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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 08 June 1999
Names ANILRAJ SINGH
Case Number 6326/?
CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everybody. This morning we are continuing with the application of Messrs Ramdas and Singh. When we completed yesterday, Mr Singh was testifying and he was dealing with the Jesmondene incident.
Mr Chairperson, I have actually, I'm not going to delve too much with that because there is proof in a transcript that this was not a fabrication and it was actually brought to my attention only this morning that they were questioned on it in Court and there's a record of it. May I submit it to my learned colleague?
MS LOCKHAT: Chairperson, I just want to place on record that just before we commenced with the hearing, Ms Loonat had informed me regarding the transcripts and that there were actually formal charges. I was under the impression that, from the investigative unit, that there were no charges. So just a few seconds before we commenced with the hearing, Ms Loonat had informed me, so we didn't make any copies or anything for the Committee, but we will do so.
MS SINGH: I'm unsure who, whose people shot at the complainants in this count but I think at the time of trial the State was the complainant. A skeleton docket is the thing that they opened. The State was the complainant.
JUDGE PILLAY: Well, let us forget about the technicalities whether the State was the complainant, who were the people who went to lay the charge, who say "look, there were attempts to kill us by shooting"?
JUDGE PILLAY: Ms Loonat, I just want to clarify something if you don't mind. Were those issues, the first two matters that we're dealing with, were those just mentioned in the bail application or were there charges brought?
MR SINGH: Solomon and his friends had dressed up in camouflage and a flag of mine it was burned, the national flag, and at the same time certain threats made as well. On the same morning Capt Botha told us that MK sent a fax saying that MK will shoot cops at this march as well.
JUDGE PILLAY: No. Maybe you misunderstand me. Assuming what you say is correct and you were told this on course and Dlamini was a figurehead in the ANC and MK, let's accept that for the time being. All I'm asking is that, in response to this fax that MK was going to kill policemen, how did you reason that the killing of Dlamini is going to in any way help the policemen once MK had made that decision?
MR SINGH: Well, single him out and the first man will shoot. You find the second man, we'll shoot, you find the third man, we will shoot, later on. It's the system, it's not him as a person, it is the people of his, the squad of his.
MS LOONAT: There is some talk about, on the same page 15 in the second to last paragraph, hit number 3, Maistry was a bystander and that Maistry received a summons in respect of the charge. Did this influence you in any way to eliminate Solomon Dlamini?
MR SINGH: W/O Ramdas tried that but leading him out was hard, was Dlamini, of his home. So, 19 November a summons came, and then same summons used and led him out of his home on the same day he was shot.
JUDGE PILLAY: But if he was such a threat to the lives of policemen, which seems to be your central reason for embarking on all these deeds, why wasn't this threat dealt with almost immediately after the fax came? Why wait 5 or 4 months?
MR MALAN: Yes, flags were burned all over the country at that time. So, it was nothing special in that sense. In any event your officer in charge, Capt Botha, his handling of the situation was to say to you "let it be".
JUDGE PILLAY: I am asking you that when it was pointed out to you that the government policy at the time was to allow marches, you thought it was wrong and still persisted in your intention to kill Dlamini?
MR SINGH: Directly, no. Same morning Captain Botha says "stand down" and the sergeants and the constables stood down. The people burned the flag and we stood back. It was a State order from him. He said "stand down" and at the same time we stood down.
MR MALAN: That was the decision. I'm simply asking you, between the march, between June and November when he was killed, there was no plan put in operation or devised to be put in operation to take him out?
MR SINGH: No version of his stands because ...(indistinct) they had him and the part of mine here at the bridge itself, it sounds right. The three of us are the people who actually pulled him out of the van.
MS LOONAT: In your mind, how did you interpret that to be a threat? Just because somebody gives money to a cause, how does he become a threat and in this case it was money to the ANC, how did he pose a threat to you as policeman?
MR SINGH: Basically I stood there on the side of his house, I stood guard, if the neighbours come out, or if a dog comes, that's the job of mine, he's the person shooting, it's the back of his I basically cover.
MR SINGH: No, she was not. Const Norman shot Padayachee at his door and at the same time, on the door there was a safety chain on, and at this point in time the shooters of mine fell back because the instruction came saying that this black female, in the same house she lived, and the safety chain is the thing that stopped them going in further.
MR SINGH: On the second, third day after that there was a funeral and things on there and when the funeral things finished, the place was quiet again, we went back to check but the person was long gone.
MS LOONAT: On page 18 and the last paragraph you go on to describe Skiza Zuma's role. Can you tell us, besides the fact of the hit list that was given to Ramdas which we have already discussed, you say that you know him. When did you first meet Skiza Zuma yourself?
MR SINGH: W/O Ramdas talked to him basically. They spoke and Zuma said that Mandla Nkosi spoke to them and the story of the squad that he'd explained to him already, that the people in the force they're forming this squad and he says no, he's glad.
MR SINGH: Mandla Nkosi told me that Zuma sent this cash and he said it's for good work. On the version of his, he says that we deserve this cash, and the figure I saw, R5 000. In the squad, we were five of us, so this cash was passed on,
MR SINGH: Yes, that's right. The time was even about 6 p.m. He came there and the share of fees, I passed it to him, R1 000. And then he says that "Oh but this cash, it is small, we need some scopes, THV rounds, silencers, subsonic rounds as well", he said, but in the statement of his he missed out subsonics, and then he started swearing me.
MR SINGH: At this time it seemed right. It seemed right to me because the party of mine basically is sending cash to me. The State paid me as well. At the time it seemed right. But then the senior man came and started fighting, swearing, insisting that the cash must go back.
" Ndaba brought back the sum of R5 000 to us and said that Zuma sent this to us as an incentive for good work. W/O Ramdas, Williams, Ncunu, Ndaba and I each took R1 000 for ourselves."
MR CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but why didn't you mention the rest in your statement about Mr Ramdas loosing his temper and saying that that money was meant to buy weaponry or equipment and that you all gave your R1 000 back to him to buy equipment?
MR SINGH: Yes, the statement of mine is a draft statement this is. The first one got lost and then the second one got lost as well and then lawyer of mine came and he said that the closing date is over and the statement they want now. I think that I sent him the statement of mine as is, I think I sent it with the mistakes and things as well, the commas, the spelling.
MR SINGH: No. The first one, it was just drafted and it was sent in and it was gone. So later on they come and say the thing is lost and at the time there now the second draft was prepared and submitted, that one and they lost that one too.
MR MALAN: There's no such record on our files, to the best of my knowledge, of any communication about having lost, or even enquiries, lost statements. But be that as it may, let's just get back to this R1 000. You say it was done in a hurry.
MR CHAIRPERSON: This statement of your as well, Mr Singh, it's single spaced typing and it's 21 pages long, that's hardly a short statement. In fact, it's quite a detailed statement, I can inform you from our experience in hearing these matters, it's a lot more detailed that the average statement we receive on the application form, certainly. Now even if you were rushed to make a shorter statement as you say, I don't know how long your first one was. Why, if you’re mentioning the
R5 000 at all, don't you mention it being used to buy equipment? How can making a shorter statement lead to that omission when it's not really a very short statement. If you take a look at it, you talk about a lot of other detail here. That's what I'm trying to understand. It wasn't a question of having an old statement and reducing it by extracting certain paragraphs and you might have extracted a vital one. You sat down, on your story, because the other one was lost and you had to tell your story again from the start for the third time and then you forget about an important thing like that with all this other detail.
MR SINGH: It seemed like the cash story then, a small issue it was, but here I can see that this version with the cash is a big story. Only now I can see. At the time I thought, I can say basically that the person paid us and each one left it as that. Only here I can see now.
MS LOONAT: From Mr Zuma. He did receive R5 000 and I know the question reads, "did you benefit in any way financially", but his interpretation was yes, the hit squad benefited, not him personally. He's being honest in that they did receive R5000.
MR SINGH: In court, it was a .22 rifle picked up, on the same rifle there was a silencer fitted, and a scope fitted, a scope with a cross, sniper's rifle. The rifle belonged to Sgt Dassie Naidoo, it was his, but the scope it was the squad's, the silencer was the squad's. That's the first thing.
MS LOONAT: We go on to Sipho Zulu now on page 14, that was the fifth attack, fifth person to be attacked. Right, you confirm here, as Ramdas testified, that Sipho Zulu was the next person to be eliminated.
MR SINGH: On 5/5/92 at a place called Swapo there was a Petrus Zulu, a Sipho Zulu and a Musi Mtungwa and plus minus 6 more. They were supporters from ANC side that robbed me of my shotgun and at the same time Petrus Zulu, he was shot and killed, and Musi was shot in his right arm and Sipho was shot in his left arm.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. These copies of newspaper reports from the Natal Witness of Friday, April the 3rd 1992 and Thursday the 7th May 1992 will be received as, the first one, April the 3rd one, as Exhibit B1 and the report of the 7th of May as Exhibit B2.
MR SINGH: Petrus Zulu died on the scene and Sipho and Musi fled. Later on a call came from Notell Hospital saying that black mans came in there with gunshot wounds. Col Marian sent W/O Ramdas out to Notell Hospital.
MR SINGH: He was branch commander of CID Unit, Mountain Rise. W/O Ramdas and his crew went out to Notell Hospital and found Sipho Zulu and Musi there. At the same time Sipho Zulu made several threats saying that the people who killed Petrus, he's going to find them, he's going to shoot them. If he can't find them, Mountain Rise policemen are the people he's going to shoot. Then same night at about 6.00/6.30 p.m. at Mountain Rise station, W/O Ramdas came and he says that Sipho Zulu made threats to me and he says that Sipho Zulu and his friend Musi must be shot because the same people were stealing arms and he says the time of the arms struggle is on, these people are shooting cops. It's the same kind of thing on this 5/5/92. Same evening the senior man says that Sipho and Musi must be shot.
MR MALAN: May I just ask you, Mr Singh, this incident happens in the beginning of May '92. All three of them, Petrus, who was killed, Musi, who you shot and Sipho, who you shot, tried to kill you there with your own shotgun. They wanted to shoot at you, according to the Natal Witness report of May 7.
CHAIRPERSON: The question being asked is, in your statement you say that Sipho Zulu was killed on 3rd of December 1992 and this threat was made shortly after this incident, May the 7th, the threat from the hospital and the decision, okay these people must be killed, was made probably during or about May. Now what Mr Malan wants to know is why was there this delay from the time that that decision was made in or about May, until December, in order to kill Sipho?
MR SINGH: Okay. On this robbery count of mine, I charged them firstly, me, I charged them, and then CID Unit of mine sent them to Pietermaritzburg New Prison and for several months they stayed inside there, for several months they were inside. Then they came out, I think it must have been about 16 or 17 weeks later on bail. He was still out on bail at the time I found him on the said date, 3/12/92 when I shot him. He was in jail, basically, and you can't shoot a man in jail.
