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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 02 February 1999
MR SAMUEL: It is alleged that on the 31st of December 1988, and at or near Imbali township, you attempted to kill Nicholas Mbeki Themba Zulu, an adult male. Do you want to tell us what happened on that day?
MR MWELI: It was on the 31st of December. I had visited my aunt at One, my uncle Madlala that is. There was some function there so we had invited as a family. I went with my fellow IFP comrades or colleagues. We were about 9 or 8 in number. And as I was inside the house, because the rest of my IFP colleagues were outside, at my uncleís house, Ndlala Luthuli came in and said ...(indistinct) "there are comrades outside there, meeting outside there. I think they want or they intend to attack us. They also have stones in their hands." and I did not take much notice of what he said.
MR MWELI: Dladla Luthuli came into the house. After some time I heard some noise outside, some screaming sort of noise outside, and I went outside with other, together with the IFP colleagues, we went outside.
MR MWELI: How I know it, they used to call him Awette because their aunt was Mrs Beatrice Awette. I think they were related to, she was related to his mother, like ...(indistinct) as well used to call themselves Awette, or use the surname of Awette, so I suppose there was some kind of relationship.
MR MWELI: Yes. We got outside to the road and we found other comrades outside there and they were already stoning us. I had a firearm with me in the company of those who were with me inside. I started shooting many times and some fled, those who were residing at Matlwana.
I donít know as to how many got injured, and my other comrades or colleagues, IFP colleagues, ran after them. And what I heard subsequently was that they managed to stab one of them and the other was, they managed to stab and capture one and stabbed one and fell on the ground, was lying on the ground apparently.
MR MWELI: Yes, Iím the one who had the firearm and was shooting. I did not know, as Iíve already mentioned earlier on, as to who got injured and who was killed as a result of my shooting. I did not know at the time.
MR SAMUEL: We now move on to count 11 of the indictment, thatís still on page 31 and we move onto page 32. Itís that, the allegation is that on the 3rd of January 1989 and at ...(indistinct) Imbali, you unlawfully and intentionally killed one Bekani Jacobs Sobisibo, and adult male. Do you want to tell us what happened on the 3rd of January 1989?
MR MWELI: We discussed together, we were discussing about Jacob, that he usually brings boys from far away to the Stage Two area, so heís an ideal, an ideal situation will be to kill him for such acts. So in other words he should be killed.
MR MWELI: What we were discussing about is that he will go and fetch a group of comrades from far away to Stage Two to attack IFP members and houses. In the end we will not even be able to associate as to who was attacking and behind this ordeal.
MR MWELI: There was ...(indistinct). Said that usually happened during week-ends, and each time we find out there was a person who was attacked it will be realised the people who attacked him or her were not from around, where are known people.
MR MWELI: If Iím not mistaken I went to Beki Ngcoboís house at Stage Two. I was coming from Mr Thuís house, it was night when I was coming. I met him in the passage towards his home, thatís where I identified him, I saw him, and I shot him.
MR SAMUEL: We now move on to count 12. Itís alleged that on the 12th of January 1989 and at Imbali township, you killed Stanley Nduduze Shezi, an adult male. Can you tell us what happened pertaining to what you know about the death of Mr Shezi?
MR MWELI: I donít remember the names of the street, but I think it was corner Sangawu if Iím not mistaken. I saw two gentlemen who were standing there, and as I was approaching the one who first saw me, I did not know him. He was standing with Nduduzi Shezi.†I did not even know Nduduzi Shezi. I thought Nduduzi Shezi was Mpumelelo. I only got to know that when I came. I did not know him even there in Imbali. I thought he was Nduduzi Shezi, and as I saw him standing with the other gentleman whom I did not know he fled, the other the other man. I said here he comes. I did not even ask that man. I simply shot at him.
MR SAMUEL: For the sake of convenience weíll deal with counts 13 and 14 together. Itís alleged that on the 13th of January 1989 and at Imbali township, you killed Thokozana Hlela, an adult male, and you killed Linda Moloi, and adult male, on the same day. Can you tell us what you know about the deaths of these two people?
MR MWELI: When Hoosain wanted to stop the car Mr Awette said no donít stop, take me to town, but these boys you must run after, they have to be assaulted. We went to town. We left him in town. As we left him, because the person who had the firearm was Mr Awette. We left him town, we went, we drove back home after he had already said that these boys must be assaulted so that next time they donít do what they did.
MR MWELI: We drove past the same filling station or garage, the car was not shot at that time, but people shouted. The people insulted at us at the garage as we were driving past, but it was not shot this time around.
MR MWELI: I may have forgotten that, so to speak. Those were not the ones exactly who shot at us. Those were the boys near the garage as Mr Awette did say that we have to assault those boys, but then again, I did not see exactly as to who.
MR MWELI: When we were going there. We used to drive into town. The car was not stoned, or they did not throw stones. Even when we were driving, returning, they did not. When we were driving back the car was not stoned it was not shot, but they were shocked when we were coming back from town. I would like to rectify that.
MR SAMUEL: I think you need to clear this up. When Mr Awette was in the car, you told us that the car was shot at. You said you donít know who shot at the car. Where, at which place, was the car shot at?
MR MWELI: Those were the boys there at the filling station. We did not see as to who was shooting. I canít lie. Mr Awette said these boys have to be assaulted because they are there, they disturbed us. I was in the car when he uttered those words.
MR SAMUEL: Just to proceed on this point before I move to the next one. When he referred to those boys, was he referred to a particular group of boys who you identified, or was he referring to the boys that you should identify and take action against?
CHAIRPERSON: They didnít know anybody they could identify. He doesnít know who shot at the car. You have a general statement by Awette which said "...those boys should be assaulted." Thatís all he says, and nothing more about being able to identify them. Mr Awette makes his remark, you then go to town, you stop, you drop him in town, and you are on your way back. Now, you havenít been very clear in your evidence as to at what stage anybody threw stones at your car. Have you forgotten the details, or whatís happening?
MR MWELI: It was because we were shot. Now we were retaliating. We were sending a message that people should know and be aware of the fact that when we are attacked we'll attack back. When we are being shot we will shoot back as well.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes but I'm not talking about being attacked. You were not attacked. Then you shot indiscriminately, in other words, you didn't care who you shot, you just shot because you felt like shooting.
CHAIRPERSON: No I'm talking about these two people. They may have had nothing to do with it. You came there, you saw two people, because you were angry at having been sworn at, you took out your gun and killed them.
MR MWELI: Not because we did not care about that, but the fact was we were shot at first, so we were shooting back. We did not know as to who did that, but we were shooting back so we can send this message across that we cannot sit back and relax when we're being attacked or shot at for that matter.
MR MWELI: Very close. When we talk about the garage it was not exactly where the garage was located, but we would be referring to the whole area of One Pendloga, that is and say it's next to the garage, that's how we used to refer to it.
MR SAMUEL: Earlier on you mentioned Mr Awette said those boys must be assaulted. You told us you didn't see who shot at you. How did Mr Awette come to the conclusion that it was some boys who shot at you?
MR SAMUEL: He probably didn't know specifically, but if I'm, just, I don't want to lead him onto my answer Honourable Chairperson, because there may be another interpretation, but I don't want to put words into his mouth because he's listening to what I'm saying to you. Thank you. Now how was Mr, who was Mr Awette talking to when, talking about when he said those boys must be assaulted?
