SABC News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us
 

Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 07 December 1998

Location PIETERMARITZBURG

Day 1

Names SIBISO RICHARD MBHELE

Case Number AM 4018/96

CHAIRPERSON: ... to hear the application for amnesty of Sibiso Richard Mbhele. The Committee consists of myself, John Andrew Wilson, Dr Tsotsi and Mr Lax. Could the legal representatives please put themselves on record?

MR MATTHEWS: Mr Chairman, my name is Shane Matthews, I appear for the applicant, I'm instructed by Laurens de Klerk Attorneys.

MS ARCHER: Mr Chairman, my name is Janine Archer, I have received my instructions on behalf of Patrick Falconer from Larson, Brouton and Falconer Attorneys.

MR MAPOMA: As it pleases, Chairperson, my name is Zuko Mapoma, the Evidence Leader.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, can we continue.

MR MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, is it not required that Mr Mbhele be sworn in, Mr Chair, is it not required that he be sworn in?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, are you calling him now?

MR MATTHEWS: I'll call him, yes.

SIBISO RICHARD MBHELE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR MATTHEWS: Mr Mbhele, if you'd just sit up, no you don't have to stand up, just sit up and speak normally but loudly, you don't have to speak right into the microphone, just speak normally, okay? Just speak now, say - can you hear me properly?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I can hear you.

MR MATTHEWS: Thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: Have those members of the audience who require earphones been issued with them? The earphones have a device you can set, English is on channel 2, Zulu on channel 3.

MR MATTHEWS: Is it correct on the 6th of December 1996, you lodged an application for amnesty?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: This application was thereafter followed with a lengthy affidavit which you have made on the 14th of October 1996, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Your application for amnesty pertains to 12 separate incidents, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: I'm sure that is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The first incident pertains to the murder of a young boy from Thenza's Kraal in 1993, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The second incident the murder of a young male from Nhopupecha during 1993, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The third incident, the murder of Muzi in 1993, correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The fourth incident, the murder of Maphuthalenza Dlamini at Umbonvini in 1993?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The fifth one, the murder of three Transkei soldiers in 1993?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The sixth incident, the murder of Anthony Mzmandi in 1993?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The seventh incident is an attempted murder, an ambush, on a Mr Mabubane in 1993, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The eighth incident is when you were present during the murder of a Mr Msimango, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The ninth incident is the murder of Tula Phute Dlamini in 1993, correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The tenth incident is the murder of a young unknown male person at Umbonvini in 1993?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The eleventh incident involved in the fetching of a Mr Langeza who was murdered by others in 1993?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Added to this also the attempted murder of two white policemen in 1993?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: You've also applied for amnesty for being present during certain planning of the assassination of Reggie Gadebe is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct, although I was not involved in it.

MR MATTHEWS: Mr Mbhele, I think if we could just simply start off with your - the background, your personal circumstances and the background. Is it correct you were born in 1965, the 1st of November?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: You have a standard one education?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: That you have received training with Springbok Patrols?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: As well as with Trident Security at Scottborough in Natal?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: This training involved also the use of certain firearms?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Now, of what political organisation did you become a member in 1992, or earlier?

MR MBHELE: I have been a member of the IFP.

MR MATTHEWS: And as a member of the IFP, is it correct that in 1992 you received training to become a member of the Self Protection Unit?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR MATTHEWS: This training took place at Amatakula Training Camp in Zululand, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I interrupt you at this stage? Who was in charge of the training camp there?

MR MBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, it was Mr Khumalo.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know any other names?

MR MBHELE: No, I do not.

MR MATTHEWS: If you could just explain to us what you saw as the purpose of this training at this particular camp?

MR MBHELE: We were suffering at Ixopo as members of IFP were being killed.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you regard this training as training for the protection of other IFP members?

MR MBHELE: Yes, those are the people who suffered most in Ixopo.

MR MATTHEWS: At the particular time, 1992 to 1993, when most of these incidents occurred, what was the political climate like between the IFP and other political parties in the Ixopo area?

MR MBHELE: There was political tension between the ANC and the IFP, we were attacked.

MR MATTHEWS: Now as a Self Protection Unit member, were you armed?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I had a ...(indistinct) rifle.

MR MATTHEWS: And did you regard it as your specific duty to protect the interests of the IFP?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I regarded it as my responsibility, because I was trained in the use of firearms.

MR MATTHEWS: Before we get onto the specific incidents in question, you also took part in the Shell House march, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I was one of the people who were injured there.

MR MATTHEWS: You were shot, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I was shot at.

MR MATTHEWS: All right. Now the first incident that you are applying for amnesty for is the abduction and killing of a person from Thenza's Kraal, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: I want you to explain to the panel, to the persons present, exactly what occurred and why this killing took place?

MR MBHELE: He was not picked up by me, but by some people who was, he was known to have been involved in the killing of seven IFP members. He was also implicated in the death of the chief, Ndlovu, and when they arrived, they told me this was the person responsible for those deaths, and I shot at him and killed him. The Nkhosi was not present at that time.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was not present?

MR MBHELE: The chief Nkosi Dlamini, was not present.

MR MATTHEWS: Do you recall what this person's name was that was killed?

MR MBHELE: I would be lying, I do not know his name.

CHAIRPERSON: You say you were not present, who went to fetch him?

MR MBHELE: It was somebody from the Hopewell area, whose name I did not know. I just knew him by sight. I knew them to be IFP members, because I do not come from their area.

CHAIRPERSON: You see I'm asking you this because in the affidavit you have made you said, and I'm quoting from it at page 12

"I ordered my members to go and fetch him."

MR MBHELE: I did not go to pick him up, he was fetched by some people whose names I do not know.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you order them to go and fetch him?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I was the one who gave them the instruction to pick him up, because I was standing guard - doing guard duties at the chief's house.

MR LAX: Did you say anything to him before you killed him?

MR MBHELE: Although I do not remember correctly, because I did not record these things.

DR TSOTSI: What is his reply to the question, whether he put any question to him before he killed him?

INTERPRETER: He said he doesn't remember, because he wasn't recording these things.

MR MATTHEWS: According to this affidavit, you say that this boy was one who was spying on you and wanted to know how you camped?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I think that's what I heard from other IFP members.

MR MATTHEWS: These seven IFP youths that you say were murdered at Hopewell, how long before this incident did that murder take place?

MR MBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, a year must have elapsed, and no-one was arrested for the incident.

MR MATTHEWS: And you shot this unknown male with a 9mm pistol?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Why did you shoot him?