MR SINGH: Mandla Nkosi searched him firstly and found the steel knife on him, it was home made. I picked him up from there, I placed him in the car and I questioned him at first and asked him why he came home? And at the time he keeps quiet. I drove off.
MS LOONAT: Just to go back a little, Mr Singh, why did you, when you found the dagger on him, why did you put him into your car and take him away? Why didn't you just arrest him there or whatever policemen do?
MR SINGH: Assault him and question him further and I asked him why he came home. Sipho told me that policemen killed Petrus and the same people live in this home. It was me, it was Const Dladla and Const Norman at the time, we lived at the same house and at the time of the shooting, it was the three of us present as well.
Const Williams who was part of the squad at Bakerville we stopped, picked him up and drove back to Clearridge and we stopped there. It was dark at this time. Const Williams throttled this man, stood behind him with his right hand.
MR SINGH: Next day. Const Ayer are the three persons who went into a place called Bakerville Heights. The grave was dug. Later on Const Mahommed was picked up as well, so the five of us went into this cane field, the body was picked up, it was moved to Bakerville Heights, placed into the grave and buried.
JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Singh, when Mr Ramdas testified, he says that one of the reasons for the attacks against ANC membership and leadership was to show the ANC as a party or a body at the time that they couldn't do what they wanted to, you would retaliate and as I understood his evidence, it was to instil fear in the opposition as well. Now if that be so, why bury this body? Who would know what happened to him then? Who would be fearful thereafter?
MR SINGH: The family of his, neighbours of his, the friends of his, they can see that this person is gone missing. Then same person basically, the family of his they'll phone, and they're going to look for this man. They're going to look and they can't find this man. This thing here is going to actually be on their minds.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but that's not going to send a message that, if somebody goes missing and no one knows the circumstances in which that person had gone missing, how's that going to send a message to the MK to back off and get out of the area if the person just goes missing? It's the same with the body of Solomon Dlamini that was thrown over this high bridge down into a little, into a river below. I mean what sort of message is that sending? If you wanted to send a message wouldn't the body be left to be found, to be seen that this has been an assassination, an execution-type killing?
MR SINGH: On this count, okay, the first fact in the thing, family and friends and things must test them out to say that this man has gone missing, no-one knows where, how or what. If they find the body they can find it now. They'll have a funeral and then 4 or 5 months time, they can forget about it, or the pain is gone but if he's gone missing, that stress is there, that pain is there, where is this man? Where is this man?
MR SINGH: Const Ayer, he's a friend of mine, a personal friend of mine and on 4/12/92, the first day that I explained to him that this person is shot and he must come and help me and he says yes, he will.
CHAIRPERSON: No, but I'm asking you why did you ask him? I mean you've got Ndaba, Ncunu, Ramdas, yourself, there's five strong, physically abled persons to bury a body. Now you said Ayer's a friend of yours, but I want to know why, you've got a secret hit squad, why bring him and Mohammed into it?
MR SINGH: 4/12/92 W/O Ramdas worked, Const William worked on the said morning so in the squad it was the three of us left. It was me, Const Norma, Const Mandla Nkosi, there were three of us left. It was the first time on the scene of crime we went. Const Mandla Nkosi went there and he finds that this person's dead, and the person's eyes still open, he saw the body and he fled. He was scared, he ran away. So two of us got left and now it is help I needed. So at the time I found Const Ayer and Const Mahommed and I asked them for help and they came willingly and helped me.
MS LOONAT: Mr Singh, having hidden the body, were you ever going to inform the relatives that you were responsible for the political, that you were responsible for killing the person involved and that your reasons were politically motivated, or were you going to just let them fathom it out for themselves?
MR MALAN: Why would you have given this information to Marian? Why would you have told him what happened? Nowhere on record can I find any reference to your giving information to the investigating officer, making a statement to a magistrate, policeman, nowhere. You denied involvement. You denied any knowledge from the dockets that we have.
MR SINGH: W/O Myburg had my statement. He's from Port Shepstone Murder and Robbery, the statement was made to him. The Counsel of mine supported the statement on behalf of me. At the bail application of mine there is a version on transcript as well.
MR MALAN: So what kind of statement did you make involving people and admitting involvement in the murders? I don't understand that. If you made a statement surely the State would have used it in the case.
MR SINGH: 1997,1998 it's in jail, certain people I've met, ANC people in fact and spoken to them for the first time openly about his party and their aims and things and on the facts there I can see that the police system was wrong. The things which they had said to us, these people are all dangerous, they are terrorists, they all must be shot, how many you can shoot you must shoot, that's the purpose of the R5, but the people I've met now my views have changed.
MR SINGH: Yes, that's right. So I've met these people now, face to face, and I know now, because of that the view of mine has changed a lot. At the time we were doing this, yes, this thing I'm doing is right. To shoot this man, it is right. Bury this body, it is right. Hurt this man, shoot here, shoot there, at the time it was right.
JUDGE PILLAY: You know what I find strange in most of these matters that you apply for is that in most of them there are reasons other than political which could have been a motive for the killing of these people. Can you comment on this?
MR SINGH: The total count in the statement of mine mentioned, the total count is plus minus 10, attempted murders, conspiracy to murders, attempted murders as well. The State so far on two counts, the thing that they show basically, there was a first motive and the second motive is a possibility, two or three of ten counts.
MR MALAN: Mr Singh, let's not talk about what the State can prove. You tell us what personal involvement of the victims there might have been, other than the general political overall motive, between the victims and any members of your hit squad or group or group of policemen involved with these. Do you want to take them one by one and tell us quickly whether there was really any of them where there is no other possible ulterior motive than the political? You tell us.
MR MALAN: Look at Padayachee. There was, Padayachee the association is financial gain. I don't have them in a fixed order here. Durgia, let's look at Durgia. There again, the involvement or the personal things between Durgia and Ramdas.
MR MALAN: I'm talking Sipho Zulu. Oh, sorry, did I say Petrus? Sipho Zulu, threatening action, the State having to settle it. Where is the clean one? That's the question. Show us the clean one, where no other link can be made and that's really the question of Judge Pillay.
MR MALAN: There were two stories. You tell us about the story of either Mrs Padayachee or Zuma. You say it was Zuma who paid the R5 000, but R5 000 was paid, which you gladly took, which you thought right at the time in terms of your evidence now. It's not clearly simple, clean, clear, political motivation, some ulterior motive shines through on every one of these cases.
MR MALAN: Sorry Chair, may I just go back to one incident still? That arson case, this lady you shot you say was a personal vendetta. Why was that personal, because she threatened action and summons were issued?
MS LOONAT: In the few pages thereafter there you keep talking about how your records have been mislaid and things that are not reported, page 22, you drove an official bus, there's no official record kept on file.
"ANC and it's allies must be destroyed at all cost even if it was by an unlawful deed by policemen".
MR SINGH: Capt O'Connell says that urban terrorism is the in thing, he says and a policeman must be trained again. At the time, the 6 month training of mine it was finished and the Swat course I went on was three weeks after this, plus minus. I was just out of training and I was back in training.
MR SINGH: Counsel of mine went to the captain and asked him for the statements and he says he can't find it. The people from the TRC went as well and they asked for these papers and the things are lost.
MR MALAN: I think we have that story fully covered in your statement, we have the full evidence of Mr Ramdas which you have confirmed, if there's anything specific that you need to tell us, do so, but don't cover all of it again please.
MR SINGH: On the shooting, the senior man W/O Ramdas, he says that this captain is a sell-out, he was a spy and he was a traitor. He was passing on info on the side of the ANC. Captain Geoff is the person. In 1990 last he was stationed at Mountain Rise. At the time of mine, this person was gone off on pension.
MR SINGH: Const Ayer basically on this shooting here, on the Sipho Zulu case Const Ayer is the man who at the time dug the grave and he placed the body inside. Senior Man W/O Ramdas is the person who found out about this and, final count, he says that this man here is the man that must come and shoot, he knows too much, he says that man has seen too much, he knows too much, this man he must come and he must shoot, so the silence of his can be gained.
MR MALAN: Why was there reference again in the case to Nalesh, or the BMW having been involved in that too? Are you pretty sure he wasn't involved? You remember the drive-by shooting at Durgia's house?
MR MALAN: According to the State dockets, police dockets, and if I'm not mistaken somewhere also in the judgment, there is a reference to the use of the BMW and Nalesh Singh's involvement there too. Are you pretty sure he was not involved? That's my question. Or could he have been involved?
MR SINGH: Yes, with the print on the side of the doors as well. And then there was, I think it was a Sgt Vorster or something who says that these small blue cars are in his town, 'Maritzburg, it's an issue. Then I think the people from the squad Murder and Robbery are the people that said that the policeman, he was stationed here and they figured out something, 2 and 2 together, what? And they indicate at the person at the car and the person at the car was me, and they picked me up first.
MS LOONAT: So, for the record, he has made that admission in his statement. Further down you confirm Zuma's involvement. I only bring this point because apparently Mr Zuma's denying every knowing my clients. Further down you confirm that Jesmondene was not a figment of Ramdas’ imagine, that was actually a hit.
MR SINGH: Well Ma'am firstly I can say that heart of mine is sore for the families sitting here, I feel sorry for them. This squad that we formed was wrong, illegal, but the State at the time said that it is a state of war and the State called us military men, they called us soldiers. They said this is your cause, you've got to fight this. We were brainwashed into this. For the service of mine at the time, it was 6 months basic I finished. Three weeks later I was sent on the Swat course.
MR SINGH: Ma'am, if I am set free and I go out, last year my course I've passed, it's a farming course, it is the same as BSc Agri. I've passed, I've got the papers here. If this commission can set me free, I'll be on the outside, I'll start farming and the jobs and things is the thing that I want to create.
MR SINGH: In the prison itself, there are prisoners there, As you can see forms and papers I've got to say that prisoners from both sides, ANC and IFP, they have merged, single body we've got. The secretary of this body is me, and I've got these papers here. We sent papers to both sides, ANC side and the side of mine, IFP, saying that the prisoners themselves on the inside, the footsoldiers there are the people making peace. So, the people on the outside as well must go on the same lines and make peace. If the prisoners can do it in the jail, there's policemen, there's MK there, but there's peace.
MR SINGH: The victims' families the version of mine at this point in time I can say sorry, it is not a thing I am just saying from the mouth it comes from my heart and that this life of mine is in the hands of the TRC. Sorry.
MS JALEEL: So I put it to you that the weapons and the tactics that were taught to you at this particular course, was actually for military training and not to counter the ANC. What would you say to that?
MR SINGH: Capt O'Connell told me that civil war might break out and the side that will start this is the people of ANC. Same man says that the shooting rate of the R5, 700 rounds per minutes. Same says in a single crowd if you can send out 100 policemen and each one with an R5, and if the whole lot of them at the same time open fire, in a single minute he says that the people, you could shoot them at a rate of 70 000 per minute.
