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Amnesty Hearings


Starting Date 14 October 1999


Day 4


Case Number AM5009/97


INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I will start again. We come to the application of Ntotogo Chunene, number AM5009/97. Could the representatives please put themselves on record, the Committee remains the same.

MS LOONAT: Good morning Mr Chairman and Members of the Committee, my name is Zurina Loonat and I am representing the applicant Mr Ntotogo Chunene this morning, thank you.

MS STRETCH: Mr Chairperson, my name is Igno Stretch and I appear for the family of the deceased, Mr Godfrey Heuer.

MS MTANGA: I am Lulama Mtanga, the Evidence Leader, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you commencing by calling the applicant?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAX: Mr Chunene, will you please rise? If you can please just press the red button in front of you. What are your full names for the record please?

MR CHUNENE: Ntotogo Eric Chunene.

NTOTOGO ERIC CHUNENE: (sworn states)

MR LAX: Sworn in Chairperson. You may be seated.

EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Mr Chunene, how old are you at the moment?

MR CHUNENE: 29 years old.

MS LOONAT: What is your fixed address?

MR CHUNENE: I don't have a physical address, but my home is in Vryheid.

MS LOONAT: Whom did you live with in Vryheid prior to committing these offences?

MR CHUNENE: With my mother.

MS LOONAT: Who else, your father?

MR CHUNENE: My father passed away in 1986 and I was left with my mother and my sister.

MS LOONAT: What is the level of your education at school?

MR CHUNENE: Standard 7.

MS LOONAT: Are you a member of any political party?

MR CHUNENE: I was a supporter of the ANC.

MS LOONAT: Did you register yourself as a member of the ANC at any time?

MR CHUNENE: I was just a supporter.

MS LOONAT: Why did you not register yourself as a member?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't because in my area we were the only ANC people.

MS LOONAT: So you didn't feel it was necessary to get a membership card, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: When did you take an active part in the politics as a supporter of the ANC?

MR CHUNENE: I think it was in 1990, I am not sure.

MS LOONAT: Was this after you left school in standard 7?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you leave school?

MR CHUNENE: In 1989, I left school twice. After my father passed away in 1985, I didn't return back and I only returned back to school two years later.

MS LOONAT: When you left school in 1985, standard 5, what did you do?

MR CHUNENE: I was working in a mine called Ntsilenzi.

MS LOONAT: Why did you stop working?

MR CHUNENE: Ntsilenzi Coal Mine.

MS LOONAT: Why did you leave your employment to go back to school?

MR CHUNENE: After my father passed away, there was no one to look after us, because my mother is disabled, she is blind.

MS LOONAT: As a supporter of the ANC party, what part did you physically play, did you have any status or role?

MR CHUNENE: No, I didn't have any particular position.

MS LOONAT: Do you own a firearm?


MS LOONAT: Did you at no stage prior to your conviction, obtain a firearm for yourself?


MS LOONAT: What type was it and how did you come about obtaining it?

MR CHUNENE: It was a 3.8 revolver, I bought it in East Rand, Thokoza hostel.

MS LOONAT: Why did you buy this firearm?

MR CHUNENE: There was violence in our area, Inkatha members or supporters used to come and attack us. They wanted to take over the area where we were staying. I was forced to have a firearm. At the time, usually we were making use of home-made firearms, therefore I decided that I should obtain a real firearm so that I protect my family and myself.

MS LOONAT: Did you buy this firearm or was it given to you?

MR CHUNENE: I bought it.

MS LOONAT: The ammunition for the firearm, did you buy that as well?

MR CHUNENE: I also bought them from there, the very same place where I bought the gun.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on, you said there were violence in the area. What sort of violence was this?

MR CHUNENE: The IFP wanted to take over the area, they wanted everyone to be an IFP supporter or member, therefore they used to come and attack us.


MR CHUNENE: The community in that area.

CHAIRPERSON: But I thought you told us a few minutes ago that you were the only ANC people in the area?

MR CHUNENE: These are two different areas, but under one Chief. We were under Chief Molefe, other people didn't like Molefe because they refused to be under him since he was Sotho and we were Zulu.

MR LAX: What area was this exactly?

MR CHUNENE: In Vryheid, Mondlo.

MR LAX: Carry on.

MR CHUNENE: We were under one Chief, Molefe and most people didn't like him because they said as a Sotho he didn't deserve to be a Chief of the Zulu's.

MR LAX: Sorry, I didn't hear that.

CHAIRPERSON: He did not deserve to be a Chief of the Zulu's.

MR LAX: He did not deserve to be a Chief of the Zulu's?


MR LAX: Who said that?

MR CHUNENE: IFP supporters.

MR LAX: Where exactly did you reside?


MR LAX: How far is that from Vryheid?

MR CHUNENE: I think it is about five kilometres from Vryheid to Banya.

MR LAX: And what sort of area is it, is it a rural area, is it a township?

MR CHUNENE: Rural area.

MR LAX: Wasn't Chief Molefe based at Ncutu?

MR CHUNENE: His kraal is at Ncutu, we were neighbours, we were neighbours, so we were under him as well.

MR LAX: Yes, but five kilometres from Vryheid is a long way from Ncutu? A very long way to be precise?

MR CHUNENE: If I may ask, is this a question or are you telling me, I don't understand.

MR LAX: Well, do you agree with it or don't you?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do agree with you.

MR LAX: Please continue.

MS LOONAT: Exactly how far is Chief Molefe's kraal from where you lived, do you know?

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't be able to estimate the distance.

MS LOONAT: How often did Chief Molefe come to your area for rallies?

MR CHUNENE: Once or twice a month.

MS LOONAT: Did any other neighbouring Chiefs also come for the purpose of a rally to your area, from the neighbouring areas?

MR CHUNENE: Most of the Chiefs in that area were Inkatha members or supporters, therefore they didn't come to our area because our area was ANC. Chief Molefe was the one who used to come to our area.

MS LOONAT: What transpired at the rally that he attended the last time you attended one of his rallies, what was the nature of the rally?

MR CHUNENE: If I remember very well, I think his last rally was in January 1992, if I am not mistaken. A certain comrade by the name of Temba Qoqo passed away and he was a good friend of mine. When he arrived in that rally, he addressed the comrades, he told us that had we realised that Inkatha is now fighting us and they don't want us to be ANC members and he said he didn't have the power to protect all of us, but he is not instructing us to go and have arms. He said to us farmers have guns and whites in the white areas, they do have guns. If we can kill farmers and try and possess those firearms, we will be protected, because we will have those arms in our possession.

MS LOONAT: So in fact on page 4 and 5 of the Bundle, you are confirming what you have in those submissions, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: What did you do after the rally was over?

MR CHUNENE: After the rally, the rally was held in Dundee. When we came back from the rally, myself and Piet Nkosi who is now late, we discussed about the arms and he said to me since he didn't have the arm and I do have a firearm, it was necessary for him as well to obtain another gun. He said to me he wanted me and him to go to the farm and try and attack farmers so that he can obtain a firearm as well, using my firearm.

MS LOONAT: For what purpose did you need firearms?

MR CHUNENE: We needed firearms because we were in a struggle and we were in constant attacks with IFP, we wanted to protect ourselves.

MS LOONAT: Was this a decision that you made between yourselves or did somebody give you an instruction to go and procure firearms for the cause?

MR CHUNENE: This was a decision between myself and Piet Nkosi, because Chief Molefe didn't instruct anyone or order anyone to go and attack someone. We decided, the two of us.

MS LOONAT: Were your frustrations directed at the white farmers, the apartheid regime, or at the Inkatha Freedom Party?

MR CHUNENE: My aim was to try and attack anyone who had a firearm and Chief Molefe addressed the community in that rally that farmers had everything and we didn't have anything. As a kid who didn't have a father, I realised that we were struggling and they had everything which we didn't have, so I didn't actually mind to attack a farmer.

MS LOONAT: Did your family approve of your actions, that is to go and attack farmers to get firearms?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't tell anyone in my family. My mother is sickly and I know for certain that she wasn't going to allow me to do such a thing.

MS LOONAT: Why did you not just take your family and move away from the area where you had been under constant attacks instead of fighting back like you did?

MR CHUNENE: My mother believes in (indistinct) and myself as well. We were not prepared to leave that area, we liked that area.

MS LOONAT: On the 16th of August 1992, you attacked a Mr Potgieter's home, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Would you please repeat your question?

MS LOONAT: On the 16th of August 1992, you attacked Mr Potgieter's home, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: I would say that is correct, because I don't remember the date.

MS LOONAT: On page 35 of the Bundle, the date is confirmed on line 6. In whose company were you and what transpired that day?

MR CHUNENE: On the 16th as it is written down, even though I don't remember very well the date, I was with Piet Nkosi. This was the day when we attacked this white man.

