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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 14 December 1998
MRáMBHELE: I am apologising as far as this is concerned, because I did not utter any instruction to the effect that he must be killed. At some place called Kolkoaton not far away from Hopewell, there were IFP members who were slaughtered there.
MRáMBHELE: Although I don't have clear recollection of what prevailed, I know very well we did converse for quite some time, as I've already said in the past that I did not keep any records or diary with regard to the issues that happened.
MRáMAPOMA: And then she explained to you the circumstances around which the Themza boy happened to be at their home, and that is that this boy was sickly and he went there to have some herbs, you said so in your evidence in chief, do you recall that?
MRáMBHELE: I did believe when I heard that, because these were people who were present and I had therefore to rely and believe what they said, but I will still not repudiate the fact that that could have been wrong.
MR LAX: Mr Mapoma, are you putting it to this applicant that there are people who are relatives of that deceased who are saying that he wasn't involved in the things that he's been accused of? You sort of obliquely seem to be approaching it from that angle, but I'm not sure if you're directly putting it to him in that way, because if you have instructions to that effect, I suggest you put it to him.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, the difficulty I have at this moment is that there is no relative for this boy who is here, but there are local people who seem to recall about this incident.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr Mbhele, I put it to you that you killed this boy upon the allegations which were wrong, this boy was at the Themza home because he was sickly, he went there to get medical attention? What do you say to that?
MRáMBHELE: I will not refute that. If you have knowledge with as far as this is concerned, I do trust you, I know you will not cheat or fool me, but then that was the information I had at hand during that time.
MRáMBHELE: I do regret deeply and I am very sorry about that, but I have to put blame now at Hlushai, because he's the one who furnished me with all the information or these allegations and I did not know the person, and I apologise.
MRáMBHELE: I would like the Chairperson to be able or to understand that the people who were active in these incidents were young men, not old men, so we are dealing here with young men, not necessarily old men.
MRáMBHELE: I am very sorry, I had no place to harbour this boy or to keep this boy, where I could keep him for that long period, to know that he has been killed, that settled me and I am very sorry for the acts that I committed. I realise the mistake that occurred, but I'm very apologetic.
MR LAX: You see if you didn't have a place to keep him, why didn't you just take him to the police and say, "This boy is a known killer, he's been involved in violence, here are all the witnesses", the people who told you that he had been involved in attacks on them, and hand him straight over? You had the witnesses with you, according to your affidavit?
MRáMBHELE: I would like to explain to this forum that the Ixopo police hated me so much and they did utter words to the effect that they will kill me, so there was that rumour that was circulating about Ixopo police.
MR LAX: You see, in your affidavit you say that a Dlamini person went with you to point out this house. Now if you'd seen the house, you'd seen it was empty, why did anyone need to point it out to you? The way you've given it in your evidence is that you went and inquired about an empty house and what someone was doing in that house. That's not how you put it in your affidavit. Please explain that to us?
MRáMBHELE: I inquired and I heard subsequently that he has come back, I heard that he was back. He was there when we arrived with a Dlamini boy, I've forgotten his name, Dlamini boy that is, and in fact you've just reminded me.
CHAIRPERSON: Because I find it very difficult to understand when you are telling us what appears to be your first killing, that you keep on saying, "Well I didn't keep a record, I didn't keep a diary, I can't remember". One would have thought that a man would have remembered a thing like this. Can you explain?
MR LAX: You see, in your affidavit you say you took him to a gully and that's where you shot him, you don't say anything about a wall or a well or anything like that. So that's why we're puzzled. Just explain why you, here you talk about a wall and you shot him next to the wall, and the other place you say you took him to a gully?
MRáMBHELE: Is that gully, as you've already explained to me, you talk about gully, I think that's what's gully, I thought it was just a small wall, that's where he was killed. Now I do understand you, your terminology when you say it's gully, but we're talking here about the same thing.
CHAIRPERSON: Well please, you must make your mind up one way or the other. You've now just said that we must understand the violence had changed so much that there was no other way of doing it. That can only mean that you were now obliged to kill, that was your new policy?
MRáMBHELE: Yes, according to us, but not according to the organisation at large. The organisation would not allow that, but as for our unit, we found ourselves doing and finding ourselves obliged to kill.
CHAIRPERSON: Did anybody higher up in the organisation, above your commander for example, ever visit the area and come and say to you, "Listen, this killing's got to stop, this is no good", did anyone ever remonstrate to you for doing this, within the IFP?
MRáMBHELE: No. He never said anything with regards to the fighting that was going on, but he emphasized the peace that should be maintained. I don't know anything beyond him, or anybody beyond him, for that matter, who might have came.
MR LAX: But some of these killings must have been discussed with the chiefs, they must have heard that people were dying in their areas? How can you say they didn't know that people were being killed? Were they that fast asleep?
MR LAX: You don't have to witness these killings to know that they're happening in your area. I didn't ask you whether he witnessed the killings, I asked you whether he knew about the killings. Do you understand the question?
CHAIRPERSON: You brought these people back to the chief's kraal and killed them there, the boy from the Themza kraal, you say, was brought to the chief's kraal and killed at the donga in front of the chief's kraal?
MR LAX: Just to finish off this issue, the bottom line is though that you now concede the chief must have known about these killings, he didn't ever say anything to you about them, he didn't come and tell you, "Please you guys must stop this, this is not good"?
MRáMBHELE: It was not very easy for him to come to us to tell us to stop this, because he never saw us doing this or never saw us in action, so it was not very easy for him to have come to us to stop us, and I would like to apologise once again.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, thank you, Chairperson. Mr Mbhele, let us deal with the murder of Musi. Chairman and honourable members of the Committee, for the record, the surname of Musi is Zuma, I'm instructed. Mr Mbhele, Sarah Jane Zuma is the mother of Musi. Do you understand that?
MRáMAPOMA: And she is in fact here, for your information. You are saying that Musi who was an ANC member who was recruiting for the ANC in the area. Sir, I put it to you that Mrs Zuma, the mother of the late Musi, is here and she will say that at the Mbovini area, that was an IFP stronghold and she and her family were members of the IFP, that includes Musi.
