SABC News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us
 

Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 10 February 1998

Location PIETERMARITZBURG

Day 2

Names BONGANI MALEVU, WALTER F. TANDA

Case Number AM0578/97

Back To Top
Click on the links below to view results for:
+APLA +attacks

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, we proceed this morning with the amnesty applications of Andile Shiceka, Walter Falibonga Tanda and Bongani Malevu, on the 10th of February 1998.

Mr Chairman, sorry, just for the record, Adv P.C. Prior representing amnesty and in this matter, Mrs Swarts, one of the victims in the application.

CHAIRPERSON: For the record you will say they are applications 5939/97, the next one 5784/97 and the third one 293/96.

MR PRIOR: Yes, I confirm that Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And the panel consists of myself, Ngoepe J, Adv Potgieter SC, and adv Sandi. And the other people please place themselves on record.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, members of the panel. My name is Norman Arendse, I am from the Cape Bar, I am appearing together with my learned friend Vuyani Ngalwana. We appear on behalf of all three applicants. From left to right Bongani Malevu, in the middle Walter Tanda and on the right Andile Shiceka.

And I would like, with your leave Mr Chairman, deal with them in that order, thank you.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, before we continue, we have agreed the status of the bundle of documents which have been already handed up to the panel, as Exhibit A. That Exhibit A is a bundle of documents which sets out the amnesty applications, the indictment and medical legal post-mortem examination report, a court judgement, three witness statements and certain press and newspaper articles.

Without further proof thereof, the bundle is what it purports to be. Obviously the veracity of each and every allegation in those documents is not cast in stone, it is open to be challenged by any party and or the Committee.

So the agreement is basically that proof thereof is dispensed of. The status is accepted.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, which is the bundle that you are referring to?

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, the prepared bundle.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, you mean the whole thing?

MR PRIOR: Yes, that is the bound bundle.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay.

MR PRIOR: May that be marked Exhibit A with leave of the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: All right, very well. Thank you.

MR PRIOR: May I also place on record Mr Chairman, that notices were sent out to all the victims. Mrs Swarts, I have indicated is present. Mr Wolfaardt and Mr Maloney who were the other two victims in the incident, were notified. They indicated that they were unable to attend.

Both victims, Maloney and Wolfaardt expressed the following, that they had no objection to the application for amnesty and obviously would leave the decision in the hands of the Committee.

Certain implicated persons have been notified, those are the persons whose names appear at item 5 of Exhibit A, that is the bundle. I understand, I have only been handed the fax report or the return of service, is that the notices, the Section 19(4) notices, were delivered to their last known addresses and their inmates of those addressed brought it to the attention of those persons.

I understand that Mr Dube was the only one who contacted Mr Arendse in so far as representation was concerned. So from amnesty's side Mr Chairman, all the notices were handed to all the interested parties. I do have the returns if it should be necessary.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, Mr Arendse, the formalities have been dispensed with now. I am sure we can proceed now.

ADV ARENDSE: As you please Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, members of the Committee, I just have a short prepared opening statement to make and thereafter I would like to call on each of the applicants to give evidence in support of their applications.

I believe that copies of prepared statements on behalf of the applicants, have been made available to you. They are unsigned. They will stay substantially as they are, there will be some deviations here and there because, and the reason for that is, for the first time only today, this morning, I had an opportunity of meeting all three applicants together in the same room.

ADV POTGIETER: Mr Arendse, you say they are prepared statements from the applicants?

ADV ARENDSE: That is correct Adv Potgieter.

CHAIRPERSON: The statements cover incidents other than the one we (indistinct) with?

ADV ARENDSE: That is correct Mr Chairman, because there was a request from the Amnesty Committee Secretariat for the applicants to provide details to the other incidents, but yes, you are right, we only intend to deal with the Newcastle Crazy Beat disco matter and unless you specifically or Mr Prior wants to refer to the others, I don't intend to deal with them.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I suppose ordinarily we would confine ourselves to what is before us.

ADV ARENDSE: As you please Mr Chairman. If I may continue Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman the applicants were arrested in connection with what is referred to as the Crazy Beat disco incident in Newcastle on the 15th of February. The incident itself took place on the 14th of February of 1994.

The applicants were then charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of arms and ammunition and grenades. These charges arose from the shooting which took place at the Crazy Beat disco on the 14th of February. As a result of the attack on the disco, a 31 year old white female I hope the pronunciation is correct, Guibrecht Solomina van Wyk was killed.

Applicant malevu was convicted. They appeared in court, he was convicted or murder, attempted murder and the unlawful possession of machine guns. Applicant Tanda was convicted of murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of machine guns, grenades and three rounds of ammunition and a pistol. Applicant Shiceka was convicted of murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of machine guns and grenades.

Malevu was sentenced to an effective 10 years imprisonment, the trial court having found that he was an accomplice to the murder and the attempted murder as well as being an accessory after the fact.

Tanda and Shiceka were found to have perpetrated the attack on the Crazy Beat disco. They were sentenced to effective terms of imprisonment of 25 years. The applicants, Mr Chairman, accept that they were properly convicted and sentenced by Judge Hugo, sitting with two assessors on the 24th and 26th of May 1994.

We submit that the summary of substantial facts in the criminal trial which I see is not part of the record before you Mr Chairman, read together with the facts found by the trial court, and those facts are before you, are substantially correct.

The trial court also found correctly that the applicants were members, in the case of Mr Malevu, the members of the Pan African Congress and in the case of Messrs Shiceka and Tanda, members of APLA.

The trial court also found that the attack was politically motivated. That they acted on orders from the APLA high command and that the applicants gained nothing personally from the attack.

Mr Chairman and learned members of the Committee, we submit that on these facts as found by the trial court, albeit with respect, that it is an opinion from another tribunal, we submit that this Committee after hearing evidence will make the same if not similar, the same findings and accordingly we submit that having regard to the Act, and in particular the requirements for amnesty, that the applicants should be entitled to be granted amnesty.

Mr Chairman, if I may proceed to call the first applicant to give evidence, Bongani Golden Malevu.

BONGANI GOLDEN MALEVU: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Arendse, in the criminal trial, who was accused 1?

ADV ARENDSE: Accused 1 was Malevu. Accused 2 was Tanda and accused 3 was Shiceka. And accused 4 was also a Malevu, the brother of Bongani Malevu.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, yes you may proceed.

EXAMINATION BY ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Malevu, you have made an application, a formal application for amnesty to this Committee, is that correct?

INTERPRETER: The speaker is not audible.

MR MALEVU: Yes, that is true.

ADV ARENDSE: And the application relates to your role in the attack on the Crazy Beat disco in Newcastle on the 14th of February 1994, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: Yes, that is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Is it also correct that the criminal court where you were, in which you appeared as accused 1, found that you did not play a direct role in the attack?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Is it correct that your role was confined to driving your co-applicants, Tanda and Shiceka in your motor vehicle to the scene of the attack before the attack happened and then again subsequently after the attack, you also transported the accused in your motor vehicle?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And for that role that you played in the whole operation, you were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And you are currently serving that sentence at the Waterval prison in Newcastle?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Mr Malevu, just some personal details. Are you married?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

ADV ARENDSE: Do you have children?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I have children.

ADV ARENDSE: How many and how old are they?

MR MALEVU: There are two.

ADV ARENDSE: What are their ages?

MR MALEVU: One is five and the older one is nine.

ADV ARENDSE: Do you get to see them from time to time?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I do see them. However, not that often.

ADV ARENDSE: How do you feel about what happened, you know what happened in the attack, a lady was killed and two people were injured. How do you feel about what happened.

MR MALEVU: I feel sorry for the family and I will like to ask for forgiveness, and I will also ask for forgiveness before the Commission because whatever I did, I didn't gain anything, I did it in the name of the organisation.

ADV ARENDSE: The organisation that you are referring to, is that the PAC?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Were you a member of APLA at the time?

MR MALEVU: No, I wasn't.

ADV ARENDSE: Mr Malevu, just give us some background as to your education. Did you go to school and if so, up to what standard?

MR MALEVU: I passed standard 10.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you have the privilege of any tertiary education?

MR MALEVU: I didn't get the chance.

ADV ARENDSE: When did you first join the PAC?

MR MALEVU: It was at the time when it opened its mouth.

ADV ARENDSE: When would that have been?

MR MALEVU: It was during 1990.

ADV ARENDSE: I believe you also were an official of NATO, the Trade Union federation aligned to the PAC, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Were you politically active, did you play an active role in the politics of the movement?

MR MALEVU: Yes, at some times I occupied some positions.

ADV ARENDSE: Are you in a position to explain to us the relationship between the PAC as a political organisation and APLA as a military organisation?

MR MALEVU: APLA is the armed wing of the PAC. PAC concentrate on the political side, while APLA concentrates on the armed struggle.

ADV ARENDSE: Before the 14th of February 1994, that is before the Crazy Beat disco attack, did you know that the attack was going to take place?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I did know.

ADV ARENDSE: When did you first get to know and who told you and so on, just explain that to us?

MR MALEVU: I got it from Andile Shiceka and Walter Tanda. The two people sitting right here with me.

ADV ARENDSE: When did you get that from them?

MR MALEVU: It was during the weekend before the attack, I met them, there was a meeting where they explained to me the operations, telling me that they have come to Newcastle and all the things they were coming to do in Newcastle. That is where I got the message.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, is it correct that during the course of 1993 already, you had been informed by a member of the APLA high command that an operation would take place in Newcastle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I did get that.

ADV ARENDSE: When in 1993 did you get that?

MR MALEVU: It was between May and June in 1993, I don't remember well the exact month.

ADV ARENDSE: Can you name the person in the APLA high command who told you this?

MR MALEVU: I don't know his exact name, but we use code names, and he was referred to as Jones.

ADV ARENDSE: Would this Jones be Mandla Power, would he be one and the same person or don't you know?

MR MALEVU: I can't say it is the two, however, you find that people had many code names, so I will make a mistake if I say he was one of the two.

ADV ARENDSE: At the time, and I am referring to mid-1993, you said May, June, you are not exactly sure, were you at that stage given any task to do? Were you told what role to play?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

ADV ARENDSE: What was that task?

MR MALEVU: I was told that APLA will send its members in Natal to check the place, or to do reconnaissance in the area so that when I go back to my place, I will also be armed.

ADV ARENDSE: Is it correct that you were given arms and ammunition to take from Umtata and to hide it in Newcastle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, that is correct. I took them with me.

ADV ARENDSE: How did you transport these arms?

MR MALEVU: I was travelling in a bakkie, we disconnected it and we put them inside the body of the car and then we seal it off again. I took them back home and when I am at home, I dismantled it and took the firearms out.

ADV ARENDSE: So these arms were transported in your bakkie and they were concealed inside the bodywork of the bakkie?

MR MALEVU: Yes, they were hidden in that way.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you use these arms at all before the Crazy Beat disco attack?

MR MALEVU: No, we didn't use them. We only used them at the operation at Crazy Beat disco operation.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, now in January 1994 and part of February 1994, you had been away to Sweden, is that right?

