to follow or anything of that nature?
MR TSOTSETSE: No. I did not know that yard therefore we couldn't have any plan, but we were thinking that we could find the people outside the house or perhaps inside the house. That would depend. We did not have a specific plan.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Thank you Honourable Chair. Mr Tsotsetse, just to make sure, the people who set out on their way to Ngema Tavern was you yourself, Zwile Chamane, Mr Zimu and Thembinkosi Buthelezi, is that correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot say Boshini was a friend of mine, he was just a young man, we grew up together but he was a bit older than me. I knew him because I was staying in Natalspruit. That's how I know him,
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now you also stated in your affidavit that Zwile showed Thembinkosi how to operated the AK47. I just need to put it to you that Mr Chamane testified and said that he showed Mr Zimu how to operate the AK47, that was confirmed by Mr Zimu. Is this maybe a mistake in your affidavit?
MR TSOTSETSE: The person that I heard uttering, saying that he cannot operate the firearm, it was Thembinkosi. He's the one who said he cannot operate that then Zwile showed him as to how to use the firearm.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now just to get to the portion, or the section where you say that you're now at the tavern, you say that the person who was walking behind you was Zwile Chamane, do you know where Mr Zimu was?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, in your statement you say that you went outside and asked Priscilla from where the "hi-fi" was being operated. What I want to ask you, is this person Priscilla, have you met her before that night?
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: And is it also true that, I know that you were not the whole time in custody, that you at a stage escaped and were later re-arrested, but that during the proceedings of the trial as well as your imprisonment later on, you and Mr Chamane didn't get on very well.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: He testified and said that you, at a stage whilst either in the police cells or prison cells, pointed him out to ANC fellow inmates as the person being responsible for killing ANC comrades. Can you remember such an incident?
MR TSOTSETSE: When I was about to switch off the speaker, I heard gunshot on the other side of the garage, therefore I did not manage to go back there. When I went there I saw Zwile and the others running away and I joined them leaving Priscilla and the other gentleman who was in another room there.
MR TSOTSETSE: I didn't see what I was expecting there, I just found people drinking, therefore I did not, I was not the one who was believing that those were the ANC people. As I was shooting the speaker, I wanted to search those people and see if they did not have firearms and I knew very well that the ANC people wouldn't just sit down and drink knowing very well that the situation is tense, I just found the people who were drinking there. I decided to shoot at the speaker and after that we try and search them to get the firearms, if they had any.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Now, just on the aspect of the killing of Mr Norman Sithole, in your affidavit you say that, if I understand you correctly, you were, this Norman Sithole or Booi Sithole was actually sort of your brother-in-law, is that correct?
"He walked past us and then stopped. He looked in our direction, called my name and put his hand in his belt as if he was reaching for a gun. I shot him on the chest and we ran away."
MR PADI: Thank you Mr Chair. May I request Ms van der Westhuizen to confine herself to the incident in which her client has been implicated because he's not mentioned anywhere in the killing of Norman Sithole.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chair, I'm not going to pursue this any further, I just want to put it to you, Mr Tsotsetse that you, as in the Ngema incident, also in this incident, try and exonerate yourself by saying that, looking for an excuse for instance in this incident with Norman Sithole, to say why you shot the man and that you're not fully accepting responsibility for what you did. Do you have any comment on that?
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Before we proceed with questioning, it would seem that, from the cross-examination of Ms van der Westhuizen, that Mr Thembinkosi has now been implicated for the first time in this matter and the correct procedure should be to give him notification in terms of Section 30 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act. I would direct Mr Mapoma that this be done and that also a transcript, just of the relevant portion of the evidence, be attached to the notice to be sent to Mr Thembinkosi as soon as possible.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Honourable Chairperson, I actually neglected to ask that the Request for Further Particulars and Mr Tsotsetse's response thereto be handed up. I will do that in the light of the fact that he had a look at his response and he actually confirmed that it was hand-written by him.
CHAIRPERSON: We were given a copy, I haven't had time to read it Ms van der Westhuizen. I don't know, has everybody else got a copy of this? Have you all got? Yes, it's been referred to, it's been identified, it's not in issue. We'll have that then received as Exhibit C.
MR TSOTSETSE: If my memory serves me correctly Nobanda is the one who took a statement from me. Madasa, though I am not certain about that, there was an Advocate that I talked to at Sanlam Centre in the hearing that I was involved in, the one that took place in the boardroom. I remember that there was a person, I think that was Madasa.
"Statement of Thulani Mlaba taken on 28 May 1998 by his legal representative Adv Z L Madasa as a consequence of an agreement between the Investigation Unit of the TRC and Adv Madasa."
MR TSOTSETSE: He never mentioned to me that he was taking a statement. I remember that person, he never said he wanted my statement. He represented me because Nobanda couldn't make it, so he said he cannot continue with the matter therefore I had to wait for Nobanda and then he questioned me roughly about the things that I knew about Khumalo.