MR SAMUEL: Honourable Chairperson in the townships groups of people tend to hang out near shops and garages, etc., and it's my experience that people have their favourite hang outs around certain businesses or enterprises or entertainment centres.
CHAIRPERSON: He wasn't talking about anybody specific. He merely said those boys should be assaulted because somebody from that area shot at their car. Nobody saw who it was. And you can't take it any further than that. He didn't know who shot at them either.
MR SAMUEL: That is correct Honourable Chairperson, but what I'm saying is he didn't say to the kids find out who shot at me and ...(intervention) Yes but he ...(indistinct) with a specific instruction those boys must be assaulted.
MR SAMUEL: The point that I'm making is that obviously when the instruction was given he was referring to someone and this witness must tell us what those words mean, those boys. He could have been talking about all the boys in the area, he could have been talking about a specific group of boys who hung out near the garage.
CHAIRPERSON: He didn't ask Mr Awette when he said those boys, did you mean all those boys or some of them. These are general words. As a result of being shot at Awette tells him those boys should be assaulted. He doesn't say those boys should be shot and killed, they should be assaulted.
MR SAMUEL: I take the Honourable Chairperson's point. The situation here is that the applicant is reciting events that took place over, almost a decade ago. He's not going to give evidence of every detail that one can conclude without exploring these possibilities that in fact these instructions were general or specific, and my attempt Honourable Chairperson is to try and establish from him what were those instructions. How he interpreted the instructions. Unless I'm given an opportunity to explore that the Committee may come to the, perhaps the right or perhaps the wrong conclusion.
MR MWELI: I did not know as to which party he affiliated to, but we will not go to his garage to fill up our cars because people around there, or the boys around the garage, would shoot at us. Not the petrol attendants, but the people around. In the Kombis they would get people out and kill them if our Kombis are seen nearby.
MR SAMUEL: Thank you for the guidance Honourable member. This is an important point. You were instructed by Mr Awette to assault these people who shot at the motor vehicle, but you went beyond that, you went and killed these people. Can you tell us why?
MR MWELI: He didn't want to call a spade a spade when he said those boys needs to be assaulted he actually meant, he means to be killed. We know that. It wasn't a usual thing that he will say go kill, he will usually say go assault someone, but what he really means is to kill that person.
MR SAMUEL: Thank you. It's alleged that on the 14th of January 1989 at Imbali, you attempted to kill Nkolelo Sithole. Can you tell us, firstly is this the Nkolelo Sithole that you mentioned in your evidence earlier?
MR MWELI: He was a troublesome person. He used to gather UDF members and also he used to provide UDF members with weapons. This is what Mr Jerome said to us, so we looked for Ubumi for a long time before we could find him.
One day Mr Jerome told me that it was difficult for us to get hold of Ubumi but on Saturday he usually goes, usually every Saturday morning he goes and buy bread, therefore it was going to be easy for us to wait for him on Saturday.
MR MWELI: As I've already mentioned, he was one person we looked for him for a long time, we wanted to kill him. He was a member of UDF and he was good in gather UDF members together and to hold meetings.
MR MWELI: In the morning - I slept at Beki Ngcobo's place the previous night, and then in the morning Jerome came to fetch me and I went to fetch Ndlandlaza and we went and waited for Mpumelelo since we were given the information that he would go to fetch the bread. And we were waiting for him there.
CHAIRPERSON: Who else accompanied you. You mentioned a name. I haven't been able to take down your evidence, you talk too fast. You left Beki Ngcobo's house. Jerome fetched you this morning and so you left. With who did you leave?
MR SAMUEL: Now proceed to counts 17, 18 and 19. It's alleged that all these offences took place on the 16th of January 1989 at Imbali, where you killed Bongani Jeremiah Sithebe, a 13 year old male, Sibusiso Frank Carrington Nduli, an adult male was killed, you killed Siphiwe Patrick Majosi, an 11 year old male, and you killed Beki Zazi Alpheus Ngwala, an adult male.
Okay you were initially charged with the death of four people on that day, and you were found not guilty in relation to one of them, and is it correct that you are applying for amnesty in respect of the deaths of the other 3 people, is that correct?
MR MWELI: When I told him he was surprised why I failed to kill Mpumelelo. He asked me if I was scared, and I told him no. He gave me a box full of cartridges, and then he told me that I was supposed to do something major, something terrible that will scare the people and people from One Section will decide to leave.
MR MWELI: And he told me I mustn't be scared because these people won't do anything to me and if you were going to be successful the whole of KwaZulu Natal were going to be ruled by IFP, even if I would go to prison I was going to be released because the IFP had connections with the police and they're just assisting. I mustn't be scared.
MR MWELI: I used that muti for a day, and then the following day, at night, I went to fetch Ndlandlazi, Kosi Ndlandlazi was brave and I used to trust Ndlandlazi than the rest of other members. I went and fetch him. I would tell Ndlandlazi some of the things, but some I wouldn't tell him, but he knew anyway some of the things.
MR SAMUEL: Yes sir, thank you. Now youíd agree that these four people that you killed, and the three people that you applied for amnesty for, had done nothing to you personally, or you had known nothing that they did against the IFP, am I correct?
CHAIRPERSON: No, my question is that, it is possible that there were people who were not political. They lived in the area because it was convenient perhaps, to live in the area, without being political. Thatís a possibility, isnít it?
MR SAMUEL: You told us that Mr Mncwabe told you to go and do something big and that he wanted the people in that area, the UDF people, to leave Imbali. Did you know of other communities that left the area as refugees and fled from where they lived?
MR SAMUEL: Just to set the background in terms of how he was trained. Now, when you were taught how to use a firearm, why was it necessary for Mr Mncwabe to teach you how to use a firearm? You were fourteen years old at that stage, or thirteen years old.
MR SAMUEL: Now, itís going to be suggested to you that the acts that you committed are criminal acts. That you, in fact, are not a political person, but you are a criminal. In prison, do you belong to any criminal gangs?
MR MWELI: No. In prison Iím not a criminal and I donít, or Iím not anyhow connected to any criminal gangs as such. I have been given this letter to prove how uninvolved I am as far as criminal acts are concerned in prison. I donít participate at all in prison. We would try to create peace instead between the IFP and ANC members who would be in prison, or who are in prison, instead.
Iím writing this report to explain the behaviour of the abovementioned prisoner. Pumlani Derek Mweli is a well-behaving prisoner who does not go with gangs and he is co-operative towards members as well as other inmates. He came in this institution while he was awaiting trial in 1989, January 23rd, and he was sentenced in 1990, August 29th. At that time he was transferred to Waterval. From there to Lowkop Prison, and back to Pietermaritzburg Prison. Since he came to prison we have not experienced trouble or problems with him. I will be glad if the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could consider the abovementioned information when it comes to behaviour and co-operation and discipline.
MR MWELI: I donít agree with those people because those are the ones who harass other inmates in various ways for various reasons, so that I told myself that I will, I am a political prisoner, I have to be well-behaved in prison.
We will meet, endeavour to facilitate meetings to meet with the ANC members to create peace and form good relationship with the two parties. Even the complainant in Nduduma is aware and fully aware of this as he was coming from ANC and I will be coming from IFP to create peace and good relationship between the two, in prison.