MR MBHELE: I regarded him as a danger, because he had information on how we camped and would be responsible for attacks on us, I decided that I should eliminate him for that reason.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean by "how we camped"?

MR MBHELE: From the information that I received, he had been around at the Thenza's Kraal for a few days.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean that he knew where you were staying?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he knew that we were at the chief's house, Chief Nenemdaba Dlamini.

CHAIRPERSON: Well how many people, how many of you were at the chief's house who did not normally live there?

MR MBHELE: I can just mention the people that we used to do guard duties with. There were four of us altogether.

CHAIRPERSON: And who was the chief?

MR MBHELE: Nenemdaba Dlamini.

CHAIRPERSON: And who were the four people doing guard duty there?

MR MBHELE: I was the first one, Nkosi Mkhize was the second person, then Skubuzo, Skubuzo Mkhize and Sma Ndlovo.

MR LAX: Sma who, what was his surname?

MR MBHELE: Ndlovo.

MR LAX: Ndlovo? Thank you.

MR MATTHEWS: Now this specific incident you were never arrested for or charged, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is true.

MR MATTHEWS: And the knowledge about this killing had remained among you who were present, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, there were others who had witnessed the incident, but they had not had firearms on them.

MR MATTHEWS: And you are asking that you receive amnesty for this killing?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR MATTHEWS: The second incident that you were ...(intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on, did somebody come looking for him, a Mrs Thenza?

MR MBHELE: Yes. A certain woman from Mr Ntobontobo's house.

MR LAX: Can you just spell that first name for us, I didn't hear it properly?

MR MBHELE: Sorry. She's N T O B O N T O B O.

CHAIRPERSON: Did she say anything about him?

MR MBHELE: Yes, she came looking for him and I told her that he had actually run away into the forest.

CHAIRPERSON: What did she say about him?

MR MBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, I think she said that he had come looking for traditional herbs, because he was not well.

MR LAX: Why was she looking for him? Was she a relative of his or what was the ...(intervention).

MR MBHELE: I do not have any knowledge about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Well had he been taken from her kraal?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he had been taken from her kraal.

MR MATTHEWS: According to your affidavit, the IFP supporters who were present, attempted to attack her also, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: I was the only one who shot him with a single shot.

MR MATTHEWS: Yes, I don't think you understand. This Mrs Thenza who came to look for the deceased, did anybody attempt to attack her?

MR MBHELE: I don't remember anybody trying to attack her, because she was in mourning cloth and it's our tradition that you should respect somebody who is wearing that traditional gear.

MR MATTHEWS: The second incident you applied for amnesty for is the abduction and the murder of a male youth from Montwega during 1993. Do you recall this incident?

MR MBHELE: Yes I do.

MR MATTHEWS: According to your affidavit, your commander, one Beki Mkhize ordered you to go and abduct this young male?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: And that you were armed with a .38 revolver and a person who went with you, who was unknown to you, with a 9mm pistol?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Why were you to abduct this specific person?

MR MBHELE: As we were being attacked, we were not aware that he had been present spying on us when we actually went on our camps. We later discovered that he was actually one of the ANC spies.

MR MATTHEWS: So, in other words, you were ordered to go and abduct him because you were informed by your commander that he was an ANC spy?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he was a spy, because he had never been with us at our camps, but he had just come to check how we conduct the camps or what we do at the camps.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know that he was supposed to be a spy when you went to fetch him?

MR MBHELE: When I went to fetch him, I was under the impression that I was actually going to pick up a prominent ANC member.

MR LAX: How did you arrive at that impression?

MR MBHELE: When I hear that there's an ANC member in the area, I should go investigate because I was aware that they carry dangerous firearms.

MR LAX: You spoke about a prominent ANC member, you said you were going to go and fetch a prominent ANC member, how did you know he was prominent, or are you just making this up, because was any ANC member prominent to you or important?

MR MBHELE: All the ANC killers who were responsible for attacking the IFP, I regarded them as prominent, because they are those who were hitting us.

CHAIRPERSON: You referred to a certain Beki Mkhize as your commander. Why was he your commander?

MR MBHELE: He was a commander of not only myself, but of everybody, the four of us who were actually guarding that place.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he also there guarding that place?

MR MBHELE: He would just come to check on how we're doing and thereafter leave. I am also alive just for his sake, because even today I would have long been dead if it weren't for him.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, you've told us you went and fetched this person?

MR MBHELE: Then we went to a donga, and that is where I actually shot him.

CHAIRPERSON: Why did you shoot him?

MR MBHELE: The problem was that he was an ANC member.

CHAIRPERSON: But did you shoot all ANC members?

MR MBHELE: Yes, as far as I'm concerned, I dislike them, if I saw them, I actually shot at them, I hated the ANC.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you regard yourself as being at war with the ANC?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they were very violent, they would actually attack elderly people and children, not only the people that they were fighting with.

CHAIRPERSON: Now was this policy your policy or was it the policy of the IFP, to shoot them if they saw them?

MR MBHELE: The IFP always preaches peace, this was my own initiative, because I realised that we were actually being eliminated in the area and were not receiving any assistance.

CHAIRPERSON: So this was contrary to what you knew IFP policy to be?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I think that's what I would say, because I was actually defending the IFP area, but it is not something that came from the IFP president.

MR MATTHEWS: And this boy you say you shot and he died in a donga, is that correct? Sorry, I beg your pardon, in a mealie field?

INTERPRETER: Could you please repeat the question?

MR MATTHEWS: This boy was shot and he died in a donga or a mealie field, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: You have never been charged or arrested for this incident?

MR MBHELE: No.

MR MATTHEWS: You didn't know this person personally, the deceased?

MR MBHELE: No, I did not know him.

MR MATTHEWS: And you say you killed him because he was an ANC member?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: The third incident pertains to a person by the name of Muzi, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: He was the one who lived or worked at Sarajano Shebeen, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: He did not work there, but he was Sarajano's child.

MR MATTHEWS: And you say in your affidavit that he was responsible for setting up roadblocks in the area, stopping buses and compelling people to join the ANC?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: You further state here that you were given instructions by your commander Beki Mkhize to find this person and go and destroy his premises?

MR MBHELE: He said we should find him, not that we should destroy everything, because if we had said we should destroy everything, I would have killed everybody I encountered at that place, but I killed only him.

MR MATTHEWS: Before we go any further, Mr Mbhele, you have pointed out to me during our consultations that there are certain problems with your affidavit where you differ from what has already been recorded, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Please repeat the question?

