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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARINGS

Starting Date 05 August 1999

Location PIETERMARITZBURG

Day 4

Names SIBOSISO ERIC NGCOBO

Case Number AM0588/96

Matter MURDER OF MAROBE MAJOSE

CHAIRPERSON: We are now hearing the application of Sibosiso Eric Ngcobo.

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Sir, application number 0588/96. The day being the 5th of August 1999. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: The Committee remains the same but would the legal representatives please place themselves on record?

MS JELALL: I am Sherine Jelall of Sherine Jelall and Associates. I represent the families of the victims.

MR FALCONER: May it please Mr Chairman, Members of the Committee. My name is Patrick Falconer. I appear on behalf of an implicated person Mr Sheabane Zuma.

MR MAPOMA: For the record Chairperson, I'm Zuko Mapoma the evidence leader. Thank you.

MS LOONAT: Members of the Committee, I am Serena Loonat and I'm from Krisna Haraj and Company, I represent the applicant this morning. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Right shall we continue?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, if I may have an opportunity. My learned colleague representing the applicant has indicated to me this morning that the applicant does not implicate my client, Mr Zuma in any regard whatsoever. As is borne out by the application papers, it seems that the applicant furthermore in the papers does not implicate Mr Zuma and if my colleague could confirm that on record, I'd respectfully request to be excused from these proceedings.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairman, I have consulted with my client and he agrees that Mr Zuma is not implicated in any way whatsoever in these proceedings.

CHAIRPERSON: To avoid any possible misunderstanding, I take it that the victims are not suggesting that Mr Zuma was in any way implicated?

MS JELALL: Chairperson, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, it's been nice seeing you. Goodbye.

MR FALCONER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is the applicant now going to give evidence?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

SIBOSISO ERIC NGCOBO: (sworn states)

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Mapoma, did you see Mr Lindau Mkhize?

MR MAPOMA: Pardon Chair?

ADV DE JAGER: Did you see Mr Lindau Mkhize?

MR MAPOMA: No, Sir, I have not seen him.

ADV DE JAGER: He reported at our office and he's been notified to be present and he is somewhere here, I thought you've met him, I see he's also an implicated party.

MR MAPOMA: I will consult with him Chairperson, I've not met with him.

EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson. Mr Ngcobo, please state for the record, how old are you now?

MR NGCOBO: 27 years.

MS LOONAT: So you were about 23 years old when you committed this offence, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: I was 19 years old.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairman, the arithmetic doesn't work out. Is that important?

MR MAPOMA: We didn't hear you.

MS LOONAT: Oh I beg your pardon. He could not be 19 years old when this offence was committed, by my reckoning he should have been about 23 years old. Is that important for the record?

MR MAPOMA: We'll take it as correct, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: This took place when? In 1991?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, in 1991.

CHAIRPERSON: 8 years ago. That would make him 19 at the time, if he's 27 today.

ADV DE JAGER: Well, how old are you today? How old are you now

MR NGCOBO: 27 years old.

ADV DE JAGER: But according to your application, your date of birth is 1968?

MR NGCOBO: No, it is not correct. I was born in 1970.

ADV DE JAGER: But even then you would be 29 today, if you'd been born in 1970.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ngcobo, of which party are you a member?

MR NGCOBO: IFP.

MS LOONAT: Do you have proof of membership of being affiliated to this party?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I do have, but I don't have it in my possession right now.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairman, I'm not getting the translation.

INTERPRETER: Can you hear me now? Yes, I'm on channel two. Can you hear now?

MS LOONAT: That's better. It's working. Thank you.

I'll repeat the question.

ADV DE JAGER: He's told us that he was an IFP member, but he hasn't got proof with him today, but he's got proof somewhere.

MS LOONAT: Tell me, what did you do for the IFP when you were a member?

MR NGCOBO: I didn't hold any position, I was just an ordinary member of the IFP.

MS LOONAT: I cannot hear the interpretation. Please could you repeat the answer?

MR NGCOBO: I didn't hold any position.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ngcobo, you say that three of your brothers were killed by the ANC members or supporters, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: Can you tell us approximately how long ago this was?

MR NGCOBO: Between 1987 and 1988 or 1989, somewhere there, I'm not quite sure.

MS LOONAT: Please tell the Committee members the circumstances in which your brothers were killed.

MR NGCOBO: I will first relate to the circumstances which occurred when Sepo was killed. Policemen came to my home and my mother was inside the house. My mother heard a gun fire and when she rushed outside she found Sepo lying down. He was been shot by the police.

MS LOONAT: Do the police have any party affiliation to your knowledge?

MR NGCOBO: The way they conducted themselves, I think they were aligned, because he didn't do anything for them

to kill him or to shoot him.

MS LOONAT: Please tell us, what do you mean when you say their conduct indicated that they were ANC members?

MR NGCOBO: The way they operated and the way they killed him, there was absolutely no reason for them to kill him.

MS LOONAT: Did your mother and your families confirm afterwards that it was a party political killing?

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't be able to say so, but I wouldn't be able to tell you how my mother perceived this whole thing. I personally perceived it that way.

ADV DE JAGER: Was your brother involved in politics?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

ADV DE JAGER: What role did he play in politics?

MR NGCOBO: He was a member of the IFP.

MS LOONAT: You are the youngest of the family, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this killing reported to the local police?

MR NGCOBO: It was just reported to Mr Zuma, who was our Chairperson.

MR SIBANYONI: Where from were these police? For which police station or from which police service?

MR NGCOBO: I will say they were from Stanger police station even though I'm not sure, because at the time there was violence.

MR SIBANYONI: In some of the applications we've heard, we got information that the police in KwaZulu were supportive of the IFP and not the ANC. What is your comment about that?

MR NGCOBO: I will dispute that because I didn't experience such a thing, I personally.

MR SIBANYONI: Do you have any information that these who killed your brother were supportive of the ANC?

MR NGCOBO: No, I wouldn't know to, or I wouldn't be able to say they were with the ANC but I'm just saying the way they killed him, that's what I personally suspected.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ngcobo, when your brother Sepo was killed, you say it was reported to Mr Zuma. From the records Mr Zuma is the IFP leader in the area, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

MS LOONAT: Could you perhaps remember what his comments were as to perhaps why your brother was killed that day?

MR NGCOBO: My mother was the one who reported this matter to him. What I can explain is that he said he was going to report this thing to the police and other police were going to investigate the matter, so that the police were to be arrested.

MS LOONAT: So there was no indication of whether it was a party political killing. Was there any discussion about that with Mr Zuma?

MR NGCOBO: No. I didn't hear about that.

MS LOONAT: Now please go on about the killings of your other two brothers, Mr Ngcobo.

MR NGCOBO: Mfanfuti was killed. We were at Mr Zuma's place on that day because we had heard rumours that we were going to be attacked and I was at home. My brother was at Mr Zuma's place. When I was home I heard gunfire. As I was wondering, I was told by my mother that Mfanfuti had been killed.

MS LOONAT: How old were you at the time? Can you remember?

MR NGCOBO: Even though I cannot be sure, I think I was between 19 and 20.

MS LOONAT: Were you told why your brother was killed?

MR NGCOBO: What I heard is that the attackers came from the other street and the main road divided the area, the other side was the IFP and the other side was the ANC and what I heard is that the attackers came from the ANC stronghold to the IFP, that's where he was shot and killed.

MS LOONAT: So in fact you say they crossed the line into your IFP area and killed your brother in your mother's home? Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: What happened after that?