"a member from the former security branch also lectured to us and told us that the police was a target of the ANC and are being shot".
MR SINGH: At the station it comes with the post and then the person who signed for it was the station commander and then an officer of his, he calls you and shows you and he says that on your personal file, this will go there.
MR SINGH: On the Swat course the front of theirs, they say that the course is an anti-riot course. That's the term that they call this. But now I think the people on course the squad here is the first lot that the State charged and the people now find that if there's proof of this course, if they have it, it's a problem on the side of the State.
MR SINGH: Jesmondene is the place where the squad of mine went and fired shots and then in the same area several families left that squatter camp. On the first shooting, Sweetwaters, Sipho Ndlovu is the person that we shot. Sometime 92 the said person left that area as well. On a follow-up we found that out.
MR SINGH: W/O Ramdas came home one night and he says that this squad he wants to form. He says that the people we're going to shoot are the ANC, supporters and members, the soldiers we're going to shoot, MK soldiers, the people who cause trouble on the same side are the people basically that he's going to shoot. He called them terrorists and he says that this is the purpose of the squad he wants to form. He spoke to me at first and then at the same time Const Norman was called and Const Mandla Nkosi, they were called upstairs into the flat of mine and the senior man is the person who spoke to them further. It was formed there, in the flat of mine.
MR SINGH: Same time, no. I think it was the next night or two nights after, there was the person Isaac who was called to the flat and the person Joe was called to the flat. At this point in time a further name came up, the name of Zuma. I think it was Joe who said that he is a chief and this person has guns and this person can help us with names as well.
MS JALEEL: Can you then tell the Commission why Ramdas maintains that it was Ndaba, on the very night that the hit squad was formed, it was he who said that he knew of Skiza Zuma who would support you people in this hit squad of yours?
MR SINGH: Possibly because Const Mandla Nkosi same night says that this person that we are speaking about, Zuma, is his father's neighbour. I don't know whether he made a mistake or he's confused, but memory of mine says that the person who stated this is Joe.
MR MALAN: Now, when did you decide to call them in? I mean this is a secret thing, it's a hit squad, you're going to kill people. At the second meeting suddenly here is Joe and Isaac. Did you ask how they got there?
MR SINGH: At the first meeting Const Norman says that Joe and Isaac, they are friends of his and they are supporters as well and there is a possible chance that, if these people are called, they can further our cause.
MR MALAN: Mr Singh, when Ms Jaleel asked you whether there was any discussion as to how to find potential victims, you answer was no, not on that first night, no. It now seems you did have some discussion as to how to find victims, through Joe and Isaac or whatever.
MS JALEEL: On page 9 of the bundle, paragraph 1, sentence no 5, you say that on the 5th of May 1992 you were assaulted and your State gun was stolen from you and I presume this is Exhibit B2 that you are talking about?
MR SINGH: At this stage, plus minus 9 blacks on the scene of crime attacked us and then the blacks there, they grabbed me, they grabbed Dladla, they grabbed Norman and there was a struggle going on at the time. It was not the three of them only.
MR SINGH: Tried to shoot, but the shotgun, the model of the shotgun is a 202, the safety feature on it is called a plunger, I think that the shooters here, I think the plunger is the thing that they failed to pull. They cocked the gun, but it was dead cock and he pulled the trigger and the thing is dead.
MR SINGH: There was a fight going on at the time between the policemen and the people of the ANC and Sipho, Musi and Petrus who seized the shot gun and they fled and Const Norman and Const Dladla were in the crowd of people still fighting.
MS JALEEL: Going on. You say that the special constables, you refer to special constables, were sent to you from Riot Unit 8, Pietermaritzburg. Could you explain firstly why they were referred to as special constables now, here you are referring to 23 special constables, not the three of you or the four of you that formed the hit squad?
CHAIRPERSON: I think, Ms Jaleel, there was a distinction between constables and special constables. Special constables they actually weren't full-time, members of the force. They got their special training, that I know of, most of them down a Koeburg and they were civilians who had trained as special constables, they didn't go through the usual police training, so there they're special in that sense, that they were different from the ordinary constables. They had received different training, their conditions of service were entirely different.
MS JALEEL: So why, throughout your application as contained in the bundle, you always refer to "we", as you as being some type of higher authoritative figure? And you also say on page 9, paragraph 2, line 6, you said that "these specials were sent to me from Riot Unity 8, Pmb". Was there some type of higher rank that was placed on you although it wasn't literally given to you?
MR SINGH: A slightly higher rank I had, I was a full constable. You see in the force, the first rank that a person starts with is Student Constable. In the case of mine my 6 months basic training was finished. At this point in time, full constable I was. The special constables they go on a training course for 3 months, training course.
MR SINGH: If the squad members knew him as a friend, or cousin, as a policeman, in a case like that on the side of mine it was fine, but the senior man on the squad is the person who had problems with this, not me.
MS JALEEL: If you look at the Sweetwaters Ghanda-Ghanda Location killing of Sipho Ndlovu, you say that Ramdas said that the man must be shot. You maintained yesterday in your evidence that Ramdas was the person who told you to shoot the man, yet on page 11 of your statement, paragraph 1 you say that Williams and Ramdas were working night shift and that you actually arranged a meeting with them and last-minute plans were made for the hit. Is that not correct?
MS JALEEL: The question is that you yesterday in your evidence said that it was Ramdas who told you to go and do this hit on this man, yet it was you who initially got the instruction and you knew that Ramdas and Williams were working night-shift, so you arranged for the meeting and that you together discussed it and all of you came to the conclusion that this hit ought to take place.
MR SINGH: If it is on the same grounds that the squad was formed, to say right this man is ANC, this man is MK, this man must be killed. It is find, understood. Okay it's his girlfriend, it's his wife, no on a point like that we're going to stand down.
MS JALEEL: Ramdas has told this committee yesterday that he sent his people out and he also went out and asked neighbours and stuff about Sipho Ndlovu's political affiliations before he actually carried out the hit. He basically satisfied himself as to Sipho Ndlovu's political affiliations. What do you say to that then?
MR MALAN: So this paragraph that's been read out to you, "Ndaba came back with word from Zuma", this is page 6 of your affidavit, 11 of the bundle, was that word, it wasn't a note from Zuma? He told you?
MR MALAN: Now why do you say yes, yes, yes and then you say you're not sure? I'm asking you all of these questions and every one of them you say to me yes, yes, yes and then I'm asking you are you sure and then you say you're not sure. Okay, I'll leave it there.
MR MALAN: Sorry, on that same paragraph at the end you refer to the charge, I can't recall whether I asked Ramdas about this or I asked you right at the beginning. You have also information about this specific charge? No, I'm confused, I'm sorry, I'm thinking about another one.
MS JALEEL: But would it not have been important? Because you went on to state that, and according to the bundle it says, I don't have the paragraph or the page number, but somewhere along there you do say that the police van was parked near the police station and the two people went on foot.
"The police van was parked at the corner of Sweetwaters Main Road and Hilton Road in which the police station is. The two policemen went on foot from this point. They went to the said house and Ndaba shot this man at point blank range in the presence of Ncunu."
MS JALEEL: But how would you forget something so important? This is your application for amnesty. In fact if anybody ought to play a key role in all this, it's yourself, and you ought to indicate where you were at each particular point. That is important. Why did you omit it?
MR SINGH: This role of mine in the place that I stood and things, it is the first time that I can say I can see the point of yours, to say that on the scene I must place myself and the role of mine I must explain to you, but at the time these forms were filled out it seemed to me that the counts basically is the thing that I must put on the application and who shot and things like that.
MS JALEEL: Coming to the Jesmondene attack, yesterday it was put to you, and I just want you to either confirm this or say that it's not true, yesterday it was put to you that the entire basis for this attack was just a revenge attack because of the attack on Joe and Isaac. Do you still stand by that?
MS JALEEL: Yesterday it was put to you, you answered the whole question, you covered the whole basis of it, but eventually when it was put to you by Mr Malan that the entire attack was just only a revenge attack, you just said yes. Now do you confirm that, or are you going to tell us, just say yes or no. Are you taking that back, or are you going to leave it as it stands?
MR SINGH: The people who stayed in this camp, most of them were ANC supporters and these friends of mine at the service station, you see, the camp is here and the service station is on the same side, same street, next door basically, and ...(intervention)
MR SINGH: Yes, with the squatter camps next door. And then the people that stay in this camp are the same people that went with the sticks and stones and bush knives at the service station and fought with those friends of mine, Joe and Isaac, IFP members. Because of that the senior man says that we must go inside the camp, open fire, ambush these people.
MR SINGH: Yes. That mob, the mob stood about 12 or 15 strong. It was night. In the private car of mine there was a Const Mahommed, Const Norman and Const Mandla Nkosi at the time this fight was going on. We stopped. Field dress we still had on, firearms we had on and the fight stopped because the people who started the fight at the scene, they could see there are policemen here and the people ran away.
MS JALEEL: So we're going to go on to the arson charge. I know that you're not applying for amnesty on it, but in order to gain insight into your beliefs and in order to promote or negate your belief that everything you did was politically motivated, we need to look at this arson charge. Right?
"In that during September 1992 and at or near Allandale in the district of Pietermaritzburg, the said accused unlawfully and intentionally did incite, instigate, command or procure Sonnyboy Ngobane and/or Mnadla Nkosi Ndaba and/or accused number 4 to commit the offence of assault upon Jenny Pillay, an adult female."
MS JALEEL: But the three members spoken about, Ncunu was a member of your hit squad, Maistry was just brought in but he became aware of your activities, so would you say that all of you were part of this hit squad?
MS JALEEL: I must point out that Ramdas has informed this Committee that on the very first night that the hit squad was discussed, Ndaba indicated to you that Skiza Zuma would assist you people in giving you arms and giving you the list of names of people to get rid of, to put a hit out on. Sipho Dlamini's name was not given to you by Skiza Zuma. Is that correct?
MS JALEEL: We have already ascertained that you maintain that this was not said on the first night of the meeting because Joe came back to you two nights later and then gave you the name of Zuma. We've cleared up that point. What I am saying is that, you knew at that point in time already that Solomon Dlamini was an activist from the things that he said and he did, why was it not prioritised that a hit be put out on him immediately? I mean this hit squad was formed, you were in operation, but you had not made any hits. Why not put him first on your list?
MR MALAN: If you will allow me, if I may just put this one thing to the witness. The evidence of Ramdas, there he said that the formation of the hit squad, and you were here, you listened, was really after a discussion that the two of you had. You jointly decided to form the hit squad. You heard him say that?
MR MALAN: Please listen to my question. Your evidence is that he made the decision independently that he is going to form a hit squad and he came and he informed you. That's your evidence. His evidence was that the two of you were sitting discussing the general threat and jointly decided to form a hit squad. Did you hear him say that?