MS LOONAT: Was this your first attack in your life?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, it was the first time.

MS LOONAT: You have no previous convictions prior to this date?


MS LOONAT: Did you remove any valuables, personal property of Mr Potgieter from his home that night?

MR CHUNENE: In my knowledge and my belief, I personally didn't take anything because on that day when we attacked, we didn't even enter the house. Piet took the gun from me, I think he fired three times, but then he didn't fire at him and I told him that he must stop because he had failed.

MS LOONAT: Failed to do what?

MR CHUNENE: He failed to kill him.

MS LOONAT: Why did you want to kill Mr Potgieter?

MR CHUNENE: We were killing him because we hated them, this was because of what we had learnt from the rally, from Chief Molefe.

MS LOONAT: You hated the Potgieter family or you hated whites in general?

MR CHUNENE: Whites in general, I didn't know Mr Potgieter, I don't even think that he knows me. Since I had learnt that all whites were oppressors and we were told constantly that we should be careful that every time we saw a white man, he is there to oppress you and so I knew that and I thought to myself if I kill someone like that, I don't think that I have sinned that much.

MS LOONAT: So Chief Molefe's words had a marked impression on your mind at that rally that day, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: Besides your hatred for the white regime at that time, what was the other reason that you attacked the Potgieter home, what did you want from there?

MR CHUNENE: What we wanted in his house was a firearm and ammunitions, because we didn't have that, we wanted that in order to protect ourselves.

MS LOONAT: On page 2 of the indictment there is a list of items which were removed from Mr Potgieter's home. Could you confirm that these items were removed, what can you comment on them?

MR CHUNENE: What I can comment about is just one thing, the rest I don't know. I think it is number 9, where it is written "two leather jackets". These two leather jackets, I don't have that much idea about, I think I only know about one leather jacket. When we went there, he wasn't in his home and his house was lit, I think the kitchen and the bedroom was lit and I broke the house, I broke in. He wasn't inside, but maybe if he was inside, maybe I was going to kill him. I went to another bedroom, there was no one. There and there I saw a safe, I think it was in his bedroom and when I realised that there was a safe, I thought that there should be something valuable like a firearm and then I left.

CHAIRPERSON: This is a completely separate incident. I think we are getting a little confused here, aren't we? You asked him about the incident on the 16th of August, this took place between the 24th and the 26th of July?

MR LAX: Three weeks earlier?

MS LOONAT: Can you remember what happened on the 16th of August?

CHAIRPERSON: That is what he has just been telling us, when he did not go into the house? If you look at the indictment you will see that he was charged with and convicted of housebreaking on the 24th to the 26th, of attempted murder on the 16th of August and of the, the next count, of the murder on the 22nd of August.

MR CHUNENE: Maybe I am the one who is confusing the Committee. Now I can see that there is 24/26 July and not August, but what I can tell the Committee is that the first day when we went in his home, he wasn't there. It was myself and Piet Nkosi, we broke in. I got inside the house and he wasn't inside the house and then the second time, he was because we actually guarded his place earlier on, so we realised, we saw him when he went to his home, and we went in because our aim was to go and kill him and take his firearm.

MS LOONAT: Was this your aim on both occasions, the first time and the second time?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: Did you get any firearms that day?

MR CHUNENE: There are two days, which one are you referring to?

MS LOONAT: On both occasions?

MR CHUNENE: We didn't.

MS LOONAT: What was the purpose of removing all the other items when you entered the Potgieter house, if firearms is what you really wanted?

MR CHUNENE: In my knowledge I don't remember taking anything, but I do remember Piet taking a leather jacket. But the rest I don't know, I didn't take anything. Piet took the jacket and he was wearing it, in fact I didn't even realise and I said to him why was he wearing that jacket and he said it was cold.

MR LAX: Do I understand you correctly, you are saying in fact you didn't take anything that day at all?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct, I didn't.

MR LAX: Thank you. Please continue.

MS LOONAT: Please tell the Committee Members about your attack on Mr Godfrey F.L. ...

MR LAX: Sorry, before you proceed if I may interpose, there is just one other thing, and you are saying all these other items listed here, except for one leather jacket if I have understood you correctly, neither you nor Piet took any of those other items, you only saw Piet with one leather jacket, have I understood that correctly?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: So you don't know who took the rest of the stuff that is listed here in count 1 on page 2 of the indictment?

MR CHUNENE: I would say so. The owner of the house wasn't present when we arrived there, I don't know who else came after we left. Maybe the labourers came after us and took their stuff, but because we were the ones that broke into that house, it looked like we were the ones who had taken these things.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that you broke into the house with Piet Nkosi, that he took one leather jacket which you later took into your possession ...

MR LAX: He didn't.

MR CHUNENE: I didn't take the leather jacket, but when we left Mr Potgieter's house, we went straight to my home and he left the leather jacket at my home and he didn't come back to fetch it.

CHAIRPERSON: No, it was found hanging up in your cupboard by the police, wasn't it?


CHAIRPERSON: And are you now saying that the other things which Mr Potgieter has apparently said, was stolen, must have been taken by someone who came to the house after you had broken in, but before Mr Potgieter had returned?

MR CHUNENE: This is what I am just thinking, that is what happened, I am not sure, I am not certain what happened.

CHAIRPERSON: All these things were missing, your fingerprints were found in the house, but you say it must have been some strangers who took these things away, is that what you would have us accept?

MR CHUNENE: As I have already explained, I am the one who broke in, therefore that is why my fingerprints were all over the place, because I was looking for a firearm in that house.


MS LOONAT: Mr Chunene, please address the Committee on how you came about attacking Mr Godfrey who was (indistinct)

MR CHUNENE: As I recall, when we arrived at Mr Potgieter, it was in the evening. When we arrived there there was ... (no translation) ...

INTERPRETER: We will proceed now, sorry about that.

MR CHUNENE: On our arrival, as I was standing inside the yard, I think it was the front side because it was facing the main road, the phone rang. I heard that and then I saw him coming out from the house and then he took the phone. What I said to Piet, I said "this is the man" and then Piet said I must give the gun to him and then I gave him that .3 revolver that was belonging to me, and he shot three times. Because I saw everything that was happening inside the house, I saw him stretching the hand nearby the passage and then he took the phone and then he disappeared there. What I said to Piet, I said "leave him Piet, don't continue with the shooting because you have actually failed to shoot him, let's plan another day for him where we will actually have to come back, probably we will have a bigger gun than this one." That is how Potgieter survived, if that is Mr Potgieter.

MS LOONAT: We were discussing the Heuer household, Mr Chunene, not Mr Potgieter's home.

MR LAX: We are now talking about the 22nd of August, this is the day you went and you shot Mr Heuer. You have been asked to tell us about that incident. Do you understand?

MR CHUNENE: Now I do understand. I beg your pardon.

MR LAX: That is fine, let's continue then.

MR CHUNENE: What I did to Mr Heuer, on my arrival on the farm, it was at night and it was raining.

MS LOONAT: Sorry, were you alone?

MR CHUNENE: With the late Piet Nkosi. On our arrival the lights were off. I appeared I think from the kitchen and then the burglar guard or the grill door, white in colour, it was closed. It was locked and there was a key hanging there. Then I proceeded to the front door. What I was looking for there, I was searching for the telephone wire or cord. I realised that it is on the front. I told Piet that he should actually lift me up so that I could cut this telephone wire. My aim to cut that telephone wire, was to not to be able to use the phone again, or to actually communicate with the neighbours or with the emergency. Indeed we did that, cut the telephone wire, and then I broke the window and then I went in, not knowing how many people were there. According to my thinking the man who was there, who died, I think he actually was frightened or woken up by the breaking of the window and then we met at the passage with him and then he shot, if I am not mistaken, four times, three times or four times, and shooting towards me, shooting at me. With my spiritual ancestors, I managed to shoot only once and then he was dead. I forced the female, I am wondering if that was the wife, I am not sure, and then I told her that she must actually give me all the guns that are in the house as well as the ammunition. Indeed she did so. The name - Piet Nkosi said to me was that I must actually also ask for the money and then she said it is in the box. We found the box on the table, there was R1 000 inside and a calculator if I am not mistaken, with other papers that I couldn't quite see what the papers were for. What I said to the wife then "I won't kill you because you are a female and you are old". I didn't know that I was attacking elderly people, I actually thought I was attacking younger people who can actually fight. I then left with Piet.

MS LOONAT: How did you feel when you fired at Mr Godfrey, Mr Heuer?

MR CHUNENE: To be quite honest, I didn't care because I told myself that I am killing a Boer, the person who should be killed in South Africa.

MS LOONAT: What in your mind was the reason that you had to kill this Boer?