MR NGCOBO: Police were called and they took my brother's body.

MS LOONAT: What happened to the attackers? Was there any discussion about that?

MR NGCOBO: I think when they attacked, the IFP also counter attacked them. They were shooting each other and it was late at night and they ran away, or they ran back to where they came from.

MS LOONAT: So you were not present at the time of this attack, were you?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already explained, I was at home.

MS LOONAT: So your information is that the ANC attacked the IFP that day. Please go on about the other killing.

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: So please tell us about the other brother that was killed.

MR NGCOBO: If I'm not mistaken, I think it was on a Saturday. He was going to town.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on. Do you know anything more about this killing of your brother, Mfanfuti

MR NGCOBO: What I know, as I've already explained, that it was late at night and when he was shot, he was shot at Mr Zuma's house and the attackers came from the other side of the street and they were shooting each other, that's how he was killed.

CHAIRPERSON: Because you see you have made an affidavit which has been put before us, or it is called an affidavit. At page 6, and in that you say

"My brother Mfanfuti Mbelo was killed by one of the members of the ANC. The name of that member of ANC is Mr Lucky Cele."

But now you say you don't know, it was late at night. Why did you, in your affidavit, say it was Mr Lucky Cele?

MR NGCOBO: This is what I heard, that Lucky was present on the day when they attacked them.

CHAIRPERSON: But you don't say he was present, you say that he was the person who killed him.

MR NGCOBO: I'm saying it's him because later, after the incident, I heard that he was present in the vicinity when they were shooting.

MS LOONAT: Do you know Mr Jabulane Dlamini?

MR NGCOBO: I know Mr Jabulane Zuma, not Dlamini.

MS LOONAT: Just to refresh your memory, you say on page 6 of the bundle that

"Jabulane Dlamini was present when Lucky killed my brother with the firearm."

I know it happened a long time ago and perhaps you can't remember, but now do you remember? It was Jabulane Dlamini who informed you that your brother was killed by an ANC member, can you remember that?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, this is what I heard after it had happened and he knew him. He's the one who told me and others as well.

MS LOONAT: Sorry, I don't understand. Did Jabulane Dlamini tell you and others that Lucky Cele was the one who killed your brother? Is that what you're saying?

MR NGCOBO: He said to me he saw Lucky Cele killing my brother.

ADV SIBANYONI: Is this Jabulane Dlamini the same person you are saying is Jabulane Zuma?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Please tell us what happened to your other brother that was killed.

MR NGCOBO: I think it was on a Saturday, he was going to town. He was together with his friend when they bordered a kombi. I think he was with Jabulane Dlamini who was with my brother.

ADV DE JAGER: What was your third brother's name? Was that Bongane? Or what's the name?

MR NGCOBO: Bongane. As they were inside the kombi, this is what Jabulane explained. A group of people came, approached the kombi and some of them pointed at him and saying, "There's and Inkatha member" and when he tried to escape they ran after him and they killed him.

MS LOONAT: I'm sorry, did you say, were you present at the time of this killing or did you hear about it afterwards?

MR NGCOBO: When this happened I wasn't there. I was at home.

MS LOONAT: So on all three instances you only got reports from other people that it was the ANC members that were seen to have attacked and killed your brothers? Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you tell us a few minutes ago when I was asking you about this passage that you didn't, you knew Mr Jabulane Zuma, not Jabulane Dlamini? He said that didn't he?

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, he said that.

MR NGCOBO: I'm talking Jabulane Dlamini, the one who was with my brother. They were going to town and Jabulane Zuma is the one who told me that he saw Lucky Cele shooting my brother.

CHAIRPERSON: So are they different people? Jabulane Dlamini and Jabulane Zuma, are they different people?

MR NGCOBO: They are different people.

CHAIRPERSON: But why did you then tell us you do not know Jabulane Dlamini?

MR NGCOBO: What I was trying to explain was that it was not Jabulane Dlamini who told me that my brother was killed by Lucky Cele, it was Jabulane Zuma, but the other Jabulane who was accompanying my brother to town then was Jabulane Dlamini, he's the one who told me how my brother was killed.

MR SIBANYONI: A few minutes ago I asked you whether Jabulane Dlamini is the same person as Jabulane Zuma and your answer was yes.

MR NGCOBO: I will probably say I was confused because I was trying to clarify as to which Jabulane told me what.

MS LOONAT: May I go on now?

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MS LOONAT: The circumstances under which Bongane was killed you say were also reported to you as being an ANC attack on him, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: You were 19 years old when this happened?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Were your brothers and your mother and yourself all involved in politics, affiliated to the IFP at that time?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

MS LOONAT: Please tell us what happened on that fateful day when you formed the intention to avenge the death of your brothers? That was on that Sunday in October 1991.

MR NGCOBO: As I've already told the Committee about the death of my brothers, after the killing of my third brother, I decided that I was going to do whatever it takes. In 1991 we were in a shebeen and after the liquor had run out, we started talking or discussing and I was one of those people who decided to go and attack the ANC area.

MS LOONAT: Where exactly was this shebeen situated?

MR NGCOBO: Frans was present and was the one who was selling the alcohol and after we'd finished the alcohol, we went outside to discuss.

MS LOONAT: No, my question is where was this shebeen situated where you were sitting and having this discussion? What area was it called?

MR NGCOBO: In the same area, just down the street.

ADV DE JAGER: Were there two areas, one occupied by the ANC and one occupied by the IFP?

MR NGCOBO: It's one area divided by a road, the main road.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes. Now this shebeen, was it in the ANC area on that side of the road, or on the IFP side of the road?

MR NGCOBO: The shebeen was in the IFP area. There are many shebeens there in the area. One will choose as to where to go and have your drink.

CHAIRPERSON: And is it correct that you were drinking there with Themba and then were joined by Bongnkosi Lindau Mkhize?

MR NGCOBO: It is true that we were together with Lindau, Themba, Bongane and others. I don't remember their names.

CHAIRPERSON: And you drank a great deal?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I did drink a lot, but not that much.

CHAIRPERSON: Well it seems from the Judgment that the three of you drank 8 quarts of beer and a half bottle of brandy.

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

MS LOONAT: So you maintain you were not drunk that day when you all sat and discussed this massacre which you were planning?

MR NGCOBO: No, I wasn't that drunk. Yes of course I was a bit drunk, but not that much.

MS LOONAT: What did you actually discuss? What were you going to do that day, you and your 8 friends?

MR NGCOBO: We decided that we were going to go and attack the ANC and kill them, the ANC people.

MS LOONAT: Who was the leader of this group that you were sitting in?

MR NGCOBO: I will say it was myself.

MS LOONAT: And what was your reason for wanting to attack the ANC on the other side of the road? The ANC dwellers on the other side of the road?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already told this Committee that I had been tortured by the death of my brothers and I had already decided that no matter what happened to me, I was going to revenge.

MS LOONAT: And you still maintain that at all times you were convinced that your three brothers were murdered by ANC supporters for political reasons, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

MS LOONAT: What happened on that day when you made this decision, what happened thereafter?

MR NGCOBO: I was the one who was armed with a gun and it was my gun. We left. In the middle of the road we saw that or we realised that some of us were too drunk and we decided that those who were too drunk should be left behind. Lindau and the others were left behind because they were too drunk. Myself and Themba, we continued. When we arrived at the shop where they were, I saw the deceased in the shop and the other two men and the third one I didn't see, the one from Nkateni.

