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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 01 February 1999
Names VLISI THOKOZANI MANQELE
Case Number AM4037/96
CHAIRPERSON: The application will be heard by the Committee comprising of myself as Chairman and on my left Mr Chris de Jager, Senior Counsel and Ms Sigodi on my right. Yes, counsel appearing for the applicant?
MR MANQELE: It was my mother's sister's house and there was fighting in the area. Because of the violence that was prevailing in the area at the time the house was bombed. On the first occasion the house was not damaged. On the second attack two persons died and the house was burnt down. As time went on ...(intervention)
MR SAMUEL: Now when you say brother and sister, for the record can you tell us do you mean that they were your blood brother and sister, were all of you born of the same parents, can you explain a little further about what you mean when you say brother and sister?
MR MANQELE: I killed him because I knew that he was an ANC chairperson and I had also heard that he was involved in the attack on my family and this effected me badly and therefore I took this decision although it was a decision that I had not foreseen. I requested a friend to accompany to Mr Bengu's house. He agreed to go with me but he enquired about what we were going to do there and I told him that he would actually get his cue from me as to what we were going to do and he wanted to know how would we get at Mr Bengu's house, was going to open the door for us because we were IFP members.
MR MANQELE: Our intention to leave the house had been to go buy beer because Khethukuthula used to serve beer, he had a tavern so we had gone out to buy more beer for the tavern and Mr Bengu's house was along the road and on our return I realised that the lights were on at Mr Bengu's house and at that point I then told my friend that we should go to Mr Bengu's house.
MR MANQELE: When we arrived at Mr Bengu's house I knocked on the door and I actually announced myself as My Baby, the My Baby that I knew that he used to frequent the house. I knew that if I said I was My Baby they would open the door. They did indeed open the door. Mrs Bengu was shocked when she realised that it was not that My Baby and she tried to close the door but I managed to into the house together with my friend. After we'd gotten into the house I locked the door and because the lights were off I switched them on. I then asked Mrs Bengu if I could see Mr Bengu and she said he was in his bedroom.
My friend and I then proceeded to the bedroom, I was in front. When we got there I opened - the door was slightly open so I opened it wide and when I got there Mr Bengu was in his gown. I asked him where was the gun that he used to attack us at Unit 10. At that point Mr Bengu realised that my intentions were not good and he tried to grab an assegai and he also had a hot water bottle with him. My friend Khethukuthula fled because he thought the bottle contained acid. I told him that no it was not acid but hot water. As I was saying that, Mr Bengu ...(indistinct) threw the hot water at me and I fell backwards and as I fell Mr Bengu took this assegai and I then shot at it, Khethukuthula that he should shoot, he tried but missed. Because ...(intervention)
INTERPRETER: Sorry, could you ask the applicant to speak a little bit slowly because some of the interpretation is not -the interpreter is not able to interpret everything that he is saying, he is missing out on certain things.
MR SAMUEL: Thank you ma'am. Mr Manqele, what is happening here is, you are speaking and the lady across you is interpreting. Now because you're speaking too fast or too quickly she's missing out part of the interpretation so take it easy, speak a sentence at a time and give her a chance to interpret. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Right, now you were at a stage where you tried to avoid or Mr - the deceased rather, tried to stab you with an assegai - Bengu - and you were able to avoid being stabbed by the assegai. Carry on from there, what happened then?
MR SAMUEL: I managed to avoid the assegai and because I was lying facing upwards and Mrs Bengu tried to put some covers on top of my face because I couldn't see and I removed these covers and we threw my gun and I then shot Mr Bengu and although I could not see where I shot him I grabbed his assegai and I realised that he was now powerless. I then dragged him from the house and he was still holding onto this assegai at the same time and I dragged him out of the front door. When we arrived outside ...(intervention)
MR SAMUEL: Sorry may I intervene Mr Manqele? Mr Manqele? If you look up you'll notice that you are talking while she is interpreting so some of the evidence that you are giving is being lost to the Members of the Committee so if you look up at her you will see when she is speaking please do not speak.