MR MATTHEWS: You have pointed out to your legal team during consultations that there are certain differences in your version and that of the affidavit taken by this person in the Westville Prison, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Now what happened here now, did you go and look for this person?

MR MBHELE: Yes, we went looking for him and we found him.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you go with the people you have set out here, Nkosi Mkhize, Sikomboso Mkhize, Pilani Dlamini, Masogabeshe Mbeli, Tomasane it looks like Ghandi, Mvusi Tulasimamela and Mbuyiswa Langa?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: You were all armed with different calibre firearms?

MR MBHELE: With G3 rifles and shotguns.

MR MATTHEWS: Why was it necessary for you people to go and find this man?

MR MBHELE: He used to actually prevent children from going to school, he would actually construct these roadblocks on the road and the children could no longer go to school. I regarded my commander to actually have a very good idea, because he was actually helping these children to return to school.

MR MATTHEWS: Was he a member of the ANC, this Muzi?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR MATTHEWS: Now tell us what happened?

MR MBHELE: When I arrived at his house, I knocked on the bigger house and there was no response, and then I approached a rondavel and I heard music from the radio. I didn't knock, I just kicked the door open and I found him sleeping, himself, his wife and the child, and I inquired of who Muzi was and he showed himself and I asked to speak to him outside. As he got up from the bed, he tried to grab me, and then I shot him right there in the room.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you then leave the house?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I then left the house.

MR MATTHEWS: But you say in your affidavit that you thought he might not have died, so you went to the back window and fired again through the back window to the place where he had fallen?

MR MBHELE: When I went out, I actually went around the window to that spot where he had fallen, and I actually shot at him from outside the window.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Matthews, you have indicated to the witness that he has told you that his evidence differs from the affidavit, but so far, as far as I can understand, all he has said accords with the affidavit. I take it you will be drawing attention to those passages in the affidavit which, although he has already sworn to them, the applicant no longer accepts as correct?

MR MATTHEWS: Mr Chairperson, certainly, there are a number of minor details where there is a difference between what this - when going through the witness' affidavit, where he indicated to me that they were incorrect. There is nothing of substantial evidence that will be placed before the Court. I just don't want the situation to arise where the witness is, or the applicant is seen not to be telling the truth because there are certain deviations, if I may call them that, but there's nothing of substance, Mr Chairperson. Now this Muzi, you say, was shot because he was an ANC member and, according to you, was causing trouble in the area?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I was the only one who shot him.

MR MATTHEWS: Now on your way back you say you also ran into a motor vehicle that was being driven by Mr Msomo, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: But nothing was done to him, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct, he is still alive.

CHAIRPERSON: But that's not quite correct, is it, because you say in your affidavit that while you were travelling you saw this motor vehicle and you shot at it, your members shot at it?

MR MBHELE: As I'm explaining, he was not killed, but the vehicle was shot at.

CHAIRPERSON: Why did you shoot at a vehicle just driving along the road?

MR MBHELE: That house was very close to the road and we assumed that that car was actually driving to a police station, or maybe it was actually coming to attack us.

CHAIRPERSON: But you knew nothing about who was in the car, about the car at all, but you opened fire on it?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they did shoot at it, but I was not amongst those who shot at it.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but your group, you were in charge of the group, weren't you?

MR MBHELE: They were with me, but I was not a commander.

CHAIRPERSON: Weren't you in charge of them?

MR MBHELE: No, I was not.

CHAIRPERSON: Well why did you do all the shooting?

MR MBHELE: I had already dedicated myself to the cause, because we were being attacked and killed as IFP members, and no-one was getting arrested about these incidents, so I had dedicated myself, that is why I went to the house first.

CHAIRPERSON: You had dedicated yourself to kill, is that what you're telling us?

MR MBHELE: I had dedicated my life, because even my comrades, my colleagues, had been killed. Fortunately I am not the one who died, but Muzi.

MR MATTHEWS: In fact one of your members tried to shoot this policeman in this motor vehicle, did he not, and you stopped him from doing so?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: Now this Muzi person, did you know him personally?

MR MBHELE: No, I did not know him, because I even inquired when I got into that house as to who Muzi was, and he showed himself.

MR MATTHEWS: So you had no personal quarrel with him?

MR MBHELE: The only trouble between us was that he was an ANC member and I was an IFP member.

MR MATTHEWS: And your instructions you received from your commander, Beki Mkhize?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he was trying to actually help those children who were in trouble, who were actually prevented from going to school, he was actually helpful. As far as I'm concerned, I regard Mr Mkhize as a hero.

DR TSOTSI: Was there any friendship or relationship between you and any ANC member?

MR MBHELE: Please repeat the question?

DR TSOTSI: Was there any relationship at all between yourself and an ANC member?

MR MBHELE: No.

DR TSOTSI: Is that why you shot all ANC members?

MR MBHELE: Because when they attacked, they do not only attack us young people, but also the elderly and children who could not defend themselves.

MR MATTHEWS: So what you are telling us, if you received instructions to kill an ANC member, you would carry out those instructions?

MR MBHELE: I actually beg your pardon for this, but it pleased me immensely if I was to attack an ANC member, because I knew that one of us would die.

MR MATTHEWS: Well how do you feel about it now?

MR MBHELE: I regret it deeply, because the sad part is that we were fighting amongst ourselves as black people, we were actually killing each one of us. If I could, I would actually show you how deeply I regret these actions.

MR MATTHEWS: But you are honestly telling this Committee exactly how you felt at the time, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, at the time that's how I felt, because the situation at that point was very tough, everybody was being killed, from the elderly to the children.

MR LAX: Mr Mbhele, you were not fighting a political war, you were fighting a tribal war with the ANC, is that right?

MR MBHELE: No, that was not so. We, as IFP members, used to actually fight directly with the ANC, because homes were burnt down.

MR MATTHEWS: The next incident you've applied for amnesty is the murder of Maphuthalenza Dlamini?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR MATTHEWS: Maphuthalenza Dlamini lived in Umbonzini Reserve under Chief Xolisa, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: According to your affidavit, he was a member of the ANC, who worked together with Muzi, the person we have discussed in the previous incident?

MR MBHELE: Maphuthalenza was Muzi's uncle.

MR MATTHEWS: According to your affidavit, he was a spy and an informer for the ...(indistinct) South African Police?

MR MBHELE: Yes. When we were once at camp, the police arrived and they spoke to him and they wanted to check our weapons, and I refused that they do this, but eventually they confiscated our weapons and they had actually arrived at Maphuta's home.

MR MATTHEWS: Why was it necessary that he be killed?

MR MBHELE: He was a police informer. It pleased him to see IFP members being killed, that is how I regarded it.