When I got inside the shop, when I looked at this other guy, I decided then and there that he was the one I was going to kill. I don't know what happened, whether he got scared because what happened, he went right inside the shop. When I got inside the shop after him, he was now coming out. I pulled my gun. The deceased grabbed me and I decided there and then that if I do not kill him now, he was going to kill me, that's why I shot at him. A kombi came and it reversed and I heard they were telling me that there was a kombi and the people were armed with guns. That's when we ran and they started firing.

MS LOONAT: Did you know who was going to be in the shop at the time, before you entered the other side of the road separating the IFP and the ANC?

MR NGCOBO: No, I didn't know as to who will be there in the shop when I arrived there, but what I had told myself was that if I arrive there and found people who were ANC members, I was going to kill them.

MS LOONAT: So you had no intention of attacking the murderers of your brother, you went there to attack anybody that was, in your opinion, belonged to the ANC party, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this in revenge for the killings of your brothers?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, you can put it that way because the reason I committed these crimes was because I had lost my brothers.

ADV SIBANYONI: And you never intended the IFP to benefit anything out of your actions, is that so?

MR NGCOBO: No, nothing.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on, I'd like to clarify a few points again please. You have said in your evidence a minute or two ago that you were the one armed with a gun. That it was your gun.

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that true?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You see, in your sworn statement page 4 you said

"I then went with Themba Dladla, who was the owner of the firearm, 9mm, I then took it from him as I wanted to revenge my brothers who were killed by the ANC."

MR NGCOBO: I am confused there because what I said when this affidavit was written was that I was with Themba, but I was armed, it was my gun. He wanted to use my gun, but I didn't give it to him.

CHAIRPERSON: That's not what you said, I have read to you what you said

"I then went with Themba Dladla, who was the owner of the firearm."

MR NGCOBO: I am not certain about some point there. You said to me it is written that I went to him. Where? Where? I didn't go to Themba. Where?

CHAIRPERSON: You went with Themba. You have told us two minutes ago that you went with Themba Dladla. I'll start at the beginning of the paragraph

"After planning the attack, other people got drunk and there was no use in taking them to the shop. I then went with Themba Dladla, who was the owner of the firearm"

MR NGCOBO: I think they didn't get me right. What I said is that we were all together and then those who were drunk, we told them to remain behind. Themba and myself we went, we continued to go to the shop.

CHAIRPERSON: That's what you said here. That you and Themba went. But you said the gun was Themba's and you took it from him.

MS LOONAT: May I say something?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Perhaps my client is trying to say that it is his gun. He owns the gun but it might have been in the possession of Themba Dladla which is why he just grabbed it and went, that is perhaps what ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He said Themba Dladla was the owner of the gun, not the person who had the gun. The owner, is what he says in his affidavit. It says there the owner.

MR NGCOBO: I'm hearing this for the first time because what I said was that Themba accompanied me, but I never said that Themba owned that gun.

ADV DE JAGER: Did Themba have the gun on that day in his hands?

MR NGCOBO: No, he didn't have a gun on that day.

ADV DE JAGER: Did he shoot anybody on that day?

MR NGCOBO: No.

ADV DE JAGER: Who helped you in preparing this affidavit? It's appearing on page 10, could you please show it to him?

It's page 10 and 11.

MS LOONAT: May I just have a word with my client, Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS LOONAT: May I just put questions to him about it, for the record? In the sense that the police wrote ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: I want to ask him about the last paragraph and I want to point it out at this stage to you. What I wanted to put to him is

"Dladla was there when I committed the crime. Mr Themba Dladla shot three and 1 person dead."

So according to this, Themba Dladla did the shooting and that's what I'm getting at and you could try and clear that up and what's the position with this document.

MS LOONAT: As I understand, he says that this statement was made to policemen who wrote it out and I may stand to be corrected, but it was not reread to him, so he's not fully au fait with what is in this statement, Mr Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: Could we find out, did Dladla shoot three people?

MR NGCOBO: No.

ADV SIBANYONI: Your mike is off. Can you put your mike on first?

MR NGCOBO: No, as I have already explained, the only person who shot there it was myself and then afterwards the kombi came and it disturbed us. We ran away, but Themba didn't shoot anyone.

ADV SIBANYONI: Can I just - I didn't understand properly. Did you say on page 9 it's not your handwriting? Do I understand you correctly?

MR NGCOBO: I will say the policeman wrote this, the policeman who was helping me write this statement.

ADV SIBANYONI: The version you told the police, was it the truth or was it perhaps lies, you trying to defend yourself before the criminal court?

MR NGCOBO: What I've written here for the Truth Commission, it was true.

ADV SIBANYONI: And the one which you told the police was not the truth, is that so?

MR NGCOBO: As I was explaining, that the policeman was helping me to write the statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngcobo, are you sure it was a policeman because you see both these statements were apparently made on paper belonging to the department of correctional services. It was filled in in accordance with their procedure. It contains the address and the telephone number of the prison, your prison number ...(indistinct) prison warder.

MR NGCOBO: Initially when I made my application another inmate helped me to fill the application form and then later I received a reply from TRC that I should write in details and that's when the police helped me. Probably the prison warder.

CHAIRPERSON: It's probably the prison warder, yes, because I have never known the police when they are preparing a statement to do so on paper belonging to the Department of Correctional Services. So you say it's probably a prison warder who helped you after the TRC made certain inquiries?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were trying to tell the truth.

ADV DE JAGER: Ms Loonat in fairness to your client I must point out that the two statements seem to be, the one appearing on page 7, 8 and 9 and the other one appearing on pages 10 and 11, seems to be contradictory. In the later one on page 11 he said he started the shooting, he'd done the shooting, he'd emptied the magazine and on the previous one as I've quoted, on page 9 he's saying that

"Themba Ndladla was there when I committed the crime. Mr Themba Ndladla shoot three and I person died."

MR NGCOBO: No, I don't know anything like that.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, my client is now telling the truth as he can remember it. He has, I admit, written two contradictory statements and it would appear to me that he was, that what was said was not taken down correctly the first time, or so he tries to implicate now. I think that what he's trying to say right now is the final statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, so you can go on then. You say this is his final statement. This is the statement which is typed at page 4 and there's the statement at page 10. You said in your statement that you went with him and you took the firearm and went to Sinando's shop

"Where I saw people enjoying the beer."

Do you remember saying that in your statement? Did you say that? The people were enjoying beer. You then go on, I'm quoting from your statement:

"I started shooting them."

Did you say that?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON

"I shot until I emptied the magazine which was loaded with 16 ammunition."

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON

"Three people got injuries. Those who were one known to me as Mahlatini from the Slenger area."

Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON

"One known as Joks from the Slenger area."

Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON

"And Ndundu Sebokulu, also from the Slenger area."

MR NGCOBO: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON

"The fourth victim lost his life on the scene and that was Marobe Majose."

Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So in your sworn statement you set out accurately what happened, that you went there, you found people drinking beer and just emptied your gun at them and killed them. You knew the people who were there, you knew some of them, you knew the three who were injured and you knew the name of the one who was killed. Correct?

MR NGCOBO: These were people that I knew by seeing them.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR NGCOBO: After that we ran away. After a few days, this happened in 1991 and I was arrested in November.

MS LOONAT: Do you remember the clothes you were wearing that day?

MR NGCOBO: You mean on the day of the incident?

MS LOONAT: The day of the incident.

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Please describe them to us.

MR NGCOBO: I was wearing a green tracksuit and a white vest underneath and a jersey.

MS LOONAT: Is this the uniform of the police or any particular group, or was it your own clothes?