MR MWELI: Lieutenant Meyer, I was told by Mr Awette that the police are looking for me, and it will only be appropriate for me to take myself to them. So that I would be fully supported by them. They will secure the services of legal representatives for me and whatever I encounter as a problem I should relay or convey that to them, they will be there for me.
To an extent that even when I get convicted they will give me the support I will need throughout. And I took myself, together with my mother. Lieutenant Meyer came to fetch us from Awetteís and we went to Halfway House police station, Riot investigation unit.
MR SAMUEL: Now, just one aspect I want you to tell us a little bit more about, and that is that some of the people you said you killed, because they were fighting you. Some of the people you killed surely because they were members of the UDF or ANC as you put it. Why, what went through your mind when you killed people who just belonged to different political organisations? How did you view them?
MR MWELI: What I will say is there was this war in Imbali. There was this rife violence between us blacks, and at the time when we would fight, or when we were fighting, shooting at each other, or the one group shooting at the other, there would also be other times where sometimes there will be those fights that were happening unexpected, or take place unexpected or unplanned, and I think some of the people who are here and who will testify to this truth will agree with me that this did happen or occurred in this area in various ways and means.
And each time there will be some attack that will break, anybody who would be caught in the crossfire will bear the consequences of the attack. This is why you find that oftentimes you will have young kids or children who will be killed, and when my sisterís house was burned there was a four year old boy who also was caught in this ordeal. Those were things that transpired in the area, and those are atrocities that people suffered in the place of Imbali at the time of violence. This is, what Iím trying to say here is I was not a criminal but the circumstances and the situation that prevailed at the time forced me to do or commit the acts that I did.
MR MWELI: What I will say, the first of all I would like to apologise and ask for forgiveness to all friends and parents of the victims, or the ones that I killed, and I am pleading for forgiveness from the community of Imbali for all the atrocities I committed in the area. It was not because of any personal malice whatsoever, but I was coerced by the situation that prevailed at the time, politically so to speak.
Some of the things that I committed, it was due to the fact that I was under the influence of umuti, ...(indistinct) therefore, this is why at the end I forwarded an amnesty application so I may be afforded opportunity to ask myself for apology and for forgiveness from the people that I have wronged and I have sinned against, because itís not that I enjoyed it and I am marvelling over what I committed.
I realise how much this is haunting and I want to relay and convey this to them so they know how awful I feel and the remorse I am carrying relating to the acts that I undertook. And my parents now are the ones who suffer the consequences of the acts, and I am pleading for their forgiveness. I donít think in my right mind I would ever commit such evil and brutal, fatal actions that I committed. I had intended, and my aim was to continue with my studies, and I would so wish to continue with my studies and further my education.
I would also like to direct my forgiveness to the President Nelson Mandela and Minister Nthebezi as well for all the things that I did in the country. I am, however, feeling very bad and I now feel ostracised at the same time, I feel isolated from the people I used to be close to. I know itís quite difficult for those people to accept my apology, but be that as it may I am asking for forgiveness from them.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Mr Mweli before I deal with the actual substance of your application, I want to concentrate on certain aspects relating to your application. I see that you made two applications, and I refer to the first application which is from pages 2 to 8 in the bundle, and the second application which is from pages 9 to 18 of the bundle. Can you tell me why you saw fit to make two applications?
MR MWELI: The reason behind this, the other one, I was not the one who filled it, and it took so long before I heard from the offices, so I thought I should fill the second one, because the first one, the people who filled it and wrote everything in it, were IFP members. Now the second one, I was the one. I was thinking the first one might have not reached the office, since I did not get any response at the time, so I felt maybe I should forward the second application.
MR MWELI: This is why I mentioned earlier on that the other application was Mr Hlela who filled it, who came at Waterval and were the ones who filled up our application forms. By seeing delay of any response I sort of thought I should fill the other form. Labouring under the impression that the other form could have not reached the office in the first place I felt and deemed it fit to fill the second one.
MR WILLS: I see, to be specific, that in the first application you make the allegation that you werenít committing these crimes as a result of instructions from anybody, and I refer you to question eleven in this regard, where you specifically said that you did this on your own initiative, and if the Committee will bear with me, Iím referring to page 6, and itís in answer to question 11(a). Whereas in your second application, in answer to the same question, you say that you did this on orders from IFP, high ranking IFP officials, if the translation is correct?
MR MWELI: This is why I mentioned to you Mr Wills that these applications are different. The other one I did not fill, the other one I did fill. On the 10th of November 1997 I filled myself this application. The other one were the leaders that filled them on our behalf.
MR WILLS: Are you saying that you were influenced by the leaders to not put the correct information down in the first application? Because I see that you signed the first application before a Commissioner of Oaths.
MR MWELI: Iím still trying to explain one aspect here. Other applications we did not fill them ourselves. The one that I know and I stand by will the one that I filled myself on the 10th. Thatís the one, my way of I know. When I was also enquiring at the same time as to what was happening because I could get no response at the time.
CHAIRPERSON: I think that you must just try and answer the question, please. There are some differences between the first application and the second application. Answer this point about one difference, and heís asking you to comment on that difference. Have you got a copy of the forms before you?
MR WILLS: Can I help you, Iíll just repeat my question. The material difference that Iím concerned about is that in your first application you say you performed these acts on your own initiative, and that is diametrically opposed to the answer you gave to the same question on your second application, where you indicate that the atrocities were committed on instructions of high ranking IFP persons. Now Iím wanting to know why there is that difference?
MR MWELI: What I will say to you Mr Wills is that the IFP leaders did not want to be implicated, thatís one other reason I will furnish to you, that they did not desire of us to divulge more information in relation to their names as well, so we had to keep the names and not disclose their names. This is why at the end I deemed it fit to disclose the names, and I realised that I am the one who is suffering and staying in prison for no reason at all except that I am keeping away their names, so itís time I disclose their names.
MR MWELI: Yes, they said in my trial I shouldnít reveal their names. They were going to try and help me so that I was going to be released, because they were scared that the image of the organisation was going to be ruined.
MR MWELI: He knew me very well, because we used to meet in meetings. He called me aside and said to me, the incidents which I was implicated, or which Iíve done, they implicate too many peopleís names so I mustnít reveal those names, and he said I must just write my application and never reveal somebodyís name, and I agreed.
But later I regretted, I said to myself I needed to write another application to the TRC and reveal the truth, because other inmates advised me as well that it was very crucially important for me to tell the truth, and thatís why Iím telling the truth today. If I didnít say anything itís because Iíve forgotten. I was still a child at that time.
MR MWELI: Thatís correct, and if Iím not mistaken, one I was still in Waterval Prison, and the other one I was in Westville Prison. The one which I filled in Westville Prison, is the one that I personally filled.
MR WILLS: Yes, but what Iím driving at is the real truth as to why there are two applications, isnít because of the delay. Itís because the first application you filled in was not the truth. It was only the second one where you attempted to tell the truth. Is that correct? That is the real reason why there are two applications before the Committee today.