Mr Manqele there are two requests I have for you. Firstly it's important for the Committee to get the full picture of what happened and for them not to miss out on anything that you are saying. If you can come closer to the mike and look up at the lady across in the booth so you can see when she is speaking you remain silent. Thank you.
MR MANQELE: We then went out of the front door and Mrs Bengu was close by trying to assist her husband and she was also screaming, making a lot of noise. I then told my friend Khethukuthula that he should attack her. He did this and Mrs Bengu fell on the floor. At that time I then killed Mr Bengu. After we had finished we removed Mr Bengu's assegai.
MR MANQELE: I would not have knowledge thereof but I heard about it afterwards. I was puzzled because I did not take anything. I would not be certain if my friend does have knowledge thereof because even the assegai remained with him eventually.
MR MANQELE: I would request her to forgive me for what I did, I cannot explain it. I request you Mrs Bengu, I know that this is painful for you, I do not have the words to express myself but I am sorry for what I did. Please forgive me.
MR MANQELE: The sentence or the crime that I'm serving sentence, for a robbery that I committed with Umbongeni Seleko. I was sentenced to three years for that crime therefore my sentence in total was 11 years and 3 months. The crime for which I was sentenced first was the robbery later and the second matter that I was sentenced for was the case that I'm applying for amnesty.
MR MANQELE: It was something that happened spontaneously, I was with Umseli. Umseli said that we should drop some person and we did this but I did not know that person. It was Umsileko who had actually go with him to that area to fetch a certain car and he suggested that we rob this person when we met him and we did this.
MR MANQELE: From the situation that I observed I concluded that he must be involved in the killing of our people, even with regards to his shop we no longer used to buy from there because at one point we were attacked, shot at when we went to his shop.
CHAIRPERSON: I understand that that night we went to purchase liquor with your companion for his tavern. Now on your way back you happened to pass Mr Bengu's house and it suddenly occurred to you that because he was a member of the ANC you should go there and attack him, is that how it happened?
MS PATEL: Well then let me tell you, Mr Manqele. According to my instructions from his wife, Mrs Bengu, he was in fact involved in peace talks between the IFP and the ANC. So he was trying to appease the violence, he wasn't the cause of the violence in that area and accordingly had nothing to do with the death of your family members?
MR MANQELE: Yes she is telling the truth that Mr Bengu was involved in peace initiatives but I do not know what actually that situation because eventually people started killing one another. There was that peace initiative and things quietened down for a bit, for a while but I do not know what happened because later on the violence erupted again.
MR MANQELE: When we arrived at her home when I knocked on the door she said I should come in and she opened the door and then I got into the house. When she tried to close the door I actually stopped her from closing the door because my companion at that time had not entered the house so we both entered the house and I locked the door from the inside.
MR MANQELE: I heard that it is alleged that there were three of us but I only remember the two of us. I heard Mrs Bengu saying that there were three people, she said this in court but I did not see anybody else it was just the two of us. I thought that maybe she had seen somebody else who had no connection to us, I do not know anything about that third person.
MR MANQELE: That is correct, that is the name I used because I am called Mabisa but at that time I called myself My Baby because I did not think they would hear properly even if I had said Mabisa they could have opened the door for me.
MR MANQELE: Yes we would sometimes buy from the Spaza shop but I was not sure whether she would recognise me because I was dressed in such a member that I was not easily recognisable and another thing is that I would never come to her house at night, that's why I was not sure whether she would recognise me.
MS PATEL: Mrs Bengu says that's not correct, in fact she will state that at that time Mr Bengu had in fact refused to kill you despite her telling him that he should kill you before you were in a position to cause any harm to her and the rest of the family.