MR NGCOBO: The tracksuit was a police tracksuit.

MS LOONAT: Was there any reason that you wore police clothing that day?

MR NGCOBO: The reason was to disguise.

MS LOONAT: Please go on. What happened after that?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already explained, that I was arrested. I was arrested in hospital.

MS LOONAT: The police clothing that you wore, in your opinion, is clothing worn by policemen who are ANC affiliated, is that what you honestly believed? Is that why you wore police apparel that day and went into an ANC area?

MR NGCOBO: No. The tracksuit was more like SAP tracksuit, or it is an SAP tracksuit.

ADV DE JAGER: Why did you wear it, put it on on that day?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already explained, the reason I've worn that tracksuit, it was because I didn't want to raise any suspicions, it was sort of a disguise so that when people see me, they will think I am a policeman.

CHAIRPERSON: Why did you want to walk around in disguise?

MR NGCOBO: This is how I thought, that if I do not disguise then it will be easy for them to recognise me. It's better if they just see me when I'm there or when I'm ready to start committing the crime.

MS LOONAT: And it worked for you that day, to find yourself in the ANC and not recognised immediately as an IFP member, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, as I understand your evidence, you just walked across the road straight into the Sinando Shop. It was just across the road, wasn't it, where you shot these people?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Were you injured at all on that day, Mr Ngcobo?

MR NGCOBO: No.

ADV DE JAGER: Were you treated in hospital, or how did it come that you were in the hospital when the police arrested you?

MR NGCOBO: I got injured one Friday morning, I think it was Friday evening and I got injured in one of the shebeens where we were drinking and I was admitted in hospital the following day, on Saturday.

ADV DE JAGER: You see, I want to put it to you because this is sort of troubling me in your application, you've been at a shebeen there, you've been drinking, now you tell us again you've been injured a week later while drinking in a shebeen. Wasn't this killing only as a result of the drinking and the brawls that result after drinking, or was it in fact a political killing? Had it anything to do with politics or was it because of heavy drinking that you landed up killing people?

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't say that it was because of alcohol because even if I was sober, I was still going to do that. Yes, I do drink, but I didn't do this because I was too drunk, I did that because I wanted to and I thought it was right for me to do that.

ADV SIBANYONI: But it had nothing to do with politics, it was merely to revenge the death of your brother, is that so?

MR NGCOBO: I will put it this way. The reason they were killed, it was because of politics, therefore if I decided to revenge it is still because of politics. They were killed because of political reasons, that's why I took those steps.

MS LOONAT: How do you feel today about what you did on that fateful day of October 20th, 1991. The families of the victims are here. Would you like to express how you feel about it today?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already decided to come before the Commission and tell the whole truth about what I've done, I think I am supposed to apologise to the victims about what I've done and the way I've done it. I am not hiding anything and I'm sure they really want to know as to what really happened to their loved ones and I am telling them the whole truth and I do feel a great remorse about what I've done.

MS LOONAT: Do you wish now to make friends with the ANC or are you going to keep yourself separate and away from them in future?

ADV DE JAGER: Ms Loonat, that would really not assist us in granting amnesty or not granting amnesty. It's not one of the aspects required by the Act to consider whether he will be friends today with the ANC or not, it's irrelevant as far as our decision is concerned. As far as reconciliation is concerned, he's expressed his regret towards the family, that's as far as you need go.

MS LOONAT: Do you have anything else that you would like to add here, Mr Ngcobo? Is there anything else you'd like to say to the Committee?

MR NGCOBO: No.

MS LOONAT: I have no more questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOONAT

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take a short adjournment at this stage.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

SIBOSISO ERIC NGCOBO: (s.u.o.)

MS JELALL: Thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS JELALL: Sir I point out to you page 2 of your application, which is page 2 of the bundle, paragraph 10(a) where you state your political objectives sought to be achieved was to revenge because

"They first killed my brothers and secondly they burned at my home."

Are you trying to tell us that they burned your house as well?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: Was this the ANC?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: So when did this happen?

MR NGCOBO: I think it was in 1988, I'm not sure.

MS JELALL: How did you know that the ANC was involved in this particular attack?

MR NGCOBO: There were people at home when they came to burn down the house, it was during the day.

MS JELALL: So you heard this from the people at home, that the ANC had actually burned ...(indistinct)

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: So you've indicated that you are a member, or were a member of the IFP. Were you an active member?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already mentioned, that I was just an ordinary member of the IFP.

MS JELALL: Yes, Sir, but my question to you is were you active, did you conduct any other attacks on the ANC prior to this incident for which you are claiming amnesty?

MR NGCOBO: Sometimes when there were attacks between ANC and IFP I used to take part because there were continuous fights between ANC and IFP and I used to take part in those fights.

MS JELALL: What exactly was your participation in this fight?

MR NGCOBO: I will also attack.

MS JELALL: Does that mean you killing people, wounding them?

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't be certain that I personally injured someone, but I knew that when we were fighting each other some were being injured.

MS JELALL: So, but then answer my question directly, did you injure anybody, you in particular?

ADV DE JAGER: He said that there was a war and he can't say whether he personally injured anybody, but he was involved in the fighting and I presume it's like two armies shooting at each other and I wouldn't know whether I'm the one who's killed the other one, or whether it was my, the person next to me.

MS JELALL: Right. So you described ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, before you go on, what weapons did you use in these attacks?

MR NGCOBO: Before I owned a gun I would use a knife and sometimes I would use a butcher knife.

CHAIRPERSON: And after you had the gun, would you use the gun?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: So as you've indicated in your questioning before and your answer, you have heard from other people that the ANC was actually responsible for the attacks on your brothers. You have no direct knowledge thereof, do you?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I heard from other people but also I was certain that it was ANC that was involved in the killing of my brothers.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you've told us that one of your brothers was killed by members of the police force. How can you say you were certain it was the ANC?

MR NGCOBO: I am certain that Mfanfuti and Bongane were killed by ANC and in the area where he was killed it was an ANC area and ANC was responsible in taking him from the kombi and killing him.

MS JELALL: Sir, you've indicated that Zuma was the leader of the IFP in the area, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Correct.

MS JELALL: So every time you went out on the prior attacks that you spoke of that you said you were not certain whether you were responsible for injuring anybody, were these directives to attack given from Zuma or did you confer or concur with him before you went out on these attacks?

ADV DE JAGER: Sorry, I don't want to interrupt but this may now lead to problems, because at the beginning it was stated here and it was conceded by all parties present that he wouldn't be implicated and I think you confirmed it too. If the answer to your question may be yes, then we'll have to recall Mr Falconer, because then in fact he must be present.

MS JELALL: We would leave that question out then and I'll proceed.

ADV DE JAGER: No, I don't want you to understand me but - I just want to show you the implications, but if you think you should ask the question, you should continue, I'm not restricting you from asking it.

MS JELALL: Sir, I have read a document which I don't think the Evidence Leader has given to us, which has a statement from Zuma saying that he had nothing to do with this at all. That document has been shown to me by the investigator in this matter. Unfortunately it is not contained in the bundle and that is why I posed the question. I don't know if the Evidence Leader knows of it, whether he would give copies thereof, which would actually bring finality to that question.

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't it possible to achieve the result I think you are aiming at, by merely asking, were the other attacks you have referred to, done on behalf of and with the approval of the IFP?

MR NGCOBO: We didn't report or notify Mr Zuma about our intention to go and attack because we thought that he wasn't going to allow us, therefore that's why we simply went and attacked.