MRáMBHELE: That's a lie, Musi was never an IFP member. He would be still alive if he was IFP member. I wouldn't even attempted to assault or kill him if he was IFP member, but I realised that he had mounted a big roadblock and he was forcing and coercing people to join ANC, and I discovered that and proved that to be true, and I killed him alone, not with his family. I will like for the family to divulge everything to you in its truthful manner, because that's exactly what happened, I know it from start to end.
I know them that they are IFP, that I cannot refute, but the boy never was an IFP, he was an ANC, I will not lie to this forum as I'm here applying for amnesty and it may be true that they were not aware that I am the killer of Musi. I brought this to your attention voluntarily, out of my own volition.
MRáMBHELE: The information with regards to Musi, I gathered it from when they mounted a roadblock and blocking the buses, not to go through, kids not to go to school, and they toyi-toyied as usual, that the kids must - or students should not go to school, and a certain group came as well from Mbovini, I don't know them, and told us that Musi was behind this there at Mbovini area, I did not know him at the time, and when I got to his house, I even asked as to who Musi was, and he answered and said he was the one, and he was well-endowed, better than me physically, and he tried to capture me and I shot him instantly and I would like to forward my apologies.
MRáMBHELE: Let me explain that I'm not coming from - or rather I did not come from that area, I would be told by people that this is the position and this is the case, otherwise I did not know people's names, I knew them by sight, some of them. You'll find a situation that I don't know a person's name, plus the surname, but I will know him by sight, even the leader of Mbovini knew that very well, that I did not know people in the area, I only knew a few of them, especially those I will have close contact with.
MRáMBHELE: He told me about Musi plus others, but he told me that the person was so influential in this whole thing was Musi, and then I said the person we should be after then would have to be Musi ideally, and I'll still like to forward my apologies, especially that you're telling me that he was IFP, that is shocking, because the information I got is to the contrary of what you're saying.
MRáMAPOMA: And I put it to you that the information that you received, if at all you received that information, was incorrect, Musi was a member of the IFP, and you were misled. What do you say to that?
MRáMBHELE: I knew him that he was part of the organisation, but I don't know his name. You see I don't want to fool this forum. I will tell you upon appearance, or upon his appearing, that this is the boy, but I did not have details pertaining to him.
MRáMBHELE: Yes, those are the people, yes, they were coming from Mbovini, they were the very same people. We did not leave Mazabegwene to Mbovini, instead they left their place to come to us and divulge this information to us.
MR LAX: Well, either it was one or two boys who came and told you this, or it was the people from the area, which implies many people concerned about a big issue who came to tell you about it. Make up your mind, which is it?
MRáMBHELE: I discovered that Musi was the person that we should be after, because he's the one who's blocking children from going to school and mounting a massive roadblock. In my opinion, it was ideal that Musi should be captured, and this does not go down well with me, since I hear that that was not the case, Musi instead was part of our group, that information I had not at the time, especially that I never saw him even at once in our rallies or meetings, IFP meetings that is, and once again I apologise and to Musi's mom as well, I would like this to be heard, that I'm apologising.
"During the night, I, together with the following, were given instructions by our commander, Beki Mkhize, to go and destroy everything we could find on the premises, and that if we could find the head, Musi, it would be better."
MRáMBHELE: Yes, I heard that, but not to destroy everything that we'll find in the premises, that was not the case. Musi was the one we were after. If we were going to implement that kind of strategy, we would have therefore killed everybody in the house, but then the people who we were after was this particular man and indeed we brought that to fruition, we got hold of him and we let go of the others.
MRáMBHELE: I think this person who was writing there did not quite understand what I was saying. The destroying of everything, no, no, no, that was not the case, I think it's just a mistake more than anything, especially the person who was writing that could have not understood me.
MRáMBHELE: The ones in my company did nothing, because I was the only one who went into the house and I kicked the door open and I stormed into the house and I left the others outside, because my intention or objective was that we wanted the most influential person, and I knew very well that he was fully armed, because the ANC people are well conversant with the use of firearms, I suspected that he could be armed, then I decided maybe one of us should die and I dedicated myself in this mission that I would storm in to the house alone.
MRáMAPOMA: I must apologise for the delay. Mr Mbhele, let us deal with the murder of Maphuthalenza Dlamini. The brother of Maphuthalenza is attending the hearing, his name is Lezi Raphael Dlamini. He will say that Maphuthalenza was never a member of the ANC, he was in fact an IFP member. Are you able to dispute that?
MR MATTHEWS: Sorry, Mr Chairman, may I come in here? There's something of concern. I would expect it to be only fair that if there was other information which was available to the commission or to the Evidence Leader of the commission, that this information should have been part of the documentation and that this information should have in fact been handed over to the applicant prior to him testifying before this Committee. It now appears that the applicant is being bombarded with information which has been given exclusively to the Evidence Leader of this Committee from members of the public who now possibly have arrived, such as the instant case of the brother, and I submit, with respect, in all fairness, this information should have been given to the applicant prior to these proceedings commencing.
CHAIRPERSON: But it emanates from people here who are now being represented by the leader of evidence. They wish their facts to be put to the applicant. Why should that not happen? We are here to try to get at the truth, to get at a full disclosure. I'm afraid I have some problem with your objection indicating that it should have been put prior to the hearing at a time when I imagine the leader of evidence had never even seen these people.
MR MATTHEWS: That is the exact point I'm making, MráChairman, is that, according to, if I understand it, the rules of this, everybody who was either implicated or any of the family of any of the victims are notified prior to this hearing that evidence would be led about a specific incident and they are surely invited at that stage to comment on the allegations made by the applicant, and those allegations by these persons should surely be forwarded to us prior to the hearing of this Committee so that the legal representative can go through them with the applicant. I ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: As I understand it, it never does happen, they never do give information beforehand, affidavits and things. They are notified of the date and time of hearings and that there will be an inquiry, an application will be heard dealing with these matters.
MR MATTHEWS: With respect, Mr Chairman, I submit that the constitution of this country makes it quite clear that persons are entitled to information which are in the possession of other persons where this information could affect any judicial process, and I submit that this Committee is in fact a judicial process, in fact it has far, wide powers of granting amnesty to persons who've been convicted of serious offences. Now if one were to arrive at a hearing of this nature and suddenly the Evidence Leader of this Committee comes into possession of certain information, then I submit that this information should be put down into affidavit form or into writing and should be supplied to the applicant, so that he may peruse it and ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: Well I disagree, because the people concerned can get up themselves and put it. This is merely a procedure to avoid the public doing it, that it is done through the Evidence Leader. Would you deny them the right to get up and say, "He is not telling the truth about my son", do you say that is in our constitution?