MR MALAN: When you were asked whether you agree with his evidence, you said yes, you didn't have a problem with his evidence. It's very fundamental and I'll tell you why, because every time that a question is being put to you, you talk about the senior man or about Ramdas or about orders or authority or he decides, but if you look at the people involved, I heard you say earlier that Joe and Isaac were your friends, but you don't know who brought them into the squad. Secondly, if you look at the other people involved, your friends, Ayer, who you trained with, Williams, who you trained with, Maistry, who you trained with and you said was your friend, colleague and friend, and then Nalesh Singh was even related to you, so you look at the central figures. You look at Ndaba, Norman, Ncunu, they were boarding at your place for quite some time. Everybody involved in this seems to be people close to you and not close to Ramdas. You see, the impression from what happened here is that you were the central figure in this hit squad, not that you simply followed orders from Ramdas. It's almost as if the drive came from you. Reading through the Court record, the judgment, the central figure there again, all the actions, all the involvement, all these incidents, you played a role. Ramdas played less of a role. Now can you explain to me why this central position of yourself, but simply following orders from the senior, Ramdas, the senior deciding?
MR MALAN: Of course he knows them. He worked with them, he killed people in co-operation with them, of course he knows them, we're not disputing that, but you describe them to us as your friends. You knew all of these people before Ramdas got to know them. You were close to them. You trained with the other people. They lived with you, not with Ramdas. Nalesh is your relation, not Ramdas’. Of course he knew them, he went on operations with them. We're not saying he didn't know them. I'm saying, it seems to me that everything is built around your connections, not Ramdas’ connections, but you're wanting us or you're telling us that really you were basically following orders.
"we followed the deceased to know where he lives so that we could make life hard for him in the sense that we could charge him falsely."
So everything that was done, was done jointly, in a sense my point is that there was no leader of this. You people got together, made a decision and nobody was leading you in any direction, you were all together. It was a joint effort.
MS JALEEL: But if you treated Ramdas as your leader and the big man, or whatever you'd want to call him, if you treated him as that person, then you would refer to him in that light, like you've been referring to him to this committee all the time as being the leader. You've been referring to him in a certain style. You would have done the same in your application, would you not?
JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Singh, following on from that, if you look at page 25 of the bundle, your conclusion, first paragraph, in your criminal trial you refer to, you say that "Justice Andrew Wilson called us the accused hitmen for hire and described the murders not as killing but an execution-style killings." And we go further and say "we do not deny this as we accepted the sum of R5 000 from Chief Skiza Zuma of the IFP" for the shooting of whoever. Now it strikes me that if this was really a police controlled hit squad, then yes, there would be the issue of orders and leaders etc., but if you were operating as a gang of hitmen then it's more likely that you would not have leaders. Now in that context how do you explain your admission in your own application and you agree with Judge Wilson?
CHAIRPERSON: I think that what's been put is that in the statement, have you got it there? It says conclusion. You said "During the judgment", the judge that's referred to here as Justice Andrew Wilson, "called us the accused, hitmen for hire and described the murders not as killings but as execution-style killings. This we do not deny as we accepted the sum of R5 000 from Chief Skiza Zuma for the shooting of Ndlovo and Padayachee."
MR SINGH: You see the style of shooting is the point that we bring. It's not like where it was a hold-up or a robbery or something, it was a case where the shooters went, they found the man, executed him, in that sense.
CHAIRPERSON: Well, certainly from what you've told us certainly of the murders of Mr Zulu and Mr Dlamini, they were execution-type killings. You had the people under your control and they were just shot while completely defenceless, but you say here, "he referred to us as hit men for hire. This we do not deny as we accepted a sum of R5 000 from Chief Skiza Zuma", so would you still say that you were hitmen for hire?
MR MALAN: It's an application which you attested to, signed before a Commissioner of Oaths, you took the oath when you signed this application, it's an extensive document of some 20 odd pages, or close to that. It's not a draft. It's detailed, you even talk about, which is not necessarily relevant in terms of your perspective, the receipt of R5 000, referring to remarks by the judge saying yes he was right, we did do it for hire. Don't talk about a draft. It doesn't convince. It's very, very difficult to follow if you switch it that way.
MS LOONAT: May I say something please? I think what my client, and I stand to be corrected, is that the way he's phrased it is not the way it comes across to us. His style, his language, his words here, he is agreeing in a sense but not the actual sentence. Would you like him to perhaps explain in his own way?
MR MALAN: Let me try and help you because this is what we want to know. You're starting with this paragraph. You say Judge Wilson called you hitmen for hire and he referred to the killings as execution-style killings. That's right.
MR SINGH: Political shootings these were and this sum here of R5 000 is the sum paid by Zuma to us and that the first bit of the statement to say that the style of killing is the thing that stands on its own. The cash thing comes somewhere else. The style of killing is the thing the Judge said, it stands as well.
JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Singh, I'm going to try to fathom out your answer in private, but to get to my point. You quite understand what he said here now, you've looked at it, you've read it. I want you to comment on the following suggestion I'm going to make that, were the hit group of yours, the hit squad, really controlled by the police, then yes, there would have been a leader and a superior from whom you'd take orders, but if you were a private group, hitmen for hire, then one wouldn't expect a leader from whom you'd accept orders. What would you say about that?
JUDGE PILLAY: Now how was that possible if you were waiting for orders and acting strictly in terms of orders? In fact your first couple of incidents to which you testified, the reason you were involved there was as you say, I did it because Ramdas told us to do it, ordered us to do it. Is that not so?
JUDGE PILLAY: Well, on all counts. And then we refer to your own application where you concede what the judge had found, more or less. It's an application that you signed and swore to. Now how do you explain that? Every time it suits you, you want to rely on this order, or authority. Are you able to explain?
CHAIRPERSON: Well I think what it seems just from what we've heard in the papers is that you were involved, as you've admitted, in the recruitment of most of the members, Ndaba, Ncunu. You were involved in all the incidents. You were the one who received the R5 000 from Ndaba. You were the one who involved Ayer without any reference to Ramdas, that sort of thing. Was it just a case of you acting purely on orders, not using your mind, you are acting a machine, I'm now a killing machine, the boss says do this, I do that, not for me to ask why, it's just for me to do and die. That's the impression you're giving here, but whereas in fact the indications are that you were more central in the whole running of the hit squad, the gathering of the people, making decisions such as bringing in somebody like Ayer and involving Nalesh and those sort of people.
MS JALEEL: You maintain that the burning of the South African flag actually brought to you a sense of mockery. Explain exactly when did this happen and what was your sense of feeling at that point in time.
MR SINGH: 26 June 1992 is the date that you're looking for. South African National flag is a flag that the South African policemen served under. At 6 in the morning policemen at the station, they stand outside the station, they've got to hoist the flag and they've got to salute the flag. At night at about 6 o'clock when it's gone dark, the flag comes down. We salute it first, the flag comes down. A policeman gets killed, the flag on the policeman's coffin it is placed.
MR SINGH: South African law at this point in time says such people must be charged when the flag is there, if you burn it, if you spit on it, the law says that such person must be charged. At the time of this march the senior person stands there, Capt Botha and senior man says stand down, leave those people, stand down, frustrated us.
MS JALEEL: How is it then after all these political activities, the burning of the flag, the taxi violence where all of these derogatory things were said to the police, you left all of that out and you waited for an incident where one of your policemen was charged, a friend of yours besides just being another colleague, Mr Maistry was now a member, he was a friend of the entire squad, he was part of it, how is it that you wait for this particular time, that particular date?
Now I know you've explained to this Committee that the reason why you waited for this particular time was that it gave you an avenue to lure Solomon Dlamini out of his house, but I do not think that's adequate. Being a taxi driver and knowing where he stays, I mean you people could follow him at any point in time. The question is, if you look at it in that vein as well, when Mr Maistry and there was another person involved in this as well, Bodram, Const Bodram was his name, when Const Maistry and Bodram committed this act of malicious damage to property, how did they manage to get hold of Solomon Dlamini?
MS JALEEL: Yes, what I am saying to you is that he was easily accessible and the idea is ludicrous of even stating that you could not get hold of Solomon Dlamini, that is why this hit was left for such a long time, it was difficult to lure him out of his house. But I am saying to you now, I'm putting it to you very distinctly and clearly, Solomon Dlamini was a very easy target for you to get.
CHAIRPERSON: What Ms Jaleel is putting to you is that the reason given by yourself for that long delay from June through to November, from the time it was made, the decision was made to kill Solomon Dlamini until the time that he was actually killed, those 5 months, what she is putting to you is that the reason given for you explaining that delay is unacceptable. She is putting it to you that Solomon Dlamini, being a taxi driver, a person who is around and about, and also you knowing exactly where he lived, when I say you I mean the hit squad, would have been a very easy target. He could have been got at and killed at any time with relative ease, which she explains was evidenced by the fact that as soon as Maistry gets this summons in which the complainant is Dlamini, he is killed almost straight away. Now, that's what she's putting to you. She's putting it to you that he was an easy target and if you really had the intention to kill him from June, it could easily have been done. What do you say to that?
MR SINGH: Solomon Dlamini, the first thing I can say is that he's a trained MK soldier, he's not how you can step up to him and pull a gun and shoot him. On a count like this caution comes first, where a man has to be followed, he has to checked on. W/O Ramdas did this. He followed him and he checked him.
MS JALEEL: Okay, then isn't it then just a matter of convenience that Const Maistry who is being charged by the deceased, Solomon Dlamini, is now a party to this hit squad and actually helps you kill this personally? I mean really, was it politically motivated or can you put this down to one of the charges like the charge of arson? I mean is it not then just a personal vendetta all over again?
MS JALEEL: He was the person who was instructed to proceed with the criminal charge against Bodram and Maistry. The first appearance, I put to you just now, the first appearance on this criminal charge was at court on the 9th of December 1992. Right? And then I was going to give you the second date, the date for which trial was remanded to, which I said was the 15th February 1993 and even before I came to say 15th February 1993, you uttered it on that side. So you are already ...(intervention)
MS JALEEL: So then isn't it just perfectly fine then that your suspect gets off scott-free because the complainant in the matter is very conveniently disposed of and all of that is slotted in and covered up under what you now are submitting to this committee, is actually a politically motivated hit?
CHAIRPERSON: But what I'm saying is, is there, because a relationship is broken or comes to an end, is there justification to burn a shop? No, not to any reasonable person. So the same, for any reasonable person to go and kill a person because of a MITP charge is not reasonable but it can happen, especially if the person's reputation within his career, within his work is at stake. If he gets a conviction he's got a black mark against his name in his personnel file, he might never get promotion, might even get suspended.
Mr Padayachee was actually having a sexual relationship with the other person that you were asked to eliminate, or put onto your hit list and that was the person called Zodwa. How did you learn of the sexual relationship?
MS JALEEL: On page 17 of the bundle, paragraph 4, the 7th line you say there that, first on line 6 you speak about the sexual relationship and then you go on to say, "and also passed on vital information of the IFP to the ANC" meaning that you now in your mind conjured up the story where Zodwa was passing on important information to Padayachee, is that correct?
