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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARINGS

Starting Date 12 October 1999

Location PIETERMARITZBURG

Day 2

Names BRIAN MZUKONA LUTHULI, MURDER OF ELIAS SHIKO DLEDZI

Case Number 6399/97

Matter WITHDRAWAL OF APPLICATION FOR

CHAIRPERSON: We are now on Tuesday the 12th of October and we are hearing the case of Mr Brian Mzukona Luthuli, Case Number 6399/97. Would the parties who have not already put themselves on record, please do so?

MS LOONAT: Good morning Mr Chairperson, Members of the Committee, Iím Zurina Loonat and I'm representing Brian Mzukona Luthuli this morning. Thank you.

MS JELAL: I'm Sherine Jelal. I represent the families of the victims.

MS MTANGA: I'm Lulama Mtanga, the Evidence Leader.

CHAIRPERSON: Right. Shall we start?

MS LOONAT: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson today my client instructs me that he's not actually seeking political amnesty. However, what he does want to do, is to place on record the events leading up to the murder of Elias Shiko Dledzi. He wants to make full disclosure and he wants to offer his sympathies to the victim's family and that he's open for any questions that they may want to put to him. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Do I understand from that that he is withdrawing his application for amnesty? Very well, the application is withdrawn and the application is accordingly removed from the roll of those applying for amnesty. It is not a matter where it can be set down again at some subsequent time. It has been withdrawn. There's no longer an application before the Committee.

MS LOONAT: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, thank you. We are, I think - Mr Luthuli do you confirm that you withdraw your application?

MR LUTHULI: Yes, according to my application I applied for.

CHAIRPERSON: You withdraw?

MR LUTHULI: I withdraw, but I will ask to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm going to deal with that now. The application having been withdrawn, it seems to us it's only proper to allow the erstwhile applicant the opportunity to explain his conduct to the family of the victims and to make any apologies he wishes to make. Carry on.

MR LAX: You can speak in Zulu as well Mr Luthuli. There is translation available.

BRIAN MZUKONA LUTHULI - WITHDRAWAL

MR LUTHULI: Okay. Thanks.

First of all I would like to apologise to the Committee for the reason that I've applied and I said I was motivated because of political reasons and this is not true. The truth is that this case had nothing to do with politics. My objection was to appear before the Committee and tell the truth as to what happened and also to express my feelings about what happened. I knew that if I had stated in my application that this was politically motivated, it was going to be easy for me to appear here and relate as to what happened. That is why I came before this Committee.

The truth is what I told the Court, that we killed the deceased. I wasn't alone. Now I am here because I wanted to appear before the family of the victim and apologise about what happened. I've been in prison for a long time and this thing has been with me and my conscience is not clear. I think it is only fair for me to appear here and apologise to the family, because I need them to forgive me.

It wasn't my aim and the deceased was not my enemy. That is all I wanted to tell the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that all you wish to say? You don't want to say anything more to the family?

MR LUTHULI: Yes, that is all. I just wanted to apologise to the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there anything you wish to say?

MS JELAL: Yes, Mr Chairperson, there is one question that the family wishes for me to put to you, Sir. Sir, your co-accused in this matter was Cyril Dekotula Ndleko. The family wants to know if you know why he was not charged with this matter or convicted.

MR LUTHULI: I did ask the question in court, but the Court said he was not guilty because he was turned into a state witness.

MS JELAL: No further questions, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We unfortunately have not got before us in the bundle, which has been supplied to us, the statement that the applicant put before the Court, but it does appear on page 72 of the bundle put before us, that at his trial he put up a complete explanation which was accepted by the Court, is that so? You made a statement admitting all the facts about the case?

MR LUTHULI: The statement I made at the Court, that's a real one, it is true.

CHAIRPERSON: And that was not disputed by anybody?

MR LUTHULI: No.

MR LAX: The additional statement you made at page 64 of the papers, that is the one where you spoke about the money and so on, is that also the truth? That you made in prison.

MR LUTHULI: That's a true statement.

MR LAX: I hope that will help you as well.

MS JELAL: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, does nobody have anything further to say? I would like to express my personal gratitude to the applicant that he has not sought to come here and waste our time, that he has chosen to be honest as he did in his earlier statement, as he did at his trial and I think this shows a far more contrition than many of the other cases we hear where the applicants come and tell us all sorts of fancy stories and we would - I would like to place on record, I think I'm speaking for all the members of the Committee when I say that we would like to place on record our appreciation for the way in which you have behaved here this morning. Thank you.

MR LUTHULI: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, the next matter is not ready for hearing yet, I gather.

MS MTANGA: That is so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So we will take a short adjournment and you'll let us know when it is ready.

MS LOONAT: I beg your pardon. My client is just asking me something quickly. May I just stand down for a minute? Thank you. Mr Chairperson, my client is just anxious to know the response from the victim's family for his apologies, if there are any forthcoming.

CHAIRPERSON: Arrangements will be made. If he contacts their representative, for him to meet them now.

MR LAX: Perhaps in private.

CHAIRPERSON: Are they here?

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

 
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