MR MATTHEWS: No, that is the exact point that I'm not trying to make, Mr Chairman. What I'm trying to say is that it would be only fair if the applicant were aware of certain allegations such as these, where it is alleged that the last two victims were in fact not members of the ANC, but members of the IFP. I don't want to stop anybody from standing up and I don't want want to stop anybody from putting his point of view forward, in fact that is what this surely is all about, but I submit, under the circumstances, it's only fair the applicant in fact be informed that these are the points of view, and that prior to the applicant giving evidence in a matter of this nature, there was nothing stopping any of these persons who wished to put their point of view. In fact the next application we have before this Committee there is in fact an affidavit made by the victim's wife, and I submit that that has been done correctly, whereas in this case it has not been done.
MR LAX: But, with respect, Mr Matthews, the two fundamental differences between that usual process which would operate in a criminal trial, in this particular matter, the applicant is dominus litis, he is the person who is making an application before us, he's required to make full disclosure. The primary object of putting a different version to him is not to bombard him with questions or surprise him with a different version or anything of that nature, it's simply to allow those people who differ from his point of view or have a different version to put it to him. He's at liberty to deny that or say that that's not how it is or whatever. It's not a question of catching him off guard, it's not a question of confronting him with a whole case that has been made out, as would happen in a criminal trial, or in any other court trial process, this is a a quasi-judicial inquiry and we're in the nature of a commission as you would be fully aware, and there are numerous judgments where our Committee's been taken on review in relation to a whole range of issues. Our process has been accepted as being a valid and fair one, and this is how we've worked for the last 2Ż years.
"Should inform people who are victims or implicated persons, or who have an interest in the application, of their right to be present at the hearing, and to testify, adduce evidence and submit any article to be taken into consideration."
MR MATTHEWS: Well, with respect, Mr Chairman, in a judicial process for the applicant to face certain evidence or articles or any other matter that must be taken into consideration by this Committee without having prior notice as to the nature of it, but to see it for the first time during his cross-examination, I submit that that cannot be fair, but I will leave it there.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Chairperson, just for the record, before I proceed, I just want to make it clear, sir, that there is no statement in writing that has been taken from any of the victims, it has just been through consultation with them immediately before the hearing that I got their versions and I've been requested by them to take care of their interests in asking questions to the applicant. That is exactly what I'm doing, sir.
CHAIRPERSON: As I understand the purpose of your questions, it has been to give the applicant an opportunity to deal with it because these people are now going to come forward and give evidence to that effect?
MRáMAPOMA: Yes, chairperson, that is exactly the case, and also, sir, some of them are not even willing to testify, but they would want these positions to be put forward to the applicant so that the applicant can respond to them in their presence to hear what that response is. Thank you, chairperson, may I proceed, sir? Thank you. Mr Mbhele, who gave you instructions, if any person, to kill Maphuthalenza Dlamini?
MRáMAPOMA: But, sir, I want to read for you, on page 17 of the bundle, in the affidavit that you gave to the Committee you say, in the last sentence on page 17, the last sentence dealing with the matter of Maphuthalenza, you say
MRáMAPOMA: Sir, let us deal with the matter of the three Transkei Defence Force members. Is it not correct, sir, that when this motor vehicle driven by these three members of the Transkei Defence Force came to you, you did ask these gentlemen where they were coming from?
MRáMBHELE: That is so. I actually saw three different things in the car. The numberplate was CD and the disc was SH and at the back there was a registration plate starting with an XM, and I therefore became certain that this was the car responsible for the deaths of Ngubane and Mr Khumale.
MRáMAPOMA: Yes, but I want to read for you, on page 63 of the bundle of documents, that is a statement which you made to the police, and in that statement there's a sentence there which reads - I'm sorry, chairperson, these lines are not numbered, but it's ...(intervention).
"We then noticed a white Sprinter with a CE registration. We stopped it and asked the occupants where were they from. They said they are from Durban and they are going to Umtata."
MRáMBHELE: No-one instructed me to do that. As people who were suffering, being killed in the area, I decided that I should kill them, but I am very sorry about it. Ever since their deaths, there had never been an incident where IFP members were killed by unknown persons. I had never heard of an incident where unknown persons had actually killed IFP members from that area again, that is ever since the death of these soldiers.
MRáMAPOMA: Now, sir, I want to draw your attention to page 6 of the bundle of documents. That page 6 contains your application form for amnesty. On paragraph 11(b), you are asked a question there, to specify the name and address of the person who gave you orders, and you say, in your response, killing of persons and listed at paragraph 9 form, an ambush on Mr Magubane. Now you go on, this is what I want to draw your specific attention to, you go on to say
"All attacked on orders of my commander, Beki Mkhize, except Tulaphute Dlamini and Anton Mzmandi, who died as a result of my own initiative."
MRáMBHELE: I understand, although this was not written properly. I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it was correct, because the killing of those soldiers was my own initiative. Beki was not around, there were just two of us.
"We then asked them where they are coming from, and they said they are from Durban proceeding to Umtata. I then proceeded to my commander, Beki, who was standing in front of Nemo's Store, and informed him that the people inside the car stated ...(indistinct), and they are Xhosas. Then the commander informed me that the people from the car are there to trace the land to attack them later. He said I must then, I must take them down to the road because the clinic was closed and kill all of them."
"Mangoba Nkosa then tried to stop us. Me and Mbesbemeya, by saying that the law doesn't allow this. There was nothing we could do because we already received instructions. Then I and Piers were..." ...(intervention).
MRáMBHELE: As I explained before, I was confused, I had been severely assaulted by the Murder and Robbery Unit police from Port Shepstone. I would like to refer you to the statement that I made whilst I was in prison, the recent one. I do not really regard that one I made to the police as important, because they had severely assaulted me, they were short of killing me.
"When we came near the water pump, I realised that I would be scolded to arrive with these people still alive at the chief's kraal, as we had been advised that if found they had to be shot on the spot."