MR RICHARD: Now if you go back to page 89, 90, that's a hand-written version of the typed statement, Annexure H, which is Annexure H to your application. Isn't it correct that that was prepared by your legal representative?
MR TSOTSETSE: It is the one who told me that she was taking a statement to forward to the Truth Commission as I have said that Mike Bellingan and the other gentleman that I cannot remember, this is the person that I said I cannot remember, Nobanda, that is.
MR RICHARD: Because, well I haven't yet been able to pursue it as fully as I might, I can say what Mr Pigot and his successor Ms Sealy would say, is that neither of them ever helped you prepare a statement, or helped you complete an amnesty application.
MR TSOTSETSE: I also did not say that they made the statement, I said Pearce was the person who would visit the prison and we would tell him things and he would write down and he would bring some other people like the advocate and I am sure that whatever he was writing down, it was something that was coming from me.
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot say who was the senior, but during the funeral of Khumalo's wife, Khumalo was a well-known person because even people from Soweto, East Rand, West Rand, all the people, a large number of people were there. I can say maybe he was a senior, but I'm not sure.
MR TSOTSETSE: I knew Percy before meeting Khumalo. I used to hear people talking about Percy Shabangu and when I met with Khumalo, Percy was no longer alive, but I heard his name as a person who was associated with Khumalo.
MR TSOTSETSE: I am not saying I cannot remember whether I was present or not, but I cannot remember how he died, whether he was killed by the comrades or whatever, but I heard that he died in Tlapo street.
MR TSOTSETSE: Thembinkosi and myself, Thembinkosi was residing in Natalspruit and he used to be a friend of mine and we used to go together. I think his relations with Khumalo were the same as mine, because he was also an IFP.
MR RICHARD: And then we have Zwile Chamane, whom we've heard about and Mbatho, we've heard about them. now isn't it correct that all these 13,14 names that I've listed were members of what was known as the Khumalo Gang, including you?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well this is my approach to this explanation that those are the people I never was with and I’d heard that when I was already residing in Thokoza and Khumalo had already left residing towards the hostel and I never was even at any stage close to them, or with them.
MR TSOTSETSE: I don't even have knowledge of this Khumalo Gang. Well maybe there was a Khumalo Gang existing somehow, but I only knew about Khumalo to be the very one who was a killer, or killing, as to the gang, I bear no knowledge of that.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well Khumalo killed my friend, one close friend of mine one story surfaced that he did not want anyone after 8 o'clock at night in the location in the streets and a person like myself who was wearing ordinary location clothes, would not even pass by, so he is the one, he had a hand in the killing of my friend and he did not like people like us in the location.
MR TSOTSETSE: Before I met Khumalo, the person I'm referring to as a friend of mine, he was called by him and he went to his house, Khumalo that is and found that he was not there and he shot in the room and after that Lucky and his parents suggested that Lucky must go to Khumalo to have some discussion with Khumalo in light of the problem and when Khumalo arrived at his place, he shot at Lucky and I knew very well that Khumalo was the one who was killing. He may be in a group of people, but he himself would do as well the killing, so that many people had the knowledge that it was Khumalo himself who killed Lucky. Now as to his association with the group or other people, I know he would have such association with other people or be in a group because even that particular day in question he had been in the company of a group.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I will not deny that, but during my times there, I don't remember the Khumalo Gang, but we'll have people of the Zulu nation who would always have dealings or were closely connected with Khumalo and were hostel dwellers. People like Peter were people who were quite close to Khumalo, but no longer had the time. Peter I know him for a fact because even in prison I met with him. I know him very well as well as Mzwakhe Khumalo.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see I did not join the IFP with intent or with such intentions or deliberately so that I'm going to join IFP. You see, this is how it happened. Khumalo got there at Twala and I did not know him at first but I'd heard about him that he's a killer and I will be pointed at his car, people showing me at his car and he arrived on this particular day. I was in the company of Mogadi and others and Khumalo arrived and where we were, we were in a garage drinking some beer and there's only one small door, not the big vehicle door, so he went into the house. We first saw him and we locked the door. We were locked inside. Now Mogadi was inside and it became apparent that he and Mogadi were not in good talking terms, so to speak. We were quite many in number in the garage and when he was approaching towards, or approaching the gate there was a vehicle or a van parked there and we attempted to escape but somebody told him that there was a door leading to the garage and as he was turning back, he had in his possession different types of firearms and he never even ...(indistinct) if I remember very well, but what he did, he took the boy that was from that house and that was the boy who was killed by Khumalo and after that we went back to that house to inquire as to what he wanted and the lady in the house told us that he had taken the boy from the house to kill. An hour later we realised that he had already shot the boy and went back to report this to the parents and he had left the message that he will come back later in the afternoon and we were no longer in the house, but we were somewhere else, and indeed he came and shot another person and set the house alight. As to how he obtained my home address, I don't know, but he did get it at any rate and went in and shot in and left a message that my parents should purchase the casket for me or a coffin, but I did not believe that he knew me in person.