ADV SIBANYONI: Excuse me. Then if Mr Zuma would not allow you, that means the IFP wouldn't allow you to go on with the attacks, what do you say?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

ADV SIBANYONI: Which will further mean what you did you did for your own benefit and not for the benefit of the IFP, because the IFP was against that, would be against

that. What is your comment?

MR NGCOBO: I will say it is correct because we didn't report this to Mr Zuma.

ADV DE JAGER: Ms Loonat I really think you should consult with your client. I don't know whether he understands the procedure, but if this is correct, perhaps it's time that you have a discussion with him and see what's the position.

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I don't want to speak for him but I can say that he doesn't quite understand the question. May I stand down for 5 minutes to share the implication ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: The trouble is, I don't know whether the people understands the position. We have often heard that the IFP didn't approve of anything and that would, if that's the position, if that's the official position, everybody who acted in this war were acting on their own, not on behalf of a party, not on behalf of any known political party and that would seriously affect the application of members here of the IFP.

CHAIRPERSON: There is also the problem that arises in respect of, where acts are committed for reasons of personal, where there's a personal vendetta, personal malice. Out of personal malice, ill will or spite, Section 23 (ii). Perhaps you'd like to discuss that with your client. We'll take an adjournment. You can let us know as soon as you're ready.

MS LOONAT: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

SIBOSISO ERIC NGCOBO: (s.u.o.)

MS LOONAT ADDRESSES: My submissions are, on behalf of my client, is that he still stands by the fact that this attack was undertaken on his own. As far as the relation with Mr Zuma, who is the IFP leader, where he is situated, all attacks from about 1987 I think it is, they were never ever reported to Mr Zuma, not always did they get instructions from Mr Zuma, he seems to be a figurehead there.

ADV DE JAGER: Can he get amnesty then?

MS LOONAT: Sorry, Mr Chair?

ADV DE JAGER: On what basis could we give him amnesty if it wasn't with the approval of his party, or on behalf of his party, or on the order of his party?

MS LOONAT: He says it was always, there was never any personal agenda. It was always IFP related. ANC attacks on IFP related properties, people wherever and they sat, the motive was always a political one, there was never a personal agenda and although he did not take direct instructions from Mr Zuma, it has always been a silent mandate that they would do these things, Mr Zuma would hear of it but no comments would be made of it, so it seems that whenever attacks were made in this area, it was by this group of which sometimes he was the leader and sometimes the others were, but Mr Zuma was not always informed nor did he comment or make approval, or give his approval or disapproval, but it continued for a long time and it was for the purpose of creating peace between the, of creating peace and harmony in his own community from attacks from the ANC.

ADV DE JAGER: We've made you aware of our problem and you'll have to address us on that please, because it's creating a difficulty. We've got the Act and if we can't sort of get it within the framework of the Act, we've got problems and you'll have to show to us that it falls within the framework of the Act.

CHAIRPERSON: Further questions?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS JELALL: Just one, in order to assist the Committee. Sir, you've indicated to the Committee that you know the victims by sight. The victims being Ndundu Absolom Sebokulu, Michael Gadebe, Domisane Welcome Mahlatini and Mr Bongane Wellington Mojose. Do you really just know them by sight or did you know them personally?

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not on.

MR NGCOBO: Before there was a demarcation in the area that the others were IFP and the others were ANC, I've known them and later after there were conflicts and fights between the IFP and the ANC, then we were no longer in good terms and we never chat with each other.

MS JELALL: Is it not correct that Mr Michael Gadebe, a victim, his name was mentioned earlier, was accosted by yourself on the 18th of October 1991 at The Grange, which is in the Pietermaritzburg area, and you requested money from him at gunpoint. When he did not give you the money you asked him to remove his clothes, took his clothes away and he has no idea what would have happened to him, because a taxi arrived and the lights of the taxi is what actually diverted your attention and Mr Gadebe got away from you on the 18th October 1991 which was the Friday before the Sunday of this attack.

MR NGCOBO: No, I do not remember anything like that. The only thing that I remember is that, is the incident. If he is claiming that I had him on gunpoint, what made me not to shoot him?

MS JELALL: So, like I said to you there was a taxi in the area. On page 26 of the bundle, which is actually the Judgment, Mr Gadebe's evidence is there and Mr Gadebe is before the Committee to give evidence to the same effect. Page 26 of the bundle, read it, it actually starts on page 25. This is the evidence of Mr Gadebe, where he goes on in examination to say

"He described it as the Friday before the Sunday on which the shooting took place. He said that on the Friday he had been on his way to a place Grange at about 9 in the evening when the accused"

...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Remember it's got to be interpreted.

MS JELALL: "... when the accused and a companion had accosted him and first asked him for money, but upon being told that the witness did not have any money, the witness, we must bear in mind is Mr Gadebe, they had ordered him to take off his clothes he was wearing, which he refused. A scuffle ensued and just as the accused and his companion were about to attack Mr Gadebe, the companion being armed with a stone, the kombi had arrived in the vicinity with it's hazard lights flashing and Mr Gadebe had seized the opportunity to break free and run away."

I put it to you, Sir, that you did commit that act. What would you say to that?

MR NGCOBO: No, I don't know anything like that. He is saying a motor car approached. If there was enough time for us to ask for money and ask him to take off his clothes, I think that was enough for us to attack him and if it wasn't at night, why was I going to be scared of light?

ADV DE JAGER: Was it at night or was it in the day time when this happened? Well you said if it wasn't at night why would you be scared, but if you weren't there, what's the relevance of that?

MR NGCOBO: He mentioned that I wanted clothes from him and it was on Sunday, it wasn't at night.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you try to get clothes from him on a Sunday, in the daytime, is that what you're saying?

MR NGCOBO: No.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't understand your answer then. He said here that it was at 9 o'clock in the evening on the Friday. You say it wasn't at night and it was in the daytime and it was on Sunday.

MR NGCOBO: What I'm trying to say is that I don't know anything or any incident that occurred on Friday, the only incident that I know happened on Sunday and during the day, I don't know anything about Friday.

CHAIRPERSON: The report of the Judgment doesn't make mention of anyone being at gunpoint, there's no mention of a gun there, is there?

MS JELALL: No, Mr Chairperson, my instructions were - Okay, so we go on. We go on to Mr Mahlatini. Do you know him personally?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I do.

MS JELALL: Is it correct that you were living with the Mahlatini family?

MR NGCOBO: What do you mean?

MS JELALL: Living there, as in sharing a room in their house, as being a tenant in their house?

MR NGCOBO: I will say my parents house it's in their stand.

MS JELALL: Did you know if Mr Mahlatini was politically motivated, was he a member of any political party?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: Sir, I put it to you that Mr Mahlatini is going to give evidence to say that he is not a member of any political party and you are aware of that because of your relationship with him.

MR NGCOBO: As I've already mentioned, that before the conflicts and before there were fights between IFP and ANC, we will chat with these people, we will sit together, but at the time when the incident occurred, it was no longer the same, therefore we were no longer talking to each other.

MS JELALL: So your description of what happened on that particular day, the 20th October, is that you walked towards the store, you saw one person walking into the store and you thought the person was going to come out with some type of weapon, so therefore you shot at this person. That is correct, isn't it?

MR NGCOBO: Would you please repeat your last part of your question?

CHAIRPERSON: Are you putting this as the version he's put to us.

MS JELALL: Mr Chairperson, he said that he went into the store, deep into the store.