MR CHUNENE: What was in my mind was to get the guns and the ammunition that we needed and I didn't care about anything else, who was dead and who was alive, that didn't matter to me. I was young then and I was actually excited about the statement that was issued by our leaders that said "kill the farmer, kill the Boer."

MS LOONAT: What did you do with the R1 000 and the other things that you took from the house that evening?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't take the money, the box was taken by Piet. I took the gun from the white lady who was sitting on, in the bed. Piet took the money in a suitcase and then we left. On our way, we took out the money, I told him to take it out, we wanted to see how much was it and then I saw the calculator and I said "it is the money and the calculator" and then the box, I said "no, we don't need this", and then I threw it in the dam. That money I told him that, I told Piet that I bought the gun in East Rand, so I told him that we should do likewise. He said that he knows somebody who can actually give us the ammunition. I actually gave him R500 and then I took R500 which I was actually going to use to buy two guns at the Thokoza Hostel. Two days after or three days, when I was actually planning to leave for East Rand, I went to Piet's place and then I told him that I am leaving for East Rand to get those guns. Then he would have to meet me at Blood River where I would actually jump off, because I wouldn't jump off at Vryheid in town, carrying those guns. I didn't even reach East Rand, I was actually arrested in town in Vryheid.

MS LOONAT: Had you bought the guns by the time you were arrested?

MR CHUNENE: No, the gun that I had was that one, that was mine.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you on your way to the East Rand when you were arrested?


CHAIRPERSON: So the police found the R500 on you?


MS LOONAT: Please bear with me one moment. Mr Chunene, on page 10 of the Bundle, point 3, you say that, the last line of point 3 that you were not the Commander, but you were the one who planned the operation, is that correct?


MS LOONAT: Which operation were you referring to at this time?

MR CHUNENE: I was referring to attacking the Boers in the farm and even in town.

CHAIRPERSON: Where are you reading from?

MS LOONAT: On page 10 of the Bundle, point 3, the last line, the last sentence. Who was Nataniel Nkosi?

MR CHUNENE: The police spy.

MS LOONAT: What part did he play in these events?

MR CHUNENE: None other than being an informer.

MS LOONAT: Was he the cause of any of your comrades being arrested or killed?


MS LOONAT: Please tell the Committee about him?

MR CHUNENE: Nataniel Nkosi I knew him as a comrade. We were followers of the ANC, I was actually surprised when I realised that he was a police informer and actually telling them that we are the people who did crime.

MS LOONAT: How do you feel about your activities, about the attacks on Mr Potgieter and Mr Heuer's homes, how do you feel about it today?

MR CHUNENE: Because previously I was still young, to me all that happened in that area, I took it as something that didn't matter, that is it didn't matter to kill a person. I just did not care. But as time went on and I have been in jail for a while and now I am growing up even mentally, when I was sitting one day, I was thinking, I was in deep thought and indeed I reacted to those thoughts and on the decision that I took, that I should ask to appear before the family as well as the friends of the deceased, so that they can actually listen to me and open their hearts, and accept what I will actually say to them and ask from them, and what I will say is the truth, nothing else but the truth, coming deep down from my heart, that they should please forgive me. I feel remorse about this. I came here to ask for forgiveness to the friends as well as the family of the deceased. Yes, I know it is difficult for them to forgive me and I know it is not easy to me to just easily forgive a person who killed my parents, but considering the time, what actually happened at that time surrounding us, I actually felt it is about time I should come and ask for forgiveness to the family as well as to the friends. However, I am prepared to take the discipline for the other acts that I have done. It wasn't my aim, but that was done by our political leaders who actually were indoctrinating us.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chunene, finally you are admitting that you have received an indirect order which came about at the time of Chief Molefe's rally, therefore you say it was as a result of this indirect order that you attacked these ...

MS STRETCH: Mr Chairperson ...

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.

MR LAX: Just put your microphone on, please.

MS STRETCH: I am not quite sure what is meant by an indirect order, I don't believe that was the evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't recollect him saying that he thought he was given an indirect order, in fact I recollect the contrary, that he said he wasn't told to do anything by the Chief.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, my instructions are that he was influenced by these ...

CHAIRPERSON: That is a different matter from an order?

MS LOONAT: Mr Chunene, you admit that you planned the whole thing with Piet Nkosi, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: What I planned is to attack and kill, but the (indistinct) I didn't know anything, if I am not mistaken, it was at (indistinct), that was Piet Nkosi's idea or plan.

MS LOONAT: Is there anything else that you would like to tell the Committee Members?

MR CHUNENE: No, not really, except what happened, I ask for forgiveness for what happened. The person that I actually considered as a friend, he was older than me, however he wasn't a friend indeed, who wouldn't actually show me the truth.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you repeat that please?

MR LAX: Sorry Ms Interpreter, would you mind just repeating your answer again?


MR LAX: The Chair couldn't hear it on his headset.

INTERPRETER: Sorry, I would rather ask him to repeat.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chunene, the Committee Members did not hear your answer to the question, what were you saying about Piet Nkosi as an influence on your life?

MR CHUNENE: I say Piet Nkosi was an elderly person, he was older than me, who wasn't supposed to allow me to say what I was saying to him when I was saying that we should attack the farmers, he was actually supposed to say "this is not a good dead or the political procedure to kill", however he did allow me when I said we should actually attack and kill Mr Heuer.

MR LAX: Are you saying that Piet Nkosi was more politically educated than you and therefore he should have told you what the right political line was? I don' understand what you mean?

MR CHUNENE: I mean as a person who was older than me and as a person who has been an ANC follower for a long time, and I was in school at that time, he is the person who had the knowledge, all the knowledge regarding political activities, whether we are supposed to kill or not to kill and actually to sit down and discuss about these things.

MR LAX: How well did you know Piet Nkosi?

MR CHUNENE: As I was growing up.

MR LAX: How many years had you known him for at this time, approximately?

MR CHUNENE: Over seven years.

MR LAX: Yes. Had he had brushes with the law in that time?

MR CHUNENE: Well, I am not sure, because if he has ever done that or not.

MR LAX: Well, you see the Judge said in his judgement and I will just find the page if you will bear with me for one second, it says here on page 40 of the papers, roundabout line 5

"... this person Piet Nkosi was apparently a known criminal, having previous convictions."

That is what he said. You knew him for seven years, but you don't remember that he was a known criminal with previous convictions, you cannot even tell us whether he had had brushes with the law or not and this is the person you expected to give you moral guidance?

MR CHUNENE: My knowing him, Piet, is just like a person that I knew, I have never heard that he was at some stage arrested. I just knew him as a person who was just normal.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you say as an older man, you would have expected him to tell you not to do this killing, but he didn't, he in fact let you do it? Is that what you have told us?


MR LAX: Why would you have expected him to tell you not to do it, if you thought it was the right thing to do?

MR CHUNENE: I realised that when I was already in jail, thinking that as an older person, that he was supposed to do that, because I was still young and he was actually, I couldn't actually, I took it as something that was good, when it was said by Piet, an ANC person, I realised that as the IFP is killing us, it was collaborating with the Boers, and then I saw what we were told as the truth, not as a lie.

MR LAX: I see, so you only came to this realisation much later while you were in prison?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, when I was in jail and growing up.

MR LAX: Thank you, please continue, sorry for that.

MS LOONAT: I have no more questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Cross-examination?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS STRETCH: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chunene, you brought an application for leave to appeal against your convictions and the sentences imposed on you, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: That is correct.

MS STRETCH: You were granted leave to appeal and your appeal was unsuccessful, is that right?

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't say it wasn't successful, because my Attorney didn't come back to me.

MS STRETCH: Well, let me put it to you this way, this was about two years ago, in 1997, that you decided to appeal against your convictions and sentences?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct, I did this on my own.

MS STRETCH: At that stage, were you already feeling this remorse that you have referred to?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: So at that stage you already wanted to apologise to the family members to say that you were sorry?

MR CHUNENE: If I had a chance or an opportunity to do so, I would have.

MS STRETCH: Why did you when you brought your application for leave to appeal, again deny that you had committed these offences?

MR CHUNENE: I am confused, if you would please repeat that question for me?

MR LAX: Just before you do, what was the date of the appeal?

MS STRETCH: If you will bear with me. The 31st of October 1997.

MR LAX: Thank you.

MS STRETCH: If I could just put that to you again, you did not bring an application for leave to appeal on the basis that you were admitting that you had committed the offences or - and that you felt that your sentence was too long or something to that effect. Your application for leave to appeal was on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to secure your convictions and that your convictions were therefore wrong, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: My question is, why at that stage, if you were already feeling remorse, did you not exercise your right to appeal on the basis that you had committed the offences, but that you felt that your sentence was perhaps too long in the light of the political motives which were the background of these offences?