MRáMBHELE: This car that we were searching for had a Transvaal registration plate, and we were to make sure that if we found that car, we should kill the occupants. When we saw the Sprinter, we decided, we concluded that that was indeed the car, and we attacked them.
MRáMBHELE: On the day that Mabesa returned, he would ask me why did I not kill them, if after having found the people who had been responsible for killing our people, he would scold me why I didn't kill them.
MR LAX: Well you see then what you say in your affidavit doesn't make any sense at all. The reason you killed them at the water pump, according to this affidavit, is that you were afraid to arrive at the chief's house with these people still alive?
MRáMBHELE: The intention was for them to witness Ngubane's grave, whom they'd killed, I wanted to show them that grave, but even before we approached the grave, I stopped them next to the water pump and I shot at them and killed them. I apologise for this.
MRáMBHELE: Yes, I was told, but the policeman, or one of the policemen who had assaulted me was standing right next to me, and they told me if I had actually revealed to the magistrate that I had been assaulted, they were going to continue doing so after I was ...(intervention).
"They said that they are from Durban and they are going to Umtata. I went and spoke to our commander, who instructed us not to let them go, since they had come to patrol the area. He suggested we take them down near a water pump and then kill them."
"One Mangoba Nkosa said we shouldn't kill them. There was nothing we could do except comply with our commander's instructions."
MRáMBHELE: As I explained before, I would like us to direct ourselves to the statement that I made to the TRC staff, because the other one was made under the influence of those beatings, I was confused when I made that statement.
"The chief said the deceased's vehicle looked like a vehicle which was used when one Ngubane, a taxi owner, was attacked and shot. The women who were there also confirmed it."
"We searched the vehicle and behind the driver's seat we found another numberplate with an XM registration. One Shibane then asked why this vehicle had two registration plates and said it was indeed the same vehicle."
"We then decided to go back to where the deceased were left. We drove in their vehicle and we were now joined by one Dumasane Nkando, who was now the fourth one."
"On our way we met with our commander, who suggested we take the bodies and throw them into the bushes."
"We reported the incident to him, who said it was the same vehicle used when Ngubane was shot to death."
CHAIRPERSON: Did you suspect them, because in the statement I just read to you, it appears that it was when you arrived at the chief's kraal, that it was suggested that this looked like the vehicle which was used when Ngubane was shot, and it was then that you looked behind the seat and found the other numberplate?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you've told us - what you said is, you were told at the chief's kraal that it looked like the car used to attack Ngubane, and that the women who were there confirmed this. Is that so, is that when you were told?
CHAIRPERSON: So it was only at the chief's kraal, after the killing, that it was confirmed that this car looked like the vehicle that was used, as you said in your statement, and it was after that that you searched the vehicle and found the other numberplate, the XM registration, is that so?
MRáMBHELE: A long time has elapsed since the incident, but I know that I found all of these things in the car. This happened in 1993, it is not easy to remember what happened first, but I remember that their identity cards were discovered before they were killed.
MRáMBHELE: I explained before and I will repeat, when I appeared before the magistrate, I was with the policeman, one of the policemen who had assaulted me, and therefore my story before the magistrate had to corroborate with the one I had actually given to the police before.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, sir. Do you recall, Mr Mbhele, that before I confronted you with these statements, you confirmed before this Committee that the statements that you made to the police and the magistrate reflect the true situation of what happened, do you recall that?
MRáMAPOMA: No, sir, you only explained when you were confronted with these versions, but you don't want to own up to them now. Initially you said the statements that you made to the police were a true reflection of what happened there. Do you remember that, sir?
MRáMAPOMA: Anyway, then these policemen, I mean these Defence Force members from the Transkei, is it not correct that they identified themselves as Transkei Defence Force members when you were conversing with them?
MRáMAPOMA: No, no, sir, no, sorry, just get me correctly, I understand you may not have arrived at the chief's place, but you drove them and then killed them on the way, isn't it so, on the way to the chief's place, is that correct?
MRáMBHELE: If they had been driving a car with one registration plate, I would have let them go, because there were other cars that passed by that route, but this particular car had three different registration plates. There was one car that passed by whose occupants were actually coming from Zimpoul and I let them go because there was nothing wrong with the car.
MRáMAPOMA: Why then did you say in your statement that you informed your commander that the people inside the car stated ...(indistinct) and they are Xhosas, and you go on again, sir, on page 56 you say
MRáMBHELE: That is not what I said. I would like to beg for forgiveness for what I said, and what I said was, "I have killed Holomisa's dogs", that was the way I put it at the time when I reported to the commander.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, chairperson. Okay, let us proceed to the next incident, the murder of Anthony Mzmandi. Well in your evidence in chief you have told the Committee that after you have killed him, you later discovered that he was in love with the girlfriend of Mkozi Mbeli. Do you recall that, the deceased was in love with ...(intervention).
MRáMBHELE: I was called and I was told that there were people carrying AK47 and I understood that such people had come to attack and my duty was to guard against such people, because I had dedicated myself to protecting that community. If the battle was going on, I was the one who was supposed to face the enemy, but I am deeply remorseful about what Mkozi Mbele did. I also forgive him for what he did, although I'm now in prison, and I forgive everyone who was actually involved in wrongdoing against me.
MRáMBHELE: When he tried to run away, I thought that maybe he was going to call for back-up, because I had heard that there were people who had been carrying AK47. I decided to shoot him, but I did not mean to kill him, I thought he would just fall, but unfortunately he died. This was all done on the information that I had received from Mkozi Mbele, not knowing that he had his own personal agendas.
MRáMBHELE: No, I did not receive any money. Who would have paid me? I had dedicated my life for the protection of our members. Whoever told you that must be making this up. I think they are just trying to fool you. I was actually involved in a political war, I was not being hired, I was not paid, I had just dedicated my life. The people from Mbovini know this. I just received donations from whoever, but I did not demand any cash from the people.
MRáMBHELE: Yes, one vehicle, a Cressida. They dropped us and there, they left us in other words at an intersection, the Mazabegwene route, which leads you to Mr Makubane's house. Indeed he appeared with people on board his car going towards the different direction and we left him alone, and as we came back, we blocked him, we tried to shoot him, but we failed, we did not succeed, only the car got shot.