MR RICHARD: So what you're telling us is that you joined the Inkatha Freedom Party out of fear of your life and that in fact you would have been killed if you had not joined the IFP, is that in short what you're telling us?
MR TSOTSETSE: I'm trying to explain that because Mafulela was the one who told me that in a situation like this - okay, let me go back. You see the house of Mafulela is not too far away from Spruit, so he had a car and back rooms as well so I was residing in one of the back rooms and go and visit my home occasionally until they realised that I was residing there full time and there was already this conflict that had broken out in the location, so my sibling was told that he should try to get me, but if they don't succeed they will be killed, but then I will receive such information, but it so happened that one Sunday on of my siblings came over to my place to where I was residing. I think he was under surveillance and was captured by some boys somewhere in Natalspruit and he was killed subsequently and I never went there at all of that. This is how and why I joined Inkatha subsequently.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well I will not repudiate all of that but it was my first time to enter her premises at that time. You see, I was brought up in that location and from my house Ngema is quite close and there were shops located there and I will go freely, but as to go, as to go into her house, I will not, but I think she was told by people because I grew up in that area, I'm pretty well-known, but as for entering into her house, that was my first time and I did not even have the knowledge that that was a tavern, her place that is.
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, I had no such an idea but I did not even know, as to an extent that even when Khumalo would point a house and say: "This is the hang-out place", I would believe it because I had no idea.
MR RICHARD: Did you know in advance whether IFP member drank in a particular tavern or ANC members drank in the same tavern, or a mixture of both? If you went out on a Saturday afternoon to have a beer, would you know which was which?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well, when I was still in Spruit, things like IFP and ANC were not existing and they were not quite of great importance so that the people were all mixed together. These things started and originated around this time when IFP would be one side and the ANC would be the other and those were things that never pre-occupied my mind earlier on.
MR RICHARD: That means that if I put it to you that on the day of the massacre in the Ngema Tavern the patrons of the establishment were mostly non-aligned and politics was not an issue and in fact it was not relevant as to which party who belonged to, you wouldn't dispute what I said?
MR TSOTSETSE: Well as I had explained, that although Khumalo had said there were people of ANC, I believed that because the other side was IFP dominant and the other ANC, so when you are on the other side you will obviously know especially that I'd already left the area for quite some time, I will not be in a position to know exactly as to what, except it was well established and bottom line was once you are in the other side, you are known to be aligned to that particular group and on the other side as well.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr Tsotsetse you said that when you went into that room and you wanted to shoot out the speakers to make it quiet, it was your intention to sort out which people were ANC members, to establish whether they were by seeing if they've got guns, didn't you say that?
MR TSOTSETSE: I did say that, but it was not the way Khumalo had explained to me. When people had gathered in one cause, you can easily tell that they have one thing in common there, but for people who were in a relaxed mood like that having their beers, it's not quite easy for one to tell that now they are busy on a certain task or so, but upon getting there it was not the picture that had been portrayed to us earlier on, when we got there we found a different picture altogether.
MR RICHARD: But what I'm asking you now is the following: Is it not true to say that the sole method of target selection, to put it that way, that was used in identifying the Ngema Tavern as a target to be shot up, was its address and beyond that no-one had any particular factual knowledge of who drank, frequented in that tavern, or why?
MR RICHARD: What I'm saying is that when whoever, and you tell us it was Mr Khumalo, made a decision that that tavern should be attacked, and he chose it, the only information he had to go on was its address and apart from the fact that its address was in a so-called ANC area, he knew nothing at all about who was in that tavern?
MR TSOTSETSE: He had given us Sesdodo's address. There was one lady who was residing in Thokoza and he had instructed us to kill her as well and Mr Ndaba was also in the list as well as Thami, who owned a bottle store further up, was also one of the people who was sought.
MR TSOTSETSE: I suspect Khumalo himself, although he had sent other people because he first came to me that we must kill the wife and to me that was difficult to carry and once I'd heard that the wife had been killed I had it in myself that he knows very well what happened to the wife.
MR RICHARD: And then once you were inside the house, you were, your suspicions were confirmed. You could now see that there was no particular reason to believe that that particular house and that particular tavern was an ANC stronghold, or a place where Mr Khumalo's wife's killers would be enjoying themselves.
MR TSOTSETSE: You see, for such a question I will not have an appropriate answer or response because according to the instructions I had been given, it was in such a way that I would get there and shoot randomly, not ask any questions or establish anything, for that matter and when I got there, I realised that those people were in a jubilant mood, they were in such a mood that they were dancing and chatting around, this is why I aimed at the speaker and thereafter left to establish where the "hi-fi" set was placed, but then I heard the fire arms, or the shots. I don't know what went through the minds of my colleagues, if I may say.