MR MALEVU: Yes, that is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Can you briefly tell us how did it come about that you went to Sweden?

MR MALEVU: The Civic Organisation by the name of SANCO, (indistinct) elected me as a delegate to go to Sweden. That is how I was elected.

ADV ARENDSE: And when you returned in February, is that correct, on the 11th of February?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Before the 11th of February, did you know your co-applicants Walter Tanda and Andile Shiceka? Did you meet them before the Crazy Beat incident?

MR MALEVU: I didn't know Tanda but I knew Shiceka.

ADV ARENDSE: How did you know Shiceka?

MR MALEVU: During 1993, when it was said they will come up to do reconnaissances, he was part of the group which came to do reconnaissance in Newcastle.

ADV ARENDSE: Are you in a position to explain to us what did this reconnaissance entail, what did that mean?

MR MALEVU: What I was trying to explain was that as members of APLA who came to the area, they couldn't just start attacking, they first have to come and investigate the situation to see how the layout is in Newcastle and to find out how many people they will need to do the attack or operations.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you know what the reason was why these APLA operatives were doing these reconnaissance?

MR MALEVU: As I have mentioned, that we talked to Jones in 1993, he also mentioned that they will come to do the recognosce and it was clear that the PAC, especially the armed wing, APLA, haven't done anything in KwaZulu Natal, so there was a need to send people to come and do the reconnaissance so that the operation could be carried out. I think that is the picture.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, it is well known that the PAC had a conference in December of 1993. Did you attend that conference?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I was present.

ADV ARENDSE: Did any resolutions come out of that conference dealing with the armed struggle or the status of the armed struggle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, there were such things.

ADV ARENDSE: What more or less was the resolution that was taken there at the conference?

MR MALEVU: There was a debate about the armed struggle and it was agreed that the armed struggle should continue.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you personally hear anything about the armed struggle or the status of the armed struggle after that resolution was taken in 1993?

MR MALEVU: I found out after I was arrested, that the PAC will suspend the armed struggle.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, if you could just deal with the evening of the attack on the 14th.

Can you explain to the Committee what role you played?

MR MALEVU: My part in the operation after having conversed with Tanda, I was told that I would have to help with driving and also to help them in the hijacking of the car.

I was also the driver when we went to look for this car. I was driving Tanda to look around at the place and see if there were road blocks or not. That is what I did and after the operation, I also tried to take the arms to go and hide them in the farms in Babana and my brother, I think that is what I did.

ADV ARENDSE: You mentioned in your application, Mr Chairman, which is on pages 15 to 19 of the record and Exhibit A, on page 16 Mr Chairman, under sub heading Nature and Particulars (iv), you mention in your application, I have been part of planning the attack that took place in Newcastle disco on 14 February 1994, which was conducted by APLA cadres where one person was killed and the other was injured.

Can you just explain what you mean that you were part of the planning of the attack on the disco?

MR MALEVU: I was trying to say that after I came back from overseas, we had a meeting where everything was explained to me. I was told I have to get a driver and that is the reason why I am saying I was involved, but that is what I was trying to say.

ADV ARENDSE: Still on page 16 Mr Chairman, under the sub heading State the political objective sought to be achieved, you wrote Mr Malevu, to dismantle the apartheid regime. We were pressurising the whites so that they can tell the apartheid regime to concede to our political demands, do you recall writing that in your application?

MR MALEVU: I do remember even if I don't remember which of the applications, because I made a few applications. I don't know which one is that one.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, the attack took place on the 14th of February 1994, just about two and a half months or so, approximately two months before the first democratic elections in this country which took place I think on the 27th of April 1994.

The question is, here we were going to have our first, and we did have our first democratic elections which returned a majority black government. Why did you still participate in this attack?

MR MALEVU: What I knew was that the PAC was continuing with the armed struggle so I have to follow the resolution of the armed struggle.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you participate because you were ordered to do so?

MR MALEVU: Can you repeat the question for me?

ADV ARENDSE: Did you participate in the attack, as you put it the planning of the attack and the role that you played in the attack, both before and after the attack, did you do that because you were ordered to do so?

MR MALEVU: Doing what, what did?

ADV ARENDSE: Were you ordered to play a role in the attack or did you do so voluntarily, did you just feel like doing it or were you told to do it?

CHAIRPERSON: I think we should disallow that question in the way that it is coming.

ADV ARENDSE: As you please Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Why did you take part in this thing?

MR MALEVU: I was a PAC member and I follow its rules and if part of the PAC decided to follow the armed struggle, I was supposed to help. I couldn't oppose or refuse to help, because that will mean I am contradicting the rules and procedures of the PAC.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. You had brought arms back from Umtata and you hid it at your home, but then you left in January to go to Sweden and you returned in February. Did you make these arms available to Tanda and Shiceka on your return from Sweden or were those arms made available before your return from Sweden?

MR MALEVU: When I left, after realising that it is possible that they might come to look for the arms when I am not available, I made sure that I put them in a place where they would be able to reach them when they want to use them.

ADV ARENDSE: You did not convey your co-applicants to the Crazy Beat disco to carry out the attack, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: Please repeat your question?

ADV ARENDSE: You did not convey Tanda and Shiceka to the Crazy Beat disco to carry out the attack?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: That was done by Dube?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And he drove in a Cressida vehicle which was hijacked on the same night of the attack?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you play any role in hijacking this Cressida motor vehicle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I was there.

ADV ARENDSE: What role did you play?

MR MALEVU: I was the one who was driving the car for the people who were going to do the hijacking.

ADV ARENDSE: You had mentioned that some reconnaissance work was done by APLA operatives in the Newcastle area. Do you know whether any targets were identified by these operatives?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I remember.

ADV ARENDSE: Can you mention which targets were identified in the Newcastle area?

MR MALEVU: If I remember well, at the end it was a restaurant, the Crazy Beat disco.

ADV ARENDSE: Were those the only two?

MR MALEVU: Those are the only two I can remember.

ADV ARENDSE: Do you know why the restaurant was not attacked instead of the Crazy Beat disco?

MR MALEVU: I only discovered later as to why it wasn't attacked.

ADV ARENDSE: What were you told, why was it not attacked?

MR MALEVU: I was told that when they arrived, there were many people outside the building and there were many African people around there, and it was clear that if they carried out the operation, some of the African people, two or three could be injured.

ADV ARENDSE: Do you know why the Crazy Beat disco was identified as a target?

MR MALEVU: It was because it was mostly frequented by white people.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you at any stage see for yourself that the Crazy Beat disco is mostly frequented by white people?

MR MALEVU: Yes, as a person who was staying in Newcastle, I used to pass the Crazy Beat so I knew, I saw that it was mostly white people who were frequenting the place.

ADV ARENDSE: When did you see the, your co-applicants Tanda and Shiceka, when did you see them again after the attack took place, was it that same night or was it the next day?

MR MALEVU: I saw Tanda the very same night of the attack.

ADV ARENDSE: Where did you see him?

MR MALEVU: At home.

ADV ARENDSE: At your home?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

ADV ARENDSE: And what did he tell you?

MR MALEVU: He came to request a car telling me that they have carried out the operation.

ADV ARENDSE: Did he mention to you what took place and where the operation took place and what happened, did he give any details to you?

MR MALEVU: If I remember well, he told me that they carried out the attack. I don't remember as to which target they mentioned to me, and they told me they didn't meet any problem on the way, they were not stopped by police, or they didn't fight with other people there.

So, however, they didn't identify as to which target.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, did Tanda stay at your home that night?

MR MALEVU: He came that night to take a car, and left.

ADV ARENDSE: Did he take your car?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, we know that the next day, the 15th of February, you were arrested together with your co-applicants, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And was it in your car that you were all sitting?

MR MALEVU: No, we were using my friend's car.

ADV ARENDSE: Is there any reason why you didn't use your car?

MR MALEVU: It is because it worked throughout the night and it was dirty. It was a time where we had to go to work, I couldn't use it to go to work, because it was dirty. I left it with my friend to wash it, and took his car.

ADV ARENDSE: Mr Chairman, that will be all at the moment, thank you. Thank you Mr Malevu.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY ADV ARENDSE: .

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prior?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Malevu, I am going to ask you questions on behalf also of one of the victims, Mrs Swarts, whose daughter died in this attack, and also in my capacity as evidence leader for the Amnesty Committee.

Do you understand?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I do.

MR PRIOR: Thank you. What was your position with in the PAC in the Newcastle area, did you have an office, were you an office bearer within the organisation for that region?

MR MALEVU: I was a member of the local committee.

MR PRIOR: Who was the Chairman of the local committee, do you recall?

MR MALEVU: It was Victor Twala.

MR PRIOR: And if I understand your evidence, you were approached in 1993 and given information that an attack was eminent in the Newcastle area and that you were to give assistance to the APLA members who were to approach you, is that so?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Now, during the conference in December of 1993, that was in Umtata, was it not?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: You say the armed struggle, or the idea of the armed struggle was to continue, that was the resolution that was taken at that conference?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Was that a clear signal that went out from the leadership that the armed struggle was to continue during 1994?

MR MALEVU: In the conference it wasn't only the leaders who were speaking, it was the whole conference that resolved that the struggle should continue.

MR PRIOR: Was there any disagreement that the struggle should continue in the run up to the elections in April of 1994?

MR MALEVU: There were two views. The other view was that it should be suspended, the other one was that it should continue, however, those who were in favour of the continuation of the armed struggle, won the vote.

MR PRIOR: Yes, that is what I am trying to demonstrate, that there didn't seem to be unanimity among PAC members, or the leadership of the PAC and APLA, whether the armed struggle should be discontinued in the run up to the elections or not. I just wanted you to assist us there, is that correct, there was no unanimity, there was a rift.

There were two parties, two views of thought as to whether the armed struggle should be discontinued or not?

MR MALEVU: At the conference, it is clear that people come into a conference will not come with one view, they will have to debate all the views, but it didn't mean there was a rift within the organisation.

It was PAC as one political organisation.

MR PRIOR: I don't want to burden the record with referring to all the news clippings and paper clippings, but it seems to me, it seems to be common cause that at the stage, prior to the election and particular at the time of the various attacks, for example St James church in Cape Town, the Heidelberg Tavern in Cape Town, King Williams Town golf club, the Crazy Beat disco in Newcastle, those attacks, there seems to be lack of uniformity of decision amongst the PAC.

We have had views saying that it wasn't their type of operation, they hadn't sanctioned that operation and we were also hearing that in fact the PAC had not suspended the armed struggle. We were getting two types of signals in the press.

Are you able to comment on that?

MR MALEVU: I would like to understand when you are referring to suspension of armed struggle and what do you mean by that?

MR PRIOR: All right, if I can refer to page 80 of Exhibit A. Unfortunately Mr Chairman, those preparing the bundle have not indicated the date of this press release, but I want to refer to it in general terms.

There is an article headed PAC (indistinct) and it seems to report that the PAC expresses disappointment, yes, there were statements made by veteran Raymond Laba at the weekend, when he criticised the PAC for being committed to the armed struggle.