MRáMBHELE: This is the road I'm demonstrating to you, we approached from the side, we did not come right in front of the car, we approached the car from the side, as it is a wide intersection and there will be one route leading to his house and the other leading to the opposite direction. So we were at that spot.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you. With your permission, chairperson, I'm moving to another incident. Now in the matter of MráMzimango, you have said in your statement, your affidavit in fact, that you did not know Mr Mzimango?
MRáMBHELE: Yes, I did not know him, I only got to know him when he arrived looking for people who will go and assassinate a white man with big eyes, or light in complexion with big eyes, and yet another who was a friend.
MRáMBHELE: Upon his first arrival, he was left in the car and Khumalo went in, he's known as Gunzi, the first time that is, and they spoke to Mabesa on the side. I did not know as to what they were discussing about, but subsequent to that, I was instructed to go with - accompany MráKhumalo, go along with him, but I'm not too sure if Mabesa knew that we're now going to hit Gwabe, because when I told him about this, he was not comfortable about it and he did not like it.
MRáMBHELE: Yes, the first visit, and I went with him, and as we were going, we took his car, a Cressida, it was at Khumalo's house. Before we left, Khumalo asked as to how much I will want, and that got me confused, because I did not think that was appropriate of him to ask me that kind of a question, because first of all I did not know what was happening, and I told him "I'm lost, I don't know what's happening, and you should know better than me, because you are my senior, age-wise, position-wise in the hierarchy of the organisation, you are my senior". We got into Mzimango's car and we drove off and as we were on the way, Mrá...(indistinct) said he does not think it will be ideal for me to execute this plan alone, I have to have some company. Then he asked me as to who could accompany me or help me execute the plan, the one that I trust. I don't remember whether I said it's Kabuso or Nkosi to him, but I told him that I trust those and we now got into his car. On the way, I met Mabesa. I'm not too sure in whose company he was, and he saw Mabesa. It was his first encounter with Mabesa that day, and I asked one boy to accompany me to go with to look after this troublesome person, because he had bodyguards, and I got hold of Mtuzlamini and we got there at night, we spent some night there, and in the morning he gave me R5,00, Mzimango that is and said to me I should get into the store and buy a pack of cigarettes, and if I happen to find him, I must there and then shoot him, and when I got there, I realised that this is the shop I've once came to with Mabesa and I realised that that was his friend, Gwabe, I knew him. I could not execute the action due to that, and then I said the person I'm supposed to be killing has gotten into the car and told them that therefore I could not be able to kill him or to shoot him, and we followed the car, the very car that I pointed, and we could not get close to it until we were dropped at Mazabegwene and I told Mabesa the whole truth, and I told him that that person we were supposed to kill is the person that you know very well and owns a shop there, and Mabesa responded and said, "He's not ANC", and I assured him that this is the very man that I was instructed to kill, and we discovered later on that the trouble was brought by Mzimango, he wanted to use us as instruments in killing this person because of their own personal vendettas.
MRáMAPOMA: But could you just explain, how come that an arrangement is made to kill somebody on behalf of the IFP on the instructions of a person, or suggestion of a person who is not even IFP, how come did that just happen?
MRáMBHELE: I will explain, this is very easy, a piece of cake, I could approach the ANC area and claim to be part of ANC and there will be another IFP who we will be looking for, and they don't have time now to ascertain as to whether I'm telling the truth or what's happening, and if you were a citizen, or rather a civilian of Kwazulu-Natal, you will understand perfectly well, and please don't take any offence on this, maybe you know then very well what I'm talking about.
MRáMAPOMA: You know, Mr Mbhele, the instructions I've got from the Mzimango family, they are here, they say Mr Mzimango had nothing to do with politics, he just an ordinary teacher who was conducting a business in his area and had no involvement in politics whatsoever, he was a man who was heading a youth choir in church, those are my instructions, and had nothing to do whatsoever with the politics?
MRáMBHELE: If his wife is present, then she will be my witness that I came to her house with a certain boy, the two of us, if she's prepared to tell the truth, she witnessed this and she saw us, the two of us, and in our possession we had what kinds of firearms, that she can be able to tell, MráMzimango had in his possession AK47, now that's surprising to me, how could a minister have in his possession AK47? That's what puzzling, how can a minister have AK in his hands?
MRáMBHELE: Yes, we started there. There was a tuckshop that she was running. I got inside the house with the boy I was with. The wife knows me very well, I'm not inventing this, but I'm telling you facts, it's not even an opinion, we got there and she gave us some food, we ate, and early in the morning we left, we drove off, even before early hours of the morning we went to Mazabegwene to fetch a bakkie. We could not use his car because his car was well-known in the area, Mzimango's Cressida, now we had to go get a van or a bakkie in Mazabegwene, and we came back driving now in a different car, and it was not known in the area, the car that is.
MRáMBHELE: Although I'm not certain about this, but she did see us in possession of these firearms, although I'm not sure if she knew what we were up to, because according to us, in our culture we never divulge such information to the women, but then I don't know, in his case, maybe he does tell the wife as well as to what is happening.
MRáMBHELE: Please understand this perfectly well, I did explain that he did not tell that to me, I only heard from Delani, Delani said he was sent by Mabesa to conduct that, but Mabesa never said that to me. I will be picking up on him, I just heard from Delani that he was instructed to do that, but not me.
CHAIRPERSON: I thought you said there was only a young boy with you? Where did these other two come from? You told us you left with a young boy, and you spent the night with a young boy at her house, where did these other two suddenly come from?
MRáMAPOMA: Yes, but AK does not mean ANC necessarily. I mean the armed robberies were conducted by AK, the pure criminal acts were conducted by use of AK, without necessarily being ANC related. Please explain this?
MRáMAPOMA: Sir please, I'm not going to answer questions to you, mine is to ask you questions and you have to answer my questions, please sir, understand that, I'm not trying to insult you in any way, but your place is to answer to my questions. You are saying to the Committee that Mr Mzimango was carrying an AK47 and for that reason you could assume that he was ANC. Is that the only reason why you said he was ANC?
MRáMBHELE: According to my knowledge, please don't give up on this, each time I see the sight of AK, I will know for sure, beyond reasonable doubt, that that is ANC man. Once you appear to my presence with AK, then I will know, where there's robberies and murderers and whatever, then I cannot help you with that regard, but one thing I know is that the ANC is using AK47. Please don't take any offence on this. I'm very sorry, I'm not intending to offend you.