MR MATTHEWS: And who gave you instructions for this killing?

MR MBHELE: I left my comrades at the camp and I was on my way to Mboveni and I met him along the way and I felt that that was the opportunity to kill him.

MR MATTHEWS: So you met him by chance on the way and you then killed him?

MR MBHELE: We met him on the way, or I met him on the way and I asked him what time it was.

MR MATTHEWS: And you say the reason for this was he was an ANC member and also a police spy, according to you?

MR MBHELE: Yes. I asked him ...(intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: I want to go back a little bit please, you say the police arrived and wanted to see your weapons?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What was your reaction?

MR MBHELE: I did not agree that they should do this, I actually told them that they would actually get them when I'm dead.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they see your weapons?

MR MBHELE: Yes, we carried them in our hands. They wanted us to hand them over.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you do so?

MR MBHELE: No.

CHAIRPERSON: How did they confiscate them?

MR MBHELE: They did not get them, because I told them that they would only actually get those weapons when I'm dead.

CHAIRPERSON: So they did not confiscate your weapons?

MR MBHELE: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did these policemen come from?

MR MBHELE: I think they came from the High Flats Police Station.

CHAIRPERSON: And they could see you were armed, you refused to hand over your weapons and they left you?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they then left.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR MATTHEWS: Now, there is a paragraph right at the end of, paragraph, on page 9, he says

"I carried this act out on my commander's instructions, Beki Mkhize"?

MR MBHELE: He was a spy, an informer, because when the police came to search that home I actually reported to him that we had encountered such a problem.

MR MATTHEWS: But did you kill this person on the instructions of your commander, Beki Mkhize, or did you not?

MR MBHELE: It was on Beki’s instructions, because he actually said that in that case he should die.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he say that specifically about this person, that he should die?

MR MBHELE: Please repeat the question?

CHAIRPERSON: Did your commander, whom you have told us was in overall command of all the IFP people there, Beki Mkhize, did he specifically tell you that this person should die?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I actually spoke to him directly about the problem we had encountered.

CHAIRPERSON: And he told you to kill this person?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: As in certain other incidents that you've spoken about, and these were instructions from your superior in the IFP, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: He was a commander, our commander ...(intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR MBHELE: ...in charge of us as people who actually guarded that place.

CHAIRPERSON: And he told you to kill people?

MR MBHELE: Some I would kill at my own initiative without any ...(intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: I'm not talking about your own initiative, I'm talking about the cases where you said you were instructed by your commander, Beki Mkhize, to kill people.

MR MBHELE: It doesn't pertain to all the people that I killed. He was not always with me.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but there were ones that he told you to kill, that your commander in the IFP told you to kill people, that's what you've been saying in your evidence?

MR MBHELE: Yes, for example Maphuthalenza, that's where he is actually the one who gave me the instruction to kill him.

CHAIRPERSON: But you knew this was contrary to IFP policy, you've told us the IFP preached peace. How could your commander now instruct you to kill?

MR MBHELE: He had no other choice because of the political situation in the area. We had to do this because we are the ones who were being attacked and killed and no-one was being arrested, we are the people who were actually being arrested.

MR MATTHEWS: So you had no personal grievance against Maphutalenza Dlamini?

MR MBHELE: The only problem is that he was not trust-worthy.

MR MATTHEWS: And because he was an ANC member, you killed him?

MR MBHELE: Yes, because he had actually been recruited by Muzi.

CHAIRPERSON: He had been recruited by who?

MR MBHELE: Muzi.

MR MATTHEWS: How did you know that?

MR MBHELE: At the Mbovini area, there were ANC members. When Muzi was killed, they then went to the ...(indistinct) area and enlisted as IFP members, just because their leader had been killed.

MR MATTHEWS: You still haven't answered the question, how do you know that Maphutalenza was an ANC member?

MR MBHELE: His name was on the list, a list with names of people who had been ANC members before.

MR MATTHEWS: I see.

CHAIRPERSON: Who prepared this list?

MR MBHELE: I am not really sure, because I do not know the people from Mbovini well, I do not know their names, although I may know them by sight.

MR LAX: How did you get hold of this list, or who got hold of this list?

MR MBHELE: I actually saw it on someone from Mbovini, whose name I do not remember.

MR LAX: What did the list look like, if you saw it?

MR MBHELE: It was a piece of paper and it had people's names, and those people had been responsible for actually preventing the children from going to school.

MR LAX: So it wasn't a list about ANC members, it was a list about who were responsible for preventing children from going to school?

MR MBHELE: Those people were ANC members and had been supported by the ANC.

MR LAX: But how do you know that, you keep saying that, but every time you refer to them, you refer to them as ANC, but you're referring to people who did something you didn't approve of. I'm saying how did you know they were ANC members? Did you see their cards, did you go and see the records of the branch where they had joined up? How can you tell us you're so certain they were ANC members?

MR MBHELE: I did not come from that area, but the people from the area actually told me so and I had no reason not to believe them, because they are the ones who knew their neighbours, they are the people who had actually witnessed and who had experienced this.

MR LAX: So you don't know for sure whether they're ANC members or not, or were ANC members, and you really didn't care, you just were told they were ANC, that was good enough for you?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Was Chief Tjalesa a member of the ANC?

MR MBHELE: No. The Nkosi only joined the IFP when we arrived in the area.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you discuss with him the problem of this man who was living under him?

MR MBHELE: No, we did not discuss such matters with the Nkosi. We would not have discussed this with him.

MR LAX: You were never charged for this incident, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct. The case was withdrawn at Ixopo.

MR LAX: So you were actually charged?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR LAX: Why was the case withdrawn?

MR MBHELE: There was no corroborating evidence.

MR LAX: Thank you, continue Mr Matthews.

MR MATTHEWS: You did not have any personal vendetta against Maphuthalenza Dlamini, is that correct, other than the fact that he was an ANC member?

MR MBHELE: Yes, there was no personal grudge.

MR MATTHEWS: The next incident pertains to the murder of three Transkei soldiers in 1993. On the 15th of January 1996 you were in fact found guilty of the murder of these three persons, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: And for their murder you were sentenced to life imprisonment?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: What led up to the killing of these three Transkei soldiers?

MR MBHELE: Ngubane was killed and the people who killed him had been travelling in a Corolla, and Mr Khumalo and some other lady had also been shot at by the same people. After a few days, I arrived at the area and I constructed a roadblock near the Ngawu, and I searched all cars that were approaching along the Umzinkulu roads. A van approached and instructed them to return, and then a Sprinter with a CB registration plate approached. At the back of that car, the registration number started with XM. I was therefore certain that this was the car that had been responsible for the attack on Ngubane.