It referred to Mr Timothy Jantjies of the Eastern Cape who said last night that the PAC was not opposed to the election in terms of the congress resolution taken in Umtata in December.

And he is going on to report. Sorry, if I may stop there. Do you know Mr Jantjies, Timothy Jantjies from the Eastern Cape?

MR MALEVU: I don't know him, I don't know anything about him.

MR PRIOR: Well, he is reported to have said we have never threatened civil war or the use of force to disrupt the election. Are you able to comment on that?

MR MALEVU: I don't know where he got that, however, what I knew is that the PAC said that we had to continue with the armed struggle.

MR PRIOR: He is reported to have said that the PAC were committed to peace, was committed to the peace process? Was that the type of thing that was being discussed at the conference in Umtata in December of 1993?

MR MALEVU: What peace when we were oppressed?

MR PRIOR: Sorry, it is a very simple question. Were those the type of things that were being discussed, that the PAC was committed to peace, a peaceful resolution of the problems of the country, that they were committed to the peace process and the election that was forthcoming or were those things not discussed?

MR MALEVU: We all wish peace, however the situation wasn't right for peace.

MR PRIOR: Right, at page 82 of the bundle, there is a report of Sevello Parmer in the Argus African News Service, who is reported to have said and once again I apologise, but as to the time frame of this article, obviously it must have occurred before Mr Parmer passed away and that was I understand in 1993.

He had indicated that orders had gone out to members of the PAC armed wing to seize all military operations and the reports of attacks from APLA were being made not by APLA people, but by other people, are you able to comment on that?

MR MALEVU: I won't deal with Sevello Parmer's stories or his reports. He was reporting, I wasn't trained in that field, I don't know what he was saying.

MR PRIOR: Mr Malevu, what I want to just hear from you as a member of committee of the PAC, were there clear signals coming from the leaders of the PAC, were they being filtered down clearly to people like you on the ground, that the armed struggle was to continue, or did there seem to you to be confusion as to whether the armed struggle should continue or not?

MR MALEVU: The suspension of the armed struggle frightened me as I have said it was resolved that it should continue and that people had different views as to whether they should continue or not.

However, at the end we are bound by the resolution which said that it has to continue and also the leaders from the regions also sent the very same message that it should continue. So we had to obey them as members.

MR PRIOR: You went to Sweden, that was shortly before the attack in February, it was the 14th of February is that right?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Was that in your capacity as a member of the PAC or as a member of the Trade Union?

MR MALEVU: As a Civic Organisation member.

MR PRIOR: Were you aware at the time, or had you heard about the St James church attack in Cape Town, as well as the Heidelberg attack in December of 1993?

MR MALEVU: You mean at the conference?

MR PRIOR: Well during your stay, when you went to Sweden, that was in the early part of 1994, were you aware, had you heard that those attacks had taken place?

MR MALEVU: I wasn't told but I had seen it on the newspapers. There wasn't a structure that gave the information to me.

MR PRIOR: Were you aware that APLA had claimed responsibility for those attacks?

MR MALEVU: At the time when I got the information?

MR PRIOR: Yes, that is when you were in Sweden or shortly thereafter, that is before the Newcastle attack?

MR MALEVU: I don't remember well as to how the information was which I found in the papers. Whether the PAC claimed to have been responsible, I don't remember well.

MR PRIOR: All right. Are you able to recall whether there was any international condemnation on that type of operation? I am asking you particularly whilst you were in Sweden?

MR MALEVU: The complain regarding white people?

MR PRIOR: That the international community was opposed to that type of operation where innocent civilians were being killed in restaurants and in churches? Were you aware of that voice that was in Europe at the time?

MR MALEVU: Yes, it used to happen.

MR PRIOR: Now, when you came back to the Republic you then told the Committee that you then actively participated in the preparation for the attack on the Newcastle discotheque?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Were you able to give any information to your colleagues, Mr Tanda and Mr Shiceka and the others regarding the identification or the identity of the target?

MR MALEVU: If I remember well, we arrived on Friday, the operation was carried out on Monday. I think they had already done most of the preparation when I arrived.

MR PRIOR: You became aware that the Crazy Beat discotheque was to be attacked at some stage before the attack, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Did you know that from your, I mean you lived in that area, did you know that it was a discotheque, it was a place where people went to enjoy themselves, to dance and to drink, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I knew.

MR PRIOR: Did you also know that those people were unarmed civilians?

MR MALEVU: It is clear that they are usually armed, you see them when they go around, carrying their firearms.

MR PRIOR: Are you saying that the patrons of the Newcastle discotheque were normally armed, they carried firearms?

MR MALEVU: Not all of them, but it is clear that as a man you normally carry firearms.

MR PRIOR: Is that just something that you accept from what you have heard or what you have read, or do you know that from your own knowledge?

MR MALEVU: That is from my own knowledge.

MR PRIOR: What I am driving at, is that can you possibly explain to the Committee, how was the attack on a discotheque where civilians were in attendance going to assist the struggle that the PAC and APLA were embarked on, can you assist us on that?

MR MALEVU: According to the information that I had with regard to the operation, it was that there will be many white people at the place where they will be enjoying themselves.

MR PRIOR: Yes?

MR MALEVU: I will say that is the crux of the matter.

MR PRIOR: An attack in those circumstances, against white people, predominantly white people, how was that going to assist in overthrowing the regime, or how was it going to assist in achieving democracy?

MR MALEVU: The PAC's principles are clear. It also stated in one of principles that one of their aims is to topple the oppressive government and if they do attack the white people, the ruling people, the government will take it seriously and they will go about trying to change.

MR PRIOR: But it was common knowledge at that time, February 1994, that the elections were scheduled for April, as your counsel put it, two months away? Is that not so?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And by all accounts the indications were overwhelmingly that there will be a black majority government? Maybe not a PAC led government, but certainly an ANC led government?

MR MALEVU: It wasn't very clear since the ANC insisted that we should continue attacks, we didn't believe or wholly believe in the elections.

MR PRIOR: Sorry, I don't follow that. You say the ANC indicated that the attacks should continue, I didn't quite follow?

MR MALEVU: I am saying even if we were about to go through the elections, the organisation at the conference took a resolution that we should continue with the armed struggle, knowing that there will be elections.

They were using the strategy that they will go to the elections while also attacking at the same time.

MR PRIOR: All right, let's put it in a different way. Correct me if I am mistaken, was the attack on a purely white target, in other words involving white civilians, was that to put pressure on the white section of the electorate, in other words to pressurise them into voting the right way, in other words away from the Nationalist Party led government at the time?

MR MALEVU: No, we didn't attack them so that they should love us.

MR PRIOR: Why did you attack them, can you maybe explain that?

MR MALEVU: It was clear that when you attack them, the people have the channel to go to government and tell them that there should be change in the country.

MR PRIOR: Did you do anything to advise your colleagues from APLA, that is your two co-applicants or any of the others, to desway them from attacking the discotheque?

MR MALEVU: I never discouraged it.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I noticed it is one o'clock, are we going to carry on? I will probably be another ten minutes at the most.

CHAIRPERSON: Then maybe, let's carry on.

MR PRIOR: As the Committee pleases. As far as you were concerned, and I am referring to what was in your mind, can you tell us, who ordered, who was the person that gave the order to attack the discotheque, in other words to attack, and I can put it in this context, a white target?

MR MALEVU: In regards to the issuing of orders to go and attack, I shall think that that will come from the armed wing, and I wasn't involved with that.

MR PRIOR: During a submission made by the APLA high command during the week 7 to 10 or 11th of October, of last year, before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Cape Town, it was stated quite clearly there that the PAC was a party not based on racial lines.

Do you agree with that?

MR MALEVU: It seems that you've added to the fact that you say PAC was not against apartheid.

MR PRIOR: No, its policies weren't based along racial lines, in other words it also embraced the white population and welcomed membership from the white section of the population of the country?

MR MALEVU: I think that is correct.

MR PRIOR: I need to put this to you, it also appeared from those submissions that the strategy of APLA seemed to change round about that time, it was from mid-1993 when the St James attack occurred until the Newcastle attack occurred, a range of about eight months.

That APLA moved away from striking purely military or police targets and shifted its emphasis to civilian targets or soft targets as they were referred to. Were you aware of that shift or were you aware of that development?

MR MALEVU: I wasn't told about the shift. I only used to know that we had to attack white people.

MR PRIOR: And if I understand your evidence thus far, you simply agreed with that policy and you gave every assistance that you could, as you have explained, to the members of APLA who came to Newcastle to carry out the attack, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And you did that without question?

MR MALEVU: Asking who, from whom?

MR PRIOR: No, you did that without questioning whether it was correct to do so or not, you simply carried out those requests and instructions as you had received from your superiors?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Prior, when you say your superiors, who are you referring to? Are you referring to the PAC people or APLA?

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Maybe he can answer that. The instructions that you carried out or the requests that you undertook, did they come from your leaders of PAC or did they come from the high command of APLA?

MR MALEVU: I think it was from APLA. I can't say the high command, because I don't know the rank structure of APLA.

INTERPRETER: The witness is complaining that his earphones are not working well, it goes on and off. Can somebody help me?

MR PRIOR: Maybe he can just change his headset. Please try the other headset that has been handed to you.

May we just try that question again.

MR MALEVU: This is an English channel, could somebody just get it on channel 3?

MR PRIOR: Can you just assist and put channel 3 on your headset.

Can you hear now?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I can hear you.

MR PRIOR: Right the question briefly is where did you get the instructions to assist in the attack in Newcastle, was that from the leadership of the PAC or from APLA, did that request come from APLA?

MR MALEVU: With regard to the attack, I am getting confused, the instruction that I got was to help those people who are coming to attack, organise a place for them to stay.

We never discuss as to which target for example Crazy Beat, I think it might have been organised or dealt with while they were in Umtata.

MR PRIOR: Just finally, one of - you indicated also that there were two targets to be attacked in Newcastle, one was a restaurant. And you indicated that that wasn't attacked because there were black people in the vicinity and they may have been injured.

MR MALEVU: I didn't say inside, I said just surrounded area, there were black people.

MR PRIOR: In the vicinity of the restaurant and that is why that target wasn't attacked, is that correct, is that your information?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Just finally, you also indicated that a vehicle was hijacked and used presumably in the attack. Are you aware of that?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Were you present when that vehicle was hijacked?

MR MALEVU: I parked around the area where they hijacked the car, they alighted from my car and went to hijack the car.

MR PRIOR: So were you able to see what happened with that incident?

MR MALEVU: It was at night, I couldn't see.

MR PRIOR: Sorry, was it Mr Tanda and Mr Shiceka that approached that vehicle, that is the vehicle that was hijacked?

MR MALEVU: Shiceka wasn't there, it was Tanda and other two men.

MR PRIOR: Do you know whether they were armed at that stage when they proceeded to that vehicle or moved towards that vehicle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, they were armed.

MR PRIOR: Do you know what happened to the driver of that vehicle?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I know.

MR PRIOR: Was he injured, was he tied up, was he assaulted? Are you able to tell us?