MR MANQELE: I do not know whether that is true. After I had fallen down I saw Mr Bengu approaching with this assegai and he tried to stab me twice and he managed to stab me on the third occasion but because I had already shot him he became powerless and that is how I managed to overpower him and drag him out of the house. I did not hear Mrs Bengu saying anything at the time.
Mrs Bengu hasn't mentioned that she in fact tried to cover your face. In fact during that time when the shots were being fired, she ran out for help and the only time she came back was when her husband was being dragged out of the house?
MR MANQELE: When I was on the floor Mrs Bengu did try to cover my face. When my friend started shooting I was already on my feet. Mr Bengu actually told her that she should try and help him and that is when she actually left the room. After she had left we actually dragged Mr Bengu out of the house and my friend tried to block Mrs Bengu so that we would be the first ones to get out of the house.
MR MANQELE: With regards to that we have never discussed it. If we had intended to rob Mr Bengu we would maybe have taken money. I did not intend to steal from him. I cannot explain what happened to me on that night we decided to kill him.
MR MANQELE: I confirm that I do not have facts or knowledge that he was indeed involved or if he was present when my family was attacked because I only heard about it, it is not something that I would necessarily believe that he was involved.
MS PATEL: Can you then just clarify for me on page 15 of your application. You stated that it was only because of anger that you did all of this, can you perhaps explain that to us? If you had no knowledge of Mr Bengu's involvement with your family's deaths or you had no knowledge of exactly what it was that he was doing in the ANC. Can you please explain this to us?
MR MANQELE: When I committed this act this act was committed because I thought that Mr Bengu had knowledge or had a role in the attack on my family. I only started realising and actually repenting for what I had done when I was in prison. I did not have facts or an absolute truth that he was involved but at the time I was angry, I believed that he may have been involved in the attack from what I had heard and that is how it came about that I told my friend that I should go into Mr Bengu's house.
MR MANQELE: When my family was attacked I heard that he had been involved in the planning of the attack because it was not only in my family that was attacked but also other houses in unit 10, therefore his name was mentioned when this was discussed. That is why I came to regard Mr Bengu as an enemy.
MR MANQELE: No I did not try to verify it but what also convinced me that he was involved was that his house was attacked and that is how I actually felt that he might have been involved because his house was also attacked.
MS PATEL: There's just one final thing Honourable Chairperson, I wish to state to this witness that my instructions are in fact that Mrs Bengu at the time of this incident was reluctant to let the applicant and whoever else was with him into the house.
CHAIRPERSON: The fact of the matter is that they entered into the house, they'd made up their mind they were going to attack him, little details about whether they forced themselves into the house or induced Mrs Bengu to let them in doesn't really matter.
MS PATEL: My instructions are Honourable - yes I know that it's not directly material to the facts at hand, I just wish to state to the applicant that in fact Mr Bengu was going to assist, he had asked his wife to let them in because they thought that they were in trouble and they could possibly assist and that is the basis upon which they were let into the house.
ADV DE JAGER: So I'm going there, putting on the light, you realised that they would recognise you and they could tell the police the next day that you were there and you've done the killing? Isn't that so?
MS PATEL: Sorry Chairperson, I just want to clarify one point. When you were being asked by Ms Patel it was put that she opened - that Mrs Bengu opened the house because she knew you and your answer was that "I was dressed in a manner, I was not easily recognisable". Do you know how you were addressed on that day? How were you dressed?
CHAIRPERSON: They didn't kill anybody even on the way to buy the beer, that is just something that occurred on the way back and he says and he has repeated several times "I cannot explain why this incident happened."
MR SAMUEL: Thank you Honourable Chairman, I think if I may just be given an opportunity to expand on perhaps I get the impression that he's trying on a moral basis to justify the killing and that's the sense I get is that that's the explanation. He is trying to explain his moral act.
MR SAMUEL: Thank you. Mr Manqele, what is crucial to this hearing is why of all the people in KwaMakuta did you go and pick on Mr Bengu on that day, why did you decide to kill him? I'm not asking you - okay I'll withdraw that. Can you explain why you decided to kill him on that day?