MR SINGH: Later on sometime. The shooting happened on the 30th of that month and I think it was the second day after, or it was the third day after that squad members went in the same yard and they spoke to neighbours and the people there says that this person is gone, she's fled.
MR JALEEL: How did you find out that Zodwa was living in the outbuilding of this property and not in the main building, because on page 18 paragraph 1 you say "only later did we realise that Zodwa lived there in the same yard, but in the outbuilding and not the main house with Padayachee." How did you learn about this?
MR SINGH: Squad members went there, second day, third day after this shooting and at the same time they found out that this female is gone and the female had lived in the small house. The word came back.
MS JALEEL: Just now you conceded to the panel that the R5 000 was paid to you, you disbursed it between the five of you, giving R1 000 each. The money was collected again. Now, in your mind, you've also conceded that you were second in charge.
JUDGE PILLAY: It was not out of character in terms of your activities, not so, and why you were doing those things? You earlier said yes, it was correct for you to get paid, it was correct to take it.
MS JALEEL: So would you not agree that to a reasonable person sitting on the other side, now there we found another motive? Zodwa was Ndaba's girlfriend, Ndaba was a member of the hit squad and there she was having this so-called or alleged sexual relationship with Mr Padayachee. Do you think that actually in our minds, a reasonable person's mind, put in doubt and say okay, there we have another motive?
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Singh, you said that you believed that that matter was settled. Are you sure that it was settled, or is that just what you think or suppose, or did you hear that the civil claim was finalised by way of settlement?
"We heard from W/O Ramdas that Capt Geoff Durgia was a member of the ANC and the resistance movement from way back in the early 70's when they both started their careers in the police. During the 80's Geoff Durgia still had his heart with the ANC movement and during this time a certain Mr Majeeth Kahn murdered black and ANC members in Northfield, Pmb. This matter went to trial."
Now looking at the first portion of this, didn't it seem highly unlikely to you that if Ramdas knew of somebody who was politically active from the 70's through to the 80's, why would he wait until 1993 to put a hit out on this person, or December 1992?
MS JALEEL: Did it not seem strange that I mean it would take such a long period of time, he knew that this man was involved in this from 1970, right through to 1991, when you formed the hit squad or decided to form it in October/November of 1991. Why was this person not the first person on your hit list if he was such a grave threat to you?
MS JALEEL: When this hit was put out I'm sure that the name Geoff Durgia was mentioned before the hit was actually completed. Did you actually question Ramdas if he had any personal motives for this case?
"In 1991 W/O Ramdas personally ordered a hit on Capt Durgia and Sgt Mothai of SA Police, Mountain Rise Pmb. Sgt Mothai lived in Pmb. and could have been killed in the blink of an eye as he lived in the same Northfield area as us. However, no attempt to shoot or kill was ever made on the life of Sgt Mothai as I worked with him and had known him to be of no political affiliation and this is the sole reason."
MS JALEEL: Then I'm going to say to you that Capt Durgia and Sgt Mothai were both investigating the perjury charge, but you knew nothing of Capt Durgia's political affiliations and you had no reason not to believe Ramdas as your friend and your colleague, on the other hand, you knew Mothai personally and you knew he had no political affiliation.
MS JALEEL: So finally on all of these you have to concede that there were ulterior motives and that there seems to be more personal vendettas if you look at your arson charge and all of that. I put it to you that none of these hits or attacks were politically motivated.
MS JALEEL: Sir, I put it to you that each one of you who were members of this hit squad, actually formed this hit squad to protect each other's interests as friends, as colleagues and to protect your reputation, not to protect the way you felt about being under the South African flag, or what you thought about the ANC. It wasn't that at all.
"I've got nothing to hide or gain by saying things that are untrue, however my co-accused namely Const Williams and Maistry can mislead this enquiry"
"I was told by Singh that was the reason Sipho Zulu had to be killed, to prevent him giving evidence against Singh"
"A court case was pending against Maistry and therefore Dlamini was killed because Maistry did not want Dlamini to appear in court to testify against him. I have no idea of whether he was and ANC member or belonged to any other party."
"Ramdas got convicted of perjury and sentenced to one year imprisonment. That was the reason, I was told by Ramdas, that Capt Durgia was killed."
This is a man that was part of your hit squad and in your statement you say, in your supplementary affidavit you actually state that these guys, won't come to the Commission to testify or whatever they're going to say is untrue, but yet they were in a close relationship with you and then, subsequent to this hearing, Deven Williams makes this statement which is totally contrary to what you're saying, that there were all political motives behind these incidents.
MR SINGH: Statement of his says the same version that in court he said. This statement is based on the same lines as the statement he made in court. This hearing, if he comes and the version of his he changes, there is a chance that the judges here can judge this man on perjury if he now comes and changes his version.
MS LOCKHAT: I just want to put it to you that it seems likely that this is indeed the case that because he had this close relationship with you he knew exactly why these incidents and why these matters occurred and happened. And as he puts it, he's a member of your hit squad, so these reasons seem quite, it's reasonably possibly true that this was why you committed these acts.
CHAIRPERSON: I think I can understand, what you're saying is he is lying to this Commission in this statement because he is bound to follow what he said in court otherwise he's exposing himself to perjury. Why would he go to court, why did he lie in court? Why did he say these things in court? What reason did he have to lie against your and your colleagues interests?
MR SINGH: At the trial. This is what he said at trial. The blame is moved on. On the single count, Zulu count, version of mine says that Const Williams strangled him. In court work he says no, the version untrue, Singh shot him only. The man has been strangled.
MS LOCKHAT: Well I just want to say that Mr Deven Williams basically relates what he thinks was the motive behind all of this and it wasn't just his role, it was basically the reasons why he thought you committed these incidents as a unit.
MR SINGH: Skiza's list had Banks Padayachee on it and stemming from that, count 5 happened and the person was shot but at the time of the shooting Const Williams went to Durban someplace and then on the same lines, on the single count, he's free.
MR SINGH: Same person in Zulu says that basis of case ANC they are on the same lines. Volume 3, the page numbers are the thing that I forget, but I see for the first time now is this case it's the thing that he's actually speaking about but ...(intervention)
MS LOCKHAT: Paragraph 3 she says her brother was killed because he had a case against you but as you correctly stated she did say at the hearing that her brother was an ANC member. That's not in dispute. What she's saying is that because he had a case against you.
MS LOCKHAT: And she says that on that basis she opposes your application. I shall move on to page 48. It is an affidavit deposed to by Reginald Durgia, that is the brother of the late Geoff Durgia. I refer to paragraph 3 thereof. He says. I refer to paragraph 2,
"It is my belief that my brother's death was in no way politically motivated. Rather it was a criminal act."
"My contention for saying this is because my brother was involved in investigations of a matter wherein Ramdas was charged and convicted for perjury. I believe that his killing was one of revenge."
MR SINGH: Okay on that first bit I can say that the version of mine still stands that the shooting on this count political it was and the second version about this perjury charge and things, I don't know about that.
MS LOCKHAT: I just want to place on record that the members of the family of Mr Durgia are here as well as Zulu and they feel strongly and they oppose your application for amnesty on these bases. Thank you Chairperson.
RE-EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Just two points. My colleague suggested that Mr Singh, or somebody suggested that if you have a private hit squad, there should be no question of hierarchy. The question I want to put to Mr Singh is that it was a private hit squad and why did he keep referring to Mr Ramdas as the main man. Was there a hierarchy there?
MS LOONAT: So in your opinion it was because, in the police force, he had a higher ranking, but in the private hit squad, that's why you interpreted it that he was the main man, however just to go on, it's been put to you that you seem to be and you admit that you're the second man, it seemed to be that everything came to your house, to your door, all information, monies, whatever, came to you. Would you, without instructions from Mr Ramdas, ever have carried out any of these hits of your own accord?
MR MALAN: And it was a decision, according to your version, Ramdas called the shots, and what he said was law and you had to implement it. That's your version, that's your understanding of it, but as a private exercise because he was the main man in the hit squad?
MS LOONAT: You quoted Judge Wilson as describing you all as hitmen. You admitted that you were hitmen. You also went on to say that you were for hire and you didn't seem to understand. Please explain to the committee, were you there for hire and why do you say you were for hire? Were you there for hire?
MS LOONAT: Just one more question Mr Singh. The issue of the flag burning, created confusion in your mind. It has been suggested that you disobeyed the direct order of was it Capt Botha, who ordered you at the time not to do anything, not to commit arrests etc. and then you did this, that was when you decided that Dlamini had to be removed, is that correct?
MS LOONAT: So according to the Swat course you were trained that flag burning and things like that was illegal, yet Capt Botha was now confusing you and telling you that it was acceptable and that you were not to act?
MS LOONAT: So although you were disobeying Capt Botha's orders at that time, in your mind you felt, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the hit squad now had to take over as part of the follow-up from your Swat course.
JUDGE PILLAY: Okay. Now on page 23 in the bundle, I just want to investigate something and I do so in order to understand your thinking at the time. The first two paragraphs, I see there that you refer in your statement to the attack on black ANC members, was there a specific campaign to root out what you terms black African National Congress members as opposed to Indians or so-called coloureds as they were defined before?
"During the 80's Geoff Durgia still had his heart with the ANC movement and during this time a certain Mr Majeeth Kahn murdered black ANC members in Northdale."
"W/O Ramdas refused to lie in favour of the ANC blacks and as a result Kahn was found not guilty on the same charges."
MS LOONAT: Very quickly. Judge Pillay I understand, maybe my understanding is incorrect, when you were talking about that Kahn murdered ANC black members, were you perhaps asking my client if black to him meant Indians and coloureds as well as opposed to black. Is that what you were asking, what black meant to him?
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat, earlier on you made reference about a copy of a page that would be made, an extract from that bundle that you've got in your hand I think and you'll recall I said the whole thing needn't be copied but maybe just the page. I think it related to reference being made to the Jesmondene incident. I just don't want to forget that. If that could be made.
MR MICHAEL: May I commence with my statement? I joined the S A P in 1967. Capt Durgia and Superintendent Marian joined years later and worked together at the Mountain Rise Police Station with Capt Puckery. Of course, I didn't work with them I was stationed at Plesiesla.
Ramdas joined them at Mountain Rise sometime in 1980, I'm not too certain about the year, but Ramdas was attached to the uniform branch, whilst the former members that I mentioned were attached to the detective branch. In 1985 Capt Durgia and Superintendent Marian were promoted to Lieutenants whilst I was promoted in 1986. Prior to that I was stationed at Loop Street C I D. Captain Durgia was promoted as branch commander of Mountain Rise, detective branch.
MR MICHAEL: Good. Thank you. Superintendent Marian was second in charge. The transfer of practically half the branch was then effected by Capt Durgia, who were replaced by probationers. As a result the solving rate of the serious cases became zero. Please bear with me.