MR TSOTSETSE: I wanted to go back there and try and search those people and then we would later discuss because Khumalo told us that those people had firearms, therefore we had to bring those firearms with.
MR TSOTSETSE: I said, if a person was prepared to fight, you could see those people and those people were expecting nothing, they looked more like ordinary people enjoying themselves. It became too difficult for me to shoot at a person in that condition. I just decided to draw their attention by shooting at the speaker and after that we would later search them.
MR RICHARD: My last proposition is if Priscilla comes and gives evidence and says that some time before the shooting you had been at her tavern, got drunk and been asked to leave, what would be your answer?
MR TSOTSETSE: As I've explained before that that was my very first time to set my foot on those premises and I didn't even know that was a shebeen. I only realised that place was a shebeen on that particular day.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Tsotsetse, tell me Sir, do you appreciate that one of the most important things that you have to do before you could qualify for amnesty would be that you have to tell us the truth, the whole truth?
MR MOTLOUNG: And listening to you testify, I'm getting an impression here, you may correct it, that somewhere deep in your heart you feel bitter, you feel neglected, abandoned by certain people, is that impression correct?
MR MOTLOUNG: I say I'm getting an impression that you feel like somebody who feels that I have been used, there were these people that used me, now I'm sitting it out alone in jail and they are there out of there apparently and you feel so bad about it, is that impression correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: Yes, that is correct. Some of them are here and I can see Mr Mzizi, he's in a suburb today, he came to prison to tell me to apply for amnesty and he promised me everything but today he's staying in a suburb.
MR TSOTSETSE: I was in Johannesburg prison with Themba Zimu. We were trying to phone them, people like Thaba Dlamini, people who had positions in IFP and they always promised to come and visit us and we told them that we were looking forward to applying for amnesty, but we didn't know what to say. They always told us to get clean and wait for them, even when we were sentenced in 1994 we made some tricks because we wanted to see their position, because we could see that they were neglecting us. We spoke with Themba and pretended as if we were TRC officials and we phoned them and we told them that we are TRC officials who are here in jail and there are members here in jail who wanted to apply for amnesty, then when he heard that those people were TRC officials, he came straight to jail and he told us that TRC people phoned and he said it's a good thing that you did not make a statement and then they told us not to apply because they said they were going to buy us TVs and they were going to do anything for us and even on that particular day, he gave us money and then he told us not to say anything to the TRC officials and he even said that we shouldn't implicate anyone in the IFP. Then he left us with that instruction.
MR SWANEPOEL: Mr Chairperson, my apologies, might I intervene here? Maybe my learned friend could indicate where his line of cross-examination is going. If it has any bearing on what happened in 1990 and 1993 in Thokoza, that is all good and well, if he's implying that people are trying to prevent evidence from coming out, maybe that should have some basis in fact and I would like to inquire whether evidence is going to be led along those lines. I don't know what the line of examination is aiming at.
MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Swanepoel, Mr Chairman, maybe before I even answer the question, you know when you did your cross-examination I found myself so many times constrained to ask exactly where are you getting, but I didn't make it my task to creep in during your cross-examination but maybe coming back to the question pertinently, my understanding of this whole process Sir, is that we want to know the truth and I want to suggest that if the information that I have at my disposal is correct, it is imperative that we should know that there are people out there who might even be trying to silence this applicant and that may have a bearing on the future Sir.
MR SWANEPOEL: Mr Chairperson, with respect. My learned friend is cross-examining. Cross-examining is something which is questions that is asked about evidence being given at this hearing. If my learned friend wants to put further evidence before this hearing that might impact on the coming out of the truth or not, then he's welcome to do so, but then that must obviously be tested as well.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and also of course one's cross-examination isn't limited to the evidence that has been given, if you call a witness and have that witness in the box for half a minute, somebody is entitled to cross-examine that person for half a day on all aspects of the matter, surely.
CHAIRPERSON: But I think there must be some basis, you know we don't want just rumours spread out through the press etc., there's got to be some basis, like for instance if Mr Zimu has been assaulted, I mean he was either assaulted or not assaulted. If you know that an attempt was made to stab him, that's fine, you can ask that but we don't want just all sorts of rumours being put as if they were facts and having people maybe improperly implicated when they're in fact not.
MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you Mr Chairman. I'm sure Mr Swanepoel will appreciate that I'm actually agonising in posing some of these questions, I'm not trying to be sensational about it, but I can understand your concerns because some of them turn out to be your clients, some of the people being mentioned. That is perfectly understood, but if I may go on Mr Chairman. Can we step off that point. Mr Tsotsetse if one has a look at your initial affidavit or what purports to be your initial affidavit that went with your application for amnesty and one is just suppose that with your latest affidavit that was made sometime in October this year, I think the 30th of October, I think one thing that cannot escape one's attention is that your latest affidavit is very toned down. In your initial affidavit you implicate yourself in so many incidents and when it comes to the latest, you talk about only three in that affidavit. Do you know why?