CHAIRPERSON: But wasn't the person who attacked Ngubane travelling in a white Toyota Corolla Sprinter with Transvaal numberplates?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's what I heard when I arrived.

CHAIRPERSON: That it was Transvaal numberplates?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's correct.

MR MATTHEWS: What led you to suspect that this vehicle with the Transkei registration plates was involved?

MR MBHELE: I saw three different things. The front registration plate said CB, the disc said SH and the back registration plate said XM. I was then convinced that these are the people who are responsible for killing us, because at the Amazolovini area, the people were not trained in the use of firearms. They were just attacking, they attacked somebody who was innocent.

MR MATTHEWS: Was there any information about soldiers or police from the Transkei attacking the IFP in that area?

MR MBHELE: I will put it clearly that Holomisa was in charge of the Transkei Defence Force and he sided with the ANC, and that is why I thought that these were the people who were responsible for attacking us, because of all the differences in the registration plates.

MR MATTHEWS: Were there a spate of attacks on IFP people in the area at the time?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they were being attacked and killed by unknown persons.

MR MATTHEWS: You were convicted of this offence, as I've already stated, and it is recorded that the judge at your trial said the following: that you felt no remorse for the fact that you killed a Transkeian soldier and participated in the killing of the other two, and even after conviction you held a view that the killing of the deceased were justifiable on the basis that the three deceased were the enemies of his people?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

MR MATTHEWS: And that they, the Transkei soldiers, had killed many of your own people?

MR MBHELE: Yes. When these soldiers died, I never cared again that people from Ixopo area had been killed by unknown persons.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we go back a little? Before you killed these three soldiers for having taken part in an attack, had you stopped another truck and taken three black males out of it?

MR MBHELE: I think that is correct. That truck was red in colour.

CHAIRPERSON: And were you taking them into the sugar cane to shoot them when you were stopped by Lunda Mkhize, who said he knew them?

MR MBHELE: That was at a different area in ...(indistinct), that was a separate incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but there you were again going to kill three people you took out of a truck, but you were stopped because Lunda Mkhize knew them?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And thereafter two policemen arrived in a police vehicle?

MR MBHELE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: They said they had come to fetch you, but you threatened them and said that if they fired 15 shots, yours would be the 16th?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I was telling them the truth.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And did you threaten them and tell them to put their guns down?

MR MBHELE: Yes, the white policemen put his R5 rifle down.

CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't that the black policeman who put the R5 rifle down, and the white policeman who put his pistol back into the holster?

MR MBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, I think the white policeman put his gun down.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I'm reading from your affidavit. And did you tell them you would give them five minutes to depart otherwise you would start shooting?

MR MBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, I think I said I'll give them ten or five minutes. Indeed they left thereafter.

CHAIRPERSON: And did they apologise and leave?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they apologised, got into the van and left.

CHAIRPERSON: Now where did these policemen come from?

MR MBHELE: I am not sure, between the High Flats and the Sawood area.

CHAIRPERSON: And the - what other area did you say?

MR MBHELE: Sawood.

CHAIRPERSON: So this was the second time when you had not been arrested?

MR MBHELE: That's true.

MR MATTHEWS: And these Transkei soldiers were then killed, is that correct, and their bodies eventually dumped in a forest?

MR MBHELE: That's very true.

MR MATTHEWS: Just explain to the Committee again, why did you people kill these Transkei soldiers?

MR MBHELE: Please repeat your question?

MR MATTHEWS: What necessitated the killing of these Transkei soldiers?

MR MBHELE: The car that they were travelling in had three different things. I was still looking for a Transvaal registration and I did not get hold of it and the Sprinter 16 valve Toyota was still parked there.

DR TSOTSI: Did you see the soldiers from the Transkei as being your enemy?

MR MBHELE: I realised after they were dead, upon reading their cards that - or identification cards - that they were Transkei soldiers and by then they were dead.

MR LAX: So you killed them before you knew they were Transkei soldiers?

MR MBHELE: My memory does not serve me correct, because I did not keep any records or diary to the effect that I will register every event.

MR LAX: Because in your affidavit you said they produced their identity cards and thereafter you took them to the chief's kraal?

INTERPRETER: Took them to which corner?

MR LAX: To the chief's kraal.

MR MBHELE: No, they were not taken to the chief's kraal.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you know any of these soldiers?

MR MBHELE: Sorry?

MR MATTHEWS: Did you personally know any of these soldiers?

MR MBHELE: I only knew one out of the rest.

MR MATTHEWS: Was this Mtemkulu?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now just before the Transkei soldiers, before you saw them, did you stop a blue Toyota van with a white canopy?

MR MBHELE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now it had something you called an Avalon in it. What is an Avalon?

MR MBHELE: This Avalon, from what I heard, it looks like MK, it's camouflage.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean a uniform, do you mean a garment, what are you talking about?

MR MBHELE: I'm talking about the Avalon that I realised in that van.

MR LAX: From listening to you, it sounds like you're talking about an overall?

MR MBHELE: What I heard before was that that col..., those colours resemble that of MK colours.

MR LAX: Yes, colours on what, what are we talking about? Is it a garment?

MR MBHELE: Please understand me well, I'm talking about Avalon with different colours, it's an Avalon.

MR LAX: You keep holding your jacket and trying to show us like a jacket?

MR MBHELE: Avalon that has belt across, like I've just demonstrated, or M'Lord this is just an Avalon.

MR LAX: Are you talking about webbing, what soldiers wear which they carry all their bullets in and their water bottles and their holsters?

MR MBHELE: No, no.

CHAIRPERSON: The man who had it in his car told - in his van - told you that he had bought it at the Roman Catholic Church at Ixopo?

MR MBHELE: That's very true.

CHAIRPERSON: But you wanted to shoot them?

MR MBHELE: Because I was not certain.

CHAIRPERSON: So if you're not certain, you'll kill someone, and if Mr Duma, the witchdoctor, had not stopped you, you would have killed them, is that the position?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I would have killed them.

MR LAX: And after these bodies were dumped, the motor vehicle was eventually set alight, is that correct?

INTERPRETER: Please repeat the last part of your question?

MR LAX: The motor vehicle was eventually set alight?

MR MBHELE: You mean the soldier vehicle?

MR LAX: Yes, the soldiers' vehicle.

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR LAX: How did you know what MK's equipment looked like?

MR MBHELE: We were being told, we gathered this information from people, that certain colours will be resembling that of MK.