MR MICHAEL: No, I have to follow my notes. I'm sorry my lord. By now Marian had discovered that a love relationship was in existence with Ramdas and his sister-in-law. According to Ramdas, Marian had threatened to even the score with him even if meant using his rank of an officer to achieve this.
MR MICHAEL: I used to see, well my lord, Ramdas did make a report to me and thereafter I used to see Superintendent Marian transporting his sister-in-law daily to and from the Errol's shoe factory with the official car.
A quarrel with Capt Durgia and Marian sometimes in 1989 over the command position of Mountain Rise then transpired and Marian was transferred to the Riot Investigation Unit. Before Marian left he promised to come back one day as a commander. This I was told by the staff when I was transferred to Mountain Rise in January 1990.
Col du Preez was very unhappy with the solving rate of Mountain Rise detective cases. He knew about my solving rate and this is why he sent me up there, to try and pick up the solving rate. I also discovered that Ramdas was now also attached to the detective branch as a probationer.
Capt Durgia was very unhappy about my presence there and he restricted my actions as far as inspection and distribution of certain case dockets were concerned. However Col du Preez had given me certain instructions to put pressure on the detectives at Mountain Rise. Subsequently I discovered that there were no raid duties at night performed. I then arranged ...(intervention)
MR MICHAEL: Yes. Subsequently arrangements were made for raid duties to be performed that night commencing from 10 p.m. We then raided the informal settlement at Jesmondene where we recovered several carpets which were soiled and built-in cupboards that were removed from Orient Heights, the Indian residential site that was under construction, and a few home made firearms. Capt Durgia instructed that we should not make any arrests but merely confiscate these items and his answer was that these items were soiled and they were damaged, the built-in cupboards and as for the home made firearms they were incapable of firing. I didn't want to raise any dispute with him, I accepted his decision.
Next day we went off at 12 midday. The following day Capt Durgia failed to pitch up for work. The members then jeered and cracked jokes amongst themselves saying that he could not take the pace. A few days later Chief Dlabenzema Mapumulo, a very good friend of mine that used to visit me frequently, as C I D offices, in Dubski, called at the office and then he explained to me why were we harassing his people. I asked which people. He said those people from ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: So Mr Michael what has this got to do with the application of the applicants? We're not here to make any finding on the efficiency or otherwise of the Mountain Rise Police Station in 1989 or whatever.
MR MICHAEL: Very good. He then requested that we should stop the raids on the informal settlements because those were his followers, ANC supporters, from Mkonko, that were now occupying the area along Jesmondene nursery. I said, "well I'm sorry I can't help you, you'll have to consult with Capt Durgia, he's in charge" I then referred him to Capt Durgia and I don't know what transpired there. A week had gone by and then I requested that we raid again. Capt Durgia said no, I'm sorry, we're not going to raid those informal settlements any more.
MR MALAN: What is the purpose of this? Let me put the question. If the purpose is, Ms Loonat really it's your work this, but if the purpose is to tell us that Durgia is an ANC supporter and member, we have that on affidavit by his own family. We really don't have to look at that.
CHAIRPERSON: As long as it's relevant Mr Michael, but please we don't want to hear what happened in the Mountain Rise Police Station in 1980, as long as it's relevant you're free to speak, but please get to the point.
MR MICHAEL: Thank you, my lord, I'll do that. During the present case when Ramdas and the others were charged, I had the occasion of meeting with Williams through Dashee Naidoo, another sergeant, he's now late. Now according to Dashee Naidoo I had to assist Williams because he was being assaulted in order to make a confession in the present case, that was under investigation. I then took him to Mountain, to Col Budal, Senior Superintendent Budal, who instructed that I should take him down to the police station to make a case and then have the case registered at Loop Street because the investigating team was now attached at Mountain Rise and the CR of that case is 839/04/1993. To my amazement, and then of course I took him down to the doctor to have him examined and then I took him down to the legal adviser, Mr Sangham, in order for him to drop the minute to the District Commandant to put restraint on the members that were busy assaulting him in order for him to make a confession.
MR MICHAEL: Apparently Superintendent Marian and his members were assaulting him in order to make a confession pertaining to the case that was under investigation of the murders of Durgia and all the others, I'm not too sure.
MR MICHAEL: Well it surprises me, because why, last week over the radio it came over the radio that members in the Cape were adopting the same attitude, they were concocting evidence and incriminating members.
MR MICHAEL: Presently, and then of course, I feel that superintendent Marian should not have investigated the case because his nephew Ayer was involved in the case. Presently Ayer is involved again on another murder case and to my amazement, I was told by fellow police who are still serving in the police force, that his SAP 69 records came back as clean, no previous convictions. Now look at the gross negligence again there. That means they forged 69's, not reflecting the conviction that he had got ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but Mr Michael, you come here and you say Mr Marian was negligent because he had an SAP 69 that was blank relating to his nephew, who we know was convicted. You haven't seen that SAP 69. All I'm saying is that you must be very careful what you say. We'd prefer it if you gave evidence about facts that you know, not that you've heard, not that are hearsay or an opinion.
JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Michael, this is not a retrial of those two gentlemen. This is an application for amnesty and there are certain requirements to be fulfilled where this panel then are duty bound to grant amnesty. If you've got anything to contribute to those considerations fine, if not then whatever you say will be regarded as irrelevant and I can't say what you intend to say about the two applications which you heard in this hall. Now if you can contribute to their case and improve their application, fine, otherwise we're not going to take into consideration whatever you say.
CHAIRPERSON: In any event you can tell us that you're dissatisfied with the way it was, but you mustn't make conclusions from things that you overheard etc., etc., that are affecting other people's professional standing. It's just hearsay and you know what hearsay is because you're a policeman you must have given evidence before.
MR MALAN: Mr Michael allow me just to explain to you what this is about. It is an amnesty application by Singh and Ramdas in which they disclose certain crimes where they were involved in certain murders. They've come to confess the murders, not to deny involvement. So however this was investigated is really not relevant to their acknowledging their crimes or not, in fact they are saying exactly what the judge found in terms of the specific killings, specific involvement, the individuals involved save for one instance where the names of all the individuals changed, according to the stories of the applicant. They're not challenging the findings of the judge, they're confirming it. In fact if they don't acknowledge their guilt, they can't get amnesty and that's what they came to do here. The only thing that may be in dispute is the political motive and that is what this seems to be about and you're not contributing in any way to that by telling us how the case was investigated. You're not helping their case.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS JALEEL: Just one, Mr Chairperson. Sir, according to paragraph 3 of page 49 of our bundle which is the statement that you initially gave to the TRC, you maintain that you were angry for Durgia transferring Ramdas back to the uniform branch. You maintain that Durgia's actions were wrong and the allegations were unfounded. Do you know exactly what that bribe involved?
MR MICHAEL: Yes, you see the suspects involved were ANC sympathisers and he apparently received a call from one of them to say that Ramdas was trying to extort money from them if they didn't come to the station. Now I had given Ramdas specific instructions to request them to report to the police station so that we could charge them.
MS JALEEL: So would you say that Ramdas was truthful to you, because I will put it to you that the next witness that we are going to call for the victims would say that this bribe actually involved an owner of a funeral parlour in Rysop, which is a suburb of Pietermaritzburg itself, is going to say that this bribe involved Ramdas bribing the owner of the funeral parlour for a sum of R10 000 in exchange for some attempted murder matter. Do you know anything about that?
MR MICHAEL: No, it's not true that he had tried to bribe the, apparently tried to bribe the undertaker. It was the driver of the kombi that I had instructed him to go and arrest, Kriesch, and there was no money involved. Kriesch was supposed to surrender himself to the police station in order so that I could charge him. Now Durgia instead took the docket from Ramdas and gave it to one of his members, his blue-eyed boys and this annoyed me, so the next day I went to the senior officer and I reported his conduct, who then instructed me that I should return to Plesiesla instead.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Jaleel, also we don't want to, we're certainly not going to make any findings on R10 000 bribes that may have taken place in Mountain Rise, we're not going to make any findings on facts, whether there were bribes or not, so we don't want to get into a big dispute about whether, this is the first we hear about R10 000 being paid for a funeral parlour bribe type of thing, it's got nothing to do with the application.
MS JALEEL: Mr Chairman, I understand that fully, it's just that the next witness we're going to call, well, we are going to call Superintendent Marian who everybody has made an opinion about, so doesn't my last question just show something to you, and then obviously we'll clarify it later. No further questions?
MS JALEEL: Basically what he is going to say is that he was the investigating officer in the case, he made the arrest and Skiza Zuma was not mentioned anywhere in it. He made arrests on all of the accused in this matter, all five of them. They said nothing about this. They've spoken to him, they've made statements, they never said anything about being politically affiliated, that is all.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Marian before you proceed, we've gathered from the last witness that the feelings are running fairly high, personalities involved, you and Mr Michael, the late Mr Durgia, we're really not interested in personal battles between people, so I'm sure Ms Jaleel will be able to lead you in this regard.
EXAMINATION BY MS JALEEL: Thank you, Chairperson. So is it correct that you were the investigating officer in the matter that was brought to the Supreme Court of South Africa, Natal Provincial Division, against the two applicants and others?
MR MARIAN: Mr Chairman, I'll explain the initial investigation, how it happened. I was the branch commander of the Mountain Rise Detective Branch at the time and for two days, as my diary depicts, I worked on this investigation as a result of a report made to me by my nephew.
MR MARIAN: Mr Ayer. That report was made to me on the night of the 6th of May 1993. Following that report we found the body of Sipho Zulu which was buried at Bakerville Heights. The following morning, the 7th of May 1993, I contacted the district headquarters in the names of Col de Lange and Col van der Berg and informed them that I needed a senior officer to investigate this matter because of the involvement of my nephew who was assistant constable at the same station. The day had gone by and nothing had happened. I then called Capt Puckery who was then a warrant officer from an independent unit, to assist me with the investigation. I then handed him the whole investigation. I assisted him to continue with the investigation but as a senior officer. We arrested Ndaba, that's assistant constable Ndaba at 10.30 on the same day, on the 7th. My notes state
"Interrogated Assistant Const. Ndaba. He confessed being associated in the killing of black male Sipho Zulu, who instituted a civil action against Const Singh. He alleges that Const Singh, Assistant Const Ncunu, himself had shot the deceased and was later buried at Bakerville Heights. He alleges that Const Williams was also present. He held the deceased while Const Singh shot him."
"He confessed further that there were, was, they also kidnapped another black male, a complainant in a case where Const Singh was charged. They had taken him to Shongweni bridge and he was shot by Const Williams. W/O Ramdas was also present. He drove the vehicle" and in brackets (an armoured yellow van). He also spoke about the killing of a Mr Padayachee in Caderville Road. Const Ncunu shot this person with a 7,65 pistol."