MR TSOTSETSE: The reason for that is my legal representative, the one sitting next to me, he mentioned the cases that would be raised by the Commission and this is the one Pretoria incident and the other cases that I was sentenced for and he even made mention of the fact that other details are required from me, I'll have to state them in this affidavit.
MR MOTLOUNG: Yes, I think I hear what you're saying, but what I'm actually putting to you is that it seems to me on the fact of it, the purpose of your latest affidavit was to cut down the number of activities in which you implicate yourself, nothing new, merely cutting down quite a number.
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot explain it in that manner because I said my representative told me that a question will be asked if there were other incidents that were never included in the other affidavit and he told me to mention the charges that I was sentenced for, my aim was not to cut down the other incidents.
MR MOTLOUNG: Okay, let's get what I think is the crux of the whole thing. Is the impression correct that before you went to stay in Thokoza you were a thug? You seemed to ...(indistinct) some speciality in stealing cars.
MR MOTLOUNG: Oh you were a thief? Okay. Sorry. And you knew Mr Mafulela Mlaba because he was connected with this crime that you were doing, stealing cars and that's how far you knew him before you went to stay in Thokoza, is that correct?
MR MOTLOUNG: And when it comes to the Bishop himself, Bishop Khumalo, Mbhekiseni Khumalo, you seemed to know him also as somebody who is busy committing crimes because of his notoriety of killing people, is that correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: I can say so, because at that time I was not staying in Thokoza and I didn't even know Khumalo, I only knew Mafulela. I only heard about Khumalo when he was a very notorious person, that if you are wearing an ...(indistinct) shoe, or whatever, a tie that would identify you as a person who was from the township, that is when I got to know him.
MR TSOTSETSE: What made me to leave home is because of Khumalo. I can say the main person who made me to leave home was Mafulela because after Khumalo had done that and he went to my place, and I don't even know who gave him my address, when I got home I was pointed at the roof, they said: "Look here what Khumalo did and he even told us to buy a coffin" because he was going to kill me.
MR TSOTSETSE: I think so but at that particular time Khumalo was on a killing spree and he wouldn't even distinguish any one and he would just kill any person who was coming from the township, more especially young men who were wearing All Star shoes.
MR MOTLOUNG: Okay. Now you see why I'm asking you all these questions is that I want to suggest to you and maybe you have said it, maybe I didn't get it well, you know, I want to suggest to you that you went to stay with Mafulela Mlaba only as a matter of survival. You knew that you were regarded as a criminal, that amongst others Bishop Khumalo was looking for you, and your only way out was to work with him. Is that correct?
MR MOTLOUNG: Okay. Now apparently I'm referring now in this instance to, if you may refer to page 91 of the first bundle, in fact to be precise page 92, there's mention of some rapes being committed there in Mphikeleli's car. Do you know anything about any of those rapes that were committed?
MR MOTLOUNG: Yes, I can say that but I have no clue. I don't even know what happened, I just heard that from the other people and I don't even know where the incident took place, but I remember one day Mphikeleli's car was set alight by the Thokoza people. I don't even know whether it was set alight because they were abducting people.
MR MOTLOUNG: Do you happen to know why yourself and a few names like Zwile, Tereblanche and other, only that small group, seemed to be a common denominator to the violence, the only small group of people that go about committing crimes and so on.
CHAIRPERSON: Let me put it this way. Now that you know that there were thousands of people who were members of the IFP regarding the incidents in which you yourself were involved, do you know why you specifically had to be involved in committing those crimes?
MR TSOTSETSE: As I have explained before, there were many people who were falling under IFP but the area mostly was under the hostel people because those houses were just in front of the hostel and Tereblanche and the others, they were staying in hostels and there were also different hostels and different gates. Each and every gate had its own leaders. Even if they would meet sometimes, it's possible that like Kuthuza Hostel, Madala Hostel, they had a part that was going through Natalspruit and things that were happening on the other side. I'm trying to explain that perhaps in this hostel there were people who heard that if we instruct certain people, they were going to do a perfect job. They couldn't take anyone because there were also elderly people there. There were also youth and some of them were always in the firms and some of them were unemployed, therefore they had a certain criteria that they were using to get people to do some stuff because they knew that there were people who were unemployed and they were guarding the hostel while the others were at work.
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot dispute that because during the night there would be a fight and up to early hours of the morning and we would be shooting at a group of people, therefore you wouldn't know what happened thereafter. I cannot dispute what you're saying.
MR MOTLOUNG: But speaking in general, I'm sure you can recall if you were ever involved in some street shootings, where you find people walking the streets and you just shoot at them. Were you ever involved in such?