MR WILLS: Iíll refer to question 1.1(a)(2) on the first application. Sorry, sorry itís not, itís question 9(a)(4) on page four. It starts actually on page 3 of the papers and is continued on page 4, but Iím referred to the answer to the questions of the nature and particulars of the act, where you essentially say that the acts in respect of which you are applying for amnesty were committed during open fights or war between the IFP, and five of the murders were committed by you when you met the deceased on the road. And then, in the second application in answer to the same question you say you were shooting randomly at people in ANC strongholds. That is on page 20 Mr Chairperson. Which one of those is the truth?
ADV DE JAGER: This one is saying heís shot some of them on the road, and some were attacked in their houses, because they were members of UDP. Some people in the attempted murder cases were found on the road, and some were attacked in their houses. In the other says he shot randomly at people in the ANC strongholds. What we had was to destroy our opponents. Is there a material difference?
MR WILLS: Iím really concentrating Mr Honourable Member on the issue of the fight, where, you know in relation to the border evidence, particularly Judge Wilsonís judgment, itís clear from that objectively that these incidents occurred in UDF strongholds and not in direct relation to a fight. So in this first aspect on page 3, where he refers to an open fight between persons, I havenít heard any evidence of that in chief. I havenít seen any evidence of that in the record, in specific relation to the people who were killed, and thatís what Iím trying to establish.
ADV SIGODI: But Mr Wills can we not agree that, I mean, this person was not assisted by legal representative. All these applications are never drawn up meticulously. What this fight could actually mean is the tension between the UDF and the IFP and that is not disputed at this, is it your case that there was no tension between the IFP and the UDF? Is it really material? I mean the way it has been phrased, does it make any difference as to what he has said here today?
MR WILLS: Iíll leave it then, itís just, I will leave that difference. Iíll go onto the next one. You say in question 10(a) on the first application that you were defending the community who were attacking you. Now, in answer to the same question in the second application you say you wanted to annihilate ANC members because they were in alliance with communists. Now, ...(intervention)
MR WILLS: Page 21, and page 4. Now, Iím really interested in the answer to question 10(a) on the first application, that you were defending the community, because it seems clear on the evidence that youíve given and the evidence which was procured by other witnesses at the trial, and in that regard Mr Chairperson, I am having note of the finding made by the judge in his judgment on the merits, and I have the page of that, where he indicated that the, all of these incidents occurred in ANC strongholds. Page 51 of the record where, I quote
"It is clear from the general plan that the majority of the incidents giving rise to these charges occurred in areas of Imbali reputed to be UDF areas or UDF strongholds."
MR WILLS: My question is, is that when you say you were defending, in your first application, effectively that is incorrect in that you were going out of your area to attack the UDF people in their area, is that correct?
MR MWELI: I would like you to only refer me to the second application, because the first one, those are the things, or the information, that I didnít provide. Iíd like you to confine me, or your questions, taking from application number two, because the first one was written by Mr Cele, I donít have answers to that one.
MR WILLS: Well Iím sorry, you didnít understand my last question, or earlier when I said the first application, I meant must I just ignore it? Because you didnít, although you signed it, it didnít contain information which you provided, is that correct? Then we can finish this process.
MR WILLS: I, before I go onto the incidents, I just want to ask you about the other aspects that you were, the other incidents that you werenít convicted on. You know the indictment against you, and I know what your defence was, essentially in all of the incidents, except for the first count, you denied any knowledge of the incidents. Is that still your position today in respect of those matters you were convicted for, you were convicted on?
MR WILLS: I know count 1 you were, Iíll go through it. Iíll make it easier for you. Iíll go through count by count. In count two you were acquitted, where it is alleged that on the 28th of October 1998 you attempted to kill Joseph Ndodo Duma. Do you know anything about that?
CHAIRPERSON: I think that we should confine ourselves to the matter for which he is applying for amnesty. You see we havenít heard all the evidence. The judge heard the evidence and came to certain conclusions. Yes. We canít be sitting in judgment on a judgment given by somebody at the end of a trial.
MR WILLS: No, I understand that Mr Chairperson, but for two reasons, I accept your judgement, I accept your ruling. The reason Iím asking this question is that Iím representing a lot of people out here who want to know what happened to those persons, and they are at this stage sitting without any knowledge as to how their people actually were killed.
MR WILLS: Mr Mweli, regarding count 1. You indicated in your evidence in chief, that essentially the reason why you shot Sibusiso Sibisi was that because he was approaching you together with several other person with spears and you felt threatened, and you made out as if you were defending yourself. Do you recall that?
MR MWELI: What Iíve said about Sibusiso was, I was going to Rayís place, I met him, he was with other UDF members. They came towards me, they had spears, I shot him. Not that I was protecting myself, but I knew that Sibu was a UDF member, active UDF member, and we were fighting.
MR WILLS: I must differ with you Mr Mweli. Clearly your evidence was interpreted correctly, indicated that you felt threatened by them coming towards you and thatís why you shot, and you did that on two, you gave that evidence on two separate occasions in your evidence in chief. Are you changing your version now?
MR MWELI: I wasnít scared when they were coming towards me because I knew that I was armed with a gun. He was a person that who was on the opposite side of the war. I knew him as someone who was UDF and I was IFP, and I was lucky they didnít have guns with them.
MR WILLS: Yes, the truth is, isnít it Mr Mweli, that on that day they did not approach you with spears. Nobody was armed on that day. All they did was they enquired as to why you were assaulting the woman on the side of the road, and then you shot them.
MR WILLS: Can you tell me, if that isnít true, why did you not mention this in your trial? Because this one of the only instances in your trial where you offered some form of defence and admitted being on the scene. Why did you not tell this to the judge? This aspect of them coming to threaten you.
MR MWELI: Number one, I didnít plead guilty on this case, therefore I didnít see any reason why I should reveal that they came towards me, after I said I wasnít guilty and I wasnít there. I pleaded not guilty, therefore I didnít tell the judge the truth, now Iím telling the Commission what happened.
MR WILLS: Well I must put it to you, and Iíve taken instructions from Mr Sibisi, and heís indicated to me clearly, on that day, he and the one person that he was with, was not armed, and he didnít approach you in a manner that he was going to attack you.
MR MWELI: What Iím saying is what Iíve already said here. He wasnít alone. He was together with UDF members. Thatís all I can say. But I wouldnít say heís lying if heís saying he was with someone, only two, but he knows in his heart there were more than two.
MR WILLS: You also say in relation to that count that you werenít fighting. Your evidence in chief is that you werenít fighting with the woman, I think her name was Sandile, who appeared to be your girlfriend. Is that right?
MR MWELI: Yes. No, we were not fighting, we were just walking together. We were from my place, and I didnít see any reason why we should walk all the way from my place to that area for me to start fighting there with her.
MR WILLS:†††Can you tell this Committee why she said to the Court, and Iím quoting from page 54 of the judgment: "She confirmed the evidence of the two previous witness that the accused had assaulted her, and when the other two approached her he put his hand on his hip and she saw a shining object."
MR MWELI: What I can say is that everything Iíve said here, Sibu can actually tell that I am telling the truth, even if he cannot tell you, but deep down in his heart he knows, and the only thing I can say is that if I didnít say more itís because Iíve forgotten because of the time. This thing happened a long time ago.
MR WILLS: I want to refer you to page 27 of the record where part of your letter that you wrote to the Amnesty Committee, and this was the letter where you were enquiring about the delay. This is the letter you wrote dated the 10th of November 1997. I specifically want to refer you to paragraph 4. You say there ...(intervention)
"the instructions came from the following persons, or leaders. One, the member of parliament Mr D Ntombela."