MR CHUNENE: In answering that question, I would say I submitted my appeal application and I was being held by the people in prison, and they told me that they were going to send my application direct to the Judge who sentenced me. Therefore I was scared, because I remembered the words of the Judge telling me that I had killed my earthly god and I knew that if that Judge said so to me, in court, if I admit to the very same Judge, he wasn't going to reduce my sentence.

CHAIRPERSON: You said the appeal was the 31st of October, was that when it was heard, disposed of or was that when it was lodged?

MS STRETCH: Mr Chairperson, it was an application for leave to appeal, which was refused on the 31st of October. It didn't actually, an appeal wasn't actually heard, it was refused. It was opposed and refused on the 31st of October.

CHAIRPERSON: When was it made?

MS STRETCH: It was based on a letter, written by the applicant, dated the 31st of July 1995. I am in a position to hand that in if necessary.

CHAIRPERSON: It is long before he launched his amnesty application?

MS STRETCH: That is correct Mr Chairperson. Perhaps if I can just follow up on that, you wrote a letter on the 31st of July 1995 which was the basis of your application for leave to appeal, so at that stage, as you have said before, you were already feeling remorse?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Why did you not bring an application for amnesty at an earlier stage, why did you wait until your application for leave to appeal was refused?

MR LAX: Sorry?

CHAIRPERSON: That is not correct. His amnesty application, the application is stamped the 10th of April 1997.

MS STRETCH: I stand corrected Mr Chairperson.

MR LAX: And in July 1995, our legislation hadn't come into existence yet, it was only promulgated in December.

MS STRETCH: Yes, I am aware of that, thank you. Your reason you say for not admitting that you had committed the offences, is because you were scared of the Judge that sentenced you?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Are there any other reasons?

MR CHUNENE: No, I don't have any other reason, because on the day when he sentenced me, he told me that I had killed my earthly god.

MS STRETCH: Sorry, I don't quite get that, you had killed whom?

MR LAX: His earthly god.

MR CHUNENE: My earthly god.

MR LAX: In other words, his god on earth, his earthly god, that is the term.

MS STRETCH: Thank you sir. Piet Nkosi you say was a member of the ANC?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Was he a card carrying member?

MR CHUNENE: I am not certain about whether he had a card, he was a member but I am certain that he was a full member, but I am not sure about the card, whether he was a card holder or not.

MS STRETCH: Was he a member during the entire seven years that you knew him?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I think so.

MS STRETCH: Did he attend these rallies with you?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: How many rallies did you attend?

MR CHUNENE: I do remember of two.

MS STRETCH: You said I think that the first rally was, or the last rally was in 1992, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I think so.

MS STRETCH: When was the first rally that you attended?

MR CHUNENE: Even though I don't remember, but it was earlier than 1992, somewhere in 1991, 1990.

MS STRETCH: And these rallies were held by the Chief, Chief Molefe?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Was Piet Nkosi present at both rallies that you attended?

MR CHUNENE: I think he was present in 1991, 1992, because 1992 it was the last rally I attended and he was there.

MS STRETCH: Let's just deal with the 1992 rally. How long were you at this rally?

MR CHUNENE: We were there until the rally was over, because we were in that rally, we were transported by bus, all of us.

MS STRETCH: Yes, did you personally attend for minutes, hours, days?

MR CHUNENE: The rally didn't last for the whole day, it was hours. We were told that there was going to be an office in Vryheid and the Chairperson of that office will be Cecil Sami who is now late.

MS STRETCH: What do you think the main aim of this rally was?

MR CHUNENE: I think we were going to be introduced to Cecil Sami and they were opening a branch for the ANC in Vryheid because we didn't have those branches or those offices in those areas, so we were told in that rally.

MS STRETCH: If I understand you correctly, it was a rally in order to tell you where you could go to see your representatives and where the offices would be, that was the main aim of the rally?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: In your own mind, did the rally have any other purpose apart from that?

MR CHUNENE: We were introduced to Cecil Sami and then later the Chief started addressing all of us the usual way, preaching us, telling us about the oppression of this country, because this was his usual address of the meeting or rally.

MS STRETCH: Would you say it was a peaceful rally?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, it was peaceful because the rally was held at Dundee and Dundee is an area full of comrades.

MS STRETCH: At that time, where were you living?

MR CHUNENE: At home, at Banya.

MS STRETCH: How many ANC supporters were living at Banya at the time?

MR CHUNENE: The area is divided by a small river and most of the community at Banya are ANC people.

MR LAX: The question was how many people belonged to the ANC at Banya? It is a simple question, we were not asking you about whether the place was divided up or not, just try and answer the question, we will get out of here a bit quicker. Do you understand the question? You were asked about the number of people living there who were ANC.

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do understand the question now. Even though I cannot say that Banya is a big area, I will say that Banya is only made up of 32 houses.

MS STRETCH: Was your area discussed at this rally, the area of Banya?

MR CHUNENE: There was no mention about Banya, but there was mentioning of the attacks and the violence which was in Banya.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I don't understand how you can say there was no mention of Banya, but there was mention of the attacks and the violence in Banya?

MR CHUNENE: I mean that Banya was an area which was an enemy to the IFP, because IFP wanted to take over Banya, and in that rally it was also addressed that should we allow IFP to take over Banya or not.

CHAIRPERSON: So there was mention of Banya, there was talk of Banya?

MS STRETCH: Is that correct, there was talk of Banya, are you going to answer that question?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: When you left that last rally, what was your political purpose?

MR CHUNENE: After we left the rally at Dundee, in my mind I was certain that we were supposed to obtain guns or firearms and then we decided as to how we were going to obtain those guns. I suggested that if we were going to attack, we can obtain guns.

MS STRETCH: You already had one firearm at that stage, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: How come you had that firearm before this rally?

MR CHUNENE: To protect myself and my family.

MS STRETCH: Had you ever used it before this rally?


CHAIRPERSON: Can I interrupt you for a minute. You have told us now that you understood that you were told at the rally that you were to obtain guns and you suggested that you could do this by attacking people, correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And on what you have told us, you did nothing whatsoever for six months to obtain guns?

MR CHUNENE: If you would please repeat that question because I don't understand the question about six months earlier?

CHAIRPERSON: Well the rally you have told us, took place as I understand it, at the end of 1992.

MR LAX: January, he said January 1992.

CHAIRPERSON: January 1992, the first of these attacks took place in July, the housebreaking took place in July 1992, that is six months later?

MR LAX: And you have confirmed that you didn't do anything before that, that was the first thing you did.

CHAIRPERSON: The first attack you did? You cannot have regarded this as a very serious instruction, can you?

MR LAX: Do you understand the question, you are looking very confused?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do understand.

MR LAX: What is your reply then?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, the rally was in January and we only acted on July, the reason was because I was thinking about the targets.

MR LAX: May I just interpose for a moment, I just want to clarify something. When did you get this firearm of yours, you said you got it at Thokoza, but the question was when exactly?

MR CHUNENE: I was working at Ntsilenzi Mine in 1986, in 1989 I went back to school. I only bought the gun in 1989 after I left the Mine.

MR LAX: So you bought the gun in 1989 and you told us you bought ammunition for the gun as well at the same time, you said, is that right?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, there were no spare, the ammunitions were inside the gun.

MR LAX: Precisely, it is a revolver, how many rounds does it carry?


MR LAX: Correct. Now, from 1989 until July or August, in fact August 1992 you didn't use that gun at all?

MR CHUNENE: Never, unless if I was practising to shoot, like shooting tins.

MR LAX: The question is the purpose of having the gun was to defend your family, there couldn't have been much violence in your area for you to defend your family, if you never had to use your gun?

MR CHUNENE: I had the gun since 1989 and I never tried to shoot anyone. Yes, IFP people used to come and attack us. I only had that gun to protect myself and my family, if they had come to my family, maybe I would have, but I didn't take the gun and just go and attack other people.

MR LAX: But you have explained to us the reason why you needed guns, was because your area was under attack, your people needed to defend themselves, yet here you are, you've got your own gun, and you don't use it even though you are being attacked? How can you explain that to us?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't use the gun because when IFP people come to attack the community, they will wake us up late at night and we will try and chase them as to find out where they vanished and we wouldn't get hold of them.

MR LAX: But you have just told us that your comrades used (indistinct), home made firearms, you said that right at the beginning of your evidence and that wasn't good enough, that is why you needed to get proper guns? It still does not explain why you didn't use your own firearm which you had specifically there to protect yourself?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, at the time most comrades were using home made firearms. I didn't possess this gun in order to go around and shoot people, but I needed the gun in order to protect myself and my family, and also I didn't want to waste those ammunitions, because I knew if I just shoot, I will be wasting those ammunitions and I won't get them anywhere.

MR LAX: Please carry on.

MS STRETCH: Thank you. Were you looking for any specific type of firearm or were you happy with any type of firearm?

MR CHUNENE: Any firearm.