ADV DE JAGER: But he didn't mention anything of he thought that the person was going to fetch a weapon or something.

MS JELALL: He said he saw somebody walking in.

ADV DE JAGER: Why did you shoot that person who walked into the store? What was the reason?

MR NGCOBO: What I said was, when I arrived at the shop I saw the deceased sitting down and someone was standing and the other one was next to him. Before I could draw out my gun I saw someone getting inside the shop and I went inside the shop and there were kids inside the shop and females as well. He didn't stay that long inside the shop. He came back and he stood right where he was and I took out the gun and as I wanted to shoot at this guy, the deceased grabbed me, that's when I shot at the deceased and I shot at these other two guys. That's when they started running away.

MS JELALL: It is your own evidence that whatever you did was not for the furtherance of the IFP, that was the answer to a question put to you by Mr J B Sibanyoni, is that not correct?

MR NGCOBO: What I can say is that everything that happened, it was because those people were the ANC and they were attacking IFP. I cannot say I was just doing these things for myself because it was, they were attacking IFP because they were ANC, therefore I was attacking them, because they were attacking us.

MS JELALL: Was there not, was the area not at a stable stage in 1991? Had the violence not calmed down a little bit, the political violence?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I will say it had subsided.

MS JELALL: Okay, we've come to the stage now where we've ascertained that it had subsided. When was the last, can you recall when was the last time the ANC had actually attacked the IFP in that area?

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't be able to remember that, but what I can say is that we would hear that someone had been killed, not in the attacks as such, you wouldn't find a group of IFP attackers or a group of ANC attackers, but you will hear that someone had been shot dead.

MS JELALL: Is it possible that these people could have been shot dead for any reason, not because of the political parties that they belonged to specifically?

MR NGCOBO: You will hear afterwards that a certain political organisation had shot someone who belonged to another political organisation, like when you're driving past a certain street or you're walking in a certain street, you will hear that someone had been shot dead.

MS JELALL: So again we come to the question of this police tracksuit. If you were a member of the IFP and you know that you're attacking the ANC, I put it to you that there won't be a reason to disguise yourself as a member unless your motives were for your own cause and you were trying to actually commit some criminal activity for your own personal gains.

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't do anything simply because I have a criminal intention. I didn't want to take off that tracksuit because I wanted to mislead them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngcobo, you have told us, as I understand your version that you went drinking in the shebeen where you met a couple of your friends and various other people came in. Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You drank in the shebeen till it ran out of liquor. Correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You then went outside and you started talking about going and attacking the ANC.

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: That was the first time that had been discussed, according to your evidence, when you were outside the shebeen.

MR NGCOBO: On that day, yes, it was the first time.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, why had you disguised yourself in a tracksuit so people could not recognise you, when nothing had been discussed for that day when you got dressed and left home? It's not true, is it? That's not why you put the tracksuit on, is it Mr Ngcobo? I see you're licking your lips, are you having problems?

MR NGCOBO: I did explain that I had been wearing that tracksuit and then and there I knew that it wasn't going to be a problem for me to go and commit these crimes because I was wearing the tracksuit.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that your explanation now?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS JELALL: Sir, what standard did you leave school?

MR NGCOBO: 3.

MS JELALL: Were you employed for the period prior to your arrest?

MR NGCOBO: No.

MS JELALL: Who supported you?

MR NGCOBO: I was staying at home.

MS JELALL: Is there any way that you tried to procure an income?

MR NGCOBO: I was being supported by my mother and my brothers.

MS JELALL: Okay, but by 1991 your brothers were deceased. Were there any surviving brothers?

MR NGCOBO: Two of them are still alive.

MS JELALL: So I put it to you that these, this attack that you carried out, was not done in the interest of the IFP but was done for your personal gain and for your own personal sense of wanting revenge, it had nothing to do with politics whatsoever. What would you say to that?

MR NGCOBO: As I've already mentioned that what I did, I did under what circumstances, if those circumstances were not like that, I wouldn't have done that.

MS JELALL: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS JELALL

CHAIRPERSON: Any questions, Mr Mapoma?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MAPOMA: Mr Ngcobo, I just want your comment on some few aspects here. For your information, the TRC investigator went to consult with Mr Zuma and Mr Zuma, as you have already pointed out, said he never instructed you to go and attack there. And I take it that you confirmed that?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MR MAPOMA: And he went on to call your mother who verified this and Mr Zuma went on to say that you were never instructed to attack there and at that time when you attacked there, the political violence had subsided, the situation was relatively peaceful at that time. What is your comment to that?

MR NGCOBO: I wouldn't say anything.

MR MAPOMA: He went on to say that those who wanted to attack in the incident, which is the question today, were not even IFP political activists, that is yourself included. What do you say to that?

MR NGCOBO: I'm hearing this for the first time.

MR MAPOMA: Do you dispute what Mr Zuma says, that you were not even active within the IFP politics?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I do dispute that.

MR MAPOMA: Yes. Now, is it your evidence that you only took the decision to go and attack at the time when you ran out of liquor?

MR NGCOBO: It was before we ran out of alcohol, but this thing had been torturing me, or it had been on my mind a long time as I've explained that I was drinking but I wasn't that much drunk.

MR MAPOMA: Where were you drinking?

MR NGCOBO: At Slenger.

MR MAPOMA: Where actually in Slenger? Was it a shebeen or a place of residence, where you drank?

MR NGCOBO: It is a shebeen.

MR MAPOMA: Where was this shebeen? Was it in a hostel or in other houses?

MR NGCOBO: Among the houses.

MR MAPOMA: So, if someone says you were drinking in the hostel actually, is that incorrect?

MR NGCOBO: Incorrect.

MR MAPOMA: Lindau Mkhize’s version is that you were not drinking in the shebeen, but at the hostel actually. Lindau Mkhize, Chairperson.

MR NGCOBO: What I can say is that Lindau came and he found us at the shebeen. He was from Kwampumusa and he wasn't drunk. He got drunk there where we were drinking, but he found me in the shebeen, the very shebeen I'm referring to, not in the hostel.

MR MAPOMA: Who's shebeen was that?

MR NGCOBO: Frans's shebeen, I don't know his last name.

MR MAPOMA: When you were discussing about attacking at the place where you went to attack, was Lindau Mkhize present in those discussions?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, he was.

MR MAPOMA: I will give you what Lindau Mkhize’s version is and I would like a comment on this. He says that you drank at the hostel and thereafter you left with a view to drink at Slenger in a shebeen and that on your way you did not go to Slenger, you decided to go and drink at a place which was the ANC stronghold and that is where he disagreed with you and then he went back and at all, at no stage was the question of attacking discussed. That is his version. What is your comment?

MR NGCOBO: What I can say is that that's a mistake. It's not true because if I remember very well on that day I didn't go to the hostel at all.

MR MAPOMA: Do you confirm that he was not party to the actual attack, Lindau Mkhize?

MR NGCOBO: He knew about it, that we were going to attack, because I did explain here that he was one of the people we left the shebeen with, but then he was too drunk. We told them that those who were too drunk should be left behind, that's when we left them. This is what I know.

MR MAPOMA: Mr Ngcobo, I understand that as you have said, it troubled you that your brothers were killed and I take it that had your brothers not have been killed, allegedly by the ANC, you would not have made this decision to go and attack on that day, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: This is another thing that tormented me and that's why I came to that decision.