MR LAX: Certain colours would resemble that of MK. So MK had a distinctive uniform, as far as you were aware?

MR MBHELE: Like the person I'd left alone, those were the colours, that's what we heard, that those are MK colours.

MR LAX: Well what colours were those?

MR MBHELE: I cannot identify the colour that looks exactly like that colour.

CHAIRPERSON: Now before the vehicle was burnt, had you used it to dump the bodies into the bush with the help of a Mr Kentaki?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

CHAIRPERSON: And then did you wash the vehicle and use it to go to Mbovini?

MR MBHELE: Yes, then we took the vehicle to Mbovini.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you come back and get petrol from Mr Mkontwani?

MR MBHELE: That's very true.

CHAIRPERSON: And were you then going to use the vehicle to go to Ixopo and kill the ANC leader, Mr Magobani?

MR MBHELE: I would have gone to kill Magobani.

CHAIRPERSON: But on the way did you see a convoy of Defence Force vehicles and did you stop at Dlamini's brother's yard?

MR MBHELE: Yes, on the way we saw the soldiers, the convoy, ...(indistinct).

CHAIRPERSON: And did you then go to sleep?

MR MBHELE: I left the car in Dlamini’s premises and fled to my relatives' place.

CHAIRPERSON: And the next morning did you see that the car had been burnt by a Mr Cheze?

MR MBHELE: I saw the car on fire.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this to avoid fingerprints if the police found it?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR MATTHEWS: The next incident that you were also charged with and convicted by the supreme court was the murder of Anthony Mzmandi, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: That's true.

MR MATTHEWS: And for this murder you were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment?

MR MBHELE: That's true.

MR MATTHEWS: Can you explain to the Committee why Mr Mzmandi was killed?

MR MBHELE: Nkosi Dlamini, Nkosi Mbhele, I'm sorry, arrived at Dlamini's house, he used to be our secretary in our organisation and when Nkosi arrived to tell us that there are people with KK in their possession, I asked as to where they were and they told us they are at Twasa's house. I asked as to how many they were and he said they were many. I left the house, I don't quite remember as to who I left in the house, at any rate I left with the person and so he could identify the place, and as I left, we came across Mgmalo's vehicle, he was coming from work. I stopped him and I told him that Nkosi had just delivered this news and Mgmalo asked as to whether we trust this Mbhele, or I trust Mbhele. I said to him there is nothing I can repudiate when I receive such news, and I don't think we should let go of such people, because they may be dangerous, and Mgmalo said we should go to his brother, another Mbhele that is. We got into the car and we drove to the brother, and he was there with his two sons and we took them with and we drove now to that place and Mbhele knocked at the door and they could not open, or rather they did not open, and I knocked and I told them that it's me, Sosha, and please open the door, and the door was opened and I had a big torch with me and I went under the bed to check and I saw shoes and I could tell that there's a person hiding and I asked him to get out of that hiding place and he indeed got out of there to the open and I asked him if he knew any of the people I was with and he said no. I instructed him to get into the car and I went back into the house now to inquire further from Twasa as to where were others. As I was asking, I suddenly heard Mgmalo screaming and saying, "He's running away", and I got out of the house, and I got out and shot at him, and it was at night, I was using the torch at the same time, so I had in my possession a torch plus the firearm, and I shot at him and he died on the spot. The most sad thing was that what Mbhele said to me, I did not prove it to be true, so that's what makes me feel this much remorse.

MR MATTHEWS: What did you find out was the true situation?

MR MBHELE: I did not even see one bullet. I heard that they had AK, but although he said they had KK, but I could tell that those were AK, and I hate the sight of AK47 and I was so sure that when I get there I will see such, but I did not.

MR MATTHEWS: So why was it necessary to shoot Mr Mzmandi?

MR MBHELE: When he tried to run away or escape, I was not too sure as to where he was going and to do what, so I was in the dark and was not too sure of what was happening, so I had to shoot and be pro-active, in other words, and he appeared at the supreme court as being innocent. I don't know people of that area. Each time you receive some news, you have to take initiative and do something, be pro-active, in other words, but I am now referring to his family, that they may please forgive me for the acts that I committed, and I would like to emphasise the fact that they should forgive me. I am sorry and I am forgiving those people as well for what they did to me.

MR MATTHEWS: Now you say, you have previously, on a question, said that you were once on your way to kill a Mr Magubane, an ANC leader in Ixopo?

MR MBHELE: It's Mr Mabubane, not Magubane, point of correction.

MR MATTHEWS: Yes, Mabubane. Did you attempt to ambush him?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I did try.

MR MATTHEWS: Tell us where this was?

MR MBHELE: There are two roads and one turns to Nogweshe and the other turns to Mazabelwene, and at the intersection of these roads, that's where we constructed this ambush. I tried to shoot, but I could not succeed, but we managed to hit the car, nevertheless.

MR MATTHEWS: And who gave you instructions to do this?

MR MBHELE: That was Mabesa's utterances, that he was being attacked and he kept distributing the news.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was Mabesa?

MR MBHELE: Mkhize, he's Mkhize.

CHAIRPERSON: What area was he from?

MR MBHELE: Joliverte is his home.

MR MATTHEWS: You've also applied for amnesty for the murder of a Mr Msimango in 1993?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR MATTHEWS: This was a person that was unknown to you, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR MATTHEWS: What led up to his killing?

MR MBHELE: Mr Msimango you mean?

MR MATTHEWS: Yes.

MR MBHELE: Mr Msimango came to us and cheated my commander and said a big comrade, a very active comrade by the name of Qabe must be eliminated, and yet that was not true. I am very sorry, he did not say it's Qabe but he said he is a one light in complexion guy with big eyes, and when I got to that person, I realised that I know this person, I knew Mabesa very well, that he did not get along with the comrades, and I came back to tell Mabesa that "That person was your friend once upon a time and now you are changing the whole scenario", and I asked him further if he had sent me to kill his friend, because Msimango was furnishing death to me and we realised that Mr Msimango was the one who had to be killed eventually, and I'm sorry for that act.

MR MATTHEWS: Who gave you the instructions to kill Msimango?

MR MBHELE: Mabesa did.

MR MATTHEWS: Is this Mabese Mkhize?

MR MBHELE: Yes, very true.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he the same as the Beki Mkhize you referred to us previously?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's the one.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR MATTHEWS: Was this because Mr Msimango had previously issued an order for the killing of an IFP person?

MR MBHELE: That's what I received, I did not even know that Mr Msimango, but that's what was brought to my attention.