MR MALEVU: What I found is that they had a discussion with them, which was not an amicable one. They explained to him who they were and they said they are not going to attack African people.

They asked him that they will not cause any problems to him, they will bring back his car and he should just obey the request and fortunately he had his girlfriend.

They agreed to hand the car, they even drove the girlfriend and this man back to their place. They were tied from behind, the hands behind and they were guarded by two people.

Their car was taken to do the operation and after that, it was brought back to them. Tanda after the operation, also gave him R10-00 to put petrol in the car. They even shared a cigarette after that.

MR PRIOR: Why was it necessary to tie these people up, the girlfriend and the owner of the vehicle?

MR MALEVU: They were tied because it was a common cause that if there is an accident they might get injured, so for their safety we have to tie them.

When the car went to do the operation, found the young boys who had to guard these people. They said to them, untie them, because you are armed and they are also cooperating, there is no need to tie them.

Therefore after the operation, when they come back, they found they were tied. They were only tied when they were caught and put into the car, but most of the time, they were untied.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRIOR

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe we should adjourn until two o'clock.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: One aspect if I may be permitted, to put to this witness. Mr Malevu, there is just one aspect I wish you to comment on.

It is an aspect that seems to have arisen in most of the APLA applications. It certainly came to the fore in the Heidelberg Tavern attack and it concerns your arrest the next day, that is the day after the attack, on the 15th of February 1994.

You indicated that you were arrested together with Mr Tanda and Mr Shiceka, is that correct?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And you were driving in someone else's motor vehicle?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Did that ever bother you that you were arrested so soon after the attack?

MR MALEVU: It did bother me.

MR PRIOR: Are you able to say now, at any stage, whether any information had been passed to the Security Forces regarding your involvement and the involvement of your co-applicants in this attack? In other words there was an informer in your midst?

MR MALEVU: Excuse me, what came to my mind was that the person from whom they hijacked the car was told that we were APLA people, so I suppose that people might have been surveilling or operations.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRIOR: .

ADV SANDI: Mr Malevu, you mentioned that there was a conference in Umtata. At that conference a resolution was taken to continue with the armed struggle. I just want to know from you what exactly was decided upon, how were you going to go about continuing with that armed struggle? Who were going to be the targets, how long was this armed struggle envisaged to continue?

MR MALEVU: My understanding was that the armed struggle should continue as we were fighting against the apartheid government. I didn't have the correct picture as to how long it should continue. All I knew is that it should continue.

ADV SANDI: Was it discussed who the targets were going to be?

MR MALEVU: I don't remember if it was specified in the conference. What was clear was that we had to fight against the apartheid government.

ADV SANDI: In other words, you are saying that this was just a general resolution that the armed struggle should continue?

MR MALEVU: I do not remember the specifics as to which should be done, however as we were debating it, which was suspended, it was supposed to be suspended during CODESA but it continued.

ADV SANDI: You also mentioned that there were two opposing view points at this conference. One of them was in favour of intensifying the armed struggle, and the other was against. Do you recall that evidence this morning?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

ADV SANDI: Are you perhaps able to remember the reasons that were being advanced in motivation of intensifying the armed struggle, are you able to remember what those who were saying the armed struggle should continue, what reasons they were giving for that view point?

MR MALEVU: It came out that we shouldn't wait for the negotiations, we should continue with the armed struggle and we will see from the results of the negotiations as to whether to continue or not.

However, it was exercised that we can't rely on negotiations, we have to continue with the struggle.

ADV SANDI: Is this at December 1993, this conference?

MR MALEVU: It was on December if I remember very well.

ADV SANDI: December 1993, I thought that was your evidence this morning?

MR MALEVU: Yes, it was at December 1993.

ADV SANDI: Was the PAC at that stage not part of those negotiations at the World Trade Centre?

MR MALEVU: It was involved, however, I don't know whether it was during CODESA or the World Trade Centre one, but it took part in one.

ADV SANDI: At the end of the day the resolution was taken that that the armed struggle should continue?

MR MALEVU: Yes.

ADV SANDI: Are you able to remember the reasons or arguments that were being advanced by those who had won this debate?

MR MALEVU: I can't have the whole picture as to what the debate was going about. However, it was clear that it should continue despite the elections coming on, the negotiations.

ADV SANDI: Did you personally play any role in selecting the Crazy Beat disco as a target?

MR MALEVU: No, I didn't.

ADV SANDI: When Mr Tanda came to you that evening, to say that they had carried out the operation, what did you understand him to be talking about?

MR MALEVU: As I knew that they were going to attack, I only asked him as to what happened. Whether they were injured or whether they were arrested or something like that.

ADV SANDI: Thank you Mr Malevu.

JUDGE NGOEPE: Perhaps Mr Prior, in all fairness to the applicant, we should refer to an article which is parallel to the one that you read to him.

There is, on the same page, I am sure you don't have that, but there is an article next to the one which was read to you, page 80, there is an article which says that the PAC in the Transkei or rather members of the PAC in Transkei were very much in favour of the continuation of the armed struggle, and they were almost about to revolt against any suggestion that the armed struggle should stop.

Would that be in line with the view of some of the people who were at the meeting in December 1993?

If you do not understand my question, you must please tell me?

MR MALEVU: May you please repeat?

CHAIRPERSON: According to this newspaper report, there were people in the Eastern Cape or in particular in Transkei, members of the PAC who did not want to give up the armed struggle.

Would that be in line with the views of some of the people who attended the meeting where the resolution was taken in 1993?

MR MALEVU: At the conference, when the issue of armed struggle was discussed, there were debates before the resolution. I was not referring to debates which was going on outside of the conference.

I don't know whether you are referring to what was discussed at the conference or something that happened outside the conference.

CHAIRPERSON: It is not clear whether it was in or outside the conference, but in all probability it was not at the same conference.

It is not referring to the conference, but the general situation in Transkei at the time? Thank you Mr Arendse, do you have questions in re-examination?

MR MALEVU: Yes, I understand.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, just again for the sake of completeness really, can I also just refer to, my learned friend Mr Prior had referred to page 82 where APLA was told to seize operations, then we find on page 83, that 1994 had been declared the year of the bullet and the ballot. That was in the New Years message received from APLA Commander Sevello Parmer and then on page 87 just to link that to the point that you raised Mr Chairman, PAC government in talks, but rebellion is brewing.

That article actually highlight some of the different factions within the party that appear to be rebelling against the decision to suspend the armed struggle.

I seem to think that there was an announcement, it may even have been in January of 1994 about the leadership suspending the armed struggle.

But other wise Mr Chairman, I don't have any further questions of Mr Malevu.

CHAIRPERSON: I think let's tie that up. So is it correct then that inside the PAC and or APLA as well, there were some people who thought that the armed struggle should be suspended and on the other hand, there were others who felt that it should continue?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And where did you fall?

MR MALEVU: During the conference?

CHAIRPERSON: Or even thereafter, what was your view? We've got two groups, one group says the armed struggle should stop, the other group says, no, it should continue.

Where did you fall?

MR MALEVU: I was of the view that it should continue.

ADV SANDI: At that stage Mr Malevu, a number of attacks had been conducted, maybe I should say allegedly by APLA, were these attacks discussed at the conference at Umtata?

MR MALEVU: I don't remember attacks being discussed at the conference.

CHAIRPERSON: You would all have been arrested there and then at the conference, if you discussed those attacks, I am sure?

MR MALEVU: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: The idea that you should, well, you shouldn't launch an attack at the restaurant because there were a lot of black people in front or outside, rather go and attack the disco because it is frequented by white people. To me it sounds rather racist?

It sounds that the attack is inspired by pure racism? What do you say about that?

MR MALEVU: It wasn't because of racism.

CHAIRPERSON: Explain that please.

MR MALEVU: It is clear as I have already mentioned, that the white people were the only people who were in government, people who have the right to vote.

We were fighting against this government and in order to pass the message to this government, we had to attack this white people since the white people were trained to protect the government. We wanted to send a message straight to the government.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Did anyone else have questions to put to the witness?

MR PRIOR: My questions will be directed to the other applicants, I think we have canvassed this, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Arendse?

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, can I call on Walter Falibonga Tanda to be sworn in Mr Chairman.

WALTER FALIBONGA TANDA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: You may sit down, and please try to speak loud so that the interpreters can hear you. We don't want you to be misinterpreted, it may cause problems later. Do you understand?

MR TANDA: Okay.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, yes, Mr Arendse?

EXAMINATION BY ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Tanda, how old are you now?

MR TANDA: I am 37 years old.

ADV ARENDSE: Are you married?

MR TANDA: Yes, I am married.

ADV ARENDSE: Do you have any children?

MR TANDA: Yes, three.

ADV ARENDSE: How old are they?

MR TANDA: One is 12 years old, the other is 8 and the last one is 3.

ADV ARENDSE: You are currently serving a 25 year sentence at Pollsmoor is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And that follows your conviction in the Pietermaritz High Court in connection with the Crazy Beat disco murder?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Mr Tanda, did you go to school?

MR TANDA: I didn't. Can you repeat the question please?

ADV ARENDSE: Did you go to school?

MR TANDA: Yes, I did go to school.

ADV ARENDSE: Up to what standard?

MR TANDA: Up to standard 2.

ADV ARENDSE: Standard 2, and how old were you when you left school?

MR TANDA: I left school in 1974.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay. And after leaving school, did you go and work or what did you do, can you just tell us briefly?

MR TANDA: I worked at Brand number 1, which is a mine.

ADV ARENDSE: Yes?

MR TANDA: 1979.

ADV ARENDSE: Until?

MR TANDA: 1984.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay. Now, the court found, the court that found you guilty and sentenced you, the court found that you were a member of APLA and that you were directly involved in the attack on the Crazy Beat disco? Do you agree with those findings?

MR TANDA: Yes, I agree with them.

ADV ARENDSE: You agree with the court's finding that you were one of the gunmen that shot inside the disco on the night of the 14th of February 1994?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: You also agree with the finding that you were the Commander of the Unit that perpetrated the attack that evening?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, now let's just deal with why you launched the attack on the disco.

Did you decide for yourself that you should attack the disco?

MR TANDA: It was an instruction. I got an instruction from APLA member who was my Commander.

ADV ARENDSE: What is his name, what was his name?

MR TANDA: We were using code names. He uses Mandla, Mzala, Power. However, the name that we used to use at that name in Newcastle when trying to contact him, we used Jones which is also a code name.

ADV ARENDSE: So Mzala, Power, Jones is one and the same person, is that what you are saying?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And he is the person who gave you the order? Is that right?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: When did he give you the order?

MR TANDA: He came to fetch me in Port St Johns to meet Andile, that is where we sat and he told us that we have to go to Newcastle. And that would be the following morning.

ADV ARENDSE: When was that?

MR TANDA: It was in January, but I can't remember the exact date, 1994, January.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, so just to recap, in January 1994, he Power, Mzala, Mr Jones or Jones fetched you in Port St Johns, he took you to was it Umtata you said?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And that is where you met Shiceka?