MR MAPOMA: Yes, I'm saying had it not been for the fact that your brothers were killed, you would not have gone to attack those people, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MR MAPOMA: Thank you, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MAPOMA

CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Mr Ngcobo, is it correct for us to understand that when you attacked ANC members and yes, I'm talking about attacks over the past few years, the pattern that was established was one of not reporting or even relating to your IFP leader, Mr Zuma, before or after the attack, is that how you practised in your area when it came to the political faction fighting? Is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: That's correct.

MS LOONAT: Who, on different occasions, was the leader or gave instructions to go and attack an ANC stronghold?

MR NGCOBO: Usually there was no person who will say "we must do this", we will take the decision as a group.

MS LOONAT: What then was Mr Zuma's position as the IFP leader in relation to you all in that area?

MR NGCOBO: Are you referring to reports, whether we were reporting to him as to what we had done or what?

MS LOONAT: Anything relating to your attacks on the ANC, what was Mr Zuma's position?

CHAIRPERSON: Hasn't he told us that? That Mr Zuma was opposed to it and would have forbidden any attacks? He gave that evidence earlier, didn't he?

MS LOONAT: I stand to be corrected, but I think Mr Chairman, that generally Mr Zuma didn't take, yes he didn't take an active part in it so, but he was aware, but he was just a figurehead they called a leader, but didn't do anything either way.

ADV DE JAGER: If you went to Mr Zuma and told him "Listen, my brothers have been killed, I want to retaliate, I want to revenge, I want to attack the ANC people because I think they were responsible", what would he have said to you, or what do you believe he would have said to you?

MR NGCOBO: I think he wasn't going to approve that.

MS LOONAT: Did Mr Zuma approve any of your attacks?

MR NGCOBO: He never approved any of the attacks. He never told us to go and attack but we used to attack and sometimes we used to counter attack, but he wouldn't issue any orders or instructions, but these things were happening.

MS LOONAT: You did tell my learned colleague that the standard of your education was up to standard 3. You had no employment. Did you try to get employment is what she was asking?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I did try, but I never got one.

MS LOONAT: That's because of the political, the economic climate at that time, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: I don't know, maybe it is so. I did look for a job, but I never got one.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ngcobo, you go on to say that the political violence, you agreed with my learned colleague, had subsided somewhat at the time when this attack took place, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: However, you go on to say that there were intermittent attacks and that you acted as you were used to in the past, which means retaliate, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: On the evidence of Mr Lindau Mkhize, you say that he was too drunk to participate on that day, can one assume that he was so drunk that he really, his evidence generally is one that he can't remember very much and so he denies a lot of the association that you were implicated him, would that be correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes, it may be so because when we left the shebeen to go to the area where we were going to attack, he was too drunk.

CHAIRPERSON: Before we leave that, perhaps we can go back a little. Mr Ngcobo, Mr Mapoma put to you what he said was Lindau's version. Do you remember that Lindau gave evidence at your trial?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Where he said that he had met you at the shebeen and he'd been drinking with you at the shebeen?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And that it was only when the shebeen ran out of drink that you decided to go to a nearby hostel to continue drinking.

MR NGCOBO: You mean go to the hostel?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, remember he said that, but that on the way you and Themba deviated and went to the ANC area and said you were going to attack some people. Do you remember him saying that when he gave evidence?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he tried to persuade you not to, telling you that it was a time of peace, but you ignored his comments, so you separated.

MR NGCOBO: Yes, I do.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you. Carry on.

MS LOONAT: On the issue of wearing police clothing. You in your mind and you have an education of standard 3, you in your mind were convinced that the policemen in your area were ANC party affiliated, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: I am not certain whether they're affiliated with the ANC, but what I know is that they came at home and they killed my brother. That time I did believe that they were aligned with the ANC and we never got to know exactly why he was killed.

ADV SIBANYONI: Is that the reason why you wore the police tracksuit?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

ADV DE JAGER: Where did you get this tracksuit from?

MR NGCOBO: It belonged to someone from Slenger.

MS LOONAT: So essentially this police apparel enabled you to slip into the ANC side of your area without being detected too early, is that correct?

MR NGCOBO: Yes.

MS LOONAT: I have no more question Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOONAT

MR MAPOMA: No questions Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MAPOMA

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any further witnesses you wish to call?

MS LOONAT: No, no Chairperson, thank you.

MS JELALL: No further witnesses. I will not be calling any witnesses, Chairperson.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR MAPOMA: I'm not calling a witness, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you ready to argue now or would you prefer to take the adjournment and to then deliver your argument? I take it you won't be very long?

MS JELALL: No, Mr Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: No, Mr Chairperson, I won't be very long.

CHAIRPERSON: Well shall we perhaps do it now? Are you ready? Carry on.

MS LOONAT IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson, Honourable Members of the Committee, my learned colleague, I wish briefly to bring, on recapping, I wish briefly to bring to the attention of the Committee Members that at the time my client committed this horrendous and callous murder of Mr Majose, he was only 19 years old. His background was evaluated by a social worker who confirmed and it is in the bundle that inter alia he had been deprived of the good influence which a closely knit family should afford him. His single parent mother was the sole supporter of my client and his three brothers, whom as we have heard, were murdered, according to his evidence, by people who were in his mind, he firmly believed were supportive of the ANC party. Mr Majose's political affiliation is confirmed by his wife in an affidavit on page 13 of the bundle. She goes on to confirm further in the 5th line from the bottom that political violence did exist at the time in Slengerspruit.

Unfortunately, sadly, it appeared that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time and it would appear that he was not singled out by my client other than that he belonged to the wrong party and that is how he, that is how my client lost his three brothers. They too, it seems, were at the wrong place at the wrong time and it was all to do with the political intolerance that existed at that time.

My client's youth was made more difficult when he chose to leave school in standard 3. Politics became a focal point in his life from the time he left school at the tender age of 14. His peers knew little about politics and their influence in this regard proved detrimental to my client's future. The IFP was the party my client was affiliated with. He has, throughout the hearings, shown instances where he has done acts relating to party politics unlike, in spite of what Mr Zuma has stated. The ANC party was the enemy, as we have established, in my client's mind.

What could he feel at that tender age, if not hatred for the ANC who, in his mind, he firmly believed was responsible for the death of his three brothers.

Donning police apparel, he could not control his overwhelming urge finally that day to revenge the death of his brothers. He dared to take his life in his own hands and he risked and he entered what was well-known to be the ANC side of the are he lived in and he reeked havoc on people he believed to be ANC affiliated. So desperate was he in his purpose to avenge the political onslaught on his family finally that he's applying for amnesty today having conformed with what the Act requires, full disclosure.

Themba Dhlala's firearm was what was used for the shooting. My client subsequently admits that the firearm belonged to him and he emptied the magazine of all 16 of its bullets. Obviously he had to be so enraged by the senseless deaths that he behaved as irrationally as he did. It was not personal revenge.

Client has expressed his deep remorse and apologises profusely to the victims' families. He has spent 7 years in prison and wishes in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, to tell all as far as he could remember and to reach our and discuss each other's political views instead of being intolerant of them. He is now a mature man. He wishes to live in peace and harmony with his neighbours whatever their political beliefs. He wishes to take this opportunity to apologise to his single parent mother who lost him to a prison sentence when she needed him most to fill the void left by the death of three other children.

I humbly submit that the members of the Honourable Committee bear in mind the above personal circumstances of my client and afford him the opportunity to become a useful member of society and grant him the amnesty he seeks. Thank you, Chairperson.