MR MANQELE: What actually made me decide to kill Mr Bengu was the thoughts that I had, the thought that he had been involved with the death of my family and then it occurred to me that I should kill him. I would not be able to be in a position to state how other people regarded Mr Bengu but I heard that people were more free after the death of Mr Bengu, this I only heard when I was in prison.
MR SAMUEL: You see this is the part of your evidence I do not understand Mr Manqele, perhaps you can clear it up. You indicated that when you went to Mr Bengu's house, you had seen the lights on and you went there with the intention of killing him.
CHAIRPERSON: That might have been putting it a bit - the general sense of it is they were going past the house, they saw lights, it was at that time these thoughts occurred to him that this is the man that may have had a hand in killing so there and there on the spot they decide to go to the house?
CHAIRPERSON: May I just intervene? What precisely was it that you heard people talk about in relation to the death of members of your family, what did you hear people talking about concerning Mr Bengu?
MR MANQELE: People did not only refer to my relatives but to other people who had been attacked. They said Mr Bengu was involved in these acts in the bombing of people's houses. I did not take this seriously at the time because I was not really involved in politics, my life centred around my karate.
MR MANQELE: I started taking this seriously when people started fleeing the area and they were sleeping in halls. I was also witnessing for myself that on many occasions people would emerge from Mr Bengu's house direction when they came to attack and that is how it came about that I started carrying a gun and it happened on occasions that we would exchange gunfire with these people who would attack our area but I do not know if anyone was injured, if I injured anyone in those attacks. That is how it came about that I ultimately came to kill Mr Bengu although this happened spontaneously.
MR MANQELE: That is correct. That was when I realised that Mr Bengu was indeed involved on attacks on our members because these people would approach from the direction of his house and I did not know them.
ADV DE JAGER: Sorry as far as his position is concerned I think he is sitting backwards, I don't think that desk was actually designed for somebody to sit there giving evidence. He is far from the microphone and that's why they've got trouble. If it wouldn't discomfort him, couldn't he stand up perhaps and speak closer to the mike?
MR SAMUEL: Thank you. Now when you saw these people emerging from Mr Bengu's - the direction of - these intruders emerging from the direction of Mr Bengu's house and when you heard about the attacks on Mr Bengu's house at that stage you say you seriously took into consideration the fact that Mr Bengu may have been involved in the death of the people at KwaMakuta including your relatives?
MR MANQELE: From what I observed when I first saw these people attacking us it was during the day and we exchanged fire on that occasion. When Mr Bengu's house was attacked I realised that yes he was involved with the ANC and also with attacks on our people but I did not know this for a fact but after I while I learnt that he was responsible for bringing these people into the area.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Samuel, that is where this large part of his evidence rests, he witnessed nothing, he heard people from time to time and he formulates some views of his own as a result of what he hears.
MR SAMUEL: Okay, I asked him when he initially heard about it, he says he didn't take it seriously but after he heard about the attacks and he saw these people emerging from Mr Bengu's direction he began to take it seriously. Now after this information, after he started taking it seriously, did he then formulate any intention to do anything to Mr Bengu?
CHAIRPERSON: No he didn't because he says he had never planned it, he never had intention to do that. The idea to attack Bengu occurred that night as they were coming after having bought beer and they were going, they passed Bengu's house and suddenly it occurs to him that he should go there. Isn't that his evidence?
MR SAMUEL: That is his evidence but one thing that leads me to believe that area needs exploration is the fact that he says he saw the light on indicating that there was an opportunity for the attack to take place. So I'm trying to explore the fact whether he was waiting for an opportunity to do this or did he just at that stage as he passed formulated the idea of killing Mr Bengu.
CHAIRPERSON: Just clear that up, that's the impression I've got from his evidence that as they're walking past they saw the light in the house, it then occurred to him to do something. You may clear it up.