MS STRETCH: Why did you leave the deceased's shotgun behind and why didn't you take it with you, you knew it was there?

MR CHUNENE: We took his shotgun with five rounds of ammunitions.

MS STRETCH: Did you remove it from the property?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, we took it with us.

MS STRETCH: What did you do with it?

MR CHUNENE: I gave it to Piet Nkosi because he only had a home made firearm and I took that home made firearm from him when I gave him the shotgun.

MS STRETCH: Did Piet Nkosi remove that shotgun from Mr Heuer's property?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Are you sure?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I am sure.

MS STRETCH: Because Ms Heuer who is present, will testify if necessary that you removed the shotgun from the room, but you left it behind when you fled from the scene, and that is also part of the summary of substantial facts which is attached to the indictment at page 6, paragraph 7? What do you say to that?

MR CHUNENE: I am certain that Piet took the shotgun with five rounds, but I think in court it was given back to the family.

MS STRETCH: Where was it found?

MR CHUNENE: I don't know where they got that firearm, because I was in custody and Piet was still outside, on the run, so I don't know.

MS STRETCH: You didn't see it being given back to the family?

MR CHUNENE: I saw that. I am not thinking, I saw that.

CHAIRPERSON: So you say it was found with this Nkosi and then given back to the family at court? Is that what you are trying to tell us now?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So when the Prosecutor was drawing up the indictment in connection with the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, for some kindly reason he decided to leave out this firearm, but he charged you with taking the 38 Special? Is that what you are telling us now?

MR CHUNENE: He charged me of a 38 Special.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The indictment says on page 3, count 4, that what you stole was a Rossi Special 38 firearm, ammunition and a suitcase containing about R1 000 in cash, a pocket calculator and books and yet at the time, they knew you had taken a shotgun, it had been found in your presence, the police had it and were going to give it back, but they didn't want to charge you with the robbery, is that what you are saying?

MR CHUNENE: What I can clarify here is that the gun which was used by Mr Heuer was taken by us and that was the only gun I know and it had five ammunitions. I don't know about the other gun which was left behind.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that was the only gun that was taken? Did I hear you correctly?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I only saw one gun, I didn't see two guns, and he also pointed that gun at me, that was the only gun they had.

CHAIRPERSON: But what about the shotgun that we had been talking about for the last ten minutes? Do you now say you didn't see it?

MR LAX: Do you know what a shotgun is?

MR CHUNENE: I think I am not certain about different types of guns, that is why I said to you we took that gun that he had in his possession after we shot him, and that gun had five ammunitions. That is the only gun that I saw in that house.

MR LAX: What gun was that, describe it to us quickly. Was it a big gun, was it a small gun, was it a handgun, was it a rifle, did it have a long barrel or a short barrel?

MR CHUNENE: Short like the microphone in front of me.

MR LAX: You see, we were talking about a shotgun, a shotgun is a long gun that fires big cartridges approximately half an inch in diameter, roughly the same thickness as this microphone in front of you. It is the same kind of bullet that a (indistinct) would take, do you understand?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do understand now.

MR LAX: Now the question you were originally asked was, Ms Heuer gave you a shotgun, why didn't you take it with you? You said you were interested in any firearm you could get your hands on, why didn't you take the shotgun with you? Do you understand the question?

MR CHUNENE: Now I do understand your question and my answer is the only gun which was taken from that house was the one which I personally took from Mr Heuer, and I gave it to Piet. I don't remember Ms Heuer giving me a gun. I did question her about firearms and she answered back and said this was the only gun they had at that house. I didn't see any other gun and if there was any other gun, I was going to take it, I wasn't going to leave it behind.

MR LAX: So in essence, you dispute that she gave you the shotgun?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do.

MR LAX: In her statement she says that you took in addition to her husband's, her late husband's firearm, you took the shotgun and then she goes on to say that you then left it behind when you were fleeing, and you dispute that?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't see any shotgun and I was right there, right before Ms Heuer, I don't remember her taking any other gun and giving it to me.

MR LAX: Thank you. Please continue Ms Stretch.

MS STRETCH: Thank you. I just want to deal with your attack on Mr Potgieter, Evert Potgieter. You first broke into the house when he wasn't there, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: What was your aim then?

MR CHUNENE: My aim was to find him inside the house, because Piet had already told me and Piet had an idea and full knowledge of that farm, I didn't know that farm very well, and Piet told me that he knows that Mr Potgieter usually carries a gun, he's got different types of guns.

MS STRETCH: When you didn't find him inside the house, what did you do?

MR CHUNENE: I saw a safe in a wall and that safe was long. I realised that Piet was right, probably he had locked his guns in that safe, and then I started looking for the key for that safe, to unlock that safe and see if there were guns.

MS STRETCH: You didn't find the key?

MR CHUNENE: No, I did not.

MS STRETCH: So your aim was to find Mr Potgieter so that you could get the safe key from him and open the safe to get the guns, that was your main aim?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that was.

MS STRETCH: And that is why you returned on the second occasion?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Are you sure?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I am.

MS STRETCH: Did you do that on the second occasion, did you confront him and asked him for the safe keys?

MR CHUNENE: I don't remember how long it took us to come back, but when we returned, it was late at night and it was cold. He was inside the house. Even though we couldn't get inside the house, but he was there.

MS STRETCH: Did you understand my question?

MR CHUNENE: I thought so, I am not sure.

MS STRETCH: Yes. Did you confront him and asked him for the safe keys, which is what you set out to do?

MR CHUNENE: We didn't confront him because we couldn't get inside the house, but we went to his house.

MS STRETCH: So you were outside and he was inside?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: Did you never enter the house on the second occasion?

MR CHUNENE: No, we did not.

MS STRETCH: Did you ever find those safe keys?

MR CHUNENE: No, we did not.

MS STRETCH: So you stood by while Piet Nkosi shot him three times and you didn't say to Piet Nkosi, "hang on, if you shoot him, he is not going to tell us where the safe keys are"?

MR CHUNENE: I did say to Piet he must stop because I was thinking that he wasn't alone, there might have been someone inside the house and whoever it was, he or she was going to give us the keys.

MS STRETCH: I am not with you, so it was okay to kill him because there might be somebody else to give you the keys, is that what you are saying?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, because we thought he wasn't alone in the house.

MS STRETCH: And am I correct in understanding that your main aim was to get into that safe because you needed those guns?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, the aim was that but if the owner was there, was present, he wasn't going to just give us the key, he was going to put a fight first, therefore it was necessary for us to kill him.

MS STRETCH: You didn't ask him for the key, did you? You just went there and Piet shot him three times?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, we didn't.

MS STRETCH: Was he armed, Mr Potgieter?

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't say so because he was inside the house and I didn't see anything in his hands. All I noticed was that he was reaching for the telephone.

MS STRETCH: You said in your evidence-in-chief that you told Piet that after three shots Piet hadn't managed to kill him, you would therefore have to return and kill him at some other stage? Is that right?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS STRETCH: So you are telling us for the first time about your need to find these safe keys, now under cross-examination, is that correct?

MR CHUNENE: You mean that we were supposed to obtain the keys?

MS STRETCH: I will leave that for argument. I have nothing further.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: I do Chairperson, just a few questions. Mr Chunene, in your evidence you have indicated that you lived at Banya and Banya was mostly dominated by ANC people, am I correct?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: And you also gave evidence that you were, you did attend or you attended rallies, that is political rallies, that were held by the ANC in the area, including the Dundee area, am I right?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: How many, besides yourself and Piet Nkosi, how many other people or other youths would attend such rallies from your area?

MR CHUNENE: A bus, the full load of a bus.

MS MTANGA: Did you have a person representing you at Dundee, that is a person who would be the leader of your youth formation from Banya when you go to these rallies, did you have anyone representing you or leading you?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, there was.

MS MTANGA: Who was this person?

MR CHUNENE: Mfaba, the late.

MS MTANGA: On page 6 of the Bundle, you were sent a letter asking you to give us the name of a person who can confirm your membership and your response to that letter was that the only person who could confirm your membership was Cecil Sami who is now late, therefore there was no one else who could do so. If you were such an activist from a very small area like Banya, where you were youth who would attend rallies together, you were well known that you were involved, why is it that you were not able to provide us with the name of a person who can confirm your ANC membership?

MR CHUNENE: I don't think there is a person who does not know me as a supporter of the ANC in Banya, but I thought I was supposed to right down the name of the leader and Cecil knows me very well.

MS MTANGA: Are you saying Cecil Sami was the only person, the only senior person at that time, who could confirm your membership, there was no other person in the ANC in the area who could confirm your membership?

MR CHUNENE: There was also Mfaba who was a leader, but he is also late and Cecil as well.