MR TANDA: Yes, that is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Had you met Shiceka before that?

MR TANDA: At the time I was in Transkei, I had never met Shiceka. I only met him on that particular day.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, just tell us a bit more about what order you were given by Jones or Mzala or Power, what exactly did he tell you? what were your instructions?

MR TANDA: The instructions I get from Jones were that myself and Andile who will be my assistant in that Unit, as an assistant Commander, he also led me to two gentlemen and also gave us instructions that we should go to Newcastle and firearms are already in Newcastle and when we arrive in Newcastle we will attack places where we will see, places which are usually frequented by white people.

ADV ARENDSE: So, you must correct me if I am wrong, I am just going to summarise what you said.

You were told that you were a Commander of a Unit, it is you and Shiceka and two other gentlemen. You will come too and that you were to go to Newcastle, arms and ammunition is already in Newcastle and in Newcastle you must attack places where there are white people?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, places frequented by white people.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: The difference maybe ...

ADV ARENDSE: Places frequented by white people.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

ADV ARENDSE: I put it wrongly, it is places frequented by white people? You were told to attack places frequented by white people?

MR TANDA: Yes.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you. Did Power or Mzala or Jones identify these places? Did he tell you exactly where these places are?

MR TANDA: No, he didn't identify them as to whether we should attack the restaurant or the disco. It was us who selected the target.

The instruction was to attack those places where white people normally meet. So, we investigated those kind of places.

ADV ARENDSE: So you identified these places?

MR TANDA: Yes, that is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And when was that, when did you first identify these places?

MR TANDA: As soon as we arrived in Newcastle, we went around town, looking as to how we could get in and out of the town so that on the day on which we are supposed to attack, we have to be sure that our members are safe.

The reason why we went in, we were also going to look at the place, how we can manoeuvre around it, we were not specifically looking as to which places were frequented by white people or not, but in that process we managed to see them.

ADV ARENDSE: How many places did you identify as a target or a potential target?

MR TANDA: It was a restaurant, the disco, the two.

ADV ARENDSE: The restaurant and the disco?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, how much time did you spend observing or doing reconnaissance before you decided that the restaurant or the disco is going to be the target, or a target?

MR TANDA: As I have already mentioned, that we arrived during January. The operation was carried out on the 14th of February, therefore I would say during all the time between this two time period, we were busy trying to identify targets.

We were also trying to find ways as to how we would find cars which we would use as a get away car. So it did take time before the attack, I can't remember the exact dates.

ADV ARENDSE: Why did you only identify places frequented by white people?

MR TANDA: It is because when you are given an instruction as an army officer, you have to follow the instruction given by the Commander, therefore we were following the instructions.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you not at any stage question that instruction?

MR TANDA: Any army member will tell you that you don't question an order.

You are supposed to go and do or carry out these instructions, and after carrying out the instruction, you have to report back. It is then that you get a chance to ask questions if you have questions with regard to the order as to what was the purpose behind it and we never got that chance, even up to now, because we were arrested before.

We didn't get a chance to ask.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you not, why didn't you ask those questions of Power or Mzala or Jones, why didn't you ask him those questions in January when he picked you up at Port St Johns or when he brought you to Umtata to meet Andile?

MR TANDA: Within the APLA organisation, each member of APLA is told that if you are under a Commander and when given instructions to carry out an operation, you don't have to ask but you can only ask after the operation.

Therefore there was no reason as a member of APLA to ask, so I could carry any instruction given to me by the Commanders of APLA.

ADV ARENDSE: When did you become a member of APLA?

MR TANDA: I got training in 1990.

ADV ARENDSE: Where did you get that training, was it inside the country or outside the country?

MR TANDA: Inside the country.

ADV ARENDSE: And when did you do your first operation, when did you carry out your first operation?

MR TANDA: It was during 1991 where I was instructed to go to Cape Town, when I arrived in Cape Town, I stayed there.

I used to work as a person who received APLA members who were employed to the Cape Town region. And also to identify targets. After that I was involved in police operation in Cape Town.

ADV ARENDSE: Let's just come back to the Newcastle operation.

We have heard from your comrade Bongani Malevu, that earlier before you actually launched the attack on the disco, he drove a vehicle which took you to a place where you hijacked a Cressida motor vehicle, is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Who was with you when you hijacked the vehicle?

MR TANDA: It was Funani and Situlele and myself.

ADV ARENDSE: Funani and Situlele, are those the two gentlemen you referred to earlier, the members of the Unit, the other two members of the Unit?

MR TANDA: Yes, those are the ones we were together in Transkei.

ADV ARENDSE: And after you hijacked the vehicle, who drove the hijacked vehicle, the Cressida?

MR TANDA: It was myself.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, and where did you go with the vehicle?

MR TANDA: We took it from the scene where it stopped. When we were hijacking it, I went to them, I approached them asking them to get out of the car.

It was a militant approach because I pointed a firearm at them. After that, after they got out, we took them and tied them and we took them to an area where you can't switch on the car. I went back to get R20-00 petrol into the car.

After that I went to the house which we used, I packed the car and Andile knew that there was supposed to be a driver. They were on standby with a driver, Funani, then I gave them instructions that they should get into the car to go to Newcastle.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, we know from the criminal trial that Dumisane Dube, he was the driver of the vehicle, or he became the driver of the vehicle that took you back to the disco, is that right?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, so in the vehicle it was Dube, you, Shiceka, Funani and the other chap, Sitembele?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you, did Dube drive you straight to the disco or did you go anywhere else?

MR TANDA: After taking the car he drove it to the restaurant. I told him to stop the car. Shiceka alighted from the car and looked around as to whether people were inside or not and he came back to the car.

After seeing the situation, if we tried to attack this restaurant, there were many people outside, it is possible that there might be some African people, passerby's who might be injured, to avoid that, we tried to move to another target.

We tried to move to another target, because we had two targets.

ADV ARENDSE: So, would it be correct to say that the restaurant was in fact the main target for that night? You targeted the restaurant?

MR TANDA: Yes. It was one of the selected targets, however, it wasn't a target because of a very simple problem I have just explained.

ADV ARENDSE: How far is the disco from the restaurant?

MR TANDA: It is not far, although I can't estimate the metres. After the restaurant, behind it, there is an open parking and at the corner of the park in the other street, that is where the disco was situated, it is not that far.

ADV ARENDSE: So did you drive from the restaurant to the disco or did you walk there?

MR TANDA: We drove by car.

ADV ARENDSE: You drove and who got out of the car first? Did you get out of the car?

MR TANDA: When we arrived at the disco, I went out. I looked around in the disco, I went back to the car. I instructed Shiceka to get out. I also instructed Funani to give us a firing cover behind so that while we are attacking the place, he can ...

ADV ARENDSE: Yes.

MR TANDA: Dube was to sit in the car just to protect the driver.

ADV ARENDSE: And you then entered the, did you go through the back or the front of the disco?

MR TANDA: I will say we didn't enter into the disco, because there were iron bars on the door, we shot through the door which was facing the main road.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay.

MR TANDA: It was myself and Shiceka who were shooting.

ADV ARENDSE: And can you recall how many people were inside the disco when you shot?

MR TANDA: I cannot specifically say the number and I won't be able to know that because I didn't count them. I only looked at the place and I see that there were people inside and there were many. I don't know how many they were.

ADV ARENDSE: And you were armed with a, what was it, an R4 rifle?

MR TANDA: Yes, that is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And you also had a hand grenade?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Did you throw the hand grenade?

MR TANDA: I didn't throw it.

ADV ARENDSE: Why didn't you throw it?

MR TANDA: As there were bars on the door, it is possible that if you throw it, it can hit and come back to near to you and it might injure us instead of the targets.

ADV ARENDSE: Would it be correct to say that you, when you shot and when you fired the shot from your rifle, you and Shiceka, that you aimed to kill and injure as many people inside the disco as possible?

MR TANDA: Our aim was to kill as many people as possible.

ADV ARENDSE: How did you react when you learnt or heard that one person was killed and two people were injured? Did you expect that number to be killed and injured or did you expect more people to be killed and injured?

MR TANDA: The killing of a human being is not similar to killing a chicken or any other animal. We felt it, but we are killing people.

If it was possible that I can get out of prison and ask the PAC as the mother body of APLA to talk to the government and arrange a meeting between myself and my family and the families of the victims in order to reconcile.

ADV ARENDSE: Now, when you - how long did this attack last?

MR TANDA: I will not be exactly sure as to the time period, however, we knew that we don't have to take a long time.

ADV ARENDSE: Are we talking about seconds or minutes?

MR TANDA: I don't know how many minutes it was.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry the other question actually was, when you heard the following day that only one person was killed, what did you think? Did you think that, or did you expect that more people would have been killed or what?

MR TANDA: I personally as a person who was given directions to command the people, I saw it as an unsuccessful operation.

CHAIRPERSON: So you know yourself how many shots you fired, you know how long you kept the fire on. Did you think, when you left the discotheque, did you think that more people would probably be killed or did you think only one would be killed?

MR TANDA: When the firing started, the lights went off and it was dark. I wouldn't be able to see the target inside.

Therefore, I wouldn't be able to know how many people might have died, however, we used lots of ammunition rounds.

CHAIRPERSON: So the following day when you heard that only one person was killed, you were not surprised?

MR TANDA: The truth is I didn't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR TANDA: Meaning that he was surprised.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

ADV ARENDSE: When you returned to the motor vehicle with Shiceka and where did you go to after that?

MR TANDA: You mean after leaving the restaurant?

ADV ARENDSE: After leaving the discotheque, yes. After you shot?

MR TANDA: We went back to the place where we were staying.

ADV ARENDSE: Yes, and what did you do there?

MR TANDA: I arrived, I got the members who were with us out. I said to comrade Shiceka that he should get into the car so that we can go. We went away on the way to the place where Bongani stayed and we requested a car.

I gave the car to Shiceka who drove it to the owner of the car. After that I took out R10-00 and gave it to him to put petrol into the car, because we didn't know where he stayed. Even if I used the petrol, I put R20-00 petrol into the car, I had to give him an extra R10-00 because I didn't know where he stayed in that area.

We gave him his car and came back and stayed in the house of Buthelesi.

ADV ARENDSE: You were arrested the very next day, is that right?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: How did you react to the arrest? The fact that you were arrested so soon, so quickly, after what happened the night before?

MR TANDA: I couldn't react at the time when I was getting arrested, the reason being that I was in possession of a shotgun which has ammunition, seven bullets. The rifles we had already left them behind at Malevu's brother so the (indistinct) arrested us, we couldn't counteract through the use of a pistol.

ADV SANDI: Mr Arendse, are you not really asking the witness how did he feel about his sudden arrest?

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you. Mr Tanda, I asked you how did you feel about being arrested so soon after the incident took place just the night before, and now you are faced with this contingent of police stopping you and arresting you?

MR TANDA: I was not suspecting any person who could have sold us out, or even think there is that possibility.

ADV ARENDSE: Is it then your view that it was a pure coincidence that the police stopped you that day, the next day?