Now you say that you heard that Mr Bengu's house was attacked, you saw people coming from the direction of Mr Bengu's house and you began taking seriously the fact that Mr Bengu may have been involved in the killing? Can you just answer yes or no?
MR MANQELE: I did not know whether I would get the opportunity to attack him because he was always in his car but I had it in my mind that maybe one day I would meet him and get that opportunity to revenge myself.
MR SAMUEL IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Honourable Chairperson and Members of the Committee. This Committee must have heard hundreds of applications about the offences which occurred during the period that the applicant is facing. There was a war zone situation of war and it was quite clear that amongst other political players, members of the ANC and IFP were to an extent at war with each other. The applicant lost members of his family who are IFP people, his house was burned down and he indicated that people from the IFP were frequently attacked by members of the ANC and vice versa he was honest to that extent he said ANC were also attacked by IFP people including Mr Bengu.
After the death of his family and at some stage when he realised that Mr Bengu was involved in these deaths and I do not believe that if we look at a situation of war he needed to have hard evidence for him to come to a conclusion to make a political decision to kill Mr Bengu. I think it was sufficient that the evidence before him and the objective facts led him to believe that Mr Bengu was involved in the attack on IFP people. Having come to the conclusion that Mr Bengu was involved, he then waits for an opportunity, goes to Mr Bengu's house and kills Mr Bengu but what is significant is that, for these proceedings, is that he has an opportunity to kill other members of Mr Bengu's family, the wife and the daughter and thank God that was not done.
CHAIRPERSON: The attack on his family took place in 1987/1988. He does nothing about it, he kills no ANC people, in 1990/1991 he kills no ANC people and so on. You know it is just one of these things that happened on that night really, isn't it?
MR MANQELE: Well the information he says came to him after, well after the death of his relatives. He says he went to church before this incident and the women were talking about it at church. He also says we do not know exactly when he saw these people emerging from Mr Bengu's house.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) don't know when the attacks on Bengu's house took place? When did the people emerge from his house and attack IFP people, we don't have any details, you understand? This is just general background information.
MR SAMUEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I do not believe that in terms of - it's necessary for him to have come to a conclusion say three months or six months or twelve months before. Once he established that it was Mr Bengu, in his own mind, once he established that Mr Bengu was responsible for the deaths of his family by bringing in intruders, by planning it, then I do not think that the time factor is material in the sense that during that period the government of the day was not effectively policing and prosecuting the perpetrators of political violence to the extent that the community required and therefore whether it took him a year or two in his own mind and given the political situation then, he would have been justified in carrying out these acts.
MR SAMUEL: That is correct, Honourable Chairperson, but he also says that there was an initial period of peace and subsequently violence erupted and he saw people emerging from the direction of Mr Bengu's house attacking IFP people presumably as the chairperson of the ANC Mr Bengu could exercise more control so he in his mind realised that despite the efforts that Mr Bengu made initially he was in fact more involved in the violence. Whether or not this was disinformation that supplied to him or not is immaterial I submit to the purposes of these proceedings because he came to establish that in his mind he realised that Mr Bengu was involved in the attacks on IFP and the murder of IFP people.
MR SAMUEL: That is correct as well to the extent that he carried out these attacks for personal - there is an extent to which he carried out these attacks for personal gratification if I may use that word. However, he also says that since Mr Bengu died the area was free.
ADV DE JAGER: He didn't tell us that he killed Bengu in order to create peace and in fact it resulted, it wasn't the reason why he killed Bengu that he had thought by himself if he would kill this leader there would be peace. That's not his case, we can't argue on that basis.