MRáMAPOMA: Yes sir, but sir, what I want to suggest to you is that the reason why Mr Mzimango was killed, from your version, is because Mr Mzimango attempted to have Mr Gwabe killed, Mr Gwabe who was a personal friend of your commander, and that had nothing to do with politics. That's my suggestion, sir, what do you say to that?
MRáMBHELE: He was his friend, yes, and he had IFP member, and Mabesa told me that he was the IFP, he did not say he's a friend only, Gwabe that is. In other words, he tried to use us as instruments to kill another IFP not knowing the true facts. I just hope that this goes down well with you.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, sir, let's proceed to the murder of Tulaphute Dlamini. You have, in your evidence in chief, considered that the matter of Tulaphute was a personal issue between yourselves and had nothing to do with politics. Do you understand that/
MRáMAPOMA: And then about the killing of this young boy at Emadunga in 1993, your evidence is that you killed him because he went around the community demanding R50,00, firstly saying that you were the person who wanted this R50,00. Is that not the case?
MRáMBHELE: What you're saying I will not dispute. I will not go further arguing with you with regard to this matter, I'm only asking for forgiveness, or rather applying for amnesty, because I'm bringing to the commission's attention the acts I conducted.
MRáMAPOMA: Yes sir, yes sir, I appreciate that very well, understand me correctly, I appreciate that, but sir, for you to be granted amnesty, you must be granted amnesty for acts that were politically motivated.
MRáMAPOMA: Thank you, chairperson, I didn't get well, thank you sir, thank you very much. Now let us go to the murder of Mr Langeza, and your evidence is that you did not murder Mr Langeza nor were you part to that, is that so?
MRáMBHELE: There is nothing like that, that's a blue lie, he never was a leader even at once. He would come with ANC men to abduct IFP members and kill those men like dogs. Never was he even for once a leader. This is my first encounter with this kind of information.
MRáMBHELE: I did see that after a few months when I was passing going to Mbovini, I realised that the house was burnt down, and I did not even investigate further to find out as to who was behind this or who conducted that.
MRáMAPOMA: Yes, thank you for that, I'm sorry for the mistake. The family of Mr Langeza are here, in fact his mother is here, his brothers, two brothers, are here, and they are eager to know why their loved one was killed and burnt to ashes, and why their home was burnt down and their livestock taken away. Are you able to explain?
MRáMBHELE: I'm not able to explain with regards to that, but he arrived with people and took three boys, one Xhosa boy and Zulu boys, two Zulu boys, they took those boys with. What he died for, he was crucified for that sin, to keep abducting from this area and will be in ANC company, abduct people and kill them. I think that he suffered for that mainly. He was seen by one of the residents, because he came and knocked at the door, but once again, I would like to apologise, because I abducted, I did take part in abducting the man and I'm apologising for that, although I did not lay my hand insofar as killing him, but abducting, yes I did take part.
MRáMBHELE: Together with this driver that we were driving in, we heard from a certain lady who got married to either Zumu or Phosa, that she saw, she saw him definitely, they arrived at Phosa's and asked for Phosa's gun, and Phosa was a ZP member, and they told him that there's no gun and they took one boy from Phosa's with.
MRáMBHELE: As they were discussing with him, he got aggressive, and I tried to fight him, but then one man by the name of Khumane tried to stop me, he's my cousin, he stopped me from fighting him and I left him alone, I went back into the house. Suddenly I heard that he was trying to escape and I got out and saw that he was trying indeed to escape, and the gang ran after him until they captured him.
MRáMBHELE: This happened too long ago, I've forgotten the names, this transpired a long time ago. Please do keep in mind that I was not from that area, so I will not be in a position to know their names very well, I was not born in that area, I only came at that time to give assistance.
MRáMBHELE: If I'm not mistaken, I think he was in another house, not necessarily that one, because he had many houses, the chief that is, he was not present at the time. Chief Malindabe was not present at that particular house, and if my memory serves me well, he had about three houses, so he was not present at the time.
CHAIRPERSON: Is there anybody among the public who is not represented by Mr Mapoma who wishes to ask the applicant any questions? Will you come forward please, and the lady there. I think it would be more convenient if they could borrow one of these microphones. Is there room? If you all moved up a little, is there room next to - send them one at a time that they can - wait there please on the right. Can you put a microphone - oh fine. Name?
MS DLAMINI: My names, I am Maphuthalenza's wife. I would like to pose questions to the man about the atrocities he committed in the community, killing my husband and now leaving my kids orphaned. In all the things he said about Maphuta, that he brought police, I will like to refute all of that. I would like to pose this question, today I find myself destitute, I don't have my husband with me, my kids are not at school, I am suffering financially and other ways. My husband was killed and you came as if you were coming to sympathise with me and yet you know very well that you were furthering evil.
MS DLAMINI: What ...(indistinct) did killing my child? He was just arriving on Friday from Durban, got out at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning to go to the neighbour's house, and never therefore returned since. At 8:00 p.m. at night, when we were sleeping, we heard a gunshot and he was not present in my house and the war was rife in Mbovini area that evening, he never came back, my child that is.
CHAIRPERSON: Can I explain please that if you want to give evidence, you will be given the opportunity to give evidence. If you give your names in to Mr Mapoma, he will arrange the order in which you give evidence. This now is merely if you wish to ask any specific questions. Do you understand?
MS TOLLE: Is Mande. We will like to ask one question to you, Sosha, that why did you kill my son, that's what I would like to know. As you were killing him, what will you tell me the reason was for that action, what did you see my son do that he deserves to be killed.
MRáMBHELE: Lady, I will start from scratch, I was instructed by Nkosi Mbele that there are people who had KK or AK47 in their possession and they're at Twasa's house - please be patient - I was instructed by Nkosi, your very neighbour, he came to me at Mabalane's house and there was that conflict at the time and it was, the situation was volatile, and we were told that there were people who had AK and I had to take my gun and rush and charge forward to where the incident was taking place, and I dedicated my life alone, but nevertheless I'm asking for apology and please I am apologising and I'm very sorry, very sorry deeply.
MRáMBHELE: I did explain I thought previously that I was instructed to execute that action, there were people who had KK, though he meant AK47, and I'm asking for forgiveness for this, please forgive me.