MR TANDA: When we were going to Malevu's brother, there was a bakkie which we came across on the way. It was driving towards the township, as we were getting out of the township, when going back, we also met it again.

I suspected that, we didn't suspect much because had already dropped the guns and went back to Matadeni.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he not applying for amnesty in respect of the illegal firearms, ammunition and the like?

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Tanda, you were also found guilty of possessing arms and ammunition and hand grenades and you heard me say in my opening statement, that you were correctly convicted for committing those offences, do you agree with that?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: And would it be correct that you are also applying for amnesty in respect of those offences?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY ADV ARENDSE: .

CHAIRPERSON: What did the police find in your possession, what weapons did they find?

MR TANDA: When I arrived at the police station, we were searched. They found a phone which links me to Jones.

They also found the shotgun I referred to, the 9mm shotgun.

CHAIRPERSON: And some ammunition?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you get this shotgun with its ammunition and the hand grenade?

MR TANDA: The hand grenade and the arms were from Umtata.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you want to use them for? For what purpose did you want to use all those weapons and ammunition that were found with you?

MR TANDA: The truth is that the gun, the arms were to be used for the operation.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Prior?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Tanda, in a statement which is unsigned, you indicated that you arrived in Cape Town in 1992 where you started a Task Force and trained members of APLA in order that they were able to carry out operations, is that so?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Are you able to tell us where in Cape Town this training took place?

MR TANDA: I would like to ask a question. The hearing in which I was supposed to appear in Cape Town, does the operations which took place in Cape Town affect the operation or are they linked to the operation that we took out in Newcastle? Because I think I was supposed to talk about the operation which is specifically mentioned, about this, because I have already talked about these operations before.

Unless, if that is not going to affect me, because I didn't have much consultation with my Advocate with regards to the operations in Cape Town.

CHAIRPERSON: It is your Advocate who took us to Cape Town. I assure you though that I am sure the questions are not going to ask you what you did in Cape Town, what did you do and the like. I am sure the questions will not get into that.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, may I assure the witness?

MR TANDA: I think the question he asked me is referring directly to what happened in Cape Town and not about the ...

CHAIRPERSON: I don't remember what the question is, can you repeat the question.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I certainly won't go into the detail of those separate incidents. But for way of background and his training in the use of arms in particular, I think the question is a general question and relates to the training that he did in Cape Town.

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe I should explain to you this way that when your Advocate talked about Cape Town, I didn't understand either as trying to go deep into what you did in Cape Town. I thought that he was trying to show to us that you were in fact a genuine trained member of APLA, in other words, they didn't just pick you up that evening in Newcastle and just used you there and there.

He was trying to show that you have got a history as a soldier of APLA, to complete the picture because sometimes you find somebody who becomes a member of a liberation movement, five minutes before he kills people and then he comes and he says, well I am a member of APLA. For how long, for five minutes, but in order to show that you were a genuine member of APLA he wanted to show some history, that you had been working for APLA for many years or for some time before that.

But they are not going to ask you did you kill somebody in Cape Town, did you throw a hand grenade in Cape Town, they are not going to ask you that. We will guard against that immediately. Do you understand?

MR TANDA: To cut it short, I had a programme to train the defence unit for the PAC. I also had a programme to oversee the PAC in Cape Town so that the units doesn't get infiltrated and also receiving members of the Force and I also had to train the members of the Task Force.

Those which were supposed to meet the APLA members, I used to unite them, get them together.

CHAIRPERSON: Does that answer your question Mr Prior?

MR PRIOR: In some way, yes.

ADV POTGIETER: Mr Prior, what is the status of those other incidents? Are they pending?

MR PRIOR: Yes, I understand, I give the Committee the assurance that in so far as the applicant has applied for amnesty for these matters and they do not serve before us today, I will not question on them in any detail whatsoever.

The question is simply a background question. I don't know why the applicant is so defensive. I simply want to go into his background insofar his military background and his training is concerned, which will then lead me to Newcastle.

ADV POTGIETER: Yes, but is the fact that those things are pending before the Amnesty Committee, are they ...?

MR PRIOR: Maybe Mr Arendse can answer. I know there are several applications for amnesty from various APLA members regarding Guguletu and Khayelitsha and the other matters.

ADV POTGIETER: That seems to apply to both the first and second applicants, they seem to be the operatives and they seem to have been involved in some other incidents now. We are not sure, be obviously are only dealing with the disco at this stage.

MR PRIOR: May I give the Committee the assurance, we are only dealing with the disco. I understand that the statements were prepared in response to questions which were directed by the analysts some time ago, regarding the application which indicated some other incidents and in order to identify them, those questions were asked.

Somewhat belatedly the replies came to those questions and unfortunately they were included in the statement which is now before this Committee. We are only dealing with Newcastle and to that end I shall not deal in any depth at all, or in any respect, of those other incidents which have no bearing on the Newcastle attack.

ADV POTGIETER: Thank you.

MR PRIOR: If I understand you correctly, obviously part of the training dealt with the use of firearms, is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Were you proficient with the use of particularly the R4 rifle?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And on the evening in question, that is the 14th of February in Newcastle, did you have a fully loaded magazine before you fired into the discotheque?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And how many rounds did the magazine contain?

MR TANDA: There was 30.

MR PRIOR: You discharged all 30 rounds into the discotheque?

MR TANDA: I won't be able to say exactly that I used 30. I think I used less than 30. When coming back to the car, I didn't look to see as to how many bullets were still inside, I just loaded full again.

MR PRIOR: Did you change magazines at any stage during the attack at the discotheque?

MR TANDA: We didn't change magazines.

MR PRIOR: Mr Shiceka, did he also have an R4 semi-automatic rifle?

MR TANDA: He had an R5.

MR PRIOR: Does that magazine also contain 30 rounds?

MR TANDA: When looking at the operation, each and every member had to carry his own firearm, to load it, to see whether it is working properly. I won't be able to answer that question. I can't answer for you.

MR PRIOR: As the Commander in charge of that operation, were you aware that he had a fully loaded magazine with him, or can't you say?

MR TANDA: Yes, it is usual that it is supposed to be full when you are going to do an operation.

MR PRIOR: Do you know if he changed magazines after shooting initially at the, in other words what I want to know did he change magazines and continued shooting into the discotheque or are you unable to say?

MR TANDA: I won't be able to say that because if a soldier is holding his own firearm, he has to take care of his arm and I was taking care of my arm.

MR PRIOR: Thank you. How many hand grenades were in your possession on that evening?

MR TANDA: I had a hand grenade which was one.

MR PRIOR: You mentioned a launch grenade, is that a rifle grenade?

MR TANDA: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Just tell us the hand grenade is that an M26 hand grenade? Described as an M26?

MR TANDA: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Did you have wire nails taped onto the outside of the hand grenade?

MR TANDA: It wasn't reinforced, it was an M16 which was not reinforced.

MR PRIOR: Are you familiar with that addition to the grenade by taping wire nails onto the outside of it to cause maximum carnage when it explodes, or are you not familiar with that method?

MR TANDA: We use those type of hand grenades as APLA members, that is correct.

MR PRIOR: All right. You have explained why you never threw a grenade into the premises. What about the rifle grenade, were you supposed to shoot that into the premises?

MR TANDA: The launch grenade too was prepared for reinforcement if ever we meet a roadblock when coming back. We didn't intend to use it at the disco. The hand grenade we didn't launch or throw it because there were bars, iron bars, it could bounce back near us and also injure us.

MR PRIOR: Tell me before you started shooting, did you find out whether there was a back entrance to the discotheque? A rear entrance?

MR TANDA: The back door was not used by us. Our aim was to, we shouldn't take longer time to enter into the disco, however, we were operating from the outside through the front door.

MR PRIOR: What I am driving at very simply is, were you able to gain access from the rear entrance or was that door locked which prevented you gaining access to the premises?

MR TANDA: I didn't investigate as to whether the back door was locked and since the targets were selected, when leaving the restaurant, we went straight, we aimed to go and attack the disco.

MR PRIOR: All right. You had previously identified the discotheque as a target together with this restaurant in Newcastle, is that so?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And did they qualify as targets because they were frequented or they were places frequented by white people only?

INTERPRETER: The microphone was off, can you repeat the question please?

MR PRIOR: Were the targets identified solely on the basis that they were places frequented by white people?

MR TANDA: As we were given instruction to attack places where white people meet, that is the criteria we used to identify the target.

MR PRIOR: And that decision or the specific target for example, the discotheque was your choice? It was a choice made by yourself as the local Commander?

MR TANDA: It was our choice. When we were given instructions, they never selected targets for us, Mandla. He said we will identify targets and we will attack these places that are frequented by white people and we identified the target ourselves.

MR PRIOR: I understand that. He gave you an instruction in principle what was to be done, and you selected the specific target to be attacked, is that correct?

MR TANDA: I don't really understand what you are trying to ask me. I don't understand the questions.

MR PRIOR: I have no difficulty now, I am just trying to clarify what you are saying, in other words Mandla, Jones, Power, whoever he may be, said the policy now is to attack white people wherever they may gather. He never said go and attack the discotheque at Newcastle? That was your choice, you selected that target as the Commander in Newcastle at that time?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: For example you could have attacked the primary school or a hospital, is that correct if you so wished?

MR TANDA: I don't think it was based on revenge, maybe to revenge a June 16. I knew what was supposed to be a target if I have to choose a target.

I knew that we had to choose a target where there are white people, I don't think I would have gone into a school and shot young children where they are studying.

MR PRIOR: If they were white people, what was stopping you, it was part of the instruction to attack whites where they were gathered?

Or are you saying there were some guideline that you were following?

MR TANDA: I am not going to answer for another person, however, I personally I wasn't going to select children as targets because we all knew that it will happen that we will have to meet the white people again in future, therefore attacking children I don't see any reason why I should have involved myself in such a way I had to get into a school and shoot children.

ADV SANDI: Sorry Mr Prior, can I just come in here for a moment and maybe put the question in a slightly different way.

Did you choose the Crazy Beat disco as a target because in your understanding it was one of the places frequented by whites?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Would you agree also from your observations or your surveillance on a previous occasion before the attack, that many of the white people attending the discotheque were very young people, in fact teenagers?

MR TANDA: On that specific date when we were surveiling, I didn't see young youth entering the place, I only saw white people there.

MR PRIOR: You see, what I am trying to just understand from you, were there any guidelines, were there any points beyond which you would not go in selecting your targets?

MR TANDA: I will say that the instruction is where there are white people, although it doesn't specifically refer to ages, I personally as a Commander, I wasn't going to attack children.

MR PRIOR: Maybe I can ask you a different way. Why did you feel, or why did you believe that the patrons at the Crazy Beat disco on the 14th of February 1994, were legitimate targets in your view?

MR TANDA: It is because before the attack, I took Bongani, he drove me to do surveillance over the target and also the restaurant. Sorry, I am referring to the disco. I knew the place before going there to attack it, and I knew the targets.

MR PRIOR: ... assume that you did not believe that members of the Security Force, either policemen or military personnel, white personnel, were attending that place because you chose the target purely because it was attended by white males and females, presumably who were not children?