MR MWELI: What Iím saying about Mr Ntombela is that when police were looking for me, he provided a place for us to hide in his own house, at about a week. Iíve mentioned him because he knew all along about these incidents and who committed them.
MR MWELI: What I thought is that when I testify here before the Commission, his name was going to come out, so I just provided IFP leaders who were involved, or who knew about these incidents. He knows, or he also provided a place for us to hide from the police.
MR MWELI: I took the decision to put his name down here so that I wanted the Commission to approach him and ask him if he knew about the incidents at Imbali, but he never gave me a specific instruction to go and do whatsoever.
MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson Iím just representing Mrs Jonah and Iím taking this opportunity to quickly find out if he knows anything about this. But be this as it may, I wonít ask the question. I wasnít going to dwell on that very long. Should I not proceed?
MR WILLS: Now I just want to concentrate on the point about you attacking ANC persons just because they lived in an area. I just want to tell you emphatically that the person who died in count 16, Mr Sithebe, was not a member of the ANC, and so too was the person in count 18 not a member of the ANC at the time. The name of that is Mr S P Majosi. So too, was Mr Shezi, Nduduze Shezi, the person murdered in count 12. In fact, turning to count 12, Mr Shezi was visiting some people from Imbali and heíd arrived the previous night and was on his way to leave, to go back home, when he was killed. Are you aware of that?
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bongani Jeremiah Sithebe. Do you know whether he was an ANC person? But heís not applying for amnesty for him, in that case. And itís put to you that Mr Majosi in count 18 wasnít an ANC person either. Patrick Majosi. Do you know whether he was ANC or UDF?
MR MWELI: What Iíve said about counts 19, 18, 17 and 16, was the instruction came to me and I was supposed to go to that area and kill anything, everything, including the dogs. I was supposed to kill.
MR WILLS: When you were given instructions of that nature, did you not question that? Because I, to be frank Mr Mweli, I cannot understand how you can just randomly kill person who you donít even know. I would have thought that you would have at least questioned those instructions, and said to your leader, Mr Mncwabe, how can we do this?
MR MWELI: What I can say, whenever I was given an instruction I would carry them, because we were also experiencing incidents like this, and when someone instructs you to do something like this you think of our own personal experience because I myself was attacked one time, I was almost killed inside the house. So you think that they are capable of doing this to me, why shouldnít I do the same to them.
MR MWELI: Even though sometimes you will ask, but as a person who are living there you know the situation in that area, you see no reason why you should ask those questions because you knew this was something which was going on.
MR WILLS: I see in a number of the counts, and what comes to mind specifically is count 1, there are others, where you shot at people who were fleeing from you. You shot at them when they were running away and they got injured in the back. Do you agree with that?
MR MWELI: What I can say is that at that time I didnít enjoy, but the situation and circumstances forced me to do so, and this occurred frequently, therefore we got used to that even though itís a bad thing to kill, but it was frequent.
MR WILLS: Why do you say you were forced to do that? There are lots of IFP members who havenít killed people, or killed twenty people, or killed eight people, or seven people. What do you mean when you say you were forced to do this?
MR MWELI: Iím not saying that there was someone forcing me to do so, but the situation was forcing me to do so. As a person who are there, who is living in that situation, you sometimes take that decision that youíre going to participate.
CHAIRPERSON: Iíve been trying to understand your evidence and I think now youíve cleared it up, that you were not forced to do any of the things that you did, simply because you were convinced by the circumstances in which you found yourself, that it was quite alright for you to do what you did.
MR MWELI: What I can say is that in that area where we were, the people were speaking IFP and the only language you could hear as a child growing there is fights between Inkatha and ANC. As a child you eventually become like that, you believe in those things. I was staying with my sister and I wasnít involved, but the situation caused me, because her house was burned down and her property and her goods, also my goods, her husband, her child, therefore I was forced to become active politically.
MR MWELI: No Iím not saying so. Iím not saying that I was doing this for my own benefit. These were instructions, and as an operative I had to listen to my commanders, my leaders, if they were instructing me to climb up to the house I would do so.
ADV SIGODI: Can I just clear this up with you? You said that you would get instructions, and did you believe, did you believe that what you were doing was the right thing when carrying out those instructions?
MR MWELI: I have much respect for Jerome, most of the things he was saying we were supposed to listen and carry those instructions, even though some you wouldnít like, like as Iíve mentioned before about umuti, how they used to give us muti. Now Iíve been in prison for ten years now, I know that what Iíve done wasnít the right thing to do and now Iím left alone and thatís why Iíve taken the decision to come before the Committee and before the people whom Iíve hurt so that I ask for apology and forgiveness.
MR WILLS: Just before I leave that point, something worries me Mr Mweli. Youíve indicated that you often went with Ndlandla Luthuli on these violent escapades, because you sad that Ndlandla Luthuli was very brave. Right?
MR WILLS: Yes, youíve also indicated that on these escapades it was only you who was armed, with a firearm, is that correct? What Iím interested in is, if you didnít enjoy killing as much, why didnít you sometimes give the weapon to Luthuli? Why was it always you who put the fatal bullet in somebodyís head?
MR MWELI: The gun was given to me to be used by me. It wasnít going to be according to instruction if I would give the gun to somebody else when not instructed to do so. Not because I was enjoying killing people.
MR MWELI: This what Iíve heard about him. The only I knew personally is that he was a UDF member, because he was closer to my place, and also something that I heard about him was that he was also involved in he attack which was launched at my sisterís house.
MR WILLS: Just bear with me Mr Chairperson. Turning to counts 4 and 5, Mbongwa and Butheleziís murders, or sorry, assaults, you were convicted of assault in respect of those two cases. You said you received instructions from Mr Awette. What did he actually tell you? What was his instruction to you in respect of those persons?
MR MWELI: Baba and them they used to attack the houses which were closer to the IFP area. Even when these women from IFP houses were going to shops they will come back running saying that Baba and them were chasing them. And then the instruction was that we were supposed to remove them and they were the ones who made the Section One to be ANC stronghold.
MR WILLS: I know that you were questioned about this by the Chairperson, but I didnít quite understand your evidence. Are you saying that Mr Awette specifically mentioned these two people and told you that you must go and ...(end of tape)...
MR MWELI: Like Iíve said before, he wouldnít mention names, saying go kill so and so, but he would say those boys are troublesome you must remove them or eliminate them, and then we as boys as weíre walking around if we meet them then we will kill them, and sometimes they will do the same to us and we will run away. If weíve seen them before they see us, we will shoot them. Because it was well known that if youíre from Section One you wouldnít come to the shops near Section Two. These were no-go areas if you belonged to another organisation, you know you were limited as to where to walk around the streets.
MR WILLS: You didnít need an instruction, is that what youíre saying? That just because there was this war going on you perpetuated this war just because certain people from the ANC came into your area and attacked, you went and retaliated, is that what youíre saying?
MR MWELI: No, Iím not saying so. There were people who were fighting with them. If I remember very well I donít remember an IFP member who was being arrested for killing a woman. We were fighting together and sometimes we would be unfortunate in that people would be injured in a Kombi or be attacked in a Kombi and then women were being injured there.