MR TSOTSETSE: There were people sometimes, perhaps they are visiting their relatives and they don't even know which one is a no-go area, moving from Thokoza to Natalspruit, but it's so easy for a person to see a stranger. it would be difficult for one to protect such a person against a crowd and I had nothing to say because I was coming from Natalspruit. Sometimes you would see people dying knowing very well that those people were strangers. Sometimes one would be shot on the leg and try and tell the people that: "I'm coming from Vereeniging but I don't know what was happening", but I couldn't help such people and help them in such a way that I could take them to the hospital, it was very difficult for me to talk about that because I was also scared about my own life. There would be people, innocent people, who would just die in such conditions and it would be clear that that person would be a visitor or a stranger, because what was happening in Natalspruit and Thokoza, if you were a person who was staying there, you wouldn't set your foot on the no-go areas, even if you were from the Thokoza side, it wouldn't be easy for you to go to Natalspruit because it was clear that you'll never come back alive. It is obvious that if you were a person from those townships, it's obvious, it's so easy for them to identify a person from the township because even the language that you use, you cannot speak the language that is used, but the ...(indistinct) the interpreters as they are using this ...(indistinct) language, so therefore it was easy for them to identify us as township people.
MR MOTLOUNG: Okay. And almost finally, talking about the case of Sam Nduli, you say that you were supposed to be part of the group that would go and murder Sam Nduli, but you were told that you were a township tsotsi, you commit many mistakes. Now who were these people that you were with that you saw and knew that they are now leaving and they're going to kill Sam Nduli, who are those people?
MR TSOTSETSE: The person that I saw was Zwile, Obed was driving in his car a Honda Ballade, Mafulela and Tereblanche were also present. The others, I've just forgotten their names, but I can identify their faces.
CHAIRPERSON: But the question was, after they left, approximately how long did you have to wait before you heard that Sam Nduli was actually dead, it wasn't asking whether anybody came back with a car or anything, it was how much later did you hear of the death of Mr Nduli?
MR MOTLOUNG: But tell me, especially someone who came from the township, did you know that there were some criminals who'd commit crimes within the township and when things get hot for them in the township, they would run to the hostels where predominantly you would find IFP people and seek refuge there, did you know about that?
MR MOTLOUNG: Because I want to put it to you in conclusion that what happened here clearly, is that having run away from Katlehong, you found yourselves seated with another criminal who was Mafulela, the one, your regular customer, and he happened to know the Rev Khumalo who was looking for some other criminals who had allegedly raped his daughter, and you saw that your only way out is to do everything with them and pretend to be one of them, whereas in fact deep down in your heart you knew that you were just surviving no politics street. Correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: I disagree with that statement because when I left home, it was not a very good feeling for me. It was very difficult for me to leave my home but because of the conditions prevailing at the time, I had to leave home and I didn't even know that when getting to that other side I would end up working with IFP, but it just happened when I was there on the other side with the IFP people.
MR MOTLOUNG: And just for the benefit of my clients who are victims, I just want to clarify, except for the Ngema shooting and the conspiracy with the people who killed Sam Nduli and the murder of Norman Sithole, are you applying for amnesty for any other crime?
CHAIRPERSON: He said he's applying for three others. The one is this picking up people in the taxis under false pretences and taking them to the hostels and two was the forced evictions from various homes and the third one was a sort of general one, unlawful possession of arms.
Sir, when you joined the Inkatha Freedom Party, I gained an impression that you did not join the IFP because you were necessarily in agreement with the political objective that it intended achieving in South Africa, you joined it simply because you wanted ...
MR MAPOMA: Yes, thank you, Chairperson. And I suppose even the actions that you are involved in, you were not participating in those action with a view to achieve political objective as such, but because you were just loyal to those who gave you instructions, is that correct?
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot say yes or no, but I don't believe that there's something that I did, there's something that I took initiative about and go to kill the people, everything that I did, I did it per instruction from the Commanders and the people that I would hear them talking, people like Thembinkosi, as I have said, that was the IFP terrain.
RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PADI: Mr Tsotsetse, in relation to the motor vehicles that were stolen and were purported to be used in the killing of Sam Nduli, just to clarify this to the Committee, was the motor vehicle that you stole, was it a Corolla, the sedan motor vehicle, was it a Corolla or a Cressida?
MR PADI: You stated under cross-examination that Mr Chamane was present at Mr Mzizi's place when the killing of Mr Nduli was planned. Do you recall him being given any particular instruction relating to the killing, or do you recall any role that he was supposed to play at all?
MR TSOTSETSE: I cannot say he was never given instructions but it's just that I never saw him but he used to stay with these people at the hostel, therefore I don't know what transpired during, in their discussions during my absence.
CHAIRPERSON: If you can just listen to the question. At the time that you lived in Natalspruit when you were stealing cars and Mr Mafulela was one of your customers, did you know him to be an IFP? That is the question, yes or no?