MS MTANGA: Mr Chunene, surely in your area there were people who were organising at Banya, in your area, who were more senior than you, those are the people we wanted to confirm your membership for us, in your area at Banya, not someone at Dundee. In Banya, who were the people who were senior to you who could confirm your membership besides Cecil Sami who was at Dundee?

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't be certain that if I give you names, those people will confirm that because I don't have a membership card. Maybe it may be difficult for someone to say so if he knows that I don't have a membership card. One will ask himself if I was a member of the ANC, why didn't I obtain a membership card.

MS MTANGA: Mr Chunene, we do understand the situation then that people would be supporters and active supporters of an organisation and therefore you may not have a card or be a card carrying member of an organisation, but you would be a well known activist. You have testified here that you used to attend rallies with other youths from a very small area of Banya with 32 houses, what I am asking you is who are the names of the people from Banya who were organising you there, who were senior to you, who can confirm that you were an ANC activist even if you were not a card carrying member, you attended their rallies, they know you as you have already indicated that you were well known in the area.

MR CHUNENE: I can recall one person and his name is Joe and TRC Investigator told me that Joe was no longer in that firm which I referred to him. I think he had changed jobs. Now, I think he is no longer residing at Banya.

MS MTANGA: Besides Joe who else from Banya can confirm your membership?

MR CHUNENE: I think I can recall names of the youth, my age, people who used to board the bus to rallies with.

MS MTANGA: Can you give me two of those people?

MR CHUNENE: Babayi Kunene, the second one is Dudu Ncobesi.

MS MTANGA: You were also asked questions about the jacket that was found in your house, the leather jacket, and you gave evidence that the jacket was given to you by Piet Nkosi?

MR LAX: Sorry, he said that Nkosi left it in his wardrobe, or left it at his house, that is how he said it. He hasn't explained how it got in his wardrobe yet.

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson. You have given evidence that the jacket, the leather jacket that Piet Nkosi took from Mr Potgieter's house, was left by Nkosi at your house. How did it get into your wardrobe?

MR CHUNENE: After he left the jacket in my bedroom, he left it on top of my bed and there was no other place where I could put the jacket, except in my wardrobe.

MS MTANGA: When did he leave this jacket at your place?

MR CHUNENE: After we came back from (indistinct).

MS MTANGA: Are you saying on the same day of the incident?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: Is it your evidence that Piet Nkosi left this jacket at your place for two months, because at the time of your arrest, the same jacket was still in your wardrobe, that was two months after the incident? Piet Nkosi just abandoned the jacket at your place?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, it was always at home after he left it. When I was arrested, it was still in my place. I had already told him to come and fetch his jacket, it was bigger than me, it wasn't even my size. It was his size.

MS MTANGA: Mr Chunene, I put it to you that you are lying about why the jacket landed up in your wardrobe, the true facts are that the jacket was taken by you, you had taken possession of the jacket, hence it was found in your wardrobe two months after the incident, what do you say to this?

MR CHUNENE: I think this is your opinion and your view of the situation, I will explain this. Piet is taller and bigger than me, I am smaller and that jacket is big. I couldn't' have worn that jacket, because it is bigger than me. In fact, if it was mine, I would have sold that jacket.

MS MTANGA: You have also told us that the R1 000 cash that you obtained from the Heuer's household, was split between the two of you, you got R500 and Piet got R500, what was the reason for splitting the money when the purpose of stealing was go, go and get weapons and ammunition, why did you split the money?

MR CHUNENE: The reason was because I had already told Piet that I was going to Johannesburg and I told him it was easy to obtain a gun in East Rand for about R200 and for R500, I can obtain two guns. I told Piet that he could use that R500 to buy ammunitions. Two days later, he gave me one box full of ammunition, I think there were 31 inside.

MS MTANGA: Further, in your ...

MR LAX: Just hang on a second, you told us earlier in your evidence under cross-examination when you were talking about splitting the money and so on, that you didn't see Nkosi again because you got arrested very soon after that? Now you say you did actually see him because he gave you a box of ammunition that he had bought with some of that money. Please explain this for us.

MR CHUNENE: Maybe I didn't understand or you misunderstood me, I said I gave Piet R500 and I took R500 and I explained to Piet that I was going to take that R500 and go to the East Rand and buy guns, and I told him that he must use that R500 to buy ammunition. Two days later, we met, that is when I went to him and I told him that I was leaving for the East Rand and he must come and meet me somewhere, so that we carry those guns, because I wasn't going to go straight to Vryheid with those guns.

MR LAX: Why didn't you give him his jacket back then, if you met him then?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't think about the jacket, I had forgotten about it at that time. At that time, what was in my mind was to leave for the East Rand.

MR LAX: But this was only two days later? How could you forget about the jacket in two days?

MR CHUNENE: Not necessarily that I had forgotten, it wasn't in my mind, it didn't cross my mind at that time. What was in my mind at that time was to leave for the East Rand.

MR LAX: Very well, please carry on.

MS MTANGA: In your evidence earlier on you testified that the reason for buying your first weapon in 1989 was that there were constant attacks between you and the IFP, am I correct to say that?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I bought a gun in 1989 because I wanted to protect myself and my family.

MS MTANGA: You said that the reason for you wanting to protect yourself and your family was because there were constant attacks by the IFP on you because they wanted to take over your area?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: If that is the case, how come between 1989 up to 1992, you never used that firearm, even though there were such attacks that you have testified to by the IFP?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't use that gun to attack because I obtained that gun in order to protect my family and myself. People or comrades were using home made guns.

CHAIRPERSON: But didn't you want to help to protect the comrades? You have been asked about this before, I have great difficulty understanding that you would get a gun but you will only use it to protect your own house, not the comrades who were being attacked in the area? Can you explain that?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't have enough ammunition because my worry was if I make use of all the ammunition, I wouldn't be able to get more because I didn't know where to get more ammunition. I was scared that if I used the gun, I will finish the ammunition and the gun would be useless. I wasn't going to convert that gun into something else to be useful without ammunitions.

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't you ask anybody about ammunition? You have just told us how Nkosi got a box of ammunition for you in a couple of days.

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I did ask someone. I asked Piet's brother about ammunition and he told me that he didn't have enough ammunition. Piet only found out about ammunition later, after the incident.

MR LAX: Mr Chunene, please, you have told us yourself that you knew you could get ammunition from the hostel, that was your earlier evidence? So you knew exactly where to get ammunition if you needed it. Piet said to you "hang on, you don't need to go to the hostel for ammunition, I know where to get ammunition from around here", that is why you gave him the extra money to go and get ammo while you went and got the firearms from Thokoza, not so?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, it is so. This happened later, but at first, initially when I obtained the gun, I didn't know anyone in the area who can provide me with ammunition.

MR LAX: Just as a matter of interest, how did you, an ANC supporter, manage to get a firearm from Thokoza Hostel when everybody knows that Thokoza hostel is an IFP stronghold?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, most people who are residing in Thokoza, the hostel dwellers there, are IFP or were IFP supporters, but my brother-in-law who was there, was my friend, he was not, he was an ANC and it was easy for me to ask him to get guns and ammunitions for me.

MR LAX: Are you saying your brother-in-law who was an ANC supporter, was living in the Thokoza hostel during 1989 when you got your firearm?


MR LAX: Let me just explain to you that I have sat through many, many amnesty applications, some from Thokoza, some from Sebokeng, those places - it wasn't possible to be ANC and live there. You would be dead very quickly. You had to be IFP to live in those places and the conflict in those areas, is legendary.

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't dispute that, I will agree with you. He was a hostel dweller, because he was working there.

MR LAX: There were separate hostels for people that were ANC, they couldn't stay together? There were ANC hostels and there were IFP hostels and the IFP hostels were very different places to the ANC hostels. In some places like Sebokeng, the hostels were ANC and the IFP people were chased out and that is why they went and made other places for themselves to stay. These are facts of our history which we have come to hear, but let's proceed in any event.

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson. My next question Mr Chunene is, where did Piet Nkosi live?

MR CHUNENE: He was also staying at Banya.

MS MTANGA: In your testimony you have indicated that you have known him for over seven years, am I right?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: This seven years would be knowing him while he was staying at Banya?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

MS MTANGA: And you have heard about the Court finding that this Piet Nkosi you were hanging around with, was a known criminal, was apparently a known criminal and if he was a known criminal, surely he would have been a known criminal at Banya, not anywhere else and you say you were never aware of his criminal activities, is that your evidence?

MR CHUNENE: I wouldn't say that he was a criminal or not, but what I can say is that he was older than me, and when I first knew him, I was still in school and I don't know of his criminal activities.

MS MTANGA: My question to you is, despite his well known status of being a criminal in the area, and in your evidence that in the seven years that you have known him, you were never aware of his criminal activities, is that what you are saying to us?


MS MTANGA: I put it to you, Mr Chunene, you are lying to this Committee, that you were never aware of who Piet Nkosi was. What do you say to this?