Mr Chairman that is my note, on the 7th May 1993, which I made when the report was made to me and no indication from Ndaba that a Zuma had in fact hired them to do this killing. At 16h30 that evening we recovered the body of Sipho Zulu at Bakerville Heights. The following day at 9 o'clock we proceeded to Shongweni bridge which was pointed out by Ndaba. A Col van Jaarsveld, another officer to whom the pointing out was done, was present at the pointing out. We merely continued with the investigation thereafter. We found out that the body in fact was removed and it was then reported at Hillcrest Case No 175 of 11/92, that's when the body of Dlamini was found at Shongweni. Later that evening I questioned Const Maistry and on the 10th, which is my last association with this investigation, it was in fact at 14h30 when I proceeded to Verulam and I picked up Const Anil Singh. On the way from ...(intervention).
MR MARIAN: Yes. On the way from Verulam together with Capt Puckery we questioned Const Singh. He confessed to four murders, one arson and a shooting at houses etc. That's my note and nowhere did he say in this report that Skiza Zuma had instructed them to kill these people.
MR MARIAN: Mr Chairman, not at all. I lived, I was a neighbour of W/O Ramdas for close to 6 years. I lived at number 14, he lived at number 16 and he was a good friend of mine. We worked together in the South African Police. I knew of no political association by himself or any of the members of the police that were charged in this matter and no of the applicants.
MR MARIAN: Mr Chairman on the matter of Durgia, we'd found, I in fact had personal knowledge of the fact that Durgia and Mothai had investigated murder cases against Majeeth Kahn. The five deceased in those matters were purely people that were walking in the park, who had nothing to do with politics and in my opinion Majeeth Kahn at that stage was seeking fame, was seeking you know to be made news because of his some karate story and that is the reason why we had established that he had killed those people. The trial took place in the High Court in which Ramdas was the witness, he committed perjury in the High Court. The Judge instructed that a perjury charge be investigated. Durgia and Mothai investigated the matters and Ramdas was convicted. Following, at the time of Durgia's death, the appeal was still pending in the Appellate Division against Ramdas. In my view he was killed because of the case.
The killing of Sipho Zulu. I attended the scene of shooting at Copesville as a branch commander at Mountain Rise, where Const Singh shot a Zulu, I'm not too sure which one it was at this stage. The explanation to me and I remember the explanation was that Zulu tried to rob him of his shotgun and that is the reason why he had shot Zulu. Now Zulu the brother had instituted a civil claim against Mr Singh for the debt of and injury to himself.
MR MARIAN: Petrus Zulu, I'm not too sure whether he was the deceased. No, no Petrus Zulu was the deceased. Sipho Zulu was the chap that was injured and he had instituted a civil claim against Singh and that is the reason why he was murdered. Solomon Dlamini, according to the explanation as well to me on the 7th, was murdered because he had opened a malicious injury to property case against I think it was Maistry or Williams.
Lastly with regard to Padayachee, in our investigation as such we have a statement from a witness who said that Padayachee’s wife had approached them to kill Padayachee, prior to him being killed by Ramdas and his gang. So, in my view those people in that area, Padayachee didn't live far away from our home as well, in the same road that I had lived then and my knowing him, he was a gambler and a fisherman and that's all I knew about him. I didn't know him to be involved in politics. That's my view of him. I knew the man.
With regard to Durgia Mr Chairman, I knew him since 1977. I did not know that Durgia was involved in any political matters or affiliated to any political organisation, nor did he sympathise with any political organisation. He was involved in normal investigation of criminal matters at a police station. I, in fact, contrary to what Michael says, was transferred from the Mountain Rise detective branch in 1987 already, to do riot investigation in the Edendale area, not in 1989.
MR MARIAN: Mr Chairman, he was one upright, honest policeman that I ever knew and he'd never do such a thing. I know him from the time I was a constable, both of us were constables we had graduated as officers, became captains together and worked together.
MR MARIAN: I just told the Commission that in fact I knew Padayachee to be a fisherman and a gambler and not associated to any political organisation and I said I knew Durgia since 1977, I knew him not to be affiliated or sympathise with any political organisation.
MR MARIAN: I wouldn't suck that out of my thumb to know about Zuma. Zuma in fact, Mr Chairman, is not a chief, he's not a leader in the IFP, in the senior ranks, he is in fact the leader of the youth brigade at the Harewood location.
MR MARIAN: I didn't tell him to tell me this, but he told me this, so if Zuma in fact was the person that had given him instructions, he would have told me at that stage that Zuma instructed him to kill these people and I would have made a note to that effect, but there's no note to that effect in my diary.
MR MALAN: I think there's some misunderstanding, Ms Loonat. What the witness was saying was that there was no reference ever to Skiza Zuma by Singh so that he could make any follow-up. That's why he didn't make a follow-up. He couldn't suck it out of his thumb because he'd never heard, it was never mentioned to him.
MS LOONAT: So the point that you are making is that Ramdas did not wait for the outcome of his appeal, he jumped the gun and disposed of, was it Zulu? Sorry, please assist me. Somebody was murdered at that time.
MS LOONAT: The arson charge. In all the other instances they were eliminated because of civil claims, claims for damages, criminal charges, whatever. Why wasn't this Mrs Paver not eliminated, in your opinion?
MR MARIAN: Well, in the report that he had made to me as I said on this diary, that he had made a report of arson, I did not continue with that investigation. Capt Puckery continued with the specific incidents as such.
MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, I was under the impression that my learned colleague was going to call Ms Padayachee because she had made certain allegations against my client which we have found to be untrue. Could she please make some comment because I have a statement to hand in.
MS JALEEL: That is correct Chairperson. I will not call any further witnesses, but at this stage I know that we've made submissions, I have made submissions yesterday if it would please the committee to please strike those submissions off because they would be hearsay and just hanging in the air considering that we would not be ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Well I can assure you we, as a Commission, as a committee sitting here will make no finding on what Mrs Padayachee may or may have not done, in relation to the death of her husband. We, it's not our function to do that. MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, in view of that, of Ms Jaleel withdrawing her submissions, we won't take it any further, thank you.
MS LOONAT IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson, members of the committee, my learned colleagues, the evidence of my client throughout this entire hearing implicates him in some horrendous crimes. Crimes, were they not caught up in the era of apartheid they surely would not or could not possibly even think of committing. To this end they have disclosed all for which they were formally charged and more. It was, as they have testified, at the time when the Nationalist Party was the government of the day. They were humble policemen in their early twenties, eager to do their job and to do it well. They were, as they testified, brainwashed into believing that the ANC was not only a banned communist party but also terrorists, therefore a serious threat to our country and had to be silenced, in fact eliminated, for the safety and security of all South Africans. This was their firm belief.
The applicants have also testified that they were hand-picked and trained in an anti-terrorist course called Swat, special weapons arms and tactics, top secret, so much so that it appears all trace of their records have since disappeared.
Their training, they have repeatedly told us, consisted of lectures, daily instilling into their minds that they were chosen to be trained to eliminate all active supporters of the ANC, MK, Apla, or so they interpreted their lectures. Video footage of fellow policemen being murdered by MK soldiers left them scared for their own lives. Why training in anti-combat weapons, R5's, grenades, for urban warfare? They asked, but they got no answers. They were told to figure it out for themselves.
Further, as members of the South African Police force, and supporters of the IFP, they had a common enemy, the ANC. You will note, throughout the hearing, all targeted victims were ANC linked, they were the common enemy. Their tutors were former security branch members and a Capt O'Connell. They were told repeatedly that if they did not eliminate the enemy as and when the occasion arose, it would result in these terrorists taking over their jobs. They would lose their housing subsidies, medical aid, affirmative action would ensue and in their minds anarchy would reign. They owed blind loyalty to their employer, the government, and blind loyalty to their country, admirable traits in our police force.
The fate of the four deceased Dlamini, Padayachee, Zulu, Durgia, were all staunch active ANC supporters and their fate was sealed when our watchdog soldiers, the applicants, had sniffed out, observed and then took the decision that they had to be eliminated. It wasn't just off-the-cuff, it didn't happen overnight, only when there proved to be a threat to law and order.
It was sheer coincidence that Singh was at the time, served with a summons for killing an ANC member in the course of his employment. To pay back same was no threat to him as he has testified the State would cover him. The other summons for a paltry sum of R350 does not even enter their minds as it was not even theirs to pay. In line with full disclosure, my clients have provided names of people who were targeted to die, but escaped this fate. To refresh your memory quickly, Chief of the Ghanda-Ghanda location, Sipho Ndlovo, was an ANC leader who persistently attacked IFP homesteads, a lady called Zodwa, ex IFP now turned ANC spy, who according to Mr Zuma
(end of tape) Padayachee to financially support the ANC cause. And lastly, they admit, the night raid in Jesmondene, an ANC stronghold. This was no figment of my client's imaginations as dockets were opened. Mr Ndlovo did reside in
MS LOONAT: In the transcript? It was handed to me this morning and the page that I was given by the applicants, and they pointed it to me saying that, "Examined by Mr Ayer. Mr Mbanja what is your age? Do you know the accused? Yes, I know him by the name of Norman" these were the people that were charged, that was Norman Ncunu, Isaac Mbanja. Do you know where he used to live?" In other words, they were charged for this. Shall I go on? It is in the transcript.
MS LOONAT: Finally, my clients seek to apologise sincerely to all victims' families and hope that their disclosures are seen in the light of truth and reconciliation. If innocent people, children, were injured in the process, please try and understand that it was a common purpose crime, not a personal vendetta. Such is political warfare sadly. At the outset they were trained in bush warfare to keep the insurgents from invading our country. Now training in use of heavy artillery to protect their homes, family and friends from a threat of urban terrorism after the unbanning of the ANC, made little sense to them. Mind games clearly permeated their practical and theoretical training, they honestly believed this type of training was the form of tacit instruction to secure law and order however they deemed fit. They are prepared to assist in pointing out whatever and whoever, in line with providing full disclosure. They speak of Capt Marian and his ANC bias swaying their decision not to testify at their trial, after all they claimed that Brian Mitchell did receive the death sentence.
My clients have disclosed all events within their peculiar knowledge leading up to the formation of their private hit squad and names of all involved, directly or otherwise. The aim was not to target high ranking ANC officials, but any troublesome stalwart who, in their simple minds, was a threat physically or otherwise to the peace in this their province. Police brutality is what the ANC marchers chanted when Petrus Zulu was killed at a rally, not death to murderers. Capt O'Connell's words flashed in their minds, namely "fanatical ANC supporters, kill or be killed." That was when Zulu's fate was sealed. He had to be executed as he fitted the profile.