MRáMBHELE: I did try to establish if they knew him and no-one responded. They went down to the camp, it was the court(?), and I did go there as well to try and establish if they knew him, and please forgive me, I was instructed by you, people of the community, that this is what I should undertake, I did not wake up and invent anything or decide to take any action.
MRáMBHELE: But you, the people of the community, instructed me and told me about the people as to who is who in the area. I'm not a witchdoctor or a son of a prophet, or a prophet for that matter, to be knowing things that were happening in the area. I could not fold my arms as you were reporting the death and the slaughter in the community, I had to take action and charge forward.
MRáMBHELE: There is nothing I can say, I only told him that he must get into the car, but I knew very well that he was going to escape from the car. At the camp, they would have said if they knew him or not, but the people I was with did not know him, and please I'm very sorry, you knew the situation that prevailed at the time and I'm very sorry.
MSáTOLLE: Sosha, please, you know very well that you had a gang that forced us and coerced us to donate R50,00, in fact not even donate, give out R50,00. We would go to bed without any food because of that.
MSáTOLLE: But Sosha you remember when you called us to the chief's court, when you called us to the chief's court and you told us to convene there, and even the aged had to be there, and you made us lie on our stomach and you drew out a gun and you said you will kill all of us and the last one to be killed will be you.
MRáMBHELE: Please can this be withdrawn, because I have this respect for old ladies and now I'm not prepared to go further with them, they are accusing me of things I don't know, and now they're adding things and putting colours to this and fabricating the whole thing.
CHAIRPERSON: I think you've said enough to enable the applicant's counsel to take instructions on these points and to deal with it when you give evidence. I don't think it is necessary for you to continue with this at the present time. Do you think you will be able to get sufficient preparation? You don't need to have it all told to you now before the evidence is given, do you?
MS MZIMANGO: I would like to ask this particular question, there's something that's troubling me, that we were called about this applicant, he wants us to forgive him, and as the process was going on, I could not understand some of the things that went on and I don't want to get left behind about the things that he was relaying. I have been expecting that everything that was read to me is going to be said, all of it, in here. Now that some of the things have been omitted, I would like to ask why they have been omitted, because now this is going to make my heart bitter against people who have done nothing against me, if this is not being led in public.
MS MZIMANGO: I would like to ask about the part where he made mention of Teacher Khumalo, ...(indistinct) teacher that is, whom he went to and said my son is ANC member and recruiting ANC members in the area of ...(indistinct) and now he must be killed. Now I'd like to know that part as to this Teacher Khumalo, we know him as Ghonse, where is this originating from, because we heard from the evidence that was read to us that there was something amiss? Secondly, I would like to ask that, at the time before Mr ...(indistinct) will be killed, he was found with AK47, meanwhile I knew that he had a gun, though I don't - I knew that he ...(intervention).
MS MZIMANGO: I would like him to explain the issue about Teacher Khumalo from Potchefstroom, who said my, alleged that my son is an ANC member and recruiting ANC members, therefore he should be murdered or killed. That's my question I'm posing to you.
MRáMBHELE: I'm certain, lady, that the one who read to you that was read incorrect when he refers to Teacher Khumalo that he came with. The person who told me about this, is this one Mbiza. The fact that he is Khumalo, I don't know that much. That he is Khumalo, that I don't know, and I'm sorry, lady.
MS MZIMANGO: I would like to tell you then, my boy, that I am not a person who like to fight with people. I don't know Teacher Khumalo and I have heard this here that Khumalo alleged that my son should be killed because he was ANC member, recruiting ANC members, and then I responded, and I respond that I never knew him to be any organisation's member except that I know him, I don't know him as IFP member. In fact if you had said he was IFP member, maybe I would have slightly believed you, because he had friends who were IFP members, but now as you are putting it the way or the manner in which you do, as ANC, recruiting ANC members, alleged by Khumalo, I would like to put it to you that I don't believe all of that. Second to that, that I would like to put and emphasize to you ...(intervention).
MR LAX: Just one second. There is a misunderstanding. The allegation is not that your son was recruiting ANC members. The allegation is that the person your son wanted killed was recruiting ANC members. That is the allegation that was made. I'll read you what it says in the affidavit
"Mr Khumalo, who is the principle at Port Shepstone, came and said he was in the company of someone who wanted that a person who was an ANC member at St Faiths should be shot. He alleged that that person was recruiting ANC members at High Flats."
MR MAPOMA: Thank you, lady, it says, I read in fact what has just been read to you by the Committee member, in fact it is as he has just read it. There may have been a misunderstanding there regarding whatever explanation that I gave, but it is in fact as the Committee member has just read it to you.
MS MZIMANGO: May I comment? Then I would like to comment further and say this Mzimango issue sounds so short, but then it's not like that, for almost three years he was being attacked, shooting him and he will escape and survive those attacks, and he would not even stay at his house and always on the run, running away from the people who were attempting to attack him, but be as it may, from 1992, even the shop he's referring to, they did arrive in a car, driving in a car, in the evening and they shot and shot again, eventually they threw a petrol bomb to this house, and I subsequently heard that the van that was there was Gwabe's van. That puzzles me a great deal. And then my son comes out as a killer. Be as it may, I would like to put it to Mbhele that I am forgiving, it is my duty to forgive him, as well as the other people that were involved in the murder, because they know exactly what was happening. Now that my son is gone, I didn't even want to make a case about it, I didn't even want to know the person who killed him, because it was very painful. Now every Christian, I have got to forgive him, and I've got to forgive everyone involved. It is my duty to do so.
MS MZIMANGO: Yes, I will find peace, but then the only problem is that I have no home now. I had to leave my home, which my son built for me, now I'm living in town, I'm having problems at my old age to have to pay for ...(intervention).
MR LAX: Can you just bear in mind, you're hearing the Zulu and you're continuing in Zulu, the poor translators are trying to translate it into English as you're talking. If you can just, to be fair to everyone, just speak a little bit slowly please, and just give them a small opportunity to translate.
MRáMBHELE: A lot of them know. I know that you've influenced them not to divulge this, because you're going to attack them. I know you very well. I know that you have influenced all of them to say all those things about me, I know you, I've been under you and you cannot fool me. I know that you have actually influenced them to deny that you were the commander, because anyone who can confirm it will not live after today. I know you very well, Mabesa.