MR CHUNENE: The Court found that he was a criminal, I personally didn't see any of his criminal activities and him as well, didn't come to me and tell me about his criminal activities. I wasn't a criminal myself, maybe if I was, he was going to reveal to me that he is a criminal as well, but he did not because I was not a criminal myself. I never asked him about his criminal activities, because I didn't know any of his criminal activities.

MS MTANGA: I put it to you that the two of you set out in those months and carried out this spree of robberies for personal benefit, what do you say to this?

MR CHUNENE: Myself as a supporter of the ANC, I never believed in stealing and I never stole anything before these two incidents. Maybe Piet was a criminal and maybe he had criminal convictions before, but myself, no, I didn't.

MS MTANGA: I have no further questions Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination?

MS LOONAT: No Mr Chairperson, no questions, thank you.


MR LAX: Thank you Chairperson. You said that your primary aim was to get firearms, to help your comrades who needed them because they were under constant attack, have I understood that correctly?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, it is so.

MR LAX: Then why was it necessary to kill, you didn't have to kill people to get those firearms?

MR CHUNENE: It is because I was indoctrinated by Chief Molefe that in order to get something, in order to get something ... (tape ends) ... because the white man has everything. Because of that, I didn't have the conscience of being afraid of killing a person then.

MR LAX: You see it wasn't ANC policy to kill farmers, it has never been ANC policy to kill farmers. It has never been ANC policy to rob and steal, what do you say about that?

MR CHUNENE: What I can say regarding that is that when these things happened, I was still young. I didn't know politics that much, I didn't know whether it was, we were supposed to steal or not steal, whether we were not supposed to kill or kill. That was on my mind.

MR LAX: I want to take you to page 5 of the papers, this is your letter you wrote from prison on the 25th of June 1998 and in answer to question 3 and that question we have in front of us now - "did you do the killing by your own or together with others? If other people took part in the killing, we need their names." Your reply was "I personally shot the deceased in the presence of my two colleagues." You have told us in your evidence so far that you were alone with Nkosi, there were only two of you. Why did you answer that question that you shot the deceased in the presence of two colleagues? If you have made a mistake, who was the other colleague that was with you?

MR CHUNENE: I do agree that I was the one who shot him, I was only with Piet Nkosi. Qoqo was killed by IFP supporters.

MR LAX: Was Qoqo with you there at the time when this incident took place?

MR CHUNENE: He wasn't there, I was with Piet.

MR LAX: Then why did you say here in this letter that you shot him in the presence "of my two colleagues"?

MR CHUNENE: I think it was when they were taking down the reports, because there was no time, in a hurry, to finish it and the person who was actually to get this was leaving. At that time I was in a hurry and I was told that the person who is taking the details, who needs the letter, was about to take off or leave. He was about to take a leave or be off and actually told me that this is in a hurry, he is supposed to fax it the very same day that he was actually giving to me, and I was writing that in a hurry. I couldn't actually sit down, have enough time to sit down and read it again carefully and check the mistakes or the errors.

MR LAX: This is a simple matter, you were either with one person or you were with two people. It is nothing that rushing or not rushing will make a big difference to whether you are going to make a mistake or not. Either you were with two people or you were with one person, it is very simple.

MR CHUNENE: As I have explained that I was in a hurry, I didn't have the time to reread this and check if I have written correctly, and then there was nothing that was left within me and he actually didn't even give me time to read or to check it because he was in a hurry, because he was about to leave for home.

MR LAX: You went through these documents with your lawyer before this hearing, not so?


MR LAX: Why didn't you draw her attention to the mistake that there is here, that it says there were two of you present with you when this shooting took place?

MR CHUNENE: It is not for the first time that I talk about this, there was an Investigator who actually came to me, and I explained to him that Patrick Qoqo was stabbed by the time when this incident occurred. I am the one who wrote wrongly, I actually want to explain that Patrick was late or dead by then. That actually led us to killing and then doing all these things, it is only me and Piet who would assist, and because Temba was late, then we are the ones who have to actually carry on with such jobs or activities.

MR LAX: So Patrick and Temba are the same person, are they?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, Patrick and Temba is the same person.

MR LAX: yes, and that leads to my next question, the last rally that you went to in January 1992, you told us was because Temba or Patrick had been killed and this was his funeral rally, so if that is so, how could he have been present at your planning which then took place after that?

MR CHUNENE: Temba was already dead by then. When we were actually planning this, he was already dead a long time. It was myself and Piet who were doing this planning.

MR LAX: Then please explain your next answer, the one preceding the one I have just referred to also on page 5 of the papers, which says

"... nobody gave the order for the killing. I personally invited some other comrades to discuss this and a decision was taken to attack the farmers. Piet Nkosi and Patrick Qoqo were there, but they are now deceased."

How could Patrick have been there if he was dead in January and this happened after January?

MR CHUNENE: To explain that, Temba Qoqo was already dead. The exact person that I was communicating with, is Piet Nkosi not Temba Patrick Qoqo.

MR LAX: Well, then why did you say that here in this document if he wasn't there and he was already dead?

MR CHUNENE: What I wanted to explain was that Temba was already dead and then I wrote it in effect that he was there, but I think the mistake occurred when I was writing it and trying to explain.

MR LAX: Well, you see, how could you have made a mistake because you go on to say in the very next sentence

"... Piet Nkosi and Patrick were there, but they are now deceased."

Then you explain -

"... Patrick was killed by the IFP, Piet was killed by the police."

There is no mistake in your mind at the time you are writing the letter, you are very clear about the distinction between who they were, when they died and who killed them. Do you understand?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, I do.

MR LAX: In reality you don't really have an explanation, isn't that so?

MR CHUNENE: The explanation is there, as I have already explained, that the mistake occurred when I was writing. Qoqo was killed and he was killed by the IFP and Piet was killed by the police. I am the one who failed to explain when I was writing down because I didn't have enough time to do this.

MR LAX: Now, you say you began to support the ANC in 1990, have I understood you correctly in that respect?

MR CHUNENE: I can say 1989.

MR LAX: Okay. And how did you then come to hear about the ANC during 1989? Who told you about the ANC, who introduced you to the concept, who introduced you to its structures in 1989?

MR CHUNENE: A person who used to come is Mfaba Masego who is now dead.

MR LAX: Where did he come from?

MR CHUNENE: What he used to say to us, he said he was from Mozambique.

MR LAX: Was he an exile who had returned to the country or was he an underground comrade, who was he?

MR CHUNENE: I can say he was an exile, although I didn't know about exiles by then, what type of people are they, by then, but then I take that he would be a person who actually would expose himself in the community or probably by going to town, going public.

MR LAX: You see in 1989 the ANC was not yet a public organisation, that only happened after February 1990. It wasn't operating above ground in 1989 at all. However, there were other structures that were pro-ANC, that were operating and people who called themselves comrades and those structures were well established in Northern Natal at that time, in Vryheid, in Dundee, in Glencoe, all over the show. You didn't know about that?

MR CHUNENE: I heard about them.

MR LAX: Any youth structure you joined in 1989, would have called itself something completely different, it wouldn't have called itself the ANC?

MR CHUNENE: Do you want me to answer?

MR LAX: Yes.

MR CHUNENE: I do agree with what you say because we didn't know ANC that time, we only knew about the ANC from Mfaba. I didn't know anything about such things then.

MR LAX: Well, what youth structure did you join?

MR CHUNENE: I became an ANC supporter, that was on my mind. I didn't know where the other people were coming from, whether it is the same or not. He did not explain that to us. We actually loved the notion or the idea that this person is from Mozambique and is the ANC person and then we knew that as he was amongst us, we should support him and we shouldn't actually let him to get arrested. Although he was moving around us and considering the fact that the neighbourhood or some people are police, would actually see him and probably tell on him.

MR LAX: You see, in 1989 there were youth congresses in all those small towns around the Northern Natal, there was Glencoe Youth Congress, Dundee Youth Congress, Vryheid Youth Congress, Newcastle Youth Congress, they were all in those areas. They were well organised structures. They were involved in youth boycotts, school boycotts, rent boycotts, over a long period of time. You don't know that?

MR CHUNENE: I know that, but I didn't know that that was different from ANC, I just took it as ANC, all of that as ANC.

MR LAX: When I asked you to tell us what structures you were part of, you couldn't say the name. If you were part of a youth congress, you would have said "I was part of this youth congress or that youth congress". This man Sami, Cecil Sami, you said that he could vouch for the fact that you were an ANC member because he was your leader? Is that right?


MR LAX: And did he know you in 1989 and 1990 and 1991 and 1992?

MR CHUNENE: He knew me from 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992.

MR LAX: Well you see, well then will you explain why you told us in your evidence that he was introduced to you as the leader at the rally in January 1992?