MR MATTHEWS: Was Mr Msimango then thereafter taken to an isolated spot where he was killed?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he was killed there in the forest, that's where we shot him.

MR MATTHEWS: And somebody cut out his private parts?

MR MBHELE: Well it's one of my members who were in my company who did that.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that on the instructions of your commander?

MR MBHELE: At the time when that instruction was given, I was not present, I had already left the scene, I never heard him uttering such words that his private parts must be cut off. I only met them and they told me that they've already removed his testicles, and they also told me further that they have been instructed by him.

MR MATTHEWS: Your affidavit contains - you say

"Nobody was arrested for this crime."

However you, that is:-

"I did report this to the Hibberdene police and I do not know what happened."

What did you report to the Hibberdene police?

MR MBHELE: We were arrested for this case and the Dlamini case as well, and the case was postponed and the court, it's not that the case was done, but it was only remanded, and I did not plead guilty at the court of law with regard to this, and it was postponed and one of my co-accused pleaded guilty.

MR MATTHEWS: And was the case against you withdrawn?

MR MBHELE: The case was postponed because the evidence could not tie in. I only gave one statement to the police and I refused to give or submit any statement without my attorney.

MR LAX: Just before you go on, which person was convicted for that offence?

MR MBHELE: No-one was convicted.

MR LAX: I thought you said one of your colleagues pleaded guilty to that case? You pleaded not guilty, you said, but somebody else pleaded guilty?

MR MBHELE: Delani Dlamini, that is, is the one who said he has the inside information, but I said I did not know a thing, I did not even want to give any statements, and then thereafter they said the case is remanded.

MR LAX: Was the case withdrawn against Delani as well?

MR MBHELE: Yes, the three of us, that is, the case has been withdrawn and no-one is appearing in court for that.

MR LAX: So that was yourself, Delani and Mnongese?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR LAX: Thanks.

MR MATTHEWS: Now the murder of Tulaphu Dlamini was a personal matter between you and him, is that correct?

INTERPRETER: Please repeat that question?

MR MATTHEWS: The murder of Tulaphu Dlamini.

MR MBHELE: Yes, I killed him.

MR MATTHEWS: Over a personal issue?

MR MBHELE: Yes, out of personal issues, having nothing to do with politics.

MR MATTHEWS: You do understand that you cannot be granted amnesty for such a deed?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I perfectly understand that. The reason why I'm bringing all this to the commission's attention is so that I can this forum to ask the forgiveness for all the acts I committed.

MR MATTHEWS: You are making a full disclosure of all your criminal activities, is that what you're saying?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR MATTHEWS: Now the next incident is heading, "The killing of a young boy at Matugene in 1993", the person who was killing R50,00 on your behalf from the community?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR MATTHEWS: Was this in fact a young boy or what was the position?

MR MBHELE: My estimation will be roughly 29 or 30 years, that's my rough estimation, I'm not sure about this.

MR MATTHEWS: So he's not a young boy?

MR MBHELE: No, he's not a young boy at all.

MR MATTHEWS: And what happened there?

MR MBHELE: He left to collect monies at Umbonvini, saying that I have sent them and I'm working for Zolengweni and Babasane is the name that I did not like and they used that name, and I called the community to ascertain from them as to whether they were aware of this and they should give me a light of what I should do with this, and that boy was part of the list that I had, and I said in full hearing of the community that I will send a lesson to the community and this is what a person deserves after he has done this act, I had to kill him in full view of his family and I'm very sorry for my act.

MR MATTHEWS: This was not a political matter, or do you regard it as being political?

MR MBHELE: I regard it as a political matter, because if he was IFP, he wouldn't have done all what he did, waking people up and collect some monies from them in the name of a political organisation.

MR LAX: You said this chap was part of a list that you had. Is that the same list you referred to previously?

MR MBHELE: That's very true.

MR LAX: Well then what did the collecting money make any difference? If he was on your list, you would have thought of him as ANC, you would have killed him anyway?

MR MBHELE: We wouldn't have. There are many of them that were not killed yet were men of his calibre, they will say they are IFP and yet they will be forced to be ANC. Now one could tell that there was that practice.

MR MATTHEWS: The murder of Mr Langeza in 1993, do you recall this?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I do, although I did not take part in killing him.

MR MATTHEWS: It was alleged that Mr Langeza was pretending to be an associate of the IFP, is that correct, and you later established he was in fact an ANC?

MR MBHELE: That's very sure.

MR MATTHEWS: You say you were not involved in the killing of Mr Langeza?

MR MBHELE: The only part I took was to call him, fetch him and bring him, but to kill him, no I did not, but I did fetch him with my own hand.

MR MATTHEWS: You abducted him?

MR MBHELE: No, I did not abduct him, but when we approached Neka, what we did not have is a whistle, we never used to use it, but then I saw him with it in his possession and I fetched him and put him at the back of the vehicle, or in the trunk of the vehicle.

MR MATTHEWS: When you fetched him, what purpose were you fetching him for?

MR MBHELE: We got to Phosa's house at night and they knocked at the door, and at Zuga's house as well, and there were two boys at Zuga and one boy at Phosa, and he was knocking in person in the ANC company, and these boys got out of the house and they took them and forced them to join them, and there was one boy who saw this, he is the one who furnished us with all this information.

MR MATTHEWS: Yes, the point of my question is, I didn't say why you went to fetch him, I said what was your purpose in fetching him, what were you going to do with him when you fetched him? Did you know they were going to kill him?

MR MBHELE: I did not know he would be killed, he was going to be interrogated with regards to the actions that he did going to Zuga's house and Phosa's house, that was the purpose of fetching the men.

MR LAX: Well, if he admitted those things, do you think they would have left him alive?

MR MBHELE: I think he would have been taken to the police station to be arrested, he would have been handed over to the police, but then he was quick to want to run away or escape. I was called from the house to be told that here he is trying to run away.

CHAIRPERSON: But before then, he had become aggressive and you wanted to shoot him, didn't you?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that happened, but Xobani stopped me from doing that, and I respected him and I went back into the house.

CHAIRPERSON: So you intended to kill him yourself, but Mr Xobani stopped you?

MR MBHELE: The way the men were so aggressive and resisting, and I could realise we have this man here in our presence and something must happen, and I was also protecting the other group that I was with.

MR LAX: Why didn't you hand all the other people you caught to the police? Here's one man, you went to him, you were going to hand him to the police, why didn't you hand all the other that you caught to the police, why did you shoot them instead?

MR MBHELE: Beza will take a man to the police station, I'm now referring to a certain female person, Beza took that person, or that woman, to the police station, she was never killed.