MR SAMUEL: Well to the extent that he's confirmed his application, page 2 of his application, the nature of the particulars which he confirms: "I murdered this guy because he was the one who used to bring intruders to trouble us so we really have to stop this thing." He confirmed that he was trying to stop, in his application as well as by confirming that he's indicated that he has taken these steps to stop the attack on these people. So to the extent that he felt he was justified for this political purpose, just to avenge whether they be members of his family or the fact that they were IFP people and he perceived the chairperson of the ANC branch there or committee there to be responsible for this and he carried out this attack. The wife and the daughter were not murdered and the reason he gives for this is that he suspected Mr Bengu was the one who was behind this and it follows that he meant that the wife and the daughter were not involved in the planning of the attacks on IFP people.
ADV DE JAGER: I think you dealt with the opposition my learned colleague put to you. If it was for personal revenge then according to the act he can't get amnesty. Now what do you say? Was it for personal revenge?
MR SAMUEL: I think it goes beyond personal revenge. I think he indicates in his application that and by describing the incident he himself was attacked by these people coming from Mr Bengu's house, they were fired upon and he fired back so to that extent he must have been a soldier in the IFP cause.
MR SAMUEL: That is correct, Mr Chairperson, I'm saying that he's had a lot of time to reflect and things have changed now but during that period it must have been clear that IFP people were killing ANC people and vice versa and if one acted out that - if one acted in those circumstances one was in fact acting for a political purpose. If Mr Bengu was responsible, if Mr Bengu as an ANC member was responsible for the death of his relatives as an ANC member, who was an ANC member, and Mr Manqele was an ANC member then one can say this is purely a personal attack, he's doing it because Mr Bengu committed a crime against him. But here the lines have been drawn, the battle lines are drawn and how does one differentiate how one acts purely on a personal level or whether one acts as a member of an ANC, it's a difficult distinction to draw where the battle lines are drawn so clearly.
CHAIRPERSON: All done against a background of violence in the community between two sections of the community in which a lot of people died, a lot of people fled their homes so against that kind of background he plays out his personal drama and takes revenge for the people that killed, he believed that had a hand in killing his family and burning his house?
MR SAMUEL: I think it was a little beyond that, with respect Honourable Chairperson, I think it goes to the very root of the beliefs that we have people who are affiliated to the IFP living together and people of the ANC allegiance living together and attacking each other. Now as I indicated, he's not saying I did it purely to avenge my family, I did it purely because my brother and my sister and the child was killed. He's saying I also did it because I was shot upon, I did it because IFP people left their houses and went and lived in holes, my house itself was burned. Now the attacks that he perceived were perpetrated against him and the IFP people and in response to these attacks he carried out a particular act. Can one say that he is acting only in a personal capacity?
MR SAMUEL: That is correct, there was no directive given to him individually to kill but the circumstances of the day, organisations were not as structured as they are today. Messages came through all sorts of speeches.
CHAIRPERSON: We don't have a hint of all that in his evidence, do you understand? There wasn't a hint of all that in his evidence. He doesn't pretend to have acted in the name of the IFP or anything of the kind, he didn't seek the approval of the IFP or anything of the kind. He took no instructions from anybody whatsoever. He acted purely because it occurred to him that he should act.
MR SAMUEL: That is correct. That is correct, that he acted solely as a foot soldier deciding on his own that he has to carry out a particular act on behalf of the larger organisation, he never got, there was no chain of command instruction but what is significant that he carried out this act with a person who was a former ANC person who is now an IFP person.
MR SAMUEL: I think that if he carried out this act with the ANC member then one can say that the - it meant no more but the fact that he chose an IFP person to accompany him or a person unaffiliated, you know, he chose an IFP person to be with him and I think as a foot soldier he trusted a fellow IFP member to carry out this act.
It's obvious that a lot of time has elapsed from the time of this offence to now and the sad part of it all was that in the initial trials which the Committee must have been facing with, there were other attempts to exonerate the person's charged with the crimes, attempts made to nullify the state case by denying involvement etc, I think that was given the circumstances of the day but what is significant is that the magistrate in his judgement also refers to this as a political killing and there are a few instances where he indicated that this was in fact a political killing and not purely a criminal act.