MR TSOTSETSE: She is the one who was instructed to come and get me because they wanted to kill me. I can say she died because of me, because the people who were looking for me - because she phoned to bring me to Natalspruit and she could visit me on the other side, therefore they decided to kill her.
"Although most of the killings were revenge killings since some of our members and/or supporters including my sister, were killed in the location."
ADV SIGODI: I am saying, why I'm asking you about your sister is because of what you have stated in paragraph 10(b) at page 71 where you mention that the killings, why you killed people was because there were revenge killings and you also wanted to revenge because your sister had also been killed. I wanted to find out why you thought that your sister's killing was a result of the political difference.
MR TSOTSETSE: Though I cannot remember very well when she died, after her death I was arrested within a month. I was not talking about her incident because at least there was peace in the township at that time.
MR TSOTSETSE: He did not explain but I think Khumalo's wife was against Khumalo's action, that is what I think because she ended up leaving Natalspruit for Thembisa and as he says that the comrades killed his wife, it's not possible for comrades from Thokoza or Natalspruit to go and kill his wife, he's the only person who knew that his wife was in Thembisa.
MR TSOTSETSE: It's because those cars were not cars that I was selling and I was not expecting any money because I knew that those cars were going to be used in Sam Nduli's killing and I was instructed to leave the cars with Tereblanche and I was not expecting money, ...
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, alright. We'll take a short adjournment now then you can do your various consultations and let us know then whether we shall be hearing any further evidence. How long will you require? Well, just let us know but don't take too long. Thank you. We'll take a short adjournment now to enable legal representatives to discuss matters with their clients.
MS MVELASE: He arrived in November. I think my brother had just bought a car. He had heard from his friends then he came with his friends. It was Thabisa as well as Themba and Star, they were in the garage drinking some beer. When I got out there, I saw him doing funny things and I asked some of his friends to take him out. After a few days I'd heard that he is the one Thulani, and he came back again in December. That was in November the first time, the second time, December. He was chasing after a certain boy and this boy came into my premises and when I was going out to inquire as to what was happening and he said Thulani wants to take my car and I ask him not to take the car of the boy because he has already surrendered, he's been defeated by him for the fact that he fled and then in January, the 22nd, they came for a shoot-out.
MS MVELASE: Well, when the person approaches you or comes to you as a person who sells liquor and knows so many people in the neighbourhood, after he had left the house, I tried to establish as to who this person who was causing havoc was and I was informed that it is Thulani and I was always keeping watch over such people and he was one person who was so problematic in the area, that brought about my knowing the person and making sure that I acknowledge him and I heard that he was also part of the group that was ...(indistinct) and that was very true, because I have seen him, not only that I heard.
MS MVELASE: Zimu entered, Thembinkosi as well, the one who is not present. There were four of them, Zimu and the one who's absent today referred to as Thembinkosi, I'm not sure if he's the Buthelezi, those are the ones who came in.
MS MVELASE: You see I was unaware. I heard the gunshots and I was looking for the keys in the kitchen. I could not even locate where I had put the key and as I turned around from searching for the key and there the AK was facing and pointed at me. He wanted money and he left. He went to the dining room and they were so adamant in insisting that I must give them money and I told the other ones that the first one had already taken the money and they instructed all the children to lie down and the one was resistant and they insulted her and she was still adamant and resisting the fact that she won't lie down and they shot the TV and broke some other items in the house and left.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Ms Mvelase, the translator said if you can just speak a little bit slower, she's having difficulty keeping up with what you're saying. She's got to translate at the same time as you're speaking.
MS MVELASE: Zimu went out and after he got out, the fourth one went out, that is Buthelezi. After they went out, my last child came to me to find out as to what was happening. I wanted to escape or run away. Between the garage and the rooms there was Buthelezi and he turned around to us and said
and I showed him the room where I was, my bedroom in other words and he asked as to who was in there and I was instructed to switch off the "hi-fi", which I did. After a short while, I heard sounds of gunshots and I saw the ones that are here today, they were standing by the doorway and I fled back into the house.
MS MVELASE: Yes, I went back to the garage. Before I got into the door, I found the one who had been shot already in the head and the brains were scattered around the person who had been shot and suffered a gun wound to the head. I went straight out to the front and screamed, hysterically so, to alert the people in the neighbourhood and people did respond.
MS MVELASE: You see that was a tavern that entertained a whole lot of elderly folks, more than the youth. Any other person would come in and relax in the tavern. I'm not a card holder of the ANC, so that I will not even say that place only entertained the ANC patrons, but any person would come.
MR PADI: So during that time, the time of the shooting, was it, because I'm gathering this from your evidence that you gave in chief, that you kept track of the people who caused problems in your place. Was it the practice that you kept from that time, keeping track of the people who caused trouble at your place?
MR PADI: You just said that you started keeping track of the people who were causing problems in your place, because a lot of them were youth. Now my question is again, was there a lot of youth that were drinking at your place just before the shooting incident?