Even if we will meet in town we will fight, because it was the usual thing that even in town they will shoot you, or we will shoot each other. If you didnít have a gun you were supposed to hide, even if you were in town.
MR WILLS: So when you wrote your letter to the Amnesty Committee why didnít you mention this person Thu or Mr Beki Ngcobo? And I refer again to page 27 of the record, paragraph 4, where you list the person who gave you instructions?
MR MWELI: I wouldnít know to answer that question. It also depends on that person, how the person was, and how he was conducting himself. Because sometimes they will give you instruction of someone that you know heís been involved in attacks of the IFP.
MR WILLS: So were there any of these incidents in respect of which you applied for amnesty where you did, in fact, kill without instruction? You say you knew some of these people to be ANC fighters, or UDF fighters.
MR MWELI: As Iíve already said, that sometimes you will take measures as to whether the person was active or involved in attacking IFP, and people like that we will discuss about them, and sometimes if you meet that person and youíre armed, then you will kill that person, because sometimes I wouldnít carry the gun with me all the time. Jerome would take the gun and it will depend where am I meeting the person.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct) the answer is that you didnít always require instructions to kill individuals. If you came across people who you knew to be involved in ANC UDF activities, and you had a gun, you would kill them. Thatís correct, isnít it?
MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, I donít have a lot more to questions, and Iíve got a couple of questions in relation to the other incidents. I would like, as Iíve indicated to you in chambers, to just speak to my clients. I think that now itís one oíclock it would be a convenient time for me at this stage, and Iím sure that Iíll be ready to proceed and be able to promptly finish very soon after two oíclock if I can take ...(intervention)
"I am pleased to say that in the years I have practised at the Bar or been on the bench I have never before had to deal with someone who I am so convinced is inherently evil. In the light of the conclusions I have arrived at as to his personality, that is, that he killed for the sake of killing, and enjoyed doing it, I do not believe that there is any reasonable prospect of his being reformed. When that prospect of reformation is weighed against his potential danger to members of the public if he is once again let loose on them it is true it is necessary to pass heavy sentences to deter others from committing the same offence. But in the present case, even that in my view is overshadowed by the necessity to protect the public from what I consider to be an extremely dangerous person, and a person who is unlikely to change," ...(intervention)
MS WILLIAMS: Iíd like to put it to Mr Mweli if he would like to comment on the conclusions reached by justice. If the Committee will bear with me, Iíd just like to finish this sentence, he does go on to say ...(intervention).
MR MWELI: What I can say is that when the judge is passing a sentence he is saying what he or she is supposed to say. This was his view, or his perspective, but I personally, I never enjoyed killing. This happened because some people used me, and at the time my mind, I was still a child therefore I wasnít matured mentally. I am not a killer, even though Iíve killed.
MR MWELI: Yes, Iíve said so. I said the situation and the circumstances. I even put this before when I was giving evidence, I put this in English. I said even if the instruction says you must climb up to the roof of the house you will do so, it was compulsory for us to listen to the leaders.
CHAIRPERSON: Now throughout your evidence, not once did you say that you were ordered to kill. Do you understand? All that you said was you received instructions, which you carried out. Thatís correct isnít it?
MS WILLIAMS: Mr Mweli, in the judgment the Honourable Justice Wilson refers to after a weighing up of all the evidence the testimony of the witnesses led by the State and the witnesses led in your defence, and yourself who took the stand in your defence, he in conclusion states at 106 at line 16
"... after weighing up of all the evidence, there can be no suggestion there of any political motive, of any political hatred. This was killing for the sake of killing."
MR MWELI: What I can say is that in Court I didnít give evidence because of my age, or I couldnít give evidence because of my age, and also I was scared to implicate the people who instructed me to do so, but if only I was talking like Iím talking today, I would have, he would have seen that this was political.
CHAIRPERSON: No, Iím not talking about when you were sentenced. Iím talking about when you gave, in the trial, when you did not give evidence. You say you did not give evidence because of your age. Did the judge tell you that you were too young to give evidence?
MS WILLIAMS: Yes Mr Chairperson. Mr Mweli, Iím here today on behalf of the implicated persons, those being members of the IFP which you have referred to in your letter to Mr Tutu and in the evidence which you gave before the Committee today and yesterday.
MS WILLIAMS: That is correct. I have in fact received notification from the TRC, and appear on behalf of the following persons: Mr David Ntombelo, Mr Abdul Awette, Mr Jerome Mncwabe, Mr VP Ndlovu, Mr Gasela, Mr Ndlandla Luthuli, Mr Toto Zulu and Mr Tulani Mncwabe.
MS WILLIAMS: Mr Mweli Iím to put to you that those people who you have implicated as being the persons who instructed you to commit these various offences have instructed me that they deny any and all involvement in the crimes which you have perpetrated, and furthermore deny that they ever gave you any instructions in respect of the crimes which you committed. How do you respond to that?
MR MWELI: This is surprising to realise that they deny all of that, but at the same time Iím not surprised because when things are bad you find that everybody wants to detach themselves and to stand themselves from all the evil or the bad actions. I donít think I will pick on them and implicate them, they know that very well, they know that in their hearts pretty well. But the facts is clear and obvious here, that theyíre implicated and there may be legal steps taken towards them so they want to distance themselves from all this.
Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson I must unfortunately say that I was able to speak to about fifty percent of the people over lunch. Unfortunately not everyone knew that I wanted to speak to them, but I can continue with, just on one issue, on the issue of what the opposition is, I would after Iím finished my questioning like to have an opportunity to get that opinion from the clients before I finish, but I can finish my cross-examination now.
Mr Mweli you indicated in relation to the evidence in count 1 that you were paid five hundred rand, I think you said per month. Am I correct in that understanding? You also say it in your second application form.
MR MWELI: I did not say that with regard to count 1 I was paid some, an amount of money. What I said was I was not paid. That was the money given to me because at times I render services of escorting them and going with them all the places they go to. I will say, out of all the leaders who were there, like Mr Awette, Mncwabe, and Thu, all the time wanted my services, wanted my company, so that the money was given to me, not that it was paid, or it was payment for some job or work I had conducted or I had done.
MR WILLS: Are you saying that you got the five hundred rand a month in respect of services you rend..., or five hundred rand occasionally, in respect of services you rendered in relation to accompanying these people, Mr Awette and Mr Mncwabe, and that the five hundred rand had nothing to do with the killings that you conducted?
MR MWELI: It had nothing to do with all the atrocities. It was also not, this was not done all the time, it was only occasionally that I will be given some amount of money. They will give me that money for me to take care of other expenses or of my problems, not necessarily saying they are paying me some salary or some wages of some kind, no.
MR MWELI: In an attempt to answer you Iím saying in prison, these papers I was sent in prison, you will find the people in my area will donate some money and will bring this to me in prison. I have papers to support what Iím saying as Iím sure he knew this ... in relation to what Iím explaining. In prison as an inmate this happened.
MR WILLS: ...(indistinct) Mr Mweli, basically what Iím trying to establish, it seems from me reading your application, that you got paid five hundred rand occasionally for the work that you did in respect of the killing of ANC persons. Is that true or not?
MR WILLS: Thank you. Turning to count 12, where youíve admitted before the Committee, that youíve killed the wrong person, that is involving the death of Mr Shezi, you said that the purpose in killing Mr Shezi was that because you had been given orders to kill the person in count 15. Surely, to take such a drastic step as to take somebodyís life you would make sure that you were killing the right person?