"It is perhaps opportune to mention that this is unfortunately one of those so called political assassinations which are so frequent"
"The evidence will show the deceased at the time of his death was an active member of the ANC and in fact had been the chairman of a certain region for the last four to five months. At that stage both accused and this is so evident from the witness's testimony were members of the Inkatha organisation."
And there are other instances in the judgement which indicate the magistrate was at pains to mention the allegiances of both the deceased and the state witnesses. Page 30 of the judgement where the magistrates says:
"He confirmed under cross-examination that he was a member of Inkatha and believed that that was the reason why he stood in the dock today. In amplification thereof he explained that he had once been an ANC member, in fact the Chairman of the ANC in the area. He left the ANC and joined Inkatha and believed that this has given rise to a grudge being born against him."
Now they're referring to the other accused in this matter, Mr Ncobo. And then on page 33 he on the second paragraph when he speaks of, deals with the evidence of the applicant, he says on the last line:
"He confirmed that the ANC was suspected of those murders and in particular a person by the name of My Baby."
"Mr Hurley may be correct to a degree and we may well be in a state of war between major factions in the country between the IFP and the ANC. The purpose of this is not clear to anybody, it appears to be nothing more than political manoeuvring and it is certainly unnecessary."
MR SAMUEL: I think the magistrate is referring to the war between the ANC and the IFP and he says the purpose of the war is not clear and maybe political manoeuvring. I think it is difficult to judge that so easily. In the circumstances I submit that despite there being some weaknesses in the evidence of the applicant, if one looks at the overall picture and looks carefully into his application it is clear that he acted for a political purpose and that he should be given amnesty. He has applied for the charge of murder. Unfortunately I did not assist him when his application was drawn up but I think he has applied for the offence of murder alone.
MR SAMUEL: Honourable Chairperson, he was also convicted of the assault by common purpose on Mrs Bengu as well as the possession of firearm. I'm not sure perhaps you may guide me in this regard whether this Committee can ...(intervention)
Honourable Chairperson, it's my respectful submission that inasmuch as one accepts that the area from which the applicant came was torn by violence and that to a large extent it was political violence, it is clear that the applicant hasn't acted in his capacity as a member or as a supporter of a political organisation. He stated clearly that he wasn't involved in politics, in fact his main area of interest was karate at this stage so in fact when he committed this offence he acted purely out of revenge, that he acted as the brother and as the uncle of the deceased. He clearly wasn't a foot soldier as has been argued. He despite having had the information that the deceased may have been involved in the killing of his family there was no corroboration to this, he didn't ...(intervention)
MS PATEL: Be that as it may the applicant hasn't stated specifically the circumstances under which he found himself in, the circumstances under which he became involved in that shoot out. He may very well have just been passing by at the stage, one does not know.
Also, if one looks at the manner in which the incident had occurred, he had come from having purchased liquor, he himself had drank liquor during that time, there was no clear plan inasmuch as we have been referred to his co-accused in this matter. It is my respectful submission that this co-accused motivation for having become involved in this incident is to a large extent immaterial given that the sole purpose of having gone to the home of the deceased was to murder the deceased because of his supposed involvement with the accused, I beg your pardon, with the applicant's family.
MR SAMUEL IN REPLY: Just one point Honourable Chairperson. The co-accused, Mr Ncobo, doesn't seem to be a person who can be easily influenced or manipulated. He was a chairperson of the ANC, he must have some level of intellect.
MR SAMUEL: Yes on page 30, Honourable Chairperson. It would have been difficult to convince someone with some level of intellect to get involved in a killing of a personal nature, a revenge attack and bearing in mind that it was not a situation where everybody in the house was killed. The violence was directed at a particular person. I argue with respect that they went there with the intention of carrying out this political killing of Mr Bengu.
MS PATEL: The deceased's wife is present, I haven't taken instructions on her financial or personal possession Honourable Chairperson but she is present, I can make that information available to you shortly.