MR TANDA: That is correct. To add, it is clear that the operation wasn't specifically directed to police or soldiers. Power made it clear that we should attack white people, whether they will be soldiers or police. I wouldn't know whether it is an issue because if you dress like that and Andile dressed in the way he looks, I won't be able to identify who is a police between you and who is a police and who is not.

Soldiers are identified by uniform. You cannot just look at a person in the face and recognise a person as a particular person like a police or whatever.

MR PRIOR: I want to put to you the same question or a similar question as put by the Chairman to Mr Malevu.

It appears, or it would appear from the fact that at the restaurant which you never attacked because there was a chance that black people may have been injured, that the attack on the discotheque was purely along racial lines or for racist reasons.

The people there were to be killed purely because they were white people and for no other reason, is that correct?

MR TANDA: I wouldn't like to agree with you because apartheid, if it were to continue, it was clear that the people who were going to be in charge or in control, was going to be white people.

If we don't look at apartheid and look at the reason as to why liberation movement fight only against the white people, we will find the reason. From there as we are talking here today, we talk about the 20th of March 1966, that was the incident caused by white people, based on racial lines and when we talk about June 16, it is an incident which was caused by white people which was based on racial lines.

And other many cases where things were done on racial lines, together with things like the train shootings, therefore we can't stress the racial issue, because we were fighting for the land which was in the hands of the white people, who were not prepared to hand back what belonged to the African people.

Therefore we see that as an oppressive situation, therefore we can't talk of apartheid if we don't see white people. People who were oppressing the African people in a country where we were born. You are saying that the white people were doing the right thing by oppressing us, which was wrong, and we were fighting because we were oppressed and only people that were voting for the government of the day, were the white people, who also enjoyed the vote and (indistinct).

Therefore all the people who were prominent in apartheid, were white people. Even the professional people, you will find that the Judges of South Africa are mostly dominated by white people and they chose that even the communists under their hands, referring to myself personally, I ended up in standard 2, I never benefitted anything through apartheid.

Most white people enjoyed the situation under the white apartheid government. Most of us black people ended up in jails, however the same people who were supposed to enjoy the privileges of the freedom that we fight for. For example P.W. Botha (indistinct), he should come and work with the TRC, therefore he can get (indistinct).

He is saying that because it is a status issue which plays a role in this situation. If I was wrong for fighting for freedom, it should be made clear.

MR PRIOR: I have understanding to what you say, but my question is simply, I am trying to understand why you selected a discotheque where people were ostensibly having a party. Why you chose to murder or kill, if I may use that word kill, in your own evidence, as many people as you wanted or could have killed. I just want to understand that?

CHAIRPERSON: That is a different question from what you have been asking. The previous question, you were asking him why he would have chosen the white people as targets. In response to which you got quite a mouthful. Now what you are asking is something different now.

You are asking him why if he wanted to kill white people, he chose to kill white people who were at a party enjoying themselves.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I accept that it adds to it, but in essence the target that he chose were white people at a discotheque/party.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and not for example white people who were at a different place. That is the input of your question?

MR PRIOR: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it should come otherwise.

MR PRIOR: All right, can I put it that way as you have clarified it.

CHAIRPERSON: That is right.

MR PRIOR: I am just trying to understand why you chose the discotheque as a target on that evening? Are you saying it was as a result of a command or an order that you got or was it something that you decided on personally or was it an order to avenge or revenge the deaths that were occurring on the trains as you referred to?

Can you explain what the reason was why that specific target was selected by yourself?

MR TANDA: To put it clear, I was given instructions as orders by Jones, I would refer to him as Power or Mzala to go and carry out operations in Newcastle.

He didn't mention to me that I should go and attack a disco or a restaurant. However, I shall attack places where white people are meeting.

I tried to explain that that it wasn't a decision from me. I left Umtata to Newcastle through orders. I didn't leave Umtata on my own.

I went there through instructions. And also when I attacked, it wasn't my own personal vendetta, it was following instructions from my Commander.

ADV POTGIETER: Mr Tanda, perhaps just to try and clarify this thing, your instruction was to find a place, a target which is frequented by whites, that was the order from Jones that was given to you, is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV POTGIETER: You had spent quite a bit of time in Newcastle between January and the 14th of February when this thing happened and you were looking around for targets that qualify in terms of that instruction that you got from Jones? Did I understand it correctly?

MR TANDA: That is correct. We also had problems we came across, because when you are ready to carry out an operation, you have to look at the area, the way in and the way out of the area because you have to make sure that the operation succeeds and also to make sure that the people involved in the leadership of such operations, doesn't get arrested.

ADV POTGIETER: So what you are saying is that taking into account the logistical situation, all those issues that you have spoken about, the access and the exit from the place and that sort of thing, taking the logistics into account, taking into account the order that you were given, taking those things into account, you concluded that these two places, the restaurant and the disco, would qualify as targets?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV POTGIETER: Now, your Commander the person that you took instructions from, was Jones, is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct. As I said he was also known as Power, Mandla. The name that we used while we were in Newcastle was Jones.

ADV POTGIETER: You said that when you were arrested, the police found a telephone in your possession which you had used to communicate with Jones?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV POTGIETER: ... in Newcastle, up to the incident, were you reporting to Jones?

MR TANDA: Yes, report the situation at that time to him.

ADV POTGIETER: ... your observations, and were you reporting the fact that you had identified these two targets?

MR TANDA: Yes, those were the things which I had to report and also explain that the operations haven't yet been carried out because of this and this reason for example, transport. Because if you look at Newcastle, the town and the place where we were staying is far apart.

Therefore that led us to a situation where we had to hijack a car and get to Newcastle, because it is not easy to get access to the town. Those were the things that we were looking at.

ADV POTGIETER: Did you have to get clearance to put it that way, from Jones for the specific operation, did he have to clear the targets? Did he have to confirm that those targets are in order, you can proceed?

MR TANDA: What happened is that when he wants me, I shall report back to him as to the progress of the operations.

I will tell him all the problems, for example that we had problems with the transport. I also told him that we identified a target, the disco and the restaurant. We said it was the restaurant and the second option would be the disco.

Therefore it wasn't a full report, I just informed him about the operation and after the operation, we were supposed to give a full report.

ADV POTGIETER: When you conveyed the targets to him that you had identified, what was his attitude?

MR TANDA: He said we have to make sure that the work continued as planned.

ADV SANDI: Did you engage Mr Tanda, in any further and perhaps a detailed conversation with Mr Jones about the two targets or did you just say to him we have identified two targets, the restaurant and the disco?

MR TANDA: There was nothing to discuss because according to instructions given to us by him, they didn't give a specific target. He said we have to attack places which normally you will find white people, he didn't say a hotel, a disco or any other place.

We have to, ourselves, identify a target. He said, he stressed that we had to attack places that were frequented by white people.

ADV SANDI: In other words you were not contacting Mr Jones in order to get the go ahead from him?

MR TANDA: Truly I will say that give an example, when a person is in Cape Town, talking for example about a famous person for example Archbishop Tutu, you as a person who is sitting here, sitting in this hall in Pietermaritzburg, will be able to know better here, you wouldn't be able to know because he is not here.

He said to me and Andile go and attack white people. I won't be able to say whether he came to Newcastle or not. It is difficult for me to say he said that we should go and attack the disco. He said we will identify the targets ourselves and all that he said was that we should go and attack white people.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Did you question the instruction or the orders given by Jones as to the nature of your targets? Did you ever ...?

MR TANDA: I have already explained clearly that when you are briefed about our operations, you are told that when given instructions, you have no right to question. You have to carry out that particular instruction and after carrying out the instruction, you have to come back and give the report as to what you have done.

If you have done the operation, the report will be accepted by the Commander and thereafter you have a chance to ask as to why you were given such a particular instruction, for example to go and attack in Newcastle, but I as a person never got that chance to ask because we were arrested.

MR PRIOR: If you had any problems with the nature of the attack, you would have cleared that up before the attack and not after, don't you agree?

MR TANDA: As I said, I used to contact him to tell him about the progress.

MR PRIOR: Right, I want to put to you that it would seem, I am not going into any detail in these other events, but the Newcastle attack seems to be a substantial departure from your normal target that you had experienced from 1992. Would you agree with that?

MR TANDA: Can you please explain to me about departure, can you clarify the question for me?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, ... of the nature and extent of, or do we know the nature and extent of his other activities in Cape Town to the extent that we could with some justification put that question to him?

MR PRIOR: Well, I am Mr Chairman, simply referring to his statement where he lists seriatim at least three incidents where, in the Zola Budd operation, Guguletu operation and Crossroads operation where the object of the attacks were all police vehicles or police personnel.

And on that basis only I am suggesting that the Newcastle disco attack appears to be a departure from the type of targets that he attacked in the past. I simply want to confirm whether he agrees with that distinction or whether there is a distinction.

ADV POTGIETER: But you are not responding to the Chairperson's question. What do we have in front of us at this stage?

MR PRIOR: We have a statement.

ADV POTGIETER: What is the value of that? And that is why I asked you whether this is part of pending proceedings before the Committee and which might prejudice the applicant if you were to canvass that which is pending.

MR PRIOR: I take the Chairman's point. If I may then be permitted to simply put it in general terms. Maybe if I can rephrase the question in the following way and please, if the question is still unfair, or ... (tape ends) ... departure from the normal operations carried out by APLA and yourself up until that stage?

In other words from 1992 till the time of the attack in Newcastle in 1994?

MR TANDA: Sir my answer to you is that when a person who is above you in rank, give you an instruction, you have to carry out the instruction. However, I don't know whether Power who gave me the instructions to go and attack in Newcastle will exactly know the reason why we had to shift from the previous target to the new targets.

However, what I knew personally is that in South Africa, we were oppressed and I don't think anybody have a right to oppress us. I knew about the attacks on police and it was changed later, we have to go to Newcastle, but I don't know about whether the official shift, what happened. I was just given a target to go and carry out instructions.

ADV SANDI: Was it correct though, I didn't want to interrupt you because you said to him there was a departure all along until this Newcastle thing.

Hadn't the St James incident occurred before Newcastle?

MR PRIOR: Sorry, I was referring specifically to ...

ADV SANDI: To him as an individual?

MR PRIOR: I seemed to qualify my question, the departure from APLA but specifically his participation within APLA, this attack was different.

ADV SANDI: Okay.

MR PRIOR: That is the only distinction I wished to make and I think he answered the question.

ADV SANDI: Yes, he answered the question.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Tanda, you agree with the evidence we heard, it is also common cause that the elections occurred or took place in April of 1994, about two months or so after the attack in Newcastle.

MR TANDA: The truth will be yes, however, it doesn't affect following the order which was given to me by the Commander.

MR PRIOR: The question that I want to ask you is, looking at the situation now, can you think of how the attack on the discotheque in any way, assisted the move to democracy in South Africa?

MR TANDA: I would say the PAC was formed in 1959 and it formed its armed wing APLA in 1961, therefore it started as a political party before becoming a liberation movement. The formation of APLA was after there were incidents like the Sharpville massacre and other incidents which were not mentioned.