MR MWELI: As I said earlier on, that killing the person in count 12 was a mistake. It was at night. I did not see properly as to Iím killing the right person or not. I went back to Mr Ngcobo to tell him, or give him the report. The following day I discovered that itís the wrong person I killed. So that was a sheer mistake.
MR MWELI: It was time. Time was as the thing happened it happened so abrupt so immediately so urgent that I never took time to think or to realise the things I was doing these things on the spur of the moment. So that everything that happened happened so fast as lightning.
CHAIRPERSON: Anyway, thatís the explanation he has given. Done on the spur of the moment, he didnít have time to think, done abruptly, like lightning. You can address us on that point and whatever it means, but I donít think your cross-examination can take that much further.
MR WILLS: Just finally, Mr Mweli, I just want you to comment on what I consider to be a disturbing part of the evidence, and Iím referring to page 86 of the record. This involves your, the atrocities you were involved in. The last one is counts 16 to 19, when you went on a spree where you killed four people, and one of the witnesses at the trial gave evidence to the effect, where she says and I quote, or the judge says in reporting her evidence, that she saw you twiddling a handgun on your index fingers with your friend, and you were laughing when you walked past her house.
MR WILLS: Iím asking you to comment on what this witness says about you, if you say you were just doing a job. Iím concerned about the fact that this witness indicates that after youíve been on this killing spree you walked past like a hero, twiddling a gun round your hand, and you laughed as if the people you kill mean nothing to you. I want you to comment on that.
MR MWELI: That never happened, and I donít at all think that I would be able to that, what you said about the firearm, the way you said I was playing around it on my finger, with my finger. I donít think thatís true. There is no way, especially after youíve cocked it, because it will shoot automatically. I think thatís a bit of an exaggeration here, and thereís nothing like that.
MR MWELI: Out of all these incidents thereís not even one single one where I laughed. The manner in which it has been described, that never happened. Even to date I feel very bad about those things I did, and they are torturing me, those events, and I know how much pain the families are bearing in relation to this, and I would not say I did. Iíve never done that, laughing, that is.
MR WILLS: Sorry Mr Chairperson. I will rephrase that. Youíve got no corroboration about the fact that you were given instructions. Every time I put to you something that was recorded in the record and was made a finding by a judge you say that was untrue. I put it to you that youíre not being completely open in your application before the Committee over the last two days.
MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson I was preceding it, I was substantiating from a different point of view. If I can just try and rephrase. Thereís nobody, as I understand it, that is coming before us to corroborate your evidence, is that correct?
MR MWELI: Right now thereís no-one but I asked Mr Zondi who is an IFP member for some reason he cannot show up, heís busy at work. Although it may so happened that he bears no much information inasfar as the instructions and the orders that were given to me is concerned, but he will speak in his capacity as an IFP member corroborating what Iíve said and giving witness, giving evidence, beg your pardon.
MR WILLS: When I put to you certain findings made in the Court and certain difference between your evidence and my instructions, you simply avoid those issues by saying that what the other people say is not true. Iím putting to you that what you have told us about some of these incidents is not entirely true.
MR WILLS: Mr Mweli, Iím saying to you that you have not told the whole truth before this Committee. Youíve only said the things that you think will be to your advantage. You havenít told the full story about the numerous atrocities that you have committed, and I want you to comment on that.
MR MWELI: All that I did, I have tried my best to put in front of this Commission. I know that there are people who are out there and this is not going down well with them, the fact that Iím divulging so much to this Commission, especially that weíd agreed with them that these are confidential matters and today Iím opening the Commission to that effect, and I know very well that such people will be disturbed, and to the parents that are here, and those that suffered during the time, I would like to apologise and ask for forgiveness from them.
There is nothing else Iím keeping away, nothing Iím hiding. I have told this Commission everything that I possibly remember, especially that these things happened long time ago when I was still a kid then, I have tried my best to divulge every necessary information and important things.
MR WILLS: Just in response Mr Mweli, are you telling the Committee here - and to be fair with you the community believe that you were involved in a number of the acts in respect of which you were acquitted, are you saying that except for the one incident, and I think that was count 16, in all the other ones that you were acquitted, you had nothing to do with those incidents?
CHAIRPERSON: We know that there are parents here in connection with matters in respect of which amnesty is not sought. We are concerned with whether he has made a full disclosure in respect of the offences for which he seeks amnesty. I think you appreciate that, donít you?
MR SAMUEL ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson. The applicant was a 14 year old, or at the most a sixteen year old, when his house was burned down, the house in which he lived with his sister, by people suspected to belong to the UDF. And he had to move from a mixed, area of mixed political affiliation to an area which was predominantly Inkatha based. He was recruited into the Inkatha Youth Brigade, and because he is a bright young person he held office as the vice-chairperson, or the deputy chairperson.
He was subsequently recruited by some senior IFP officials into the more militant part of the organisation. He was trained, he was given training in the use of firearms, and he was in fact given a weapon at such a tender age. He was given instructions to kill those who were attacking the IFP members as well as a general instruction to kill people who supported the UDF.
On certain occasions he was given specific instructions to eliminate ANC, UDF people, and in respect of the counts 16 to 19 he was given a general instruction to kill everything or everyone in that area. He was not only targeted because of his unfortunate loss of his home in the area that he lived, and because he was bright, but he was also targeted psychologically by the IFP. They utilised the use of muti, which must have had an impact on him even though he was a bright person but he was very young and could have been easily influenced by the use of muti.
He indicated that the factors that drove him to do what he did, the killing, was that he was given an instruction and not an order, and he has distinguished between this fairly clearly, it was an instruction, but also the circumstances made him follow the instruction. It was the circumstances prevailing in that area. It was an area of violent IFP UDF conflict. It was an area where people were dying on a daily basis, there were loss of life on both sides. It was a situation he described that whenever UDF people met ANC people, whoever drew out the gun first would fire on, UDP people I mean IFP people, whoever drew out their guns first would fire on the opposition. If you had no guns you ran away, if you had guns you fired. So it was effectively a war zone.
The IFPís role in this whole killing spree of the applicant can be viewed by their conduct prior to the arrest. He was to a large extent protected by senior IFP people, Mr Awette, Mr Gasela and in the end Mr David Ntombela, and itís quite clear that the judge, in fact, commented on the manner in which his arrest was effected.
I believe that Justice Wilson in 1989 when he sentenced the accused would not have had the benefit that he has had now, of sitting and listening to the kind of atrocities that he may have heard at the Truth Commission. I am fairly sure that if he were to give, pass judgment on this case today with the knowledge that he has today, he would not attribute it to total criminal activity on the part of the applicant. Because this, as the applicant himself says, he killed no women, the targets were UDF males or ANC males. It was not a situation where he went into an area and indiscriminately killed absolutely everyone. He did indiscriminately kill, but he indiscriminately killed male people, and these male people he felt strongly belonged to the ANC or UDF. The state even believed that this was a political crime, because they held him in terms of the state of emergency, while they conducted their investigations.
So, at an early stage it was recognised by the state organs, that is the police, that in fact this was an offence of a political nature. One may argue at length on the proportionality element in this matter. Whether the ends that was trying to achieve was justified by the means that he used. But the applicant was living in a state of war. He had been fired upon many times, his house was burned.