MR LAX: Do you want him to answer that? Are you putting that to him as a question, do you want him to respond to your comment? What is your response to that, Mr Mbhele? You see, you mustn't put too much to him, then it's too difficult for him to respond.
MRáMBHELE: When I came here, I knew exactly what he is going to say, because when you are in such a situation as I am, you are regarded, or you are put to appear as a criminal. I know a lot of other people who are in prison and have been labelled criminals because of what the situation is now. When I was not in prison, when I was working for them, I was regarded as a comrade, but now that I am in prison and I have a sentence of life imprisonment, I am no longer useful to them. You came here and when you ...(indistinct) stood up, I knew what you were going to say, I knew what's your reason for coming in front was. When we are convicted, nobody admits that they know us, nobody admits that they know us, even in the organisation. I know all of this. When a person is in trouble, they're actually regarded as criminals. Even the people you are with now, if they get into trouble, you will deny any knowledge of them, but if you were to go to the IFP office now and inquire about me, they will tell you about me, I am a card carrying member of the IFP. You are a criminal. You have even acquired a shop, because you have forced people to donate money for ammunition allegedly. I have all the information about you. My family is in trouble because of what happened to me, because I am in prison, but you are free, because of you, whatever you have come for here is not true, because you want to appear to be God in front of the community's eyes.
MRáMBHELE: This is the person responsible, he's just afraid of being arrested and convicted. It is all right, Mbezi, but you will never go to heaven, because I have taken blame for your sins, you actually use other people to fulfil your objectives. Your hands are clean because you sent people to do your acts. I do not know how I can explain it. You want to appear to be clean in front of the community.
CHAIRPERSON: You have explained it, I think we're fully aware of the point you're making and I think your counsel will agree with me. If he wishes you to give further evidence on this point, you can do so during re-examination, but I don't think you must continue now.
MRáMKHIZE: All the people that you mentioned, Mr Langeza, I do not know him, I have never heard of him. Maphutalenza was actually responsible for ferrying people to come join the IFP, but you say that I sent you to kill this person. You should actually stand for the truth, Sosha.
MRáMBHELE: With regards to Langeza as well as Maphutalenza, you should know that he issued the instruction. You have actually influenced them. We are not going to be able to achieve peace if people like you are allowed to continue doing what they do.
CHAIRPERSON: Will you be giving evidence to contradict this, because it's one thing to stand and make a lot of allegations if you are not prepared to support them on oath. Will you be giving evidence, and will you then on oath tell us where he has lied?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Matthews, do you want this cross-examination or this diatribe to continue, or should we merely allow Mr Mkhize to give evidence on oath after we have completed the applicant's case, and you will then have your opportunity to ask questions?
MR MATTHEWS: That is correct, Mr Chairman, but as I've explained, I'm not available to this Committee tomorrow, I would suggest that Mr Mkhize put his version on oath, file his affidavit with the evidence collector of this Committee, together with anybody else who wishes to refute what the applicant has said. It will give us an opportunity to go through these affidavits and properly to prepare, and that this application then be adjourned to a date which can be arranged.
CHAIRPERSON: What is your view, Mr Mapoma, would it help if we adjourned for five minutes and we spoke to the people who are waiting here, to see who would then be prepared to consult with you, which of them would be prepared to consult with you, to make affidavits, whether you can reach agreement, or whether you want for us to sit late and try to hear evidence today, or what the position is? I think - I don't know if you knew this gentleman was coming to give the evidence that he is, it certainly wasn't all put to the applicant, as I understood it, because what is now being suggested is far more than what was put in cross-examination, so perhaps if you could talk to them for a few minutes and try to clarify what the position would be, and if you can talk, counsel talk to one another and decide what the best way of handling this is. We'll adjourn for a few minutes.
CHAIRPERSON: It appears from the questions, if I can call them that, put by the the last questioner, that a number of other issues may arise for decisions. They are obviously not matters that can be settled in a short space of time, they're matters that, as I understand it, both sides, that the applicant and leader of evidence and legal advisers would wish to investigate, and it appears to me, and I have consulted the other members of my Committee, that the fairest thing to do at this stage, in the question of Mbhele's application, would be to adjourn at a date to be arranged, and that I understand, and if it hasn't been done, I want it to be done quickly, that the names and addresses of all those persons who came forward as wanting to ask questions or give evidence will be taken and thereafter our investigators can go and take full statements from them, which can be made available before the adjourned hearing. I also think that we've now got to the stage where the legal advisers can consult with one another as to the amount of time required for the hearing and what would be suitable dates for such hearing, and perhaps also a suitable venue. So I'd like to hear what your attitude towards those suggestions are?
MR MATTHEWS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I agree with MráChairman's point of view. The matter will have to be adjourned sine die and I will liaise with the Evidence Leader pertaining to the length of time we require, as well as the venue. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: I think here where, if statements are taken, they should be made available, because otherwise we could end up with, if they are suddenly sprung on you, with you applying quite naturally for yet another adjournment to investigate them. So it's a matter that you can discuss with one another, there may be some trivial matters. Sorry, your views?
CHAIRPERSON: Very well, I think that all of you who have been sitting here patiently throughout the three days, two days, sorry, have seen the position that has now arisen. We have members of the community wanting to come forward to make sure that their views are put to the applicant and are heard by the Committee, that they don't want a one-sided version to be given, they want the complete picture to come forward. To enable that to be done, we are going to adjourn the hearing today, it's reached the end of the time it was set down for, and you will be visited.
Your names and addresses have been taken by one of the lawyers working for us, to discuss the question of giving evidence with you, to take statements from you, and to arrange that you will be present at the next hearing where you can ask any questions you may want to, or cause someone else to do that, and you may be able to give evidence, and it is important that all of you who can contribute, and Mr Beki Mkhize raised a number of very interesting points in the course of his questioning, which should be followed up. I think that the questions he raised are ones which require an answer, and we trust you will all co-operate with us to make sure we get the answers.
We are now going to adjourn this matter to a date to be arranged, it shall be some time next year, and I trust that you will all do all you can to help us sort things out properly so we get at the right answer, and thank you all for your patience over the last two days. This matter is accordingly adjourned to a date to be arranged.