MR CHUNENE: He was not introduced to me personally, but he was introduced to the comrades who were at the rally because we didn't have an office at that time, therefore they were telling us that there will be an office which is going to be opened and he is going to be the leader. He is going to be the Chairperson there.

MR LAX: Mr Chunene, there was an ANC office in Vryheid for a long time, it was in the Union office, it had been there for years, it had been operating as a UDF and a Trade Union office in Vryheid and when the ANC was unbanned, it assumed offices in the same place. It had been there for a long time? You didn't know that?

MR CHUNENE: I didn't know of an ANC office and all I know is that it was opened in 1992.

MR LAX: Yes, no further questions Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I would like to clear up one point please. Do you remember you made a further affidavit in October of this year, it has been mentioned to you already and in that you say in paragraph 2

"... regarding the issue of money that we got from the house of the farmer, I wish to clarify that the amount was R1 000, not R2 000 and this money was in fact used in buying ammunition to arm two comrades, not that it was handed over to particular comrades in cash."

In fact you have told us that you handed over R500 in cash?

MR CHUNENE: My answer was the money was R1 000 not R2 000 and that money was divided between Piet and myself, because we were going to buy ammunitions, but I was arrested on my way to buy those arms.

CHAIRPERSON: But that is not what you have said in your affidavit, that I have just read to you? There you say the money was in fact used in buying ammunition, not that it was handed over to particular comrades in cash? But you say your R500 wasn't used at all and the other you handed over R500 in cash to Nkosi?

MR CHUNENE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So what you have put down, was not true? Let's go back a bit, in your application for amnesty at page 3, paragraph 10(c) you were asked the normal formal question, "did you benefit in any way financially or otherwise" and your reply is

"... yes, I found R1 000 which was used to buy ammunition and firearms."

You go on in the next sub-paragraph to say -

"... firearms and money, amount of R1 000, that money was used to buy ammunition and firearms, were given to the comrades."

But that never happened, did it? You didn't buy firearms and ammunition with that money and they were not given to the comrades, were you? No firearms were bought with that money, were they?

MR CHUNENE: No, firearms were not bought with that money because when I was arrested, I had that money with me and I was going to buy those firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, so that money hadn't been used, why didn't you say I had the money in my possession, I was going to buy firearms? What you say is the money was used to buy firearms and ammunition and these were given to the comrades. That is not so, is it? Nothing was given to the comrades?

MR CHUNENE: The money which was going to be used to buy guns, was with me, and the money which was going to be used to buy ammunition, was with Piet, therefore I don't know how he used the money, because when I was arrested, he was still outside and I don't know as to what happened to that money.

CHAIRPERSON: You know what happened to the money you had?

MR CHUNENE: I was arrested with that money.

CHAIRPERSON: I think this would be a convenient stage to take the adjournment, do you agree?

MS LOONAT: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You don't want to ask any further questions?

MS LOONAT: No Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We are adjourned until two o'clock.




MS LOONAT IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson and Members of the honourable Committee, my learned colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, my client was of a tender age when the political situation around the country was at its height.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just make sure that nobody else wants to lead any evidence?

MS STRETCH: No Mr Chairperson.

MS MTANGA: I won't be leading any evidence Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, Members of the honourable Committee, my learned colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, my client was of tender age when the political situation around the country was at its height. He attended the rally which we refer to on page 4 of the Bundle and which was called about by Chief Molefe. He left school in standard 7, but it was after the death of his comrade, Mfaba Masego and other friends that he had been hearing about, that this became the final straw so to speak in his young mind. Chief Molefe's call at the rally was "kill the Boer, kill the farmer". The whites according to him, had all the privileges, so he was brainwashed into believing, therefore he believed he was being instructed indirectly to disarm them and use their weapons to defend themselves against the IFP. He also lost his comrade Patrick Qoqo to the IFP. He admits he had no direct instructions. That indirectly yes, that was the message he perceived from Chief Molefe's speeches and others who belonged to the ANC and who came to spread propaganda amongst them. The reason for the attacks were politically motivated. Cash was to be obtained and used to procure firearms and ammunition. Nothing was for personal gain.

He takes full responsibility in his statement on page 4 of the Bundle, for his part in the attacks. He was relatively young when he lost his father, therefore he lacked guidance and discipline. He did not pack up and run away when his area was being attacked by the IFP, in fact he stayed to protect his mother and his younger sister and brother. He was convinced by Chief Molefe that this was the only way to stop them, arm yourselves whichever way you can, to get everlasting peace. That is what he firmly believed. He felt no emotion when he shot the deceased. He could not because he was so young and so angry with the persistent attacks on his family at the time. It is a different story today. He is ashamed ...

CHAIRPERSON: Was there a single attack on his family that he told us of?

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, yes, I don't think there was a single attack on his family so much as in the area where he lived, and he thought this would eventually come onto his family. May I continue?

The apartheid regime to him was the cause of all this grief, coupled with the fact that political parties were not unbanned at that time. Today he realises, especially in the new South Africa, that violence was not the answer to attaining peace. Yes, he blames Piet Nkosi who after the death of his father, was his role model. He repeats that he was never informed of Nkosi's criminal activities, he wishes Piet Nkosi did reciprocate and teach him tolerance, not violence, discourse and education in politics. Now that he is older, more mature, he humbly requests that this honourable Committee considers his application for amnesty and afford him an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to society in the new South Africa. His young mind was distorted by rage and pain and also he was confused about what message was actually being sent across to him at that time. He reacted, his punishment is life sentence.

My instructions are that he today can honestly say he is full of remorse for the trauma he inflicted upon the victims' families and he would hope they would accept his plea for forgiveness. He has no previous convictions and in spite of owning his own firearm from a tender age, he never used it to enrich himself. It was a precious commodity to him, together with its six bullets, which he was, he had decided he was going to use in dire emergency to protect his widowed, blind mother and his sisters.

I submit to the Honourable Members of the Committee that my client complies therefore with Section 20(1)(a), (b), (c), (2)(a), (b), (d), (f) and (3) and he hopes that you would consider his application for amnesty. Thank you.

MS STRETCH IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chairperson. The applicant in this matter in my respectful submission is blatantly dishonest. Firstly it is clear that he has very little or no knowledge about the framework or the policies of the ANC. After the two rallies, assuming that he did attend them, he did nothing for six months to obtain firearms. After six months, assuming again that he attended these rallies, any emotional affect that they may have had on him, would clearly have dissipated considerably. Mr Chairperson, he lied about his motive for murdering Godfrey Heuer, he quite clearly stated that it was to obtain firearms and yet he doesn't take both firearms with him.

I also wish to refer the Panel to the proportionality clause in Section 20(3)(f) of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, which we know relates to the relationship between the act and the omission of the offence and the political objective pursued and the directness and the proximity of such relationship to the commission of the offence. I respectfully submit to this Panel that if one looks at what was done to Potgieter in particular, he was shot three times. The applicant decided that probably that his accomplice was not such a good shot, we will come back later and make sure that we will kill him, we will bring a bigger and better gun. Potgieter did nothing to deserve that, if they really wanted firearms from him, they could have confronted him, obtained the safe keys from him and with minimal force, obtained the firearms and made their way off. They didn't do that. The people he refers to that would confirm his allegiance to the ANC, are all conveniently deceased.

He also distances himself conveniently from the other objects which were taken in count 2 of the indictment, namely the video machines, cassettes, money, two jackets, various other objects which quite clearly had nothing to do with his alleged political cause and therefore he cannot really justify for taking those objects and so simply says that it did not happen, although it was found by the Honourable Mr Justice Lievensohn that those objects were taken and his allegation that somebody would have taken them afterwards, is highly improbable and should be rejected by this Panel.

Again as quite correctly pointed out by the Panel, he contradicts himself severely regarding his friendship or knowledge of Patrick Qoqo. He know that Patrick Qoqo was killed by the IFP and there is no doubt in my mind that he refers to Patrick Qoqo in his letter so that this Panel could find that he obviously knows something about the ANC and has friends in the ANC. I submit that his friendship, his reference to any friendship with Patrick Qoqo should be rejected as it has been pointed our quite clearly by the Panel, that he has contradicted himself in that regard.

I accordingly submit on behalf of the family of the deceased Godfrey Heuer, that this application should be dismissed. Thank you.

MS MTANGA IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson. I will be very brief. The issues that I wish to cover in my submissions, have been covered by my learned friend, Adv Stretch. What I would like to submit is that the Committee should see this matter as a matter where the applicant set out to benefit himself personally and his friend Piet Nkosi, it was never to further any political objectives of the ANC as he has so alleged. This is my submission.

CHAIRPERSON: (Microphone not on)

MS LOONAT: No Mr Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We will take time to consider our decision and that concludes the hearings for this session, does it?

MS MTANGA: That is so Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Right. This Committee will accordingly now adjourn.


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