MR LAX: We were not talking about some female person, we were talking about this man, Langeza, the questions I was asking you were about Langeza, no-one was talking about a female person, I was asking you what did you understand would happen to Langeza? You said, no, if he admitted it, he would have been taken to the police station, to be charged with the killings?

MR MBHELE: Yes, he would have been taken to the police station and identify the place where he has taken the three people who were missing, the three boys that is.

MR LAX: But you said they were found murdered a few days later, you've already told us that in your statement?

MR MBHELE: Yes, they were killed.'

MR LAX: So how could ...(intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: And it was after, you said in your statement it was after they had been found that you went and got him?

MR MBHELE: We looked for Langeza before we could discover the three murdered bodies. By the time we discovered Langeza, the other three had already been killed a long time.

MR MATTHEWS: So Langeza was suspected of participating in the abduction of these three persons?

MR MBHELE: He was not being suspected, but he was saw, they saw him.

MR MATTHEWS: So there was actually evidence that he had done so, is that what you say?

MR MBHELE: Yes, somebody witnessed this, and he is the one who furnished us with this information. We did not pick on him.

MR LAX: You still haven't answered my previous question, and I'm not going to let it lie yet. I asked you why did you not take the other people that you murdered to the police, like you were going to take Langeza?

MR MBHELE: I will explain it in this fashion, the Ixopo Police Station, I did not favour it so much because it was flooded with ANC people, the Ixopo Police Station that is.

MR LAX: Well which police station were you taking Langeza to?

MR MBHELE: The community would have decided that in my absence, because I left them at the door and I went back into the house.

MR LAX: So why didn't you let the community decide which police station to take those other people to that you shot, instead of shooting them?

MR MBHELE: When you have killed, or once you have killed, I would read the situation to be you may as well dedicate yourself as well. At the time the violence had intensified.

MR MATTHEWS: Now, when these three persons who were abducted were buried, there was further trouble when you fired at two police in a vehicle, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I'm the one who shot the police, not realising that they were policemen, I thought they were part of the attackers and I thought they were attacking us and we shot at them and they shot at us, so there was cross fire, until they fled and called the soldiers to intervene.

MR MATTHEWS: Did you then flee?

CHAIRPERSON: But in fact they were not attacking?

MR MBHELE: The police first fled.

CHAIRPERSON: You started the shooting and they fired back at you, they returned the fire, didn't they?

MR MBHELE: That's very true, I started to shoot first. The police killed as they were shooting, one boy, who never even shot and did not even have a gun in his possession, he was killed as a result of this.

MR MATTHEWS: Now there are a number of incidents where you were on guard duty at Mhluli's home in Stanger, at Maidans's home in Ozowatene, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, but I did not injure anyone in those places you've made mention of.

MR LAX: Well except to say this much, that with regard to Mhluli's home, you say that in the mornings after you'd been shooting, you'd find blood where you'd shot at, but you wouldn't find the victims?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that's true.

MR LAX: Surely you must come to the conclusion that you must have shot somebody, but you don't know who they are?

MR MBHELE: I did shoot, I was alone, I was alone, I was not in a group, but I did not see anyone who died, although I saw blood in the morning, in Stanger that is.

MR LAX: So really the point I'm making, it's not a question that you didn't injure anybody there, you must have injured somebody if you saw blood? Nobody else was shooting, just you?

MR MBHELE: Yes, I did see blood, but I did not discover anybody injured as a result of that.

MR LAX: Precisely. No, we accept that.

MR MATTHEWS: In your amnesty application, the 12th item you have placed here is that you were present during the planning of the assassination of Reggie Gadebe, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, that is so, but I left early.

MR MATTHEWS: Will you tell this Committee what you know about that?

MR MBHELE: What I heard from Mabeso was that he had attacked him, but I did not witness it, and Mabeso was pleased about this.

CHAIRPERSON: But what you did say was that you were at Chief Galowengeni Mkhize's kraal, and that he appeared on a television programme, Reggie Gadebe did, and the chief then asked whether any of you could recognise him and that he had to be killed. Did that happen?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So the chief did say that Reggie had to be killed, and did he say he was going to shake hands with Reggie so you would know who he was?

MR MBHELE: That is very true.

MR MATTHEWS: And in fact he did shake hands with him, you saw that?

MR MBHELE: I was not present, because I had remained at his home.

MR MATTHEWS: You didn't go to the meeting, the peace meeting?

MR MBHELE: No, I did not attend it.

CHAIRPERSON: You remember you've made an affidavit in which you said Chief Galowengeni Mkhize identified Reggie Gadebe by shaking his hand? Did you see that?

MR MBHELE: I did not witness that. Maybe the person who took the statement made a mistake.

CHAIRPERSON: And you went on to say

"When the meeting commenced, we didn't attend, but waited outside."

MR MBHELE: That was the information that I heard, not that I was present.

CHAIRPERSON

"Beki Mkhize left with others before the meeting terminated in a certain car which I cannot recall now."

I'm reading from your affidavit.

MR MBHELE: That is what I heard.

CHAIRPERSON

"When the meeting terminated, I travelled with the chief, first to the High Flats Police Station and then to the shop."

MR MBHELE: I was not present.

CHAIRPERSON: So all this in your affidavit is an invention by somebody, that you travelled with the chief to the High Flats Police Station and to the shop?

MR MBHELE: As I explained before, I was not present, I don't think they heard me correctly when they took the statement. I think the person who took the statement made a mistake.

MR MATTHEWS: You say you were informed about this when Beki Mkhize returned home?

MR MBHELE: Yes.

MR MATTHEWS: So you were not present when Mr Gadebe was killed?

MR MBHELE: No, I was not present.

MR MATTHEWS: Mr Mbhele, you've already told us that during 1992 and 1993 there was no difficulty for you to eliminate members of the ANC, is that correct?

MR MBHELE: Yes, because of the situation, that was true.

MR MATTHEWS: Do you still hold that point of view now?

MR MBHELE: No.

MR MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MATTHEWS

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any expert on the local weather who can say how long this is going to go on for? ...(inaudible)

It's now twelve minutes to four, I think it would be wiser to take the adjournment and trust that we can start questioning the applicant at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning rather than have to put up with what you have in the last ten minutes. Does 9 o'clock suit everyone? Well, the most important people are sitting on my right, can they make arrangements to have him here by 9 o'clock tomorrow morning? Thank you. Right, we will adjourn till 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

 
SABC Logo
Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment
DMMA Logo
SABC © 2019
>