What happened is I don't understand how your question fit into all this. However, the aim of all this attack was to fight to get back our land.

If you look all over, if there were people who were oppressed internationally, the fight for their liberation because you the white people do not accept that you were wrong by oppressing us and you expected us to fold our hands and to obey under the oppression.

Therefore as I am saying, it was nothing racial, it was just an order that I had to carry out.

MR PRIOR: Are you saying that you did not have much confidence in the negotiation process at that time, February of 1994?

MR TANDA: I won't like you to think for me. I will like you to ask me I think the reason why the reason you ask me referring to an order, it was, it was referring to the order that was given.

It is not a question as to whether I was (indistinct) of the success of the negotiations, I couldn't run away from an instruction of APLA because the PAC will negotiate.

However, I had to follow the instruction. If you are a soldier you have to take instructions, therefore I took instructions. I don't think that that means that I was against negotiations by carrying out the instruction that I was given.

I don't think it is relevant in asking me about the negotiations and the part that I took, because I was turning out an order.

MR PRIOR: What would have occurred, what do you think would have happened if you disobeyed the order as you put it from Jones? If you had said to him for example, I am not going to go and kill civilian people, white people, what do you think would have happened to you, if anything?

MR TANDA: Firstly I would say the reason why what motivated me to become an APLA member was the conditions under which we are living.

Nobody dragged me to join APLA. I saw how our brothers were killed by white people together with the police and the soldiers, defending the apartheid system. So therefore nobody pushed me behind to go and join APLA, I personally joined APLA.

I joined not to cause chaos within it, however only to follow instructions and its principles and aims.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I think the question is a fair question. I am going to ask the Chair to ask the witness to answer that question please.

The basis therefore, if I may just briefly explain if there was a strict adherence to carrying out an order in a military sense, then obviously there must have been some apprehension for a reprisal of some sort or sanction if that order is not carried out, and it is a very simple question.

Did he entertain any fear in his mind of what may have happened to him if he had disobeyed the order?

CHAIRPERSON: Well, perhaps we can because he has already given an answer which may be part of the answer. He has already said he didn't go in there to cause chaos within APLA, he went there with a purpose to go and listen to, to go along with whatever orders.

But maybe we can go on and ask him. You have already said that when you were asked as to whether you thought anything could have happened to you, if you did not follow the orders, you said that you joined freely, you were not forced by anybody.

And that you didn't go there to go and cause any chaos. Is there any other reason why you did not want to disobey the order?

MR TANDA: Firstly I went to the army and I was finding out where it is possible that a soldier who is given an instruction by the Commander, by the seniors, a person who would disobey such an instruction is not fit to be a soldier, so I can't answer about the punishment because it depends on a situation.

I don't know if I managed to answer that question.

MR PRIOR: Do I understand that you were unaware that there would be any punishment, specific punishment, or that didn't enter your mind at all?

MR TANDA: At the time when I was a member of APLA, I once, sometimes I got punishment if I did something that was wrong, so I knew that if you do something wrong, you get punished.

So to defy an order from your Commander, I knew that you would be punished. In other words to defy means I would be doing counteract to the revolution.

MR PRIOR: My ultimate question refers to paragraph 29 of the statement, the unsigned statement. You describe how you arrived at the discotheque, you say I got out and found many white people inside.

I returned and ordered Situlele to stay with the driver and protect him. Funani was to give us firing cover from behind. Can I just ask you on that aspect. You seem to set out what in my mind appears to be a military style operation, you have got the driver being protected and you've got someone in a position to give you firing cover, or covering fire. Who were you afraid of in that situation?

The discotheque was closed, there were bars, people were inside the discotheque obviously they couldn't get out in a hurry, who did you fear a counter attack from, if I can put it in that way?

MR TANDA: In South Africa, it is clear that not a single person will claim not to know that white people stay in areas and they are usually armed.

The areas in which they stay, you always find police around, soldiers around because the white people in South Africa were the people in charge of security of the whole country.

Therefore you were not protecting the area like that.

MR PRIOR: Would I be correct in assessing from this paragraph that when you started shooting, the people inside the discotheque had no warning, no idea that an attack or shooting was going to occur?

MR TANDA: When you attack, I don't think that your main aim is to make the people aware in order for them to be safe, because we were told that we could die at any time if you ever inform them, therefore that would be counteract to the operation.

MR PRIOR: Can you explain why when you drove away from the scene of the attack, that you shot at a police van driving in the opposite direction?

MR TANDA: The reason why we shot at the police van was it met us when we were approaching a T-junction, they were going to patrol Madadini area and the speed at which it was travelling, it was clear that it was alert, therefore we couldn't wait for the enemy to attack us and act as responders.

You have to attack first before you get attacked, therefore we had to attack it because we thought we were not safe having met the car at our road.

MR PRIOR: You also encountered a police hippo vehicle. You say you ordered that it should not be shot at because the gunfire noise would give an indication to other pursuers of which direction in which you had retreated? Is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct. When you look at a hippo, shooting at a hippo is a waste of ammunition, you cannot affect or get rid of the enemy inside the hippo.

At the same time, you will be giving direction as to where we were as we were travelling to different directions in the crossroads.

When you carry out an operation, the most important thing is that you succeed and also to make sure that the people in your company are safe. It is not one of the aims to challenge the enemy because we know the reinforcements in South Africa, that one of the reasons why we operate in small groups so that as soon as we finish operating, we can disappear as soon as possible, without having been cornered by the reinforcement.

Because the reinforcement of the apartheid government was powerful at that time. The police could have followed us, the police were in the police stations.

CHAIRPERSON: ... came to you and say to you that you have substantially answered the question.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Finally, your counsel asked you when you learnt the next day at some later stage, that only one person had died, you said you regarded the operation as a failure.

Were you disappointed that so few people had died in that attack that had been so carefully planned and executed?

MR TANDA: When following an order to go and attack a place where white people are meeting, if we go and attack and only one person got killed, while our aim was not to kill only one person, it was clear that you will see yourself as a person not having carried out a successful operation.

MR PRIOR: Yes, I was just a bit puzzled at your reply when you said it is not like killing a chicken, a human being, you felt something and I wanted maybe just to explore that.

What was that something that you felt? Was it disappointment, was it anger, was it joy, was it happiness or was it sadness? Are you able to explain to the Committee what you felt when you learnt that at least one person had died?

MR TANDA: I have clearly stated that I know that because I have before involved in operations. Killing a person is not a nice thing.

I end up saying that I would ask from the leadership of the PAC to contact the government, the government to arrange a meeting between the PAC with my family and the victims' family to show humanity and also reconciliation. That is why I answered your question.

I don't know whether there is anything that shows that I didn't have any pity with regard to the killing of people.

MR PRIOR: Do I understand you correctly, are you saying that it was necessary to kill as part of the instructions that you had, even though it was not pleasant for you to do so?

MR TANDA: It is painful, or it is not a good thing to kill. Even if you know that that is the case, it doesn't mean that you will be able to defy a Commander's instruction.

MR PRIOR: I don't have any further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRIOR: .

ADV POTGIETER: Mr Tanda, just one issue. How many hand grenades were issued for this operation?

MR TANDA: We had two hand grenades on that particular day. It was a launch grenade which was one.

ADV POTGIETER: The hand grenades, you seem to have been charged with possession of four M26 hand grenades. Were those the hand grenades that were meant for the operation or what?

MR TANDA: Those which we took to the operation, it was a hand grenade and a launch grenade.

ADV POTGIETER: ... afterwards when it was pointed out?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV POTGIETER: This M26, what kind of hand grenade is that? Is that a defensive or offensive hand grenade?

MR TANDA: It is offensive.

ADV POTGIETER: Thank you.

MR TANDA: I would like to ask if I can get a chance to pass water and come back if possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any questions to put in re-examination?

ADV ARENDSE: Just one aspect Mr Chairman, it shouldn't take more than a minute or so.

CHAIRPERSON: Will you carry one question?

MR TANDA: Okay.

RE-EXAMINATION BY ADV ARENDSE: I am in the same desperate situation, don't worry. Just to try Mr Tanda to help the Committee understand a particular question or a proposition that was put to you by Mr Prior namely that targeting white people, like for example St James, the King William's Town golf club and the disco, just trying to help to understand that, you were an operative in other words you operated as an APLA soldier on the ground, is that correct?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Were you anywhere involved or in any way involved in making policy decisions within APLA, in other words did you decide what direction the military wing of the PAC, namely APLA in which way it was going in a particular period of time in a particular year?

MR TANDA: I wasn't involved, I only got instructions. It was the High Commander and the PAC leadership which had powers to do that.

To add, the reason is that the army is not similar, the PAC or any other organisation where there is democracy. There is limited democracy in an army situation.

ADV ARENDSE: ... for example, we see on and I am referring Mr Chairman, to page 83 of the record, where Sevello Parmer proclaims 1994 to be the year of the bullet and the ballot.

That would be a policy direction or a particular course of action that APLA is going to take say in 1994. How would that be communicated to you, how would you know that this is the direction the organisation is taking?

MR TANDA: I was going to be given an instruction. But the instructor was going to say what I had to do. Sometimes there is a need for them to address us as a Unit, so they will come to our Unit and address us on any changes that might have occurred.

I wasn't part of that unit, however comrade Sevello Parmer was the one as a General in APLA.

ADV ARENDSE: So for example, if the APLA High Command Sevello Parmer and other would have decided that during 1993 and 1994 we are going to paraphrase, to take the attacks to the whites in the urban areas, if they had made that their goal for 1993 and 1994, would you have had anything to do with that?

MR TANDA: What was going to happen was that I as a soldier, I was supposed to accept such outcome or instructions and to do as I was instructed. I couldn't refuse or not agree.

ADV ARENDSE: So in other words if you get an order like in this case, you got an order from Power, Mzala, Jones which would give effect to that policy direction, you carry out that order?

MR TANDA: That is correct.

ADV ARENDSE: Would you agree with me that this is also part of military strategy for example in the 1960's and 1970's, the former government,they would have decided to suppress political opposition within the country, but then later on, in the late 1970's and in the 1980's they would decide also to move across the border and actually pursue people involved in the liberation struggle.

Would it be akin, would it be something like that where the military command, the High Command changed strategy and changed policy direction?

MR TANDA: Yes. But a soldier doesn't have an influence as to the policy direction.

ADV ARENDSE: Okay, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We are trying to think aloud as to whether it would be convenient for everybody if we had to start at nine o'clock tomorrow morning.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, yes most certainly. From our side there is only one witness to be called, that is Mrs Swarts who doesn't really canvass the merits of the application, so she will be very short and I see it only remains for the third applicant to give evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I assume that maybe you will argue thereafter?

MR PRIOR: Yes, I am sure we will be in a position to simply argue the matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Then we will adjourn until tomorrow nine o'clock. Thank you.

HEARING ADJOURNS

 
SABC Logo
Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment
DMMA Logo
SABC © 2019
>