Strangely the applicants were never subjected to any disciplinary action or reprimanded for their so-called criminal deeds. This is what they believed they were trained to deliver and they did, and they continued to do so. One has to accept that these were politically motivated offences. The elements of common purpose, that is the mens rea, active participation, the fact that they were present at the scene, they were aware of the assaults and the intention to make common cause with the perpetrators, apply in each incident. They have no previous convictions and have both served 6 years of their sentence. Ramdas lost his wife whilst in prison. Both have two children to support. Both applicants claim their actions were always politically motivated and stemmed essentially from the indoctrination received since joining the police force in their youth. Their intention was to enforce law and order and to keep their family and our country safe, but their mentors made them believe that political assassinations was part and parcel of safety and security. They were not very educated.
My clients have been humiliated by being imprisoned. They have lost their self-respect in society. They have been ostracised by their friends and they have suffered the trauma of separation from their young children. They have further burdened others to support their families and all this is their reward for implementing their training skills gained as members of Swat. Politics is a part of their life, policing is all they know. They now know that to combat crime or criminal elements is not the Swat way. They are painfully aware of the magnitude of pain and suffering their deeds have caused victims' families. They are generally remorseful. They beg to be heard, to return to their homes and formal employment and do all that it takes to fill the void in the lives of the people that have been affected by their actions and they vow to do whatever it takes to help in reparation. It all stemmed from a mistaken belief that their method was the method of solving political enmity. Thank you.
We've sat here for two days. We have listened to versions of both the applicants. They have said the same thing, yes, we do not deny that, they corroborated one another's stories to a very large extent, but that corroboration does not lead to show any political motivation whatsoever. If anything at all, there were five murders that we looked at, each one of them we looked at in great detail and for every one of them we found an underlying cause an alternative motive for this. There was no political link to all of this. The applicants weren't even sure if these people were actually politically active. They knew nothing about the people that they killed. If they had some personal insight into this, and if they could put this forth before the Commission, then we could say that there is a vague possibility, a slight possibility in the least. But if you look at it, Solomon Dlamini, a taxi driver, he was seen doing a burning of the flag, making racist remarks towards the police, but he doesn't get killed immediately, he gets killed some months afterwards. He gets killed in November when actually he was seen burning the flag in June of 1992. He was seen at this taxi violence in May of 1992, which gives us a long period of time. Over and above that the amazing thing is that Solomon Dlamini was to have appeared in court on the 4th of December as a complainant in a charge against Const Maistry and Const Bodram. Const Maistry as we all have heard, by the applicants' own disclosure, that applicant Maistry had actually formed part of this hit squad or the alleged hit squad at the time of the commission of the murder of Solomon Dlamini.
If we go to the murder of Mr Padayachee, here we were told that Mr Padayachee was having an affair with Zodwa, who was supposedly now the girlfriend of Const Ndaba, who was also a member of this hit squad and there again we have an alternate motivation, another the reason for the killing of Mr Padayachee. Then we come to Petrus Zulu. The article that we have as B2 does not give us a full scope of everything that's happened. Obviously the newspaper has the tendency to sensationalise. We don't know what in there is correct and what isn't. Over and above that, the applicant, Mr Singh, has rectified certain portions of it but at the same time he maintains that the rest is right. Now it seems so ludicrous that there are other policemen in the area and they let one person get shot at and they wouldn't retaliate in any way, but one person would shoot three other people that are standing around him, and all three people tried to fight ...(intervention)
MS JALEEL: It was Singh, Ncunu and Dladla. There we have a claim for the sum of R30 000 and there as well, before the claim could be finalised, before anything could be done, we don't know how far the legal proceedings went, Mr Sipho Zulu was very conveniently eliminated.
Mr Geoff Durgia. Here we had Superintendent Marian tell the committee exactly what the position was with this and he went on to explain about the incident which brought out the altercation between Ramdas and Durgia which was initiated with the case against Majeeth Kahn and there we had the case of perjury. Even here, although Ramdas, the first applicant, seemed as though he wasn't really worried about it, if he wasn't worried about it why take it so far, why take it on appeal to the Supreme Court and then take it to the Appellate Division? Obviously it was something that was worrying him, he knew that he had to do something about it and taking it to the Appellate Division obviously only made him more terrified because he did not know what the position was. He probably thought that by failing in the Supreme Court, what were the prospects of success in the Appellate Division. That could probably have been his train of thought and therefore Mr Durgia was made a target of this hit squad.
Relating to the two other attacks which were on Sipho Ndlovo and the Jesmondene incident, like we said, we haven't had case numbers, we've got nothing concrete there to show what evidence brought about a charge and why it went to court. Had we had a case number at least, the records could have been found.
With regards to the applicants being in custody and having young children and Ramdas’ wife dying, the victims families are very apologetic of that but in the same vein it must be understood that right, these people had children as well. Sipho Zulu had one child and so did Petrus Zulu, he also had a child. Mr Durgia had three children. He has three children and shortly after his murder his wife passed away, which left his children orphaned, I mean they don't have a mother or a father. Over and above that Durgia's brother is also a policeman stationed in the Umkomaas area. After his brother's death he became totally mentally unstable to the extent where, although today he wanted to give evidence, wanted to say what he feels, he cannot talk. The man has become totally epileptic.
And there is no link whatsoever between politics and these crimes committed. There are other members they could have targeted. Over and above that it was pointed out by the applicants that at the time of the attack on Petrus Zulu, his brother and the other party, they were actually forming a convoy for these ANC busses that were going to Swapo. I mean they were in their element. They were there with people that they hated. They hated the ANC and there they had them. So why didn't they just shoot wildly, I mean you have what you want. And there were other policemen there. They could have done anything at that point in time to actually use that situation to their benefit, which didn't actually happen. They just wounded two people and shot another. They weren't even sure who these people were.
With regards to the Swat training course. Let's face it, six days to go on intensive training. The applicants maintained that this was intensive training but in 6 days how much of intensive training can you really get? It's not sufficient to go through lectures, to do your physical training. I would submit that that is, that would be totally ludicrous to have something like that in such a short period of time. The other would be that ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: If you are a gun man to start with, it won't take long to, I agree with you, 6 days isn't a long time, but you know if you're training people who work with firearms how to use and R5, one would imagine that shouldn't take too long.
MS JALEEL: But it was also pointed out by the applicant Ramdas that they were not only trained in firearms, there were hand grenades used and other things. Obviously that would take a long period of time. If you know how to use a firearm yes it would be easier to go and learn how to fire a rifle. But if you've never used a hand grenade before, if you've never used things like that, it's going to take you more than just 6 days, I presume.
Yes, we do also agree that there was common purpose in the activities of these 5 people that committed them, these 5 include the 2 applicants. Yes there was common purpose but the common purpose was not of political nature, it was common purpose to protect one another's well-being, their reputations, to protect their jobs because that's exactly what they did at the end of the day. They made sure that none of these 5 people got into trouble. If there was somebody who's standing in the way, just eliminate them, easiest way done. There was nothing political. Even the membership forms that were handed to us today. That is dated 1998 and that was dated even after the application for amnesty was made. So what is there to rebut a submission that this application or the application made for being a card carrying member of the IFP was only made to substantiate this application and for no other reason beside that.
It's fair enough that the applicants would at this stage in time and at this point in time want to apologise to the families of the victims, but at the same time the victims have faced loss, they faced trauma, not only of their loved ones, but of the little orphaned children that are left now. There's not only one, there's many, there's Mr Padayachee’s children. Everyone of these victims had children.
MS JALEEL: My learned colleague has made a submission that the applicants have children who are orphaned and their parents are dead, so I'm just trying to counteract that by saying that everybody, all these victims had kids as well.
All the above said, it is my final submission that the applicants did not commit these offences in any political light whatsoever. They had done it for their own personal benefit and they have not made full disclosure, because full disclosure would have meant that they would admit that it was not politically motivated in any light whatsoever.
MR MALAN: No, is that a correct statement? Full disclosure would have meant that they would say it's not in a political light. Shouldn't you look at full disclosure on the one side in terms of the actions? Political motive is something separate from that. It's two separate elements, so to speak.
MS JALEEL: They ought not to have made application because in the first place it was not politically motivated so by them making application to this Committee is wrong, they ought not to have done that. From what has been said over the past two days, leading up to this afternoon, it is blatantly clear this panel is not the right panel to be sitting at because there was no political involvement in this and therefore, in closure, I say this. I am here to represent the families of the victims and my instructions are that all the families oppose the applications for amnesty.
MS LOCKHAT IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson, just a few submissions. Just relating to the hit squad. This hit squad, Mr Singh tried to mislead us in the beginning of the hearing that he was just basically following orders and it was a bit bothersome initially but as it transpired through his evidence, that this hit
squad was basically formed just by, they didn't even have to be police officers, they could have been ordinary members and just formed, you can call it a gang, for instance. It was just basically a gang and most of these acts were committed out of personal gain or malice or just to enhance their own personal rights in a sense, not to be charged for any offences or civil or criminal acts and that was basically the essence of this hit squad, was to further their own aims.
Relating to the R5 000 cash that they received, Mr Singh also said that he would have taken that money, that it was for work well done and he actually said that in his amnesty application as well but today it seems that both Ramdas and Singh just want to deny the fact that they actually had received this money and it was quite clear that in their amnesty application it was a full stop after they received the money and kept it for themselves, each of them received R1 000 and today and yesterday they now want to tell us that they used this money to obtain arms and ammunition. That just seems really unacceptable.
Also the fact of Mr Zuma just bringing him into this entire picture as if to make it seem political as he was linked to the IFP and Superintendent Marian then taking all the statements from them, he also clarifies that they never ever mentioned Zuma, never previously did they and it seems that this was just another story to back up their argument that all these acts were actually committed with a political objective or in furtherance of their objectives as IFP supporters.
And I move, Chairperson, that all these acts should be refused, that the applicants should be refused amnesty in terms of Section 20 sub-section 3(i) and (ii) where they received cash for personal gain and then entering into these murders because of malice and just to further their own aims. Thank you Chairperson.
On my learned colleagues issue of the date of the card carrying, I think she forgets that my clients have testified that as long as they belonged to the IFP, as long as they were policemen and they went into IFP areas and were never harmed, they were advised by their seniors that they did not have to actually formally register, this is why the registration came in so late. They were covered by working in the police force. Calling the hit squad a gang is perhaps a way of describing them, but it was not for their own aims. Whatever was carried out, as they repeatedly state, came from directions from people like Zuma etc. and there was a hit list, so to speak. Zuma, you keep saying, Skiza Zuma does not know my clients. It seems that they must have a riotous
imagination to fabricate all that they have done relating to Skiza Zuma, so much so that they can even point out the tuck shop where, in the Verulam area, where they have spoken and met with the man and Ramdas meeting him at a garage. I don't think they are so sophisticated in their thinking to be able to fabricate that much. That is all I have to say, thank you Mr Chairperson.
We'll reserve our decision and hand it down as soon as possible. That then brings an end to this particular hearing. I'd like to thank the legal representatives for their assistance, but we are not finished here, we will continue tomorrow morning with the remaining application and we will aim to start at half past 9. Are you involved in that as well Ms Loonat?