MS JELALL IN ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson, Members of the Committee, the applicant himself confirmed that the political violence in this area had subsided at the time when this attack

took place. He further confirmed that his acts were not to the benefit and furtherance of the IFP and that he spoke about the deaths of his brothers and the revenge that he felt, which is also stated in his application, he said revenge for his brothers and for the burning of his house.

ADV DE JAGER: That revenge, would you say it's a personal revenge or is it associated with politics?

MS JELALL: No, it is not associated with politics whatsoever. In my further submissions you will see that it's stated by the applicant's behaviour in itself, the fact that he'd finished school in standard 3, did not get employment, then he goes ahead and he attacks Mr Gadebe on the Friday preceding this attack, it was ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: I've got problems with this. Wasn't the whole war in KwaZulu Natal and we can't get away from it that we had a war between two factions. I don't know who did the first killing, but wasn't it a revenge and retaliation since then by one group to the other and we don't know whether they're revenging or whether they're attacking. Altogether it may be that they're revenging yesterday's killing and tomorrow the other side would come back and say well you yesterday attacked us, so we're revenging, well we're attacking. Could he distinguish at that stage whether it was a revenge or whether it was an attack?

MS JELALL: Cognisance has to be taken of the fact that as by the applicant's submission itself, he could not remember when was the attack prior, when the ANC attacked the IFP prior to the 20th October 1991, so therefore it could ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: But even today we've got attacks, political attacks carried on on a small scale but we know round about the election in 1994 there was almost a war going on.

MS JELALL: But we also have to keep in mind that in areas like this, they do not leave a large period of time to go before they counter attack. It's that idea, simultaneously or a short while later. So taking into consideration those sets of facts and the fact that he cannot remember, if the applicant on the other hand had said to us, okay an attack was made on the IFP section by the ANC two weeks prior, three weeks prior, and then the IFP attacked, yes, then we could say he remembers it, there is grounds for him actually saying that it was political. Over and above that, if you look at the circumstances of the disguise especially, the question of the police tracksuit comes into question. How would a person come into possession like that? His answer was he got it from somebody from Slenger, but nobody can just come into possession of something like, of some item of clothing like that. Over and above that with Mr Gadebe's version of what happened to him on the night of the 18th, it proves a criminal mind, not a politically motivated, but a criminal mind.

Also further to that, in terms of the Act, Section 20 sub-section 2(b), it is stated in essence that the person applying for amnesty ought to act bona fide for the furtherance of the political party to which he has affiliated himself, but it is the applicant's own submission that there was no, he did not intend to further the cause of the IFP in any way.

It is therefore submitted that in terms of Section 23 sub-section 1 and 2, that this attack was carried out by the applicant for personal circumstances and for his own gain, for revenge, but definitely not for political reasons and it is therefore, it is for these reasons that the victims oppose the application for amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you help me with this approach to the matter, that we know there was no prior planning of an attack, there was no political purpose at all, we know that a group of young men went to a shebeen and consumed a considerable amount of liquor. The applicant was under the influence of liquor he says, though not very drunk, but they came out of the shebeen and they then decided they were going to attack, but they were at that stage, the majority was in such a state of drunkenness that they were told to go, that only two of the group felt they were sufficiently sober. Could that ever, and something committed in those circumstances, be classified as an act of a political objective? Wasn't this just drunken behaviour by young men?

MS JELALL: Mr Chairperson, I do agree, that is how this act could have been carried out as well. The entire basis is that if it was politically motivated, a state of drunkenness could induce people to act together still and they would have gone together despite their state of drunkenness because even the applicant had also consumed alcohol. Mr Chairperson, it is submitted that that could actually also be the reason, it was just a state of drunkenness.

MR MAPOMA IN ARGUMENT: Just a few Chairperson.

Mr Chairman, it would appear that this application falls under Section 20 sub-section 2 (a) of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act because the applicant was a member or supporter of a political organisation. Now what the Committee is invited to determine is whether this act was an act committed bona fide in the interests, in furtherance of the interest of the Inkatha Freedom Party and my submission, Chair, is that no, because in the circumstances the Inkatha Freedom Party through the person of Shabande Zuma, has distanced itself from this particular action. The applicant himself, in his own words, has confirmed that this act had nothing to do with the IFP, did not further the interests of the IFP. He went on to say that had the IFP leader Mr Zuma knew of this, he would have discouraged them to go on with it. It is my submission therefore, Sir, that in the circumstances, this is an act which cannot be described as an act which was committed bona fide in the furtherance of the interests of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

I want to go on, Chairperson, to refer further to the criteria that are set out in Section 20 sub-section 3 of the Act in determining whether really an act is an act associated with a political objective as defined by this Act. I would invite Chairperson, the Committee to look at the motive for the attack. It is clear, Chair, at this stage and in fact the applicant himself has clarified it, that what bothered him much was to revenge the killing of his brothers and in fact he has confirmed that had his brothers not have been killed, he would not have continued with that act. This, I submit Sir, is a blatant revenge which can not be said to have been intended by the Legislature to fall under the ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: But suppose a political party, let's assume that for a moment killed my brother, I want to get back at that political part, so I'm killing members of that party.

Would that be only personal revenge or would it be associated with a political motive?

CHAIRPERSON: Well it's got to be for the benefit of your party.

ADV DE JAGER: ...(microphone not on) opposition members.

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, not in a situation where the act is not in furtherance of the interests of the political party of yours and further one may need to take into account the political context of course within which this happened. It is common cause that there was a clash between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC in that area but it is important as well to take into account that that political violence has subsided, the applicant himself has confirmed that. Now once you proceed to foment that violence in a situation where there is peace, because your brother ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: It subsided, it didn't stop.

MR MAPOMA: Exactly Chairperson, it subsided, it has not stopped, but it means once in the situation where there's quietness, you proceed. It clearly shows that yours now is nothing else but to revenge, it's no longer politics now.

ADV DE JAGER: I've got problems with that because then somewhere there should be a cut-off point. Nobody committing an act after that date could get amnesty because it's now subsided and if you then kill somebody, you can't get amnesty.

MR MAPOMA: No, it must be looked at against the other aspects of the argument that has been advanced already. It's not just a point in isolation from other aspects, Chair, which have been put forward. It's important that this act has clearly not been an act which has been performed now in furtherance of a political party. The political party itself has distanced itself from it and the applicant himself ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: I don't understand, I think that's the main point that the IFP said well "we're not taking responsibility, we didn't order, we don't condone" and he himself said the IFP wouldn't have approved it if they'd approached them.

MR MAPOMA: That may be the position, Chair, I don't intend taking the matter any further except to mention as well that cognisance will have to be taken as well to the gravity of the offence, because this is an act which was committed in a shebeen where people were drinking peacefully. 16 bullets were emptied at people drinking in a shebeen. Now can it be said, for that matter, that you want to revenge against that political party? There are beer drinkers there. Not even a night vigil conducted by the ANC, not even a political rally conducted by the ANC, but mere beer drinkers. That, to a certain extent, puts the question of proportionality in issue again, but I don't intend taking it further Sir, but this is another point which must be taken into account. Thank you, Sir.

MS LOONAT IN REPLY: Just one quick point, Mr Chairperson, on the issue of Section 23. The motive of the person is 3(a). The motive, I just want to, perhaps I'm repeating myself, was, it just so happened to be that it was his three brothers that were murdered by the ANC but had it not been ANC people whom in his mind he was convinced were responsible for their deaths in the circumstances, I don't think that this would have occurred, if I make myself clear.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the problem that I have, that his motive was that his brothers had been killed, not because he thought it would achieve the political aims of the party he supported. Thank you.

 
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