MS MVELASE: I had said I would make it a point that I discourage them and chase them away because I did not want to entertain the idea of entertaining the youth in my tavern, so that if it happens that there will be a youth, it will only be about two or three of them, not the whole lot.
MR PADI: Ms Mvelase you gave evidence that the first time you saw Thulani whom you are referring to as Thuleleni here, was when he came to your place with Thabisa and Themba and Star to drink at your place, is that your evidence?
MR PADI: You are losing me Ms Mvelase. You said that the first time you saw Thulani at your place, that was when he came with Thabisa, Star and Themba and now you're saying that they were regular patrons at your place, that is why you did not chase them away. Can you clarify this?
MS MVELASE: Thabisa, Star, as well as Themba were my customers. I was asking them to leave the place because they brought with them the friend that I did not know and they did listen. They left immediately and they came back the following day to apologise why they had brought with them a youth, or a youngster.
MR PADI: Ms Mvelase, I'd like to, just for the sake of clarity, the garage where your patron would normally drink, is it attached to outside rooms? Are there any outside rooms other than the main house in your premises?
MS MVELASE: You see we have a four roomed house that was standing alone and we had the garage and there was a big window there at the garage and two windows that had two doors respectively and there was a door where people could come in the garage.
CHAIRPERSON: But the garage is a free standing building, it's not got one of its walls being part of the house, it stands alone? It's got four of its own walls although the front part might mainly be mostly doors.
MS MVELASE: Yes, the outside room. My bedroom was there, it was one of those two rooms. As it forms an L, then we'll have two rooms, plus the garage, that connects to the two rooms and one of the two rooms was my bedroom, that's where the "hi-fi" was being operated.
MS MVELASE: You see, after they'd left the house, how I came to know about Thuleleni, it's because I saw them when they left because I followed after them. As I was inside the house, when I heard the gunshots, after they quietened down, I went out and they started counting them because I had only seen and recognised the two and the other two, I was informed by the people that the one was Thuleleni, of the two.
MS MVELASE: Zimu I saw, Buthelezi as well. There was one who was standing at the door and facing to the outside, as I said that Zimu got out first and was followed by Buthelezi, when I tried to escape or to run away, they were standing there in the garage facing into the inside so that I could not see, I could not have been able to identify as to who those were because their backs only were facing to me or at me.
MR PADI: Ms Mvelase, the guy that you're referring to as Zimu, can you maybe try to briefly explain his role in the shooting? When did you see him and what is it exactly that he did on the day in question?
MS MVELASE: He is the one who pointed the gun at me and asked for money or demanded for money and I had to take it out and give it to him and he went to, proceeded to the dining room and found the kids sitting at the chairs and he instructed them to lie down and they ran into the bedroom and he broke the TV set and said to my sibling, or my sister, or brother, he should lie down and my sibling just looked at him and he threw the telephone receiver at him and left outside, to go to the garage. Immediately thereafter, this one emerged and I don't know even where he emerged from, from the bedroom, I don't even know when he gained entry into the bedroom as he was emerging then and he asked for money and I told him that the other comrade or the other colleague of his has the money already, or his friend.
MR PADI: I put it to you Ms Mvelase, Mr Zimu did not ask for money from you, you voluntarily gave the money to him because of whatever it is that could have influenced you, be it the fear of them carrying guns, among other things.
MS MVELASE: No, he asked for money, he demanded that I give him money and he said I must give him the money and called me, he said I'm a bitch and I had the money here on my breast, in my body and I had to draw it out.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Ms Mvelase, the are where you tavern is situated, during those days, would you say that was a predominantly ANC area, or people supporting ANC lived in that area?
MS MVELASE: We were quite mixed together because my neighbours were IFP card carriers, so one would say it was a mixture of both and one will like to recall the fact that there were no conflicts at the time, or violence for that matter.
MS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: Are you saying that - you say there was no violence at that stage? Are you referring to the whole of the East Rand? To which area are you referring, if you say there was no violence?
MS MVELASE: Well, I'm only attempting to explain and contradict Thuleleni's evidence that he had alleged that there were already conflicts at the time, that is not true. Only at that time did the conflicts begin. The fact that they came over to my house to shoot, that's when we heard subsequently that Khumalo's wife died, now they had to kill certain people to accompany Mrs Khumalo in her death.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I'm informed that there's going to be one further witness in this matter, but that witness is not available today unfortunately, but I have been told that that witness will be available to testify tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock, so we shall have no option but to adjourn until tomorrow morning with the view of starting at 9 o'clock at the same hall. You'll be back here at the JISS Centre and we'll start at 9 o'clock with the evidence of this witness. Thank you. So we'll then adjourn until 9 o'clock tomorrow. Please make sure that you're here on time because we won't be able to sit late tomorrow, we can only sit until lunch time. Thank you. Bye-bye.