He has also stated that he was fighting for an IFP state, a IFP state controlled by the IFP, the IFP controlling KwaZulu Natal, and to that extent he carried out instructions to get rid of areas of UDF and ANC people. To me there appears to be no difference between the applicant who goes into this area and shoots a thirteen year old and an 11 year boy, and two other people in a UDF stronghold, the say to someone who our state has granted indemnity to and that being perhaps Barend Strydom who walks down Pretoria streets and fires indiscriminately at black people or Derick Robert MacBride who takes ...(intervention)
MR SAMUEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson I take the point, and Iíll move on. I submit that when you put arms in a youngsterís hand you cannot ask him to be like an adult. It is for that reason that firearms are not given to children. Thereís an age requirement for firearms. The IFP effectively, in his youth, turned him into a killer.
MR SAMUEL: Honourable Chairperson, he may have been a bright boy, but he was still a bright boy, if the Chairperson gets my meaning. One may be intelligent, but the level of maturity that comes with age cannot be exchanged for intelligence and as an intelligent child one still has a propensity to act like a child, or the disposition to act like a child and not an adult. He was not precocious beyond his years.
I didnít hear Justice, or read that Justice Wilson described him as a precocious person but as a bright person. In the circumstances, Honourable Chairperson and members, Iím saying that he, to an extent, even though he committed the most violent and most vicious acts against the people seated here and their families, to an extent he was a victim because he was manipulated and used by members of an organisation for their own ends. They chose the youngsters.
CHAIRPERSON: Well I understand all that. He could have withdrawn from whatever he was asked to do if he didnít wish to do it. ...(indistinct) that he was willing, or that it suited him to do it, or not?
MR SAMUEL: Initially when he was given the firearm, if I remember him, asking carefully on what was said to him, he was told that he was being taught to use the firearm to defend himself. At that stage he could have withdrawn, but he was told that he was defending himself. Heíd just been through an experience where his house was burned. He was an easy target. He had a gripe. He had an axe to grind against the UDF people. On that basis he was recruited. But slowly the spiral of violence overwhelmed him and slowly he himself became a victim of his own acts.
MR WILLS ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Yes thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, my instructions are to oppose amnesty on all counts on the basis of the applicant has not given full disclosure and also on the basis that certain of the incidents
I specifically refer here to count 12, where an individual was mistaken killed because he was believed to be somebody else. Now clearly, under no circumstances, can one justify that on the basis of any political motivation, neither did the applicant give evidence as to any political motivation for that killing. In respect of counts 13 and 14, I submit that there the applicantís attempts to justify this on the basis of political motivation in the sense that his leader Awette told him to go and kill the boys an hour before this occurred, cannot ...(intervention)
Thereís no direct evidence of orders to take the lives of these two individuals, he just takes it upon himself to kill those individuals, which he does. And he doesnít offer any, or his evidence doesnít amount to what, with respect, could be regarded as a political motivation for those killings.
Mr Chairperson also, with respect, the application is opposed on the grounds of proportionality and particularly in relation to the admitted murder of the thirteen year old boy Sithebe in count 16 for which he was acquitted, and in respect of the murder of the eleven year old boy Majosi in count 18, and in respect of the deceased, the retarded individual in count 16, Mdluli. Whilst it is conceded that his evidence was to the effect that he must just go kill anybody in that area, and whilst my colleague seeks to ...(intervention)
MR WILLS: Sorry, did I say 16, Iím sorry, count 17. My colleague seeks to make some headway in regard to the fact that the applicant was discriminate, I submit that this amounted to nothing more than indiscriminate and horrific atrocities, and clearly disproportionate in relation to the objectives which could possibly be sought.
Going to the issue of the non-full disclosure, we have problems with the application in that my instructions are that the applicant hasnít fully disclosed all the incidents which he was involved in. I realise that heís not obliged to in this application, heís only making application for those that he is convicted of, but even in the one, in count 1 where he was convicted, the evidence both according to my instructions which were put to the accused, which were corroborated to a large extent by the findings of the judge and the witnesses who were quoted in the judgeís findings, it is submitted that the applicant hasnít been entirely candid with the Committee in respect of that incident.
Mr Chairperson, in the applicantís favour my instructions are that we concede that he was an IFP operative and that in all probability he did receive instructions from higher authorities, but in short, he was very loose about the way he carried out those instructions. He overstepped the mark, and I think my colleague is correct when he said the circumstances affect him to do certain things. But I submit that that isnít justification in terms of the Act for getting amnesty. Thatís another issue entirely.
So, in short, Mr Chairperson, we are not convinced that the applicant has fully disclosed in all of the incidents. I wasnít in a position to put specific aspects to the applicant in respect of a number of the incidents because the persons were deceased and none of my clients witnessed anything, but particularly in respect of count number 1 we can say that definitely that was the case, and because of the fact that he hasnít been candid in count number 1 we, my instructions are that the probabilities are that he hasnít been entirely candid with the others. But clearly in respect of counts 12, 13 and 14 there was no political motivation, and clearly in respect of counts 17 and 18, the proportionality, the acts were disproportionate in respect of the political objective sought to be achieved. Thank you Mr Chairperson.
MR SAMUEL IN REPLY: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, very briefly in response, as regards the non-full disclosure, if one looks at count 16 in which the applicant has admitted killing someone for whom he was found not guilty, in respect of whom he was found not guilty, I submit that is indicative of his truthfulness. As regards count 1, the applicant is saying that these were UDF operatives who were armed with spears, who came to him, and they were people who attacked IFP people in the area. It is unlikely that they are going to instruct my learned colleague that in fact they were UDF operatives, that they in fact had the spears in their hands and in fact were about to attack the applicant.
So one can understand that his instructions may be somewhat different to what the applicant is saying, because these people have their own necks to protect, with respect, Honourable Chairperson. But if one looks at his honesty in respect of count 16, where there was no onus on him to admit that, he did. In fact, why should he, on counts 16, 17, 18 and 19 say I went and shot indiscriminately at people living in a UDF stronghold and in count one not be willing to say that if, you know that there was an altercation if that occurred, I leave that for the ...(intervention)
MR SAMUEL: As regards my learned colleagueís point on the circumstances, it was not the circumstances which affected him and therefore made him revengeful. It was the circumstances which he lived under that effectively he was living in a war zone, where whenever UDF people confronted him he would have to shoot first, if not he would be shot.
Very briefly as regards the political nature of count 12, itís clear that he went with a political motive to kill, and he may have got the wrong person. This person may be an innocent victim of a politically motivated act. And so too one can argue on counts 17 and 18, that these may be innocent people of a politically motivated act. The act was intended to be political, to drive people out of that area because they were suspected of being UDF people. The intentions in carrying out the act was political. The victims may have been innocent.
In count 13 and 14 he did indicate that when Mr Awette said assault, and bearing in mind Mr Awette is the one who gave him the gun, obviously assault meant more to him than just punching somebody or slapping somebody around.
But what is important is that he didnít go to another area and carry out this attack. He went to the same area where the shot was fired and where he was insulted. The same area where he suspected animosity from UDF people emanating. If he had gone to another area then one would say that he is not carrying out the instructions of Mr Awette. That is all, Honourable Chairperson.